Monday, December 1, 2014

Expectations, Due Dates, and Delivery for TRM 153 FINALS

Your FINAL CUT uploaded to the server. It should be titled "lastnames_final cut_trm153.mp4"

PLEASE NOTE: All Final Cuts should include a title card with the following information in the lower, left hand corner in the first 5 seconds of your video, followed by 5 seconds of black, followed by your video. At the end of your video, please include title cards crediting everyone that worked on the production, and their respective roles.

Artists (Listed Alphabetically)
Duration (00:00)
TRM 153_M006
Fall 2014

All of the final versions only of the following should be uploaded to the server, in a folder titled, "FirstnameLastname_Fall2014" in our class folder. Please title all files "FirstnameLastName_Assigment1 (or otherwise)"

Assignment 1: Photoshop
Assignment 2: Mash-up/ Cut-up
Assignment 3: Artist Presentation. Please export your ppt or presentation as a .pdf, and be sure to include your bibliography. If your presentation cannot be exported as a .pdf, please upload a document with the link. 
Assignment 4: Narrative Video. Please include: your individual scripts (exported as a .pdf), your Rough Cut screened in class (titled: lastnames_rough cut_trm153.mp4), and Final Cut (titled: lastnames_final cut_trm153.mp4)

Please make sure that the Final versions--as well as any other versions or revisions--of Assignments 1, 2, and 4 are uploaded to your blog. If you can provide a link to assignment 3, please do so. You may choose to include revisions, works in progress, or other information, writing, or reflection on this blog as well. The blog factors heavily into your participation grade, so please take the time to make sure your work is uploaded appropriately.

Email me with the following information, with "TRM153 M002: YOUR NAME" in the subject line:
1) The CORRECT URL to your blog, with everything uploaded. 

2) The grade you think you deserve for the final project; and a short, thoughtful, concise paragraph reflection on why you think you deserve that grade. Please write a second paragraph describing the group dynamic of your group. Be sure to include who was responsible for what aspects of pre-production (writing, planning, casting, storyboarding, etc.), production (shooting, acting, directing, lighting, etc), and post-production (editing). Be honest, and keep in mind that all members of the group will be writing a similar reflection. 

3) The grade you think you deserve for this class; and a short, thoughtful, concise paragraph reflection on why you think you deserve that grade.

4) Any reflections on the class that you think will make it better for the future. What were some of the most helpful parts of class? What things could have been more helpful, and how?  What should there be more of? Less of? Anything particularly memorable? Any feedback is much appreciated.

Monday, November 17, 2014

Monday, November 17, 2014

Today is the last time we will meet before your rough cuts are due. Your rough cuts are due two weeks from today on Monday December 1, 2014. Your final cuts will be due Monday December 8. This is also the final due date for all revised work in this class. No extensions will be given beyond December 8, 2014.

A rough cut is an almost finished assembly of all of the footage you have shot. The purpose of the rough cut is to screen the structure of your piece, as well as all of the footage you have shot. There should be no major holes, but rather only "clean up" work left to do. "Clean up" may include fixing audio, color correction, or reshooting small scenes that need to be reshot (although, ideally, this will have already been done). Additionally, screening rough cuts is an excellent time to ask questions to your classmates about any struggles or clarification you might need or want. While you are away on break, your account may prove very helpful to you.

Next week we will not be meeting because of Thanksgiving break. However, I expect ALL OF YOU to have a viable rough cut upon your return on Monday. Please plan your time, shooting schedule, and editing responsibilities wisely. Your Rough Cut will be worth 33% of your final grade for this project. Please upload an exported version of your rough cut to the server, and bring your Premiere file with you to class on a laptop. If we have extra time, which we may, you will be able to use that time in class to work on your FINAL CUT. 

We will use class time in ways that are most beneficial to you. I know that the last few weeks have gone by very quickly, so I want to make sure that you feel that you have everything you need. Please speak up about what that might be.

