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JOHN CABOT UNIVERSITY

COURSE CODE: "DMA/AS 323"
COURSE NAME: "Short-form Video: History and Practice"
SEMESTER & YEAR: Fall 2020
SYLLABUS

INSTRUCTOR: Kwame Phillips
EMAIL: [email protected]
HOURS: W 9:00-11:45 AM
TOTAL NO. OF CONTACT HOURS: 45
CREDITS: 3
PREREQUISITES: COM 230 or AS 215
OFFICE HOURS:

COURSE DESCRIPTION:
Short-form videomaking commonly utilized in social media ties current mediamaking practices with the early history of film. It is now one of the predominant means of communication in social media. Historically, the short has taken on many forms, including animation, avant-garde art, propaganda, news reels, advertising, education, music videos, viral media, fan media, mash-ups, video essays, documentary and news. In this course, students will perform a number of practical production exercises that engage various short-form formats to allow for a deeper historical and aesthetic understanding of audiovisual media. By developing projects that involve planning and targeting audiences, this course will also develop strategic communication skills and expand the creative palate. Students are expected to have prior experience in basic video editing and camera work.
SUMMARY OF COURSE CONTENT:

Though short-form can be anything up to 10-minutes in length, this class will primarily focus on works that are 3-minutes or less. Weekly lessons will combine historical overviews with screenings of significant works with practical workshops. Students will be required to participate during in-class exercises and to do projects outside of class in order to develop and advance their skills in editing, sound recording, lighting, composition, camera movement, and directing.

LEARNING OUTCOMES:

By the end of the course, students will:

 

•      Gain an understanding of how the contemporary short-form video has its roots in the history of audiovisual media.

•      Develop and execute short-form videos that can be distributed in social media.

•      Storyboard and write a script for short-form video.

•      Develop an understanding for how to integrate different approaches to filmmaking in the planning and production of short-form video.

TEXTBOOK:
NONE
REQUIRED RESERVED READING:
NONE

RECOMMENDED RESERVED READING:
NONE
GRADING POLICY
-ASSESSMENT METHODS:
AssignmentGuidelinesWeight
Attendance and participation 10
Find and share exercises 5
Screen test/Actuality 10
Storyboards 5
Stop-motion project  10
Music video project 15
PSA/Propaganda project 15
Narrative project 20
Digital portfolio 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:

PARTICIPATION AND ATTENDANCE:

All students are expected to be active participants in their own and each other’s learning process. SIMPLY SHOWING UP IS NOT “ATTENDING” or “PARTICIPATING”.

 

•   Please make sure that all observations, comments, and criticisms are constructive, respectful, and spoken in a neutral tone.

•   Please silence all electronic devices for the consideration of others. 

•   Please do not use social media or email during class if it is not relevant to the topic/discussion at hand. 

•   Sleeping and side conversations in class are not permitted. Excessive occurrences will lead to consequences at the professor’s discretion.

•   Arriving late to class is extremely disruptive both for your peers and for me. Be on time.

 

Students unwilling to comply with these policies will be asked to leave the class and will be marked absent for that class period.

 

COMMUNICATING WITH ME:

There are 3 ways to be in touch with me:

 

1.   Before or after class. If you would like to casually discuss work, projects, absences etc. you can do so before or after class.

2.   By appointment. You can set up an appointment to meet in my office via email. I am happy to talk with you about the course – as well as your life goals and interests.

3.   Via e-mail. If you have any questions, do not hesitate to e-mail me. I will ONLY respond to e-mails that include a subject and a salutation. Please allow 24 hours for a response.

 

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/.

Enrolment key: Enrolment is currently automatic.

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

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.

 

Out of Pocket Materials (ESSENTIAL)

Students enrolled in this course should provide their own portable external USB hard drive (at least 250-500GB; a 1TB HDD costs about €50) to store and archive captured material and video projects. These drives must be Mac formatted.

 

 

1.   WED, SEP. 23: INTRODUCTION // THE WARHOL SCREEN TEST

 

Lecture: Introduction // Overview and history of Warhol screen tests

Screen: Examples of Warhol screen tests 

 

For next week:

 

            Exercise 1.1: Create a Warhol screen test (90 seconds)

            Exercise 1.2: Create a video introducing yourself (1-minute max)

 

Read: Gerry Turvey, "Panoramas, Parades and the Picturesque: The Aesthetics of British Actuality Films, 1895-1901"

 

 

2.   WED, SEP. 30: OVERVIEW OF HISTORY AND FORM // THE ACTUALITY

 

Crit: View and critique student screen tests

 

Lecture: Overview and history of the short form and Actualities

Screen: Lumière and Edison, British actuality films

 

For next week:

 

            Exercise 2: Make a one-minute actuality film

 

Read: It's Nice That, "The crit: a survivors guide and how to make the most of

feedback"

 

 

3.   WED, OCT. 7: THE STOP-MOTION SHORT

 

Crit: Screen and critique student actuality films

 

Lecture: Overview and history of stop-motion shorts. Stop motion software guide.

Screen: Examples of stop-motion shorts

 

For next week:

 

Storyboard 1: Make a storyboard for your stop-motion short

 

Find and Share: A stop-motion short

 

 

4.   WED, OCT. 14: MINI-CLASS / WORKSHOP

 

Crit: Critique stop-motion storyboards

 

For next week:

 

Project 1: Stop motion short due

 

 

5.   WED, OCT. 21: THE MUSIC VIDEO

 

Crit: Screen and critique stop motion films

 

Lecture: Overview and history of music videos

Screen: Examples of music videos

 

For next week:

 

Storyboard 2: Make a storyboard for your music video

 

Find and Share: A music video

 

 

6.   WED, OCT. 28: THE MUSIC VIDEO (CONTINUED) / THE DIGITAL PORTFOLIO

 

Crit: Music video storyboards

 

Lecture: How to make a digital portfolio.

 

For next week:

 

Read: Amy Clarke, “Tips on Making a Killer Portfolio and Show Reel”

 

 

7.   WED, NOV. 4: PSAs AND PROPAGANDA SHORTS

 

Lecture: Overview and history of PSAs and propaganda shorts.

Screen: Examples of PSAs and propaganda shorts

 

For next week:

 

            Project 2 due: Music video

Exercise 3: Develop topic for a PSA or propaganda short treatment (research topic and target audience)

 

 

8.   WED, NOV. 11: PSAs AND PROPAGANDA SHORTS (CONTINUED)

 

Crit: Screen and critique student music videos

Crit: Critique PSA or propaganda short topics

 

For next week:

 

Find and Share: A PSA or propaganda short

 

 

9.   WED, NOV. 18: NARRATIVE SHORTS

 

Lecture: Overview and history of narrative shorts

Screen: Examples of narrative shorts

 

For next week:

 

            Project 3 due: PSA or propaganda short

Exercise 4: Make a storyboard and treatment for your narrative short

 

 

10. WED, NOV. 25: NARRATIVE SHORTS (CONTINUED)

 

Crit: Screen and critique PSA or propaganda shorts

Crit: Critique narrative short storyboards and treatments

 

For next week:

 

Exercise 5: Create a draft of your digital portfolio

Find and Share: A narrative short

 

 

11. WED, DEC. 2: MINI-CLASS / WORKSHOP

 

Crit: One on one with portfolios

 

 

12. WED, DEC. 9: WORKSHOP

 

For exam week:

 

            Project 4 due: Narrative short

            Project 5 due: Digital portfolio

 

FINAL FILM PRESENTATION AND CRITIQUE IN EXAM WEEK.