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FILMP/MEDP 150: Media & Film in a Digital Age Pt 1, Sections 007 & 008

Room: HN714 • Lab Sections: Room HN432

Lecture: Wednesdays, 10:10AM – 12:00PM (plus lab sections as below)


Tim Portlock – Rm. 477 Hunter North; email: TBA ; Office Hours: TBA)

Martin Lucas – Room – Rm. 477 Hunter North; email: mluc@hunter.cuny.edu ;Office Hours: Tuesday 4:30 – 6:00PM, Thursday 2:30 – 4:00PM

Section Leader: Angela La Salle (alasalle@hunter.cuny.edu)

Sections 007 & 008:

SEC 007 – SAT 13:10 – 15:00

SEC 008 – SAT 15:10 – 17:00

Course Description: Over the last decade, dramatic changes in media technology have resulted in a fundamental reconsideration of the once strict borders between film, video, print, computational and other media arts. In today’s world, being a media-literate citizen requires understanding and being able to communicate using a variety of media forms. These changes have fundamental repercussions for anyone studying or hoping to work in the areas of film production, video production, journalism, web production and interactive media.   MEDP/FILMP 150 is the first part of a 2-semester sequence that introduces students to the practical fundamentals of film, video, and digital media production in a lecture/lab format. It is a foundations course in still- and time-based media presented in the integrated fashion in which today’s media practitioners work. Students are introduced to a range of media production equipment and techniques, including:

  1. The history of film, video and new media technologies
  2. Image composition and framing
  3. Typography and text/image relationships
  4. The use of digital still cameras and video cameras
  5. Basic imaging software (Photoshop)
  6. Basic blogging
  7. Basic HTML

All students will have a blog-type website where they will showcase the work they produce in the course.  In their blog entries, students will write about their class experiences and analyze the media around them, using analytical tools gained in the class. Blog entries are due on the date indicated in the syllabus and should be 250 words in length.

The required text for this class is Voice & Vision: A Creative Approach to Narrative Film and DV Production by Mick Hurbis-Cherrier, Focal Press: 2nd Edition. 2011.  This text is available at Shakespeare & Co. across from Hunter on Lexington Avenue as well as at the Hunter Book Store.  Additional readings will be posted on Blackboard and are also required reading.

Students will also be required to  purchase a portable USB drive (1 GB minimum size), which will cost less than $20.

Blackboard Site: We will be using Blackboard 8.0 as an integral part of the class. You will be required to download readings from Blackboard and to check Blackboard for general course announcements. If you need help accessing Blackboard please contact Snet help desk at 212-650-3624 or email snet@hunter.cuny.edu.

Weekly open lab hours, staffed by department technical staff, will allow students to get extra assistance if needed. Hours will be announced.

Lateness and Absences: Attendance to both lecture and lab sections is mandatory. Medical emergencies must be documented to be excused. Being late to class negatively impacts your attendance record and will damage your grade. Late assignments that are not excused by your section leader will have their grades reduced at the rate of one letter grade per week.

Please note that you must notify your section leader ahead of time if you cannot attend class on the day of an exam, so we can arrange an alternate time for you to take it. This will only be done in cases where there is a well-documented reason for missing the exam date.

NO PERSONAL ELECTRONIC NETWORKING DURING CLASS (incl. cell phones, web surfing, email, tweeting, texting, Facebook or any new networking technology yet to be discovered.)

Method of Evaluation:

Attendance and Participation (including in lecture): 10%; Blogs: 10%;  Still Photo Assignment: 05%;  Photoshop Assignment: 10%; Video Assignment 05%; Hypertext Assignment 10%;  Quiz: 5%; Midterm Exam: 15%;  Final Exam: 30%.

Labs: Contact your section leader (me) first with any questions related to the lab (rather than the lecturers). The production assignments for this course account for about 40% of your grade.  You should expect to spend time outside of class working on these assignments.  With this in mind the department keeps labs open outside of class time.  In addition there will be some times where trained help is available from the Film Media Dept Support Team.  Hours will be announced.  There are also labs on the 10th floor of Hunter North maintained by ICIT that have comparable software.

