The following should be interpreted as a general timetable governing the subjects to be covered in this course. Class discussion, pace – even fluctuations of student attendance and enrollment – often dictate additions, deviations, and omissions. You are advised to frequently consult the most recent version of this schedule; assignments, lecture topics, and links to resources, will be detailed and added throughout the term.

T Aug 24Discuss & Demo: Expectations; Strategies for Success; Group Communication; Studio & Equipment
R Aug 26Viewing Analytically: Batman Forever
M Aug 30Last Day to Drop-Add
T Aug 31Discuss: Lighting Aesthetics
Demo: 3- and 4-Point Lighting
R Sep 02Discuss & Demo:
M Sep 06Labor Day Recess: No Class Meeting
T Sep 07Q&A: LIGHTING PLOT. Submit a lighting plot from our recent studio class as a .pdf or .jpg via D2L (0900a). Here's a great student lighting plot to inspire you.
Participation: STUDIO LIGHTING (in class 1100a)
R Sep 09Workshop: Location Lighting
T Sep 14Project: LOCATION LIGHTING (1000a)
Participation: PEER EVALUATION (1030a)
R Sep 16Discuss & Demo: Composition Aesthetics; Scheduling & Storyboards
Q&A: COMPOSITION - Pre-Production (1030a)
T Sep 21Workshop: Composition
R Sep 23Project: COMPOSITION (0930a)
Participation: PEER EVALUATION
Discuss & Demo: Movement Aesthetics
Viewing Analytically: Raising Arizona
T Sep 28Q&A: MOVEMENT - Phase One: Pre-Production (0900a)
Heads Up! As the projects grow in complexity, you may find this Project Workflow/Shooting Protocol helpful.
Discuss & Demo: Movement Technique; Sharing Schedules via Outlook
R Sep 30Workshop: Movement
T Oct 05CURVEBALL: Friday Classes Meet Today
R Oct 07Workshop: Movement
T Oct 12Project: MOVEMENT - Phase Two: Production (1030a)
Participation: PEER EVALUATION (1030a)
R Oct 14Participation: SCRIPTWRITING - Conversation Transcript (0900a)
Participation: SCRIPTWRITING - Table Read (in class)
T Oct 19Participation: SCRIPTWRITING - Polish (0900a)
Q&A: SCRIPTWRITING - Storyboard (in class assignment)
R Oct 21Discuss & Demo: Recording Location Dialogue
Q&A: LOCATION DIALOGUE - Pre-Production (0900a). On behalf of your group, your Dialogue Project director will secure the professor's signature on a storyboard before shooting. The Dialogue Project producer will secure the professor's signature on an equipment wish list before shooting.
Heads Up! As the projects grow in complexity, you may find this Project Workflow/Shooting Protocol helpful.
T Oct 26Discuss & Demo: Recording Location Dialogue
R Oct 28Workshop: Location Dialogue
R Oct 28Last Day to Withdraw
T Nov 02Workshop: Location Dialogue
R Nov 04Project: LOCATION DIALOGUE - Production (0900a)
Participation: PEER EVALUATION (1030a)
Discuss & Demo: Editing Aesthetics
T Nov 09Discuss & Demo: Editing Technique; Project Organization; Sync & Merge
Q&A: POST-PRODUCTION - Hospital Download
R Nov 11Individual Q&A: POST-PRODUCTION - Hospital Assembly Edit
Individual Q&A: POST-PRODUCTION - Hospital Rough Cut
T Nov 16Individual Q&A: POST-PRODUCTION - Hospital VizLock
R Nov 18Individual Q&A: POST-PRODUCTION - Hospital Color
T Nov 23Individual Q&A: POST-PRODUCTION - Hospital Dialogue
R Nov 25Thanksgiving: No Class Meeting
T Nov 30Individual Project: POST-PRODUCTION - Hospital Export
R Dec 02Project: LOCATION DIALOGUE - Distribution (1030a)
Workshop: Personal Introduction Redux
T Dec 07Discuss & Demo: Final Exam Review (0800 - 1000a)
R Dec 09Final Exam (Q&A): Assessment (0800 - 1000a)
Participation: PEER EVALUATION (0830a)
R Dec 09Final Exam (Q&A): Public Screening (0800p). A film isn't a film until it's shared with an audience. Your presence is required.


