Category Archives: Video Preliminary Tasks

Preliminary Task 2 – Tell me a story

In the next three sessions you are going to complete a short production task, which is designed to advance your filming and editing skills ahead of your music video planning and filming days.

Thank goodness for digital editing!

To complete these tasks effectively you’re going to have to think carefully about how the edit is going to look at the end and ensure that you film all the shots you need.


You should film a very short narrative sequence but with no dialogue (you can add music later/sound FX if required).  It  should last no longer than 25 – 30 seconds (@ 15 shots).  IT HAS TO SHOW ACTION AND REACTION.

You will create a storyboard.  However, you decide to do this, you will have at least 15 shots for 30 seconds of film.  Include:

  • an image – stick people will do
  • type of shot – LS, CU, Tilt, Pan etc
  • description of facial expressions/action

POST IT NOTES – allow you to move shots around without re-drawing everything.

  • Image result for how to storyboard using post it notes


Story Board 01

Image result for storyboarding on a sheet

Additional Information:

  1. Remember to remind your actors of any specific costumes they might need and you and your partner need to organise props, locations  around the school etc.
  2. Shoot for continuity using to condense time and space.
  3. Use speed in the edit to infer tension.
  4. Use close ups to show reactions / expression of the person – many of you missed these essential narrative moments in the Prelim Task – don’t do it this time.
  5. Shoot to edit at least one eye line match – significant object/person
  6. Edit in at least one match on action – again, many of you missed the detail and purpose of MOA in the Prelim.
  7. Use an establishing shot and stick to the 180 degree rule.
  8. Remember the rule of thirds and basic compositionlead space etc
  9. You can add some movement of the camera this time if it helps convey the narrative.

It’s also a good opportunity to look at the assessment criteria relating to filming and ensure that you take those into account during your planning and filming. They are:

1. Holding a shot steady
2. Framing a shot
3. (Shooting a) variety of shot distances

You should do the following in the post:

  • Outline the task and what you are learning (use the success criteria in red above)
  • Embed the video
  • Embed and link the storyboard as a pdf (scanned from Photocopier)
  • x 3 bullet points of strengths
  • x 3 bullet points of weaknesses
  • Summarise what you have learnt about editing in preparation for your music video production.

SOME SUGGESTED SCENES – action and reaction.

  • You get out of a car with your instructor and she hands you your pass certificate with reactions.
  • You give someone a bunch of flowers and they open the card with reactions.
  • You score the winning goal in basket ball with reactions.
  • You give someone a letter and they open it and read it with reactions.
  • You open your school report having been given it by the teacher.


The Preliminary Task

The preliminary task is a compulsory piece of coursework that all students must complete as part of their Foundation Portfolio. The purpose is to train you in some basic camera and editing techniques, that you will then use and develop in your main production piece.

It’s an opportunity to learn some new skills and whilst it is coursework it doesn’t matter if it goes wrong, as you don’t get any marks for it. However, if you don’t do it and embed it into your blog it will cost you 15 coursework marks!

The brief for the preliminary task is:

“A continuity task involving filming and editing a two characters in conversation, with one character who leaves the room’.

This task should demonstrate match on action, shot/reverse shot and the 180-degree rule.”

You should copy and paste the brief as a post into your blog.



Here are two example preliminary tasks made by the media teachers, spot the mistakes:

Here is the script which we would like you to use on the shoot.

You will be working in pairs for this task and should film about half of the shots each. As actors you do not need to learn the words and the present can just be in a plastic bag.

  • Please annotate the script with the shots you will want to use  – CU, ECU, LS, MOA, SRS etc
  • The camera has to stay on the tripod and try and avoid movement shots at this stage.
  • Keep the script and annotations as this will be uploaded to the blog too.
  • Make sure you film the person leaving at the end.