Homework 6/7: Production and the Theory of Linear Structure
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READING
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  • Chapter 9. Making it Happen in Making Media [1]
  • Chapter 10. The Theory of Linear Structure in Making Media

Keep notes in your notebook as you read and jot down questions to look up later or ask about during class discussion.

After you finish the readings, engage in the following activities: [2]

OBSERVING
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  1. As you watch videos, movies, or television shows this week, analyze how the works are structured. In your notebook, note continuity, montage, and verbally driven structure examples. Be aware of how often the approaches are combined, and determine the dominant structuring device. Reflect on this in your notebook.
  2. Watch the videos in Video Playlist 6 in Video Playlists and write a brief response to each of the videos in your notebook.

WRITING AND DOING
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Choose an activity that you do every day. Now imagine that a camera is recording it. Break it down into at least ten different shots and storyboard them. You should have a shot list and a sketchy storyboard; don't spend much time on this. The goal is to think about composition, not create a gorgeous drawing. Use terminology you’ve been learning as you complete the homework assignments. Be sure there is a reason to transition from one shot to another, and make sure your cuts are motivated—the subject's movement, close-ups for emphasis, or new information presented. Work methodically, but don’t get bogged down in the details; this is about sketching, practice, and reflection, not achieving perfection. Include this work and a brief reflection on the activity in your notebook.

SELF-ASSESSMENT OF KEY CONCEPTS
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Practice using the following terms in various sentences to demonstrate that you understand the concept's meaning and how to use it to describe media production practices and artifacts. If you’re not sure about a term, review the reading. You will use these terms in writing, discussion, description, and analysis of works, so take some time to review the reading if the concepts are unclear. 

  • 180-degree line
  • B-roll
  • continuity
  • deductive reasoning
  • eyeline
  • gaffer’s tape 
  • inductive reasoning
  • informed consent
  • jump cut
  • location release
  • matched cut
  • materials release
  • montage
  • motivated edit
  • personal release
  • reverse angle
  • set safety
  • sound bite
  • talent release
  • verbally driven structure

  1. Making Media: Foundations of Sound and Image Production by Jan Roberts-Breslin (4th edition, Routledge, 2018), is available for online reading from O'Reilly Media (requires subscription or access through your educational institution). E-book and print editions are also available from booksellers including Amazon. If you choose to purchase, I suggest the newer edition↩︎
  2. Acknowledgment: This text is based, in part, on the "Putting it into practice” sections in Making Media and has been revised better to fit the structure and learning objectives of the course.↩︎