ARTC 444 Digital Video Art
Bowling Green State University - School of Art
Syllabus - Fall 2006

ARTC 444 sec 1

Professor Heather Elliott-Famularo

Tuesday / Thursday 2:30-4:50pm

Phone: 372-9943

Video Editing lab - Room 1026 Fine Arts Center

Office: 1014 Fine Arts Center

Office Hrs: Wednesdays 2-4pm


View Class Schedule

Prerequisite: ARTC 321 (Intermediate Digital Imaging)

Required Textbook: Final Cut Pro 5 for Mac OSX: Visual Quickpro Guide by Lisa Brenneis ( ISBN 0-321-35025-1) $19.79 on

Recommended Reading List

Course Description and Objectives:
This course focuses on the creative production of time-based art and installation using digital video. Students will learn the concepts and techniques utilized in video as well as the history of video as an art form. The course will include a look at experimental approaches to video art, performance, and video installation as well as its development as an art form from the late-60s to today. Technical instruction will focus on the use of the Final Cut Pro digital non-linear editing systems on the Macintosh. Weekly screenings of historic and contemporary video art will be an essential part of this course. The techniques and concepts involved in this will enable students to better understand compositing, sequencing of ideas, and narrative as well as non-narrative structures. The technical skills will assist students in the fields of computer art, video, film, installation, or performance art.

Requirements: Each student is expected to complete the following:

Extra Credit Opportunity: Film List Reflections: Students who watch films from the Recommended Film List and write a paragraph critiquing it and/or stating its relevance in the History of Film may get extra credit toward their grade. Limit one film per month, Due 1st Thursday of each month.

TOPICS TO BE COVERED: Subject to change.
The primary goals of this course are to find your artistic voice and to facilitate the process of creativity through video and by exploring time. You will do this while learning the following concepts:

The focus of the course is on IDEAS, however. We will also discuss:

Projects: There will be 3 to 4 smaller projects and a final project.
The smaller projects are geared toward conquering the technical requirements and experimenting. One of these must also be a video installation project. All video projects must be UNDER 7 minutes in length!
Final Project: It should be a cumulative piece based on the explorations made in class. You will plan this from start to finish (script, storyboard, shoot, digitize, edit, master).

Student Project Use: Projects created in any Digital Arts course may be used by the School of Art for the purpose of promoting the student, the department, and/or the university in general. These materials may also be used for instructional purposes in future courses. Please inform me if you do not want your projects used.

"A"s are given for excellent projects that are turned in on time! "C"s are given for projects completed on time but average in quality and quantity. "F"s are substituted for missing assignments. Cumulative grades are calculated on the computer periodically throughout the course and distributed to the individual students.

You will be graded on an equal balance of the following:

  1. Class Participation (in critiques, discussions, asking questions, making comments)
  2. Class Preparation (do readings, bring materials)
  3. Projects (3-4 projects of equal value)
  4. In class Assignments / Quizzes / Writings
  5. Final Exam
  6. Final Project (x2 = double value)
  7. Attendance (lowers grade if exceed limit, see below)
  8. You must complete ALL 4 VIDEO PROJECTS in order to receive a passing grade in this course!

Up to 24 hours late is one grade lower, 1-3 days late is two grades lower, and 3-4 days late is 3 grades lower. No late assignments will be accepted after 4 days. You will receive an "F" for that project, but you must still complete it.

ATTENDANCE and In Class Participation: Read Carefully.
Attendance is not only mandatory but it is crucial to your success in this class. Each week we will discuss readings, learn important technical information, crit work, view slides and videos, and work on in-class exercises. These important activities will not be repeated.
If you are not in class please go to our class website and talk to myself or other students to see what was covered and if work was assigned. Absence is not a valid excuse for coming to the following class unprepared, or for not having an assignment completed that was given while you were gone. It is especially important to attend ALL critiques. If due to an emergency you are unable to attend a crit, please schedule an appointment with me upon your return. This class will adhere to the following Attendance Policy:

  1. You may miss a maximum of THREE classes without penalty.
  2. Missing more then 10% of regularly scheduled course meeting times (3 classes) results in the reduction of your final grade by one letter grade per absence beyond the third, and continues for each additional absence up to the 6th absence.
  3. Missing more then 20% of regularly scheduled course meetings (6 classes) results in automatic failure for the course. (Easy Formula: Number 7 = F).
  4. There are no "excused" or "unexcused" absences. There is only presence or absence.
  5. Arriving for class late or leaving class before dismissal constitutes a tardy. The accumulation of three tardies is equal to an absence. Role will be taken at the beginning of each class. If you wander in late, it is your responsibility to make sure I mark your arrival.
  6. Do not leave class early. If you must, you have to clear it with me first, or you will be marked absent for that day.
  7. Attendance at FINAL CRITIQUE is mandatory. Absence, for any reason, will lower your final grade by one letter.
  8. In the event of a mental or physical health emergency or another similar crisis that may cause you to miss more than two classes, please set up an appointment with me to discuss your options.

We will have required reading assignments from many sources throughout the semester. The course Recommended Reading List contains most of the sources. Technical readings may result in a quiz; Conceptual & Historical readings will be discussed in class.

