Instructor: Hisham Bizri
Voice: 617-452-2484
Office Hours : W 2-3
Office Location: 918A
Course Hours : M & W 12-1:45

Course Location: 180 Tremont Street, Room: T809

Course Description
This course is an introduction to the study and practice of electronic cinematography techniques. The main focus of the course will be practical, affording students ample time to produce original works. In doing so, students will begin to master the use of the computer as an artistic tool and to explore how they might draw on other media (music, painting, theater, and sculpture) in their productions. We will inform this practical focus by attending, as well, to the theoretical and historical context of digital cinema in order to better understand the current problems facing the genre and the role that digital technology might have in expanding cinematic language and tradition.

Course Pre-requisite
Previous experience with Photoshop, animation, video, and/or filmmaking is required.

Course Requirements and Grading

        1. Regular class attendance.
        2. Timely completion of all production assignments (60%).
        3. Timely completion of all reading assignments (20%).
        4. Participation in class critique and discussion (20%).

Please note that absences will negatively affect your participation grade, as will failure to prepare the assigned readings in advance. The production grade will be based on the 5 assignments (4 account for 40% and the final for 20%) .

Course Format
Introduce concept + viewing/screening + in-class workshop + weekly journal.

Course Objectives
Students will acquire the practical skills necessary to produce digital cinematic projects by being required to complete a series of weekly production projects that use both optical and computer-generated imagery. The specific technical skills that students can expect to learn touch on all technical aspects pertaining to digital multimedia, our goals here being to:

        1. master digital post production
        2. experiment with 2D and 3D compositing and environments and
        3. learn Macromedia Flash and Adobe After Effects

The course will provide theoretical and historical context by means of assigned readings and viewings. We will critically reflect on the fruits of our labor in the course of in-class critique and discussion pertaining to the nature of digital cinema and its place within traditional cinematic. Our goals here will be to:

       1. cultivate constructive criticism of our own artistic products and those of others
       2. place digital art, including our own, within the tradition of contemporary culture and aesthetics

Required Texts
Bhangal, Sham; Farr, Amanda; & Rey, Patrick, Foundation Flash 5, Friends of Ed, 2000.
Meyer, Trish & Meyer, Chris, Creating Motion Graphics with AfterEffects, CMP Books 2000.
Laybourne, Kit,  The Animation Book, Three Rivers Press, 1998.
Katz, Steven, Film Directing: Shot by Shot, Michael Wiese Productions, 1991.
Manovich, Lev, The Language of New Media, MIT Press 2000.

Optional Texts
Bhangal, Sham, Foundation Action Script, Friends of Ed, 2001.
Rand, Paul, A Designer's Art, Yale University Press, 2000.
Meyer, Trish & Meyer, Chris, After Effects in Production, CMP Books 2001.
Musser, Charles, The Emergence of Cinema: The American Screen to 1907, Vol. 1, University of California Press, 1994.
Bordwell, David & Thompson, Kristin, Film Art: An Introduction (5th edition),  McGraw-Hill Companies, 1996.
Weekly Schedule
1.28 M Course Introduction screenings:
computer graphics
1.30 W Concepts in 2D motion graphics (motion graphics using FLASH 1) screenings:
early cinema
Discuss assignment 1 (design a stroyboard using 15-20 scenes in FLASH)

Present your work

Read pp. 1-46 in The Animation Book

2.4 M  Principles of Animation (motion graphics using FLASH 2) screenings:
computer graphics
FLASH topics 1

Read Ch. 1 in LNM

2.6 W Forms of Animation screening:
Ladislas Starewicz & Jan Svankmajor
FLASH topics 2

Present your preferred FLASH topics

Read pp. 47-113 in The Animation Book

2.11 M Class discussion Students present their work Assignment 1 due

Assignment 2 (animate & create interactivity for the FLASH storyboard)

Read Ch. 2 in LNM

2.13 W Intro to After Effects (interface, importing, etc.) screenings:
early abstract films
Prepare parts 1 & 2 in CMG

Read pp. 114-170 in The Animation Book

2.18 M President's Day (no class) President's Day (no class) President's Day (no class)
2.20 W Story boarding screening:
Orson Welles' Falstaff
Read pp. 23-84 in Film Directing

Read pp. 171-249 in The Animation Book

2.25 M AE modes, masks & mattes Assignment 2 due

Prepare part 3 in CMG

Read Ch. 3 in LNM

2.26 W Topics in 2D compositing screening:
Abel Gance & F.W. Murnau
Read pp. 229-258 in Film Directing
3.4 M AE nesting & transformations  Guest lecturer Assignment 3 (mid-term, create & animate mattes using AE)

Prepare part 4 in CMG

Read Ch. 4 in LNM

3.6 W Topics in 3D compositing screening:
Zbig Rybzcynski & Christian Boustani
Read pp. 250-296 in The Animation Book
3.11 M Spring Recess Spring Recess Spring Recess
3.13 W Spring Recess Spring Recess Spring Recess
3.18 M AE keying & effects screening:
Hollis Frampton & Michael Snow
Assignment 3 due (mid-term)

Prepare part 5 in CMG

 Read Ch. 5 in LNM

3.20 W Optical and computer-generated environments screening:
Gianni Toti
3.25 M AE plug ins & sound screening:
technical excerpts
Assignment 4 (optical and CG environments)

Prepare parts 6 & 7 in CMG

Read Ch. 6 in LNM

3.27 W Technology of the image screening:
Jack Smith, Stan Brakhage, & Jordan Belson
Read P. Adam Sitney (hand outs on experimental film)
4.1 M AE time & tracking Guest lecturer Prepare part 8 in CMG

Final project topics

4.3 W Light & motion screening:
Norman McLaren &  Paul Driessen
4.8 M AE format & rendering Assignment 4 due

Prepare part 9 in CMG

4.10 W The symbolic image screening:
Patrick Bokanowski
4.15 M Patriot's Day (no class) Patriot's Day (no class) Patriot's Day (no class)
4.17 W Individual workshops
4.22  M Individual workshops
4.24  W Student presentations Final assignment due
4.29 M Student presentations