Link to Week-to-Week Schedule

VSAR 303

Introduction to Video Art
CSUSM Spring 2013

Time: Monday 1 - 4:50 PM
Location: Arts 340
Office Hours: Monday 12 - 1 PM, Arts 340
Instructor: Tony Allard, Email:
Rusty Jones, Email:
Telephone: ( at X-4137)
VPA Admin. Assistant, Linda Muse: 760-750-4137
Technician: Chad Huggins;
Technician: Albert Rascon
Checkout Phone #: 760-750-8801

Course description:
This is a beginning level video production course in which you will learn to produce videos within the context of making video art. The semester will be divided between production, post production, technical demos, screenings, readings and discussion. A series of technical and conceptual exercises and assignments will provide the matrix for your course work, equally emphasizing technique and content. You will also become familiar with historical and contemporary work by video artists. You will learn how to operate digital video cameras, various forms of digital editing equipment, lighting, and basic audio recording and mixing. The primary application you will use is Final Cut Pro.

Course goals:

To gain a basic skills and understanding of video production and post-production
To gain exposure to video art
To produce videos emphasizing form and content equally
To become conversant in the history and language of video art

Video Art Production assignments: Link to full descriptions
Assignments include in-class group projects as well as individual production assignments. You will have the option of working individually on the second production assignment, the Interview, but if you are new to video production, you will be part of a team of two or three, and one of the members will have had some prior production and post production experience. I will select the groups.

Assignment #1: Due: March 11th
Cinematography-Videography Project
(solo project)

Assignment #2: Due: April 15th
Interview Project
(you will work in groups of threes, or solo depending upon your current skill levels in video production and post production)

Assignment #3: Due: May 6th
Text and Image Project
(solo project)

Video production and post production is labor and time-intensive. This class requires significant time outside of class for shooting and editing, reading and preparation for discussions. Lab time will be dedicated primarily to demonstrations, completing the Final Cut Pro Tutorials, and some class time for working on your projects. However, you will need to dedicate time outside of class to complete the tutorials, the production assignments and the readings. A good rule of thumb is that for each minute of completed video it takes about four hours of editing. The video lab is open 24/7 by calling security at x4567 (you will be on put an access list).

Final Cut Pro hands-on Quizzes:
I will conduct two Final Cut Pro hands-on quizzes over the semester, the first one will be given approximately six weeks into the semester, and the second one will be given approximately thirteen weeks into the semester. These quizzes are posted online at these links:
1st FCP Hands-on quiz: FCP Hands on Quiz
2nd and Final Hands on quiz: FCP Hands on Quiz

Technical Quizzes:
Camera Basics Quiz
Audio Basics Quiz

Grading: Link to
Grade sheet
Your grade is based on total participation in the class including completing and discussing readings, attending required events, finishing assignments, working with groups, and helping to care for the equipment and lab. Each assignment will be given a letter grade. For production assignments, I will grade equally on form, content and creativity.

60 % production assignments (form/technical; content; creativity)
30% reading, quizzes, response papers
10 % attendance and participation

Attendance is taken at the beginning of class. Four missed classes constitutes a failing grade. Leaving class early without permission or not attending lab constitutes half a missed class. If you know in advance that you will be missing class, please let me know either by email or in class.

Required Texts:
VSAR 303, Reader. This reader can be purchased at CopyServe, 754 S. Rancho Santa Fe Rd., San Marcos. 760-599-9923. CopyServe is on the corner of Rancho Santa Fe and San Marcos Blvd. If you are traveling west on San Marcos Blvd., cross Rancho Santa Fe, take your first right into the mall, and then an immediate left. Purchase your reader immediately, as when they run out it may take a day to have them bind a new one.

Final Cut Pro 7,
Diane Weynand, Apple Pro Training Series. Available at the CSUSM Bookstore, and of course, online through Amazon, etc. The Bookstore is now offering this book as a rental for the semester for $27. A new book costs $54 and a used book costs $44. You will be using this book every class period to work on the tutorials. The Tutorials (but not the media for the tutorials) are available online when you are on a campus computer through the CSUSM Library at this link: However, I do not recommend at all doing the tutorials using the online book because it is cumbersome to read on the screen while you are working on the application at the same time. NOTE: I will explain the system for saving your completed lessons on the Network drive the week before the first lesson is due.

There will be assigned readings pertinent to understanding the history, theory and practice of video art. We will discuss the readings in class and screen work relevant to the screened work. There are also technical reading assignments followed by two quizzes, the Camera Basics and Audio Basics quizzes.

