Will Luers

Will Luers

Welcome to the class. I am your guide through the world of electronic literature.


Film Essay: using the cinema to explore, investigate,  “essay” the world and experience.

Michel de Montaigne – “essai”
1) an attempt or effort
2) personal writing on a particular subject

Capturing the mundane real, “pure cinema”

Rain, Joris Ivens, 1929


Poetic real, surreal documentary

A propos de Nice – Jean Vigo, 1930


Fact and Fiction

F for Fake – Orson Welles, 1973


Combinatory, exploratory, travel

Sans soleil, Chris Marker, 1982


Screen Capture – media and mediation as topic

Parallel I-IV, 2014 – by Harun Farocki



Collage – text + voice, still + moving image

Histoire(s) du cinema, Jean-Luc Godard 1988-1998



Contemporary cinema essay

Hale County This Morning This Evening, -RaMell Ross, 2018

Hale County, AL is Subject of Poetic Documentary on Blackness and Everyday Life in the Black Belt



Student Work:

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Continuity Editing vs. Jump Cuts


  • Establishing shot > medium > close
  • 180 degree rule 
  • 30 degree rule
  • Cut in / Match on Action
  • Motivated Pov shot
  • Eyeline match/ Shot Reverse Shot
  • Empty frame
  • Graphic Match
  • Parallel action/ Crosscutting



Exact Repetition

short-term memory =  under 20 seconds

beginning > middle > end

semi-static (infinite loop)


complex loops – variable duration of each shot



loops in new media – movement and interactivity

FilmText, by Mark Amerika

Zoe Beloff


Simultaneous Loops

spatial montage = “coexisting temporalities” (Lev Manovich)

Flora petrinsularis by Jean-Louis Boissier 1993

Interactive Cinema, by Uda Atsuko http://www.iamas.ac.jp/~makura/index_old.html


Sequential Loops

Eric Loyer calls “temporal polyrhythms”

The temporal map of the comic’s inter-panel progression with the various nested intra-panel movements.


“Our Toyota Was Fantastic” -Gilles Roussel a.k.a. Boulet

Interactive Cinema, by Uda Atsuko http://www.iamas.ac.jp/~makura/index_old.html


Nested Loops

an asynchronous assemblage of nested loops offers a picture of fractal time;

simultaneous temporalities of different scales, rhythms and durations.


Cinemagraphs (portion of image is in movement)

3 Loop Exercise

adobe premiere

insert a loop into a blog post with vimeo or youtube

(video src=”url” loop=”on” autoplay=”on”) – only with square brackets not parentheses!


loop series template

loop series zip


WATCH:“Run Lola Run” (1991), by directed by Tom Tykwer

ASSIGNMENT: Due Next Class 

Three Loops (5%):
no more than 10 seconds per loop
Shoot and edit 3 video loops (6-10 second mini-narratives) that depict,  emphasize or evoke different subjective experiences of time: cyclic, slow, timeless, frantic, rhythmic. In one loop try to incorporate continuity editing – POV shot, match on action – to maintain unity. In another, try out a more discontinuous/montage style. In the third, attempt a perfect/infinite loop. Create a variety of shot lengths for emphasis. A 4-second shot sandwiched between 2-second shots, will seem to stretch time.

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Visual Evidence

View Spatial Montage assignments…

discontinuous > continuous
collision > linking

Discuss  readings…


Visual Evidence in Documentaries

Harlan County, USA


The Interview

Video Journalism: Carrier of the Economy

Job/Hobby Profile Assignment (10%):
Rough Cut Due in two weeks

no more than 2 minutes 
In this assignment, you will do a 1-2 minute profile of a person at their job or doing their hobby, like gardening or painting. What does this person do at their job or hobby?  What is the activity? How often do they do it? What experience are they getting? What experience did they need before getting the job or starting on the hobby?  If the person works at home, how do they manage home life and their work? How might you tie the job or hobby to larger questions about work or creative activity? 

The two areas of focus in this assignment are 1) moving with the camera and 2) conducting an interview, but you should of course pay attention to continuity, montage and framing. So choose a subject that does not spend the day sitting in front of a computer, even though most jobs do include some of this.

