Purpose: To get a feel for filmmaking's roots and a better understanding of the "cut".
Basis: When film first started people shot normal, daily stuff. It was novel and therefore interesting to watch people walk out of a factory. This was before the discovery of the "cut", so everything happened contiguously. At best, it was like watching a stage play.
Directions: Create a video no longer than 1 minute in length with little to no dialog, no camera motion, and no cuts. Example: Push record, do something in front of the camera for 23 seconds, stop recording. Feel free to add music or sound effects if you like. Try to make a compelling story in that short amount of time and space. Compelling, of course, is relative. Somebody flipping a coin ten times where it always lands on heads would be "compelling". Someone sitting by a door would not. However, if the there was a knock at the door and the guy fell out of his chair, that would be good. In short, something needs to happen. This assignment does not mean that you only get one shot at doing your scene. Shoot it as many times as you need to get it right so your short clip makes sense all by itself.
Post your video link in the comments section so everyone can see your work.
Looking Forward: Your next assignment will be to shoot "cut aways" for this very short piece and see how the addition of close ups and other angles helps your story telling (if at all). Do not shoot these bits now. Wait until this project is done.
What to Watch: "Exiting the Factory" Earliest film recorded. The subject: People leaving work at the end of the day. It just goes to show that new technology often starts out gimmicky.
Even more Assignment 1 Samples and Student Examples