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Critique of curriculum please

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  • Critique of curriculum please

    Hello everyone

    This is a bit of a strange request I'm sure, but I am looking to teach a short 6-8 week crash course of filmmaking. I approached it from the 4 disciplines of writing, directing, cinematography, and editing (to narrow it down a bit). I am interested in feedback regarding the curriculum outline I've been using. Any input would be appreciated. The outline is as follows:

    Andrew Hamilton

    Course Plan:

    Week Topic Work Due:

    1 Introduction/History of Visual medium Visual Arts
    Writing: Screenplay: Story form, format pre-test

    Workshop: Story outline, Scripting

    2 Directing: Telling a story with camera 3-5 page script
    Shot psychology
    Working with actors
    Preprod: Storyboards, shotlists; scheduling actors, crew

    Workshop: Camera position, Directing and staging Actors.

    3 Cinematography: Camera operation Schedules, Storyboards
    Composition Lighting psychology,
    3 point lighting, types of light

    Workshop: Camera operation, Lighting

    4 Shooting Day: 3 or 4 supervised shoots shot lists

    Workshop: shooting on location

    5 Editing: 7 principles, editing stages Dailies
    Transitions, Linear v. non linear (raw footage)

    Workshop: non linear editing via mac/pc computers

    6 Take Final Exam, View Dailies Notebooks, Dailies/Final

    Workshop: output VHS/DV/DVD/WEB

    Course Requirements:
    - Weekly attendance and workshop participation
    - Weekly production assignments
    - Final project: VHS tape of raw, unedited footage
    - Completion of production notebook
    - Final exam

    Weekly attendance and workshop participation 20%
    Weekly production assignments and notebook 30%
    Final project: VHS tape 30%
    Final Exam (written) 20%
    Hamilton International Productions

  • #2
    Re: Critique of curriculum please

    What level? High school? College? Tech Institute?

    What's the goal of the class? What do you want them to know? What do they want to know?

    What department? Liberal Arts? Art? RTF?


    • #3
      Re: Critique of curriculum please



      • #4
        Re: Critique of curriculum please


        • #5
          Re: Critique of curriculum please

          I'm missing something. Where is Andrew? Was this an inside joke and I'm to new to realize it?


          • #6
            Re: Critique of curriculum please

            Wow...I posted that item all the way back in May and received no response for nearly 4 months and gave up on it. Thank you for taking a look at it, actually, I was looking to teach on a junior college and/or tech college to start. I have presented it on a junior college level so far but it was only offered as an elective course and the college closed its doors...I don't have a masters, just a bachelor's and about 6 years experience and that hasn't been enough to secure teaching positions here in that is why I would like to tighten up the course material via any feedback offered. Thanks

            Andrew Hamilton
            Las Vegas Videographers
            Hamilton International Productions


            • #7
              Re: Critique of curriculum please

              The only thing I would take out is the 20% for attendance and participation. Generally, you will find almost all students will particpate at the college level. However, attendance is another matter and you will have to check your college's policies about those. Attendance is the thing I found often gets taken advantage of in a studio classroom. I have always been very strict about my attendance policy (I expected 100% attendance, except for an emergency, in that case the student needed to contact me through e-mail at the time that is easiest from them, and we can reschedule a time for them to make up in the studio "darkroom").
              Lit Fuse Kustoms


              • #8
                Personally I don't care for the curriculum much. For a short course the history of visual arts doesn't serve much purpose. You're starting with directing. How can you direct when you don't know the crafts? You should end with directing. Most film schools teaching crafts begin with editing, basic music video, basic documentary editing, basic dialog editing. Then go to camera, lighting and sound, and then directing.


                • #9
                  Production in the classroom

                  I have taught production in higher ed for 10 years coming to academia after 15 years in the biz.

                  I start with basic framing and composition then move onto storytelling through a series of exercises that includes story development, pre-production planning, shooting then editing. All of these are small, short exercises leading up to a larger more comprehensive final project.

                  I agree with Tom you shouldn't start with directing but you can't start with editing either. How can you edit without understanding planning and production first?

                  I'm not a big advocate of textbooks but Focal Press has some adequate intro books that outline a good vertical learning plan.

                  The hardest part about teaching newbies as a working professional is setting achievable expectations for your students.


                  • #10
                    Editing is a very common way to start. It's used by many film schools in a production course. You provide material and the student learns how to assemble it to tell a story, the sequencing on shots, the lengths of shots, pacing within the shot, basic storytelling. All that's important to know before you go to shoot, otherwise you end up with pretty but unusable shots.