Rules, etc.

Class Schedule


Assignment Inspiration (Links)



Important Dates


Assignment 1
footage due in class by: AUGUST 29, 2012

project due by/crits: AUGUST 31, 2012

Assignment 2
footage due in class by: SEPTEMBER 17, 2012

project due by/crits: SEPTEMBER 21, 2012

Assignment 3
footage due in class by: OCTOBER 22, 2012

project due by/crits: OCTOBER 29, 2012

Assignment 4
footage due in class by: NOVEMBER 26, 2012

Final Project Critiques: DECEMBER 10, 2012



September 3, Labor Day

October 15, Fall Break

November 21 & 23, Fall Recess


Class Schedule

This class is divided into 4 sections corresponding to the 4 assignments:

Since the class schedule below is a road map and details will likely change slightly along the way, please <download the latest schedule draft here>.

See the <Assignment> page for assignment instructions and details.


Week 1

Aug 20: Introductions, course overview, rules and expectation, where to borrow equipment. Warm-up and Inspiration: A short history of early video art.

Aug 22: Learning our lab’s cameras.

Aug 24: Exploring video as a time-based medium.

View some short pieces by contemporary video artists to jog your mind for the conceptual theme of your first assignment, “Biological/Processes”.

What are some natural time-based processes you can observe?

Assignment 1: DUE AUG 31, 2012.


Week 2

Aug 27: Demo on how to transfer files into Final Cut Pro and set up your first project. Understanding Final Cut file structure, setting scratch discs, etc. How to export your media as a.mov file with .H264 compression.

Aug 29: Work day, please bring your footage (SD card) to class.

Aug 31: Assignment 1 due and Critiques!
Films must be finished before the beginning of class. FAILURE TO ATTEND THE CRITIQUE WILL RESULT IN FAILING GRADE. Please be extra-sure to be on time out of consideration for your classmates.


Week 3

Sept 3: — No Class, Labor Day

Sept 5: Discuss types of camera shots and experiment with them in class. See prepared document. <See prepared document.>

Sept 7: Discuss lighting strategies and the different psychological effects they create. Focus on 3-point lighting. Experiment in class in groups. <See prepared document.>

“Thought Homework”: Spend time critically LOOKING at light in the world around you. –how it plays, how it falls, the intensity, warmth/coolness, color. Pay attention to light on different kinds of surfaces. Spend time thinking about how you focus on things near and far and why. If you have a chance to do this with a camera over the weekend, so much the better.


Week 4

Sept 10:
Constructing meaning through images
1) Discuss montage and the “Kuleshov Effect” in preparation for Assignment 2.
View short videos of examples and advice from Hitchcock.
2) Discuss framing and composition, and their relationship to camera shots.
To illustrate an example, we will compare and contrast CBS and AlJazeera shots of the same event.

Assignment 2:

Sept 12: Work day—work on your “Kuleshov Effect” storyboard in class. Learn what storyboarding is. Workshop storyboards with each other, and give each other feedback, especially about framing and composition intentions.
You will need to shoot outside of class between now and Sept 17. (We will discuss options for shooting in teams vs. shooting solo.)

Sept 14: Final Cut Pro Demonstration: Review setting up FCP files, setting scratch discs, log and capture.
Add: Organizing media via bins, the timeline, using basic editing tools (splicing, move track tools, etc.), working with audio and video transitions, scaling and re-positioning images; making freeze-frames.


Week 5

Sept 17: Practice last week’s demo skills—edit Assignment 2, “Kuleshov Effect” BRING RAW FOOTAGE TO CLASS.

Sept 19: Work day—edit Assignment 2, “Kuleshov Effect” BRING RAW FOOTAGE TO CLASS. If you finish one version, create a second version and see how you can shift meaning through editing differently. If you finish two versions, create a third. In this way you will learn the power of editing choices.

Sept 21: ASSIGNMENT 2 DUE before the start of class. Turn in your favorite version. CRITIQUES! Same rules as last crit. Special emphasis on lighting, composition, construction of meaning through images.


Week 6

Sept 24: Focus on audio and relationship between sound and visual rhythm. Watch sample short videos by contemporary video artists. Discuss capturing sounds—types of mics and what they do, audio levels. [See prepared doc on sound capture.]

Sept 26: Video-Skype conference with James LeBrecht of Berkeley Sound Artists, [Saul] Zaentz Media Center: http://www.berkeleysoundartists.com/

Sound is often an overlooked part of film and video production. Jim will talk to you about his approach to sound, what he as a sound designer wishes film makers would do before they bring soundtracks to him to sweeten, careers in sound, etc. And he can answer sound questions for you.

Sept 28: In class--practicing with mics and audio levels. Interview each other inside, and weather permitting, outside. Capture background sounds for texture and editing experimentation. [See prepared doc on sound capture.]

“Thought Homework”: As you did with lighting, spend a half-hour or so critically and contemplatively LISTENING at a given location. Listen to the sounds of different kinds of shoes on the pavement; to the musicality of an ATM machine; to the birds; to the rhythm of traffic; to children playing. Pay attention to what sounds close and what sounds far and how those sound ranges layer. Record a couple minutes as practice footage, using any camera.


