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teaching ..

English 138
A&S 128, the journalism lab

Tactical Media Project. This is the major project of the course, roughly as important as all of the other elements combined. The heart of it is a video with a message that you hope will be both convincing and interesting. It may be a kind of event-based guerilla effort--the classic form of tactical media--or a more composed intervention, a scripted project, or even a smart remix. While the video may incorporate public service information, eyewitness testimony, and/or interviews: ultimately you should not imagine the "public service announcement" or documentary film as a model.

The goal is to grab attention and make an argument in an extremely brief period of time--30 seconds to (no more than) two minutes. The video should be shareable, published to social media, and direct/link viewers back to a website of your creation.

The website that you produce must contain the following features on the topic of the issue & position to which you are attempting to draw attention: annotated bibliography, review of the literature, 2000-word research hypertext, plus printable white paper.

The core concepts are "rebellion" (changing something) and "contagion" (infecting others with your enthusiasm and ideas).

I recommend you proceed as follows:

1. Choose a topic you really care about/something you'd honestly like to change.
2. Research the topic, creating an annotated bibilography and review of the literature leading to a description of the way you hope to resolve the problem/ make an original contribution/motivate others to act.
3. Produce a first draft of your research hypertext.
4. Brainstorm ideas for tactical media.
5. Produce your video.
6. Revise the research hypertext and produce a printable white paper.
7. Be sure to include/enable specific actions that visitors to your site/viewers of your video can take.
8. Publish and share your video, linking back to your website.

Resources: Agit-Pop, Tactical Media Files, Critical Art Ensemble, The Contagious Festival, Jonathan McIntosh and Elisa Kreisinger's Political Remix Video, the Bitfilm Politicool Awards, and Indymedia US, YesMen, Adbusters, smartmeme, memefest, rebelart, Republicorp and Brave New Films.

David Pogue, Amazon Provides a Dose of Humor
Wikipedia, Tactical Media
David Garcia and Geert Lovink, The ABC of Tactical Media
NYU Virtual Casebook Project, What is Tactical Media?
Henry Jenkins on Transmedia Storytelling and the blog Transmedia Activism
Center For Social Media

Slightly more advanced reading might begin with Rita Raley, Tactical Media, this bibliography at the Center for Communication and Civic Engagement, and Naomi Klein's No Logo.

Videos produced for an earlier version of this class (without the explicit emphasis on "tactical" media, however).

Reminder: human subjects and release forms

My ONE ESSENTIAL VIDEO TIP: If you're capturing any sound live--any kind of sound: song, dialogue, interviews, anything--use an external microphone that connects to your video camera with a cord or wirelessly.

What makes nearly all bad video unwatchable is bad sound--which is nearly always what you get with an in-camera microphone. Trust me. Media services can loan you a mike. You can buy one for fifteen dollars. Totally worth it.

Gloria Hofer's help files for this class

GENERAL VIDEO PRODUCTION RESOURCES. Gloria Hofer, James Linehan and Mike Ballen of Media Services are always able to assist you with video production and editing. The focus of this project is not on high production values, but on the quality of the idea.

You shouldn't need most of these advanced resources, which are aimed at long-form scripted drama. Nonetheless, it might help to know that there's lots of help available if you run into a specific problem.

The WGA's 101 Greatest Screenplays 
David Lemon's Seven Scripts You Gotta Read.

American Film Institute's Outline & Treatment and The Pitch; Alex Epstein's Three Most Important Things, Angela Paton's Building Satisfying Plots, Script Frenzy'sIntro to Screenwriting & How to Format a Screenplay, Ian Abrams, Guide to Screenplay,, and Drew's Script-O-Rama.

Worksheets: Casting Your CharactersCreating Conflict, and Outlining Your Script.

Free scriptwriting software: Celt-X and screenplay template for MS Word. 

Worksheets for dialoguedescriptionbeginnings andendings, writing shortsscene analysis, and scene-by-scene outlines. American Film Institute's Scriptwriting and Storyboarding. Lots more screenwriting worksheets and many more books and websites.

American Film Institute's Roles and ResponsibilitiesPre-Production, and Making a Good Movie; on editing part one, part two and part three.

Discussion of shot angles and shot planning.  

What is a shooting script? Sample shooting scripts: There Will Be Blood Memento Ferris Bueller's Day OffOn the Waterfront Matchstick Men 2001: A Space Odyssey Cinema ParadisoDr Zhivago The Duchess







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