Catalogue Course Description
This class provides an introduction to basic video theory and production techniques. Classes focus on mastering technical elements of production and developing a familiarity with the grammar of the moving image. Students conceive and produce individual [and group] final video projects using portable equipment. There is a service learning theme to this course.

Course Objectives:
By the completion of the course, students will:
1. Become familiar with the operation of portable video cameras;
2. Develop an understanding of video picture composition;
3. Become familiar with basic lighting techniques;
4. Explore aesthetics in production messages;
5. Understand basic editing techniques and uses;
6. Learn the effects of camera motion on visual expression;
7. Become familiar with remote video production protocols;
8. Be able to organize ideas for coherent visual expression.

Required Text:
Zettl, Herbert. Video Basics, Belmont: Wadsworth.

Attendance: Students must attend class as there will be many in-class assignments and screenings. Anyone missing more than 2 classes will not pass the course.

Media Critiques: Students are required to complete four media critiques.
Each one should be a minimum of 2-typed pages with one-inch margins. Students should be prepared to discuss critiques orally on the due dates. The schedule is as follows:

September 23: Documentary Review
October 7: Infomercial Review
October 28: News Program Review
November 11: Nonprofit Commercial (3) Reviews

Service Learning: Students are required to participate in service learning as part of the course. This includes videotaping the building of a Habitat for Humanity house at 755 Shelton Street in Bridgeport during the week of September 13 – 19 and October 9 – 12, or documenting various activities at Caroline House, 574 Stillman Street. Each group will be responsible for arranging a shooting schedule with the professor. Each student must spend a minimum of 10 hours on site.

Individual Projects: Students will be expected to complete an individual video project of 10 minutes in length. This project should represent something important to the student. Written proposals for this project are due October 21. Students should be prepared to discuss their proposal with the class on that date. Final projects are due on November 11. No late projects will be accepted.

Midterm Exam: All students are required to take a midterm exam. This will be
given on October 21 promptly at the beginning of class. Makeup
exams will not be given.

Journals: Each student is required to keep a production journal. One entry per week is required. The following guidelines must be observed:

* Entries must be at least one typed page with one-inch margins.
*Journal entries must answer the following questions in order of presentation:

    • 1. What are your fears about participating in a college-level video production course?


    • 2. What do you consider to be the three most important elements or challenges involved in your video project?


    • 3. What are your thoughts/ feelings about service learning?


    • 4. How do production decisions (editing choices, sound effects, camera movement) affect the program’s message?


    • 5. What are the


    • three most important elements involved in persuading viewers?


    • 6. What are the four most interesting facts about the history of the organization you’re working with?


    • 7. What would you include in a short video to encourage volunteer participation?


    • 8. What difficulties or problems are you experiencing related to putting your final project together?


    • 9. What do you


    • consider to be the most valuable experience you have had during this course? Least valuable?


  • 10. How have your views about video or the media in general changed since beginning this course?

*Journals should reflect and describe the concerns, insights, doubts, fears, and critical questions that make up your media experiences.
* A journal is NOT a log of tasks, events, times, and dates.
*Final journals must be edited to include proper grammar and spelling and will be graded for content.

Due dates for journals are as follows:

October 14- first 5 entries
November 18– ALL 10 entries.


Final Project: Each student is required to complete a final group project. Rough edits are due November 18. Fine cuts are due December 2 and final projects are due December 9 at 5:10 p.m. sharp. Late projects will not be accepted for any reason.

?Each student must adhere to the Faculty of Communication Studies’ policy on plagiarism. (Included at the end of the syllabus.)
?All work must be turned in on time. Failure to do so will result in an “F.”
?No incompletes will be given. All coursework must be completed by the end of the semester.
?Students wishing to withdraw without penalty must do so on or before October 8, 1999.
?Final grades will be determined as follows:

Individual Project: 20%
Media Critiques: 10%
Class Participation: 10%
Midterm Exam: 20%
Journal: 10%
Final Project: 30%
Total: 100%

A 95-100 A- 90-94 B+ 87-89 B 84-86 B- 80-83 C+ 77-79 C 70-76 D 65-69 F below 64

Course Schedule:
Homework is due one week after assigned.
Week 1 – September 9: 
Introduction – Service Learning and Video Production
Homework: Chapters 1, 3 in text; Journal entry; Group production schedule
Week 2 – September 16:- Organizing Ideas and Editing
Homework: Documentary review
Chapters 4, 5 in text
Journal entry
Historical research on organization
Week 3 – September 23: Lighting and Its Uses
Homework: Chapters 6, 10 in text
Journal entry
Raw footage for viewing next week
Week 4 – September 30: From Raw Footage to Polished Program
Homework: Infomercial review
Journal entry
Find 3 still photographs of your organization
Week 5 – October 7: Still Photographs and Video Images
Homework: First 5 journal entries due next week
Week 6 – October 14: Editing for Audience Consideration
Homework: Journal entry
Study for midterm exam
Individual project proposal
Week 7 – October 21: Midterm Exam and Group Discussions
Homework: News program review
Journal entry
Week 8 – October 28: Group Progress Reports /Individual Presentations
Homework: Begin using PowerPoint and thinking about graphics Chapter 7 in text Journal entry
Week 9 – November 4: Individual Project Updates/PowerPoint Demonstration
Homework: Nonprofit commercials (3) review Journal entry
Week 10 – November 11: Individual Project Screenings
Homework: All 10 journal entries due next week
Rough edit of final projects due next week
Week 11 – November 18: Review of Final Project Rough Edits
Homework: Continue editing final projects
Week 12 – December 2: Review of Fine Cuts
Homework: Final projects due next week
Week 13 – December 7: Wrap-Up and Final Project Presentations

***Please note that this schedule may change depending on service learning assignments and videotaping access.***

The University Learning Center:
Free individual and group instruction is available at the University Learning Center. It is located downstairs in the library.

As per University requirements, all students must be computer literate. All student writing must be done on computers. Students will be required to use the Internet for research and must maintain disk copies of all work.

You may have heard the word ‘plagiarism’ used in relation to lawsuits in the publishing and recording industries. You may also have had classroom discussions about academic plagiarism. Plagiarism is the act of using another person’s ideas or expressions in your writing without acknowledging the source. The word comes from the Latin word plagiarius (“kidnapper”), and Alexander Lindey defines it as “‘the false assumption of authorship: the wrongful act of taking the product of another person’s mind, and presenting it as one’s own”‘ (Plagiarism and Originality [New York: Harper, 1952] 2). In short, to plagiarize is to give the impression that you have written or thought something that you have in fact borrowed from someone else.

Plagiarism in student writing is often unintentional, as when an elementary school pupil, assigned to do a report on a certain topic, goes home and copies down, word for word, everything on the subject in an encyclopedia. Unfortunately, some students continue to use such “research methods” in high school and even in college without realizing that these practices constitute plagiarism. You may certainly use other persons’ words and thoughts in your research paper, but you must acknowledge the authors.

Plagiarism often carries severe penalties, ranging from failure in a course to expulsion from school. The most blatant form of plagiarism is to repeat as your own someone else’s sentences, more or less verbatim. Other forms of plagiarism include repeating someone else’s particularly apt phrase without appropriate acknowledgment, paraphrasing another person’s argument as your own, and presenting another’s line of thinking as though it were your own. (From Joseph Gibaldi and Walter S. Achtert, MLA Handbook for Writers of Research Papers [1977; New York: MLS, 1988] 21-23.)