JO710 Digital Toolkit

JO710 Digital Toolkit

Peter Smith 
Master Lecturer

Classs meets 2:30 – 5:15pm
Office: Zoom 
https://calendly.com/pasmith/15min
Office hours:
Tuesday: 1-2pm
Wednesday: 12-1pm
Thursday: 10am-12pm
Email:  pasmith@bu.edu
Cell:  617 548 0109
Teaching Assistant – Matteo Venieri
Email: venam@bu.edu

Description
Welcome to JO710 Digital Toolkit, an intro to audio and visual storytelling. During the semester you will shoot and edit a photo-story, produce a high quality video-story, and publish your work online with Adobe Portfolio. There is also an introduction to mobile reporting in this visual storytelling course. 

Goals and Objectives
You will build skill-sets in shooting, editing, composition, and color. You will also learn to develop a visual plan to produce a strong visual story that includes: action, reaction, opening, closing and point of view shots. You will also learn to shoot and edit a b-roll sequence.  You will also learn how to work with a variety of lighting situations. Editing skills are key to building a story, so we’ll take a deep dive into editing workflow and learn to edit with Adobe Premiere, Rush, Lightroom and Portfolio.

Gear and Software
Students will shoot photos and video with a DSLR and/or a smart phone, and record audio with a Zoom H5 recorder or a smart phone. 

Laptop and external HD: You will need to order an SD media card, 64 gigs is currently the standard.You will also need a second SD media card later in the semester for audio, and be sure you have a laptop that meets COM’s recommendations. Choose an external hard drive that works with your laptop and format to either Mac or Windows. Mac external hard drives should be formatted to ‘journaled.’

Adobe Creative Cloud:
You will need to download Premiere Pro, Rush, Lightroom Web and Classic and Portfolio all from the Adobe Creative Cloud. You can download them once you sign up for Adobe Creative Cloud using your Kerberos username and password. 

Reading: 
Media Storm Field Guide
Two Daily News Outlets: 
NYTimes.com, SouthChinaMorningPost, WashingtonPost.com, BostonGlobe.com

Week-to-Week Schedule

Class One – Intro
DO NOT COVER ANY ASSIGNMENT THAT MAKES YOU FEEL UNSAFE! Alternative assignments can be assigned. We can meet to work out the details.
Meet + Greet, pick a partner
Review: Gear, Day-To-Day Schedule, Deliverables + Deadlines, Policies
Homework: 
Download Creative Cloud and Apps and Pro Camera App to your smartphone ($8) 
Shoot a few great shots in manual mode to get familiar with the Pro Camera app.
Clear clutter from your smart phone and update the OS.
Understand the difference between class exercises and and class assignments.
How to reserve gear from FPS.
Bring gear to class next week. Always look ahead to see what gear you will need to bring to class.

Class Two – Shooting with a Smartphone/DSLR 
How to shoot in manual modes with Pro Camera App
Shooting with a DSLR Camera set-up
Using camera’s light meter and understanding the Exposure Triangle
Review composition and rule-of-thirds, white balance, focus, manual settings.
Understanding workflow.
Workshop – shoot a portrait of an object with your smartphone using direct and indirect light.
Homework: Exercise 1 – Photograph a person with direct and indirect light. Use plain background.

Class Three – Shooting with a DSLR, intro to editing
Review: depth-of-field
Learn: Web Lightroom, edit portrait exercise.
Learn Adobe Portfolio – Set theme, add categories – exercises, photo portfolio, video portfolio
Upload two captioned photos (direct and indirect light portraits) to your portfolio
Homework: Exercise 2 – Two depth-of-field photos

Class Four – Action
Learn to shoot action.
Edit and deliver DoF photos with captions.
Write caption info: who, what, when, and where.
Homework: Exercise 3 – Shoot three action photos of subject walking down stairs, jumping, riding a bike.

Class Five – Photographing Place
Exercise: photograph a place.
Review: How to Find and Pitch a Story.
Homework: Assignment One, five photos due.

Class Six – Pitch Event Coverage or Photo Story Documentary
Assignment #1 on Place is due, edit and deliver in class – one hour.
Review Assignment #2 – Event or Photo Story.
Event: Election, Street Performer, Protest.
Photo Story: Unique Neighborhood, Black Lives Matter, Covid19 on Campus.
Homework: Assignment #2 – Deliverables: 10 photos and 125-250 words.
Bring Zoom audio recorder and two AA batteries to class next week.

Class Seven – Digital Tools
Assignment #2 on Photo Story or Event, ROUGH DRAFT due.
Review edits in class.
Shooting video with an iPhone and DSLR
Audio recording with smart phone and Zoom audio recorder.

Class Eight – The Interview (audio slideshow)
Assignment #3 on Photo Story or Event due (BEFORE CLASS).

How to conduct an interview. Learn to edit in Adobe Rush.
Exercise 3: Interview partner online or with iPhone. Ask, ‘What’s it like to photograph a stranger?’
Subject should recycle question within the answer.
Think about lighting, background, framing, and audio quality.
Ask partner for captioned photographs of strangers for B-roll.
Homework: complete edit for one-minute video.
Upload to 710 Exercises in your Adobe Portfolio

Class Nine – B-Roll
Workshop: 
Editing B-roll in Adobe Rush.
Edit provided clips with Adobe Premiere.

