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Research Guides@Tufts

EXP-0010: Experimental College - The Science of Light

Writing your Proposal

Writing a proposal can be a great way to refine the scope of your project.  Depending on your format a proposal can include:

  • Names of individuals who will fill certain roles
  • Length of project and format
  • Log line (one -two sentence summary of the plot and central emotion)
  • Short Synopsis of Topic and/or Narrative (1-2 paragraphs)
  • Main Characters/Access to subject
  • Audience and Audience Biases
  • Supporting Research (including other films made on your topic and how yours will differ)
  • Structure/Form/Style

Below are a few things to consider when working on a proposal:

  • Purpose - your motivation behind creating this project 
    • What is the purpose of the video? (inform? teach? motivate? sell? persuade? entertain? enlighten? advocate? share? explain?)
    • What essential message do you want to communicate? 
    • Why does this need to be told through media? 
    • What other media has been made on this topic and how does yours differ?  
  • Audience – who is this project for
    • Who is my intended audience?
    • How will you reach this audience? 
    • What prior knowledge (if any) might they have of the topic?
    • What do I want my audience to do after seeing my presentation? (e.g., check out a website? talk to their friend about a topic? contact their legislative representative? etc.)
  • Perspective – the point of view from which you will speak from
    • Who is telling your story and why?
    • Is this a character story? travel story? place story (narrative archaeology)? 
    • From what perspective will your video be told? (e.g., personal? journalistic? etc.)
  • Structure– how will you tell this story using media
    • How would you characterize the "tone" of your video? (e.g., formal/informal? upbeat? melancholy? etc.)
    • How will the content be sequenced? (e.g., linear/nonlinear? chronological? chance? etc.)
    • Is there a style or aesthetic that inspires your treatment? (e.g., black-and-white? minimalist? etc.)

Script / Storyboard

Creating a storyboard can help you organize your ideas before you even open an editing application.  The template below will help you keep track of timing, video, audio and notes connected to each scene.  

For the first draft of your script, approximately 500 words is roughly equivalent to 3 - 5 minutes of video.

When creating your storyboard, you can use 6 seconds as a placeholder duration for each shot.  That would mean that 30 shots would be approximately equivalent to 3 minutes of video.  Once you move into the editing stage you will need to adjust these durations based on your narration, sound effects, music and other elements in your video.  

Digital Media Specialist

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Kimberly Forero-Arnías
Tisch 301