One objective of this course is to provide a forum for discussion of the artwork in order to help each student develop their own artistic concepts for their work. Students will present these developments in group discussions. Participation in these discussions by each student is mandatory.

Critiques are an important part of an artist's learning process. They are an excellent way to understand if your message is being received by seeing how your colleagues responded to the assignment. During Critiques, I expect each student's full attention and respect. Computers are TURNED OFF. Critiques begin promptly at class start time. Attendance and participation at Final Critique is mandatory.

CLASS MATERIAL: You are accountable for material covered in class, including handouts. IF ANYTHING IS NOT CLEAR, ASK! It is your responsibility to get missed materials from me or your classmates. I will gladly clarify any information you don't understand, but I will NOT repeat demonstrations for absentees!

IDEABOOK / Sketchbook
3-ring binder / folder for handouts & readings
10-12      60 minute Mini DV video tapes
1              30" Mini-DV Master tape
4              15" VHS tapes
2-3           DVD-Rs for back up OR
Recommended: Lacie d2 Hard Drive Extreme with Triple Interface (Fire Wire 800) external FireWire Hard Drive (or other brand)

Student Concerns: Any student who wishes to discuss accommodations on the basis of a disability please talk to me after class or during office hours.

Course Outline: The following is a tentative schedule of classes.
Topics and due dates are subject to change, although you will be notified in advance if this happens.

Week 1 August 22
Intro, syllabus, student forms; Screening #1a;
Project #1 assigned, Reading #1 assigned
August 24
Discuss Reading #1; Workshop: Camcorders, shooting, and Lighting; Storyboards
Reading #2 assigned
Due: Reading #1
Week 2 August 29
In-class Interviews: Do and Watch!; Critique Storyboards;
Reading #3 assigned
Due: Reading #2, Proj#1-storyboard/script; Binder & Ideabook
August 31
Dubbing Workshop; Discuss Reading #2 & #3; Screening #1b DUE: Reading #3
Week 3 September
September 5
CRITIQUE - Project #1; Work Day DUE: Project #1
September 7
CRITIQUE - Project #1; DUE: Project #1
Week 4 September 12
Project #2 assigned; Graphic Match examples; Break into 2 groups & switch:
1) Screening #2
2) Intro to / set-up of FCP system; Digitizing
Reading #4 assigned
September 14
Discuss Reading #4; Two Groups:
1) Screening #3; 2) FCP Editing
DUE: Reading #4; Project #1 Digitized + Rough Edited
Week 5 September 19
Critique storyboards
Reading #5 assigned
DUE: Proj #2 STORYBOARDS; Project #1 final edited VHS/DV tape
September 21
Storyboard Critique part 2; Screen At Land
FCP: Types of Edits
Reading 5 Reflection assigned
DUE: Reading #5
Week 6 September 26
Screening #3b; Discuss Reading #5 in relation to the ALL screenings thus far; Work Time: In-Progress checks
FCP: Titles, Color FX, Transitions
DUE: In-progress 75% - Project 2;
Reading #5 Reflection
September 28
Screening #3c;
Work Time
Week 7 October 3
CRITIQUE - Project #2; Project #3 assigned; DUE:Project #2
October 5
Brainstorm - Project #3; Field Trip: Toledo Lucas County Library DUE:Project #2 - all changes
Week 8 October 10
No Class - Fall Break
October 12
Screening #4; Discuss Reading #6; Discuss Project Ideas and progress; Work Time DUE: Project #3 Proposal; Reading #6
Week 9 October 17
FCP: Luma/Chroma Key, Masks; Progress Check Point! 75% finished, rough edits in Final Cut Pro (Grade received!) DUE: rough edits
October 19
Work Time; Screening: Fade to Black  
Week 10 October 24
Work Day; (finalize Project 3) DUE: Project #3
October 26
Work Day; informal group critiques; Video Installation Research assigned  
Week 11 October 31
CRITIQUE - Project #3 with Anthony Fontana; Project #4 assigned DUE: Project #4 quiz; Final Project #3 tape
November 2
Installation Art; DUE: Film Reflection #3;
Week 12 November 7
Discuss project ideas in student groups DUE: Proposal for Project #4
November 9
Work time; Screening #5; Write Proposals in collaborative groups for project 4 mock-up installation  
Week 13 November 14
Collect Project 4 proposals FOR GRADE; Introduce Final Project; Assignment: Reading 7 (and Quiz) DUE: Proposal for Project #4
November 16
Discuss Reading #7 - Collect Quiz; Work on Final Proposals DUE: Reading #7 + Quiz
Week 14 November 21
Critique Ideas for Final Projects DUE: Final Project Proposal
November 23
No Class - Thanksgiving Break
Week 15 November 28
Critique Storyboards / Scripts - IN DEPTH DUE: Storyboard & Final Script
November 30
Rough Cuts Check-off with Dena FOR GRADE (project 50% done - digitized in FCP) DUE: Rough Cuts in FCP
Week 16 December 5
Work Day  
December 7
FINAL CRITIQUE!! Due: Final Project
Finals Week December 13
DIGITAL ARTS SHOW tapes due in box outside my office by 10am DUE: Digital Arts Show VHS tapes
Digital Arts Show - 6 to 9:30pm
Final Mini-DV Semester Tapes due 4pm SHARP - my office Due: Final Tapes

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