Some in-class activies could include:
- Pitching your narrative videos to the class +
- Reviewing your footage
- Reviewing Camera Settings
- Setting Up Lights
- Practicing with Audio Recording
- Reviewing Premiere Pro
- Reviewing different kinds of shots and camera movements
- Screening Rashomon
- Going over readings

NEXT WEEK (November 24, 2014):

FOLLOWING WEEK (December 1, 2014):

WEEK AFTER THAT (December 8, 2014):
All revised work must be posted to your blog by midnight. 

Monday, November 10, 2014

Monday November 10, 2014

As a reminder, we will be meeting at a DIFFERENT time and location than normal. We will be meeting from 6pm-10pm at SPARK CONTEMPORARY ART SPACE, located at 1005 East Fayette Street. This is a time AND location change from normal, and from what we talked about it class last week. 

SPARK is a grad-student run alternative arts space, where many students put on exhibitions and art events. It is about a 10 minute walk from Marshall Street, and very easy to find. Walk away from campus on S. Crouse (ther street where Varsity Pizza and Dunkin Donuts is) until you get to East Fayette Street. The building is on the corner of E. Fayette and S. Crouse, and the entrance will be accross the street on Fayette. Please plan adequate time to get there, as we'll be meeting with an upper-level TRM class and the visiting artist.

If for some reason you absolutely cannot make it tomorrow evening, please just be in touch and we will work it out. I also teach another section of TRM 153 Tuesday Mornings 8:30am-12:30pm, which you could attend instead if you cannot make it Monday Night. If that also doesn't work, be in touch.

As a reminder, please bring your printed scripts with you to turn in to me. We will have some time to talk tomorrow evening, but if any of you would like more time-- please do schedule time with me. As a reminder; you will be expected to start shooting your videos this week; and to screen that footage in class next week. 

Monday, November 3, 2014

Today's class will include 1) your wonderful, impressive artist presentations and 2) workshopping ideas for your short, narrative video! Please see below. 

Next week, we have a special occasion! We will reschedule the class from 6-10pm, and will be meeting with the upperclassmen Non-Traditional Modes class and visiting artist K8 Hardy at SPARK CONTEMPORARY ART SPACE (1005 East Fayette St.). The students will be presenting their performance works, so it should be a great experience. This class is mandatory. If you cannot make this rescheduled class time because of unresolvable conflict, please speak with me ASAP.



After forming small groups based on interest (ie: the ideas from your notebooks), your group will now develop a common, basic structure for your narrative video. Remember to ground your scripts in an experience that is "true to you." It can definitely incorporate elements of fantasy, but it must always feel emotionally authentic. Starting from personal experience is often a good place to begin: 

What has just happened?
Who is the main character?
Who are the secondary characters (there should be as many total characters in the video as there are in your group)?
Where is it all happening?
When is it happening? 
What is happening?
Define a simple narrative arc: introduction, building action, climax/point of no return, falling action, denouement. 

Now, each member of your group must take responsibility for one character. Independently, answer this character questionnaire:

Who is your character?
Are they human, animal, inanimate, or something else?
How old are they?
Where do they see themselves in 5 years?
How would they describe themselves in 3-5 words?
How would their best friend describe them in 3-5 words?
Do they have any tattoos, piercings, or favorite accessories? What's the story behind them?
What is their favorite outfit?
How many people are in their family?
Do they have a conflict with anyone in their family?
Do they have a chosen family? Who are they?
Who is the person they are closest to?
Have they ever lied to that person?
Have they ever had their heart broken?
Have they ever been in love?
Do they have any pets?
What secrets do they hold?
Are they keeping a secret to protect someone? What is it? Does anyone else know the secret?
Do they have any simple, secret pleasures (old halloween candy under the bed, eating popcorn with red wine, drinking hot chocolate with a spoon, goofy socks, opposite gendered clothing,  embarrassing habits or music, etc)?
If your character could go anywhere and do anything, what would it be?
What is holding them back?
If you were to ask your character what they wanted out of life, what would they say?



