First Day > If this was…

If this was a story about my life, it would be a ___________________ (genre / style), created by _________________________________ (artist/ director).
The story about my life would be ____________________________________________________________ (describe visual qualities and emotional tone).

It would be set in _______________ (era) in ___________________ (location). The pace of the story would be _________________, the camera work would be ______________________.

It would be the story of _______________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________
(short synopsis).

In the project, my ________________ (family member) would be played by _____________________ (actor) and __________________ (actor) would play the love interest.
In the climax of the story, _________________________ would happen. This scene would feel very ______________(emotion) and be visually _________________ (look). The audience would be most surprised by the ending, when I _________________________________________________________.

Viewing Assignment > 5 Shorts


Art2040 Students: Please view at least 5 Short Films over the next week and take notes using the format below. Find quality short films… like Oscar Nominated Shorts and other award winning short films. View others you find on the web. Be selective. If possible, find works that relate somehow to your own creative work, as inspiration for a technique or look you hope to achieve. Try to use films that are longer than one minute and shorter than 15 minutes (though the definition of a short film may vary).

What makes a good short film? What types of stories and characters can be captured in this short format? Make notes on your favorite shorts, type your reflection and post to the class folder once you have discovered 5 shorts you want to share with the class.


Your writing/ reflection must note all of this info for each film (some of this info can be found online and pasted into your reflection):

Run time:
Link to the film : (URL of website, dvd, tv or movie theatre)
Story Synopsis:
Visual strengths:
Use of Light / Color:
Digital techniques:
Use of Sound / Music:

OVER THE WEEK, YOU SHOULD PLAN TO VIEW MANY SHORT FILMS and PICK YOUR FAVORITE 5 shorts TO SHARE WITH CLASS. When considering shorts to view, look for genres and techniques that represent your own aesthetic direction. You may include Oscar Nominated Shorts, check out some shorts from the library DVDs, or search links to many collections of short films on the web…

See links to Short films… (know some good links to short films? send them!)

Zinema 2 Movie Reflection

Duluth is lucky to have an art house cinema for viewing independent and more obscure films that do not get screened by the big chain theaters. This semester each filmmaking student was encouraged to get downtown to Zeitgeist / Zinema 2 and view a few films.

Students, Please Don’t forget to upload to the google folder your short reflection on the movie you saw at Zinema…

Screen Shot 2017-12-06 at 12.13.39 PM

If you haven’t gone yet, try to catch Lady Bird or Three Billboards… Both are examples of current films featuring strong female characters.

• Zinema 2 / go, view, reflect !

222 E. Superior St.
DuluthMN 55802
Get directions
Your writing/ reflection must note all of this info:

Run time:
Link to the film : (URL of website or trailer)
Story Synopsis:
Visual strengths:
Use of Light / Color:
Digital techniques:
Use of Sound / Music:

Pre-Production Planning

Art2040 Pitch Assignment resulted in 4 teams moving forward into production:

Before You Sleep : Pitch by Melissa, Team: Ben M, Emily

Costumed and Dangerous : Pitch by Micah, Team: Thomas A, Lizzy, Matthew

Project Manhattan (P.M.) : Pitch by Matt, Team: Wilson, Haley, Ben L

Letting Go : Pitch by Chris, Team: Megan, Thomas F

Each team must meet this week … Please follow instructions below to do pre-production work on your group film project and be ready to share your work on the pin up board next week to get your project “greenlighted”.
I suggest each group establish a folder on google drive titled: Art2040_Team_workingtitle
Please share this folder with everyone on your team AND with me ( )
Include your preproduction shot lists, script, location photos, and other planning in the folder.
Each group will fill the board with their Pre-Production plan…including an outline of dates and locations and tasks for each shoot day. The team must show that they have discussed and worked on the many pre-production tasks below:
• Shooting Script (even if your project has very little dialog, you still need a script  that outlines the story / action). For a short film, this should be no more than 3 pages long.
• Shot lists for each shoot (Break down the story into shoot dates / locations. Note each shot you want to be sure to get. Include cutaways and ambient sound and visuals to remind yourself to capture a variety of shots that will help when editing later)
• Photos of locations (scout and shoot your stills horizontally in movie format! Discuss issues with light at each location. Look at ways you may need to dress the set, or art direct the location.)
• Storyboard multiple shots for each scene (Storyboarding helps you think through interesting angles and makes sure you get the wide, medium, and closeup shots you need. It really helps you communicate with each other about what you want to capture on location. You should cross check your  shot lists with storyboards.)
• Casting plan (If you need an actor, you can ask the Theatre department how to do a casting call. It is very important to coordinate your cast with your shoot dates / times. If an actor can’t make the times, find someone else. Get a firm commitment, discuss costume / clothing, color palette, makeup. On a no-budget student film, the actors may want to help with costuming.)
• Equipment plan (What cameras, tripods, steady cams, dollies, lights, sound equip will you use? who gets the equipment and tests it? and who operates it on each shoot?)
• Team roles and crew assignments Who directs each shoot (you may choose to take turns) ? Who works with actors? Who wrangles equipment? Who runs cameras, lights, sound? Who gathers props and costumes? Who checks continuity? Who drives to locations? Who secures permissions? Who coordinates team communication?
To get Greenlighted, you must prove you have done all the pre-production planning!

No Film School is a great resource for beginning filmmakers. Full of tips, tricks, and smart examples. Here is a link to their recent collection of useful forms for pre-production planning and other tasks…


Every Filmmaking Form You’ll Ever Need in 99 Free Templates

Sundance Ignite Short Film Challenge

Now Accepting Submissions for Sundance Ignite Short Film Challenge. Emerging artists ages 18 to 24 compete to win a year of professional and creative development, mentorship, all-expenses-paid trip to the 2018 Sundance Film Festival.

Seeking the next generation of emerging filmmakers, Sundance Institute and Adobe Project 1324 opened the Sundance Ignite Short Film Challenge. Fifteen winners will be selected from narrative and documentary short film submissions to win a career-launching opportunity.

More info at Deadline is September 26.


Check out this great resource for all things Minnesota Indy Filmmaking…

After careful consideration, Independent Film Project MN’s Board of Directors agreed to rebrand IFPMN as FilmNorth. We felt it was time that our name more accurately reflected the unique place we occupy in the national independent film community. Please visit us at our new website,