Creativity, Thematic Sophistication and Narrative Cohesion

MM1 Originality Guidelines

We require students to devise their own original story ideas in Making Movies. Potential plagiarism (a
serious breach of academic integrity) occurs, in regard to ideas and stories as well as actual text.
However, stories come from everywhere, and there are few truly new stories. We all take inspiration,
consciously or not. Please see our subject-specific guidelines below, for what may happen in each
circumstance.
Do NOT under any circumstances include text or paraphrasing from any other uncited sources
including: books, articles, web pages, Google, Baidu, Grammar.ly corrections or any translations of
sources in other languages, or other student’s papers. This may result in severe penalties.
Distinct plagiarism must be referred to the faculty for appropriate review, but we may also penalise
marks for less clear cases of deliberate plagiarism when it comes to copying ideas/stories.
The university’s guidelines on maintaining academic integrity are available here:
https://academicintegrity.unimelb.edu.au/plagiarism-investigation-and-penalties
Detailed policy is viewable here: https://policy.unimelb.edu.au/MPF1310

1. Story has vague similarities to another film or story:
– do NOT mark down
2. Story has notable similarities to another film or story
– mark down 5/100
3. Story has unmistakable similarities to another film or story – yet there are substantial changes to the plot,
characters, world etc.:
– mark down 15/100
4. Story has unmistakable and detailed similarities to another film or story – with only some changes to plot,
characters, world etc.:
– mark down 30/100
5. Story uses at least FOUR of the same: cast, locations, characters, world, title, directorial strategies etc. from
another film or story:
– refer student for academic integrity review
6. Any part of the assessment uses text from another source:
– refer student for academic integrity review

 

MM1 Directors Statement

Guidelines

Write a Director’s Statement outlining how you would direct a film based on one of your own original
stories. This can be either the same idea you used for your visual sequence or another original idea you
may have. We assess the story, but mainly you are assessed on the ability to communicate your vision of a
film, encompassing its key elements, from a director’s point of view. You must use what you learned in the
lectures about genre, camera, lighting, sound, editing and more to illuminate a story on the cinema screen.

Simplified Rubric

• Story: creativity, thematic sophistication and narrative cohesion: 30%
• Director’s vision: use of FIVE of casting, genre, locations, production design, camera, lighting,
sound, music, editing, special and visual FX: 50%
• Engagement and effort: 10%
• Presentation incl. spelling and grammar: 10%
Assessment Form (ensure you fill out BOTH PAGES below)

Story NAME: Stanley Donan STUDENT NUMBER: 000000
Title (10 words max):

Logline (30 words max):

Synopsis – include your target audience/demographic (200 words max):
Singin’ in the Rain

Can Don Lockwood translate his acting skills from the silent screen to the talkies, or will he lose his
career and his newfound true love to the machinations of a Hollywood starlet?

Taking place during the rise of the “talkies”, we meet Don Lockwood and Lina Lamont who have
risen to stardom during the silent-film era of Hollywood. Beautiful, charismatic and influential, the
two combine to make a great on-screen pair. The introduction of talking pictures poses a threat to
the powerful duo, however, when it is discovered by audiences that Lina has an excruciatingly
shrill voice. Enter young studio singer Kathy Selden, a woman who lacks the stardom of Ms.
Lamont but possesses the beautiful voice of which Lina is in dire need.
Can Don and Kathy find a solution to Lina’s laughably annoying voice to salvage their careers?
They secure a place for themselves in this new industry with the help of Kathy’s ingenuity, only to
save themselves from Lina’s dirty tricks thanks to Don’s bravery in exposing Lina as a sham.
This film is pitched as a date night movie for general release (PG) but should perform well as a
midday movie on network television for decades to come, and is likely to retain value on iTunes
into the future for an older audience.

Page 2 of 3

Director’s Vision
Choose FIVE of the following elements and comment upon how you will use these
elements to tell your story, to bring your film to life: casting, genre, locations, production
design, camera, lighting, sound, music, editing, special and visual FX (800 words max):
You may include reference to your inspirations/influences, to help the reader “see” and
“hear” your film (if so, include a bibliography as footnotes at the bottom), you may cast
anyone at any stage of their career, and your budget can be as large as your vision!
I would cast Gene Kelly as Don Lockwood as he embodies the good looks, charm and
physicality needed by stuntman Don, has all the dancing and comedy skills required, and
he could offer co-directing skills given his experience as a choreographer. Cosmo
Brown’s vaudevillian hysterics would be ably performed by Donald O’Connor, and Jean
Hagan has both the gorgeous good looks and precise comedic delivery needed for the
role of Lina Lamont – particularly as a voice actress who can achieve Lina’s shrill tones. It’s
a bold choice, but I would choose up and coming Debbie Reynolds for the part of Kathy
Selden – though she does not have dance training, she has the smarts and dedication
required to pull it off, and the innate goodness that will make Kathy a tremendously
sympathetic character, worthy of Don risking his Hollywood career over.
I would film in Technicolor, even though the film is set in the age of black and white film
during the advent of the “Talkies”, because this is such a light and bubbly tale, the soft
pastels of Technicolor would decorate the film like icing on a sweet layer cake. I would
return to pinks and purples over and over to accentuate the romance of the piece,
particularly in the love songs.
I would shoot the film as a musical, because a succession of musical numbers will enliven
the audience, and capitalise on the talents of the cast and my co-director Gene. It’s also
the perfect genre to show off the best of talking pictures – singing. The lightness of the
delicate melodic staccato of the key musical number Singin’ in the Rain will bring to life
the feeling of falling in love, when love can lift you out of even the darkest of moods, and
let you sing right through a storm. Kathy’s character is a chorus girl, and Don is a
stuntman, so the story of their infatuation can be very well expressed in dance, as their
bodies do the talking – and singing. The tension between body and voice that the film
encompasses in its central dramatic questions will come alive as sexual tension in the
bodies and voices of these dancers.
I would use a fluidly moving camera, in a motion reminiscent of a lilting love serenade,
throughout the picture, using cranes, dollies and jibs to wheel around the characters like
a dancer in motion. Much of the time I would stick to wide shots and mid shots to make
sure we capture the full bodies of the dancers, and the choreographed set pieces.
Occasionally I’d go in closer for a bit of vaudevillian mugging, or on Don’s lovesick face
as he seduces Kathy in a dance sequence in the studio in which he uses all the illusions