After you agree upon a basic structure, a main character, and secondary characters; each member of your small group will write a different draft of the script from the different perspective of your respective characters. You should end up with as many scripts as you have people in your group. Each script should be between 3-5 pages. Bring these scripts, printed, to class next week.

Some notes on the script:
  • Prior to writing your script, please complete the character questionnaire for each character. You may choose to do this with your group member, or not. 
  • Your script should be simple and take place in one location (and ideally a location you would be able to shoot in for your project). You can move through multiple spaces within a location, but it must be one location. You should only have one main character, and as many secondary characters as you have group members. These short scripts will be the foundation for your final, narrative videos. We will continue to work and build on them throughout the coming weeks.
  • Use a script writing software/platform. More below. 

Rashomon, 1950
The Affair, 2014
Palindromes, 2004 
Nine Lives, 2005

Script Writing Software: 
It will make your life easier. You are required to try out the free version or the free trial version of one of the two softwares below. You do not need to buy anything, but you must try it out:
Celtx is a media pre-production software, designed for creating and organizing media projects like screenplays, films, videos, stageplays, audio plays, documentaries, machinima, comics, games and podcasts. It offers a free, online writing platform which will automatically format your scripts. It also looks like this platform allows for collaboration. For when you begin larger projects, celtx also offers a robust suite of paid features, so it's worth checking out. It appears to work a lot like google drive, but specific to media pre-production.
Final Draft is the industry standard program for script writing, and costs $129. It is the best script writing program out there. There is a 30 day free trial, which I suggest you try out if you choose this route. It is a wonderful software, and if you intend on spending a lot of time writing scripts, may someday be worth the investment. Free Trial:

Your group will decide on which script to begin shooting. Your group will be responsible for shooting one of your scripts, with footage to be screened as a rough cut, in class. on Nov. 17th. We will talk more about this next week. If you'd like to start before then, please set up time to meet with me.

Timeline for your short, narrative video:
Scripts due: Nov. 10
Screening of Single Shot Shoot from one of your scripts: Nov. 17
Thanksgiving: Nov. 24 (NO CLASS)

As always, please contact me with questions or to schedule meetings outside of class.

Monday, October 20, 2014

Oct 20, 2014

We will do a thorough critique of your video cut up/mash up projects, which are due today. Your names will be selected at random to determine order. For this critique, your mini groups from last week will serve as critique facilitators. Because these select members of class have seen and discussed your work with you prior to today, they should make for excellent facilitators. Be sure to talk about the decisions and changes made to the work, and the progress your classmates have made.

Artist Research Assignments
Due: Beginning Nov 3. 
At the end of class, each student will be assigned a contemporary artist to research over the next two weeks. Beginning in two weeks, you will each be responsible for a 10-15 minute presentation about your contemporary artist. The presentation should include:

A brief biography
What their work is about
The cultural and historical context for their work
Why their work is important in this present cultural and historical context
An example of their work that you will present/screen for us and discuss. This example should be represented of their practice as a whole, and you should be able to talk about how it relates to that practice or career. Be prepared to lead a short class discussion about it.

As far as resources, you must turn in a bibliography with at least 5 sources, and at least one of them must be non-internet based (ie: a book or something that has been published in print, or a video or film you watch from the library's collection). Physically go to the library. Use library resources, like ArtStor and Grove Art, which you can access through the library.

Many of the artists (though not all) have Art 21 documentaries or features, which are wonderful resources. I highly encourage you to use this resource. It can count as one of your five sources.

