Five Video Assignments Designed To Meet the
Various Goals Established For This Course


I. Campus Story.The emphasis here is on story . Take any aspect of campus life and develop a well thought-out video piece with a clear beginning, middle and end structure.

First, write out (type up) all of your shots in the order you plan to tape them.  You must hand this in with your videotape. As an example:

  • 1. LS - campus, early morning. Students are hurrying to classes.
  • 2. MS - Mary getting out of her car in the parking lot with a load of books .
  • 3. MS - John noticing, stops, turns, starts walking toward her.  ((etc.))

Edit in the camera (for this assignment only). Learning the concept of editing in the camera is an important discipline that will save you time later.

Sound will be music (your choice) from a CD that you will bring to class and play with your videotape. You will not use any location sound for this first assignment—only music.

TIME: Not critical, but between 1 and 3 minutes.

After this assignment, you will be submitting an edited tape, and the audio will edited onto your edited master during the editing process.

II. Person at work.Illustrate with video the relationship between a person (only one person) and a job. This can be a vocation or avocation, but not a hobby.

Tell a complete story of the person-job interaction through the use of establishing shots, closeups, ECUs, etc.

When you present your video we should get a clear idea of the person, exactly what they do, how they do it, maybe a key person or two they work with, and something of their personality and feelings toward their job.  

Sound for this assignment will be a selection of music of your choice. You may include SOT (sound-on-tape) segments if you feel you can confidently handle this at this point in the course. Transfer this music along with any location sound (including interview segments) to your edited master during the editing process.

TIME: Not critical, but between 2 and 4 minutes.

III. Mood piece.Establish a basic mood—tranquility, anxiety, reverence, anger, patriotism, sensuality, spirituality, or whatever—entirely through your selection of subject matter and the use of camera angles and lighting techniques.

Music and dialogue may only supplement (but not establish or fully communicate) the mood you select. Without your audio we should clearly get the idea. Stick to one mood or feeling, and don't confuse matters by moving from one mood to another.

After seeing your video we should be able to ask 10 people for a one-word description of the mood conveyed and get a reasonably consistent answer.

TIME: Probably rather short. Once you feel you have communicated your mood, quit!

IV. Mini-drama.Do a short dramatic scene with two or more actors in which you smoothly and transparently intercut the dialogue from two or more single-camera setups. This is to be done in single-camera, film style setups.

Write the script yourself, or borrow it from a film or play; it doesn't matter.

You will be required to hand in a typed script in proper dramatic script form before your video will be shown. 

Keep in mind needed visual variety and the techniques of single-camera film-style production.

NOTE: To meet the minimum requirements of this assignment you must have at least six, consecutive audio cuts from one (speaking) person to another. This is a typical dramatic segment and not a voice-over or one person interviewing another with a single, shared microphone.  The people must be in the same master shot; but from here you will cut to closeups of the people speaking.

Pay particular attention to shifts in audio levels, changes in background sound, proper pacing, consistent actor energy levels, etc.  

When we hear your video we should not be distracted by unnatural sounding audio transitions. To achieve the desired results this assignment also will also require finesse in working with actors.  

V. Public Service Announcement.This is an extra credit assignment .  Create a 30-second PSA (Public Service Announcement) with an ethical, moral, spiritual, or humanitarian message.

Time: precisely 0:30. (Not a second more or less!)

Have a video (and possibly audio) tag at the end that clearly identifies your cause.  

Credit is not automatic. To receive credit this must be edited with a non-linear editing system and be a truly effective PSA, one that shows top-notch production techniques.



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