Course Syllabus

ARTC 3440

Section: 1001
Semester: Fall 2016
Lecture/Lab: Wolfe 202

Time: Tue. & Thurs. 6:00 - 8:20PM

Instructor: Margaret Lockwood-Lass
Office: 1014 FAC
Office Hours: Mondays, 3:00pm - 5:00pm and Tuesdays, 8:30-9:30pm (Please schedule in advance to arrange an appointment.)

Course Description

Creative production of time-based art using digital video and effects. Emphasis on video concepts, techniques, composition, sequencing of ideas, and narrative as well as non-narrative structures. Introduction to the history of video art as an art form and experimental approaches to video art and performance. Five studio hours.

Prerequisite: Grade of C or higher in ARTC 2210 or consent of instructor. Extra Fee. **NOTE: a grade of C or higher is required in ARTC 3440 to move on to ARTC 4440 Advanced Video Art.

Course Methods

This course will focus on creative production using digital video and effects. Throughout the semester, we will be creating digital video art projects by focusing on the integration of video and audio techniques with non-linear narrative structure in an art environment.

Class lectures will include demonstrations, discussions, technical exploration, aesthetic inquiry and historical information relevant to video art. Students will actively produce, write, direct and edit digital videos during class exercises, guided by the professor, and will use this technical knowledge to create digital video artworks.

Students are encouraged to pursue areas of interest and explore new ideas throughout the course. What you get out of this class depends primarily upon your preparation and participation.

Above all, this course will help refine your art focus and prepare for a field that also requires strong technical skills.

OBJECTIVES:  Students will learn the concepts and techniques utilized in video production as well as the history of video as an art form. The course will include a look at experimental approaches to video art, performance, and video installation as well as the development of Video Art from the late-60s to today.

Technical instruction will focus on the use of the Adobe Premiere Pro digital, non-linear editing systems on the Macintosh. Screenings of historic and contemporary video art will be an essential part of this course. The techniques and concepts involved in this will enable students to better understand compositing, sequencing of ideas, and narrative as well as non-narrative structures. The technical skills will assist students in the fields of computer art, video, film, installation, or performance art.

Requirements:   Each student is expected to complete the following:

  • “Ideabook / Journal”: Use a sketchpad to jot ideas generated in class, from readings, while shooting, tech notes, etc.
  •  Video Screenings: Throughout the semester, we will view screenings of contemporary / historical video art by major artists. ATTENDANCE IS MANDATORY! If you miss a screening, you must make it up within a week during office hours.
  •  Technical Exam: There will be a hands-on exam where you will need to demonstrate mastery of the editing process, as well as a team on-location taping “for hire” where you will need to demonstrate mastery of the production process.
  •  Historical Exam: There will be a final exam to identify clips from Video Art history seen in class.
  •  Projects:  You will have one art video production/installation project, two-three linear video projects and a final project.
  • Work as a team member with other students’ productions: All projects are required to have between two and five team members depending on the project requirements. This will be discussed as per project.


TOPICS TO BE COVERED:  Subject to change.  The primary goals of this course are to find your artistic voice and to facilitate the process of creativity through video by exploring time through the medium of video.

You will do so while learning the following concepts & techniques:

•  Analog vs. Digital / Linear vs. Non-linear

•  Video Shooting Techniques

•  Lighting for video

• Soundtrack development / sound editing

•  Digitizing / Importing media into Premiere Pro

•  Editing in Premiere Pro

•  Digital compositing and color grading using Premiere Pro & After Effects

•  Creating titles for your work

•  Output: Mastering to tape / Compressing for the web

• Working as a production team member, including director/ producer, audio tech, videographer, gaffer, and editor

The course focuses on IDEAS, however. We will discuss:

•  The history of Video Art (single channel / installation)

•  Contemporary Video Artists

•  Readings and Discussions on theories of Video Art

•  Narrative and Non-narrative form

•  Time, Space, Performance, Installation, Documentation

•  Critiquing Video Art

•  Your individual ideas


Projects:  There will be three-four smaller projects and a final project.

The smaller projects are geared toward both conquering the technical requirements and experimenting with new forms. All video projects should be under seven minutes in length (unless approved to be longer)!

Final Project: It will be a cumulative piece that reflects the explorations made and knowledge gained in class.  You will plan this from start to finish (script, storyboard, shoot, digitize, edit, master) and be graded along the whole process.