  • First, have a pre-interview discussion with your subject. Find out some things about them and their job.
  • Prepare a story outline, interview questions and a basic shot list for visual evidence.
  • Then set up a time/place with your subject and conduct a sit-down interview at a good location (related to work/hobby) for lighting and sound recording.
  • After the interview, get the visual evidence you need by following the person at work or, even better, as they work on a particular project. Continue to ask questions while following the subject with the camera. You may find that the answers are more interesting than in the sit-down interview.


Interview (A roll)  + Visual Evidence (B roll)


  • talk to subject without camera, find the story
  • use interview to support, not replace, visual evidence

Plan the Story:

  • make an outline of the story: hook, intro, complication, climax, resolution
  • make a shot list for the visual evidence
  • make a list of questions for the interviewee.  remember, no simple yes/no questions

Camera Setup:

  • find a good location with decent visuals, good lighting for the subject and minimal or no background noise
  • use a tripod or keep is still if you have the camera on a monopod
  • change camera angle/zoom between questions for shot variety, but keep to standard medium shot (leave enough head room)
  • follow rule of thirds for framing (leave some space on the side interviewee is angled)
  • pay attention to the background (give a sense of place)

Mic Setup:

  • get external mic close to the subject. three feet is ideal (or aim directional mic)
  • test your levels
  • remember to push record!
  • no bumps, ticks or hisses near mic
  • do not let subject hold mic
  • here is the manual for the Zoom H1


  • find a good key light to fall at an angle on the subject’s face.  near a window or lamp, for example. try to avoid overhead of fluorescent lighting
  • With a basic DIY light set up, have a Key Light and Fill Light at a slightly higher angle than the subject. And then, if you have another light, use it for the Background Light. See Lighting on the Fly
  • never shoot a subject in front of a window!
  • “bounce” lighting off the walls for fill and backlighting, or use reflectors
  • avoid heavy shadows
  • down-and-dirty-lighting-kit

The Interview:

  • start with getting full name (perhaps spelling) and other relevant info (position, title, job)
  • let people talk. keep silent for a few moments after a question has been answered. when you are silent, interviewees will fill the void with something perhaps more authentic

Visual Evidence (B roll):

  • do not direct actions, follow and anticipate
  • don’t move the camera off the talking subject when they are showing/pointing to something. you can get the shot later
  • look for visual evidence at location of interview, capture “telling” details
  • vary the camera angles and positions: long, medium, close-up, over-shoulder, close on hands, cutaways, establishing shots
  • ask questions while shooting visual evidence
  • listen and be attentive to your subject


Covering an Event/Action:

Cover what you can of an event and always look for opportunities for continuity cuts.

Move around the subject(s) (within 180 degrees) and vary your camera framing:tight (CU), medium and wide (establishing).

For covering processes -like somebody making something- think of five shot variations for each sequence:

Michael Rosenblum’s 5-Shot-Sequence

  1. A closeup on the hands of a subject – showing WHAT is happening
  2. A closeup on the face – WHO is doing it
  3. A wide shot – WHERE its happening
  4. An over the shoulder shot (OTS) – linking together the previous three concepts
  5. An unusual, or side/low shot – providing story-specific context


Previous Student Job Profiles:

In-class assignment: VMMC Haunting


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Narrative Spaces

Framing Assignments

Skyfall edit – frames, shots, scene, sequence

Framing Assignment – composition, camera position, on-screen/off screen space, reveal and conceal, projective and imaginary spaces

Screen Grab Assignment – scenes built from shots, edited shots link spaces, temporal events and story

Cinema language (not exactly like a language)

  • mise en scene – world depicted/in front of the camera, faces, landscape, gesture, costume
  • framing – camera position and lens, moving camera
  • editing – continuity and montage, order, rhythm, syntax/grammar
  • sound – voice, music, effects, 3d space

Narrative Continuity (discontinuity > narrative continuity)

All edits are discontinuous. Editing is a trick of condensing and expanding illusions of space and time for story effects. Story effects are built from the juxtaposition of discontinuous units: Frame-Shot-Sequence-Act-Story. Story momentum reinforces perceived continuity and the sense of a whole.

