Thursday, December 11, 2014

How to Write a Good Great Resume and List of References

Hello Students,

Having a solid resume is the cornerstone to your job future. A well written and well designed resume is what sets you apart from other job applicants. A perfectly written job application, a quality resume and a list of positive references is the job seekers trifecta. In this class we will teach you these skills and more. Below is a list of writing tips, read over it before finalizing your resume.

Link, right click to download: ROP PORTFOLIO HANDBOOK

Resume Writing Tips:
Have an objective:
Know the purpose of your resume and edit it for different job scenarios. Having a focused job objective listed on your resume will help you with attaining an interview and getting hired.

Back up your special skills with job experience:
List your skills but make sure your listed job experience, training or education reflects those skills. Are you really good at making websites? Let them know how and where you learned that skill.

Research and use the right keywords:
Every industry has its own language, research job offerings and pay attention to the keywords that are used. If you put your resume online with a job placement service they will often use certain keywords to search their database for potential hires.

Be descriptive with job experience:
A job title will communicate your role, but not the details of your work experience. List the duties, tasks, activities, skills and achievements that were part of your job.

Format your text:
Use bold text to start each section. Use bullets for lists. Make the document easy to quickly scan and read. Clarity of format is crucial, you have ten seconds before the employer will move on to another applicant.

List most recent job experience first:
This also goes for education, list the most recent first. If your still in High School you can say "future class of 2012", or "Currently attending HS".

List most important skills first:
When writing out your skill list make the most important skills the first ones on the list. If you are applying for a web design job, list your web skills first. Change and edit this for different industries/jobs.

Leave out the obvious:
It is not necessary to add "available for interview" or "references available upon request". References are standard and expected, and of course you are available for an interview. Thats the whole point!

Avoid negativity:
Don't trash talk past employers or state that you didn't like a past job. Simply state that you were looking for future opportunities.

Go with what you got:
If you haven't had work experience yet, just list any summer jobs, volunteer experience etc. If you have hobbies that are relevant to the job you can list those. If you don't have a diploma or degree then just list your estimated date for completion.

Proofread your resume:
Have your neighbor or classmate read your resume. Sometimes the spellchecker doesn't catch typos. The more eyeballs that see your resume before it gets in the hands of the employer the better.

Although these resumes contain similar information, styles do vary.

Reference List Writing Tips:
It is incredibly important to develop a great list of references. These references will help you obtain jobs, college admissions or acceptance into special programs.

Who makes a good reference?
  • Teacher
  • Coach
  • Counseler
  • Present or past employer
  • Family friend
  • Anyone that can speak highly of your abilities, skills and worth

References to avoid:
  • Anyone under 18
  • Personal friends
  • family members
  • Anyone who cannot speak highly of your abilities or skills

Important Tips:
The format of your references should match your resume exactly, same header, same fonts.
Do not include references on your resume
Include at least three references
All references should be responsible adults who know you well and can speak to your character and skills
Always ask whether or not someone is willing to be a reference before including them in your list
Verify the contact information before handing over to an employer

Use the following format for your references

Persons Name:   Bob Smith
Address:            123 Fake Street
                          Santa Cruz Ca, 95060
Phone #:             (831) 555-4321
Title and              Business Owner
work place:         Moland Spring Bottled Water

Your resume's and reference lists are graded assignments. For a total of 10 points, grading is as follows:
2Pts - Resume and List of References is complete per Handbook Guidelines
2Pts - Resume and List of References is well formatted and easy to read
2Pts - Resume and List of References contains no typos or errors
2Pts - Resume and List of References are two separate documents with consistent style, font and header
2Pts - Resume and List of References are emailed to me as word or pdf documents or printed to turn in

- Mr.W

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Final Video Project: Choose Your Destiny

Hello Students,
This project along with your portfolio will make up your final. This last video project is a free style, you can create the project you want to, but I expect it to reflect the skills and knowledge you have been granted over the course of this class. Your video project, no matter what form it takes, should show good editing, smooth camera work, good use of transitions, tell a story or deliver information in an entertaining fashion. There should be well crafted titles and credit rolls at the beginning and end of your project.

