COM 313 – E
M 12:00 – 3:50 pm
Associate Professor, Gregg Perkins
Office: 129 Cass Annex
Office hours by appointment
Phone: ex. 3427
Required Subscription: Lynda.com
Lynda.com will be used to take the introduction to the screenwriting software Final Draft. The subscription is free with a Hillsborough County Library Card, which can be obtained by going to the John Germany Library on Ashley Street across the Cass Avenue bridge in downtown Tampa. Location: http://www.hcplc.org/hcplc/locations/jfg/
Get a Card online: http://www.hcplc.org/hcplc/account/getacard.html
Login through the Lynda.com portal here: https://www.lynda.com/portal/sip?org=hcplc.org
N.B. You will need to take your student ID and one piece of mail that has been sent to you at your Tampa (campus) address. Once you have the card, please login on Lynda.com with your library card number and pin.
This course offers students a hands-on opportunity to explore documentary filmmaking using digital technologies in a combined theory and practice approach. Class includes screenings and discussions on the history and theory of documentary film and video. Technical instruction includes digital cinematography, lighting, sound and editing. Each student completes one or more short digital films relating to the history, theory and aesthetics of the documentary film. May be used to fulfill the general distribution requirements for the humanities if not used for communication or the film and media arts majors. Laboratory fee required.
• 1T External Harddrive, Sata/USB 7200 RPMs or Solid State
• Studio Headphones
• 16 GB or 32BG SDHC Class 10 Memory Card
FMX 313 – Documentary Production 1) Students have a hands-on opportunity to explore documentary filmmaking using digital technologies in a combined theory and practice approach.
By the end of the semester each student will have:
1) Completed one or more short films relating to the history, theory and aesthetics of the documentary film.
2) Complete a series of at least three different documentary assignments that build towards the course film, that involve the student to perform both cinematography and editing throughout the semester.
a. Examples may include things like:
i. Shoot a interview scene;
ii. Explore observational story involving your subject
iii. Shoot Expository or Observational exercises from Rabiger (Directing the Documentary) Assignments.
- Edit a rough cut – Critique
- Edit a fine cut with titles and credits for final critique
Submitted their course film to Black Box Film Festival prior to the end of this semester.
3) Demonstrated technical fluency on intermediate cinematography, camera operation, lighting, editing and sound through their assignments and productions.
4) Demonstrated basic knowledge of work by documentary filmmakers through critique sessions.
•To introduce intermediate film/video students to the technical, conceptual, and practical aspects of documentary film production.
•Explore personal aesthetics through the production of a short digital documentary film.
•Understand, distinguish, critique and apply types of documentary including expository, observational cinema, reflexive and postmodern approaches.
•Understand the relationship of documentary film to other media.
•Understand history of recording technology and aesthetics,
•Understand ethics and problems of documentary filmmaking.
•Distinguish between producing documentary for cinema and television.
•Advance skills in image and sound using digital technologies
•Advance skills in Adobe Premiere editing.
•Learn to speak effectively about the project during class critiques.
•Improve writing skills through written critique and response to lecture and reading topics.
Baccalaureate Goals addressed by this course include:
•Examine issues rationally
•Synthesize a variety of disciplinary perspectives
•Exhibit aesthetic awareness
•Identify and defend personal values
•Understand human commonality and diversity
Michael Rabiger, Directing the Documentary. 5th Edition, 2009
Fadiman & Lavelle, Producing with a Passion, 2008
Production Technical Proficiencies:
Faculty train all Students enrolled in this course through hands on demos, and for use in related assignments, on:
Cage cameras, audio gear and facilities allocated to the course
• Canon T3i Camera
• Fancier Tripods
• Panasonic 40 Camera
• Panasonic 150 Camera
• Bogen Manfrotta Tripods
• GoPro Cameras for shots that require mobility or underwater
• Shotgun Microphone Kit
• XLR Cables for P40, 150
• XLR to Mic Adapter for DSLR
• Wireless Microphones
• Lowell Light Kit
• Desitsi Light Kit
• Fig Wheel
• Introduction to Black Box sound stage and gear
• Lighting Grid
• Introduction to Audio Edit Suite, for Voice Over Recordings*
Students are not to use iPhones, and non-professional cameras for their shoots in this course. They are to use the cameras at the cage or equivalent or higher cameras of their own approved by the professor.
Assignments / Grade Breakdown:
1) Observational Documentary Assignment (20%)
Writing Assignment 10% (1 hour at location – text should be 1-2 pages (double spaced in outline form)
Observational Documentary Film 10% (1 hour at location – film can run any length)
2) Midterm Interview Project: 20%
3) Final Documentary Film: 50%
Rough Cut: 10%
Production Book/documents: 10%
Final Film: 30%
4) Participation: 10%
95 – 100 A Outstanding
89 – 94 A/B Excellent
84 – 88 B Very Good
77 – 83 B/C Good
72 – 76 C Average
66 – 71 C/D Below Average
60 – 65 D Passing
00 – 59 F Failure
NF No-Show, Failure – Failure for > 3 Absences
Reporting Sexual Violence/ Title IX Matters:
Sexual violence includes nonconsensual sexual contact and nonconsensual sexual intercourse (which is any type of sexual contact without your explicit consent, including rape), dating violence, sexual harassment, sexual exploitation, domestic violence, and stalking. You may reach out for confidential help (see contact info below) or report an incident for investigation.
