This course will provide conceptual and hands-on experience researching, writing and producing independent cinema with a focus on critical arts practice. Emphasis will be placed on independent production from invention of the project idea to post-production. Assignments and course content focus on a wide range of creative image and sound making guided by theoretical, aesthetic and cinematic principles. Students will be introduced to basic production and editing skills as well as produce assignments that reflect a breath of production practice, including: 1) basic still image and sound, 2) narrative, 3) documentary and 4) experimental. Students will be invited to explore their own creative development within each approach to production. This course will also introduce students to the process of public critique, exhibition and screening.
This course has the following objectives:
- Increasing knowledge relevant to the analysis and history of cinema production
- Developing skills as a critic, writer, editor, director and researcher
- Acquiring basic technical skills for producing independent cinema and basic editing on Final Cut Pro
- Applying contemporary methods and modes of cinema production to the creative process
Each week you are required to attend two 75 minute lectures and one lab on Fridays. During the lecture we will discuss the foundations and objectives of cinema production and creative development. You will learn how to become a more informed and articulate producer of cinema in its cultural context. The lab will be dedicated to video production. In this portion of the class you will be asked to complete four short formal production assignments and up to 10 impromptu production assignment. You will also be asked to provide critical feedback to your peers.
Unit One: Image and Sound (Individual)
Sound Map 50
Visual Map 50
Unit Two: Narrative (Groups of Three)
Production Plan/Storyboard 50
Rough Edit 50
One Scene (3-4 min) 100
Unite Three: Documentary (Groups of Two)
Rough Edit 50
Final Bio Project (person, place or thing) 100
Unite Four: Experimental (Individual)
Conceptual Proposal 50
Rough Edit 50
Final Mash-up Project 100
Blog Assignments 200
Peer Critique 75
Public Screening/Exhibition Submission 70
Students will be asked to show a broad proficiency in multiple approaches to cinema production with four assignments (Visual Map, Narrative Scene, Documentary Biography and Experimental Mash-up). The course is designed to help students explore their own creative potential and investments in each approach to production. Supporting assignment (proposals, scripts, rough edits, field production shoots) will be assigned to help the development of the main projects.
Blog: At the core, this class is an exercise in moving your creative ideas from planning to manifestation on the screen. A critical and essential part of this process is keeping a journal of your ideas, new technical tools, conceptual and class notes, creative inspiration and knowledge about the industry. Each week you will write a 1-2 page blog entry addressing the week’s reading as it applies to a media work of your choice. You will also construct one self portrait every week. The blog entry and self-portriates as well as your media will be featured on a blog you create.
Critique: Students will work closely with each other in lab to develop their media production projects. This includes developing a healthy, safe and productive yet rigorous environment for public feedback on works in progress. The class will also work on learning how to provide helpful feedback on improvement, concept, execution, translation of plan to screen, and production techniques.
Final Assignment: Students will be asked to choose their best project and submit it to a festival, public screening or exhibit. Please keep a receipt of submission and turn in by the assigned finals period.
Quizzes: There will be occasional unannounced quizzes regarding recent lectures and/or readings.