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VID 04 W — Making Short Videos: The Art of Storytelling

Quarter: Spring
Course Format: Flex Online (About Formats)
Duration: 7 weeks
Date(s): Apr 1—May 24
Refund Deadline: Apr 4
Unit: 1
Grade Restriction: No letter grade
Tuition: $495
Instructor(s): Jonathan Crow
Limit: 40
Class Recording Available: Yes
Status: Open
Please Note: No class the week of April 29
ACCESS THE SYLLABUS » (subject to change)
Flex Online(About Formats)
Apr 1—May 24
7 weeks
Refund Date
Apr 4
1 Unit
Grade Restriction
No letter grade
Jonathan Crow
Please Note: No class the week of April 29
ACCESS THE SYLLABUS » (subject to change)
The tools of filmmaking have never been more accessible. Artists, entrepreneurs, marketers, teachers, journalists, and historians—almost anyone—can now easily create compelling video advertisements or short narrative films, even when on a tight budget. All they need is a smartphone, a clear idea, and an understanding of visual storytelling.

This course is designed for narrative filmmaking and will focus on the basics of visual storytelling—from composing a shot for maximum impact to creating a story that can elicit a strong emotional response. We will begin the course by learning the basics of composition and story structure and from there proceed into planning, casting, shooting, and editing. Though the course will cover some technical aspects of video production and post-production, we will concentrate primarily on how to communicate a story in a compelling way. By the end of the course, each student will have created their own two- to-three-minute video and will have a clear idea of the challenges, the difficulties, and the joys involved in filmmaking—whether they plan to apply new ways of communicating visually to their work or are simply looking to explore a new medium for self-expression.

No prior experience with filmmaking is required. This course will focus on fictional storytelling rather than documentary filmmaking. Students should plan on making a narrative movie for this class. The instructor will use Adobe Premiere Pro to teach video editing, but students may use whatever program they are comfortable with.

Artist; Filmmaker

Jonathan Crow received an MFA in filmmaking from the California Institute of the Arts and an MA in Japanese studies from the University of Michigan. He has taught courses in film history, film arts, the history of cinematography, and Japanese cinema at the New York Film Academy, and his articles have appeared in Open Culture and The Hollywood Reporter. Crow worked in the Hollywood film industry for a dozen years as a writer and editor before working as a film journalist at Yahoo Movies.

Textbooks for this course:

(Required) Steven. D. Katz, Film Directing Shot by Shot: Visualizing from Concept to Screen (Michael Wiese Productions) (ISBN 978-0941188104)