Web Schedules

Fall 2023
Spring 2023
Summer 2023

One Credit Courses

Fall 2023
Spring 2023
Summer 2023

No Cost Textbook/Resources Courses

Fall 2023
Spring 2023
Summer 2023

Low Cost Textbook/Resources Courses

Fall 2023
Spring 2023
Summer 2023

Course Planning by Program


Essential Objectives

Course Syllabus

Revision Date: 08-Jan-23

Spring 2023 | FLM-1050-VJ01 - Digital Filmmaking I

In Person Class

Standard courses meet in person at CCV centers, typically once each week for the duration of the semester.

Location: Upper Valley
Credits: 3 (45 hours)
Day/Times: Wednesday, 06:00P - 08:45P
Semester Dates: 01-25-2023 to 05-03-2023
Last day to drop without a grade: 02-12-2023 - Refund Policy
Last day to withdraw (W grade): 03-26-2023 - Refund Policy
This course has started, please contact the offering academic center about registration


Samantha Davidson Green
View Faculty Credentials
View Faculty Statement
Hiring Coordinator for this course: Jennifer Gundy

General Education Requirements

This section meets the following VSC General Education Requirement(s) for Catalog Year 21-22 and later:
Arts & Aesthetics
  1. Many degree programs have specific general education recommendations. In order to avoid taking unnecessary classes, please consult with additional resources like your program evaluation, your academic program catalog year page, and your academic advisor.
  2. Courses may only be used to meet one General Education Requirement.

Course Description

In this hands-on course, students are introduced to the basics of filmmaking. Students gain basic skills through technical exercises and then create short film projects. Topics include script development, pre-production planning, directing, lighting, cinematography, sound recording and editing. Visual storytelling practices and the history of film works will supplement student projects.

Essential Objectives

1. Demonstrate proficiency in the basic use and vocabulary of camera, lighting, sound recording, and editing skills through short exercises.
2. Develop story ideas and draft scripts for short films, focusing principles and practices of story development for various short-form filmmaking (commercial, public service announcements, experimental, narrative, documentary).
3. Apply skills of filmmaking, including camera work, lighting, sound recording, and editing by creating compelling and professionally executed 1-3 minute films.
4. Demonstrate ability to analyze and critique short films in historical, social, and cultural contexts.

Required Technology

More information on general computer and internet recommendations is available on the CCV IT Support page. https://support.ccv.edu/general/computer-recommendations/

Please see CCV's Digital Equity Statement (pg. 45) to learn more about CCV's commitment to supporting all students access the technology they need to successfully finish their courses.

Required Textbooks and Resources

This course uses one or more textbooks/books/simulations, along with free Open Educational Resources (OER) and/or library materials.

Spring 2023 textbook/book details will be available on 2022-11-14. On that date a link will be available below that will take you to eCampus, CCV's bookstore. The information provided there will be specific to this class. Please see this page for more information regarding the purchase of textbooks/books.

For Open Educational Resources (OER) and/or library materials details, see the Canvas Site for this class.

The last day to use a Financial Aid Advance to purchase textbooks/books is the 3rd Tuesday of the semester. See your financial aid counselor at your academic center if you have any questions.


Through hands-on production exercises, demonstrations, screenings, and class discussion as well as independent viewing, reading, writing and production projects, students will develop a foundation in the essential techniques of making films with digital technologies. The course will emphasize creative and technical choices, crew functions and communication, and economic, political, and ethical aspects of filmmaking. Prioritizing process over product, the course aims to provide a solid foundation in visual and audio storytelling for further film and digital media production courses.