If anybody is unhappy with their artist, please speak to me as soon as possible and we will find you one that you can become excited about spending some time with.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Uploading to Vimeo and Blogger

1. Export file from Adobe Premiere Pro to Vimeo Specs: H.264, choose appropriate Vimeo Preset

2. Sign Up: (You will only need to do this once. After this, you will just log in).

3. Upload your Video. Follow the prompts and wait. 

4. Once upload is complete, go into settings. Under "Privacy," make your video available to be embedded.

5. Once your video loads, click on the "share" icon in the upper right hand corner of your video.

6. This window will pop up. Select and copy (command + c) the "Embed" code. 

6. Begin a new post on blogger.

7. Select the "HTML" tab in the top left corner of the composer. Paste your code here.


Monday, October 13, 2014

October 13, 2014

In Class:
Discuss Montage
Screen Select Clips
In-progress critiques with class of your work

Complete your video for critique next week. Your video must be finished, exported, uploaded to vimeo, and embedded or linked on your blog. Plan ahead and be prepared.

Montage References:
Hitchcock on Montage:

A Dialectical Approach to Filmmaking
Metric: Measured number of frames, regardless of action in shot (mechanical):
example: Scene from Eisenstein's October

Rythmic: cutting for continuity (aesthetic, narrative)
example: Eisenstein's Odessa Steps Sequence, Battleship Potemkin, 1925

Tonal: taps into the emotional quality of the shots to create a complex emotional landscape

Overtonal/Associational: combination of all of the above, moving towards abstraction to illicit emotional reactions
example: from Pudovkin's Mother, 1926

Intellectual: when shots combined, viewer forms intellectual meaning
example: Eisenstein, Strike, 1925
Apocalypse Now,

Man With a Movie Camera, Dziga Vertov

Metropolis, Fritz Lang, 1927

Luis Bunuel and Salvador Dali,Un Chien Andalou, 1929,

Maya Deren, Meshes of the Afternoon, 1943 (watch silent)

Vera Chytilova, Daisies (Sedmikr├ísky), 1966
examples: opening credits, 53:30, 60:00, 65:00

Tracey Moffatt, OTHER, 2009
Bill Viola, Anthem, 1983


Monday, October 6, 2014

October 6, 2014

Screen segment from Sonic Outlaws
Read/review William Burroughs, “The Cut Up Method”, listen to Burroughs audio clip
View selections from Elisa Kreisinger, 

Using Download Helper (see prior post or in class handout)
Intro to Premiere: The Basics (see handouts for basics)

Create two sequences from the found footage that you researched, transcribed, and cut-up (on paper) for homework. One sequence should be based on at least one of your paper cut ups. One sequence should ignore it, following your intuition and chance.

1) Finish your in-class project. Export these videos as H.264, to the appropriate Vimeo preset. Upload the videos to Vimeo and post to your blog. If you don't already have a vimeo account, sign up for one here.

2) Begin working on your final project, due for critiques beginning on October 20th. Your final project will consist of a cut-up/ mash-up made from 2-5 sources (no more that 2 video sources). It should run between 3-5 minutes in length. It must be a video edited in Adobe Premiere Pro. Your final project should land somewhere between the references we looked at in class, and your own unique vision and perspective.

For next week, I want you to begin working with the 5 sources that you began researching for this week. (If you want to change the, feel free).  Begin assembling these sources into sequences. You should have one main sequence, and two experimental sequences.  Think of these as experimental sequences as magical places where absolutely anything goes and nothing makes sense. GO WILD. ABANDON ALL LOGIC. 

Next week in class, we will do in progress screenings, and have some time to discuss things one-on one. Hopefully we will also have some work time. 

GENERAL NOTES: Be bold and experimental. You should choose things that you don't like, disagree with, wish were different, or want to change. Do not choose your favorite things, something you like very much, or something to which you feel close affection. There is much more potential to radically change something to which you have a bit of distance or distain. Consider using old (historical) footage. Speeches and talking heads are good places to start. Don't limit yourself here, gather options. But do not choose movie trailers. Do not choose the Emma Watson speech (mostly because so many of you love her), unless you want to try to radically alter her message-- or point out how messed up/broken/fractured it is. Remember: FORM IS FUNCTION. 

You may find it useful to plan your video before you make it, or not. Try out different methods of working and see what works for you. This is also why I want you to have multiple sequences, to try out different styles of editing. Be prepared to talk about your different working methods in critique. 

