DTC 491 | Spring 2021

Class Time: F 11:30am-1:30pm (mandatory)
Location: Zoom
Instructor: Will Luers
Phone: 503-975-3254
Zoom Office Hours: M-F 12:00-1:00pm or Friday after class

NOTE: All matters associated with this course are subject to change. Any changes will be communicated to students.


In DTC 491 / DIGITAL CINEMA, students will explore the theories, techniques, and aesthetic strategies of cinema in the age of digital media. Through reading and discussing canonical texts in the field of digital cinema, reflecting on a variety of works of digital cinema, and creating short video assignments, students will work towards an innovative final project. Students will be exposed to a range of digital cinema styles and approaches – video journalism, video remix, “webisodes”, cinematic games, hyperlinked video, video installation and database cinema-–and will ultimately choose the approach that fits best with their creative goals.

The course will give students experience in working with digital video cameras and audio recorders, developing storyboards, interviewing and lighting subjects, editing with Adobe Premiere, integrating video on a webpage and preparing and distributing video for the web. This course will approach video production less as a set of specialized technical skills using high-end equipment, and more as a set of composition practices using commonly used tools. Students are encouraged to use their own (or borrowed) digital cameras, phones or hybrid devices that they can carry with them everywhere. There will also be a range of semi-professional video and audio equipment available for check-out from the equipment room.

COVID-19 Online Class Experience

While I would rather meet as a class in person, I have arranged to have our online class experience meet all your learning needs and goals no matter what your background is.  Along with asynchronous video lectures, we will meet weekly for a mandatory (attendance taken) Zoom class for watching short videos and discussing/critiquing student work. I have made plenty of time for weekly zoom one-on-one sessions (office hours).

Most of our asynchronous communication (about due dates, updates to the site, posted lectures, questions from you, discussions) will happen on Slack and not through email. Please turn on notifications for our class Slack channel. 

The CMDC aims to achieve three main goals: to 1) provide students with knowledge and skills for developing their own knowledge-making, 2) facilitate exploration, and 3) prepare students for the field and the world beyond. As best professional practice and to achieve these goals, students are expected to be engaged with their CMDC classes via video and audio whenever possible. That said, the program understands that at certain times students may need to leave their screens to deal with any number of issues, including stress. We also ask that when in class students are not to be in motion—driving a car or walking for exercise. We ask you to pay attention and treat your classes as you would any class in “normal” times. Know that CMDC faculty teach because they want to make a positive difference in their students’ lives, so please know that they will approach any conversation about Zoom in that spirit.

Learning Goals

Course Activities
Learning Outcomes and Activities
Learning Objectives
Goals & Objectives
1. Short Assignments SLO1: Critical and Creative Thinking
Understand the principles of framing, continuity, time frames, montage, spatial montage, practical videotaping needs like a job profile, hybrid space, hypervideo, database cinemaSLO4: Communication
Learn to make effective presentation of your work in varying scenarios from formal to personal critiques of work
Combine and synthesize existing ideas, images, or expertise in original ways.

Express concepts propositions, and beliefs in coherent, concise, and technically correct form.

Goal 3:
Employ the principles of visual form for sophisticated image manipulation
2. Blogging SLO1: Critical and Creative Thinking
Gain a better understanding about how to engage in self-reflection about your own work through blogging about your process, methods, and ideasSLO4: Communication
Become more adept about writing about your work by blogging about your insights and influences.
Combine and synthesize existing ideas, images, or expertise in original ways.

Express concepts propositions, and beliefs in coherent, concise, and technically correct form.

Goal 7:
Recognize various forms of language processing and their implications for media authoringGoal 10:
Be practiced and capable communicators in all mediums
3. Final project SLO1: Critical and Creative Thinking
Produce the script, storyboards and other items needed for the final digital cinema projectSLO2: Information Literacy
Become adept at working with tools related to video production, including cameras and softwareSLO4: Communication
Be able to articulate your ideas in the 250-500 statement that accompanies your final project.SLO7: Depth, Breadth, and Integration of Learning
Synthesize a broad array elements of multimedia elements (sound, movement, images)
Combine and synthesize existing ideas, images, or expertise in original ways. Determine the extent and type of information needed.