What Project will you make? :
It is up to you to decide what project you would like to complete for your final. You must make sure that you can accomplish this project with the time we have left in class. Time management is crucial.
Here are some ideas for projects:

  • Original Narrative
  • Documentary
  • Comedy Skits
  • Scene Recreation
  • Experimental Video
  • Music Video
  • 2D Animation
  • 3D Animation
How to Get Started! :
  • Build a team of dedicated filmmakers to participate in your project
  • Decide on a concept/idea for your project
  • Write a short proposal (1 to 2 paragraphs) to get approval from your instructor before proceeding
  • Create a storyboard, shot list or script for your project... whichever suits your project best and get approval from your instructor before filming begins. 
  • Schedule your shoot, decide on locations, check out equipment, gather costumes or props if needed, make sure everyone on your team is on board and begin production
  • Project proposals should be done and approved by Thursday the 4th
  • Storyboard/shotlist/scripts should be done and approved by Tuesday the 9th
  • Preliminary shooting should be completed by January 9th
  • Final Editing should be complete by January 16th

So You Want To Make An Original Narrative? Brainstorm and Create a BeatSheet:

Create a proposal for your teams film by brainstorming ideas for your short film and create a Logline and Beatsheet to develop your 3 act story arc. Create a document that follows the beat sheet format below:

Script Title (Your script or movie title)
Logline (A catchy, one-sentence summary of your script) 
Beat 1—Opening Scene 

The opening scene is an opportunity for you to give the audience the starting point of the protagonist’s journey. It can be an image of your protagonist, an important setting, a revealing conversation between characters, an object that is essential to the plot, etc. This should give your audience a “snapshot” of what the rest of your film might look like, or what your film is all about. The opening image in the Wizard of Oz depicts Dorothy and Toto running down a dirt road with storm clouds approaching in the background. Once you watch the whole film, you realize how important that first scene really is. And remember, just like the first page of a novel needs to draw the reader in, the opening image of a script needs to draw the audience in. (Describe your opening image in the space below.)

Beat 2—Setting Up the Story 

All the important characters (your protagonist, antagonist, and supporting characters) in your main plot will be introduced during the first ten pages, or at least hinted at. You want your audience to know all your characters’ strange tics and behaviors—basically, what makes your characters unique. You will also want to set up your conflict (or what your protagonist wants more than anything and how his or her fears and antagonist are in the way of him or her getting it.) By page ten, your audience needs to fall in love with your characters enough to care about their conflict. (Below, brainstorm character behaviors and events that you might need to write into your script in order to set up your conflict.)

Beat 3—Inciting Incident 

In the set-up, you have told us all about the world of your script. The inciting incident (also known as the catalyst) will turn that world upside down. Protagonists get fired, find out they have a long lost brother, get news that they have three days to live, meet the girl or boy of their dreams, get blown somewhere over the rainbow by a powerful tornado, etc. This is what forces your protagonist out of a daily routine and into the adventure of a lifetime. (Describe your inciting incident in the space below.)

Beat 4—The Big Decision

Page 25 is the point of no return. From page 10 until then, your protagonist should be debating whether to embark on his or her journey or just continue living his or her uneventful, everyday life. Unless you want to write a really boring script, your protagonist will choose the more dangerous and exciting path towards his or her goal. But just like it might be hard if you had to decide to leave everything behind, it will be a hard decision for your protagonist. (Below, write two lists from your protagonist’s point of view. One stating why he or she should stay, and one stating why he or she should embark on the adventure.)

Reasons why I should stay:
Reasons why I should embark on the adventure: 

Beat 5—Into the Wide Unknown 

This is a big moment for your protagonist, and you want to make sure that your audience knows it. He or she is leaving the old world behind, and stepping into a dangerous and unknown world to embark on the adventure. Because these two worlds are so distinct, the act of actually stepping into the new one must be unmistakable. A great example of this is in The Wizard of Oz when Dorothy steps out of her house and into the Munchkin City. (Below, describe the moment where your protagonist steps into the new world.)

Beat 6—Subplot 

The subplot, also known as the “B story,” is oftentimes a love story involving the protagonist, but it can also be based around supporting characters or even a brand new gang of characters. The subplot will make your script more dynamic or exciting; the more subplots you have, the more fun your film will be to watch. (Using the space below, brainstorm some ideas for various subplots and how to introduce them into your script. You may want to go back to your “Supporting Character Worksheets,” and see what each of them wants more that anything in the world.)

Beat 7—Having Fun and Getting to Know Your Characters 

This is the portion of a film where most of the trailer clips come from. As you might guess, this part of the script is more upbeat; it is less about “your characters moving towards an end goal” and more about “your characters having fun and getting to know each other.” This does not mean that it is less important. This part of your script helps your audience get to know what your characters and your story are all about. For example, this is the part of Wizard of Oz where Dorothy sings and dances with her newly-found friends along the Yellow Brick Road. (Write out some rising action that might fit into this section of your script in the space below.)

Beat 8—The 50% Mark 

The fun and games are over, and it is time to get back to the story. The midpoint of your script can be tricky. It is said that, at this point in your script, your protagonist either reaches a point where he or she thinks that things can’t get any better or any worse. The trick is that neither is true. The movie is only halfway over, and things are going to get worse before they are going to get better. This is the moment when Dorothy looks across the poppy field and sees the Emerald City. Though it looks like her journey is almost over, it has only just begun! (Below, describe the midpoint of your script.)

Beat 9—The Antagonist Returns! 

