Prep Your Pitch

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On Thursday Feb 20 we will meet again to hear the pitches in MPAC 155.
Feel free to meet with other students to develop your idea, or work independently on an idea to pitch that day. Post ideas to the Brainstorm page on the blog. Run your ideas by Tom and Joellyn if you want feedback.

Each student (or story team) will have 5 minutes to pitch an idea for a collaborative short film to the class. Prepare an enthusiastic and engaging presentation of an idea for a film you would like to work on. Follow the checklist of points to cover in your pitch. Please keep your pitch under 5 minutes. Your pitch must offer an idea that is realistic within the timeline, technical tools, and financial limitations of our class. Each story idea must integrate the GLASS as a visual element into the film. Stories may also integrate Glensheen as a shoot location. Films can be shot in multiple locations, but be realistic about the time it takes to plan and shoot. Each film idea must have clear roles for 2 or 3 actors, offering them a chance to bring their character to life through closeups, actions and emotions that fit your story. Scripts will be developed and refined to include speaking lines for each of the actors.

Make sure you include this info in your Pitch.









VISUAL PLAN: (optional, bring printed images of locations to support your pitch)


SCHEDULING ISSUES times of day you prefer to shoot:

Suggested / Pitch Checklist

Teaser Pitch
Story Pitch
Optional Visual Plan (5 - 10 images to show during your pitch)
Outline or Script (optional)

1. Teaser Pitch starts off with the hook of the story. You have to sum up the storyline of your idea in around 25 words or less. In the teaser pitch, the first sentence introduces the characters, the next sentence illustrates their conflict, and the final sentence can allude to the genre or visual style and leaves listeners wanting more.

2. Story Pitch is much longer than the teaser pitch, but still try to keep it short. The story pitch starts with your hook and then you run down the rest of the story. Be sure to articulate those crucial elements ... the heroes, their goals, the conflict, what's at risk and why they're fighting to save it, any pivotal events or emotional turning points, and the conclusion. Your story pitch for your short film idea can be less than 200 words.
Keep it simple.

3. OPTIONAL: Visual Plan is where you give us a sense of your cinematic storytelling sensibility. Show us some images (image stills, location shots, storyboards, color swatches, etc). You can show a few images from existing films as examples, but you must also show us some original images. This is where you need to express your aesthetic choices and the overall visual style of the proposed project. Bring prints to share during your pitch.

4. Script (also Optional at this time) Prepare an outline of the plot or key shots that will makeup the short film. The film can be very visual, but it must also include dialog. An outline of the main action and key shots is all that is needed for this short pitch. A more complete shotlist and / or screen play will be generated if your idea gets selected. Don't plan to read a script during the pitch, simply
outline the key moments in the plot.

Students will vote on their favorite ideas after all the pitches.
We will do our best to select an interesting range of projects to go into script development and production.
Tom will have final say on casting. Joellyn will have final say on film crews.
Teams will include about 3 filmmaking students and 2 acting students for each project.

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Visual Narratives Video Project Pitch

WORKING PROJECT TITLE: A Day in The Life of the Homeless

A day in the life of a man who has experienced more than most people should. He goes through his day


Comes in with homeless man having a bad dream, the opening scene will have a nightmareish like look to it with a silhouetted character standing at the end of a tunnel. They'll walk to the end of it and eventually fall off the end, it will start out with screaming that will progressively get louder until the silhouetted person isn't visible anymore, it will cut instantly and end with the homeless man waking up. That cut will go to a blurry shot where he will rise quickly straight up (gasping for air) until his face is in focus in the frame (he'll be really close to the lens) He'll jump straight up into a sitting position looking straight up, face coming into focus. He'll look down next to himself and see a glass sitting there with some money in it, he looks around and doesn't see anyone around, so he takes the money and leaves the glass behind.
Next scene is in a bar with him drinking a beer, the camera angle will be from the top of the beer looking up at him. He'll pick up the beer and the camera will look like it's going to meet his lips. During his stay there he has a few interactions with the bar tender/patrons of the bar. He mentions at some point how he thinks everyone is an asshole and doesn't care about him. He's obviously depressed and emotionally damaged from some sort of traumatic event. After getting drunk he stumbles out of the bar and passes out in an alleyway.
The next morning he jolts awake again (no nightmare scene this time, just him waking up) and a beer bottle rolls out of his hand, he rolls over onto his other side and sees the glass sitting right next to him again, with money in it again. With a curious look he checks around the area and finds nothing, again he takes the money and goes to get drunk.
After leaving the bar the man walks down the street drunk with a can begging for money. He walks by several judgmental people, a few of which hurl stereotypical insults at him and one pushes him to the ground. There's a blur out of the scene after he hits the ground. (I'd like to use a go-pro for this scene to give a first person viewpoint by attaching it to the homeless mans forehead, so you see his hands out in front of him and the camera bouncing from him stumbling.)
The next scene opens up with a camera angle looking straight down at his feet, standing over a ledge looking straight down into the lake (probably the lighthouse pier, looking down at waves crashing against the concrete). There's then an upward shot to him where you can see he's obviously contemplating suicide. He takes a deep breath looks up at the sky and closes his eyes only to hear the sound of rattling change in a glass. His eyes open back up and he pauses for a second in bewilderment, he then turns around to see a women holding the same glass with money in it. The man stands there for a moment before he gets off the ledge and walks over to the woman who grabs his hands and dumps the contents of the jar in his hands, he looks back at her and asks her why she's been kind to him gives him a hug and/or kisses him on the cheek and walks away. Baffled, the man stands there with the money in hand, looks back at the lake and then down at his hand. He puts the money in his pocket and chooses to continue his existence.
(I want it to end here to leave it open to interpretation as to what decision he makes after this. Whether that be to try and turn his life around or go and get drunk again, it's up to the viewer)

The message behind it is that a small act of kindness can go a long way.

SHOOT LOCATIONS: Downtown Duluth, alleyways in downtown Duluth, canal park, a bar.

CHARACTER # 1 / DESCRIPTION : Homeless man: he's middle aged and been through a lot. He has experienced a lot of traumatic events throughout his rough life and they still haunt him up to this day. All he does is try to make it through every day, but with the way the world views him it's hard to pull himself out of his current situation without any assistance and the psychological damage his past has left on him. He wants nothing more than someone to show him a little bit of kindness and not look down on him based on his situation.

CHARACTER # 2 / DESCRIPTION : Bar tender and/or bar patron when the homeless man goes into the bar. This person isn't homeless, but is someone that the homeless man interacts with when he goes to the bar.

CHARACTER # 3 / DESCRIPTION : There wouldn't be a solid third character, but there would be a need for someone to play an extra for a lot of parts.


VISUAL PLAN: (optional, bring printed images of locations to support your pitch)

SPECIAL EFFECTS or TECHNIQUES you plan to use: Thinking about having the entire film be in black and white. Maybe, maybe not, I think I'll wait until I get to the editing process.

SCHEDULING ISSUES times of day you prefer to shoot: I always want good lighting. Because a lot of the shooting is going to be in the alleyways of downtown Duluth it will be shaded, which will be a benefit because we won't have to worry about direct lighting as much. These are times I'm open most weeks:

Monday/Wednesday: 12-2
Tuesday/Thursday: Before noon
Occasional Saturdays
Most Sundays

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About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by Joellyn Rock published on February 7, 2014 12:12 AM.

Exercise 2: Capturing the Light was the previous entry in this blog.

GO SEE OSCAR Nominated Shorts at Zinema! is the next entry in this blog.

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