  • Continuity editing: invisible cuts, sense of a continuous time and space built from fragmented shots
  • Montage (assembly/construction): visible cuts, shot juxtaposed to shot for emotional effect
  • Decoupage (to cut up): the art of connecting part to whole idea

Continuity editing creates the illusion of continuous space and time in a fiction or documentary and should be considered as an opportunity for making fluid connections and not as a set of strict rules never to be broken. Continuity also sets up important relationships do establish the sense of  a whole story. Story drives the editing!

  • Establishing shot 
  • 180 degree rule
  • 30 degree rule
  • Cut in / Match on Action
  • Motivated Pov shot
  • Eyeline match/ Shot Reverse Shot
  • Empty frame
  • Graphic Match
  • Parallel action/ Crosscutting
  • Jump Cut (deliberate discontinuity)

Classical Hollywood Style:

  • objective camera (no looking at lens)
  • cause and effect editing
  • goal or desire and an obstacle to goal
  • closure – plot resolved
  • time and pace for story effects and information

establishing shot / 180 degree rule / 30 degree rule / match on action / motivated pov / eyeline match

  • North by Northwest – Alfred Hitchcock, cafeteria scene…
  • Hoop Dreams opening

Graphic Match / Cross-cutting:


Jump Cuts > Montage

Documentaries and Narrative Continuity

Illusions of Continuity

Humphrey Jennings and Stewart McAllister’s ‘Listen to Britain’


Madeleine Brookman – basketball video

In-class Exercise: late to class…



Narrative Structure

Aristotle’s Poetics, 335 BC
– plot = “the arrangement of the incidents” into a whole
– drama vs. narration / show vs. tell (mimesis)
– unity of action (cause and effect chain)
– complex plot: reversal and recognition
– tragedy arouses pity and fear and then purges them (catharsis)

Three Act Structure in Movies
Act 1: (20-25min)
– exposition, normal life, intro to characters
-inciting incident, protagonist(s) has a choice of how and whether to act
Act 2: (20-60min)
– complications stemming from actions, cause and effect chain
– point of no return (protagonist committed to action)
– reversal and recognition (the twist and then protagonist understanding what needs to be done)
Act 3: (20-25min)
– unraveling or denouement
-resolution and closure

Western narrative traditions and conflict theory
– the battle of ego(s) -winners and losers
– protagonist with desire vs. antagonist obstructing desire
– conflict all the way down – dialogue, scene, act
– cause effect chain
– clarity of purpose and moral certainty are valued
– representation, mimesis in dramatic arts, presents the world as knowable
– objectivity, omniscient narration
– closure

Non-western and other traditions
-Kishōtenketsu: a four act narrative structure: Intro, Development, Twist, Resolution. Form developed out of Korean, Chinese and Japanese traditions, originating in Chinese lyric. Kishōtenketsu is a narrative structure that is not based on conflict and resolution. The character, setting, situation and other basic elements are established.
– Surrealism/ Dada breaks cause and effect chains
– African fractal storytelling (story patterns repeated and nested)

Premiere keyboard shortcuts

Basic sound editing
Adding Effects
Animating effects
Adding Titles

Assignment: Due Next Class

Continuity (5%):  Shoot and edit a short video that follows the principles  of continuity to create the illusion of continuous space and time.  Try to vary the angles and distances of your shots:  establishing shot, medium-shot, close-up, extreme-close-up. Sound may be an element here, but please do not include talking, music or verbal explanations. We are working on visual explanations, depicting continuity of action. Below are some ideas.

  • Making or Doing Something:
    Document someone making something or doing some focused activity. The process may take 3-30 minutes, but the final video should be no more than 60 seconds. Document a single continuous action (making art, playing sports, cooking a meal, walking a dog) and edit it into a sequence that is between 30-60 seconds. 
  • “Lunch Date” redux:
    Using continuity editing, narrate a 30-60 sec. story about a character suspecting another character of taking something belonging to them.

