Cinema e-learning

To learn cinema, students need to analyze movies from the masters. That’s what they do at class.

When a cinema professor and his/her students are in the same classroom, they use to watch a movie and debate how the techniques were used at each scene, their effect on the audience, and how to improve them as times evolve and new techniques are available.

It’s important to debate, because you cannot learn by others’ experience, or by others telling you how something should be done. You need to see it for yourself. You need those ‘aha’ moments, when you get it. And, cinema being an audiovisual profession, you need to see it.

Show, don’t tell, they say.

In a classroom, teachers point to the scene and ask questions to the students. Students raise their hands to answer. Students, willing to solve their doubts on the craft, also poise questions to the professor or fellow students. Intense debates arise, where students suggest using different techniques, going different routes, and the whole class deeply matures the concepts learned previously. By this activity during the watching of the movie, students learn not just the theory but the craft from the masters. They see how the techniques studied are used in the job, and learn what, later, with practice, we the audience will watch and hopefully call art.

Learning cinema online

But, online, how can they do it? How can cinema students learn and debate? How can professors show masters’ works and point at their best scenes? How can students poise doubts and get professors and fellow students answers? How can they do exercises on cinema techniques?

Are Youtube comments good for that? Not at all.

There are some collaboration tools, to place comments on a video. But they are to change the video. They don’t work for learning.

Students need a place to discuss, to debate, to mature the concepts they supposedly learned but yet have to get to grips with.

Students need a place to deconstruct the work of a master, and learn by analyzing it piece by piece, scene by scene, technique by technique, cinema discipline by cinema discipline.

Students need a place to interact with their teacher and other students on the work of masters, and, in real time, debate, exercise, solve their doubts, practice their skills. Students need to do that, in order to know not only what the masters did, but how, when, and if possible, why he did so in such a specific way.

That’s supposed to be learning. Why cinema students can’t do that yet, online?

What is Notes On A Scene

Notes On A Scene is an online tool to help analyze video content from different perspectives at once.

Notes On A Scene is both a tool for teachers and a tool for students. Notes On A Scene helps teachers teach online what they are used to do at a classroom, when they show a movie scene to help solidify each lesson, as well as create exercises for students to solve. And Notes On A Scene helps students learn online by placing their questions wherever they have them, and get an answer from the teacher in full context.

Fig. 1: Notes On A Scene can “show, don’t tell” theory, by pointing to a scene of a video and revealing the secrets taught in classroom.

“Show, don’t tell”

Notes On A Scene helps teachers and students to delve deep into each subject. Notes On A Scene enables teachers to define topics around which they want their students to focus their attention on the video. And Notes On A Scene enables students to analyze the video scene by scene, stop and comment it around those same topics, ask their questions and get their answers in context, and engage in a conversation with the teacher and the other students at any scene they want. This practical knowledge helps the student “own” the lesson.

In this way, teachers can “show, not tell” theory. And students can solve their questions by assisting to a classroom in which they see theory put in practice, contrast the concepts they are learning, practice them, ask questions and get answers on the scene they want.

Focus on cinema online learning

Notes On A Scene is mainly focused on movie online learning, because it’s just natural for students and teachers to “point” to a scene and comment on it from multiple angles. It’s their craft.

Fig. 2: Students can “point” to a scene and leave a note at the exact place they need.

Actors, directors, screenwriters, lighting, costume, music, audio, special effects, … each professional is ready to point to a scene and say: “Here, look. Have you seen that? This is craft”.

Who is Notes On A Scene for

Notes On A Scene is aimed at teaching cinema online, cinema consulting, story-writing training.

Classrooms and other groups

Notes On A Scene could also help other industries. Some very complex professions could use this tool to educate their professionals or customers on many difficult to explain concepts. This is the case of medicine, economy, psychology, semiotics, art, to name a few.

This online teaching tool is helpful to any classroom or group willing to get deep into the video contents, and focus on a conversation from multiple angles.

Life is complicated, and some disciplines (cinema, medicine, humanistics, economy, rocket science, …) need tools like this one to explain how different factors intertwine with each other, in order to understand the whole. Notes On A Scene helps to do that.

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