Grad School Week One

Last week was my first week of classes at Columbia College Chicago ( Ever since Loretta and I moved from San Francisco I’ve been sitting in anticipation. The closer the day came to start, the more anxious I got. Starting something new is always a little nerve-wracking. But, once class started, all my tension went away.

I was surprised to learn that of everyone in the class I have the most on-set experience. I was expecting to come into a class full of seasoned professionals. The week was pretty easy. We got to know each other, we had our first shoot, and I even learned something new. Let me walk you through the week:

Name game. Introduction to film terms and hierarchy. Basic information, but it was new info for the less experienced. We also went over the beginnings of story development.

Shoot prep and camera workshop. Tuesday we got our first video shoot assignment (to be shot the next day); so they also gave us a crash course in how to use their camera. They went over shot scale and composition. I basically slept through the lecture. But, prepping for the shoot was good.

Shoot. We shot our projects in groups of four. Each person was required to write a less-than-60-second script and direct it. Not too difficult, right? WRONG! We had to do in camera edits and I had to use their camera with zero DoF. Anyway, here’s my project (all I did was trim the ends and throw fades onto the beginning and end). With only a day for prep, and only 2 hours to shoot, I’m pretty happy.

[vimeo w=500&h=281]

Wait from Jeremy Widen on Vimeo.

We spent the whole day critiquing the shorts. 33 of them. With 10-15 minutes of discussion. Thursday was a long day.

Analyzing story using MICE (Milieu, Idea, Character, Event). This was the only new thing I learned all week. YAY! I learned something! We also received our pairings and assignment for our next shoot.

Overall, the first week was pretty easy. I look forward to what comes next. And I can’t wait to start shooting projects that have more than a week of prep.

On a side note, I’ve decided that I’m going to try to get a part-time job at a rental house here in Chicago. I think that’ll be the best way to generate income, while in school, and still being a part of the industry. Loretta and I are working on some promos to send out to potential places. More on that to come.

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