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MMEDIA 2B06 Time-Based Media I (C01)

Academic Year: Winter 2020

Term: Winter

Day/Evening: D

Instructor: Prof. Liss Platt

Email: plattl@mcmaster.ca

Office: Togo Salmon Hall 327

Phone: 905-525-9140 x 27954

Website

Office Hours: Monday 1:30 - 2:30 pm



Course Objectives:

Course description:

Time-Based Media I is a hands-on introduction to photography, video, and animation as well as an examination of the social, cultural, political, and theoretical implications of moving-image production in the digital age. The course will primarily focus on independent media – works that are produced outside of dominant commercial markets (i.e. advertising, Hollywood). Students will gain competency in digital production and post-production while exploring various formal, conceptual, and structural strategies. The goal is for students to be able to communicate effectively, inventively, and idiosyncratically through digital media. Additionally, students will learn to evaluate photography, video, and animation within the context of their use.

Classes will be devoted to lectures, screenings, discussions, technical demonstrations, in-class exercise, and critiques of students work. Readings will explore the history of photography and independent media as well as the evolution of digital media and the impact this has had on the field. There will numerous hands-on exercises that take place during class time, so attendance is crucial. Also, given that this is a six-unit production-based course, be prepared to put in a significant amount of time outside of class to complete assignments.

By the end of the course students should be able to skillfully and creatively conceive, produce, edit and finish works in photography, video, and animation as well as effectively describe, analyze, interpret, and critique works of photography, video, and animation made by both professional artists and peers. In addition to honing conceptual and formal skills in photography, video, and animation, students will also gain competentcy in the following technical areas: use of all manual functions of a DSLR camera for photography, video, and animation; use of portable light kits and sound recording devices for media production; use of photography, video, and animation editing software, colour correcting, and video exporting in Photoshop and Premiere Pro; use of Lightroom for RAW camera image editing; and use of After Effects for text animation and rotoscoping.


Textbooks, Materials & Fees:

Required materials and texts (materials can be purchased at the Campus bookstore or from Best Buy or Amazon.ca):

• Students will need to purchase a 16GB or 32GB Class 10 media card for use with the Canon T4i or T5i DSLR cameras (the faster the mbps the better)

• Students will need to purchase an external hard drive (USB 3.0 or Firewire, 7200 rpm) of at least 500 GB.

All required reading will be posted on Avenue to Learn (A2L).

Software

Students will use a variety of software packages, including the following:

• Adobe Photoshop • Adobe Premiere • Adobe Lightroom • Adobe After Effects

All software is available in the Multimedia Wing for students’ use in completing assignments.


Method of Assessment:

Assignments

Detailed descriptions of individual assignments will be posted on A2L. There is no final exam for this class, meaning that term work may seem more intense than in courses with a final exam. You are encouraged to begin working on assignments well in advance of their due dates. Attendance in this class is mandatory.

Grade Breakdown:

Assignment

Details

Weight

Tech-check

(3 @ 2% each)

6%

In-class Exercises

(8 @ 4% each)*

32%

On-line writing responses

(5 @ 3% each)**

15%

Major Project #1

(treatment 4%, fine cut 6%, final 10%)

20%

Major Project #2

(treatment 4%, fine cut 6%, final 10%)

20%

Participation

(in lectures and critiques)***

5%

Activity log

(submit Jan 27; Feb 24; Mar 16; Apr 6)

2%

* Students must be in attendance to participate in the in-class exercises. If a student misses an exercise it cannot be made up after the fact. For this reason, only eight of the ten exercises will count towards the course mark. Students who complete more than eight exercises will have their eight highest marks counted towards their course mark.

** Students must complete five of six short writing responses by the due date. Guidelines will be posted on A2L; all writing work submitted on A2L.

*** Participation marks will be based on active participation in discussions of readings and in-class critiques of projects.