Your protagonist has already had some run-ins with the antagonist, and has been successful so far in keeping him or her out of the way. At the 50% Mark, your protagonist may believe that he or she has seen the last of the “bad guy or gal.” Unbeknownst to your protagonist, the antagonist has been getting ready to come back with a vengeance. (Describe how your antagonist rears his or her ugly head again in your script in the space below.)

Beat 10—The “All is Lost” Moment 

Just like the 50% Mark, the “All is Lost” Moment is a false defeat. Everything that could go wrong has gone wrong. The antagonist has come back with a bigger army and a brilliant game plan right when your protagonist thought all his or her problems were gone for good (or when he or she thought that things could not get any worse). After such a huge defeat, it is no wonder your protagonist is ready to throw in the towel and give up on his or her dreams. (Describe the “All is Lost” Moment in your script below.)

Beat 11—The “Ah Ha!” Moment 

This is the moment when your protagonist pulls him or herself off the floor and back into action. Oftentimes, with the help of the supporting characters, he or she will come up with a brilliant plan (Ah ha!) to finally defeat the antagonist—this time for real. (Describe the “Ah ha!” moment of your script below.)

Beat 12—The Final Push 

These final pages of your script typically contain your climax, falling action, and your resolution. This is where your protagonist learns to overcome his or her fears in order to defeat the antagonist, consequently changing—and sometimes even saving—the world! (Describe all the events that make up your climax, falling action, and your resolution below.)

There is a lot of information here. Also, this is a “formula.” It is something that many screenplay writers use to write their scripts, but it not a requirement. You can write an “off-beat” film by rearranging all the beats or by making some longer and others shorter. 

So You Want To Make A Documentary?

Documentaries are a great way to inform and delight the viewer. It can be a view into worlds that we rarely see. If you have access to someone unique, a place people don’t normally get to see or if you want to share a unique perspective than this is a great opportunity to share those things with the world. When shooting your documentary the idea is to shoot as much footage as you can, and weave it into something informative and entertaining through editing and timing. The goal should be a good story that is factual, informative and entertaining all at the same time. 

Project Details and Requirements:
  • Final run time must be 5-7 minutes minimum
  • Each project must have a creative animated title sequence, this animation may be created in After Effects as motion graphics or created by hand as animation or stop motion.
  • Must have titles and tails at beginning and end: 3 seconds of padding, show production logos, title logos and credits at the end, followed by 3 seconds of padding at the end.
  • Each team must produce and use a production logo in the beginning of their documentary
  • Each team must produce a 1 page film proposal for approval. Upon approval a script or treatment must be written along with a storyboard or shot list
  • Each team must screen a rough cut and a fine cut for feedback.
Treatments for Documentaries: 
Since most documentaries and experimental films do not have scripts, they frequently use the treatment to summarize their project. The treatment for an experimental film should express what the audience is going to see, hear and feel – it should be clear and descriptive. The treatment for a documentary may be less descriptive because much of the information (the interview, for example) may not have been filmed yet: documentary treatments typically spend more time establishing the conditions of filming and the questions the filmmaker intends to address. Nonetheless, a documentary treatment should also establish what the film is going to look like and sound like to best of the director’s knowledge. It should present the issues and information to be investigated and what new perspectives the viewers may experience through the documentary film.

New Line Cinema Production Logo

Monday, December 1, 2014

Portfolio Development

Hello Students,

Having a polished and professional looking portfolio is key to your success in finding work after High School and moving on to developing a career. Download the ROP Portfolio Handbook to use as a guide for creating your own portfolio, a requirement in all ROP classes.

Portfolio's are due by the end of the semester and must be ready for presentation, evaluation and critique. You will complete a digital version as a PDF file for evaluation. Class winner will be able to print and prepare their portfolio for inclusion in the Portfolio Showcase competition. This portfolio is part of your final grade.

Remember that the best portfolio in class will be sent to the portfolio design competition that ROP has at the end of each school year, your portfolio will compete against other graphic design classes across the county, and there are prizes!
A judge evaluates print portfolio's from past entrants...

Portfolio Development Assignment:
  • Your portfolio must be created in Indesign and the final file must be a multi-page PDF document
  • Use the Pages palette to create multiple pages for your portfolio with Indesign
  • Your portfolio cover, table of contents and all materials should look clean and consistent. Use consistent design style across all aspects of your portfolio, this includes color, typography, layout and style

Your Portfolio must contain in this order: See portfolio handbook for more details...
  1. Cover page with your name, class title, year. Spend some time on this, it should show good design skill and be reflective of your personality
  2. Table of contents
  3. Letter of Introduction
  4. Resume
  5. Handwritten Job Application 
  6. List of References
  7. Letter of Recommendation -  cannot be from your ROP teacher or a family member
  8. 3 or more work samples with written explanation about the work, why is it important to your career choice? What did the project entail, what were the challenges and difficulties? Give us details.
How Your Portfolio Is Evaluated:
  • Contains required content and format
  • Well organized
  • Free of grammer problems
  • ROP related work samples
  • Shows creativity
  • Nice appearance
  • Shows skill development
  • Appropriate for use in job search
  • Professional appearance
  • Nice presentation
A print portfolio can take many forms, it can be professionally bound, stitched by hand or bound with a spiral ring... how will you create your portfolio, what will make it stand out above the rest?