Post your Continuity Assignment with a Vimeo/Youtube embed (place the url on its own line) and write a 500 word assessment of your video from the standpoint of framing and continuity editing. What works and what doesn’t work to tell the visual story?

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Networked Video

Montage assignments

Job Profiles rough-cuts?


Video Blogging 2001-2008:

cinema without show business

Youtube (2005) , purchased by Google in 2006 for $1.65 billion

YouTube Statistics

  • over a billion users — almost one-third of all people on the Internet
  • You can navigate YouTube in a total of 76 different languages (covering 95% of the Internet population)
  • More than half of YouTube views come from mobile devices.
  • YouTube overall, and even YouTube on mobile alone, reaches more 18-34 and 18-49 year-olds than any cable network in the U.S.
  • Number of channels earning six figures per year on YouTube is up 50% y/y
  • 1 hour of new video every second / 300 hours of video are uploaded to YouTube every minute!
  • Approximately 20% of the people who start your video will leave after the first 10 seconds. Create a damn good intro.
  • The youngest YouTube star Ryan Toys Review who is six years old made $11,000,000 in 2017.





Viral Videos:

meme is an idea, behavior, or style that spreads from person to person within a culture—often with the aim of conveying a particular phenomenon, theme, or meaning represented by the meme.  A meme acts as a unit for carrying cultural ideas, symbols, or practices, that can be transmitted from one mind to another through writing, speech, gestures, rituals, or other imitable phenomena with a mimicked theme. Supporters of the concept regard memes as cultural analogues to genes in that they self-replicate, mutate, and respond to selective pressures.

Proponents theorize that memes are a viral phenomenon that may evolve by natural selection in a manner analogous to that of biological evolution. Memes do this through the processes of variation, mutation, competition, and inheritance, each of which influences a meme’s reproductive success. Memes spread through the behavior that they generate in their hosts. 

from wikipedia


“YouTube personality Kevin Nalty (known as Nalts) recalls on his blog: “A few years ago, a video could be considered ‘viral’ if it hit a million views”, but says as of 2011, only “if it gets more than 5 million views in a 3–7 day period” can it be considered “viral”.”

from wikipedia


220,270,352 views = about $ .5- 1 million

cost per 1,000 views (CPM) = $0.25 – $4 range

1 view = around 16 seconds


Related image

Image result for sneezing panda the movie

Web Series (webisodes)

“YouTube takes a 45% cut and sometimes the YouTuber also has Multi Channel Network representing who also takes around 45%. So the YouTuber, who gets on average 600k+ views a week, will end up with around $1-3k a week from CPMs [cost per thousand impressions – technically, “cost per mille”]” – Chasing their Star on YouTube 

DisneyCollectorBR earns $1.4 and $21.9 million each year


June 2006 to August 1, 2008,

season 1

Haunted Sunshine Girl


Vimeo VOD


Everybody Street


Strategies for Youtube Creators/ from Creator’s Academy

  1. shareability
  2. conversation
  3. interactivity
  4. consistency
  5. targeting
  6. sustainability
  7. discoverability
  8. accessibility
  9. collaboration
  10. inspiration/authenticity
  • Build Plan
  • Create Great Content
  • Schedule
  • Optimize
  • Promote
  • Amplify
  • Measure


Google Analytics of “Greg Hanson a Collage Artist”


Discuss/Plan/Pitch Final Projects

Edit Job Profiles?

Cinema and Story

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Hybrid Spaces


Job Profiles…

Discuss Lev Manovich “What is Digital Cinema?“…


New ways to depict space – multiple, discontinuous, mixed media
– newspaper and paint
– photography and drawing
– text and image


The Dream, 1908 by Pablo Picasso

Picasso, Pablo
Guitar, 1913 by Pablo Picasso



Film Compositing – multiple images in single frame
-painting on film
-matte effects (split screen), painted sets/ backgrounds
-titles, text on screen

Video Compositing
– multiple layers of video
– effects (pixels as information)
– green screen – swap pixel colors
– the pixel grid

New Media (HTML) – each piece of media is discrete, not a composite

Google’s Deep Dream software


Cloverfield, green screen effect




COMPOSTING (layers of tracks)


ROTOSCOPING (painting on video)