DESCRIPTIONS and DUE DATES OF INDIVIDUAL ASSIGMENTS

TECH-CHECKS

  1. Photoshop Tech-Check: Students are given a list of approximately 15 things to execute in Photoshop demonstrating skill in various tools. Credit for completion, effort, and effective use of tools. DATE GIVEN: JANUARY 9 (Due same day in LAB)
  2. DSLR Tech-Check: Students must demonstrate all basic functions and settings of DSLR camera (scored on checklist). Marked based on #correct. DATE GIVEN: JANUARY 16 (Due same day in LAB)
  3. Color Correction Tech-Check: Students will be given both photos and video clips to demonstrate their color correction skills. Credit for completion, effort, and effective use of tools. DATE GIVEN: FEBRUARY 6 (Due same day in LAB)

EXERCISES

  1. EXERCISE #1 – All things Photography: Students pull out of hat one of many technical and aesthetic photo exercises they must execute. DATE: JANUARY 16  (Due and shown same day in classroom; also upload to A2L). Marked with a rubric posted with assignment in A2L. 
  2. EXERCISE #2 – Lighting: Students work in groups of three to fulfill a series of lighting exercises. DATE GIVEN: JANUARY 23 (Due following week (meet with instructor) on JANUARY 30; and upload to A2L). Marked with a rubric posted with assignment in A2L.
  3. EXERCISE #3 – Photos in Sequence: Students must create a story or describe a space through 5-7 still images. DATE GIVEN: JANUARY 30 (Due following week FEBRUARY 6 – upload to A2L). Marked with a rubric posted with assignment in A2L.
  4. EXERCISE #4 – Hamilton Remix: Students must use the historical promotional film about Hamilton as the basis for a video remix. DATE GIVEN: FEBRUARY 6 (Due following week on FEBRUARY 13 – upload to A2L). Marked with a rubric posted with assignment in A2L.
  5.  EXERCISE #5 – Subverting Expectations: Students will work in groups of two to create a short (1-3 minute) video that creates an expectation in the viewer and then subverts it.  DATE GIVEN: FEBRUARY 13 (Due in 2 ½ weeks on Monday, March 2nd – upload to A2L). Marked with a rubric posted with assignment in A2L.
  6. EXERCISE #6 – Wild Sound: Students will collect 10-12 wild sounds and then use audio effects to transform 3 of them. DATE GIVEN: FEBRUARY 24 (Due in 2 ½ weeks on Thursday, MARCH 12 – upload to A2L). Marked with a rubric posted with assignment in A2L.
  7. EXERCISE #7 – Analog Animation: Students will create cameraless animations in class on 16mm clear film leader. DATE GIVEN: MARCH 14 (Due same day and shown in classroom on 16mm projector). Marked based on effort, experimentation, and formal complexity. 
  8. EXERCISE #8 – Rotoscoping: Students will rotoscope a short sequence from something they have shot using After Effects. DATE GIVEN: MARCH 14 (Due in 2 ½ weeks on Monday, April 1 – upload to A2L). Marked based on effort, creativity, technical skill, and formal/conceptual complexity. 
  9. EXERCISE #9 – Pixilation Challenge: Students will work in groups of five to create a short pixilation during class time and return to lab to compile into one program. DATE GIVEN: MARCH 18, production date MARCH 21 (Shown following Monday. MARCH 23 in CLASSROOM - upload to A2L by midnight Sunday the 22nd). Marked based on concept, 
  10. EXERCISE #10 – Animating Text: Students will use After Effects to create a short text animation of a haiku they write. DATE GIVEN: MARCH 26 (Due in 1 ½  weeks,  April 6 – upload to A2L). Marked based on concept, creativity, technical skill, and formal/conceptual complexity. 

ON-LINE WRITING RESPONSES

Post in Avenue to learn by NOON on due date = note they are all Fridays: 
1. Cartwright and Sturken: January 10
2. Sontag: January 24
3. Photo analysis: January 31
4. Video clip analysis: February 7
5. Antin: February 14
6. Manovich: March 20

MAJOR PROJECTS

Major Project 1:

Description: Portraiture has been used for centuries to archive the individual and their surrounding landscapes. However, more than just a simple archival process through still or moving images, the portrait is a specific representation of a person and place. A multitude of complex and subtle things can be detailed in a portrait; it is up to the artist to show how a person and place is revealed. In this Project you will create a two-to-three minute portrait about your personal experiences, history and impressions of working, living, and/or commuting in Hamilton, Ontario. You must film at least one-minute of original footage and incorporate Portrait of A City into your project. The overall goal of this assignment is show your conceptual and creative storytelling skills, which clearly identifies a motif, and personally expresses your feelings and experiences of Hamilton, Ontario.
Treatment: Students fill out a worksheet regarding all apsects of their proposed project. Pass in hard copy: due January 30th. Marked based on overall concept of proposed work and thoughtfulness/depth/clarity of responses to questions on the worksheet. 
Fine Cut: Students will show the entire class a fine cut (nearly completed work) for a group critique. Due March 5th: upload to A2L. Marked based on level of completion as well as strength of concept, formal and technical strategies, overall structure, and cohesiveness. 
Finished video: Students will submit the final version of the video project. Due March 13th: upload to A2L. Marked with a rubric posted with assignment in A2L.

