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Shots in Sequence - sequencing skills

Now that we’re familiar with camera shots, positions and movement, we’re going to use some frames from the short film Nightshift (2004) to look at how the sequence in which shots are presented can alter the meaning of the story they present.

The theory of editing teaches us that audiences will connect images together to create meaning, and we are going to choose a sequence from a number of still images to create our own story.

As we saw in Week 1, using still frames from short films can provide teachers with a variety of opportunities for literacy-based activities. From simple sequencing tasks like the one we’ll try in the next step, to more complicated sentence creation and grammar activities. Sequencing can also help reinforce the previous work on camera shots.

By using Shots in Sequence you can help students to:

  • Retrieve information from images.
  • Deduce the likely order of sequence from information presented.
  • Storyboard the sequence and turn it into text.
  • Infer meaning created by the order of shots.
  • Contextualise and predict what might happen next.

In the next step we’ll look at how to carry out a simple sequencing task, before detailing in Step 3.9 how sequencing can lead to the creation of focused short stories involving work on camera shots. Although the film Nightshift is available in full on the Vimeo playlist, please don’t watch the whole film yet! We have more in store for you before you do.

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This article is from the free online course:

Teaching Literacy Through Film

The British Film Institute (BFI)

Get a taste of this course

Find out what this course is like by previewing some of the course steps before you join:

  • Why use film to improve literacy?
    Why use film to improve literacy?

    Watch this short video to discover how and why learning through film improves literacy.

  • Foley sound
    Foley sound

    This step is an introduction to Foley art, and has a video clip with Foley artist, John Fewell.

  • Stills from The Girl and the Fox that show different shot sizes.
    Developing writing through camera shots

    Linking camera shots and positions to still images in this activity, can provide a great writing stimulus in creating narrative.

  • Record and Playback
    Record and Playback

    An introduction to the technique of Record and Playback, a simple but very effective tool for curricular learning.

  • Two images each showing samples of a shoe box set design.
    Shoebox set design

    Making a shoe box set takes your pupils on a filmmaking journey that produces literacy outcomes, and is a great tool for assessment. PDF provided.

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