Watch: Waking Life, by Richard Linklater


CMDC student Haley Zach


MOBILE HYBRID NARRATIVE – real space + cinema space

Janet Cardiff – mobile art
blended space of physical space and cinematic representation of space


SCREEN CAPTURE /DESKTOP SPACE (text and multiple frames)

There are many option for screen capture. On a Mac use the free Quicktime: File>New Screen Recording

Noah, by by Walter Woodman and Patrick Cederberg as a class project

NightWatch-ComeToMe NightWatch-NoStop NightWatch-hurrydoll

Green Screen In-Class Exercise


ASSIGNMENT: Due Next Tuesday
Hybrid Space (5%):
Create a 30-60 second video that explores a hybrid cinematic space: a screen space made of multiple layers of video, text, graphic imagery and/or image effects There are many techniques you can combine to create a hybrid space: compositing (layering of video tracks), green screen, video effects, spatial montage, etc. Or you can use  Newhive to create your own layered HTML space. The only rule is you must  incorporate the “indexicality” of video (your own or remixed from other sources).

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Time Frames

View Continuity assignments…

Spatial relations between shots, movement in space…

Time, narrative and editing…

“Montage Sequence” (summary of events, passage of time) – screen time <= story time

continuous time – screen time <= story time

compressed time –  screen time < story time
and repetition 

continuous – long takes, screen time = story time

continuous – slow motion, expanded time, screen time > story time


Building blocks of cinematic storytelling…  or ways to hold attention:

Frame > Shot > Scene > Sequence

Framing: distance from subject, angle, diagonal lines, foreground-middleground-background, depth, light/shadow, focus/unfocus, focal length, depth of field, rule of thirds, moving frame, duration

Continuity: cinematic space – the motivated shot, screen direction, 180 degree rule, 30 degree rule, match on action, graphic match, eyeline match, POV

Montage: juxtaposition of discontinuous shots: rapid cuts, rhythm, emotional sequences, thoughts, ideas, summary of events, passage of time, voice-over sequence, associational thinking, commentary, evidence, split screen


Soviet Montage

Kuleshov Effect

Vertov– Man with a Movie Camera

In this sequence of Man with a Movie Camera, the impression of  busy city life is conveyed through fast montage of varying discontinuous shots.

Sergei Eisenstein‘s methods of montage

Metric – where the editing follows a specific number of frames (based purely on the physical nature of time), cutting to the next shot no matter what is happening within the image. This montage is used to elicit the most basal and emotional of reactions in the audience.

Rhythmic– includes cutting based on continuity, creating visual continuity from edit to edit.



– a tonal montage uses the emotional meaning of the shots—not just manipulating the temporal length of the cuts or its rhythmical characteristics—to elicit a reaction from the audience even more complex than from the metric or rhythmic montage. For example, a sleeping baby would emote calmness and relaxation; billowing sails and the calm before the storm.


Overtonal/Associational– the overtonal montage is the cumulation of metric, rhythmic, and tonal montage to synthesize its effect on the audience for an even more abstract and complicated effect. This is the Eisenstein’s famous Odessa Steps sequence (revisited in the Untouchables).


– uses shots which, combined, elicit an intellectual meaning. you put the idea together by the collision of shots.


French Poetic Montage 

Coeur Fidèle (1923, Jean Epstein)

An Andalusian Dog, by Luis Buñuel and Salvador Dalí – 1929 (tonal, rhythmic, false continuity)


Other Examples:

Requiem for a Dream, Aronofsky (metric, tonal)


City of God (metric, tonal, rhythmic)


Tree of Life, Terence Malick (overtonal/associational)


I Wish, Hirokasu Koreeda



In Class Exercise:

Movie Trailer Remix Slam: 

  1. Get into pairs.
  2. Download 2 movie trailers from different genres. (both 720p)
  3. Bring these videos into Premiere and edit a remix trailer of an imaginary movie. Make decisions quickly! Don’t overthink it.
  4. Upload to Youtube and make a post to blog
  5. Class votes on top three trailers

Temporal Montage (5%):
no more than 30 seconds

As an element of film language, montage (the juxtaposition of images) can be a powerful tool for storytelling: getting across ideas or emotions, summarizing events, conveying the cyclical or simultaneous, making poetic associations and creating rhythm and tension. Because juxtaposed images act on our subconscious, montage is effective in propaganda and marketing as well as storytelling. In other words, be free to juxtapose images for narrative/expressive effect, but be aware and sensitive to how those juxtapositions will be perceived.