Major Project 2: In this Project students (working in pairs) will create a two-to-three minute video about any topic you choose, but it must incorporate found sound and animation. Sound is a powerful trigger of emotion and has strong expressive potential. In this project you will find a sound (or sounds) from the world and use this as the starting point of your piece. Your first step will be to collect some wild sounds (or find some non-musical recorded sound) and consider how they might inspire and anchor your piece. You are not allowed to ‘find’ songs (even if your buddy is playing guitar in the basement), but you could ‘find’ old audio recordings at a flea market, or record an argument your neighbors are having in their driveway. What is important here is that you find sound that is occurring or already exists in the world – you are not allowed to go out and bang on garbage cans or play your flute to create sound.  You must also incorporate some type of animation. The animation can take any form (ie: rotoscoping, motion graphics, stop-motion, kinetic typography, hand drawn) and should be fully integrated into the project and should support and enhance your overall concept. You can also use choose to use only animation for this project.
Treatment: Students fill out a worksheet regarding all apsects of their proposed project. Pass in hard copy: due February 27th. Marked based on overall concept of proposed work and thoughtfulness/depth/clarity of responses to questions on the worksheet. 
Fine Cut: Students will show the entire class a fine cut (nearly completed work) for a group critique. Due April 2nd: upload to A2L. Marked based on level of completion as well as strength of concept, formal and technical strategies, overall structure, and cohesiveness. 
Finished video: Students will submit the final version of the video project. Due April 13th: upload to A2L. Marked with a rubric posted with assignment in A2L.


Policy on Missed Work, Extensions, and Late Penalties:

For major projects only, late assignments will be penalized by 5% per day of the week (including weekends). Extensions will be given if requested before the assignment’s due date and if the reason is considered legitimate by the instructor. In-class exercises will not be accepted after due date.


Please Note the Following Policies and Statements:

Academic Integrity

You are expected to exhibit honesty and use ethical behaviour in all aspects of the learning process. Academic credentials you earn are rooted in principles of honesty and academic integrity. It is your responsibility to understand what constitutes academic dishonesty.

Academic dishonesty is to knowingly act or fail to act in a way that results or could result in unearned academic credit or advantage. This behaviour can result in serious consequences, e.g. the grade of zero on an assignment, loss of credit with a notation on the transcript (notation reads: "Grade of F assigned for academic dishonesty"), and/or suspension or expulsion from the university. For information on the various types of academic dishonesty please refer to the Academic Integrity Policy, located at https://secretariat.mcmaster.ca/university-policies-procedures-guidelines/

The following illustrates only three forms of academic dishonesty:

  • plagiarism, e.g. the submission of work that is not one’s own or for which other credit has been obtained.
  • improper collaboration in group work.
  • copying or using unauthorized aids in tests and examinations.

Authenticity / Plagiarism Detection

Some courses may use a web-based service (Turnitin.com) to reveal authenticity and ownership of student submitted work. For courses using such software, students will be expected to submit their work electronically either directly to Turnitin.com or via Avenue to Learn (A2L) plagiarism detection (a service supported by Turnitin.com) so it can be checked for academic dishonesty.

Students who do not wish to submit their work through A2L and/or Turnitin.com must still submit an electronic and/or hardcopy to the instructor. No penalty will be assigned to a student who does not submit work to Turnitin.com or A2L. All submitted work is subject to normal verification that standards of academic integrity have been upheld (e.g., on-line search, other software, etc.). To see the Turnitin.com Policy, please go to www.mcmaster.ca/academicintegrity.

Courses with an On-Line Element

Some courses use on-line elements (e.g. e-mail, Avenue to Learn (A2L), LearnLink, web pages, capa, Moodle, ThinkingCap, etc.). Students should be aware that, when they access the electronic components of a course using these elements, private information such as first and last names, user names for the McMaster e-mail accounts, and program affiliation may become apparent to all other students in the same course. The available information is dependent on the technology used. Continuation in a course that uses on-line elements will be deemed consent to this disclosure. If you have any questions or concerns about such disclosure please discuss this with the course instructor.

Online Proctoring

Some courses may use online proctoring software for tests and exams. This software may require students to turn on their video camera, present identification, monitor and record their computer activities, and/or lockdown their browser during tests or exams. This software may be required to be installed before the exam begins.

