Topic outline

  • General

    ART 220: Digital Video
    Professor Lee Arnold
    Classroom: Arts 102 / Office: 004B / Office Hours: M 10-12, W/F 2-3

    Course Description & Learning Outcomes

    This course introduces digital video as a creative tool and offers a technical understanding of the video camera and non-linear editing. Students will learn to manipulate time, space and sound to create sequential, narrative and experimental works. Projects explore both formal and conceptual issues integral to the history of video and film-making. The class time consists of instruction, video screenings, discussion, and group critiques.

    Recommended Reading
    Adobe Premiere (website)
    Film Art - Bordwell & Thompson
    Video Basics - Herbert Zettl

    Thunderbolt HD or Firewire/USB 3 HD

    Software (suggested)
    Adobe Creative Cloud

    Students will be evaluated on effort, development, and quality of assignments. Projects as well as participation during class will determine the student’s grade. Assignments will be judged on the following criteria: comprehension, rigor, technique and depth of exploration. Each assignment will be graded using a rubric (see below). If you have a question about why a project received a certain grade please come and speak with me about it as soon as possible. You are welcome to revise projects if you are not happy with the grade you received.

    Late Work Policy
    Late assignments will be penalized a full letter grade if they are late. So, if your project is late and you received a A for your work, then your final grade would be a B.

    Attendance & Participation
    Students missing a class are responsible for all the information and assignments covered during that class period. Unexcused absences will have a negative, proportional impact on the participation grade, and absences for more than ten sessions will result in a failing grade regardless of the reason. If you know you will need to miss a class (e.g. for a sports competition), please notify me prior to the missed class period. Participation in class discussions and critiques is also an important part of this course, two latenesses are equal to one absence. No use of smart phones, social networking sites or other distractions allowed in class. 

    Academic Integrity
    All students are required to uphold the highest academic standards. Any case of academic dishonesty will be dealt with according to the guidelines and procedures outlined in Drew University’s “Standards of Academic Integrity: Guidelines and Procedures.” A copy of this document can be accessed on the CLA Dean’s U-KNOW space by clicking on “Academic Integrity Standards.” 

    Academic Accommodations
    Should you require academic accommodations, you must file a request with the Office of Disability Services (BC 119B, extension 3962, It is your responsibility to self-identify with the Office of Disability Services and to provide faculty with the appropriate documentation from that office at least one week prior to any request for specific course accommodations.  There are no retroactive accommodations. The deadline to request Letters of Accommodations for all students currently registered with the Office of Disability Services is 02/10/2013.

  • September 4 & 6

    Camera / Capture. Course overview, principles, objectives, and projects; CG lab policies and procedures. Distribution of tripods, smartphone mounts, and cameras. Discussion of importing video footage into Adobe Premiere. Create a storyboard (of at least 15 frames) describing how to do something in sequence. Shoot the storyboard as an in-camera edit. View early examples of film (Muybridge, Edison, Lumiere Brothers) and student projects.

  • September 11 & 13

    The Moving Image. Discussion of persistence of vision and types of motion (apparent, real or actual, imagined); images changing through time; screen space and aspect ratios. Watch the films of Buster Keaton.

  • September 18 & 20

    Sequence / Editing. Demonstration of editing techniques: cutting; manipulating time and clip speed layers; key frames; dissolves and transitions; continuity. View Fischili & Weiss' The Way Things Go, Dassin's Rififi and Radiolab's Moments.

  • September 25 & 27

    Rhythm. Discussion of how movement and vision are constructed through shot types. Using editing techniques to create visual rhythm (jump cut). Screening of Vertov’s 1929 film Man with a Movie Camera, scenes from Godard's Breathless, and the early films of Greenaway.

    • October 2 & 4

      Sound / Image. Literal vs. non-literal, context, function (dialogue, direct address, narration), outer orientation (location, time, situation), inner orientation (mood, energy), sound dynamics (pitch, timbre, duration, loudness, attack/decay, melody, harmony). Discussion of recording sound: wave forms, manipulating pitch, speed, balancing, capturing ambient audio, integration of sound with images. View the films of Deborah Stratman, Chris Marker's La Jetee and the music videos of Michel Gondry, and Gravité by Hallee.

    • October 9 & 11

      Wednesday - Visiting Filmmaker Deborah Stratman

      Friday - Visiting Filmmaker Morning Slayter

      Light / Color. Light: shadow & fall-off, spatial orientation, chiaroscuro. Color: hue, saturation, value (brightness), additive/subtractive. Studio lighting and green screen demo. Adjusting color and color correcting video in Premiere. View scenes from Carol Reed's The Third Man and Tati's Mon Oncle.

      • October 16 & 18

        Depth / Volume. Horizontal (x axis), vertical (y axis), Z Axis (depth), figure/ground, directional vectors, linear perspective (vanishing point), forced perspective, aerial perspective, lens perspectives. Watch scenes from Welles' Citizen Kane and Hitchcock's North by Northwest. Discussion of types of shots (close-up, mid-range, long distance) and tips for framing video (creating strong compositions).

      • October 23 & 25

        Context / Perspective. Telling a story with camera angles. Discussion of applied aesthetics and the use of types of shots and editing to influence narrative. View Kurasawa's Rashomon.

        • October 30 & November 1

          Time. Discuss ways of portraying time (objective, simulated, biological, past/present/future) and the use of montage for creating complex associations. View scenes from Eisenstein's Battleship Potemkin, Reggio's Koyaanisqatsi, Fricke's Baraka, Marker's La Jetée, and Gondry's Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind

        • November 6 & 8

          Advanced Editing. Discussion of editing as storytelling: montage, POV, reaction shots, camera movement, jump cuts, and transitions; using advanced editing tools in Premiere.

        • November 13 & 15

          Documentary / Self-Portrait. Looking at an event, looking into an event, creating an event.; POV. View excerpts from Varda's The Gleaners & I, Comerford's The Indian Boundary Line and the early video works of Wegman.

        • November 20 & 22

          Mise-en-Scene. Discussion of film style and genres including expressionism. Lighting and green screen demo in the student gallery. View scenes from Wiene's The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari.

          • November 27 & 29

            No Class - Thanksgiving Break
            • December 4 & 6

              Final Critique. All projects due.