Student Project Use: Projects created in any Digital Arts course may be used by the School of Art for the purpose of promoting the student, the department, and/or the university in general. These materials may also be used for instructional purposes in future courses.

GRADING: "A"s are given for excellent projects that are turned in on time! "C"s are given for projects completed on time but average in quality and quantity. "F"s are substituted for missing assignments. Cumulative grades are calculated periodically throughout the course and distributed to the individual students through Canvas. You will be graded on the following:

  1.  Class Participation (in critiques, discussions, asking thoughtful questions, making comments)
  2.  Class Preparation (do readings, bring materials)
  3.  Projects (3-4 projects of equal value)
  4.  Assignments / quizzes / written responses
  5.  Midterm Exams (technical)
  6.  Production Team Participation
  7.  Final Exam (historical)
  8.  Final Project (x2  = double value)

** Attendance (lowers grade if exceed limit, see below)

** You must complete ALL VIDEO PROJECTS and turn in a final reel in order to receive a passing grade in this course!

LATE ASSIGNMENTS: Up to 24 hours late is one grade lower, 1-3 days late is two grades lower, and 3-4 days late is 3 grades lower. No late assignments will be accepted after 4 days.  You will receive an (F) for that project.

ATTENDANCE and In Class Participation: READ CAREFULLY.

Attendance is not only mandatory but it is crucial to your success in this class. Each week we will discuss readings, learn important technical information, critique work, view images and videos, and work on in-class exercises. These important activities will not be repeated.

If you are not in class please go to our class website and talk to the professor or other students to see what was covered and if work was assigned. Absence is not a valid excuse for coming to the following class unprepared, or for not having an assignment completed that was given while you were gone. It is especially important to attend ALL critiques. If due to an emergency you are unable to attend a crit, please schedule an appointment with the professor upon your return. This class will adhere to the following Attendance Policy:

  1. You may miss a maximum of THREE classes without penalty.
  2. Missing more then 10% (3 classes) of regularly scheduled course meeting times results in the reduction of the final grade by one letter grade, and continues for each additional absence up to the 6th absence. (4 = -1 grade, 5 = -2 grades, 6 = -3 letter grades)
  3. Missing more then 20% (6 classes)  results in automatic failure of the course. (Formula: #7=F).
  4. There are no “excused” or “unexcused” absences. There is only presence or absence.
  5. Arriving for class late or leaving class before dismissal constitutes a tardy. The accumulation of three tardies is equal to an absence. Role will be taken at the beginning of each class.  If you wander in late, it is your responsibility to make sure I mark your arrival.
  6. Do not leave class early.  If you must, you have to clear it with me first, or you will be marked absent for that day.
  7. Attendance at FINAL CRITIQUE is mandatory. Absence, for any reason, will lower your overall final grade by one letter.
  8. In the event of a mental or physical health emergency or another similar crisis that may cause you to miss more than two classes, please set up an appointment with me to discuss your options.

READINGS: We will have required reading assignments from many sources throughout the semester. The course Recommended Book List contains most of the sources. Readings may result in a quiz and/or be discussed in class.

DISCUSSIONS: One objective of this course is to provide a forum for discussion of the artwork in order to help each student develop their own artistic concepts for their work.  Students will present these developments in group discussions.  Participation in these discussions by each student is mandatory.

CRITIQUES:  Critiques are an important part of an artist’s learning process. They are an excellent way to understand if your message is being received by seeing how your colleagues responded to the assignment. During Critiques, I expect each student's full attention and respect.  Computers & cell phones are TURNED OFF. Critiques begin promptly at class start time. Attendance and participation at Final Critique is mandatory.  

CLASS MATERIAL:  You are accountable for material covered in class, including handouts. IF ANYTHING IS NOT CLEAR, ASK!  It is your responsibility to get missed materials from me or your classmates.  I will gladly clarify any information, but I will NOT repeat demonstrations for absentees.

Materials and Class Fee: The fee for this class is used to purchase hardware and software that is not maintained by ITS. This includes software, cameras, camcorders, printers, scanners, sound effects, and an online subscriptions to Digital Tutors tutorials.  These materials, hardware and software are available to this class. 