Conduct Expectations

As a McMaster student, you have the right to experience, and the responsibility to demonstrate, respectful and dignified interactions within all of our living, learning and working communities. These expectations are described in the Code of Student Rights & Responsibilities (the "Code"). All students share the responsibility of maintaining a positive environment for the academic and personal growth of all McMaster community members, whether in person or online.

It is essential that students be mindful of their interactions online, as the Code remains in effect in virtual learning environments. The Code applies to any interactions that adversely affect, disrupt, or interfere with reasonable participation in University activities. Student disruptions or behaviours that interfere with university functions on online platforms (e.g. use of Avenue 2 Learn, WebEx or Zoom for delivery), will be taken very seriously and will be investigated. Outcomes may include restriction or removal of the involved students' access to these platforms.

Academic Accommodation of Students with Disabilities

Students with disabilities who require academic accommodation must contact Student Accessibility Services (SAS) at 905-525-9140 ext. 28652 or sas@mcmaster.ca e-mail to make arrangements with a Program Coordinator. For further information, consult McMaster University’s Academic Accommodation of Students with Disabilities policy.

Email correspondence policy

It is the policy of the Faculty of Humanities that all email communication sent from students to instructors (including TAs), and from students to staff, must originate from each student’s own McMaster University email account. This policy protects confidentiality and confirms the identity of the student.  Instructors will delete emails that do not originate from a McMaster email account.

Modification of course outlines

The University reserves the right to change dates and/or deadlines etc. for any or all courses in the case of an emergency situation or labour disruption or civil unrest/disobedience, etc. If a modification becomes necessary, reasonable notice and communication with the students will be given with an explanation and the opportunity to comment on changes. Any significant changes should be made in consultation with the Department Chair.

Request for Relief for Missed Academic Term Work
McMaster Student Absence Form (MSAF)

In the event of an absence for medical or other reasons, students should review and follow the Academic Regulation in the Undergraduate Calendar "Requests for Relief for Missed Academic Term Work".

Academic Accommodation for Religious, Indigenous and Spiritual Observances (RISO)

Students requiring academic accommodation based on religious, indigenous or spiritual observances should follow the procedures set out in the RISO policy. Students should submit their request to their Faculty Office normally within 10 working days of the beginning of term in which they anticipate a need for accommodation or to the Registrar's Office prior to their examinations. Students should also contact their instructors as soon as possible to make alternative arrangements for classes, assignments, and tests.

Copyright and Recording

Students are advised that lectures, demonstrations, performances, and any other course material provided by an instructor include copyright protected works. The Copyright Act and copyright law protect every original literary, dramatic, musical and artistic work, including lectures by University instructors.

The recording of lectures, tutorials, or other methods of instruction may occur during a course. Recording may be done by either the instructor for the purpose of authorized distribution, or by a student for the purpose of personal study. Students should be aware that their voice and/or image may be recorded by others during the class. Please speak with the instructor if this is a concern for you.

Extreme Circumstances

The University reserves the right to change the dates and deadlines for any or all courses in extreme circumstances (e.g., severe weather, labour disruptions, etc.). Changes will be communicated through regular McMaster communication channels, such as McMaster Daily News, A2L and/or McMaster email.


Topics and Readings:

Note: Readings are listed on the day they will be discussed so you must read them the week prior to that class/tutorial meeting. See notes above for specific deadlines.

Week 1 – January 6 & 9

Lecture Jan 6: Intro to Class – expectations, policies, and mission

LAB/Lecture Jan 9: Intro to DSLR cameras (basic settings and functions, exposure, depth of field, metering); Photoshop Tech-Check. Note: we will be meeting in the classroom, TSH 201.

Week 2 – January 13 & 16
Readings: Cartwright & Sturken; Ang

Lecture Jan 13: The Frame; Images and Meaning

LAB/Lecture Jan 16: DSLR Tech-Check; EXERCISE #1 – All things Photography; View EXERCISE #1 – All things Photography

Week 3 – January 20 & 23
Readings: Barrett; Ang

Lecture Jan 20: Lighting Basics; Photo Criticism and Interpretation

LAB/Lecture Jan 23: Photoshop Tutorial; Lighting Basics and Demonstration; EXERCISE #2 – Lighting (due following week, January 30); ASSIGN Major Project #1 – Due Friday, March 13th (treatments due: January 30; fine cut due: March 5th).

