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Method of Evaluating

I try to engage each of you in an ongoing discussion of your learning. If you aren’t getting enough feedback from me, ask for more. As you’ll see, I’m big on formative feedback and Socratic questioning.

Note | I’m assuming that you will do all of the project’s deliverables as specified below. If you don’t do them all, you may not pass the course.

This course takes you through a process. The process takes time, and we don’t have enough in one semester as it is. Thus, it is more important that you do the assignment than that you do it well, or as well as you could have if you had more time. To get full credit for these assignments and presentations, you must do them when they are due and your process must have integrity and cohesion.

As you can see by comparing these tasks to the objectives above, the first objective is the most important: creation.

Note that this course asks for two skills that are not directly taught or evaluated but can make all the difference: file management and time management. You will generate more computer files and more large files for this project than you probably ever have for one project before. You also have a process to follow that must be done in order and that must have time to be done well. If you put it off and get behind, catching up will be very difficult.

GEN 230 centers around your projects, your performances, your decisions, your problem solving (aka creativity), not around my ability to lecture. You hardly ever have a course where such a small percentage of your attention is supposed to be directed toward the teacher. The burden is on you to learn by making mistakes, not on me to instruct. The content is visual, not verbal. The process is the same, but the videos are always different. We laugh often. What’s not to like about all that?

Written documents

You will complete all five written assignments by sending each to me as an email (not attached to an email). The four during pre-production are the concept, script, treatment, and production lists. They build on one another, and the most important is the shot list. Without the shot list and the script that accompanies it, you can’t go any further. Within certain constraints (copyright, budget, etc.), you will get full credit for doing these assignments completely and in good faith. In other words, whether or not I like your concept, etc., whether it’s “good” or not, you’re still going to get full credit. Think risky!! Go for it!!

During post-production, you will write the fifth and final document, the description and tags for YouTube that will help draw viewers to your video.

Media files

To help you with the challenges of file management, you need to show me your media assets (raw video, still images, music, voice-over, sound, and titling) to pass through the second gateway. In addition, to help you make the crucial distinction between project files (the instructions for how to treat the media assets) and rendered (exported) movie files, you need to show me your project files for your director’s final cut as well as your mixed soundtrack. Finally, I need to see the rendered movie files for your title/credits sequence and your final video.


Presentations. You will make one presentation to the class to pitch your video concept. Other opportunities for performances will involve acting roles in classmates’ scripts.

Public performances. I highly recommend that you attend some live scripted performances. Yes, you’ve seen a trillion performances on TV, in movie theaters, etc. And you’ve seen many live musical performances, often quite spectacular productions. But you will get great insight into your project by going to a stage play. Buffalo is full of live theater every weekend.

You may have to buy a ticket for these productions, but it’s less than the price of a ticket at the Regal, and there’s no textbook to buy for this course, so it doesn’t seem unreasonable.

You will also act a role or roles and help with the crew work (camera, sound) for your classmates’ productions.

Video project

You will write, produce and edit a short video (4 to 5 minutes), with opening titles and closing credits. You will upload it to YouTube, which will re-format it into a .flv file. For viewing in the Lecture Hall, you may want to provide a hi-res file.



  • list of ideas
  • concept
  • presentation of concept (oral pitch)
  • script
  • treatment
  • production lists
  • shot list


  • rehearsal
  • direction
  • cast/crew
  • media assets


  • title / credits sequence
  • director’s cut project file
  • director’s cut media file
  • soundtrack
  • youtube description and tags
  • producer’s cut project file
  • producer’s cut media file
  • arts community participation
  • timely completion of assignments
  • attendance, especially during 2 Showtimes at the end of the semester
  • genny ballot