By Scott Trudeau
I have always had a tuff time with teaching the pre-production phase of a media project, and let’s face it; there is a “whole lot more” that goes into creating a quality film project than shooting and editing video. Usually that “whole lot more” is found on the planning side of the project: writing the screenplay, creating the storyboard, arranging and organizing characters, and scheduling the shoot. Not the most glamorous parts of the project, but very important elements of the story telling process.
The problem I face is that students are chomping at the bit to get their hands on technology. They want to get their hands wrapped around a camera and start filming. They want to jump into Adobe Premiere and start editing. They want to use technology from project start-to-finish! I had to find a technology based pre-production tool that not only engaged students but also followed industry formatting and submission standards…and it had to be cheap (I’d rather spend money on the fun stuff).
I recently stumbled on a free pre-production utility which will certainly find its way to the top of my “bag of tricks.” Celtx is packed with goodies that will infuse new life into student pre-production planning. It offers tools for film, audio-visual, theatre, audio play (podcast?), storyboarding, and comic books. It also includes online collaboration tools, a great blog, and a handful of quick start tutorial videos. Perhaps I can even persuade the creative writing and literacy teachers to give it a spin.
Ok, I admit, I’m not ready to completely abandon the good ‘ol pencil and paper, but Celtx is pretty darn slick!