Evaluation Criteria

  • Attendance and participation in classes and production activities as crew/cast for classmates. (20%)
  • Satisfactory completion of Production Practica prior to advancement to successive stages of production: Camera, Gaffing/Gripping, Sound, Digital Editing (10%)
  • Completion of 2 group production and editing exercises (20%)
  • Completion of individual final filmmaking project produced with group. Content and grouping to be determined in conference with instructor. (25%)
  • Completion of assigned readings, viewings, related activities, and responses via Canvas (10%)
  • Pop Quizzes evaluating reading and mastery of course content. (10%)
  • Completion of out-of-class film screenings (2 minimum) (5%)

Grading Criteria

CCV Letter Grades as outlined in the Evaluation System Policy are assigned according to the following chart:

A Less than 9893
A-Less than 9390
B+Less than 9088
B Less than 8883
B-Less than 8380
C+Less than 8078
C Less than 7873
C-Less than 7370
D+Less than 7068
D Less than 6863
D-Less than 6360
FLess than 60 
NPLess than 600

Weekly Schedule

Week/ModuleTopic  Readings  Assignments


Introductions, Course Overview & Filmmaking Fundamentals:

  • Introductions, goals, and framing questions
  • Visual perception & moving image fundamentals
  • Demonstration: From flip book to zoetrope to cinema
  • Pre-Production and the "pitch"
  • Text: Filmish – "The Eye," "The Body"
  • In-class screenings: Muybridge, Edison & Lumiere Bros.
  • Homework: "On My Mind" – https://youtu.be/4aebKJ0vxU0
  • In-class group project: 1-minute silent film
  • Homework: (1) Film viewing and analysis; (2) Develop original pitch
  • OPTIONAL: Participate in #PitchFest 1/28/23


Visual Storytelling I: The Camera & Creative Choices

  • How the camera sees vs. human eye
  • Digital cameras demonstration: DSLR, videocam
  • Cinematography workshop: Framing, movement, and lenses
  • Text: Filmish – "Time"; Visual Storytelling Chapter 1 https://documentarystudies.duke.edu/sites/documentarystudies.duke.edu/files/kalow_Vis%20Stor.pdf
  • In-class Screenings: Excerpts from Hitchcock (Vertigo), Scorcese (Good Fellas), Lee (Do the Right Thing)
  • Cinematography treasure hunt with camera log
  • Homework: (1) "Camera" analysis: Hair Love (2) collect 3-5 images/videos for Film Scrapbook; (3) Read screenplay of choice; summarize and structure analysis


Visual Storytelling II: The Camera (Cont.), Shots & Roles

  • Cinematography Part 2: Frame rate, ISO, aperture (metering), and shutter speed

  • Storyboarding & the Shot List

  • Roles on set: Director of Photography, Camera Assistant (1&2), Camera Operator

  • Text: Filmish –"Voice & Language"
  • In-class screenings: Whitman Orchard trailer (https://vimeo.com/741168849), Moonlight trailer
  • Explore work of cinematographer Janusz Kaminski
  • In-class group film production 2: Advertisement
  • Homework: (1) Create a storyboard, shot list, and look book for a PSA; (2) collect 3-5 images/videos for Film Scrapbook; (3) Draft 1 treatment for final project


Lighting Fundamentals

  • Lighting Basics Demonstration: Intensity, quality, direction, color temperature, color
  • Painting with light and shadow workshop: 3-point (Key light, fill light, rim light), ratios & metering
  • Crew roles: Gaffer, grip

Filmish "Sets & Architecture"

StudioBinder: Film Lighting https://www.studiobinder.com/blog/film-lighting/


In-Class Production 3: PSA group production

Homework: (1) Film lighting analysis; (2) Add lighting stills/videos to film scrapbook; (3) Draft 1 final project script



Introduction to Screenwriting

  • Logline, story outline, screenwriting format, scene structure
  • Documentary and experimental script formats
  • Writing process: Development, writing, re-writing

  • Logline and story outline for final film project
  • Read early and final drafts of Star Wars: The New Hope (or other TBD)


Directing the Actor for the Camera

  • Acting and directing vocabulary: Objective, action, adjustment
  • Casting & rehearsal process
  • Do's and Don'ts of the Actor/Director relationship
  • Roles: Director vs. Cinematographer
  • Elia Kazan "On Directing"
  • Helen Mirren's Top Tips for Actors https://www.masterclass.com/articles/helen-mirrens-top-film-acting-tips
  • Other Director/Actor Interviews (TBD)
  • In-class workshop: Directing for the Camera
  • Homework: Screenplay Draft 1 of final film project


Audio Recording Fundamentals

  • Microphones (lavalier, shotgun, wired/wireless), recording devices, SD cards, audio file formats, levels vs. volume
  • Recording technique for quality audio


