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Description of Level 2


In the Level One course, we introduce the complex but essential concept of “reification” – with a special focus on how stories and movies can reify (make concrete or acceptable) certain ideas very rapidly. Then we explore the Old Testament, starting with the early chapters of Genesis, and then following, a thread of the redeemer in God’s promises to Eve, Abraham and David. We move into the New Testament and see what Jesus added to the Old Testament worldview, such as a new type of kingdom with new rules and new ways to fight. The students will then be introduced to Spiritual Warfare and learn how to hear from God. We’ll briefly survey Henry Blackaby’s teaching on “Experiencing God”. This will give the students a tool to learn to discern the voice of God in their lives.


In the storytelling sections, we’ll uncover some surprising rules to great storytelling, and see how even a mini-story can profoundly impact people. Then each student will write a mini-story. This story may (but need not) be based on their own life. Ideally, this story will be filmable using the skills and resources available to the students. We will also introduce the unique format needed for script writing, and the students will put their mini-story into script form. They will then build a collage or storyboard using photographs and they will be ready to film.


The students will spend a substantial time working with film equipment and developing their own movie-making skills. In this first year, the students will explore the various rules of photography (like “rule of thirds” and “leading lines”) and create a portfolio as they begin to grasp the foundation elements of cinematography. They will then practice some of the basic rules (“180 degree” and “5 degree”) for creating great shots especially as applied to conversations between two or more people. Students will also be introduced to set design, costumes, and acting. The students will repeatedly practice setting up and putting away our equipment (d-SLR cameras, tripods, lights & sound) and then work with that equipment on various video projects in class. And of course, they will create a video story on their own, using whatever equipment they have on hand, even if it is only a cell phone.

Each student will write, shoot and edit their own video. We will provide a free editing program and some coaching. The goal is to create a video that is coherent and interesting.  This video need only be 2 or 3 minutes in length but can be longer. Students might also want to keep an eye to maintain good cinematography by applying the tricks we learned in photography. And, in all our classes, creativity can make up for many other mistakes.

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