Bryan on Scouting

Cinematography merit badge becomes Moviemaking merit badge

Think of it as the long-awaited sequel.

Cinematography merit badge is now Moviemaking merit badge, effective immediately. The design of the badge won’t change, and new pamphlets are expected in Scout shops in mid-November.

Why make this change? Well, anyone who sticks around to watch a movie’s credits knows that cinematography is just one specific part of making a movie. So calling a merit badge that covers all of moviemaking “Cinematography” was something of a misnomer.

The BSA’s merit badge team also saw this as a chance to make a few other changes, including:

Find the new requirements after the jump. 

Moviemaking merit badge requirements

1. Discuss and demonstrate the proper elements of a good motion picture. In your discussion, include visual storytelling, rhythm, the 180-axis rule, camera movement, framing and composition of camera shots, and lens selection.

2. Do the following:

a. In a three- or four-paragraph treatment, tell the story you plan to produce, making sure that the treatment conveys a visual picture.

b. Prepare a storyboard for your motion picture. (This can be done with rough sketches and stick figures.)

c. Demonstrate the following motion picture shooting techniques:

(1) Using a tripod

(2) Panning a camera

(3) Framing a shot

(4) Selecting an angle

(5) Selecting proper lighting

(6) Handheld shooting

d. Using motion picture shooting techniques, plan ONE of the following programs. Start with a treatment and complete the requirement by presenting this program to a pack or your troop, patrol, or class.

(1) Film or videotape a court of honor and show it to an audience.

(2) Create a short feature of your own design, using the techniques you learned.

(3) Shoot a vignette that could be used to train a new Scout in a Scouting skill.

3. Do ONE of the following:

a. With your parent’s permission and your counselor’s approval, visit a film set or television production studio and watch how production work is done.

b. Explain to your counselor the elements of the zoom lens and three important parts.

4. Find out about three career opportunities in moviemaking. Pick one and find out the education, training, and experience required for this profession. Discuss this career with your counselor. Explain why this profession might interest you.


Thanks to Scouter Troy Pugh for the tip!