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
  • by phone at 616.498.4336 (49.VIDEO).  Texting?  Remember to identify yourself by name and course.
  • in person.  My office hours are posted with video conferencing links.

I will respond to most messages within 12 business hours.


The emphasis of the course is on film and video as creative art media and the creative process as essential to analytical thinking and expression. The course examines historical and aesthetic approaches of the media based on twentieth century art. It offers individual experiences in film and video production. This course is approved for General Education designation of Computer Competency.

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

  • identify and employ the pre-production activities that govern digital filmmaking — including location scouting, scriptwriting, casting, storyboarding, and scheduling.
  • identify and employ rudimentary principles of lighting, camera operation, sound recording to capture video and audio.
  • identify and employ principles of cinema grammar to edit digital video footage and audio recordings.
  • store a finished digital video and prepare it for distribution.
  • support creative collaboration with safety, protocols, and etiquette, in the studio and on-location.
  • direct and respond to the direction of others.

Instruction will offer cultural and historical context for course assignments through lectures, presentations, and group discussions.


Coursework will be weighted as indicated:

Projects 60%
Quizzes & Assignments20%

In life and in the classroom, I encourage you to work hardest on the things that count most.

Assignment grades will be based on the following scale:

77-79C+< 60F

Coursework in Digital Filmmaking frequently takes 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 may be returned to you for correction.  Upon resubmission, it will be considered late work.

Late work can earn no more than a maximum of 60 points.  Work is considered late if submitted or time-stamped after deadlines posted in the syllabus (usually specified by date and time).  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 Student 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.

Because there are sometimes 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.  Appeals should be offered with rhetorical and presentational clarity, preferably face-to-face or via video conference.

Appeals are more likely to be successful if students have solicited the professor's input on at least two intermediate versions of the project (see "Feedback & Revision").


Syllabus deadlines are the date and time an assignment is due in its final version. The nature of filmmaking is such, however, that the most successful students typically solicit professor feedback on intermediate versions of major projects. While this is not a requirement, you ignore the Academy’s proven “draft-and-revise” rhythm at significant peril to your grade.

Responding to students’ desire for the most immediate feedback on their project work, grades and comments are typically reported online, usually within seven days of submission. It is therefore the responsibility of students to regularly consult D2L, Edinboro’s classroom management software, for the most current report of their grades.


Quizzes may be given without warning to encourage attendance and competency 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?

Substantiating paperwork (storyboards, lighting plots, scripts, talent releases) tends to be rewarded with higher grades if presented professionally. Written work submitted electronically should be formatted as .pdf files, with multiple pages combined in a .pdf binder. Completed student films should be submitted as specified in each assignment, usually as links to your Vimeo account or files via OneDrive.

Please be advised that uploading large video files is time consuming.  Internet service providers typically offer file uploads at 1/10 the speed of downloads (check your own ISP speeds here).  Make allowances to submit your work before posted deadlines.


Students are expected to attend each class meeting in its entirety, and will be penalized for late arrivals and early departures.  Class absences are excused for medical reasons, university activities approved by the appropriate vice president or designee, and/or for personal exigencies. University activities appropriate to be considered as an excused absence include but are not limited to: scheduled athletic events, cultural events, academic competitions, etc., in which the student is a participant. Other appropriate situations include: military duties, auto accidents, death in immediate family, medical emergencies. Verification of such absences may be required by the instructor, and the student is responsible for make-up work as required by the instructor.

Classes will not be held on holidays officially recognized by the university. 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.

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.

The classroom is a protected space where together students and faculty rehearse ideas that are often not yet ready to be shared with the wider world.  Effective teachers adapt course content for a narrow audience of students, tailoring discussions on the fly to circumstances of the moment.  Exchanges are necessarily fraught with controversy, challenge, and misunderstanding.  Please safeguard the learning enterprise from surreptitious audio and video surveillance.  Do not film, record, or share, audio or video images of anyone without a signed personal release.  This legal warning applies explicitly to video conferences, class lectures, and studio activities.  To honor the ownership of intellectual property, lectures are not recorded; Keynote and PowerPoint presentations are not stored or distributed.  Major concepts will be repeated frequently, both verbally and visually, using the Harvard Outline Format for easy note-taking.

