• Bernajean Porter

Visual StoryTelling - Craftsmanship

Updated: Aug 5, 2019

In our new Maker-Writers' Studio - students will build their media-making craftsmanship for communication skills [images - sound - music - special effects] as well as master numerous digital tool MODES. A MODE is a genre of multi-media requiring mastering its "art form" with specific grammar or syntax of the medium going beyond learning the technical APP or digital tool. For example - Silent Movies is a highly choreographed form of visual storytelling that is much more stylized than putting a black and white filter on a video.

From Bernajean's Desk: Well-developed narratives and detailed storyboards staging the craftsmanship are essential to a quality product worthy of the time in producing silent films and any other media products!

Student Created Silent films


1. Silent films are historically and still today "old time storytelling" made possible by a couple of popular APPS: Silent Film Director and Vintago. These apps use filters to create black and white videos as well as emulating the scratchy and/or jerking movements of early cameras. Music scores and video features like speeding up the action are also part of creating the well-known style from silent film era [1910 to 1927]

2. Silent films use at least one opening title with ending credits cards. Intertitles are also used for transitions, such as “later that day” or “ten years earlier,” or to explain a complicated piece of the story. Be wary of over-titling, audiences aren't interested in "reading" the story.

3. Silent films featured ingenious, creative acting to engage audiences in an emotional visual storytelling experience. The story plot and even dialogue are created with physical expressions. Actors unfold the story scenes with their bodies, emoting with gestures and faces. They are expected to exaggerate "showing NOT telling" acting out the storyline with facial and body movements. You might even give a look for actors who have a knack for physical comedy, or even dancers.

4. Although sound in a silent movie may seem like an oxymoron, music scores were almost always accompanied by live pianists during early silent films. Sound represents at least 50% of the message so choosing the spell old-time music to represent the changing moods and tones is VERY important planning on the storyboard. There are many music scores and sounds available to elicit the tone and mood of the story unfolding.

The end of the silent era of films began on Oct. 6, 1927, when Warner Brothers released "The Jazz Singer," the first full-length movie with synchronized dialogue.


RVIS students in Bahrain will be posting their reflections as well as adding my own lessons learned will be posted AFTER our project experience. Examples of student work will also be shared with their permission!

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