Express concepts propositions, and beliefs in coherent, concise, and technically correct form. By applying the concepts of the general and specialized studies to personal, academic, service learning, professional, and/or community activities.

Goal 3:
Employ the principles of visual form for sophisticated image manipulationGoal 5 :
Understand the production and assessment of media objects


  • Focus on the conception and creation of expressive video
  • Readings, discussion of concepts, and application of theory
  • Multiple assignments and projects


  • Extra computer storage for video editing 
  • Headphones or “earbuds”
  • Digital camera and monopod (available to check out)
  • $10-15 for online movie rentals and app purchases


Blogging (20%)

  • Ten 250-500 word blog posts based on readings, viewings and discussions (2% each post)
  • At least five comments (feedback on projects) on Slack and/or blog posts

Assignments (30%)

  • framing assignment 5%
  • continuity assignment 5%
  • loop assignment 5%
  • montage assignment 5%
  • compositing assignment 5%
  • video essay assignment 5%

Job Profile (15%)

Final Project (25%)

  • a work of digital cinema that engages with ideas and techniques explored in class
  • 250-500 word statement about your project

Participation (10%)

  • attention and involvement in Slack discussions 
  • involvement and preparedness in Slack and Zoom discussions and exercises (do the reading!)


  • Do not use copyright-protected text, images, audio or video
  • You may use material that is in the public domain, but please credit the source
  • Do not ask friends or roommates to pose as interview subjects
  • Your work must be your own, produced for this course

Assessment and Final Grades

Both attendance and participation will be monitored and deficiencies in either/both will result in lower final grades. Participation means being attentive in class, joining in discussions, engaging in informal critiques and completing all in-class and outside assignments.

You are allowed one class absences. Each class absence after that will result in a three (3) point deduction from the final cumulative points. It is your responsibility to make sure I check your attendance if you come to class after the start of class. Frequent late arrivals, leaving early, or other forms of lack of attendance will also deduct points from the cumulative total. Absent students remain responsible for all course matters during their absence(s). Opportunities to make up missed work may not be available. Final grades are determined from the cumulative points earned, plus or minus any deductions or additions for attendance or participation. No curving, averaging, or other manipulations are utilized. No other assessment or extra credit opportunities are planned. Incompletes are not available.

Final grades are based on the following scale:

A 94-100
A- 90-93
B+ 87-89
B 83-86
B- 80-82
C+ 77-79
C 73-76
C- 70-72
F 0-69

*Notice that the grade of “D” is not offered; it reverts to “F.”

Submission of Late Work

Unless you get permission from me, all work must be submitted as and when required. Late work may not be accepted, or accepted with a substantial penalty.

WSU Academic Integrity Statement

Academic integrity is the cornerstone of higher education. As such, all members of the university community share responsibility for maintaining and promoting the principles of integrity in all activities, including academic integrity and honest scholarship. Academic integrity will be strongly enforced in this course. Students who violate WSU’s Academic Integrity Policy (identified in Washington Administrative Code (WAC) 504-26-010(3) and -404) will receive [insert academic sanction (e.g., fail the course, fail the assignment, etc.)], will not have the option to withdraw from the course pending an appeal, and will be reported to the Office of Student Conduct. Cheating includes, but is not limited to, plagiarism and unauthorized collaboration as defined in the Standards of Conduct for Students, WAC 504-26-010(3). You need to read and understand all of the definitions of cheating: If you have any questions about what is and is not allowed in this course, you should ask course instructors before proceeding.  If you wish to appeal a faculty member’s decision relating to academic integrity, please use the form available at If you have any questions about the process on the Vancouver campus, please call Helen Gregory at 360-546-9573.


