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You need to present a sketchbook for every Unit completed (four in a total of
two years) It can include many things, but will basically need to consist of:

A Brief
Research and Observation
A Script
A Storyboard
Concept & Location Designs
Prop lists
Location Photographs

1.Write a BRIEF of no more than 250 words explaining your idea and your
intentions for the project. This should just be an overview to your projects.

2.Start with drawing up a SPIDER DIAGRAM, which explores all your ideas on
one page.

3.RESEARCH: This can be a whole number of things and marks are rewarded to
students who demonstrate they are able to RECORD, ANALYSE and DEVELOP their
findings. Below are a few points to help you begin your research.

i) Examine at least three films that relate to the stimuli and maybe other films
that generally inspire you with regards to its thematic and technical
composition. Therefore, you could talk about the film's director,
cinematographer or composer.
ii) Use stills, poster images and freeze frames to help illustrate your research.
Annotate them with regards to their relevance to your project.
iii) Try to move into other fields of art and analyze them in the same way that
you examined your stimuli films. How effective are they at delivering a
message or idea to the spectator? You could look at fine art, photography,
music, and even other areas of pop culture. This is important to demonstrate
to the examiner that you are not only being analytical about film, but also its

Using the Internet, books, periodicals and newspapers etc… research

elements of the chosen subjects, for example, ‘Landscape and You or ‘Sound,
Image, Text This must be a broad and detailed study that covers not only
your perspective, but also the thoughts and feelings of other professionals,
critics and artists who have worked on similar themes. Make some cohesion
and order from your research and present it in you sketchbooks explaining
your reasons for the selection. Focus on FILM as well as other areas of art,
craft, design and culture etc…
4.Write a SHOT LIST or SHOOTING SCRIPT for both your films. The script must
be correctly formatted. Any drafts should also be included in your

5.Draw up an appropriate STORYBOARD using your shot list or script.

6.Using your shot list/script, break it down so that you have the following
production design elements; a props list, a shooting log, a location map (if
necessary), and recce photographs. Concept drawings and location designs
can also be included.

7.Write a WORKING DIARY. This does not have to be a diary in its strictest
sense, but throughout the sketchbook you should note down significant dates
when things happened that have relevance to your projects completion or
your development as a filmmaker. For example any problems you came up
against and how you worked round them will be given credit.

8.Finally write an EVALUATION. This is a written essay (divided into 4 parts)

that should be included at the end demonstrating your competence at
managing and assessing the project. It should be a minimum of a 1000
words, but really shouldn't exceed 1500. You can use stills from your films
and/or others to illustrate the work. Diagrams, concept designs can also be
sketched out to brighten up the pages.

When writing a comprehensive evaluation you must demonstrate a

significant knowledge in the skills you have acquired that reflect your
understanding of the filmmaking process. Praise your work, but also be self-
critical. How successful were you in addressing your Brief? What does the film
tell its audience and how did the cinematography, direction, acting, blocking
and editing complement this?

Avoid any sort of “fan-chat.” Don’t ever write an evaluation as if it were a

review for Empire magazine. It is bad practice and you will loose marks for
correspondent writing rather than academic.

Should you draw on other films and artists as examples of inspiration you
must do so specifically. Mention specific directors, cinematographers, actors,
scenes, props and locations etc… when talking about a particular component
you have tried to mimic in your work. You must show your understanding of
the artist’s use of the elements and how it is relevant to your own production.

The evaluation can be simply written by working through the 4 parts. These
should help keep your commentary simple, concise and to the point. It also
illustrates to the reader your progress from the original conception through to
the final product. It should also demonstrate your abilities in the organization
& designation of the production. It helps construct a realization in your mind
as well as the reader’s and should assist you on reaching a strong conclusion
on the project’s overall success.
i) PRE-PRODUCTION: The first section should be between 300-500 words
analyzing your PRE-PRODUCTION. You look at how well you planned your
work, how useful your research was-and how it helped develop your final film.
How successful was your scripting or storyboarding? Did they help or hinder
the project? What might you do in the future planning stages of projects to
make things run more smoothly?

ii) PRODUCTION: Again this should be an examination of your shooting time

on the project and be between 300-500 words. As a new comer to film walk
the reader through your experiences of shooting the project. How was the
kit? Did it have faults or did it enable your shoot to be a lot easier? Did you
have to cast, if so how was it working with performers? Did the shooting run
to plan or were the changes that had to be made? In the end how successful
was it and what would you do in the future to make it work better?

iii) POST-PRODUCTION: section should also be about 300-500 words in length

that talks specifically about the editing process. How was
FCP? Did you find it helpful software. What was it like editing for the first
time? What sort of considerations are needed before you edit next time. If
you had to change things what would they be? Did you study any specific
editors during your research to draw upon in your editing?

iv) CONCLUSION: should be about 150 words that just sums up you
reflections on the film. What were its strengths in your opinion or its
weaknesses? What might you change next time? Are you happy with the final
project and do you think it has relevance to the original stimuli and if so how?

Research Questions:

If you are still struggling to fill pages then below are some RESEARCH
QUESTIONS you could try to answer – again it is up to you how to write these
into your sketchbook, but the more creatively displayed and illustrated the
more likely it will be to gain a greater mark.

1) As a film-maker you will have to deal with many problems during

production and post-production. Write a paper (1000 words max) that might
explore these problems, what they might be and how you can resolve them?

2) Using at least 3 examples of your own choice write an analytical paper

(1000 words min) that explores the relevant codes and conventions of film-
making. Explore the directors’ use of mise-en-scene, lighting, camera
technique, props, costume, actors, sound and music. Write about their
effectiveness and explain which you might consider for your own project.

3) Choose a specific 10 minute sequence from one of your selected films and
write an analytical paper (1000 words max) which considers the implications
of editing in the film. For example, what transitions between shots are used?
How are they used? What effect does this have on the sequence? Consider
editing as a practice and whether your film might adapt a particular style or
adopt a certain technique in your projects.

4) Further your research into audiences and ways of exhibiting your work.
Write an analytical paper (1000 words max) on how these elements affect
your approach to making your films? Who will be the likely audience who will
see your film? What age might they be? Where will they see your
productions? How will your projects be exhibited?