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CommForge2 is the course website for LAIS423/523, Advanced Science Communication, at the Colorado School of Mines. From here, you can link to student sci-tech blogs, read about the course, and comment on current events and stories. Welcome!

Thursday, September 27, 2012

The Video Post

We've just wrapped up Randy Olson's Don't Be Such a Scientist, and before we turn our attention to crafting formal, creative presentations, we're going to take a brief interlude for some video production.

Some of you might know that I teach a course called Film Studies for LAIS.  I've taught the course (or some version of it) for almost ten years, and video production is a big part of the class--in addition to studying film history, film art, and film language, students in that course also spend the bulk of the semester making videos.

Here's a few links to a couple of my favorite film projects from that class, over the years:

Abandonment (Pt. 1)

Abandonment (Pt. 2)

Last Call

Unfortunately, in Advanced Science Communication, we don't have the entire semester to devote to making videos.  And we most likely won't be making fiction films anyway.  But there are some basics of videomaking and visual storytelling that we might be able to master (or at least begin to master) in a fairly short period of time, and which can enhance the kinds of storytelling you're able to do on your blog.

Hence, this assignment.

Each blog in the class is required to post a video on the blog by Thursday, October 11, at the beginning of class.  So here's how this is going to go down:

Today in class (September 27th):  Group work to map out the concept, make arrangements for equipment and editing, setting up shoot times, and sketching storyboards for the video.

For next Thursday, October 4:  Screening of rough drafts of videos (ranging from raw footage to "rough cuts") in class.  Group feedback session.  Will continue on Tuesday, October 9, if necessary.

Thursday, October 11:  Final videos should be posted on the blogs.

Minimum expectations:

  • Videos can range from 1-5 minutes in length.  What matters most is not the length but the content, inventiveness, and storytelling ability of the video.
  • The video should be related in some way to the topic of your blog.
  • The video should not be 1-5 minutes of someone talking at the camera with no editing or other visual interest.
  • The video should incorporate some of the main ideas from Olson's book.
  • The video should incorporate the basic videomaking skills described in Schroeppel's book.  Everyone should have read this book before they begin filming.
  • You are required to procure your own camera and editing equipment and software.  The quality of the equipment is much less important than what you do with it.
  • The final product should demonstrate that you have incorporated class feedback from the rough session.
  • The final post should introduce the video in some way:  you can talk about the making of the video, the content of the video, or anything else you like, but you must provide your reader with some context.

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