Audio production exercises: Voice-over/narration, radio PSA, interview recordings



Introduction to Editing

  • Non-linear editing: Source media, projects, sequences, cuts
  • Editing softwares: iMovie, Final Cut, Adobe Premiere
  • The Language of Film: Coverage, Eyeline,Montage theory

  • Edit Advertisement and/or PSA footage


Picture Editing

  • The Language of Film: Montage theory, Continuity vs. Non-Continuity

  • Shooting for the edit: Coverage, Eyeline, Choices

  • Visual Edits: Cutting on Action, Match Cut, Jump Cut, Cross-cut

  • Picture edit advertisement and/or PSA
  • Attend WRIF Film Festival; credit for volunteering


Sound Editing, Design & Mixing

  • Soundscape elements: Dialogue, backgrounds, effects, foley, music; mixing
  • Careers in Audio: Film, music, video games
  • Sound edit, design and mix advertisement and/or PSA

  • Homework: Pre-Production Plan (script, storyboard/shot list, crew, schedule, locations, casting)



Film Finishing: Color Correction, Titling & Exporting

  • Color Correction Basics: Exposure, saturation, contrast, color balance
  • Compositing/Green screen
  • Title design, lower thirds, and credits
  • Exporting: Formats, destinations

  • Pre-production: Casting, locations, set design, equipment reservations/testing, crew confirmation, schedule/directions

  • Meet with Professor before Green Light to start production



Production: Final Film Projects

  • Student Productions
  • Production meetings with professor, crew and cast


Production: Film Film Productions

  • Student productions
  • Production meetings with professor, crew and cast
  • Start Post-Production: Media management, Assembly


Post-Production: Final Film Projects

  • Works-in-Progress Screening: Rough Cut



  • Submit final films by 9am 5/3/23
  • Final Screening with Audience & Filmmaker Talk-Back

Attendance Policy

Regular attendance and participation in classes are essential for success in and are completion requirements for courses at CCV. A student's failure to meet attendance requirements as specified in course descriptions will normally result in a non-satisfactory grade.

  • In general, missing more than 20% of a course due to absences, lateness or early departures may jeopardize a student's ability to earn a satisfactory final grade.
  • Attending an on-ground or synchronous course means a student appeared in the live classroom for at least a meaningful portion of a given class meeting. Attending an online course means a student posted a discussion forum response, completed a quiz or attempted some other academically required activity. Simply viewing a course item or module does not count as attendance.
  • Meeting the minimum attendance requirement for a course does not mean a student has satisfied the academic requirements for participation, which require students to go above and beyond simply attending a portion of the class. Faculty members will individually determine what constitutes participation in each course they teach and explain in their course descriptions how participation factors into a student's final grade.

Participation Expectations

Participation in class is highly valued in this course and will be factored into final grades. Participation takes many forms, including:

  • Constructive contributions to class discussions based on completion of viewing, reading and other homework assignments
  • Reliable participation as crew for classmates' film productions
  • Proactive communication with professor and fellow students, particularly for production activities

Missing & Late Work Policy

Assignments submitted late by previous arrangement with the professor will be considered for full credit. Assignments submitted late without previous permission from the professor will be considered for half credit (50%).Missing assignments will be considered 0%.

Accessibility Services for Students with Disabilities:

CCV strives to mitigate barriers to course access for students with documented disabilities. To request accommodations, please
  1. Provide disability documentation to the Accessibility Coordinator at your academic center. https://ccv.edu/discover-resources/students-with-disabilities/
  2. Request an appointment to meet with accessibility coordinator to discuss your request and create an accommodation plan.
  3. Once created, students will share the accommodation plan with faculty. Please note, faculty cannot make disability accommodations outside of this process.

Academic Integrity

CCV has a commitment to honesty and excellence in academic work and expects the same from all students. Academic dishonesty, or cheating, can occur whenever you present -as your own work- something that you did not do. You can also be guilty of cheating if you help someone else cheat. Being unaware of what constitutes academic dishonesty (such as knowing what plagiarism is) does not absolve a student of the responsibility to be honest in his/her academic work. Academic dishonesty is taken very seriously and may lead to dismissal from the College.