ART 3009: Video Art I, CREDITS:  3

CLASS TIME: Tues/Thur 3:55-6:40

LOCATION: Hopkins 346        


COURSE DESCRIPTION:  This course is a doorway to the traditions of video as an artistic, cultural, and multi-modal practice, focusing on the building blocks of moving image production. It offers an introduction to fundamental concepts and tools needed to work in the moving image, grounded in critical and historical context. Students will work independently and collaboratively throughout the semester. Though this is an intermediate art course, this is an entry-level course in film/video production, designed with an awareness that students will have differing levels of experience, knowledge, and access to tools. Assignments are intended to provide a challenge to all levels and abilities.

LEARNING OBJECTIVES:  Through lectures, readings, and discussion, students will develop skills in the visual language and critical vocabulary of moving image media. These new tools will be applied in regular, “sketchbook” style production assignments—short video projects focused on specific concepts and techniques. Through the creation of these projects, and their discussion in weekly group critiques, students will develop literacy, fluency, and creative flexibility in the medium.

MATERIALS: Many assignments can be accomplished with readily available video technology (cell phones, consumer cameras), and basic editing software (internet-based platforms, iMovie, etc). Some assignments will require pro-sumer gear, available for check out. This experience will prepare students for using higher-end equipment in other MIP courses, as well as creative and professional capacities outside the classroom. All video assignments are to be turned in via the online platform Vimeo, where our class has a private group. Students are required to set up a free, private account on Vimeo during week 1.

TEACHING METHOD:  Screenings, historical lectures, technical demos, group discussion, critiques, out of class group shooting.


  • Brown, Bill. Action! Professor Know-it-All’s Illustrated Guide to Film & Video Making, Portland for “Technical Reading” (recommended)
  • Additional readings assigned – for “Theory readings”


  • 1 camera capable of shooting video with controls for ISO, aperture, shutter, white balance, or a smartphone with an app to control these elements. A limited number of cameras are available for check out if you do not have your own.
  • For cameras: memory card media as specified by manufacturer
  • Access to basic video editing software (iMovie, web-based software, etc.)
  • A hard drive to store your media (minimum 150 GB), UBS 3.0
  • pocket-sized sketchbook/ shoot planner to be handed in (can be folded and stapled paper)
  • Free Vimeo account


  • Tripod with pan/tilt capability
  • Microbead neck pillow

ASSIGNMENTS:  All work (written or video) for this class must be original and created specifically for our assignments. All video projects this semester are to be made without music.

  • video sketchbook – 10 assignments, 6 pts each                  +60
  • final video (including roughcut )                      +16
  • participation in classroom discussions   +10
  • midterm (Technical)                                                         +6
  • midterm (video)                     +8


COURSE TOTAL                                                                                               100  


Grading Scale:

       93 – 100.0         A

90 –  92.9         A-

87 –  89.9         B+

83 –  86.9         B

80 –  82.9         B-

77 –  79.9         C+

73 –  76.9         C

70 –  72.9         C-

67 –  69.9         D+

60 –  66.9         D

0 –  59.9         E



For video assignments, you will be evaluated in the following three areas:

  • Quality of technique. Technical excellence: your success in applying

skills learned in class.

  • Quality of concept. Essentially, do you have a clear

idea? Is it fulfilling the assignment? Are you making

an effort to innovate? Does it engage in conversation with your

peers or with the history of film?

  • Quality of execution. How effectively does your concept

come through in your finished video? Did you perform the

necessary preparation? How well do the choices you made

communicate your idea?


There is no late work. Assignments must be handed in on time; group critique of projects is a key part of all assignments, and if you are not finished with the work, we will critique it as it is, and you will be graded for what you turn in. For small assignments (worth less than 5 points), there is a one-week grace period following each due date where you may still hand in the assignment with points deducted. Late work is no longer accepted after this grace period.


A huge part of artistic production is learning from your previous work, new experiences, and in-class critique. For large projects (worth more than 5 points), you may turn in a new version for a grade improvement at any point in the semester. If you are interested in earning points from revision, talk with the instructor to make a plan for a follow-up critique. 


Attendance is required for all classes. Prior notification and permission from the instructor is required IN ADVANCE if you cannot attend class for any reason.  ABSENCES ON CRITIQUE DAYS WILL NOT BE TOLLERATED.


It is the responsibility of the Committee on Academic Misconduct to investigate or establish procedures for the investigation of all reported cases of student academic misconduct. The term “academic misconduct” includes all forms of student academic misconduct wherever committed; illustrated by, but not limited to, cases of plagiarism and dishonest practices in connection with examinations. Instructors shall report all instances of alleged academic misconduct to the committee (Faculty Rule 3335-5-487). For additional information, see the Code of Student Conduct (

STUDENTS WITH DISABILITIES that have been certified by the Office for Disability Services will be appropriately accommodated, and should inform the instructor as soon as possible of their needs. The Office for Disability Services is located in 150 Pomerene Hall, 1760 Neil Avenue; telephone 292-3307, TDD 292-0901;

FOR YOUR SAFETY, the OSU Student Safety/Escort Service is available after 7 p.m. by dialing 292-3322.


 COURSE SCHEDULE: Readings and assignments should be completed prior to class meeting. Descriptions and dates subject to change, check Carmen for updated Syllabi.

University calendar:


  • What is film, what is video?
  • OPTICS to define light, space, subject. Aperture, depth of field, exposure, focal length.
  • MOVEMENT OF THE CAMERA: space, time, and subject. Types of camera movement (camera head, camera body, lens) and motivations.
  • PHENOMENON OF THE MOVING IMAGE: frame rates, persistence of vision, cameraless films
  • FRAME BY FRAME MANIPULATION OF SPACE & TIME: pixilation, timelapse, stop motion.
  • QUALITIES OF LIGHT: temperature, angles and direction, 3-point lighting, key-to-fill ratios
  • Mise-en-scène as descriptive technique
  • Defining space across frames, pt 1: Constructive editing and eyelines, POV, screen direction, continuity, “invisible” edits, continuity and discontinuity
  • Defining space across frames, pt 2: “Master shot” system of analytical editing; lines of action
  • Types of montage: associative and graphic.