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Film ~ Bio Pic

Digital Media Development

A digital story gives life to people, places and words.

Unit title: Film Bio - Digital Media Development
Year: 10
Unit duration: 8 weeks

Problem: HJIS has a promotional video that is out of date and it is not promoting the school, but rather turning people off the school. Also the Grade 12 student will finish and they do not have special memories captured in video form. 


Design Brief: Your task is to create a short video that features one Grade 12 student and their time at Horizon, the video will also be an indirect promotional video for HJIS.


Design Specifications: Your video must

  • be 5-10 minutes

  • be high quality (images and sound)

  • feature new video footage and also archive photos &/or video

  • evoke some positive emotion - move the audience (smile, happy, joy)

  • be a gift to the subject (one grade 12) and be considered a memories-of-HJIS

  • skillfully use texts/words

  • capture the new HJIS campus facilities in a subtle, yet obvious way

  • capture the subject at their best

  • feature other people talking about the subject (one grade 12 student)

  • feature B-roll footage

  • capture footage of the feature object or subject from different angles — just get a few seconds for each clip. Some ideas for angles:

    • Low angle

    • High angle

    • Extreme close-up

    • Wide shot

    • Straight from the front

    • From the side

    • Long shot

  • capture footage of some tiny stories. Some ideas for mini-stories:

    • subject getting on train to go to school

    • subject typing on their computer

    • subject entering school and greeting friends

    • subject eating lunch with friends

    • subject talking with a teacher

    • subject reading in the library

  • feature these camera skills:

    • Keep the camera steady. If possible, use a tripod. Don’t constantly zoom in & out or pan right to left. In general, you want to record at least 10sec of each shot. Let the action in the frame speak for itself. 

    • What’s in the background? – When you’re shooting an interview or a speech, make sure to notice what's in the background. You can either move the camera to get the best angle, move the subject in front of a good background or create a new background. Ask yourself, does this background "support" this story visually?" Is it a good backdrop for what is being discussed?

    • Timelapse – time-lapse is one of the most visual and fun ways to capture an event or story. Before heading out for a shoot, think about whether the story could lend itself to a time-lapse shot. Various video cameras these days are equipped with special time-lapse settings. If they’re not, just set the camera up on a tripod and let it roll. You can always speed up the footage in editing later.

    • Lighting – The same rules that apply to photography, apply to videography. Always make sure your subjects are well lit (but please, not “over-lit”). As an example, don’t put an interview subject with their back to the sun. Or don’t put them under a shady tree with a bright scene in the background.


Approaches to learning (ATL) skills that you will specifically teach and practice throughout the unit:

  • Communication skills

  • Thinking skills

  • Research skills


Statement of Inquiry: A digital story gives life to people, places and words.


Inquiry Questions


  • What makes a great biographical film?

  • What style of film is the most effective for my message?

  • What technical skills and technology does one need to make a great film?



  • How can I make the main subject of my film relaxed and comfortable on camera

  • What storytelling features make the most impact on viewers?



  • What is the best medium for storytelling?


Key Concept: Communities


Related Concept(s): Collaboration + Markets and Trends + Perspective 


Global Context: identities and relationships


Timeline and Class Activities

Tuesday 07/05/2019 ~ Criterion A ~ Create a new Design Cycle/Process Journal for this unit of work. By the end of this class, your Process Journal should have a completed TITLE PAGE and also create these four sections [criterion a] [criterion b] [criterion c] [crietion d]. Mr Watson will re-assess any work that you have updated from the last unit of work (N.B. you need to inform Mr Watson what you want to be assessed).

Wednesday 08/05/2019 ~ Criterion A​ ~ Secondary Research about BIO-PICS and DOCUMENTARIES. Then write 200-400 words about BIO-PICS and DOCUMENTARIES. Suggestions:

  • Create a list of the best bio-pics

  • Outline what is a bio-pic

  • Outline what makes a great bio-pic

  • Outline steps on how to make a great documentary

Example of a short BioPic:


Monday 13/05/2019  ~ Criterion A ~ Meet your partner and decide on your subject and brainstorm ideas. Primary research - meet with your subject and discuss the plan.

