VSAR 304 Advanced Video Production
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Course description:

In this course, we will explore the theory and practice of video within the context of art and culture including such topics as video art's relationship to television and other mainstream media.  This advanced video class is designed for students who can work independently, scheduling time outside of class to make work, present work in progress in class, and complete research. Class time will be spent screening work, discussing readings, participating in workshops and developing your technical skills.

We will concentrate this semester on:
+      idea and structure development-starting with a simple premise and developing it conceptually and technically over a period of weeks
+     audio design-how to create a sound track which gives the work psychological and aesthetic impact using Digidesign Protools
+      continue to learn beginning and advanced functions of Final Cut Pro editing software and, time permitting, Media 100
+      learn about compositing software, such as AfterEffects, and streaming video on the web (also time permitting
+      Learning the operation of advanced digital cameras
+      research historical and contemporary video art
+      I will also present information about funding, showing your work, access, jobs, internships and other professional concerns.

Required Texts:

Editing Techniques with Final Cut Pro 4, 2nd Edition, Michael Wohl, CSUSM Bookstore
In The Blink of An Eye, Walter Murch, CSUSM Bookstore

Each student is responsible for keeping a notebook/journal in which all handouts, notes, sketches, story boards, ideas, etc. will be compiled. I will periodically ask to see the notebook, especially during individual meetings and critiques in order to better understand your ideas and to make reference to technical information.

Your grade will be based on attendance, completing all assigned work and readings, participation, the completion of two finished projects plus one short "start-up" project, the use of your notebook/journal, learning new technical skills, and a short paper/presentation. A successful class relies on motivated students involved with self-teaching, peer mentoring, contributing to the overall quality of the class, and helping maintain the equipment. Your grade for your projects is based on both content and form.

30% Project 1 (including showing work in progress and turning in timelines, etc)
30% Project 2 (including showing work in progress and turning in timelines, etc)
10% first "start-up" project
15% Research Presentation
15% Participation, (in the form of discussing readings,  completing quizzes, attendance, etc)

Please attend each class. I expect you to stay for the entire duration of the class unless otherwise specified. Leaving before the end of the class or not taking advantage of lab time when scheduled will constitute a missed class. Attendance is taken  with a sign-in sheet at the beginning of each class. After the class has started, you may not sign in. Four missed classes constitutes a failing grade.

Materials and Checkout

You will be responsible for supplying your own videotapes. Tapes range in kind and price, but you will mostly need 2-3  Mini DV, 2 vhs or svhs, and possibly DV CAM or BetacamSP. Only use new tapes. Used tapes can seriously damage the equipment. Tapes can be bought from San Diego Audio Video (call for prices: 858-541-0500). MiniDV tapes can be bought locally, such as at Good Guys. I recommend to start with: 2 60:00 MiniDV tapes.

Our checkout policies are on a separate sheet. You must abide by these policies, otherwise your checkout privileges will be revoked:
You are responsible for all equipment you check out. DO NOT EVER LEAVE IT IN YOUR CAR UNATTENDED.  Do not force parts. Handle with care. Do not leave in dusty, hot, or freezing places. Keep dirt away. All of the equipment is expensive and fragile. Please be very careful handling it. Sand, dirt, dust are the worst. You will be responsible to repair or replace damaged or broken equipment.

Production of Two Videos

You will be expected to complete and present two major video projects during the semester, one due at midterm and one at the end of the semester. Both should have
well-developed ideas, and be well-executed in an appropriate manner to the idea. Presenting work in progress will be essential to earning a good grade. (see Video Assignments
  and Project Proposal below)

Video Assignments

You will be expected to complete two video pieces during the semester, each taking approximately  six weeks to complete. For students in the second semester of this class or with prior experience, plan to create works which are between 8 -12 minutes. For students with no prior experience, plan to create works between 3-5 minutes. You may, of course, do as many as you like, especially as you are learning new technologies and techniques. However, two pieces should meet the following criteria:

+ At least one of these pieces should be made for screening. The other may be a quicktime quality work made for the web or multi-media. Although I will not be directly teaching digital video for the web or multi-media, I will be glad to consult with you on your overall project. One may also be for an installation or performance.
+ Both tapes should have well-developed ideas and be well-executed, with subject matter significant to a broad cultural community. You can develop ideas
about things you've read, experienced, about philosophy, history, etc. All finished work should have color bars (:30), black (:10), titles and credits, followed by black. Please dub a copy on a class compilation reel for credit.
+ Collaborations in which all members of the team are contributing vital and unique components are encouraged, especially if they draw from other disciplines (music, theater, film studies). Please speak to me if you are thinking of working collaboratively with anyone inside or outside the class.

