Teaching Video Production: Practice Screen Play.

We at Videomaker understand that finding a good story idea can sometimes be frustrating, so we’re providing you with this ready-to-shoot production. Just grab it and go. We’ve done the work, so you can concentrate on the fun of producing this comedy short.

In our story, two young friends find themselves hungry and poor. After finishing their last morsels, they drift off to sleep in front of the tube. As they sleep, the two share a dream in which they eat like bachelor kings. The next morning, they wake to find a surprise in their fridge. What do they find? Maybe their shelves are fully stocked with treats. Maybe they get a bill for their dream dinner. We’ll leave the ending up to you.


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The Production

To shoot No Anchovies you’ll need three actors (two hungry friends and a pizza delivery person), a refrigerator that you can empty and refill, and a room with a couch and a TV. To reduce the amount of chaos you cause in your kitchen, you may find it easier to shoot the shots out of sequence, then place them in order when you edit (shots 2 and 15, for example, can be shot at the same time).

To create the dream sequence, try using lens filters, recording in black and white or fastening a sheer nylon over the camcorder lens while you’re shooting. These filters and effects will give your shots a foggy dream-like look. You might even consider adding a slight strobe effect in postproduction.

Finally, add a bit of music to enhance the production. Is the scene meant to be funny or sad? Are your characters excited or depressed? Say so with the music you select.

Remember that you have artistic license. Take our story and make it your masterpiece. You may add one shot, or a full sequence of shots. Whatever you decide, don’t forget to have fun. When you’re done, send us your tape. We’d love to see what you do with our storyboard. Just, please, hold the anchovies.

Shot 1 CU (From inside refrigerator) two guys open a refrigerator door and peer inside, looking hungry.

Shot 2 MS The two guys stand in front of an empty refrigerator. Only a few condiments can be seen inside.

Shot 3 MS The two as they empty their pockets onto a table. They produce a few coins, lint, yo-yo, rubber ball, gum wrappers, miscellaneous toys, a packet of Parmesan cheese and a single pack of soda crackers.

Shot 4 XCU of hands opening the crackers, cheese and ketchup.

Shot 5 MWS as each takes one cracker, applies some ketchup, sprinkles a little cheese and slowly eats — savoring each nibble.

Shot 6 CU of static on a TV screen in a darkened room. Pan to reveal the two friends conked out — sleeping in awkward positions on a couch. Zoom to CU of one guy’s face. Ripple dissolve (or indicate start of a dream some other way) to

Shot 7 CU Shot of the two guys opening the refrigerator again. This time it overflows with food.

Shot 8 MS The two at a table excitedly stuffing their faces with all sorts of goodies.

Shot 9 MS Shot of the two sleeping on the couch. Both smile and look satisfied. One rubs his stomach.

Shot 10 MWS A pizza delivery person delivers a stack of pizzas. The guys reach into their pockets and hand over large wads of bills, overwhelming the delivery person.

Shot 11 XCU Shot of a digital clock showing 11:45 p.m.

Shot 12 XCU Same digital clock showing 9:00 a.m. The alarm sounds and a hand reaches to shut it off.

Shot 13 WS The two guys stumble into the kitchen to look for breakfast.

Shot 14 MCU Again they open the fridge and peer inside. This time they look surprised and a little confused.

Shot 15 You decide what they see and how they respond.

Shot 1

Shot 2

Shot 3

Shot 4

Shot 5

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Shot 7

Shot 8

Shot 9

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Shot 11

Shot 12

Shot 13

Shot 14

Shot 15

The Videomaker Editors are dedicated to bringing you the information you need to produce and share better video.