If you choose to write or speak about an incident of sexual violence and disclose that this violence occurred while you were a UT student, the instructor is obligated to report the incident to the Title IX Deputy Coordinator for Students. The purpose of this report is to provide a safe and nondiscriminatory environment for all students. The Deputy Coordinator or his or her designee will contact you to let you know about the resources, accommodations, and support services at UT and possibilities for holding the perpetrator accountable. If you do not want the Title IX Coordinator notified, instead of disclosing this information to your instructor, you can speak confidentially with the individuals listed below. They can connect you with support services and discuss options for holding the perpetrator accountable.
There is an exception to this required reporting for preventative education programs and public awareness events or forums. While the instructor is not required to report disclosures during these instances, unless you make or initiate a complaint, during these programs or events, the instructor or another University official will ensure that the students are aware of the available resources at UT, such as counseling, health, and mental health services, and it will provide information about Title IX, how to file a Title IX complaint, how to make a confidential report, and the procedure for reporting sexual violence.
For more information, see The University of Tampa’s Title IX resources at http://www.ut.edu/uploadedFiles/Academics/Provost/Title%20IX.pdf and
To make a confidential report of sexual violence, please contact:
- The Victim’s Advocacy Hotline: (813) 257-3900
- Dickey Health & Wellness Center (firstname.lastname@example.org) 813.257.1877
- Health and Counseling Center (email@example.com) 813.253.6250
STUDENTS WITH DISABILITIES: If there is a student who requires accommodations because of any disability, please go to the Academic Success Center in North Walker Hall for information regarding registering as a student with a disability. You may also call (813) 257-5757 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Please feel free to discuss this issue with me, in private, if you need more information.
Cheating, plagiarism, copying and any other behavior that is contrary to University standards of behavior will not be tolerated.
Students caught violating any aspect of the University of Tampa’s Academic Integrity Policy will be penalized in all cases. Penalty ranges from “0” on an assignment to “F” for the course without regard to a student’s accumulated points. Students may also face expulsion. It is the student’s responsibility to become familiar with the policies of the university regarding academic integrity and to avoid violating such policies. Policy information is found at:
Every student has the right to a comfortable learning environment where the open and honest exchange of ideas may freely occur. Each student is expected to do his or her part to ensure that the classroom (and anywhere else the class may meet) remains conducive to learning. This includes respectful and courteous treatment of all in the classroom. According to the terms of the University of Tampa Disruption Policy, the professor will take immediate action when inappropriate behavior occurs.
In case of any adverse condition or situation which could interrupt the schedule of classes, each student is asked to access www.ut.edu for information about the status of the campus and class meetings. In addition, please refer to ut.blackboard.edu for announcements and other important information. You are responsible for accessing this information.
I reserve the right to make changes to this syllabus as necessary.
Week 1 – January 21 – No Class – MLK Day
Week 2 – January 28 – Introduction & Screenings of Short Documentary Films / Perec Reading & Observation Writing Assignment / Lecture & Discussion: Research approaches for documentary films – in class example on Global Warming
Perec Reading & Observation Writing/Video Assignment Due to Blackboard Week 3 – Monday @ 12 noon.
Week 3 – February 4 – Technology demonstration: camera & lighting systems / Interview Setup – Introduction of Interview Project Midterm Assignment
Week 4 – February 11 – Lecture/Screening Modes of Documentary Filmmaking: Poetic / Expository / Participatory documentary films with examples
Week 5 – February 18 – Lecture/Screening Modes of Documentary Filmmaking: Observational / Reflexive / Performative & Experimental documentary films with examples
Week 6 – February 25 – Individual Meetings & Discussions on Final Documentary Subject matter and approach
Week 7 – March 4 – Midterm Interview Screenings and Critiques. Final Documentary Film Assignment & Discussion of Subject and mode
Week 8 – March 11 – Spring Recess
Week 9 – March 25 – In Class Planning for Final Documentary / Final Film Sequence Summaries Due Week 10
Week 10 – April 1 – Lecture/Demonstration: Documentary Sound Recording. Field recording techniques, and strategies for sound editing and mixing
Week 11 – April 8 – Lecture/Demonstration: Documentary Motion Graphics and Post Production
Week 12 – April 15 – Lecture: The Contemporary Documentary Film – styles / top film festivals and the future of the form in AR/VR & Experiential modalities
Week 13 – April 22 – General Work Day and Progress reports on Final Films
Week 14 – April 29 – Final Documentary Screenings + Submissions to Blackbox Film Festival