Elderwood Academy Unpaid Advertisement

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The Story

The story begins when on September 1st 2018, a young Jack Rogers and his father drove from their home in middle Tennessee to Atlanta, Georgia. We were driving up there to attend Dragoncon 2018 and a TWRP Show that happened to be happening on the same day in the same city. While in the Dragoncon Convention Center a booth caught my eye, they were selling custom hand made D&D dice boxes. The dice boxes were decorated to appear as if it were a spell tome and on the inside it had a metal sheet that functioned as a whiteboard, a storage space for dice, and a tray to roll them in. We walked the convention center a few times but I kept coming back to that booth, the boxes were genuine handcrafted wood designs which made it rather expensive, but I wanted it badly. My dad liked the idea of supporting an artist and getting me a product I loved, plus the Dice Book I had my eye on was awesome. A darker wood wrapped in a black leather with iridescent silver designs on the leather in the shape of a phoenix. When we returned to Tennessee the next day I had a new set of dice, a signed poster of my favorite band at the time, and an elderwood academy handcrafted Dice Tome.

The Advertisement

The advertisement was first my dad’s idea, he was really into cinematography and visual effects at the time and wanted to practice and an excuse to spend some productive time with his son. I also suspect he wanted to get me into filmography, if so, good job dad you did it. He pitched the idea to me a year or so after I had purchased the Dice Tome and by the time we had got around to filming it, it was late 2019. While he was describing the vague idea he had for the trailer we further narrowed it down and pitched new ideas until I knew mostly what I wanted for it. I had the idea of using the Tome from a dms perspective with kind of a dark magic vibe assembling a monsterous encounter for the player of this game. We filmed ominous shots showing off the Dice Tomb as if it were an ancient tome of evil magic, I filled it with many red dice and the game token for a greater demon and we got to filming.

The Results

The results of our efforts weren’t immediately obvious, and quite frankly we didn’t expect any at all. We were happy with the work we did and product we produced. It wasn’t until three years later that it would pay off in full. Early 2022 my dad was reached out to by elderwood academy with a proposal; they loved what we had made and offered to send us much of their free merchandise that we could do another video with for them. We of course said yes to this, they may not be paying us with money but the free merch was enough for me, and the exposure would look incredible on a resumé. About a month or two passed with no further contact from Elderwood academy, we thought that they might have forgotten us or decided not to go through with it. It was during this time that Elderwood Academy began releasing many fan made trailers for their work and it was clear we weren’t the only ones reached out to. But in May we got a package in the mail with more than a hundred dollars in a dice scroll, a dice book, and a dice tower. As of the time of writing this I am only beginning work on the next ad for Elderwood Academy, I am very excited and can’t wait to put my last few years of experience to work.

Behind the Scenes for the filming of this.

Production Project – Session 5

Reciclado Creativo – The Reuse Factory diff (19)” by Reciclado Creativo – The Reuse Factory is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 2.0.


Role: Screenwriter

Intention (SMART Goal):

By May 10th, as part of Film Team 3, I will have made an exceptional storyboard and script that successfully builds dramatic tension using beats effectively via dialogue; I can achieve this by observing dialogue in film and studying screenwriter’s .


Leader in the Field / Exemplary Work:

Stanley Kubrik

Training Source:

Fair Warning | Running the Game

00:18 : The first goal when writing dialogue is authenticity. You can add humor, and deeper meaning later. But when writing my first goal is to make it seem like something this character would say. To break this rule would be to ruin the audiences belief in the secondary world. That is bad.

00:20 : When improving/writing dialogue for characters it is vital to first know the character well. What they want, and what motivates them, combine that with their personality (The way they express themself) and you can realistically improvise any dialogue and make it feel real and authentic, spontaneous like a real world conversation.

00:51 : It is difficult to ask an actor to improv a line both spontaneously and realistically. We did this during our meeting sessions with the actors and it was a bit rough. While I write the script I will be referencing their verbal mannerisms and some of what they say. But largely I will be creating the dialogue.

03:45 : After telling some excerpts from improv story telling he’s done he discusses the idea that improved dialogue is not meant to be good. He writes many novels and he says the first draft is never good. This is important when judging improvised dialogue.

04:00 : It is useful to have some preplanned dialogue because it stimulates realistic and authentic dialogue for the character. It gives them somewhere comfortable to start.

06:07 : Matt discusses the importance of the actor being able to get comfortable in the head of their character and reach a point where they can have individual thoughts as said character.