Some very helpful resources:
Internet Archive: HIGHLY SUGGEST using the internet archive to find your source material. It is free and you can very easily download from the hundreds of thousands of moving image files on there. I recommend checking out the "Ephemeral Films" or the "cultural and academic films" sections. 

Download Helper: Download helper is a plug-in for the firefox browser that will help you appropriate video and audio from you-tube like sites. See the previous post for more info. 

Notes on Using Download Helper

Using Download Helper
Download download helper, a free firefox add-on, to help download videos from the web to edit educational and creative (not for profit) content. You have to use it in firefox. Download here:

You can also use other programs or methods to acquire your content if you prefer. Always try looking for "official" videos, or sources that you recognize (UBU Web, Internet Archive, NASA, libraries, the government, arts institutions, archives, etc). These organizations will often go to great pains to make sure the highest possible quality is available, and often for free. Take advantage of these archives, as they will often have the best quality versions available. 

With digital files, you always want use the highest quality video file you can find. Quality is the most important thing, because while you can always degrade files, you can't upgrade them. (You can't make an SD file HD, but you can the other way around.) You want the largest possible dimensions, which will translate into a larger image and file size. Always get stereo audio if you can. All of the file sizes listed below will likely not be available for every file. 

Using Download Helper:
First, open firefox and go to youtube or other, similar site. Then, identify the "download helper" icon to the right of the url bar (where you see/type in the website address). It is a red, yellow, and blue glob. It will be animated when there is a file you can download. Then, click on the little down triangle next to the glob. It will tell you what file options you have. You will hover over the one you want, and select download. Be sure to save it in your class folder so you know where it is. 

First, try for a .mp4 or a .mov (which is apple specific) file. If possible, try to get something that is 4k, 1080p, or 720p. On youtube, your most common .mp4 files will be listed like this (in descending order of quality/file size):
[HQ 38] or 4k           (4096 x 3072), stereo
[HQ 37] or 1080p      (1920 x 1080), stereo
[HQ 22] or 720p        (1280 x 720), stereo
[HQ 84]                    (960 x 720), stereo
[HQ 85]                    (720 x 540), stereo
[HQ 82]                    (480 x 360), stereo
[HQ 18] or Medium   (360 x 270), stereo
[HQ 83]                    (360 x 240), stereo

you can also use FLV files:
[HQ 35] or 480p        (854 x 480), stereo
[HQ 34] or 360p        (640 x 360), stereo
[HQ 6]                      (360 x 270), mono
[HQ 5]                      (320 x 240), mono

Notice here the video size (in parentheses). Always get the highest quality you can. You can always use Adobe Media Encoder (included with your CC download) to convert files when you need to, but it is best to start with the highest quality. It is also important to note that in Premiere, you cannot use different file types in the same sequence. They must be the same, or else you will run into problems. We will talk more about what this means in the program. 

Sept 29: Class Cancelled

Dear Class, 

I am sick, so class is cancelled today. I am very sorry to miss you all today. PLEASE READ THIS ENTIRE EMAIL CAREFULLY. Below are instructions for your homework for this week, which includes 1) screening a movie and writing a reflection, 2) doing some research for your final project, and 3) watching a on Premiere Pro. 

1) Complete the homework assignment that was due in class today. Take a picture of it and post it to you your blog. We will return to this assignment next week during an in-class editing workshop. 

2).Watch the 1995 film Sonic Outlaws by Craig Bladwin (click here). It will provide you with some historical precedents for the mash up, give you an idea for the range and scale of what is possible (from a song to a feature length film and more), and give an example of the potential for artworks to push the boundaries of law and politics.  

