YouTube Mentor "Texts"
Curating example films into a YouTube playlist help students understand what you're asking and dream big. By discussing the pros and cons of each video, you help students develop a deeper understanding of what they can create.
Brainstorming Story Structures with a Story Map
Storyboarding allows you to create the vision of your video and to start making that vision come alive. Although it's not always the most invigorating part of pre-production, it is probably the most important part. It allows you to think about the visual elements as well as the audio components. Find the storyboard template that's right for your students and require them to finish it before they move on to filming.
Preparing a Script
In addition to having a visual outline in your storyboard, it's important to know what your characters and/or narrator will say. Keep in mind that if you have a time limit on your film, you may want to do this before storyboarding. You might consider doing just an audio visual outline like this, or you could just do your standard script. It may look something like this:
NARRATOR: Today we're going to show you how to plan out your video.
STUDENT: Wait! Why do I need to plan? Let's just shoot!
Gathering Costumes & Props
Once you have the film all planned out, it's time to gather the costumes and props. I like to keep a box of random action figures in my classroom for students to use. In my class, it's all about spending no money while still creating believable characters.