Project Timeline

  1. Meet with actors
  2. Pre-write script
  3. Write script
  4. Evaluate location
  5. Ask for a teacher actor
  6. Block actors and camera
  7. Set up mics
  8. Film
  9. Organize shots
  10. Decide what to reshoot
  11. Reshoot film
  12. Edit film
  13. Edit sound
  14. Create music and add to film
  15. Add evidence to slideshow
  16. Present slideshow


The (FILM, SOUND, or GAME Creation)

Study Group Interloper

Skills Commentary:

Slides Link

In my screenwriter slide I screen shot a very specific moment from the script, this moment did get cut from the final film but I wrote it rather well. I needed a confrontation between Sloan and Amy, but the was necessary but boring, so in order to ratchet the tension I added the character Marie from the study group. I made this choice in the writing because I wanted a tense scene involving the three most uncompromising characters in this story. It turned out very well, I wish we had been able to film it.


21st Century Skills

Ways of Thinking (Creativity, Innovation, Critical Thinking, Problem Solving)

During this film cycle we were pulling student actors from their 1st period classes which made our actors difficult to get for any scenes and our time with them very limited. We had to edit creatively to meet the deadline and add vital dialogue to the story with actors speaking to other actors that weren’t actually in the room. It didn’t work wonderfully but I’m proud of our attempt and it could’ve been worse.

Ways of Working (Communication & Collaboration)

Since our actors were so difficult to get to the scenes because of schedule conflicts and covid, we resorted to emailing them outside of class in order to get audio of them delivering lines. We were able to send them copies of the script with highlighted lines to be delivered and they sent us the audio, some of which made it into the final edit I believe.

Tools for Working (Info & Media Literacy)

I worked heavily this session rewriting a script into celtX to get a properly formatted screenplay pdf. It was interesting and I think allowed for a better idea of what industry standard is.

Ways of Living in the World (Life & Career)

My work during this film cycle made me aware of the importance of, when working on a project, just sitting in a room with everyone involved and talking through the project and taking constructive criticism. Actors, anyone helping film on sight, everyone helping make the final edit. Even someone who stands there to hold the boom mic, they might have a genius film changing idea. This is so important, it’s too easy to become secluded in your own box as a director or screen writer.

Reactions to the Final Version

” The direction and the delivery of line during the phone scene and the total lack of eye contact from the characters felt really convincing. ” – Jack Grippo

Self-Evaluation of Final Version

Personally I think we started really strong with our many in-depth story boards and well written and edited screenplay. However due to many reasons our production began to suffer during the filming. By our dead line we had maybe 60% of the shots we wanted, which lead to major recuts in the story to work with what we had. Our final film was a pale echo of the ideas we began with, but at the end of the day, I’m still proud of what we made.

Grammar and Spelling: Spell Check

Editor: Naomi

Kill-monger Introduction Scene Analysis

Kill-monger’s Brazen Heist, Black Panther

I chose this scene because in our film we are introducing an antagonist with action and this is a good example with a great villain in an incredible film.

Reflection in the glass case shot 0:50
Kill-monger is portrayed in heroic lighting however it is also ominous, showing us that this is if not a villain than at least an antagonist.
Klaue on the other hand is portrayed from the beginning as uncomfortable and sinister.
Kill-monger examines three artifacts correcting the professional on the third with correct information.
Erik establishes one of their core motivators in a direct verbal confrontation with the professional and then revealing that he had poisoned their drink.
In the first minute in a half there are almost exactly 30 edits. This small portion of the scene is the introduction of kill-monger specifically.
This clip begins with slow long shots that establish setting and character but as things get more tense the shots get quicker. they reach a point of about 3 in a second at a time.

Andrew Stanton Storytelling Notes

Story telling is similar to joke telling
Set up and pay off
Make them care, number one priority
The door would be opened by the end of the movie
The words on the doors “Inter Mundos” mean between worlds foreshadowing the rest of the movie
Story telling without dialogue is the purest form of storytelling
Make them do the work, don’t give 4, give them 2 + 2.
All well made characters have a spine, one un-scratchable itch that drives their character more than anything.
Drama is anticipation mingled with uncertainty

All story about anticipation and relief

Guidelines, no hard and fast rules

Living by conditions, once that condition is not met all bets are off

A strong theme always runs through a well told story

Wonder cannot be artificially evoked, pull this if you can

Write what you know

Session 4 Production Project




Intention (SMART Goal)

By March 2nd, as a part of my film team, I will explore the film director’s skill pathway by following Bruce Block’s The Visual Story and will have explored the visual story element of movement over the course of our February project.