Tips For Winning The Portfolio Competition:
In the last few years the portfolio competition has gotten fierce, especially for the graphic design category. Other schools have printing facilities that we don't, so you must use your creativity, ingenuity and eye for design to stand above the rest. Consider purchasing a large format portfolio binder and printing work samples at 11X17", or consider making a hand-bound book format to showcase your work. The limits are only contained by your creativity!
Use this as a rough guide to laying out your own portfolio...
Ok, have fun!

Student Portfolio Design Samples:

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

New Project: Video Scavenger Hunt

Hello Students,

Your next assignment will be graded on your ability to accomplish 20 specific technical shots or techniques and how creative you can be within those constraints while creating a video project. Minimum video length 2 minute, 4-5 minutes max. We will discuss all these techniques and how to accomplish them in class. You will also be graded on time management, working in teams effectively and ability to meet the deadlines.

Teams will be chosen by picking numbers. Teamwork is crucial on this project, every one must participate and contribute to the final project. You will work in teams of 4.

Teams will shoot footage and share among each other, each team member will produce their own final edit of the project for grading.

20 Video Production Techniques
Video Project Specifications:
1 Page proposal/pitch must be approved before production can begin.

Production Schedule:
Oct 31st - Proposal Due
Nov 3rd - Script, Storyboard or Shot List Due
Nov 10th - Preliminary Shooting Complete
Nov 12th - Rough Cut Edit Due
Nov 17th - Final Editing Complete

Format: The final format of the video is your choice, it could be a music video, action video, narrative or experimental. You could even make an instructional video about these video production techniques. If you make a music video the lyrical content must be appropriate and not explicit.

Grading: For full credit your video project must contain one example of the 20 shots listed below. Camera work should be smooth and steady. Editing should be well timed and without edit glitches or gaps. Must have titles and tails. All deadlines listed above must be met on time.

Note: Each team member must take turns shooting and acting. Outside actors or camera operators allowed. Teams may help each other for difficult shots. All project storyboard/scripts/shot lists must be approved by me before production can begin.

Each team member is responsible for editing their own final version of the video, no group efforts with editing.

A shotlist and storyboard must be created and the final video must contain 1 example each of the shots or effects listed below:

1. Silhouette Shot - actor or actors must be silhouetted against a background

2. Green Screen Shot - actor or actors shot against green screen, background must be keyed out and replaced with background still image or video

3. Single Source LighCloseup - actor or actors shot closeup with single light source for high contrast

4. Shadow Shot - camera shows shadow only, can pan up to actor after, or show interaction between two characters through shadow only

5. Twins - use static camera and split screen effect to show actor and a "double"

6. Window Illusion - overlay semi-transparent video over actor or actors to simulate window reflection

7. Frame Within A Frame - look for environments or architecture that "frames" your actor or actors

8. Background Slide - use a sideways camera movement to give the impression that the background is moving behind your actor or actors

9. Handheld Dolly Shot - follow the action with a handheld shot, must use a tripod as a counterweight to reduce camera shake, change camera height during shot

10. Fall Away - camera walks backwards from actor or actors

11. Walk In - shot begins on actor 1, in the foreground or background actor 2 steps into frame

12. Camera Flow - shot begins with Handheld Dolly Shot following actor 1 walking to the right, actor 2 passes in foreground going in opposite direction and camera changes direction to follow actor 2. This change in direction can happen 2-3 times

13. Spin Shot - camera spins around actor or actors 360 degrees

14. Motionless Camera - camera is tripod mounted, focus on motion in scene, all actor or actors must be moving. extras can help add energy to a scene

15. Whip Cut - camera quickly sweeps away from scene, edit is made to seem like camera ends on a second scene, also called a sweep cut

16. Slow Motion - Video source is slowed down by 75%. slowing down any more can be done but render time is increased. Ask me how to do extreme slow motion with Adobe After Effects.

17. Pass Through Wall - Camera moves up to wall, fades to second shot inside moving towards center of room. Can also be pass through window, pass through keyhole etc...

18. Extreme Angle - camera angle has extreme foreshortening or perspective

19. Saturated Color Background - actor or actors are shot against a background of mostly a single vivid color, such as a brightly colored wall, green grass, etc...

20. Textured Background - actor or actors shot against textured background, brick wall, fence posts, tree bark, ivy etc...

Extra information about these shots can be researched online... have fun!

- Mr. W