Climate Quest: Social Issue Media Practice
Sonoma State University
Instructor: David Benin, Visiting Assistant Professor
ph#: 646.290.4036 (use discretion)
Course Description: This course introduces you to hands on techniques of media production, specifically digital videography, sound recording, and image and sound editing with digital nonlinear editing equipment. This lab class provides you with the opportunity to apply concepts and problems from contemporary social issues, specifically the issue of climate change, to the production of single channel video work and sound work.
Course Requirements: As the bulk of media production takes place during class time, attendance is critical and absences are not acceptable. Most work is produced in groups and your participation in these groups, not just the quality of the finished piece, impacts your evaluation. Media production takes time, attention, and commitment. You must work in collaboration with your colleagues, which involves speaking your mind and providing creative input while respecting the positions of others. The course will ask you to conduct some pre-production work outside of our scheduled class meetings. Your participation is a significant factor in the assessment of your performance for the class.
Remember: This may be the first media piece that you make, but it will not be the last. You can create other opportunities for yourself so that your ideas may be completely realized if they are not realized in the confines of this course.
Assignment #1: Short camera exercise – People/Space Interaction
This assignment asks you to craft, in small groups, a very short, silent narrative that documents the interaction of a person, or people, with a specific place. The work should be no longer than 1 minute, and should contain 10 shots or fewer. It must include at least a wide shot (establishing shot), a medium close-up, and a close up. The emphasis for this assignment is on pre-production, framing, exposure, “correct” color balance, and composition. In addition to your short video work, you will need to complete and turn in your shot list/storyboard and camera report.
Assignment #2: Climate Change Documentary Short
For this assignment, which is the emphasis of this course, you are asked in groups to create a documentary short on the issue of climate change. Each project will correspond to a specific field visit and thematic we will undertake during the course. You will need to complete pre-production materials prior to your shoot, and you will then edit the footage from your shoot into a 3-6 minute sound documentary.
Class Schedule (Subject to revision)
Monday, July 9, 2007:
2pm- 5pm, Stevenson Hall 2044
Introduction and Filmmaking Fundamentals 1: The language of media production
Tuesday, July 10, 2007:
1pm-5pm, Stevenson Hall 2044
Filmmaking Fundamentals 2: Camera Demo, Camera Exercise, Editing Demo
Wednesday, July 11, 2007:
Group 1 on-site shooting: Climate Change and Local Habitats (PRBO and Petaluma Marsh)
Thursday, July 12, 2007:
Group 2 on-site shooting: Climate Change and Local Issues/Solutions (City Hall/ Power Station)
Friday, July 13, 2007:
Group 3 on-site shooting: Food and Water (OAEC and Davis Bynum Winery)
Monday, July 16, 2007:
Group 4 on-site shooting: Transportation, Energy, and Land Use ( Santa Rosa)
Tuesday, July 17, 2007:
3:30pm – 5pm, Stevenson Hall 2044
Wednesday, July 18, 2007:
1pm – 5pm, Stevenson Hall 2044
Thursday, July 19, 2007:
1pm – 5pm/7pm, Stevenson Hall 2044
Friday, July 20, 2007:
11am – 12:30pm; 1:30 – 6pm, Stevenson Hall 2004
Editing Session and Finish Videos