Montage Editing – Practical Exercise

You will become one of Vertov’s ‘Kinoks’

Design, film and edit a 1 – 2 minute film in the style of Vertov’s  ‘Man With A Movie Camera’.

Use the film as a tool to make a critical political/social/moral point about your subject or as a celebration of your subject.


This will be done in pairs (by negotiation with the producer – KB)

1. Choose a suitable subject such as:

  • Consumerism
  • The bad things about my neighborhood
  • Traffic
  • Advertising signs
  • The gap between rich + poor in Manila
  • How we live compared to our maids and drivers
  • How we waste valuable resources
  • How we are slaves to our laptops (this one will obviously earn bonus marks from KB)

2. In order to represent your ideas effectively, think carefully about using montage editing to draw attention to contrasts and similarities within your subject matter e.g. there might be interesting graphic matches or you might be able to use juxtaposition of shots to suggest a new meaning or interpretation for the audience.

3. You can use  existing music tracks, but their rhythm and mood must match the rhythm and mood of your images and editing. They must also be credited at the end. Add appropriate sound effects to enhance the message of your film. These need not be diagetic and in fact might be more powerful if they seem to clash with the images on screen.

4. You must start the film with the title:

“… with a movie camera”


followed by a suitable quotation from a poem, political speech, advertisement, novel etc which helps to establish your key social/political point. (This can be left until later in the film if it will have more impact). Provide credits at the end.

5. In the film you must draw attention to a) the process of making the film and b) the act of looking.

Before going further, read Vertov – ideas on film, to get a sense of the driving forces behind his films. Be inspired!

The process


  1. Individually – Think carefully about something to do with your life in the Philippines which annoys you or excites you or puzzles you. By all means use one of the examples given, but don’t feel compelled to do so. Keep the subject simple and ‘filmable’  (Remember you only have 1 – 2 minutes to convey your ideas. Write down your ideas.
  2. When you have decided on the things that annoy, excite or puzzle you, think very carefully about how you can use the medium of filmed images, sound track and the power of editing to convey your ideas. Write down your ideas.
  3. Prepare a 1 minute pitch of the ideas to the rest of the class.
  4. Pairs will be negotiated and assigned
  5. Carefully think about the purpose of your film and how meaning will be shaped by your choice of shots, music editing etc Use this template
  6. Draft your ideas in writing. Storyboard sketches if that helps. (see e.g. celtx for online storyboard template or this template which can be printed out). However, you might find it better for this film to map out your ideas as a series of sequences. Do these on card, so that they can be easily shuffled around.
  7. Pitch the idea to the producer (KB) This might occur before the storyboarding.
  8. Plan when + where you will film. Use a calendar to help your planning. Seek permissions if needed. (celtx has a useful shooting schedule)
  9. Film. You can use the Canon Vixia camera or you might find it more convenient to use the Vado camera.
  10. Edit
  11. Exhibit to the rest of the class. Films of a high quality will be eligible for the April ISM Film Festival
  12. Reflection + evaluation (keep notes as you go – this will help)




Pre-production and Production skills (see Pre-Production rubric)Are your planning notes and sketches clear? Do they have a definite subject and a critical political/social/moral point (s). Is it clear how filming and editing techniques will serve your ideas? Have you considered how to incorporate the idea of looking + the process of filming into your film?

Production (see Application of Skills – Production rubric)– quality of shots + editing + sounds (diagetic and non-diagetic). Title + credits + quotation

Does the combination of images, editing and sound serve the idea which you are trying to convey to the audience?

Watch the following  video carefully and decide how successful it has been in terms of the above criteria. As a ‘first cut’ there is time to make improvements. What do you suggest needs to be done before the ‘final cut’ and exhibition?


Second Cut


Reflection and evaluation (see Reflection & Evaluation rubric)

How successful is the finished film? Does it achieve what you set out to do?

What have you learned about the process of making a film?

What have you learned about getting good shots? What have you learned about editing?

Create three screenshots of moments from the film which you think are particularly effective and explain why. (Try to use appropriate terminology of montage editing – e.g. graphic match cuts, intellectual montage, thesis, antithesis and synthesis)

How has this exercise supported your understanding of montage editing?

Personal Engagement and Group Work (see Personal Engagement and Group Work rubric)

Comment on the contributions you made to the film and reflect on how you worked with your partner. How did you play to each other’s strengths? Was the work divided equitably? What do you feel are the key qualities your partner has as a film maker?



In order to allow for shooting outside of ISM and outside of Manila (e.g. on I-CARE) the final deadline for completion of this project will be in the middle of January. You will be given some lesson time during the initial stages and in January, but do not underestimate the independent homework you will need to do. The editing suite is available to you during tutorial time, on a Wednesday before 8.30 am and after school on Thursdays + Fridays.

Pre-production (ideas, planning, drafting + devising a shooting schedule, practise with equipment, set up FCP file on the server, find suitable quotation) sessions in class:

  • Thursday 24th November
  • Friday 25th November
  • Tuesday 29th November


In your own time and in lessons between 29th November and 12th December ( Don’t forget ICARE)

Editing (+soundtrack)

Tuesday 13th December

Tuesday 9th January

Thursday 12th January

Friday 13th January

Tuesday 16th January

Thursday 18th January.

Exhibition to class

Friday 19th January

Reflection + Evaluation

Tuesday 23rd January

Take a look at this 1 minute video – it might inspire you in the editing stage



Technical support You are allowed to use the Canon vixia cameras, but for this exercise it might be much more convenient to use the Vado HD pocket cameras.

Please ask for help from:

PJ – Film Technician


Blog advice – see IB welcome page for links to video tutorials

Help each other


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