An introduction to the theory and practice of studio-based video production.  Various program formats are discussed and evaluated in light of particular communication principles and needs.  Students gain experience with stationary video cameras, recorders, switchers and related technologies.  Performance for the camera, studio lighting, audio recording and mixing principles are analyzed and demonstrated.


Through the project-based work of this course, the student will:

  • support creative collaboration with studio safety, protocols, and etiquette.
  • demonstrate creative control of studio lighting instruments.
  • demonstrate a knowledge of camera operation, movement, and composition.
  • employ the rudiments of audio recording as it supports live studio production.
  • demonstrate video editing mechanics and grammar, through live switching and in postproduction.
  • direct and respond to the direction of others in a framework of servant leadership.
  • demonstrate skills of media project planning and management.


Unless otherwise indicated, written assignments should be typed in MLA format, then submitted as hard copies. Substantiating paperwork (storyboards, lighting plots, scripts, talent releases) tends to be rewarded with higher grades if presented professionally (i.e., typed in easily-navigable folders or binders). Written work submitted by e-mail should be formatted as .pdf (not MS-Word) files.

The majority of Audio Production coursework will take the form of practical performance and projects. If you are not present in class when your name is called to undertake a task, your work will be considered late. If your work is submitted incomplete or otherwise outside the assignment’s specified format parameters, it will be returned to you for correction. Upon resubmission, it will be considered late work.

Late work can earn no more than a maximum of 64 points. Work is considered late if it is submitted (or, in the case of e-mail, time-stamped) after lecture begins on the due date. If, because of extreme and prolonged sickness, you miss a deadline and are able to substantiate a claim of incapacitation with a note from a reputable doctor or Calvin Health Services, the grades of your remaining assignments will be given greater weight to compensate. Otherwise, you will receive a zero for the assignment. Examinations must be taken when scheduled.

Syllabus deadlines are the date and time an assignment is due in its final version. The nature of filmmaking is such, however, that you should plan on soliciting your professor’s feedback on at least two intermediate versions of each project. While this is not a requirement, you ignore this recommendation at significant peril to your grade.

Quizzes may be given without warning to encourage attendance and affirm content mastery throughout the term.

Participation will be evaluated throughout the semester by professor and peers based on student contribution to class community. Assigning the grade, I am chiefly concerned with the following questions:

  1. To what degree and in what ways does the student demonstrate respect for his/her audience and co-laborers?
  2. To what degree and in what ways does the student model dependability and responsibility?
  3. In what ways has the student participated in work load, idea generation, and leadership — apart from the work necessary to complete his/her individual assignments?
  4. Of what value are the student’s criticism and suggestions for improvement valued by his/her peers?

Coursework will be weighted as indicated:

Projects 60%
Final Exam10%
Quizzes & Assignments10%

Assignment grades will be based on the following scale:

77-79C+< 60F

Responding to students’ desire for the most immediate feedback on their project work, grades and comments are reported via Moodle. It is therefore the responsibility of students to regularly consult Moodle for the most current report of their grades.


In addition to lectures and discussions during the class meetings, assigned readings will aid you in learning the material covered in this course.  Assignments will be made from the following required texts:

Herbert Zettl:  Television Production Handbook.  Tenth Edition.  Belmont, CA:  Wadsworth/Cengage Learning, 2009.

Herbert Zettl:  Zettl’s VideoLab 3.0.   Third Edition.  DVD-ROM.  Thomson/Wadsworth, 2004.

As the DVD is referenced in assigned readings, students are expected to access the disc’s complimentary information, practice its related skills simulations, and complete its accompanying exercises. Readings and activities should be completed prior to the class date for which they are assigned.  There may also be items on reserve in the Hekman Library which will require your attention throughout the term.

This class will usually meet in Room 065 of the DeVos Communication Center, Wednesday and Friday from 1:30 – 3:20 p.m.

The following should be interpreted as a general timetable governing the subjects to be covered in this course. Class discussion and pace often dictate additions, deviations, and omissions.

