Joellyn Rock
Assistant Professor
UMD Art + Design
office: Voss Kovach 25C
phone: 218-726-8042


ART 2040 Digital Filmmaking: Visual Narratives
12:00 - 1:55pm Tues/Thurs
AB Anderson Hall 335 (Partially Online)

Art 2040 is an introduction to the fundamentals of digital video production and basic concepts of cinematic narrative. Beginning hands-on experience using digital video tools to create short narrative works. Creative studio art approach to low budget film techniques and project collaboration. Individual and team projects include visual concept development, storyboarding, video production, and digital editing. Emphasis on the visual language of filmmaking and critical appreciation of cinematic media. This course serves students in the film minor and others who are interested in a beginning hands-on experience with digital video tools.

Software + Cameras: Due to the recent changes in video editing software options, students will be able to make their own choices about what software to use in this course. Art 2040 stresses concepts of cinematic storytelling, encouraging students to embrace learning and problem-solving with the video editing software they prefer. Many students have Adobe Premiere as part of their Creative Suite software on mac laptops. The
Multimedia Hub and campus computer labs have various video editing options. Our ABAH 335 classroom offers access to 3 imacs with: Final Cut Pro X , iMovie, and Premiere. If you prefer to work on your own PC, you may work in another software. Please check for compatability with cameras available. We have Panasonic Lumix GH2 cameras for checkout, and others in the Multimedia Hub.

Software / training:

Each student will track their time on software training tutorials over the semester. .(Expect to do at least 8 hours over the spring). UMD users will log in using their University Internet ID and password in order to access training videos available on’s vast library is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and contains thousands of professional-grade Windows and Mac video tutorials.

Required Supplies:

• external harddrive for backup
• SDHC memory card for Panoasonic GH2 camera Get Class 10 SDHC cards (4GB, 8GB,16 GB).
• storyboard kit ( index cards and markers)
• dvd for final digital portfolio

Need to check out special equipment or get some extra help with your video edit? Visit the Multimedia Hub in Library 260

Collaboration with Actors / Tentative Schedule:

Feb 4 : Both Classes Meet, Visual Narrative Students will bring images of settings / locations.

Please mark you calendars and work these dates into your shoot schedules for short film projects. Some teams may opt to shoot outside of class time, please include details on your planning sheet.

Thursday March 13: Scripts due to Tom, Joellyn and Team

Tuesday March  25: PreProduction Team Meetings
Thursday March 27: First Shoot Day
Tuesday April 1 : Shoot Day
Tuesday April 8 : Shoot Day in MMADlab (Shaniqua Mockumentary)
Tuesday April 15: Pick up Shots / re-shoot if necessary

NOTE: AFTER SPRING BREAK, ON TUES MARCH 25, Please go to the correct room: Team 2, 5, and 6 in Acting Classroom, Teams 1, 3, 4 go to ABAH 335 Digital Art Classroom

April 22: All Files Transferred to Teammates

Final Exam:

2pm on Wedneday May 14 > Screening Final Projects


Spring Office Hours : Tues 2pm - 5pm

COLLABORATION : Our class will be collaborating with the Acting for the Camera class on our short film projects. It will be crucial for all participants to honor the scheduled shoot times and be reliable team players. Select classes and video shoot sessions may be held in the Art &Design Shoot Studio in the VizLab or on location / off campus

Attendance Policy:
Filmmaking is a collaborative artform. Be prepared to participate as a reliable team player. Attendance is required. Some classtime is spent online or shooting on location. Production shoots can be accommodated with flexible class schedule when planned in advance.

Evaluation on beginning exercises, multi-step short film project, and on engaged participation in all class activities: film screenings, demos, presentations, editing tutorials, critiques, and contribution to visual narratives class blog. Plan to post regular assignments to the class blog by each deadline and to include printouts in your final portfolio.

Art 2040 ASSIGNMENTS / Grading:

Exercise 1: Composition / Shots and Angles
With a simple object as subject, test camera composition strategies. Assemble a very short montage using shot list to include at least 10 different shot types and camera angles. Edit to 10-15 seconds / no sound.

Exercise 2: Capturing the Light
Using only natural light to illuminate your subject, create a simple narrative using a variety of visual strategies to capture and exploit the available light. Edit to 15-30 seconds / optional simple sound.

Exercise 3: Creativity in Motion
With a creative tool as subject, shoot a montage portrait of an artist at work, use a variety of shots and camera movements. Light deliberately. Edit to 30-60 seconds with simple sound or music. 10%

Short Film Project : Part 1 : Preproduction
Pitch an idea for the 2 class collaborative short film, develop script and storyboards, location scouting and visual plan
. 10%

Short Film Project : Part 2 : Collaboration
Your collaborative work on location for production and team roles (as defined by group
) to shoot a 3-5 minute video project. 20%

Short Film Project : Part 3 : Your Edit
Your individual version of short video project with post-production edit done in software of your choice. Export to Vimeo. 20%

BLOG Posts/ Participation 20%
If this Was...
View and reflect upon 5 short films
Visions of Light
The Cutting Edge
Assigned Readings / Screenings / Reflections

Short Film Project Pre-Production Plan and Final Reflection


Student Learning Outcomes
Students completing this course will be able to demonstrate knowledge of strategic ideation and conceptual development for a short digital video project. Students will be able to demonstrate skill and innovation using digital video editing tools and techniques. Students will be able to demonstrate their ability to analyze, interpret, and critique digital film and video artworks.

