Teaching Video: The Four-Shot Movie

Video projects are always fun for students, and visual literacy is an essential skill in today’s media-oriented world. But we don’t have time to teach the entire grammar of filmmaking. Last week, though, all grade 9 Chinese students learned the basics in a lesson called the Four Shot Movie.

The four-shot movie is the most cost-effective introduction you can ​give to your students before a video project. In 80 minutes, you review the four types of shots, ask students to film a 20-30 second video, and then edit that video in iMovie. Assessment comes in the form of a gallery walk when students walk around looking at other students’ edited films. While students film in groups, each student edits the video clips individually. This short activity teaches shot composition, the importance of brevity and conciseness in editing, and gives them ample feedback from both the teacher and their peers.

Use the turn-key presentation below (link)

and see examples of student work:

Example 1

Example 2