W Sep 0801:30pmThe Television Production Process (Zettl, Ch. 1)
F Sep 1001:30pmPreproduction & Scripting (Zettl, Ch. 2-3)
01:30pmWatch a show filmed in the multi-camera format. Describe the show's formal elements in two to three typed pages.
01:30pmTalent (Zettl, Ch. 15)
T Sep 1408:00pmPrepare a three-page Proposal & Treatment for our program, using pp.28-31 of your text and the "Process" section of the accompanying DVD-ROM as guides. Upload your proposal as .pdf, .doc, or .docx files to the course KV site, using the "file exchange" tool. Read those posted by your classmates and be ready to discuss and defend your favorites during tomorrow's class meeting.
W Sep 1501:30pmDesign (Zettl, Ch. 14)
F Sep 1701:30pmLighting (Zettl, Ch. 10-11)
T Sep 2101:30pmSet Design Proposal
01:30pmShow current studio lift licenses.
W Sep 2201:30pmAudio (Zettl, Ch. 8-9.1)
01:30pmBook the talent for shows 1-14. Present 4 host audition tapes.
01:30pmLogo and on-screen graphic design proposal.
F Sep 2401:30pmCamera (Zettl, Ch. 4-7)
01:30pmLighting Plot completed and approved
M Sep 2701:30pmSet construction complete
T Sep 2812:30pmClass uniform proposal
W Sep 2901:30pmSwitching (Zettl, Ch. 13). Use the DVD-ROM's "Switching" resources (as well as practice in the control room itself) to prepare for an in-class switching quiz.
01:30pmLogo and on-screen graphics approved by the executive producer and uploaded to Still-Store and Chyron.
F Oct 0101:30pmCamera Movement Quiz
01:30pmSet must be completed, lit, tested, and approved by the executive producer.
W Oct 0601:30pmDirecting (Zettl, Ch. 17.1)
01:30pmVimeo Channel designed.
01:30pmDirector's checklist, program 01
F Oct 0801:30pmProgram 01, director: Schroyer
S Oct 1011:59pmProgram 01 uploaded to Vimeo
W Oct 1301:30pmProgram 01 Assessment
F Oct 1501:30pmProgram 02, director: Scheeres
S Oct 1711:59pmProgram 02 uploaded to Vimeo
W Oct 2001:30pmProgram 03, director: Roorda
F Oct 2201:30pmProgram 04, director: Reinisch
11:59pmProgram 03 uploaded to Vimeo
S Oct 2411:59pmProgram 04 uploaded to Vimeo
W Oct 27Academic Advising - No Class Meeting
F Oct 2901:30pmProgram 05, director: Pidduck
S Oct 3111:59pmProgram 05 uploaded to Vimeo
W Nov 0301:30pmProgram 06, director: Novak
F Nov 0501:30pmProgram 07, director: Lyzenga
11:59pmProgram 06 uploaded to Vimeo
S Nov 0711:59pmProgram 07 uploaded to Vimeo
W Nov 1001:30pmProgram 08, director: Huizenga
01:30pmDVD Content, Menu; Case & Label design proposal
F Nov 1201:30pmProgram 09, director: Geertsma
06:00pmDinner and a Movie @ Fuller's. Multi-Cam class members and their guests invited.
11:59pmProgram 08 uploaded to Vimeo
S Nov 1311:59pmProgram 09 uploaded to
W Nov 1701:30pmProgram 10, director: Campbell
01:30pmDVD Content, Menu; Case & Label design final approval
F Nov 1901:30pmProgram 11, director: Broe
11:59pmProgram 10 uploaded to Vimeo
S Nov 2005:00pmDinner and a Movie @ Fuller's. Media Production students and their guests invited.
S Nov 2111:59pmProgram 11 uploaded to Vimeo
W Nov 2401:30pmProgram 12, director: Andree
F Nov 26Thanksgiving Recess - No Class Meeting
M Nov 2911:59pmProgram 12 uploaded to Vimeo
W Dec 0101:30pmProgram 13, director: Wogoman
F Dec 0301:30pmProgram 14, director: Veurink
11:59pmProgram 13 uploaded to Vimeo
S Dec 0404:00pmChristmas Party @ Fullers. Media Production Majors and their guests invited.
S Dec 0511:59pmProgram 14 uploaded to Vimeo
W Dec 0801:30pmProgram 15, director: Vanderput
R Dec 0911:59amDVD Duplication Master
11:59amHighlight Reel Complete
F Dec 1001:30pmStudio Maintenance
11:59pmProgram 15 uploaded to Vimeo
S Dec 1107:00pmMedia Showcase - Mandatory Attendance
W Dec 1509:00amFinal Exam. All student work must be removed from the server.


