• An Exciting Look at Articles and Movie Making

    Articles (a/an and the) are tricky for English learners for several reasons.  Maybe your language does not use articles, or maybe you’re not used to having to change the article like with ‘a’ vs ‘an.’  Today we’ll review when and how to use articles, and when not to use them.  We’ll finish the lesson with a mind-blowing video and listening exercise.

    This helpful video explains when to use a/an and no article:

    Use what you just learned to answer these questions.  Remember to write your responses in the comments section!

    1. Did you buy (a/an/no article) hat?
    2. It took me (a/an/no article) hour to walk to the store.
    3. (The/No article) education is very important to me.

    Now, learn how we use ‘the’ in English:

    Let’s review when to use each article or no article:


    Still confused?  Check out this post by Paul, which gives a very thorough and helpful explanation of articles.

    Now, it’s time for you to practice.  Below is a transcription from the video.  Before watching the short video, fill in the blanks with ‘a,’ ‘an,’ ‘the’ or ‘no article.’  Then, check your answers as you watch.  Remember to always write your responses, questions or comments in the section provided, and we’ll get back to you!


    In today’s films, it is possible to create almost anything, but (1)__ work is definitely not that easy and includes many hours of (2)__ attention to small detail, lots of creativity, and (3)__ high level of skill.  This world is called VFX, and is built from many parts in (4)__ long pipeline that creates something amazing, and that’s what you see on (5)__ big screen.  (6)__ last role in this long pipeline of visual effects is called digital compositing, which is (7)__ creative process of assembling filmed and rendered elements from multiple sources to create (8)__ final, lifelike illusion.  What is that, you ask?  Let me show you.  It’s (9)__ profession that includes many skills such as rotoscoping, which separates (10)__ foreground from (11)__ background, and there are all kinds of techniques to accomplish it.  In films it is common to use (12)__ blue or green screen to easily remove (13)__ background from behind (14)__ actors, and that is called keying.  By doing that, we can create (15)__ more realistic background behind (16)__ actor.  Tracking is another side of (17)__ story, and it is very important to know how to do well.  There’s 2D tracking and there’s 3D tracking, which recreates (18)__ exact movement of (19)__ camera.  Another big part of this job is to remove objects, cables and trackers, paint them out, and insert something else instead.  And, of course, there’s computer generated elements, or in short, CG compositing.  My friends always say VFX looks fake.

    The best way to improve your use of articles is through a conversation with a native speaker.  Here at LOI we have experienced, professional English teachers to help you practice.  Sign up for a class today!


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