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CMS 297 A: Special Topics In Cinema And Media Studies

Visual Thinking: An Intro to Making Video Essays

Summer Term: 
Meeting Time: 
MTWTh 10:50am - 1:00pm
* *

Syllabus Description:

Visual Thinking: An Intro to Making Video Essays

How do films and media transform and affect the way we think? How do visual images “speak,” communicate, and even manipulate? This course will be partially an aesthetic history of cinema and film philosophy and partially a practicum in which students are expected to apply their knowledge from the course towards the production of critical video essays.

Through the re-editing and re-mixing of film images and sounds, students will learn how to “write” a critical video essay. This course is designed to teach students to interpret, analyze, and argue using audiovisual materials. In order to do this, students must learn how a film articulates ideas, how to unpack those ideas via critical analysis, and how to articulate their own ideas/criticisms using a film’s raw audiovisual material. Throughout the course, we will examine the formal and rhetorical strategies for effective communication within the medium of videographic criticism, studying the relationship between aesthetics and knowledge production, form and argument. In particular, we will look at the Surrealist beginnings of the video essay, discuss notions of montage/collage within early cinema, explore the avant-garde roots of “found footage,” and examine the emergence of the essay film.

While the major focus will be on producing video essays, assignments may also include research papers, creative essays, fan reviews, photo essays, and short film projects. You may be asked to collaborate in groups, both in online discussion forums and in film production.

This is a hands-on course, in which students will complete a series of exercises using digital video editing software, post their work for the class, and engage in peer-to-peer reviews/discussions. The class will culminate in a series of videographic final projects. Previous editing experience is not required.

Catalog Description: 
Varied topics related to film and/or media. Offered: AWSpS.
Department Requirements Met: 
Cinema & Media Studies Elective
GE Requirements Met: 
Visual, Literary, and Performing Arts (VLPA)
Last updated: 
May 19, 2020 - 11:47am