Grade 10

  • Noah + HaJin => Sydni

  • Haruki + Joonsuh => Hami

  • Shigeki + Ema => Shosuke

  • Hanako + Samuel => Mayana + Emma

  • Salman + Rentaro => Tahsina

  • Shizuku + Tsubasa => Julian + Anthony 

  • Lacey + Sho => Temma

Tuesday 14/05/2019 ~ Criterion B ~ Film idea outline # 1 and Film idea outline # 2 (i.e. one idea from each person in group - that means today you will generate one idea and your partner will generate a different idea). Insert the 2 ideas in your design cycle process journal (Website/ Docs/ Slides)

Wednesday 15/05/2019 ~Criterion B ~ Film idea outline # 3 and # 4 (i.e. one idea from each person in group - that means today you will generate one idea and your partner will generate a different idea). Insert the 2 ideas in your design cycle process journal (Website/ Docs/ Slides)

Monday 20/05/2019  P1 ~ MAP TEST

Tuesday 21/05/2019 P2 ~ Criterion B - Brainstorm and Create Film Ideas with a Partner

Wednesday 22/05/2019 P1 ~ MAP TEST


Monday 27/05/2019  P1 ~ Criterion B ~ Update your design cycle process journal (Website/ Docs/ Slides). For B Insert four ideas and insert FINAL IDEA. Also be sure to justify your final choice and be sure that your idea is well explained with diagrams.

Tuesday 28/05/2019 P2 ~ Criterion C ~ film and edit iMovie in ICT Lab

Wednesday 29/05/2019 P1~ Criterion C ~ film and edit iMovie in ICT Lab

Monday 03/06/2019  P1 ~ Criterion C ~ film and edit in DESIGN LAB

Tuesday 04/06/2019 P2 ~ Criterion C ~ Write Report Comment (Reflection) and submit to JUPITER AND film and edit in ICT Lab



End Of Year / Reflection Report
Communication. Communication. Social. Collaboration.
Self-management. Organization. Affective. Mindfulness.
Emotional management. Self-motivation. Perseverance. Resilience.
Reflection. Research. Information literacy and Academic Honesty. Media literacy and Academic Honesty.
Thinking. Critical thinking. Creative thinking. Transfer.

More details about ATL skills:
Thinking Skills
(Acquisition of knowledge, comprehension, application, analysis, synthesis, evaluation, dialectical thought and metacognition)

Social Skills
(accepting responsibility, respecting others, cooperating, resolving conflict, group-decision making, adopting a variety of group roles)

Communication Skills
(listening, speaking, reading, writing, viewing, presenting, non-verbal communication)

Self-Management Skills
(gross motor skills, fine motor skills, spatial awareness, organisation, time management, safety, healthy life style, codes of behaviour and informed choices.)

Research Skills
(Formulating questions, observing, planning collecting, organising and interpreting data and presenting research findings) (edited) (edited) 



Three Sentences
1) XXX achieved a good/poor/excellent grade in Design Class and produced work of a HIGH/GOOD/FAIR standard.
2) XXX's best work in Design was ZZZ where they created a JJJJJ and this demonstrated effective use of the ATL skill(s) of ccc, bbbb and ddd.
2) Significant development/ growth/ learning occurred in the area of (ATL) skill and this was demonstrated in the KKKK project
3) Overall a great year.

Wednesday 05/06/2019 P1~ Criterion C ~ film and edit iMovie in ICT Lab


Monday 10/06/2019  P1 ~ Criterion D ~ TEST 2 (audience Grade 11) film festival and collect feedback/data in ICT Lab

Tuesday 11/06/2019 P2 ~ Update Process Journal sections -- Criterion C and D and submit in ICT Lab

Wednesday 12/06/2019 P3 ~ Criterion C ~ TEST 1 (audience Grade 9) film festival and collect feedback/data in ICT Lab


Monday 17/06/2019  || year and unit reflection || school trip || <<<Mr. Watson will assess Process Journal and write Reports >>>

Tuesday 18/06/2019  || year and unit reflection || school trip ||

Wednesday 19/06/2019 || year and unit reflection || school trip ||



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