Week 7

Oct 1: Final Cut Pro Demonstration--Editing sound: Using wave forms, unlocking audio from video, layering sound, sound filters… (Bring the practice footage you shot during your “thought homework” exercise.)

Oct 3: 1) Look at and analyze some video pieces about “sound and visual rhythm”.
2) Watch some examples of short interview clips.
3) View part 1 of “Absolute Warhola” (80 minutes)
Discuss assignment 3 and some options for it.

Assignment 3: FOOTAGE DUE by OCT 22, PROJECT DUE OCT 29

Oct 5: Part 2 “Absolute Warhola”

Discuss assignment 3 and some options for it.


Week 8

(Mid-Terms Week Oct 10-12)

LEARNING PRE-PRODUCTION--<See prepared doc from UCSC.>

Oct 8: Matthew Glasser, Executive Producer/Partner at Healthcare Heros Media, will talk to you about their need for inspiring digital storytelling content, and the growing use of multimedia and video in the medical field. (You might choose this as an assignment topic for Assignment 3 or 4, and get some exposure for your work!)

“Thought Homework” Over the weekend, digest and process about all you have taken in about sound, interviews, and interview options. Come to class Monday prepared with storyboard ideas.

Oct 10: In-class storyboarding critiques. Suggestions for each other? Potential challenges to consider?

Oct 12: In-class pre-production planning: establishing shot lists, location lists, lighting lists, props lists, costume lists, budget lists (if needed)—lists, lists, lists! Organize into production teams. The better you plan, the more solid your piece will be.
YOU SHOULD START GATHERING FOOTAGE AFTER PRE-PRODUCTION PLANS ARE SET. Over break, cleanup storyboards and other plans, start shooting.


Week 9

Oct 15: – No Class, Fall Break

Oct 17: Final Cut Pro Demonstration--add the following skills to your toolbox:
layering video (superimpositions); working with audio and video transitions (review); how to do split screens, change scale, rotate images, change the horizontal and vertical positions of video clips; change opacity levels; how to keyframe the aforementioned changes over time.

Oct 19: Final Cut Pro Demonstration: Creating titles in Final Cut and in Photoshop. <See prepared doc.>


Week 10

Oct 22: Editing work day. You should have all your interview footage and fill shots by now. Footage should have excellent sound and lighting. Be sure to practice new Final Cut skills before you forget them. Ask for help where you need it!

Oct 24: Editing work day.

Oct 26: Editing work day. Create titles. Don’t forget to leave yourself time for rendering and compressing. You may need more lab time over the weekend.


Week 11

Oct 29: ASSIGNMENT 3 DUE before class! CRITIQUES! Same rules as before.

Oct 31: Video as Memory—view examples of video as record/expression of memory.
Discuss final assignment, Assignment 4.

(NOTE: We may need a second day for crits, in which case some of today’s plans may spill over to Nov 2.)

Assignment 4: FOOTAGE DUE BY NOV 26 at the latest, COMPLETED PIECE DUE Dec 10 (finals week).

Nov 2: In class—Research (especially for community memory) and/or journal (especially personal memory). Continue this process over the weekend on your own.

[Nov 2 Alternate Plan: continue with critiques as needed, research/journal on your own.]


Week 12


Nov 5: In-class storyboard workshop. Really reflect, what makes a powerful story?

Nov 7: Critique each other’s storyboards and offer suggestions. Challenge each other, but also please respect vulnerabilities around memory. The safer your classmates feel, the more authentic, powerful ART you can all make!

Nov 9: Revise storyboards, draft pre-production plans. Form teams for lighting and sound help. Need any actors? MAKE SHOOT SCHEDULES WITH EACH OTHER.
Homework: Start gathering shots over the weekend.


Week 13

Nov 12: Final Cut Pro Demonstration: Basic color theory and basic color correction; video filters.

Nov 14: The Future of Video/The Future is Now: View Lev Manovich & Andreas Kratky's “Soft Cinema: Navigating the Database” (montage meets human-computer interaction)

Nov 16: The Future of Video/The Future is Now: Tiffany Shlain on global collaborative Cloud Filmmaking


Week 14

Nov 19: The Future of Video/The Future is Now:
1) Immersive display systems at the ALIVE lab, City University of Hong Kong (run by Jeffrey Shaw and Sarah Kederdine)

2) Locative Cinema (Sundance, San Jose Biennial, Banff New Media Institute)

3) Surveillance Camera Cinema

Nov 21 & Nov 23: — No Class, Fall Recess


Week 15

Nov 26: Work on EDITING final projects in class. (If you aren’t ready to edit by now, you will not be sleeping the nights before final projects are due!!!) Try different versions and different editing strategies. Experiment.

Nov 28: Work on editing final projects in class.

Nov 30: Work on editing final projects in class.


Week 16

Dec 3: Work on editing final projects in class.

Dec 5: Work on editing final projects in class.

Dec 7: Work on editing final projects in class.



FINAL CRITIQUE WILL BE 7:30 am – 10:30 am. Location TBA.

(Please wake up the teacher. Just joking.)