In this assignment, you are to use montage to summarize an event or series of events in time. You may use any type of montage association – rhythmic, metric, tonal, intellectual, poetic – but the subject must be about the passage of time. You may use natural sound or keep it silent, but please no music tracks for now. I want you to find the rhythm and pacing of your edits in the narrative, not in external music.


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Database Logic,Lev Manovich

database: a structured collection of data
no beginning or end,  multilinear
encyclopedia, catalogs, index/search
HTML, Video Games – an interface to a database
narrative shell masks the algorithm of a game. the key to the game experience
databases < interface > algorithms
narrative = cause and effect chain, character, event
cinema : assembly line sequencing

Dziga Vetov, Man With A Movie Camera


Peter Greenaway, The Falls



Interactive Cinema

Kinoautomat (1967)
“At nine points during the film the action stops,and a moderator appears on stage to ask the audience to choose between two scenes; following an audience vote, the chosen scene is played.”

Hypertext > Hypermedia > Flash > Video Games > Transmedia

Olia Lialina – My Boyfriend Came Back from the War (netcinema) 1996










Branching: YouTube annotations:

Student Work:




HTML5 media

HyperCinema (5%):

Due next week

Using the hypervideo template 1 | demo  or hypervideo template 2  | demo I provide, shoot some short loops (under 10 seconds each) that are connected as a multilinear narrative through hyperlinks. What can you do with such a structure? What kind of cinema narratives can you invent? You can create new html pages to add more video or use javascript/jQuery to change the videos dynamically.  Make sure you keep the video file size low (under 400px width) and export to the aspect ratio you want to use. You can do this in the Premiere export settings.


Final Projects:




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Loop Assignments

Run Lola Run

Observe framing  and continuity editing in this scene, how tension builds with match on action and with POV shots, and then how time expands with the cross-cutting of the roulette sequence.

Above are two examples of the still “montages” of these characters’ possible futures. If you slow down the frame rate in youtube settings, you can see how it is actually continuity editing that is used from shot to shot in about 7 seconds. A 7 second embedded second story!


Cinema in the Digital Age, by Nicholas Rombes 

-replications and loops
-digital degradation, errors and glitches
-nonlinear editing and chaos cinema
-random access of database
-malleable time, nested time, time shifting

  • Classical = linear cause and effect , illusion of 3D space, material invisible (theater)
  • Digital = nonlinearity, repetition (loop), manipulation of time and space, materiality foregrounded (device screen)
  • Information space (Interface) and Narrative Space (Immersive world)


Nonlinear, Chaos and Post-Continuity Editing

Steenbeck Editing

Nonlinear Editing

timeline> sequence > tracks >clips> audio sync/linked  > transitions


Compositing/Spatial Montage/Effects/Color Manipulation

Moving the Camera

Static Camera (locked-off) :
-staging and blocking talent
-dynamic framing and editing

Moving Camera:
-handheld, panning, tracking, etc.
-the long take
-planned  vs. spontaneous  (handheld)

Pan, Tilt:
– unnatural, motivate the move
– start  frame (10 sec.) , movement, end  frame (10 secs)
– plan shot, practice with tripod head or monopod swivel

– skateboards, cars, bicycles and wheelchairs
– gopro attached to moving vehicals

Handheld (with monopod):
-swish pans
– wide angle, adjust focus
– tai chi movements ( from the center)

– iphone smoothee, flowmotion, etc.
– DIY – hang a weight

The Cranes are Flying, 1957 – Mikhail Kalatozov and Sergei Urusevsky (camera)

Husbands and Wives 1992, Woody Allen

Blair Witch Project, 1999, Daniel Myrick, Eduardo Sánchez



Spatial Montage:

Jean-Louis Boissier’s Flora petrinsularis. – the interface

Eija-Liisa Ahtila

Mike Figgis – Timecode



ASSIGNMENT: Due Next Class 

Spatial Montage (5%)

In this assignment, you are to express an idea, a feeling or complex subject through spatial montage.  You may use natural sound or keep it silent, but please no music tracks. I want you to find the rhythm and pacing of your edits in the narrative, not in external music.