Academic Integrity

Hunter College regards acts of academic dishonesty (e.g., plagiarism, cheating on examinations, obtaining unfair advantage, and falsification of records and official documents) as serious offenses against the values of intellectual honesty. The College is committed to enforcing the CUNY Policy on Academic Integrity and will pursue cases of academic dishonesty according to the Hunter College Academic Integrity Procedures.


Lecture 1 (FEB 01)

Intro to class. Making and consuming media in today’s world. Role of media. Intro to Artists’ statements.

Read: V&V – Intro and Intro to 2nd ed. (xvii – xxii)

Lab 1A/B: (Jan 28* AND Feb 4)

Intro to Lab, Student Accounts & Folders. Introduce and discuss artist statement assignment.

Lecture 2 (FEB 08)

Blogging. How blogs are changing the media landscape. Rules, conventions. How they work. Concepts. Linking. Citizen Media Ethics. Examples of blogs.

 Read for today: Handout on blogging 101.

Lab 2: (Feb 11)

Share artist statements. Set up blogs and uploading artists statements. Ethics exercise.  Review for quiz.

DUE IN LAB:  Blog One: Artist Statement

Lecture 3 (FEB 15)

Seeing the world through a frame. The still image — aspect ratio (basics), shot sizes, framing and composition. Resolution. Exposure.

Read for today: V&V  pp. 43 – 57

 Lab 3: (Feb 18.)

Shooting stills

Lecture 4 ( FEB 22)

Reproducing the Frame — lens properties, aperture & exposure, shutter speed, focus.

Read for today: V&V Cht. 10, Cht. 12

Lab 4: (Feb 25.)

Critique stills (based on composition and technique)

Lecture 5 (FEB 29)

Quiz and Lecture.

Analog vs. digital imaging.  Resolution & image size. (Start with opening photo, exploring concepts through Photoshop). Levels, contrast, RGB color space, curves and gamma.

Read for today: Manovich “What is New Media?”

Lab 5: (Mar 3.)

Intro to Photoshop, import photos, upload to blog.

DUE IN LAB:  Still Photo Assignment

 Lecture 6 (MAR 7)

Design: Basics of typography and layout. Intro to information graphics postage stamp assignment. Image sourcing. Photoshop  tools. Workflow.

Read for today: Robin Williams “The Non-Designers Design Book”

 Lab 6: (Mar 10.)

Mr. Potatohead exercise. Start postage stamp / info graphic assignment.

Lecture 7 (MAR 14)

Design Part 2:  Concepts in visual design.

Lab 7: (Mar 17)

Working on assignment.

 Lecture 8 (MAR 21)

Midterm/ Lecture on Intellectual Property, Remix Culture and Fair Use


Lab 8: (Mar 24)

Finish Photoshop assignment and review in class.

DUE IN LAB: Photoshop Assignment

 Lecture 9 (MAR 28)

DUE BY MIDNIGHT: Blog Two: “What I See”


Lab 9: (Mar 31)

Begin working on Camera Exercise

Lecture 10 (APR 4)

History of the Internet and Emerging Media

READ for today: Manovich, Lev. “Information Aesthetics”  And “Getting Started in HTML” (on Blackboard)

Special Guest:  May Ying Welsh (Polk Award-winning documentary filmmaker)

 Lab 10 and Lab 11: (Apr 21**)

Finish Camera Exercise and begin Haiku assignment

 Lecture 11 (APR 18)

Trip to the Museum of the Moving Image Replaces Lecture

 Lecture 12 (APR 25)

HTML, Website Architecture, Nomenclature.

READ for today: Elizabeth Castro HTML For the World Wide Web and TBA.

Lab 12: (April 28)

HTML EXERCISE & continue working on Haiku.

DUE IN LAB: BLOG 3: A Visit to the Museum of the Moving Image

Lecture 13 (MAY 2)

Web Design, Site Architecture, Style Sheets.

 Lab 13: (May 5)

Finish Haiku

Lecture 14 (MAY 9)

Review for final and view student work.

Lab 14:(May 12)

Review for final and complete projects.

DUE IN LAB: Haiku Assignment. Blog 4 “Reflections on Class”

Lecture 15:

Final Exam (cumulative) Date To Be Announced.

* Asterisk indicated a lab section meeting BEFORE its corresponding lecture.

** These two labs are combined to accommodate Spring Recess schedule.

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