  • HARD DRIVE: 500GB or 1TB FW800 / USB 3.0 external hard drive – formatted MacOS extended or exFat!:  Lacie d2 Quadra w/Triple Interface (FW 800) or Lacie 500GB Rugged All-Terrain Triple USB Portable (they are the most dependable – metal cases do make a difference.) Beware of Seagate drives, we have had students lose all of their stored materials from this brand. It’s best to also have these drives stored in a padded carrying case. Put your name on your drive!
  • An online backup “cloud” service is also highly recommended.
  • IDEABOOK / Sketchbook
  • Folder / Binder for handouts & readings
  • SD cards for saving your footage
  • 1-2   DVD-Rs for turning in work.
  • Headphones for working with audio on the computers or with the microphones. You want to use good quality but not Noise Blocking. You may use earbuds for computer work.

Student Concerns: A student who wishes to discuss accommodations on the basis of a disability please talk to me after class or during office hours.

Course Expectations

Expectations for Classroom Behavior

  • Actively participate in discussions. This includes asking questions, answering others’ questions, and adding relevant information.
  • Attend class (see Attendance, below). Information presented in class lectures, discussions, demos and guests is the responsibility of each student. It is your responsibility to monitor your attendance record, and clear up any discrepancies as soon as possible.
  • Be supportive of classmates. Show respect for your fellow students’ efforts, by giving your full attention during discussions and presentations.
  • Be honest, and respect others’ honesty. We will be talking about works of art that may bring out personal information about the artist. Nothing of a personal nature discussed in class should be shared with others outside of class. You are not required to disclose personal information that makes you uncomfortable.
  • All assignments are mandatory and must be completed on the required dates and in the proper format. All of the assignments are important. Each one aids in development of your knowledge and quality of your final project.
  • Team work is essential in the video production world, whether you are making an art video or a documentary. Working well together is of utmost importance!


Digital Arts Department Rules

  • No food or drink in the classroom.
  • No cell phones, or beepers on during class. ALWAYS remember to turn off (or silence) your cellphone before class.
  • No sleeping during class.
  • No student is permitted to disconnect, reconnect, or reconfigure any workstation without the permission of a digital arts professor.

Academic Honesty

The instructor and students in this course will adhere to the University’s general Codes of Conduct defined in the BGSU Student Handbook. The Code of Academic Conduct (Academic Honesty Policy) requires that students do not engage in academic dishonesty. For details, refer to the BGSU Codes of Conduct site at

The instructor and students will adhere to the general Code of Academic Conduct as outlined of the BGSU Student Handbook. Specifically, students will not cheat, fabricate, plagiarize or facilitate academic dishonesty. Students who passively engage in cheating (i.e. allowing others to cheat off of them) may receive the same consequences as the person copying. In group work, if your partner or teammates do all the work on an assignment, you should not be listed as a contributor and should receive no credit for that work. If you allow an assignment to be submitted listing you as a contributor, but you did not contribute, this is equivalent to plagiarism.

Disability Services

I want nothing to interfere with your ability to perform well in this course. If you have a significant problem that might weaken your performance, please talk to me and/or someone from Disability Services for Students (DSS) Office. The goal of the DSS is to help provide equal access and reasonable accommodations to BGSU students with disabilities. You can contact them by phone at 372-8495, fax 372-8496, TTY 372-0582, or on the web at

Religious Holidays

It is the policy of the University to make every reasonable effort to allow students to observe their religious holidays without academic penalty. In such cases, it is the obligation of the student to provide the instructor with reasonable notice of the dates of religious holidays on which he or she will be absent. Absence from classes or examinations for religious reasons does not relieve the student of responsibility for completing required work missed. Following the necessary notification, the student should consult with the instructor to determine what appropriate alternative opportunity will be provided, allowing the student to fully complete his or her academic responsibilities. (As stated in The Academic Charter, B-II.G-4.b at:


BGSU educators recognize student veterans’ rights when entering and exiting the university system. If you are a student veteran, please communicate with your instructor so reasonable accommodations can be made for absence when drilling or being called to active duty. See ( for more information.


Technology Support Center (TSC)

TSC provides a central point of contact for faculty, staff and students for questions, problem reports, service requests and inquiries for University computer systems and communications technologies at BGSU. Email: Phone: (419) 372-0999.

Student Technology Assistance Center (STAC)

Students looking for CANVAS support or more in-depth assistance with computer technology for a class project should contact STAC. Students can get help in person at 122 Jerome Library (1st floor), by phone (419-372-9277) or visiting their web page at

University Libraries

The University Libraries supports the teaching, learning and research mission of BGSU by advancing scholarship and creativity through collections and user-centered services that connect faculty and students to high quality information resources. For more information, to reserve a study space or to make an appointment: ; ; 419-372-6943;


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