Optional Resources: / Recommended Books :

Film Directing Shot by Shot: Visualizing from Concept to Screen by Steve Katz

Cinematic Storytelling by Jennifer Van Sijll

Digital Software Training book of your own choice (or training)




Camera Shots + Angles

Screen > Short Films

Storyboarding Links

Short Film Pitch

Lighting Tips

Music + Sound

Multimedia Hub

FInal Cut Express Tutorials

Zinema 2 Movie Theatre

Spring 2014



read/screen /blog

week 1 > Jan 21

Intros / BLOG : if this was...


BLOG : Project Imagination

week 2 > Jan 27

Exercise 1: Shots + Angles

Exercise 1: Shots + Angles

BLOG : 5 short films

week 3 > Feb 3

Exercise 1: Shots + Angles DUE

Meet Acting Class / Stills DUE


week 4 > Feb 10

Exercise 2: Capturing Light

Exercise 2: WORKDAY

VIEW : Visions of Light

week 5 > Feb 17

Exercise 2: DUE on Blog / Vimeo link

Meet Acting Class / PITCH IDEAS


week 6 > Feb 24

Exercise 3: Artist in Motion


BLOG : Visions of Light

week 7 > March 3

Meet with Actors / Teams

Exercise 3: Artist in Motion

week 8 > March 10

Exercise 3: Share progress


BLOG : Production Plan

week 9 > March 17

Spring Break

Spring Break

Exercise 3: DUE to Vimeo

week 10 > March 24

Team: Pre-Production/ Storyboards DUE

Team: Shoot DAY 1


week 11 > March 31

Team: Shoot

Meet in Classroom


week 12 > April 7

Team: April 8 MMAD lab Shoot

View Rough Clips

BLOG : Cutting Edge

week 13 > April 14

Team: Shoot / Pick ups

Meet in Classroom


week 14 > April 21


ALL FILES Imported

SAT APRIL 26 > Open Studio

week 15 > April 28

Rough Edit 1

Rough Edit 2


week 16 > May 5

Refine Edit / Sound

Final Edit / Transitions

BLOG : Reflection

finals week > May 12

FINAL Edit  DUE >>>

2pm on Wedneday May 14


We will be screening parts of several films in class. Those DVDs will also be placed on reserve at the Library Front Desk. Please ask for the films by title.

1. Visions of Light (1992)

2. The Cutting Edge: The Magic of Movie Editing (2004)

3. Personal Journey with Martin Scorsese Through American Movies.(1995)

Additonal Dvds on Reserve for you at the Library front desk. All of these are collections of Short films. You can check them out for one overnight.
1. Shorts! vol 1
2. Shorts! vol 2
3. Wholphin number 3
4. Wholphin number 6

5. BEST of RESFEST Shorts

2013-14 Visual Culture Lecture Series

Ben Levitz
Feb 4, 2014

Miwa Matreyek
March 11, 2014

JURORS lecture
April 8, 2014

Jurors for Annual Student Exhibition

Dylan J Beck
April 15, 2014

Art&Design Happenings

UMD School of Fine Arts

Department of Art & Design

Students with disabilities:
It is the policy and practice of the University of Minnesota Duluth to create inclusive learning environments for all students, including students with disabilities.  If there are aspects of this course that result in barriers to your inclusion or your ability to meet course requirements – such as time limited exams, inaccessible web content, or the use of non-captioned videos – please notify the instructor as soon as possible.  You are also encouraged to contact the Office of Disability Resources to discuss and arrange reasonable accommodations.   Please call 218-726-6130 or visit the DR website at for more information.




  • 1-4pm Open Studio / Hands-on Activities and Art Displays
  • 4-6pm Tweed Reception / Music and Food / Open to Public
  • 5pm Awards Ceremony / Invite Your Family & Friends




Student Conduct Code

The instructor will enforce and students are expected to follow the University's Student Conduct Code. Appropriate classroom conduct promotes an environment of academic achievement and integrity. Disruptive classroom behavior that substantially or repeatedly interrupts either the instructor's ability to teach, or student learning, is prohibited. Disruptive behavior includes inappropriate use of technology in the classroom. Examples include ringing cell phones, text-messaging, watching videos, playing computer games, doing email, or surfing the Internet on your computer instead of note-taking or other instructor-sanctioned activities."


Student Academic Integrity Policy

"Academic dishonesty tarnishes UMD's reputation and discredits the accomplishments of students. UMD is committed to providing students every possible opportunity to grow in mind and spirit. This pledge can only be redeemed in an environment of trust, honesty, and fairness. As a result, academic dishonesty is regarded as a serious offense by all members of the academic community. In keeping with this ideal, this course will adhere to UMD's Student Academic Integrity Policy. This policy sanctions students engaging in academic dishonesty with penalties up to and including expulsion from the university for repeat offenders."