Silence your phones during class meetings and project work.  You’d hate to ruin an otherwise fabulous take on location with a Kanye West ringtone.


It is expected that all work submitted through this course is the student’s original work, generated for the express purpose of completing the requirements of this course. Students are to be aware that academic dishonesty is not tolerated in this course and should be familiar with the following definitions:

  • Cheating. Behaviors including, but not limited to, use of unauthorized notes or reference materials during examinations; copying answers from another student’s paper during an examination; the unauthorized possession of academic materials, including exams; the unauthorized exchange of course assessment materials, including exams; the unauthorized exchange of information or collaboration regarding tests, or other course assignments; aiding another to engage in cheating; and/or all other acts of academic dishonesty that any member of this academic community would reasonably understand to be a breach of this academic integrity statement will be considered cheating and an act of academic dishonesty.
  • Plagiarism. Plagiarism may be defined as the act of taking the ideas and/or expression of ideas of another person and representing them as one’s own. This includes, but is not limited to, using ideas or passages from a work without properly attributing the source, paraphrasing the work of another without giving proper credit, and/or the sale, purchase, or exchange of papers or research. It is the student’s responsibility to know what plagiarism is and to properly cite the work of others. If a student is in doubt, it is their responsibility to resolve any ambiguity prior to submitting the work. Plagiarism is nothing less than an act of theft, and, as such, is subject to University disciplinary action.
  • Copyright.  While plagiarism involves appropriating someone’s ideas without credit, copyright infringement is taking or altering someone’s original created work without paying.  Copyright enforcement is subject to a number of variables including the lifespan of the creator and his/her heirs as well as corporate ownership of works made for hire.  Fair warning:  burgeoning filmmakers often wrongly believe they must pay other creators for work used only if their film turns a profit.  Not true.

The standards of integrity and the penalties of dishonesty apply equally to

  • ideas, words, and speech
  • visual images, recordings, performances, and files
  • audio recordings, performances, and files
  • all electrochemical means of storage and communication
  • use of computing facilities and resources in violation of copyright laws

I will vigorously pursue prosecution of academic dishonesty to the very limit of sanctions allowed by the university, up to and including failure of the course and expulsion from the university.  I will work just as vigorously with students to prevent even unintended lapses of integrity.

Potential sanctions associated with academic dishonesty may be found in the University’s Student Code of Conduct and Judicial Procedures.

While student media producers retain copyright ownership of their respective work, enrollment in this course constitutes your permission to let the university, the department, the professor, their representatives, and successors, exhibit and distribute for promotional purposes those media projects submitted in fulfillment of course assignments.  Your enrollment further implies consent to be photographed in class or while working on class projects.  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 university’s last day to drop-add.


Equipment loan and campus facilities are available to students enrolled in face-to-face offerings of this course.

In case of a shift to remote learning, students are responsible for access to specified equipment.

In lieu of a required textbook, students should set aside $75 for production expenses and festival entry fees.


Edinboro University of Pennsylvania offers services to meet the accommodation needs of students with many types of disabilities. The Office for Accessibility Services (OAS) provides services to students based upon documentation of a disability and a request for accommodations based on this disability. Please refer to Edinboro University Policy A008 (Reasonable Accommodations for Students with Disabilities). This policy is in compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973.

Office for Accessibility Services
Crawford Center, 200 Glasgow Road, Edinboro, PA 16444

Edinboro University and its faculty are committed to assuring a safe and productive educational environment for all students. In order to comply with the requirements of Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 and the University’s commitment to offering supportive measures in accordance with the new regulations issued under Title IX, the University requires faculty members to report incidents of sexual violence shared by students to the University's Title IX Coordinator. The only exceptions to the faculty member's reporting obligation are when incidents of sexual violence are communicated by a student during a classroom discussion, in a writing assignment for a class, or as part of a University-approved research project. Faculty members are obligated to report sexual violence or any other abuse of a student who was, or is, a child (a person under 18 years of age) when the abuse allegedly occurred to the person designated in the University protection of minors policy.

Information regarding the reporting of sexual violence and the resources that are available to victims of sexual violence is set forth online here or in-person at

Office of Social Equity
Reeder Hall, Third Floor, 219 Meadville Street
Edinboro, PA 16444 • 814-732-2167