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T351 Week 1

Welcome & Course Introduction


  • Course overview
  • Syllabus & grading
  • Review info that will help you be successful
  • Look at some samples of last semester’s work
  • Do a quick, in class assignment
  • Homework assignment

Circulate roster - Need name, (put it in the lab you’re registered for), your e-mail & phone number. If you are on the wait list, please state your lab day.

Course description: T351 teaches the technical skills and creative principles required for video field and post production. Topics include imaging and recording technology, composition, continuity, sound, and lighting. Experience planning, lighting and shooting video will be provided through hands-on exercises and assignments. Practical experience using current editing software is provided through a series of hands-on activities and projects.

[Personal goal – as a student field and post was my favorite class. It still is one of my favorites. You can produce almost anything & try your hand at any topic or genre.]


  • To teach you proficiency in field production. (Not just shooting, but lighting, audio, shooting for the edit, working with talent, etc)
  • To teach you to become good shooters and editors.
  • Develop your writing and producing skills
  • Provide you with some high quality portfolio projects

Syllabus & Class Structure: There is one weekly lecture held in Studio 5. The labs are held in the Production Lab.

Contact info: E-mail is best.
Call 332-1005 if you need to talk to me. Feel free to call, really.
Office hours are Monday from 8-10 AM & by appt.

AI contact info / office hours?


We'll be using The Sony HXR NX5U camcorders, which use SDHC cards (or Sony Memory Stick Pro Duo cards). Go buy your SDHC cards today. Best Buy or TIS should have them. Sony says that Class 4 SDHC cards will work but Class 6 is recommended. Bring at least one to every lab! You will need one this week.

You are welcome to shoot projects on your own cameras- but for the first week you need to use the Sonys. It's important that everyone feels comfortable shooting with actual professional video cameras like the NX5Us.

500 GB USB portable drive. Strongly suggested but not 100% necessary. A large drive is needed to move projects from IU to your home system.


No laptops, iPads or cellphones unless DIRECTLY related to class activities. Everything (class ntoes, asignment info) is on-line so there is no need to take notes.

Food and drinks aren't allowed in the classrooms, lab or studio. These places only get cleaned once a week. Please make sure you don’t bring in or leave trash. Help us keep it clean.


Please attend every lab and show up on time. Not doing so will result in a lowered grade.

Responsibility/Murphy's Law

You are responsible for your own success or failure. Do your work early/ahead of time. There's no advantage to putting things off to the last minute. Doing so will only result in added stress and lower quality work- and an opportunity for Murphy's Law to kick in.

Check website and your email for readings, assignments & updates.

Production Lab & Equipment

Equipment checkouts default to four-hour blocks of time. T351 students can get 6 hours but you need to ask before the lab monitor prints the checkout form. Special requests of reservations for equipment (slider, extended checkouts, etc.) need to be made at least 3 working days ahead of time using the on-line form.

Most equipment has controls, switches, and numerous menu settings. Learn what they do. If you don’t know what they do, don’t change them. Better yet, RTFM find out what they do.

Report any broken equipment to the lab monitor or to the instructor.

Equipment must be returned on time. If for some reason you are late, CALL THE LAB. Failure to bring gear back on time results in loss of checkout priviliges.

  • Only those in production courses can use the facilities
  • Prodcution Lab hours- set shortly after the start of every semester

Success. What does it take to be successful in this class?

  • Every week there are graded lab activities and paperwork to go with each project. Check the assignments in advance & carry out the paperwork (logs & critiques)
  • Complete the weekly readings
  • Bring SDHD cards every week
  • Come to every class on time
  • Do your assignments ahead of or on time. Don’t wait till the last minute! You will be rushed and the equipment won't work. When it knows you need to use it, it’ll break.
  • Participate in class and with teams
  • Study for tests

Portfolio Projects

  • Storyboard/Continuity Sequence
  • Art Video
  • Interview/Feature Story
  • Drama/Storytelling Project (group project)
  • Final Project

Focus on Quality. Keep it short and sweet as well. You have a unique opportunity in this class to create a number of different portfolio pieces. If you are good and create outstanding videos, you can use them to win awards, get a job, or to get into graduate school. The main criteria for getting ahead in the industry is showing up on time and having an outstanding reel. All of you are capable of doing great things in this class- and having a fun and fulfilling time in the process.

When you make a production, strive to make it the highest caliber possible. This means

  • You will tell a story or make a point with your work
  • Every shot will be steady, in focus and properly color balanced
  • Every shot will be framed nicely with the proper exposure
  • Movements will be smooth
  • Your backgrounds will compliment the subject and not distract the viewer
  • Your scenes will be lit nicely
  • Your graphics will follow the rules of good composition and design
  • Your audio will be clear and mixed appropriately
  • You work will have legal integrity: No music or talent will be used without a release.

Strive to become a critical viewer whenever you watch TV, go to the movies or look at photography.

  • Think about the production… observe the details
  • Where was the camera placed (high low, tripod, dolly, jib or hand held)
  • What is in focus and out of focus?
  • Look at the lighting (hard or soft, back and set lights)
  • Do the scenes have a mood or feel to them? What is it?
  • What motivated the edit? (action, sound etc)
  • Watch with the sound turned off
  • Close your eyes and listen (music, SFX, close-miked or far)
  • Pretend you are the director
  • Figure out the process used to create the scene

If time allows, show samples of final projects from last semester

In class exercise (5 points): Take out a sheet of paper. Write neatly and fill in the following:

  • Name
  • Year at IU
  • Areas of study/major
  • Personal interests/hobbies
  • List one TV show you love & one you hate
  • What kind of project would you like to produce in this class?
  • Three things you want to get out of this course. Be specific (documentary portfolio piece, understanding of lighting etc.)

[Process/review roster while class is doing exercise]


Be prepared for the Storyboard / Continuity Exercise that we'll carry out next week. You can find details here.

Do the on-line readings on cameras & lenses. This will be on the first quiz!

T351 Week 1 reading assignment
Go to www.cybercollege.com
Click on the TV Production Cybertext link (http://www.cybercollege.com/tvp_ind.htm) and read modules 10, 11, 12, 17, 19 & 20 before the next lecture.

10 - Lenses, the Basics
11 – Distance, Perspective Changes
12 – F Stops, Creative Focus
17 - Cameras: The Basics
19 - Camera shutter
20 - viewfinders

As you read the text, be sure you understand the following terms and concepts:

  • Focal length
  • Zoom lens
  • Angle of view
  • Zoom ratio
  • Compressing distance
  • Changes in apparent speed
  • Perspective changes
  • “What is normal”
  • Lens speed
  • F-stop
  • Depth of field
  • Relationship between depth of field and f-stop
  • Selective focus
  • Follow focus
  • Macro focus
  • Rack focus
  • Auto focus (problems with)


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