The Door Movie Project and Teacher Resources

The American Film Institute created a great student film curriculum that I have been using with my 8th grade digital video arts classes. In this assignment the kids had to shoot a film in a small group. the requirements were: one actor only, all filmed within 5 feet of the door. The actor was to walk up to the door, hear a frightening noise, react in fear, struggle to open the door, finally make it through the door and show relief that the strange noise was not in-fact dangerous.The first day, they shot the film without any storyboard or planning, then they watched the outcome, learned more about camera angles and storyboards and wrote a storyboard. Next, to experience the importance of storyboards they had to re-shoot using the storyboard from a different group. Finally, they re-filmed their own storyboard.

For the editing part, all students had to edit their own version from any footage from the several group sessions. They had to edit out all camera audio and use only music and sound effects to tell the story and build the suspense. They then added music and sound effects in Windows Movie Maker to complete the movie. The entire process included storyboards, multiple camera angles, shooting, editing and reshooting. Although students worked in small groups to film, they each edited their own version of the finished movies.

Check out our finished projects from 2008-2011 on School Tube or Teacher Tube.

Assignment Expectations:

  • Storyboard: 20 points
    • rubric_storyboard
    • Required Elements:
      • Movement of actor
      • Camera Angle
      • planned sound effects
  • Filming: 20 points
    • rubric_filming
    • Required Elements:
      • one director, one camera person, one actor
      • Cooperate as a group
      • You must complete the filming of the whole story within one class period
      • You MUST follow the storyboard as written
  • Editing: 50 points
    • rubric_editing
    • Required Elements:
      • Beginning, Middle and End to the story
      • NO in camera sound
      • music and sound effects throughout movie (no dead air)
      • Title and credits complete
      • one or more video effect

Storyboards to use and print out

Examples of finished professional storyboards

Other Examples of the Door Movie by AFI students

The AFI Door Movie Instructional Videos and resources

Pre-Writing (AFI’s Lights, Camera, Education!)

Scriptwriting (AFI’s Lights, Camera, Education!)

Outline & Treatment (AFI’s Lights, Camera, Education!)

Storyboarding (AFI’s Lights, Camera, Education!)

Roles & Responsibilities (AFI’s Lights, Camera, Education!)

Pre-Production (AFI’s Lights, Camera, Education!)

Making A Good Movie (AFI’s Lights, Camera, Education!)

Organizing Your Edit (AFI’s Lights, Camera, Education!)

Editing Your Rough Cut (AFI’s Lights, Camera, Education!)