Class Ten – The Pitch
Pitch two-minute video story of news event or profile with news peg.
Review the 180 degree rule, framing and continuity.
Review: Shoot a B-roll sequence. Find a repetitive action – shoot four 15 second clips.
Shoot wide, medium and tight – vary focal lengths, angles and distance to subject.
Record two – three minute interview of person explaining repetitive action.
Homework: Assignment #3  Shoot and edit one minute B-roll sequence with interview. 

Class Eleven – Video Editing
Assignment #3 video B-roll sequence due today.
Progress report on video story.

Class Twelve – Video Story
Rough Draft due 
Peer edit in breakout room.
Review roughs in class.

Class Thirteen – Screen Portfolio and Final Video
Adobe Portfolio finished 

Deliverables:
Assignment 1: Photograph a Place. (10 Pts.)
five photos and 125 words
Due: Class 6

Assignment 2: Photograph an Event or Photo Story. (30 Pts.)
10 photos and 125-250 words
Due: Class 8 (BEFORE CLASS)

Assignment 3: 24 second video b-roll sequence with interview. (10 Pts.)
Due: Class 11

Assignment 4: Two-minute video story. (30 Pts.)
Due: Class 13

Portfolio
Due: Class 13 (20 Pts.)

Rubrics: 
Assignment 1: Photograph a Place
Photographs must show a variety situation, camera angle and camera distance. Photos must be sharp, well composed, exposed and edited. Captions must be complete, with accurate spelling, correct  use of titles. Backgrounds must not be busy. Proper use of lighting and color balance is important. The capture of storytelling moments are a critical factor for a photo to be successful and to earn a high grade. Points will be deducted in all of these areas if not completed to these industry standards. A further requirement of this assignment is to show how people use the space for work, to live, and to recreate.

Assignment 2: Photograph an Event or Photo Story. 
Events or Photo Stories are also required to meet the above technical requirements and storytelling requirements. Events must capture key speakers and organizers, crowd size, close-up of expressive attendees, good reaction and meaningful and unique details shots.

Assignment 3: Video B-roll sequence. 
Video clips should be well focused, use proper white balance, be well edited for color and continuity, they should not be shaky, must not break the 180 degree rule and show a variety of framing: use wide, medium, tight and close-up shots to show process and explain the scene to your viewer.

Assignment 4: Two-minute video story. 
Your video story include the above requirements of the B-Roll sequence, but must also maintain high quality of sound from interview and ambient story telling audio capture. Your final video project must also have a good narrative flow, with a good opening, character development of main subject, and an understanding of the story conflict, and a resolution that answers questions raised. It must also have a good visual plan that includes an opening and final shot, storytelling moments, and good visual flow of continuity. Visual and sound editing are important so the viewer is not distracted by awkward or difficult to understand moments.

Portfolio
Your portfolio should show solid technical and storytelling skills. Subjects should be diverse by culture, gender, age and race.  All exercises must be published, complete and of good quality.

Percentage-based Grade Scale

A: 93-100

B+: 87-89.99

C+: 77-79.99

D: 60-69.99

F: 0-59.99

A-: 90-92.99

B: 83-86.99

C: 73- 76.99

 

 

 

B-: 80-82.99

C-: 70-72.99

 

 

GPA conversion

A

4.0

A-

3.7

B+

3.3

B

3.0

B-

2.7

C+

2.3

C

2.0

C-

1.7

D

1.0

F

0

Policies:

SEXUAL MISCONDUCT 

Boston University is committed to fostering a safe, productive learning environment. Title IX and our school policy prohibit discrimination on the basis of sex, which regards sexual misconduct – including harassment, domestic and dating violence, sexual assault, and stalking. We understand that sexual violence can undermine students’ academic success and we encourage students who have experienced some form of sexual misconduct to talk to someone about their experience, so they can get the support they need. Confidential support and academic advocacy resources can be found with the Center for Sexual Assault Response & Prevention (SARP) at http://www.bu.edu/safety/sexual-misconduct/.

EQUAL OPPORTUNITY 

BU has strict guidelines on classroom behavior and practices when it comes to treatment of students and guests on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, age, mental or physical disability, genetic information, military service, national origin, or due to marital, parental, or veteran status. Discrimination for any of these reasons is prohibited. Please refer to the Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Policy for more details.

At your discretion, please alert me to anything related to preferred pronouns, preferred name or nickname, or any extenuating circumstances or trigger warnings (personal, medical, etc.) that might impact your classroom experience. I want to make sure you have the most positive experience in the classroom as possible.

DISABILITY AND ACCESS SERVICES 

If you are a student with a disability or believe you might have a disability that requires accommodations, please contact the Office of Disability and Access Services (DAS) at 617-353-3658 to coordinate any reasonable accommodation requests. DAS is located at 25 Buick Street, on the third floor.

STUDENT ATHLETICS 

All student-athletes should be provided with a sheet from Student-Athlete Support Services regarding absences throughout the semester. These sheets should be handed in as soon as possible to avoid potential conflicts and so arrangements can be made to provide for missed lecture notes, classwork, or discussion.

RECORDING OF CLASSES 

Due to the majority of classes being offered in the Learn from Anywhere format, students should expect that each class session will be recorded. It is important to note that recordings on Zoom may capture the chat during the class, including private chats. If you have questions or concerns regarding recording of this class, please see your instructor.

ACADEMIC CODE OF CONDUCT 

All BU students are bound by the Academic Conduct Code. Please review to ensure you are acting responsibly and ethically in regard to your academics. There may be changes here due to the nature of the pandemic, so please read everything very carefully. Students must be familiar with college handbook and have a full understanding of expected code and conduct. The academic code of conduct is fully explained at: http://www.bu.edu/academics/academic-conduct-code/