Essential to deciphering the schedule above is this crew and duty list.

Oct 08Oct 15Oct 20Oct 22Oct 29Nov 03Nov 05Nov 10
Camera 1VanderputSchroyerScheeresRoordaReinischPidduckNovakLyzenga
Wrangler 1VeurinkVanderputSchroyerScheeresRoordaReinischPidduckNovak
Camera 2WogomanVeurinkVanderputSchroyerScheeresRoordaReinischPidduck
Wrangler 2AndreeWogomanVeurinkVanderputSchroyerScheeresRoordaReinisch
Camera 3BroeAndreeWogomanVeurinkVanderputSchroyerScheeresRoorda
Wrangler 3CampbellBroeAndreeWogomanVeurinkVanderputSchroyerScheeres
Floor MgrGeertsmaCampbellBroeAndreeWogomanVeurinkVanderputSchroyer
Floor AsstHuizengaGeertsmaCampbellBroeAndreeWogomanVeurinkVanderput
Audio AsstNovakLyzengaHuizengaGeertsmaCampbellBroeAndreeWogoman



Where’s Brian when we need him? Is it really okay to call him at home in the middle of the night?

The classroom setting is such that not all needs can be met within it. I encourage you, therefore, to visit my office often. It is my pleasure to discuss grades, attendance, notes, lectures, or anything else which will make you a better student. Your grades can only benefit from regular communication with your professors. I will gladly work with you to arrange meeting times convenient to us both. Feel free to contact me:

  • by e-mail at mail@brianfuller.org [good].
  • by phone or voicemail at 616.498.4336 (49.VIDEO) [better].
  • in person [best].


Can I see some successful projects from previous semesters?

Sure.  Highlight reels from PREVIOUS SHOWS may inspire you.


Can I leave early to get to my next class across campus? What happens when I miss a class?

If you write a good essay or fail a math exam, you do so as an individual. But the success of a video production is often a collaborative endeavor that begins with attendance. You jeopardize any group project for which you show up late (or not at all). Reflecting the emphasis Media Production professors place on collaboration, strict attendance is required. Students will be penalized for late arrivals and early departures.

I’ve got tickets to leave early for spring break. Can I reschedule work to accommodate my travel plans?

Classes will not be held on holidays officially recognized by the college. All other days of the term are fair game for lectures, quizzes and assignments. Those students who plan to leave early for or return late from holiday breaks may not reschedule exams or other work.

Can I take class notes on my iPad? What are the professor’s expectations for electronic etiquette?

You’re encouraged to use smart phones, tablets, and laptops in disciplined ways which accomplish the work of the course. It’s considered rude, however, to engage in private communiqués (facebook, twitter, IMs, texts) during class.

Oops. My phone started ringing in class. Probably Mom calling…

The professor reserves the right to answer any cell phone call received by a student during class time. From a practical standpoint, you’d hate to ruin an otherwise fabulous take on location with a Justin Bieber ringtone.

I’ve heard there’s a dress code for this class.  Could that possibly be true in the 21st century?

As a matter of safety, bare feet and open-toed shoes (sandals, flip-flops) are not allowed on the studio floor. As a matter of practical modesty, the wearing of skirts and dresses is discouraged (since you never know when you might be on a ladder twenty feet above the set). Class members will dress professionally (ties, pressed shirts, dark socks, polished shoes) on shooting days.


I’m dissatisfied with an assignment grade. Any chance I can have it changed?

Because there are no “right” and “wrong” answers in this field of study, I am open to a certain amount of discussion with regard to the grade awarded any given assignment. Appeals should be made in a timely fashion, within two class periods of grade notification/posting. You may be notified of a grade by the return of paperwork or, more usually, in the posting of grades and comments to Moodle. Appeals should be made face to face (not by phone, in writing or by e-mail) and offered with rhetorical and presentational clarity (After all, this is a communication class).


I downloaded a great new song on iTunes. Can I use it in the soundtrack of my class film project?

The current edition of our college Code of Student Conduct notes that “the student-faculty relationship is based on trust and mutual respect which can be seriously undermined by the suspicion or reality of academic dishonesty.” It elsewhere defines plagiarism as “the use, by paraphrase or direct quotation, of the published or unpublished work of another person without full and clear acknowledgment.”

