The Next Level
If one picture can tell a thousand words, imagine what you can do with 30 frames per second.
If you want to take your productions to the next level you must master the art of Sequencing.
A SEQUENCE is the "series of actions" in a shot, scene or a story.
From the smallest detail to the largest character arcs, stories are a combination of thousands and sometimes millions of little actions. Sequences help us prioritize and organize these actions. It can help us move stories forward and create higher production quality. Let's take a look at how SEQUENCING works.
Sequences work because every story, scene, and shot is made of actions that follow the same pattern.
BEGINNING - MIDDLE - END
In a larger story the sequence can be multiple scenes with many shots and tons of specific actions.
In a scene, the sequence could be multiple shots and many specific actions.
In a one shot, the sequence is made of the specific actions needed to complete the shot.
Below are guidelines to help you start constructing your sequences. Use them as a starting point for your next project.
All About Story
The largest sequence to build is your story. Start here to determine the "big picture" that help guides your decision making.
Break down the story into five major points.
Identify the scenes.
Break those scenes down into shots needed.
Finally, deconstruct the shots into bite sized actions.
A scene is defined as one location. Videos that are constructed using only one scene can still work as stories as long as they end.
Identify the 3 major points of the scene.
Break down those parts into shots.
Deconstruct the shots into bite sized manageable actions.
Shot. Shot. Shot
Use visual storytelling basics to help you frame your shots, construct individual shots in the same manner you would the entire story.
Identify the 3 major points of the shot.
Deconstruct the shot into bite sized manageable actions.
ONE SHOT VS. MULTI SHOT
Multiple actions can happen in one shot or many shots and still tell the same story. Amateur storytellers often rely on only one shot to encompass all of the action. This can lead to visual boredom.
Look at the videos below and discuss the differences in look, feel and impact.
Captures all action in one shot
Audience can observe gradually
Can become boring quickly
Might be too far from action
Can be difficult to shoot in a time period
Might be too fast or too many shots for the audience to follow the story
ACTION, REACTION, AND EMOTION
For every action you want to shoot, think of 3 shots that would tell the story from beginning to end. By using "Action, Reaction, and Emotion" you can create very simple but compelling visual stories.
For every action you want to shoot, think of 2 things to isolate and "feature" in a close-up. By using "CUT IN" you can create very simple but compelling visual stories.
A more advanced technique is called Triangle Coverage. This means you shoot the same action from three different angles - one flat master shot and two singles. The key is to shoot the entire scene from one angle at a time. You will construct the scene in the edit.
A sequence is the most effective way to capture a visual story. Let's review the elements that can make your sequences awesome.
A series of actions in a shot, scene or story.
ACTION, REACTION, EMOTION
A sequencing technique that uses the action, a reaction shot and a separate close up.
A sequencing technique that isolates two subjects within the frame.
A sequencing technique that uses the main shot and two separate angles.
Project Duration: 1 Day | Groups: 1 (max) | Media : 10 Photos | Difficulty: Beginner
Task: Create a 6 shot sequence using the production process outlined below.
Objective: Students will learn how to construct sequences at the shot, scene, and story levels using only visual storytelling techniques.
- Create SHOT LIST
- Review / Approve
- Upload to website
Choose from one of the following:
- Borrowing a Book
- Tying a Shoe
- Getting a Drink of Water
- Washing Your Hands
- Making a Paper Airplane
This activity is designed to challenge your visual storytelling abilities. There should be
NO DIALOGUE, VOICE OVER or TEXT ON SCREEN
to help the audience understand what is happening.
Shot List Example:
Google Shot List Template: https://goo.gl/FZuYD3
Pages Shot List Template: https://goo.gl/X4FwqG