INTERMEDIATE DIGITAL FILMMAKING
SCMC 3202

 

THE UNIVERSITY OF MINNESOTA, TWIN CITIES
Spring 2010

 

CLASS INFO

 

Professor: Hisham M. Bizri

Course hours: T 2:30-5:15

Voice: (612) 625-8460

Course location: Nicholson Hall 135

Email: hbizri@umn.edu

hishambizri.com/teaching/umn/fall09/digitalfilmmaking1/

Office hours: T&TH 1-2 (146A Nicholson Hall);

an appointment is required

CSCL office: 235 Nicholson Hall

 

COURSE DESCRIPTION

 

This course is an intermediate-level approach to the practice of digital filmmaking. The main focus of the course will be practical, affording students ample time to write, direct, shoot, and edit (including post-production) one original film using digital and optical means. In doing so, students will expore the complexity of digital and optical tools such as the camera, optics, light, color, and the computer to tell stories. We will inform this practical focus by attending to how films are made is terms of space, light, action, dramatic structure, montage, and the overall visual vision of master filmmakers. Our productions will also be shaped by our own life experiences as well as other art forms such as music, painting, theater, photography, sculpture, and poetry.

 

COURSE OBJECTIVES

To write, edit, shoot, and direct one digital film. Our goals would here be to:

 

    1.    Study the technical aspects of digital and optical filmmaking.
    2.   
Analyze filmmaking techniques.
    3.   
Learn complex narrative and non-narrative strategies.
    4.   
Deepen our uderstanding of formal aspects of filmmaking.
    5.   
Study the relationship between filmmaking and other forms of art making: painting, music, and literature.
    6.    Expand and sharpen our viewing and interpretive skills.

 

COURSE REQUIREMENTS

 

         Mandatory class attendance and participation. Students are not allowed to arrive late or leave early.

         Technical workshops: various workshops dealing with technical and aesthetic aspects of film. There will be in-class demonstrations, viewings, and discussions.

         Readings (handouts on the creative method of master filmmakers).

         Filmmaker's journal: this includes your notes on the technical and aesthetic aspects of the course, your stories, treatments, scripts, shooting scripts, production notes, sketches, and daily dreams and reveries. You are required to review it with me at the end of each month.

         Filmmaker's creative reference book: you are to collect in this book a vast data of your favorite poems, photos, paintings, music, newspaper stories, etc. You are required to review this with me as well at the end of each month.

         One fim, twenty minutes minimum.

 

You will have access to equipment at: http://studiob.cla.umn.edu. A handout will be given out on the first day of classes on where and how to check out equipment. However, you need to buy your own external hard drive. We recommend that you buy a 1TB of Western Digital MyBook Essential or My Book Studio Edition. You also need to buy your own DV tapes; please buy three Sony PR (DVM-60). They are all available at the U bookstore.

 

SUGGESTED READING

(Available at the U bookstore; additional handouts in class)

 

         Blain Brown, CINEMATOGRAPHY: THEORY AND PRACTICE (Focal Press, 2002)

         Blain Brown, MOTION PICTURE AND VIDEO LIGHTING, Second Edition (Focal Press, 2007)

 

There will be several handouts throughout the semester on the craft and method conceived by master filmmakers, cinematographers, editors, set designers, and music composers.

 

SCREENINGS

Time permitting, we will look at short films at the begininng of each class.

 

ASSIGNMENTS & GRADING

(Assignments must be completed on time; late work will not be permitted)

 

    1.    Filmmaker's journal and reference book (30%)
    2.    Attendance (40%)
    3.   
Final film (30%)

 

Grading Scale
A+ = 97-100%; A = 93%; A- = 90%
B+ = 87%; B = 83% ; B- = 80%
C+ = 77%; C = 73% ; C- = 70%
D+ = 67% ; D = 63%; D- = 60%
F = 59%

 

If you don't attend regularly, doing so for the entire duration of each class, you will get an F even if you complete all assignments. This is a production course and missing any workshop will prevent you from completing your films properly.

 

COURSE SCHEDULE AND OUTLINE

 

WEEK 1, January 19

Intro to the course.

 

WEEK 2, January 26

Story

 

WEEK 3, February 2

Treatment

 

WEEK 4, February 9

Script

 

WEEK 5, February 16

Script

 

WEEK 6, February 23

Script

 

WEEK 7, March 2

Production

 

WEEK 8, March 9

Production

 

WEEK 9, March 16

Spring Break

 

WEEK 10, March 23

Rushes

 

WEEK 11, March 30

Rushes (Filmmaker Ali Selim will hold a Masterclass in filmmaking. A reception to follow. Try to see his feature film SWEETLAND. It is on DVD)

 

WEEK 12, April 6

Rough cut

 

WEEK 13, April 13

Cut #2

 

WEEK 14, April 20

Cut #3

 

WEEK 15, April 27

Presentations

 

WEEK 16, May 4

Presentations

 

WEEK 17, May 11

Films are due on mediamill (http://mediamill.cla.umn.edu/mediamill/)