Tag Archives: Group Meetings

agenda :: 4/28

video warm-up: mind your head: the poems of henry ponder :: i found this pretty interesting – henry ponder is an obscure poet who composes mostly on twitter, sending out short, simple, sometimes funny or profound observations about the minutiae of daily life. the filmmaker here was inspired by his outlook on things and reached out to him about making a short film depicting reenactments of some of his poems. read more about their interaction and the inspiration here.

group meetings: get together with your small groups one last time to check in, share your progress, and field questions. remember that you should be ideally editing your raw material together at this time, so pay attention to the post-production aspects of video creation. does the pacing of the piece feel natural? are subtitles or other text spelled correctly? are music and other audio elements balanced?  does the piece in general make sense? are there any moments where the flow of the piece is disrupted or less polished? be picky for each other, and pay attention to the details.

workshop time: the clock is ticking on these projects – stick around to work independently editing on your computer, grab a camera and get some last-minute footage, do whatever the next item on this project’s agenda is and do it well! talk to me about your projects if you’re feeling stuck or need a little feedback on any problems you’re having. 


  • continue making progress on your project on your own. good luck, i can’t wait to see how they have turned out!
  • final project screenings will begin on thursday! hard to believe it came so quickly, but here is our schedule for the rest of the semester:
    • thursday april 30 (required attendance for all) ::  kimmi, don, connie, yuhe
    • tuesday may 5 (required attendance for all) :: shannon,  jesse, grace, fanwen, wangsoo, jun, kelsey, jason
    • thursday may 7 (optional reading day extension) :: seri, sophia, saina, xianhao, haley, mi so, tingnan, yuxiang, ian
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agenda :: 4/21

writing warm-up: imagine a world without computers, smartphones, any sort of the technology you use daily to entertain yourself. what would you do with your day? how would your rituals or routines change? would it be difficult for you? would it make you more or less productive?

screening: web junkie :: i saw this one recently and though you might find it interesting. it addresses the social issue of Internet addiction in a strong first-hand investigatory way.

writing response: take the next 10 to 15 minutes to free-write and respond to the piece we just watched. what do you believe is the argument this film is making? do you think the filmmakers believe these camps are a good thing or not? do you strongly agree or disagree with the way the issue is presented?

final due dates: after some rigged election results, an old-fashioned straw poll, and lively debate during class last time, i think i’ve finally settled on my solution for the due-dates debacle. we will stick with the official due dates as april 30 and may 5, because that is what is listed on class schedule and i understand many of you have already planned around these dates for to study for finals and make arrangements for other things. also, because i can’t require you to come in on you reading day, and it would feel wrong to force you to if you didn’t want the extension in the first place. if it best for you to stick with your original due date, feel free to. however, i will allow everyone to take the option of thursday may 7 (reading day) as an optional screening extension. you will still need to be present on both of the original screening days to participate in the discussion, and i just need to you sign up on the list i’m passing around the classroom. that’s as fair as i could figure it out, and hope this is agreeable to everyone.

group meetings: get together once again with your small groups and share your progress. discuss ways that you are all moving from pre-production into production, share any footage you might have, sketch out storyboards or talk through intro sequences or other segments of your project that you are able to envision. check with each other about the goals that you set last week, and set new goals for the week to come. as usual, i will be walking around to answer questions and help brainstorm if needed.


  • continue work on your final video project. you should ideally be in the heart of production right now, following a clear plan you have set in place through your pre-production and production journal responses. at this stage, you hopefully are starting to collect some footage and assemble it into a very rough cut in your editor.
  • start filling out the “post-production” segment of the production journal as you move into this phase of the project. this response will be due on your blogs by class time next tuesday, april 28. i will remind you of this again in thursday’s homework assignments.
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agenda :: 4/16

writing warm-up: write about a person that has inspired you or challenged you to see something in a new way.

voting warm-up: here’s your chance to vote about the due dates for module 3. remember, we can stick with the days as they stand (april 30 and may 5), or vote to make reading day our last official class and give everyone extra time (may 5 and 7). vote only once based one what you prefer. majority will rule in this democracy, and we will all abide by what is decided in the poll. much like those kids in china and their choice for class monitor!

short screening: the pervert’s guide to ideology (excerpt) :: slavoj zizek is one of my favorite pop-philosophers, not only because he discusses his ideas in terms of movies and popular culture, but also makes movies of his own. i hope you’ll note how the filmmakers make his difficult subject matter more understandable by inserting relevant footage at the right times, and keep the viewer engaged by composing the interview sequences in clever ways to match the aesthetics of the movie in question. lively and compelling composition and editing can go a long way to help your piece. here, he explains his thoughts on ideology by illustrating them through scenes from the john carpenter sci-fi movie they live. everything is an argument, even bad movies, remember?

ideology: the study of systems of ideas, how they are formed, and their implications.

the point zizek makes is that our natural, default state is to live within ideologies, taking for granted the way certain things are crafted to convince us of something, manipulate our actions, or tell us how to view ourselves, even – in this case, putting on the sunglasses symbolizes the conscience choice we have to make to see things in a new way, outside of our natural positions. this is often painful and confrontational, as we step outside of our comfort zones – as depicted in the ridiculously long fight scene. but then again, that’s just his ideology regarding ideology.

deconstruction exercise :: (30 min)

  1. Think about three purchases you’ve made recently.  These should range from larger ticket items like electronics, to trivial daily purchases like gum, coffee etc.
  2. Go online and look for advertisements for the items, or the product website.
  3. For each item write a response to the following questions:
    – Why did you choose to buy this specific product?
    – Does the advertisement resonate with your own personal aesthetic or “brand”?  How?
    – Does the way the product is marketed appeal to your personal beliefs or identity?

storyboards:  basic information on storyboarding –  a common and effective method in time-based media. pre-visualizing ideas is always helpful (and can save time), and it really doesn’t matter if the author can’t draw –this process is more  about getting ideas onto paper (or some other sketching medium). steve stockman tells us to think in shots, and storyboarding is a great way to exercise thinking this way. here are some helpful links that have more information:

  1. storyboard wikipedia page
  2. basic storyboard template
  3. about pixar’s storyboarding process in toy story
  4. the empire strikes back storyboard comparison
  5. screencrush has lots of examples from movies you may know
  6. some interesting examples from family plot and the birds (2) by hitchcock, notorious for his attention to detail and adherence to storyboard composition
  7. storyboards from no country for old men  by j. todd anderson

workshop time: the clock is ticking on these projects – stick around to meet with me if you’re stuck for ideas, grab a camera and get some footage, do whatever the next item on this project’s agenda is! 


  • complete the production segment of the production journal template fully, and post to your blog by monday at 11:59pm.
  • continue making progress on your project on your own, working through rough drafts, and editing all your raw material together into a coherent 6-8 minute piece. you know better than i what you need to do at this stage, so keep yourself on task and remember your due date.
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