Create a 30-60 second video that has at least two distinct video frames simultaneously on the screen. Think about the relationships between each frame’s content (for continuity or montage effects), the relationship between each frame’s editing rhythm, the combinations of their soundtracks and the similarities or differences in the proportions and positioning of the frames themselves.


Start to formulate an idea for the final project. Propose the idea to in person or as an email.

Final Project (30%)
rough cut due – last two weeks of class
final cut due – exam week

With consideration of the assignments, readings , screenings and class discussions, create a final project that explores/exploits at least one feature of “digital cinema”: looped video, glitched video, composited video, networked video, hyperlinked video, database video, etc.  You may create a fictional, non-fictional or abstract project. However,the project must be made of video (moving digital images originally captured as video), incorporate cinema language (thoughtful continuity editing and/or montage) and you must engage with the class ideas in the conception of your project. Your grade we will be based on the quality and effort of your creative work as well as its conceptual foundation.

Some suggested ideas:

  • a mini documentary
  • a profile of a person, company, product or institution
  • a fictional short video
  • a video essay
  • a Youtube web series
  • a series of video loops
  • a work of hypercinema (HTML5)
  • a mashup or series of mashups,
  • an experimental video that creates a hybrid space with composting, spatial montage and other effects
  • a multilinear database narrative

Group projects are possible.

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Evolution of Cinema Language


Eadweard Muybridge – motion studies (1878)

Thomas Edison – Kinetoscope, movement, sensational (1896)


Lumiere Brothers- outside (light), portable, travel, “documentaries” (1895)


Melies – theater, vaudeville, fantasy, special effects, illusion (1909)


HER TRUST – D.W. Griffith (1912)

D.W. Griffith

“A shot of a whole battlefield would be incomprehensible because looking at real things, the human vision fastens itself upon a quick succession of small comprehensible incidents like a mosaic out of such detail- the director counterfeits the operation of the eye with his lens and varies the length of shots to avoid the hypnotic affect.” – Griffith


Continuity Editing (The Classical Hollywood Style)

objective camera, invisible editing, dramatic tension (desire and obstacle), cause and effect chains

His Girl Friday, 1940 – directed by  Howard Hawks


  • 180 degree rule
  • Cut in
  • Match on Action
  • Parallel action
  • Motivated Pov shot
  • Eyeline match
  • Flashback
  • Multiple camera set ups
  • Close up
  • Extreme long shot/Establishing shot
  • Cross cutting, intercutting / Parallel Action
  • Visual Dramatic climax. Form=Content


  • production design
  • mise en scène: set /costume / acting/ facial expression/gesture
  • pan
  • tilt
  • camera angle
  • lighting effect
  • fade
  • dissolve
  • iris shot
  • mask
  • split screen
  • soft focus
  • matte shot




Download Youtube video – get Firefox Addon – 1-Click Youtube Downloader

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Framing (camera position)

Variety of camera positions and angles keeps the eyes busy and interested, evokes the space and psychology of characters. Maintaining a single angle or distance reinforces a point of view.

types of camera positions:

ELS – extreme long shot (landscape)

LS – long shot (full body)

MLS – medium long shot (from knees up)

M – medium (from waist up)

MCU – medium close-up (from chest/shoulders up)

CU – close-up (face)

ECU – extreme close-up (portion of face)

lens length:

wide angle = opens space, more distance, more inclusive

telephoto/zoom = collapses space, more intimate, separate from background.

types of camera angles:




types of subject compositions:

3/4 front
left/right profile
3/4 back – over the shoulder, POV
profile two shot
direct to camera two shot
over the shoulder two shot
headroom, look room
subjective/objective styles

rule of thirds in shot composition


Keep Track of Camera Framing:


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