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JOHN CABOT UNIVERSITY

COURSE CODE: "DMA/AS 323"
COURSE NAME: "Short-form Video: History and Practice"
SEMESTER & YEAR: Spring 2021
SYLLABUS

INSTRUCTOR: Kwame Phillips
EMAIL: [email protected]
HOURS: W12:30 PM 3:15 PM
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:

Throughout the semester students will integrate a historical perspective of the evolution of the short-form audiovisual format through screenings and some readings, while at the same time applying techniques to contemporary mediamaking practices. 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. Activities will scaffold from diverse formats, such as the one-minute Lumière film, stop-motion animation, avant-garde art film, Warhol screentests, 30-second ads, music videos, micro-documentaries, and a final project with written prospectus. Weekly lessons will combine historical overviews with screenings of significant works with practical workshops. Students will be required to participate during in-class exercizes 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. Students will be expected to storyboard and script their projects, develop a distribution and/or exhibition plan (including researching film festivals), and statement of ethics for their finished projects.

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
Stop motion/Mashup project 10
Music Video project  20
PSA/Propaganda project 20
Narrative scene/Swede project 25
Find and share exercises 6
In-class exercises 9

-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:
ATTENDANCE REQUIREMENTS AND EXAMINATION POLICY
You cannot make-up a major exam (midterm or final) without the permission of the Dean’s Office. The Dean’s Office will grant such permission only when the absence was caused by a serious impediment, such as a documented illness, hospitalization or death in the immediate family (in which you must attend the funeral) or other situations of similar gravity. Absences due to other meaningful conflicts, such as job interviews, family celebrations, travel difficulties, student misunderstandings or personal convenience, will not be excused. Students who will be absent from a major exam must notify the Dean’s Office prior to that exam. Absences from class due to the observance of a religious holiday will normally be excused. Individual students who will have to miss class to observe a religious holiday should notify the instructor by the end of the Add/Drop period to make prior arrangements for making up any work that will be missed. 
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

SCHEDULE

1.   WED, JAN. 22: INTRODUCTION: OVERVIEW OF HISTORY AND FORM

Screen: Lumière and Edison films

In-­class exercise 1.1: Make a one-minute Lumière film

In-­class exercise 1.2: Screen and critique films

For next week:

Read:

Find and share: A Lumière style film

2.   WED, JAN. 29: THE STOP-MOTION SHORT

Screen: Overview and history of stop-motion and animated shorts

In­-class exercise 2.1: Stop-motion technique

For next week:

Read:

Find and share: A stop-motion short

3.   WED, FEB. 5: THE MASHUP

Screen: Overview and history of mashups and supercuts

In­-class exercise 3.1: Convert a horror film trailer to comedy or vice-versa

For next week:

Read:

Find and Share: A mashup or supercut

4.   WED, FEB. 12: THE WARHOL SCREEN TEST

Screen: Overview and history of Warhol screen tests 

In-­class exercise 4.1: Create a Warhol screen-test and work on lighting and composition

For next week:

Read:

Due: Stop-motion exercise

5.   WED, FEB. 19: THE MUSIC VIDEO AND ART FILM

Screen: Overview and history of music videos and art films

In-­class exercise 5.1: Screen stop-motion films

In-­class exercise 5.2: Planning a music video

For next week:

Read:

Find and Share: A music video  

6.   WED, FEB. 26: THE MUSIC VIDEO (CONTINUED)

In-­class exercise 6.1: Work in teams to organize and shoot music videos

For next week:

Read:

7.   WED, MAR. 4: THE MUSIC VIDEO (CONTINUED)

In-­class exercise 7.1: Work in teams to edit music videos

For next (next) week:

Read:

Due: Music video

8.   WED, MAR. 18: PSAs AND PROPAGANDA SHORTS

Screen: Overview and history of propaganda shorts and PSAs.

In-­class exercise 8.1: Screen music videos

In-­class exercise 8.1: Develop topic for a PSA or propaganda short (research topic and target audience)

For next week:

Read:

Find and Share: A PSA or propaganda short

9.   WED, MAR. 25: PSAs AND PROPAGANDA SHORTS (CONTINUED)

In-­class exercise 9.1: Work on writing, storyboarding and planning

For next week:

Read:

10. WED, APR. 8: PSAs AND PROPAGANDA SHORTS (CONTINUED)

In-­class exercise 10.1: PSA/Propaganda short workshop

For next week:

Read:

Due: PSA or Propaganda shorts

11. WED, APR. 15: NARRATIVE SHORTS AND SWEDES

Screen: Overview and history of narrative shorts and Swedes

In-­class exercise 11.1: Screen PSA or Propaganda shorts

In-­class exercise 11.2: Work in teams to organize and shoot Swedes or narrative scenes

For next week:

Read:

Find and Share: A narrative short or Swede

12. WED, APR. 22: NARRATIVE SHORTS AND SWEDES (CONTINUED)

In-­class exercise 12.1: Work on edit and postproduction

13. WED, APR. 29: NARRATIVE SHORTS AND SWEDES (CONTINUED)

In-­class exercise 13.1: Finish projects

FINAL PROJECT PRESENTATION IN EXAM WEEK

 

OVERVIEW OF KEY BIBLIOGRAPHIC WORKS FOR THE COURSE

Select readings on both practical and historical aspects of short-form audiovisual media.

·      The Screenplayby Syd Field

·      The Art Cinema as a Mode of Film Practiceby David Bordwell 

·      Experimental Cinema: The Film Reader Dixon, Wheeler W, and Gwendolyn Audrey Foster

·      Video Artby Michael Rush

·      “Video: The Aesthetics of Narcissism” in Video Culture: A Critical Investigation, Rosalind Krauss

·       “ICYMI: The Moving Image Online,” in The Routledge Companion to Media Studies and Digital Humanities, Gregory Zinman