Project Proposal
When working creatively, one idea you start with is often transformed into another during the process of making work. However, it is a good practice to write a project proposal before you start. You must submit a typed project proposal and timeline for each video project. It may be revised over time. A project proposal should include:

a project summary, 2-3 sentences (what the work is about) (i.e. "I plan to create a 10:00 video which is about my grandmother's immigration to the U.S. In it I plan to use interviews, re-enacted footage, still photographs from archives, as well as experimental footage which is intended to convey the fears and hopes of immigrants.")
+ a project description, 1-2 pages: a more in depth description of the content, how you will execute the work, what type of work it is, what does it look and sound like; what media you will use, how your plan to edit it, what is your audience, where you will show it (if it is an installation, for instance), what kind of research it involves, if you need actors, how you will find them, the methods you might use in working with them.
+ story boards, sketches, shot lists, audio ideas, writing which would help to explain your project further
+ what materials and equipment, including tapes, you think you might need
+ a timeline: this is an outline week to week of what you plan to do in order to produce the work in a six week period. (Writing, research, shooting, editing, mastering)

Research and Presentation:
Everyone in the class will give a short (10:00) presentation on video art or film. For those of you who are new to the class, during the semester, you will give a short class presentation on any video you select from the collection in Media Services called "Surveying the First Decade". For those of you have already explored “Surveying…” during the another semester, you should look at contemporary video art, film art or digital art which can be researched from a wide range of sources both on and off line. I have put some tapes on reserve for you to look at, but there may be more. Also, feel free to ask me what I have in my own collection. In conjunction with this presentation, everyone will turn in a five page paper which discusses the piece in relationship to the issues surrounding the origins of video art, media theory, performance art, feminism, technological advances, etc. Cite at least three essays you have read in the body of your paper. (see handout with information on these video tapes.)

End of Year public screening/Video Show
At the end of the semester you will present your work during the End of Year Video show. After you have completed your final project you will add your video to a class reel which will then be used for the screening. This is an annual event and has been well attended in the past. It is an excellent opportunity to get your work out in the public and get feedback. In addition to your work being shown there will be work by students working in sound and dance. I will give a more detailed explanation of the show as the semester progresses.

VSAR 304 Advanced Video Production

Week 1
Jan. 19

>      Introduction to the class
>      Screening of selected video works
>      Assignment: Short "warm up" video assignment, due Feb. 4. (see handout). Work together as teams--work with someone who has prior experience shooting and editing.
>      buy the 2 textbooks
>      start developing first video project, buy sketchbook or notebook
>      Examples of project proposals--discussion of these
>      Intro to MiniDV cameras, tripods and mics

Week 2
Jan 26

>     Intro and review of Final Cut Pro Set ups (setting up projects, drives, files, etc.); overview of logging and capturing
>     Brief overview and Demo of Protools, how to interface this with FCP

>     Discuss possible ideas for first project proposal
>     Assignment: Meet together in small groups or individually outside class to do the Final Cut Pro Tutorial. (tutorial due Feb. 11)
>     Reading Assignment due: Chapt. 1: The Editor's Job & Chapt. 2:Film Language

Week 3
February 2

>    Due today: first "warm up" assignment--please have a copy READY to be screened on MiniDV or VHS
>    Reading due: "In the Blink of an Eye"
>    Screening in class: "Man with a Movie Camera", Dziga Vertov. Additional information on Soviet Montage
>    Assignment: Meet together in small groups outside of class or individually to do the Final Cut Pro Tutorial if you haven't already done so. Have ready for next week. Albert and I will give a hands on quiz about basic FCP operations.