Page 3 of 3
cinema has to offer to create the environment in which he can finally profess his love.
I would shoot the whole movie on the studio lot, re-creating a sidewalk for Gene to do
Don’s Singin’ in the Rain musical number. I think we can shoot this scene in a couple of
days if we have the room to put cranes and lights in where we need them to just shoot
takes over and over until we get the number right. We obviously don’t want to rely on
shooting only during the real “magic hour” of sunset outside for this kind of film – we
can create our own magic hours in the studio instead. Any semblance of illusion will
only add to the feeling of Hollywood magic that imbues the story as a whole. We can
blend a depiction of the machines and equipment that make this magic come to life
with the results – a softly lit dreamscape that anyone would wish to escape to.

 

Story
Creativity, thematic sophistication and narrative
cohesion: 30%

The title is intriguing. The log-line is
oustandingly engaging and clear. The
synopsis is novel, inventive and
coherent. The themes are complex,
mature and compelling.

The title is engaging. The log-line
is engaging and clear. The
synopsis is inventive and
coherent. The themes are
mature and compelling.

The title is apt. The log-line is
appropriate and clear. The synopsis
is engaging and coherent. The
themes are clear and relatively
mature.

The title is appropriate. The log-line is
appropriate. The synopsis is coherent. The
themes are clear.

The title is somewhat appropriate. The log-
line is somewhat appropriate. The synopsis is

not totally coherent and/or the themes are
unclear or immature.

The title is somewhat
appropriate, if
confusing. The log-line
is somewhat
appropriate, if
confusing. The synopsis
lacks coherence, and
the themes are
immature.

The title is
inappropriate or
absent. The log-line
is inappropriate or
absent. The synopsis
is wholly confusing,
inappropriate or
absent.

Direction
Use of FIVE of casting, genre, locations,
production design, camera, lighting, sound,
music, editing, special and visual FX: 50%

Use of each element is ingenious, and
brilliantly expressed.

Use of nearly all elements is
skillful and inventive, and
intelligently expressed.

Use of most elements is able, and
well expressed.

Use of most elements is appropriate, and
decently expressed.

Use of more than half of the elements is
appropriate, if some are flawed.

Use of less than half the
elements is appropriate,
if flawed.

Use of all or nearly all
elements is entirely
inappropriate or
absent.

Engagement
Engagement & Effort: 10%

Effort overall is outstanding, with
elements expressed at a professional
level.

Effort overall is excellent, and it is
obvious that the student has
engaged deeply with the task.

Effort overall is very good, and it is
evident that the student has
engaged thoroughly with the task.

Effort overall is good, and it is evident that
the student has engaged creditably with the
task.

Effort overall is very fair, and it is evident that
the student has engaged reasonably well with
the task.

Effort overall is
adequate, and it is clear
that the student has
engaged to some
degree with the task.

Effort overall is poor,
and it is evident that
the student has not
engaged adequately
with the task.

Presentation
Presentation inc. spelling and grammar: 10%

The spelling and grammar is
impeccable, and the text is engagingly
constructed throughout.

The spelling and grammar is
excellent and the text is well
constructed throughout.

The spelling and grammar is very
good and the text is ably
constructed throughout.

The spelling and grammar is good and the
text is decently constructed.

The spelling and grammar has flaws, and
there are some errors in expression.

The spelling, grammar
and expression needs
significant review.

The spelling,
grammar and
expression is very
poor.

 

MM1 Directors Statement

Guidelines

Write a Director’s Statement outlining how you would direct a film based on one of your own original stories.
This can be either the same idea you used for your visual sequence or another original idea you may have.
We assess the story, but mainly you are assessed on the ability to communicate your vision of a film,
encompassing its key elements, from a director’s point of view. You must use what you learned in the
lectures about genre, camera, lighting, sound, editing and more to illuminate a story on the cinema screen.

Simplified Rubric

 Story: creativity, thematic sophistication and narrative cohesion: 30%
 Director’s vision: use of FIVE of casting, locations, production design, camera, lighting, sound,
music, editing, special and visual FX: 50%
 Engagement and effort: 10%
 Presentation incl. spelling and grammar: 10%
Assessment Form (ensure you fill out STORY and DIRECTORS VISION below)
Story NAME: STUDENT NUMBER:
Title (10 words max – may be between 1 and 10 words):

Logline/Tagline (30 words max – may be between 5 and 30 words):

Synopsis – include target audience/demographic (200 words limit – must be within 10%):
Director’s Vision
Choose FIVE of the following elements and comment upon how you will use these

Page 2 of 3
elements to tell your story, to bring your film to life: casting, genre, locations, production
design, camera, lighting, sound, music, editing, special and visual FX (1400 words limit –
must be within 10% in total):
You may include reference to your inspirations/influences, to help the reader “see” and
“hear” your film (if so, include a bibliography as footnotes at the bottom), you may cast
anyone at any stage of their career, and your budget can be as large as your vision!