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JOHN CABOT UNIVERSITY

COURSE CODE: "EXP 1005"
COURSE NAME: "Video Essay Workshop "
SEMESTER & YEAR: Fall 2019
SYLLABUS

INSTRUCTOR: Kwame Phillips
EMAIL: [email protected]
HOURS: F 2:00-6:00 PM [Course meets on: Sept. 27, Oct. 18, Oct. 25, and Nov. 22]
TOTAL NO. OF CONTACT HOURS: 15
CREDITS: 1
PREREQUISITES:
OFFICE HOURS:

COURSE DESCRIPTION:
Grading: This course will be graded on a PASS/FAIL scale
This course aims to introduce students to the various forms and methods associated with the contemporary video essay, and to guide them through the conception and production of their own analytic video essays — a skill which they will be able to transfer to numerous other courses and extracurricular and/or professional contexts. The course will teach students to present and directly elaborate the audio-visual material they engage with (rather than merely writing about it), as well as appreciate and understand the ways in which practical and critical engagement with media can advance active modes of spectatorship and media consumption.
SUMMARY OF COURSE CONTENT:

Since the early 2000s and particularly over the last half decade, the practice of film and media studies has increasingly turned to videographic forms. The rise of the video essay (or “audiovisual essay”) has been facilitated by the proliferation of online media content, online magazines, journals, blogs, etc., and user-friendly editing platforms. It has also been supported by the widespread recognition of the benefits of allowing scholarly studies of audiovisual media to present and directly elaborate the material they engage with (rather than merely writing about it), as well as of the ways in which practical and critical engagement with media can advance active modes of spectatorship and media consumption. As a result, the video essay is quickly becoming a dominant form of media studies and a crucial instrument of the dissemination of ideas, scholarship and cultural critique. This course aims to introduce students to the various forms and methods associated with the contemporary video essay, and to guide them through the conception and production of their own analytic video essays — a skill which they will be able to transfer to numerous other courses and extracurricular and/or professional contexts. 

**Out of Pocket Materials**
It is highly advisable that students enrolled in this course should provide their own external USB hard drive (250-500GB) to store and archived captured material and video essay projects. These drives must be Mac formatted.

**Course Home Page**
http://moodle.johncabot.edu/

LEARNING OUTCOMES:

Students will:

— Be introduced to the essay film form and the critical discourses surrounding the recent growth of the video essay
— Acquire awareness of a range of methodologies and approaches to the video essay
— Learn to critically engage with audiovisual media, and to convey their reflections on media works and products by audiovisual means
— Acquire the technical skills to work with (collect, convert, edit) non-original audiovisual material
— Advance their editing skills and proficiency with Final Cut Pro
— Advance their understanding of film, media and communication studies and their ability to apply that understanding through practice
— Learn how to develop a critical argument through a combination of traditional and new media tools, i.e. by integrating writing and audiovisual compilation
— Acquire understanding of how essayistic film- and video-making can be used to advance active modes of spectatorship and media consumption

**It is highly recommended that you make use of the Communications Library Study Guide that is found at this link: https://johncabot.libguides.com/communications. It is an introductory guide for communication and media studies, journalism and cinema, and is extraordinarily valuable as a resource. 

**Course homepage: http://moodle.johncabot.edu/. Enrollment key: EXP1005Fall18

TEXTBOOK:
NONE
REQUIRED RESERVED READING:
NONE

RECOMMENDED RESERVED READING:
NONE
GRADING POLICY
-ASSESSMENT METHODS:
AssignmentGuidelinesWeight
Attendance and participationAttendance of and participation in all five classes.30
Video EssaySubmission of an analytical video essay, 5-6 mins long.50
Critical commentarySubmission of a 1000 word critical commentary on the video essay.20

-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:

As this is a workshop course over a relatively short period, attendance is mandatory and unexcused absences will not be tolerated.

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

The department has put together a webpage of resources that can be found here: http://digitalmedialab.johncabot.edu/video-essays/

**Session 1: Forms and Methods: From the Essay Film to the Video Essay**


Screening (TBD; all videos are subject to change, but may include the following):
Elements of the Essay Film (Kevin B. Lee, 2014): https://vimeo.com/90150897
How to Structure a Video Essay (Every Frame a Painting, 2015): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1GXv2C7vwX0
The Video Essay as Art: http://norbateman.co/11-ways-to-make-a-video-essay/

Man with A Movie Camera (Vertov, 1929): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7ZkvjWIEcoU
Night Mail (Wright and Watt, 1936): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kHOHbTL3mpk // https://www.youtube.com/watch? v=a_twehPlRPs
A propos de Nice (Vigo, 1930): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2ETsLNADFLA
A Diary for Timothy (Jennings, 1945): https://youtu.be/bg9_iov5SIo?t=5
Toure la memoire du monde (Resnais, 1956): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i0RVSZ_yDjs
The House is Black (Farrokhzad, 1963): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=­oOCObHFx28
F is for Fake (Welles, 1973): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ssZs_qotIvg
San Soleil (Marker, 1982): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LGDu7YOlVuE
Handsworth Songs (Akomfrah, 1986): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FrR5Byjmf9I
Blue (Jarman, 1993): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ad4ii2M9IVw
Los Angeles Plays Itself (Andersen, 2003): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4hYg01uqz9U
Chaos Cinema (Matthias Stork, 2011): https://vimeo.com/28016047 // https://vimeo.com/28016704
What is Neorealism? (Kogonada, 2013): https://vimeo.com/68514760
Tropes vs. Women in Video Games: Body Language and the Male Gaze (Anita Sarkeesian,
2016): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QPOla9SEdXQ
How Hot Fuzz Changed My Life (Shannon Strucci, 2016): https://youtu.be/SGWA4d0xKxc
Wes Anderson’s References (Candice Drouet, 2017): https://vimeo.com/204671247

Readings:
1) Paul Arthur, "Essay Questions: From Alain Resnais to Michael Moore" (Film Comment; Jan 2003)
2) Deep Focus: The Essay Film (https://www.bfi.org.uk/news-opinion/sight-sound-magazine/features/deep-focus/essay-film)
3) Manu Yanez, “Thought, Action and Imagination,” http://reframe.sussex.ac.uk/audiovisualessay/frankfurt-­papers/manu­-yanez/

**Session 2: Collecting Material and Developing an (Audiovisual) Thesis**

1) Tutorials: Clip extraction and conversion; editing in Final Cut Pro
https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=12&v=H15WBzXHZZo
2) Video essay “pitch” presentations and group feedback

Readings:
1) Cristina Alvarez Lopez and Adrian Martin, “The One and the Many: Making Sense of Montage in the Audiovisual Essay” (http://reframe.sussex.ac.uk/audiovisualessay/frankfurt-papers/cristina-alvarez-lopez-adrian-martin/)
2) Cristina Alvarez Lopez, “From Idea to Concept,” (http://mediacommons.futureofthebook.org/intransition/2014/09/14/idea-concept)
3) “Code of Best Practices in Fair Use for Online Video” (http://cmsimpact.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/01/online_best_practices_in_fair_use.pdf)

Resource: DMA FCPX Guide (http://www.openmediaeducation.net/com480/files/2016/01/DMA-430-FCPX-Guide.pdf)

**Sessions 3 and 4: Work in Progress**

In-­class work on video essays and individual guidance

**Session 5: Video Essay Presentations**

In-­class presentation and discussion of video essay drafts