Leader(s) in the Field / Exemplary Work(s):

Peter Jackson
Peter Jackson is most widely renowned for his work on the lord of the rings trilogy but is also known for films such as The Hobbit, King Kong, Mortal Engines, and the Get Back Documentary about The Beetles

He has a distinct directorial style by his heavy reliance on hyper-realistic special effects in the Lord of the Rings films, the Hobbit, King Kong, and Mortal Engines

Training Source(s):

The Visual Story by Bruce Block

Movement Notes
-Movement implies action and tension, while
still shots are comfy.

-Blocking that places characters facing away from the camera implies antagonism, while the inverse is also true.

-The position that the characters take on screen portrays their inner conflicts and status with the people in the room. IE: Character above another implies a power differential.

-The way our characters move in frame draws our eyes to certain locations, we also tend to follow the eye-lines of the background characters as well.

-Diagonal Movement is inherently associated with antagonism or general uneasyness

-Characters standing very close together often face to face means that they are either very intimate with one another or very opposed to one another, high intensity.

Project Timeline

  1. Brainstorm ideas
  2. Create storyboard
  3. Create slideshow and share with all team members
  4. Write screenplay
  5. Decide on location and character roles
  6. Gather/make props, costumes, equipment

Production – February 23rd – February 28th

  1. Set up shots
  2. Prepare blocking for each scene
  3. Film all scenes
  4. Record all sounds/dialogue and create music

Post Production – February 28th – March 7

  1. Put all recordings for audio and video in shared Google Drive folder
  2. Label final shots
  3. Decide which scenes to keep, get rid of, or re-shoot
  4. Transfer audio and clips into Premiere Pro
  5. Put clips in order and make all edits
  6. Put audio in and sync up to video
  7. Make all finishing touches
  8. Export final film
  9. Add evidence to slideshow
  10. Present film and slideshow to the class and receive feedback

Proposed Budget:

Props were supplied by the actors and so were our film supplies. we didn’t spend a cent on this production.


The Film: Peanuts II: Revenge of the Peanuts

Skills Commentary:

In the first shot of the film I wanted to mimic the final shot of the previous film in this one in reverse order to establish the fact that this was the sequel to the last film and in the same setting. The next scene has the most intricate set we’ve built, the detective pouring over the evidence and deducing his first lead as the victims mother, I directed the camera movement in this scene to be visually interesting. In the next scene with the interrogation of the mother I put extra thought into the blocking and movement during this scene. In the scene that is the confrontation between the murderer and the detective I decided where they were shot and the dutch tilt on some shots and the composition of the shots, I’m very proud of this scene.


21st Century Skills:

Ways of Thinking (Creativity, Innovation, Critical Thinking, Problem Solving):

This film cycle I was put in a position where I was creating a sequel to a film that I had no part in creating. The exercise or watching the old film and trying to as the director embody the vision of the previous film with my own twist on it was a wonderful way to build my 21st Century Skills.

Ways of Working (Communication & Collaboration)

This film cycle I worked with a much larger group, a group of seven as opposed to a group of 5 like usual. This was a good exercise in directing, there were many more people than usual to wrangle, however they did a very good job of staying on task and I only ever had to step in to make final decisions in matters they couldn’t agree on. In retrospect while I’m looking forward to a smaller team, I am glad I had a large team to work on this project.

Tools for Working (Info & Media Literacy)

A great skill I developed and a tool I worked with was the Advanced Storyboard. I have done some storyboarding before and one or two impromptu blockings, but I had never done an advanced storyboard until this film cycle.

Reactions to the Final Version

Im very proud of the outcome of our film groups final product. I think we met the standard of the previous film and upped the ante on many categories. I especially loved the impact of two cinematographers working on project providing two different perspectives.

What I Learned and Problems I Solved

I learned how to collaborate with a larger group of people and carry on the vision of another director, while also bringing my own nuance to the project.

Grammar and Spelling




Visual Story Structure Research

Bryan Adams High School Hallway“Bryan Adams High School Hallway” by Dean Terry is licensed under

Seven Visual Story Components

What do horizontal and vertical lines represent?Space: Big space = Climax
Small Space = Boring
Boxed in, no choice
Emphasize Horizontal and Vertical Lines
  What is a contrast viewing glass?
What do the different movement options represent?
Line and Shape: Complex background = Complex inner-scape
Golden Ratio
Learn to Squint to blur imagery
Track Eye Movement
Looking out the window shot **
 Difference between color and tone?Tone: Use lighting and other design choices to imply tone.
E.X. Saving Private Ryan = Desaturated
Don’t mix color with tone.
Hide or reveal objects
 What do other colors represent?Color: TEAL AND ORANGE, BLUE AND RED
Push colors in post.
Golden hour, longer shadows, warmer colors
 READ THE BLOCKING SHEETMovement: Movement implies action and tension, while
still shots are comfy.
 Rhythm: Passing pillars vs picket fence
Passing the background contrasted with the foreground.
Cut from circle to circle etc etc



Session #3 January



I was the screenwriter for this project, but I also served as the group’s director.

