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Getting Started

In this course, you will go through the process of making a video with opening and closing credits and a music mix as well as a point/purpose, transitions and effects. The process is more important than the product. Or, more accurately, an orderly, thoughtful process is more likely to produce an attractive, engaging product. Conversely, unsuccessful products are often the results of a hasty, unplanned process.

The creative process is as old as humanity. It’s often a messy process and the tools and materials have changed, but the process is the same. It is a process that you have been through before, personally, many times, although you probably didn’t use these terms to describe it.

making the transition

What this course is not …

  • not a course where we read and analyze masterpieces of the theater
  • not a course where there is one correct answer to every problem
  • not a course where everyone takes the same final exam

One goal of this course is to help you through the transition from passively consuming media to also actively making it. Between them is a transition — a mindset, a way of looking at media, a critical stance — that may be new and uncomfortable to you.

This is a creative expression course, an art course, one of the very few you take in your formal education. As such, it can be a little scary. Instead of analyzing plays and films, you’re going to write them. Then perform and record them. Your learning will diverge, not converge.

first transition | the PC as a fancy book to the PC as a fancy pencil

It’s the transition from reading to writing, from consumer to maker. It requires you to learn a new toolset.

second transition | giving yourself permission

For most people, the first transition is relatively easy. The second is harder. Not only am I asking you to make something, it has two problems: it’s the arts, and it’s school.

The audience for your work in this course is those people who have stumbled on it linked to your resume near “Skills” or via a search at or They may be in a position to hire you or admire you, and your online projects will let you strut your stuff for them. Go for it! I expect you to see how this creative stuff can relate to a job you may have. It is also designed to move you further into the new and fascinating world of user-generated content.

If you look at the list of deliverables, you’ll see that I’m asking you to go through the process of making a video. The product, the video, is much less important than the process. I am going to continually throughout the semester stress the process, not the product.

However, you still have to make a product. What will you make? If you want to, you may make a version of the first scene of The Odd Couple, the Broadway play, comedy film, and TV series by Neil Simon. To do that well and to make it interesting and attractive and funny will be a very challenging task. However, the final video needs to be only 4 or 5 minutes long, so a “straight” dramatic version is also a very doable task.

I want to encourage you to depart from the straight dramatic scene and do something to it or with it, to transform it in an interesting way. You can move so far from the original that no one would recognize it. You can come up with something entirely different. Like what? For starters, realize that you have a terrific opportunity to use your classmates as actors. You also have professional-caliber special effects software available to you. And finally, you have thousands upon thousands, almost two decades of models — all the video/TV/movies/presentations you’ve ever seen.

Where will you get your ideas? Visualize. Close your eyes and run the movie across the screen of your closed eyelids. Observe closely.

Where will you find the material for your project?

  • you’ll make and edit it: write it, take pictures, tape video and audio
  • you already have it: images, audio, and video
  • you’ll get it from other people or from online resources — Don’t be afraid to steal, uh, that is, to emulate the models, to mix and match parts you take from here and there.

Toolkit — hardware and software for this course

In this course, you will use cameras, lights, and microphones. You may use your own or borrow them from the College according to the sign-up sheet in the Huber lab. The staff there or I will be happy to show you more about using them. I am also willing to work with you at an off-campus location during your production.

You will also use, in addition to the usual email and browsers, video and audio editing software. I recommend using Final Cut Pro or other Apple software. In our lab, we have Premiere Elements. However, it is also quite acceptable, though more limiting, to use MovieMaker, which comes installed on most PCs, and Audacity for sound editing. If you have other software you would like to use, please let me know. Note that there is no reason for you to open Word or any other word processing software for any reason whatsoever in this course.

If you have never used video and audio editing software before, please let me know. I will be happy to sit with you individually to help you with the software.

analysis of video structure

Soulmates? Quiet Library’s Perfectly Aligned

Two strangers meet in a coffee shop and realize their whole lives have been leading up to this moment.

Perfectly Aligned: how do they do it?

Note | your script is due via email on or before Friday, February 13, no exceptions.
  • Who did what to whom, with whom, where and when? Two appealing characters, two other characters, here and now
  • How many cuts/clips?
  • Music?
  • How many camera placements?

analysis of scene structure

Odd Couple