LPOTM: Continual Continuity With Drew Kwederas

This month, Drew Kwederas of Alpharetta High School in Georgia shares his lesson on continuity. This lesson should take one class period and is an interactive way to start a dialogue about continuity.

We have to take a moment and share that the photo of Drew is a little dated…. he didn’t want to submit a current photo as he has shaved his head. He promised his students that if they won at their districts film festival that he would shave he his… they took him seriously and won 6 awards. So Drew has shed his locks… Congrats to Drew and his students.

Drew’s Lesson On Continuity

First I ask if anyone know what the term Continuity means in film. I asked for examples if they do, if not I give examples and then let them throw out ideas after that.

I show them the screenshot of the Starbucks cup from Game of Thrones and how it made them a laughing stock on social media. I talk to them about little details like that can ruin a movie, tv show or a person’s job or both. Little details matter and there are people whose job is  just that. They make sure everything matches, stays the same and makes sense. So hair placement stays the same, liquid levels stay the same in cups, people are standing in the same place, etc.

Then, I hand out the attached sheet and tell them they need to find 10 continuity errors in the scene by the time I hit pause. I tell them no one has ever gotten it because they aren’t trained to look for it. But that’s my job to get them to develop that skill. Because if you pay attention to the small details, the big picture will be amazing! I also say that, by the end of the year, a goal of mine is for them to be unbearable to watch movies with. Because they will pause them and say things like “That’s that kind of shot, or edit, or I know how they did that, or there’s a continuity error with that prop.” The people they are watching with will get so mad because they keep pausing the movie, just like my wife gets with me.  If that happens, my job was a success. LOL

So then we watch this video:

As soon as the counter jumps to 6, you hear a loud “WHAT!?” every time and I laugh. After the first run through the most kids get is like 4. After a 2nd time, it gets to 7. NO ONE has ever gotten 10 and I say I am MJ in the finals, undefeated.

We, then, watch the rest and the Script Supervisor goes through each issue, why its important and how to prevent it.

She then talks about the 180 rule and I bring kids up and do a demo of the 180 when it comes to filming a conversation. I hook up my phone to the tv and show what it looks like when you break the 180. You can see the light go on when they see it on the screen!

It really works because every project after that, they always ask me about continuity or I hear them talking to their partners about it.

It takes about a day to do, but it has a ripple effect throughout the whole year.

If you have a lesson that you think would be great to be featured, contact Tom@amitrace.com

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