AWARE network

The AWARE Network is an online resource with a list of important resources as well as an Assistance and Referral From that can be completed by anyone on campus if they have concerns about a particular student.  The idea is to make it convenient and easy for the campus community to report a student situation of concern.   The online form and other resources are located at

Classroom Safety

Classroom and campus safety are of paramount importance at Washington State University, and are the shared responsibility of the entire campus population. WSU urges students to follow the “Alert, Assess, Act” protocol for all types of emergencies and the “Run, Hide, Fight” ( response for an active shooter incident. Remain ALERT (through direct observation or emergency notification), ASSESS your specific situation, and ACT in the most appropriate way to assure your own safety (and the safety of others if you are able). Sign up for emergency alerts through your MyWSU account. For more information, visit the WSU safety portal (

WSU Vancouver Public Safety and Police

Register for Emergency Communication system: WSU Vancouver Home Page – myWSU (under the PROFILE Tab) to update info

Hostile Intruder

Campus Lock Down – Exterior doors will lock
Apply “RUN-HIDE-FIGHT” personal safety protocol
If sheltered or hiding; silence electronics, turn out lights, stay away from windows, barricade or lock doors, make a plan to fight if necessary

Weather Closure/Bus Information

WSU Vancouver VanCoug ALERTS:
Weather Closure Media Web Sites:
During adverse weather conditions when C-Tran is operating on snow routes, the WSU Vancouver campus will not be served as the snow route ends at 20th Ave. For more information on bus routes and C-Tran scheduling, please visit C-Tran website at: 

Bad Weather, You Decide

In the event that an adverse weather event (e.g., snow or ice) or natural hazard that poses a safety risk occurs, you should take personal safety into account when deciding whether you can travel safely to and from campus, taking local conditions into account. If campus remains open and your instructor decides to cancel the face-to-face meeting and substitute an alternative learning activity, you will be notified by your instructor via email or through Blackboard within a reasonable time after the decision to open or close campus has been made. Instructions regarding any alternative learning options or assignments will be communicated in a timely manner. If travel to campus is not possible due to adverse regional conditions, allowances to course attendance policy and scheduled assignments, including exams and quizzes, will be made. Students who attempt to gain advantage through abuse of this policy (e.g., by providing an instructor with false information) may be referred to the Office of Student Conduct for disciplinary action. If a student encounters an issue with an instructor, the student should first talk with the instructor. If the issue cannot be resolved, the student should follow the steps for reporting violations as outlined on the student affairs website. Finally, in case of class cancellation campus-wide, please check local media, the WSU Vancouver web page ( and/or Individual class cancellations may be made at the discretion of the instructor.

Service/Emotional Support Animals

Pets are not allowed on campus or inside buildings or classrooms. Trained service animals are allowed, but must be registered with the WSU Access Center, Classroom Building (VCLS) room 160, 360-546-9238.

Students with Disabilities

Reasonable accommodations are available for students with documented disabilities or chronic medical conditions. If you have a disability and need accommodations to fully participate in this class, please visit the Access Center website to follow published procedures to request accommodations: Students may also either contact or visit the Access Center in-person to schedule an appointment with our Access Center Coordinator. Location: Classroom Building, Room 160; Phone: 360-546-9238; Email: All disability related accommodations MUST be approved through the Access Center. Students with approved accommodations are strongly encouraged to visit with instructors early in the semester during office hours to discuss logistics.


Cougar Food Pantry

We know that it can be hard to make ends meet when you’re paying for college and living on a tight budget. If you are struggling to feed yourself or your family, the Cougar Food Pantry can help. The pantry provides free, nonperishable food items for WSU Vancouver students in need. The process is simple, anonymous and judgement-free. Learn more and request food at or stop by the Cougar Center in the Student Services Center. Help your fellow Coug; refer a friend in need!