Behind-The-Scenes of the 2016 Student Film

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The Finished Commercial:

 

Every year at the Academy, our goal is to help our students learn how to make films, and specifically, how to make films for clients. What better way to teach that than to actually do it?

Last year the students made a commercial for “Orange Blast”, a fictional orange juice brand. This year they were given the task of making a commercial for our favorite pen, the Pilot G2.

It was a smashing success! Everyone had a great time and learned a lot. We’re really proud of the work they did! Take a look behind the scenes and see what went into making it a reality:

 

Pre-Production

To kick it off, the students were all given a “Creative Brief” (basically a document explaining the goals of the ad campaign, what the target audience is, etc.), and their goal was to create a commercial focusing on the importance of not losing the connection to physical writing, and the connection to reality and relationship that it brings.

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They first took time and brainstormed together about what would best tell that story. Once they came up with several ideas, they had to narrow it down to one. The only limit was it had to be something that, 1) could be shot in one day, and 2), it had to only use things that we had available – or could make available.

Once the outline was complete, they worked together to draw up the storyboards!

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Once the storyboards were finished, Carol talked through the film with the students to figure out what the needs of the film in terms of the Art Department would be. Hannah also worked with them to scout out locations and nail down the shooting schedule for the day!

Production

On Tuesday, production for the student film was in full swing. Each student was designated a specific position – whether it was Director, DP, Grip and Electric, Art, Sound, etc. and they worked together with coaching from the teachers to shoot the film!

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Everyone had a great time and learned a lot. Whether it was learning about what mics to use for what situations, learning to use the Canon C100 mii and the DJI Ronin m, or designing the props and art needed, everyone came away with new knowledge they can apply to any of their future projects!

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Post-Production

By the end of the academy, John-Clay was able to finish the first rough cut of the commercial. It was so awesome to see all of the hard work that everyone put into the film up on the big screen!

Unlike last year’s film, there was very little visual effects needed, so once I took the footage back home, I completed the edit, added some motion graphics (titles), as well as added in the sound that was captured on set. I also mixed it with some additional sounds from a sound library to help build out the soundscape.

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Combine that with a slight color grade, and the film was done!

It was so awesome to watch everyone learning and growing in their knowledge of filmmaking – not only with the practical skills, but also learning about teamwork, what it means to be a leader, and also what it means to be a Christian filmmaker.

I’m already excited to see what the students come up with next year!

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Follow Andrew Bartlett:

Director - MWCFA

Andrew Bartlett is one of the co-founders of Bartlett Productions, a small media company based out of northern North Dakota. He has a passion for serving Christ through the visual arts and has had the opportunity to work on a number of films as well as produce marketing materials for businesses and organizations. Andrew is also the Director of the Midwest Christian Filmmakers Academy, where aspiring filmmakers can learn the craft in a hands-on way.