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JOHN CABOT UNIVERSITY

COURSE CODE: "COM 230-1"
COURSE NAME: "Foundations of Digital Video Production"
SEMESTER & YEAR: Fall 2018
SYLLABUS

INSTRUCTOR: Kwame Phillips
EMAIL: [email protected]
HOURS: TH 9:00-11:45 AM
TOTAL NO. OF CONTACT HOURS: 45
CREDITS: 3
PREREQUISITES:
OFFICE HOURS: By appointment

COURSE DESCRIPTION:
This course introduces students to the technical, conceptual, and aesthetic skills involved in video production through the single camera mode of production. Still the most dominant mode of film and video production, the single camera mode places an emphasis on using the camera to fullest capacity of artistic expression. In addition to the multiple skills and concepts involved with the camera, the course also introduces students to the principles and technologies of lighting, audio recording and mixing, and non-linear digital video editing. Special focus is given to producing content for successful web distribution.
SUMMARY OF COURSE CONTENT:

This course will answer some of the most pressing questions repeatedly asked by first-time and amateur filmmakers:

How do you effectively and efficiently transform an idea first into a story, then into a screenplay, next into a production schedule, and finally into moving images and sound that emotionally transport an audience? How do you operate a camera, record clean audio, and generally make your actors look like they’re in a Hollywood film? What can I do with Final Cut Studio that I can’t do with iMovie?

This course will provide you with an intensive overview of the entire filmmaking process, from soup to nuts, as you work with a production unit to produce a short narrative or documentary film for web distribution.

Class Structure

- Discussions based off of assigned readings and viewings and in-class film screenings
- Conceptual and technical demonstrations
- Studio time (planning and production)
- Presentation of works (critiques)

Course Home Page
http://moodle.johncabot.edu (Enrollment key: COM230-1Fall18)

LEARNING OUTCOMES:

By the end of this class, you will understand how a film is made from conception through distribution, and you will know how to develop a story for maximum audio-visual impact. You will gain hands-on experience of all stages of film production and all the skills necessary to begin producing professional-level work for the media industry as well as a polished piece of work for your demo reel.

TEXTBOOK:
Book TitleAuthorPublisherISBN numberLibrary Call NumberComments
Notes on the CinematographRobert BressonNew York Review Books Classics978-1681370248 It is recommended for you to purchase this book. - Anglo American Bookshop, via della Vite, 102 (http://www.aab.it) - Almost Corner Bookshop, via del Moro, 45 (near the Tiber Campus)
REQUIRED RESERVED READING:
NONE

RECOMMENDED RESERVED READING:
Book TitleAuthorPublisherISBN numberLibrary Call NumberComments
Film Art: An IntroductionDavid Bordwell and Kristin ThompsonMcGraw Hill 978-1259534959  
In the Blink of an Eye: A Perspective on Film EditingWalter MurchSilman-James Press 978-1879505629  
Introduction to DocumentaryBill NicholsIndiana University Press978-0253222602  
GRADING POLICY
-ASSESSMENT METHODS:
AssignmentGuidelinesWeight
ParticipationParticipation is not simply a question of attendance and raising your hand in class. In order to receive your fifteen points, you must attend class and ask questions AND you must contribute significantly to group members' productions. To get credit, the director/producer of the project must turn in a call sheet with your signature. 15
Preproduction and production packageThis will be the collection of the in class exercises during the weeks of preproduction and production. 20
Documentary projectStudents will be required to work in small groups to produce a 5-10 minute documentary of a topic of their choosing. 25
Final projectStudents will be required to work in small groups to produce a 5-10 minute narrative film based on their own scripts. This project will include a trailer no longer than 1 minute. 30
Final screeningThere will be no final exam, but there will be a screening where student films are shown. Attendance will be mandatory. 10

-ASSESSMENT CRITERIA:
AWork of this quality directly addresses the question or problem raised and provides a coherent argument displaying an extensive knowledge of relevant information or content. This type of work demonstrates the ability to critically evaluate concepts and theory and has an element of novelty and originality. There is clear evidence of a significant amount of reading beyond that required for the course.
BThis is highly competent level of performance and directly addresses the question or problem raised.There is a demonstration of some ability to critically evaluatetheory and concepts and relate them to practice. Discussions reflect the student’s own arguments and are not simply a repetition of standard lecture andreference material. The work does not suffer from any major errors or omissions and provides evidence of reading beyond the required assignments.
CThis is an acceptable level of performance and provides answers that are clear but limited, reflecting the information offered in the lectures and reference readings.
DThis level of performances demonstrates that the student lacks a coherent grasp of the material.Important information is omitted and irrelevant points included.In effect, the student has barely done enough to persuade the instructor that s/he should not fail.
FThis work fails to show any knowledge or understanding of the issues raised in the question. Most of the material in the answer is irrelevant.

-ATTENDANCE REQUIREMENTS:
This course requires an extraordinary amount of work to be completed outside of class hours. Students who expect to travel frequently during weekends are strongly advised against registering for this course.

Three late arrivals (more than 10 minutes) are counted as one unexcused absence. Two unexcused absences will result in a full letter drop in the final grade and three unexcused absences will result in failure. Due to the once a week meeting schedule for the course, missing one class can mean missing out on a major technical or conceptual lesson plan, which can affect the quality of your projects. In the case of excused absences due to documented illness or family emergencies, please present a Dean's note as soon as possible.
ACADEMIC HONESTY
As stated in the university catalog, any student who commits an act of academic dishonesty will receive a failing grade on the work in which the dishonesty occurred. In addition, acts of academic dishonesty, irrespective of the weight of the assignment, may result in the student receiving a failing grade in the course. Instances of academic dishonesty will be reported to the Dean of Academic Affairs. A student who is reported twice for academic dishonesty is subject to summary dismissal from the University. In such a case, the Academic Council will then make a recommendation to the President, who will make the final decision.
STUDENTS WITH LEARNING OR OTHER DISABILITIES
John Cabot University does not discriminate on the basis of disability or handicap. Students with approved accommodations must inform their professors at the beginning of the term. Please see the website for the complete policy.

SCHEDULE

NB:

Equipment
Different digital recording equipment will be used for each project and these will be available from the Digital Media Lab. You all have access to the digital equipment JCU has on reserve for the course. You can check out gear from Thursday afternoon with gear needing to be returned Monday morning.

Out of Pocket Materials
Students enrolled in this course should provide their own external USB hard drive (250-500GB) to store and archive captured material and video projects. These drives must be Mac formatted.

Please note that this schedule is subject to change.


Non-Narrative–Documentary Film Project

Week 01: Introduction to Non-Narrative Film Forms

Week 02: Pre-Production and Treatment

Week 03: Shooting and Framing

Week 04: Lighting and Sound

Week 05: Editing 

Week 06: Editing and Color Correction (rough edit due)

Week 07: Final Non-Narrative Film Screenings & Introduction to Narrative Film Forms


Narrative––Fiction Film Project

Week 08: Creative Writing

Week 09: Script Development 

Week 10: Composition and Lighting

Week 11: Directing and Mise-en-scène

Week 12: Editing and Sound Design

Week 13: Editing and Graphics/Effects

Week 14: Editing workshop (rough edit due)

Exam Week: Final Narrative Film Screenings