Though expected to abide by the document as a whole, Media Production students may benefit from specific awareness of conduct proscribed by Article IV of the Code:

  • Cheating, plagiarism, or other forms of academic dishonesty.
  • Unauthorized possession, duplication or use of keys or other access devices to any College premises or unauthorized entry to or use of College premises.
  • Use of computing facilities and resources in violation of copyright laws.

The standards of honesty and the penalties of dishonesty apply equally to words, ideas, visual images, auditory images, and all electrochemical means of storage and communication.

I will vigorously pursue prosecution of academic dishonesty to the very limit of sanctions allowed by the college (Article V, Sections D and E), up to and including failure of the course and expulsion from the college. I will just as vigorously work with student to prevent even unintended lapses of integrity. If you are uncertain about how to avoid plagiarism or other forms of academic dishonesty, please consult a member of the English faculty, the most recent edition of The Little, Brown Handbook,or (preferably) ask me.

While student media producers retain copyright ownership of their respective work, enrollment in this course constitutes your permission to let the college, the department, the professor, their representatives, and successors, exhibit and distribute for promotional purposes those media projects submitted in fulfillment of course assignments. Without any effect on your grade you may withhold or limit such permission by indicating your wish to do so in a note to your professor signed, witnessed, and dated, before the course’s drop date.


How can I arrange to work after-hours in DeVos?

Because college policy governs the after-hours use of the building and its basement level production facilities, your professor recommends your familiarity with the college’s established schedule of access to academic buildings. Exceptions to the policy require a note of permission from a faculty member, submitted electronically to Campus Safety at least 24 hours in advance. To address concerns of personal safety and security, it is suggested that a minimum of two students remain in the building together.

Subject to responsible use, students of CAS 190 and 250 are permitted key card access to the Video Editing Labs (DeVos 055). Students of CAS 249, 290, and 351 are permitted key card access to the Video and Audio Editing Labs (DeVos 045). Access to other workspaces must be scheduled in advance with the Chief Engineer.

I really like using the editing software on my laptop. Can I edit class projects in my dorm?

To maximize opportunities for collaborative learning, the college offers Media Production instruction in a pedagogically-informed, server-based post-production environment. When student teams edit video and audio projects from shared files to common workflow standards, they are learning organizational and interpersonal skills that will benefit them in the workplace and in other relational settings. While we understand and support students’ preference for many different hard- and software combinations, project work for Media Production classes will be done on facilities and equipment in the DeVos Communication Center (approved by the CAS Media Production Faculty in May 2011).

How might a disability affect my performance in this course?
The college will make reasonable accommodations for persons with documented disabilities. Students should notify the Coordinator of Services to Students with Disabilities located in Student Academic Services, HH455. Students should notify their instructors within the first two weeks of class (statement adopted by the College Faculty for inclusion in all syllabi).


How do I arrange to borrow equipment for this weekend’s shoot? Can I borrow equipment to shoot my cousin’s wedding?

Media Production lab aides are available in DeVos 025A (hours posted there) to check out equipment for class projects. It is often advantageous to alert them to your equipment needs several days in advance.

The Media Production Faculty approved the following equipment loan policy in March 2009.
Governed by the following priorities, equipment and facilities are available to those students currently enrolled in Media Production classes:

  1. Priority shall be given to equipment loans which support class project assignments and faculty scholarship initiatives.
  2. Production equipment will support in-class instruction as well as out-of-class project work. Return deadlines will be carefully monitored.
  3. Certain equipment is designated for use by each class. Thus, cameras, lighting, and grip equipment set aside for advanced instruction may not be available to students in introductory-level courses (and vice versa). Not even Production Lab Aides should assume free access to all equipment.
  4. Understanding that Media Production majors may not be enrolled in production classes each semester, those declared majors are nevertheless encouraged to engage in project work for their continued improvement (video festivals, competitions, a senior capstone piece, even personal projects). Requests for equipment to support such projects must be made in advance to the Chief Engineer. As a rule, equipment and facilities tend to be more readily available early in the semester. Requests must include (a) a project summary; (b) a detailed equipment wish list; (c) crew list; and (d) desired loan dates.

As in the regular semester, instruction, scholarship, and maintenance, regulate equipment use over breaks, vacations, reading recess, interims, and summer. Exceptions follow the same guidelines enumerated above.