Writing Requirement
During the semester you will be required to attend one of following three presentations in the Spring 2013 Arts and Lecture Series and then turn in a 750 word response paper the following week. Although you are required to attend only one of the presentations, I strongly encourage you to attend as many as you can.

Please note that this is an Arts and Lectures sponsord event and therefore you must get tickets online for free prior to September 3 in order to come to the event. You will need to bring your Student ID. For more information on getting tickets and the list of presenters please visit this link

Arts and Lectures Series Presentation

Animal Cracker Conspiracy - The Collector
Wed Feb 13 @ 7:30pm
in ARTS 111
The Collector is a mysterious tale, set in an alternate reality, about a lowly debt collector, who, under the management of a mechanical, tyrannical overseer, undergoes a radical transformation of spirit in the process of collecting outstanding debts. The story unfolds into a multidimensional mixed media performance through Orwellian, neo-Victorian lenses. Performed with toy theatre, table-top puppets, object theatre, and stop motion animation, The agitprop nature of this alternate reality is underscored by original film and constructed soundscapes by sound artist Margaret Noble. Complimentary parking will be provided in LOT N.

If These Halls Could Talk
Lee Mun Wah
Wed Mar 13 @ 6pm
at the McMahan House
In the film If these Halls Could Talk, eleven students from various colleges and personal backgrounds share what makes it unsafe for them in the classroom and what it is like to be a minority or an immigrant on a predominantly white campus. The film exposes issues of trust and distrust amongst one another, with other students and college staff/faculty. Following the film screening, a special diversity dialogue will be hosted by director Lee Mun Wah, known for facilitating interpersonal conflicts and diversity issues mindfully and transformatively in the classroom. Complimentary parking will be provided in LOT B.

El Norte
Fri Mar 22 @ 6pm
at The Clark Field House Grand Salon, room 113

Filmed in 1983, and nominated for an Oscar for Best Original Screenplay, El Norte (directed by Gregory Nava) remains a powerful and unforgettable epic film which Roger Ebert has called The Grapes of Wrath for our time. The film tells the story of a Guatemalan brother and sister, and their harrowing, sometimes humorous, and always poignant story as they make their way through Mexico and to the U.S. in search of what they hope will be a better life. 2013 marks the 30th Anniversary of this seminal film, and our anniversary screening will include a question and answer session with the film’s female lead (Rosa), played by renowned Mexican actor Zaide Silvia Gutiérrez. Bilingual event (English/Spanish). Complimentary parking will be provided in LOT N. Co-sponsors: LAFS and Modern Language Studies Department, co-Sponsors: USUAB and SJEB.

Information on what constitutes plagiarism can be found at:

Checkout of Production Equipment: Checkout Policies
Please read and review checkout policy. Checkout hours are posted in checkout, Arts 239. A complete list of checkout items is available at Checkout. You are responsible for any damage or loss of equipment. Do not keep equipment in your car. Do not keep it in hot or dusty areas. Always check your equipment when checking it out to make sure it works and has all of the parts you are signing for. You are responsible for everything you sign for. If a piece of equipment is damaged, tell us immediately so we can fix it. DO NOT RETURN EQUIPMENT WHICH SEEMS TO BE IN DISREPAIR. PLEASE INFORM CHECKOUT UPON RETURN. Trouble reports for problems with editing workstations must be filled out and left at the workstation.
Remember, if you do not report broken equipment or problems at the workstations, it will come back to haunt you, or worse yet, fellow lab users.

Supplies to purchase:
> Memory cards for HD cameras: 8 GB, SDHC Class 6 Patriot (Brand)
A note on using HD cameras
The department now has available several Canon Vixia HD video cameras, which is the primary camera we will be using in class. This camera is checked out with an 8 GB, SDHC Class 6 Patriot memory card, which will give you approx. 1 hr. of HD recording time. I highly recommend that you purchase your own memory card when you use the VIXIA. The best place is Fry’s Electronics. An 8GB Class 6 Patriot brand SDHC is about $22. Please note that the Cannon Vixia HF200’s will not record at the highest HD setting on a card higher than Class 6.
> Highly recommended: Headphones (about $20 dollars)-headphones should be of the enclosed kind, not ear buds. Most of these supplies can be purchased at Frys, or San Diego Audio Video.

VPA listserv : if you are a student in the VPA department, you are automatically on the listserv. I send out frequent calls for interns, production job announcements, film screenings, and competitions. This is sent to your college email. If you are not a vpa student, I will send info to you through your college email if you would like.

Thanks for your interest in learning.