Dual System Poetry

Objective:  Perhaps as much or more than any other feature, dual-system recording distinguishes amateur from professional video.  Among other criteria, this assignment’s grading privileges a low noise floor and limited environmental reverb achieved by intimate microphone placement and adequate volume that avoids distortion.  Of course, your footage should reflect previous instruction in lighting, camera operation, and composition.
Submit to D2L: Enter a Vimeo url in the appropriate D2L assignment submission folder.
Submit to D2L:  Upload a copy of your footage log to the appropriate assignment folder with a lighting plot, personal release, and location release.
Submit to OneDrive:  Copies of all raw footage and a second copy of your footage log.

Employing a dual-system technique, record yourself or a friend reading or reciting 30 seconds of poetry or prose in a well-lit, well-composed (1) close-up, (2) medium shot and (3) long shot.  Make sure the performer’s mouth is plainly visible.  The most successful filmmakers will conform to the following protocol:

  • Prepare your camera for shooting by configuring (to the degree your equipment permits) frame rate (23.976 fps), aspect ratio (16:9), shutter speed (1/50), white balance, focus, ISO, and exposure.
  • Prepare your audio device for recording by configuring (to the degree your equipment permits) file type (.wav), sampling rate (48kHz), bit depth (24 bit), mode (stereo).  In rehearsal with your performer, set record levels for an average of -6dBFS.
  • Record one minute of room tone for each shooting location.  Enter the file number in your footage log.
  • Turn on the camera.  Make sure it is recording both video and audio.  Even though your camera’s audio will likely be of low quality, a robust audio waveform from the camera will nevertheless make post-production synchronization easier.
  • Turn on the audio recording device.
  • Clap for synchronization such that the clap is plainly visible on camera.
  • Wait for ten seconds of silence (head).
  • Recite/read for 30 seconds.
  • Wait for ten seconds of silence (tail).
  • Turn off the audio recording device.
  • Turn off the camera.
  • Record file numbers in your footage log.
  • Repeat for multiple takes.  No less than a 6:1 shooting ratio is expected.

Import the footage into an Adobe Premiere Pro project.  Synchronize and merge audio and video files.  Post-production specifications as follows.

  • Resolution.  1080HD.  Progressive Scan.  Square pixels.  16:9.  Stereo.  Edited, exported, and uploaded to Vimeo at 23.976 frames per second.
  • Post Production.  Begin with a standard LEADER.  Conclude with 30 seconds of silent black.  Include neither in the total running time of your video.
  • Editing on Dialogue.  Edit at least twice between lines of dialogue, switching from one camera angle/distance to another.  You are not required to either (a) use J- or L-cuts, or (b) cut for continuity.
  • Color.  Basic color correction using Adobe’s Lumetri Color panel.  Manual white balance will consistency of flesh tones from shot to shot.
  • Audio Mix.  Average combined volume levels mixed to -12dB.  Royalty-free music should be back-timed and properly attributed.
  • Closing Credits.  Five second maximum.  List contributors as few times as possible.  Combine credits if necessary (i.e. “written and directed by”) so that no person will be listed more than twice.  Credit any content that you did not create.  Check sources carefully for licenses and attribution details.  Unless you have registered a limited liability company (LLC), please do not indicate copyright or corporate identity.
  • Export the entire timeline (from the beginning of the bars and tone to the end of silent black) to your VIMEO account.  The url should be in this format:  https://vimeo.com/332326604  – nothing more than the name of the hosting platform plus a number.  Additional words and characters indicate administrative pages that visitors may not be able to access.
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