Week 4 – January 27 & 30
Reading: Sontag; Bordwell & Thompson

Lecture Jan 27: Meditations on Photography; Intro to Video; Intro to Narrative Strategies

LAB/Lecture Jan 30: Photoshop RAW and Intro to Adobe Premiere; EXERCISE #3 – Photos in Sequence (due following week – Thurdsay, Feb 6); Meetings with instructor about EXERCISE #2 – Lighting; DUE: Treatments for Major Project 1 (pass in hard copy to Liss in classroom)

Week 5 – February 3 & 6
Reading: Gross & Ward

Lecture Feb 3: Camera Movement; Shooting to Edit; SD vs. HD, video formats; compression

LAB/Lecture Feb 6: Editing, Transitions, Filters, and Color Correction, Exporting (basic) in Premiere; Color Correction Tech-check; EXERCISE #4 – Hamilton video remix (due following week - Thursday, Feb 13); Screening and Discussion on video remixes

Week 6 – February 10 & 13
Reading: Bordwell & Thompson

Lecture Feb 10: Narrative and Non-Narrative forms; Sound for Video (single vs. double system recording); Screening and Discussion

LAB/Lecture Feb 13: Premiere: Motion Graphics, Titles, and more on Exporting and Vimeo settings; EXERCISE #5 – Subverting Expectations (due Monday, March 2); ASSIGN Major Project #2 – Due April 10th (uploaded) (treatments due: Feb 27th; rough cuts (optional): March 26; fine cuts due: April 2 in class; finished videos due: Monday, April 13 at midnight)

Week 7 – February 17 & 20

***** NO LECTURE OR TUTORIALS – READING WEEK **********

Week 8 – February 24 & 27
Reading: Antin

Lecture Feb 24: Appropriation; Early Video Art; Constructive criticism and the art of critique; EXERCISE #6 – Wild Sound (due Thursday, March 12)

LAB/Lecture Feb 27: Open Lab – and extra help with Premiere; feedback on projects; finish up treatments; DUE: Treatments for Major Project 2 (pass in hard copy in tutorial)

Week 9 – March 2 & 5

Lecture Mar 2: Intro to Animation: Pixilation, Stop Motion, Cut Paper, Rotoscoping

LAB/Lecture Mar 5: DUE: Major Project 1 Fine Cuts; VIEW and CRITIQUE Major Project 1 Fine Cuts (entire class) – final submission for MP1 is March 13th at midnight

Week 10 – March 9 & 12

Lecture Mar 9: VIEW and CRITIQUE remaining Major Project 1 Fine Cuts (entire class)

LAB/Lecture 12: EXERCISE #7 – Analog Animation; Intro to After Effects and Rotoscoping; EXERCISE #8 – Rotoscoping (due Thursday, March 26)

Note: final finished videos for Major Project 1 must be uploaded before midnight on Friday, March 13th.

Week 11 – March 16 & 19
Reading: Bordwell & Thompson

Lecture Mar 16: View Analog Animation; Peer to Peer crits for Major Project #2; EXERCISE #9 – Pixilation Challenge (due Monday, March 23, in class); Set groups for Exercise #9.

LAB /Lecture Mar 19: Groups collaboratively undertake EXERCISE #9 – Pixilation Challenge; Open Lab – and extra help with Rotoscoping

Week 12 – March 23 & 26
Reading: Manovich

Lecture Mar 23: Kinetic Typography; Animation and Contemporary Video Art; New Directions in Animation; View EXERCISE #9 – Pixelation Challenge

LAB /Lecture Mar 26: Animating Text in After Effects; EXERCISE #10 – Animating Text (due Monday, April 6); Feedback on Rough Cuts (optional)

Week 13 – March 30 & April 2

Lecture March 30: Lab Day – students work on final projects in preparation for Fine Cuts due Thursday; feedback on rough cuts as necessary

LAB /Lecture April 2: CRITIQUE Fine Cuts for Major Project #2 and PARTY!

Week 14 – April 6

Lecture April 6: Lab time to work on finishing Major Project 2 and Exercise 10 (due at midnight). Final submission for Major Project #2 final finished videos is Monday, April 13th at midnight.


Other Course Information:

USE OF AVENUE TO LEARN IN THIS COURSE

In this course we will be using Avenue to Learn. Students should be aware that when they access the electronic components for this course private information such as first and last names, user names for their McMaster email accounts, and program affiliation may become apparent to all other students using the same course. The available information is dependent on the technology used. Continuation in this course will be deemed consent to this disclosure. If you have any questions or concerns about such disclosure please discuss this with the course instructor.