After viewing the film, please write a short, thoughtful reflection on the film and post it to your blog. Email me the address to your blog if you haven't already. This is due before class next week, and will count as your participation grade for this week. Some things to think about in your response:
  • What is this film about?
  • What tactics is the filmmaker using in the making of this film? How is this similar and/ or different from other films you are familiar?
  • How does this technical approach relate to the conceptual content of the work?
  • Provide a specific example from the film and discuss it.
3) Your final project, which will be due for critique in a few weeks, will be an expansion of the homework assignment from this past week. You will be responsible for mashing-up/ cutting-up two, found sources in order to radically change their meaning. Your final product should be between 2-3 minutes in length. We will go over all of this in more detail in class next week. Please get started by researching your source material. 

For next week, I would like you to identify examples (at least 5) of sources that you would like to change through radical editing. Bring these files and laptops to class. You should choose things that you don't like, disagree with, wish was different, or want to change. Do not choose your favorite things, something you like very much, or something to which you feel close affection. There is much more potential to radically change something to which you have a bit of distance or distain. Consider using old (historical) footage. Speeches and talking heads are good places to start. Don't limit yourself here, gather options. But do not choose movie trailers. 

To edit your project, you will use a process very similar to what you did for homework. You will log, plan, and then edit your work into an edited video project using Adobe Premiere Pro. We will go over this in class, and you will watch a video for homework this week. 

Some very helpful resources:

Internet Archive: HIGHLY SUGGEST using the internet archive to find your source material. It is free and you can very easily download from the hundreds of thousands of moving image files on there. I recommend checking out the "Ephemeral Films" or the "cultural and academic films" sections. 

Download Helper: Download helper is a plug-in for the firefox browser that will help you appropriate video and audio from you-tube like sites. 

3) Watch tutorial for Adobe Premiere Pro. We will be working in Premiere Pro next week in class, so I will expect to be already familiar with this platform. Please take good notes. I have attached hand-out guides for you.

Please watch this video:
Premiere Pro CC Essential Training with Ashley Kennedy:

Watch Chapters 1 (Getting to know the Premiere Pro Editing Environment), 2 (A Quick Introduction to the Basic Premiere Pro CC Workflow), and 8 (Basic Audio Editing). This is about an hour and a half of video to watch. We will be applying the techniques in class next week when we start editing in-class. Feel free to get a head start if you want to try it out. Feel free to watch more lessons and become experts.

See you in class next week. And please feel free to contact me with questions or concerns. 

Monday, September 22, 2014

This Week: Critique!

Congratulations, you made it to your first critique in Studio Concepts! Today, we will spend the entire class looking at the work of your classmates. We will discuss, reflect on, and examine their images, concepts, and technical strategies in a respectful, constructive, critical way.

Next week, we will begin a new unit in which we will spend a few weeks on the Cut-Up/ Mash-Up. We will be working with video, editing techniques, and Adobe Premiere Pro. Please see the "Cut Up/ Mash Up" portion of this site for your homework due in class next week (Sept. 29). You will have some texts (a reading and a website) to study, and an assignment to complete. Be prepared to talk about it all. Bring your computers, with Adobe Premiere Pro installed, next week. 

Monday, September 15, 2014


For homework this week, please prepare your final image for critique. We will spend the entire class looking at, discussing, and forming questions around your work, decisions, and techniques. See the Synthetic Image page for full details. 

Please upload both your .psd file (with layers and all), as well as your flattened .jpg file to our class folder on the server (we will spend the first 5 minutes in class reviewing how to do this). Please name them like this: YourName_Critique1.psd, YourName_Critique1.jpg.

Please also create a blog to which you will upload your final works. You may use whatever platform you like, but I recommend blogger or tumblr. Both are free and very easy to use. Please upload your final .jpg here. Please email me the URL before 11pm Sunday. 

Good luck! See you next week!

Monday, September 8, 2014


This is our class blog. I will be using it to post all relevant information, assignments, and links for our class. Please become familiar with this blog, click around the above menu, and be sure to check it at least once a week.

Each one of you will also create your own blog using blogger, where you will upload all of your final and revised works. These blogs will be linked on "Class Blogs" in the above menu.