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Resources include the Moviemaking merit badge worksheet in PDF format Adobe Acrobat PDF and Word format Microsoft Word DOC document, links, and cross-references to related badges and awards.
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BSA announced in October, 2013, that the "Cinematography" merit badge has been renamed "Moviemaking" to better describe the purpose and intent of the badge. Although BSA changed the ID number from 126 to 156, the requirements are so similar to those for Cinematography, that Scouts should NOT earn this badge if they have already earned the Cinematography badge.
Moviemaking merit badge requires prior counselor and/or parent approval for requirement(s) #3a.

Moviemaking (formerly Cinematography) merit badge
Status: Elective
Created: 1990
Discontinued: no
BSA Advancement ID: 156
Requirements revision: 2013
Latest pamphlet revision: 2008


Moviemaking includes the fundamentals of producing motion pictures, including the use of effective light, accurate focus, careful composition (or arrangement), and appropriate camera movement to tell stories. In earning the badge, Scouts will also learn to develop a story and describe other pre- and post-production processes necessary for making a quality motion picture.

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. Hand-held shooting
    d. Using motion picture 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 a 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 about the education, training, and experience required for this profession. Discuss this career with your counselor. Explain why this profession might interest you.

The official source for the information shown in this is:
Boy Scout Requirements, 2018 Edition (BSA Supply SKU #641568)

View the change list (history) of these requirements. The text of these requirements may be locked. In that case, they can only be edited
by an administrator.
Please note any errors found in the above requirements on this article's Talk Page.


Worksheet A FREE workbook for Moviemaking is available here! (PDF or Word) with the maps, charts, links, diagrams, and checklists you need! Or click here to print just the Moviemaking requirements. has PDF and Word versions of workbooks for Scouts BSA ranks and merit badges, Cub Scouting ranks and adventures, and STEM Nova awards.

  1. Eagle Scout Stephen Spielberg helped develop Cinematography.
  2. Moviemaking is a rare merit badge!

Requirement resources

1:180 Degree Axis Rule and Coverage

Kodak's Glossary of Film / Video Terms
Types of Lenses

2. Working with Cinematic Techniques An activity from College Board

How to Write a Movie Script
How To Make & Edit Videos
Making a Film

2b. How to Prepare a Storyboard

2d. Court of Honor

3b. How a Zoom Lens Works- Text and graphic explanation

What's Inside a Zoom Lens
How Does a Zoom Lens Work?

4. Motion Picture and Film Industries Information from the Bureau of Labor Statistics

Related awards

Art-related awards

See also

Scouts BSA portal
Venturing portal
Sea Scout portal
General Merit Badge information

External links

Personal tools