Intention (SMART Goal):

By January 28th as part of my film class project I will develop my screenwriting abilities by utilizing techniques taught to me in the “Big Packet” to set the tone and emotion of the characters nonverbally using written dialogue techniques.


Leader(s) in the Field / Exemplary Work(s):

Warren Ellis, I love his writing in Castlevania and Ironman 3, this style of character focused writing contributes lots.

Training Source(s):

I got most of my techniques for screenwriting from the large packet provided to us by our class, but also by Trope Talks by OSP, and the story telling advice features in Running the Game by Matt Colville.

Project Timeline

Pre Production: January 4th – January 21st

Production: January 24th – January 25th

Post Production: January 26th – February 2nd

Proposed Budget

Only around 5 dollars for the tin foil used in the doodle-bobs.

Production – Action

The Film

The Film: The Extraterrestrial Cheat-Day

Skills Commentary

Resource Used: Trope Talk: Planet of the Hats

-Explain: This trope talk is on the trope “Planet of the Hat” which is a jargoned way of saying a culture personified by one major trait. Elves = Alien Woodland Hippies. Dwarves = Manly Bearded Craftsmen and Warriors. Etc.

-Why I wanted to learn this technique for the film because I was going to be portraying an alien culture and I wanted the audience to register that this was alien speech.

-Where: I used these skills learned most prominently in the script, I made the choice that they would use overly formal language and no contractions. I implied complexity in the culture by having two very differently dressed characters interacting in a relationship.

21st Century Skills

Ways of Thinking
State how you were creative: I was creative in the script, when writing these aliens I tried very unusual phrasing for their dialogue and strange often exaggerated reactions to mundane evens to show the non-human elements of these characters whilst still expressing human emotions to be accessible to the audience.

Ways of Working:
State how you were a communicator and collaborator: During this production I worked as both the director and the screenwriter because due to an off number of students our film team was short one member compared to the others.

Tools for working:
State how you successfully used Information and media literacy: I utilized the screenplay writing tool known as Celtx and storyboarded the screenplay.

Ways of Living in the World:
State how you developed career and life skills: I took focus as a leader in the group this time and I was put in the position as the director where I had to make a hard choice in only a few seconds time so we weren’t wasting precious filming minutes.

Editing Program: Spellcheck

Editor: Matthew

Production Session #2


Role: Director

Intention (SMART Goal):

Practice working under non-ideal circumstances and making choices accordingly


Leader(s) in the Field / Exemplary Work(s):

Peter Jackson and the Lord of the Rings films

Training Source(s):



21st Century Skills:

Ways of Thinking (Creativity, Innovation, Critical Thinking, Problem Solving)

During the course of this production I demonstrated the ability to problem solve on a heavy time limit. 10 scenes to film on a single 30 minute film day with no time to reshoot, I decided to cut a non-necessary scene from the screenplay to reduce it to 9 scenes, I cut all audio in exchange for ADR in post production because we couldn’t get the audio deck to record, and we filmed scenes out of chronological order to save time moving the cameras we took all shots that had similar camera position in groups and did them in that order.

Ways of Working (Communication & Collaboration)

In our group we all had our own jobs and did them to the best of our abilities and helped each other out when there were gaps in knowledge. For example, when our film was far too bright on set, I showed our cinematographer how to adjust the aperture with the thumb wheel.

Tools for Working (Info & Media Literacy)

I used the handout given to us about story structure to construct the story board of our film, this resource helped me immensely.

Ways of Living in the World (Life & Career)

This film helped me operate effectively under a great time crunch, this skill will really come in handy in college.

Reactions to the Final Version

Quite frankly I was a little disappointed we couldn’t execute the full vision I had for the film, but I’m happy with what we did with the time we had.

Self-Evaluation of Final Version

I was very involved in the audio production and not Involved in directing any of the editing, I hadn’t even seen the film until the presentation and thats a big mess up on my behalf.

What I Learned and Problems I Solved

I learned that moving forward that I need to be involved in all of the jobs during production, as I am the director and I need to help maintain the vision of the film across all of the roles in production.

Grammar and Spelling: Spellcheck

Editor: Henry