Week 4
February 9
>    First project proposal due; briefly present your proposal to the class; use story boards, shot lists, handouts to make your idea clear and compelling
Turn in typed proposal to me along with story board, shot list, etc.
* Camera and external mic demos, Screening of Video on lighting.
>     Next week: FCP hands on quiz based on what you learned in tutorial and through reading Editing Techniques; includes setting up a project and basic editing
>    Reading Assignment due: Chapt. 3: Editing Patterns and "In the Blink of an Eye"

Week 5
February  16

>     Video screenings (works by video performance artists):- Montano, Acconci, Burden, Angelo; "Tom's Flesh", and others

   FCP hands on quiz based on what you learned in tutorial and through reading Editing Techniques; includes setting up a project and basic editing
>    Time to work in class on project--setting up FCP files, logging and capturing
>    Reading Due: Chapt 4: Preparing to Edit & Chapt 5: Basic Editing, Final Cut Pro.
and "In the Blink of an Eye"

Week 6
February 23

>    First work in progress due: bring in video you have shot or edited, cued up to a five minute section which you feel represents your work and ideas. Or present footage from your bins.  Be prepared to present your ideas and images, and ask for feedback.
>    Screenings (approaches to personal narratives): Sadie Benning, Selected Works; Bill Viola,  "The Passing"; Elizabeth Subrin, "Swallow"; Matheson, "Apple in A Wind Tunnel"
>   In class work time

Week 7
March 2

>    Video #1 Due for Screening : copy your finished video onto your own master (DV) and on to the class compilation reel.
Your master copy must have 30 seconds bars, 10 seconds black, title, program, credits, and 30 seconds black at end

Week 8
March 9
FCP Advanced Editing and Effects

>    Presentation of installation art by Bill Viola and other artists Screening (video effects and documentary): "Zapatista", a Big Noise Film
>    Demo: Final Cut Pro advanced editing; using key effects and compositing
>    Demonstration of AfterEffects, software for compositing video
>    Reading Assignment due: Editing, Chapt. 6: Advanced Editing, & Chapt. 8: Special Effects, Final Cut Pro and "In the Blink of an Eye"

Week  9
March 16
>     Second project proposal due; present to class; turn in typed copy to me
>    Introduction to audio art and sound design: Wojnarowicz, Hutchinson, Fluxus and Dada work
>    Screening: videos by Dan Reeves, "Mosiac for the Kali Yuga" and Gary Hill, "Incidence of Catastrophe" and other video artists using audio as a structural force in their work
>    Audio workshop-listening, recording, demo of microphones, mixer, field recording equipment
>    In class workshop, foleying an animation: using an animation I will provide, we will "foley" sound effects to the animation using sounds you record and edit. Finished animations due next week.. Use Final Cut Pro audio editing and effects.
>    Reading Assignment due: Chapt.7: Cutting the Track, Final Cut Pro

Week 10
March 23

Overview of Digidesign Protools editing and mixing, and using A/V sync (in Sound Editing Room)

Week 11
March 29 - April 5
Spring Break

Week 12
April 6
Work in progress for Project # 2; have a five-minute clip prepared to show to class for discussion and feedback
>   Required Reading: Chapt 9: The Digital Future, Final Cut Pro

Week 13
April 13

>    Research Presentations tonight! Present the video/film clip to the class along with a synopsis of your research. Research papers due today to be handed in. For details of this assignment, please see supplementary materials I handed out first day of class.

Week 14
April 20

>    Research Presentations tonight! Present the video/film clip to the class along with a synopsis of your research. Research papers due today to be handed in. For details of this assignment, please  see supplementary materials I handed out first day of class.

Week 15
April 27

>    Project #2 due for screening today. Please have complete on class reel, as well as your own copy.

Discuss end of year show.

Week 16
May 4
           7pm - 9 pm. Everyone invited. Bring food, drinks. Arrive at 6pm to set up and organize the space. Arts 111 or Arts 240.

Week 17
May 11

>   Final Comments