4.351 | Spring 2004 | Undergraduate
Introduction to Video


There are seven assignments during the course of the semester, and each builds in some way on the skills learned in the previous assignments.  Assignment tapes should be from 3-5 minutes in length and have a title at the head and your name at the end.

Assignment #1: “Abstractions”

Shoot three to five minutes of video in your everyday environment. Concentrate on abstracting elements from their context so that they lose their normal representational value. By editing in the camera, make a sequence of shots describing your environment, or your progress through a series of spaces, without revealing the context.

Additional defamiliarizing techniques and strategies might be employed, such as using the special effects features of the camera such as slow shutter and nightshot. Caution must be used with the special effects, however. They can easily make your tape look cheesy.

Assignment #2: Edit “Abstractions”

Edit your “Abstractions” tape in Final Cut Pro®, so as to establish new rhythms, connections, and meanings. Employ the four primary Final Cut Pro® editing tools: Slip, Slide, Ripple, and Roll.

Assignment #3: Edit “Abstractions Altering the Audio

Use the Sony MiniDisc recorder and a microphone to capture audio, importing it into your “Abstractions” Final Cut Pro® project in such a way as to substantially alter the meaning or “feel” of the piece.

You can add voice-over with the recorder or with Final Cut Pro®’s built-in VoiceOver tool.

Assignment #4: Personal Documentary (Autobiography)

Make a video about some aspect of your life (or even an overall view if it can be done in five minutes).

Try to hew to the truth and use yourself in the piece.

Assignment #5: The Fictive Self (Autobiography)

This exercise is similar to Assignment #4, but in a fictional vein. Feel free to lie, dissimulate and dissemble.

Assignment #6: Group Exercise (In and outside of class): Lighting, Camera Placement and Continuity

A 4-page excerpt from Hal Hartley’s script “Amateur” will be used to stage and shoot a sequence involving three actors.

Part One

The class will be divided into groups of five. All will participate in lighting and staging the scene. One person will operate the camera and one person will record the audio.

Part Two

Each person will make an individual edit of the sequence.

Assignment #7: Final Project

Part One

Presentation of Story Ideas.

Part Two

Presentation of Influences.

Part Three

Presentation of Final Project Treatment, and Storyboards.

Course Info
As Taught In
Spring 2004
Learning Resource Types
group_work Projects with Examples
assignment Media Assignments