Behind the Scenes: The Process of Making Films
Spring 2009, CRN 31134

Mondays, 6 to 8:30 p.m.
CCA, Room A

Mr. Bryan Cardinale-Powell
CCA, 2
nd Floor

Office Hours:
Mondays through Thursdays, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., or by appointment

Course Description:
This course is designed to help students produce their own fully realized movie. We will begin the semester with little more than our imagination. Then, following a period of preproduction planning, we will conduct principal photography on our project and follow through with post-production. Along the way, our project will be informed by the technical and creative advice provided through our readings and classroom activities. By then end of the term, we should have a movie we’re all pleased to present to our colleagues at the university, our friends, and our families.

Course Objectives:
Upon successful completion of this course, the student should be able to demonstrate the following:
  • the ability to participate in the successful planning, execution, and delivery of a moving image project;
  • an awareness of the variety of technical, creative, and financial issues behind the production of moving images;
  • the ability to perform production duties in a professional and cooperative manner;
  • knowledge of the recommended ways to utilize production and post-production equipment.

Required Texts:
  • Ascher, Steven & Edward Pincus. The Filmmaker’s Handbook 2008 Ed.
  • Schmidt, Rick. Extreme DV at Used Car Prices.

As deemed necessary by the instructor,
additional readings may be assigned during the term. Any additional readings either will be distributed in class or electronically via email. More information will be provided as necessary.

Readings assigned for this course were selected to complement class activities. Therefore,
reading assignments should be completed before attending class.

Course Requirements:
In addition to the assigned readings mentioned above, student requirements for this course include the following:
  • Attendance and participation in classroom activities/discussions
  • Quizzes
  • Classroom Journal
  • Midterm Exam
  • Project
  • Final Exam
Attendance and Participation: Because we are all working as part of the same team toward the completion of our film, no student will be entitled to any excused absences. Please treat this class like you would real-world production employment!

Quizzes: There will be quizzes at the beginning of each class session. Quiz questions will come from assigned readings.

Classroom Journal: A class reporter rotation will be set up during our first class meeting. For each remaining class session, the assigned class reporter will take notes of the day’s activities and post a written account online no later than the day following class.

Midterm Exam: The exam will likely consist of 30 to 50 multiple-choice and/or matching questions that cover vocabulary and concepts discussed in class.

Your participation in our class movie project will be monitored by the instructor. As well, you will be expected to submit a written response to the process of making our movie that includes detailed discussion of your contributions and thoughtful evaluation of the end product.

Final Exam: The Final Exam will be cumulative, and like the Mid-Term Exam, will test each student’s understanding of material covered in class. This test will likely include short answer questions in addition to multiple choice/matching questions.

Throughout the semester, class-related information will be communicated via email. To ensure that this works as smoothly as possible, please be sure you have access to your Oklahoma City University email account, and that you check that account regularly. If you’d rather use a different email address for class-related correspondence, please let the instructor know by the end of the first week of classes.

Plagiarism, cheating, and/or academic dishonesty in any form will not be tolerated in this course. For further details, please refer to the Policy on Academic Honesty on page 40 of the 2008-09 undergraduate catalog available online here. Sanctions for violations of academic honesty are at the discretion of the instructor and can be severe.

Students will earn final grades based on the following formula:

10% Attendance/Participation
20% Quizzes
10% Classroom Journal
20% Midterm exam
20% Project
20% Final exam

Assignment scores and calculated totals will correspond to letter grades according to the following scale:
94-100 A 75-78 C+
90-93 A- 72-74 C
86-89 B+ 68-71 C-
83-85 B 60-67 D
79-82 B- 0-59 F

Make-up work and late assignments may only be accepted with the advance permission of the instructor, and such permission will be granted only in cases of verifiable hardship.

An incomplete (I) will only be granted according to the university policies published on page 46 of the 2008-09 undergraduate catalog.

If you need an accommodation due to a disability under the Americans with Disabilities Act, please contact the Student Health and Disabilities Service Office immediately at (405) 208-5991 or (405) 208-5090. Advance notice is required for many accommodations.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me at any time during the semester to discuss your classroom performance. However, I will not disclose any grades via email.

They’re your grades. You earn them.