4.366 | Spring 2004 | Undergraduate

Advanced Projects in the Visual Arts: Personal Narrative


Course Meeting Times

Lectures: 2 sessions / week, 3 hours / session

Course Description / Objectives

This production course will explore the nature and function of narrative in cinema and video through exercises and screenings culminating in a final project.

Starting with a brief introduction to the basic principles of classical narrative cinema, we will proceed to explore strategies designed to test the elements of narrative: story trajectory, character development, verisimilitude, time-space continuity, viewer identification, suspension of disbelief, and closure.

Screenings will survey a range of alternative approaches to the (short) narrative form that have characterized the recent history of independent film and video, such as speculative biography, conceptual video, the fake, the remake, and domestic ethnography.

Much of the class time will be devoted to observing each other’s working processes and progress. Each student will be responsible for discussing or showing their work or ideas, or presenting a summary of an assigned topic, during a four-minute time slot each week. In addition, there will be lectures, workshops, and discussions of technical and aesthetic issues including advanced editing, audio, and special effects. Other course activities (productions, showings, field trips) are also an option. Students will use both studio and field production equipment, and will work on nonlinear editing facilities. There is a lab fee for Advanced Video, in addition to which the student should plan for up to $100 in additional costs, including a standard video production text for reference. Regular and punctual attendance at course meetings is mandatory. Grades are based on the number of classroom presentations made (60%), personal progress in work completed (20%), and participatory attendance (20%).


Grades will be lost for late work.

Class Presentations 60%
Participatory Attendance 20%
Personal Progress 20%

Attendance Policy

Attendance to class is mandatory. Lateness more than twice will constitute an absence.

Course Info

As Taught In
Spring 2004
Learning Resource Types
Projects with Examples
Media Assignments