Academic Catalog


Foothill College Course Outline of Record

Foothill College Course Outline of Record
Heading Value
Effective Term: Summer 2023
Units: 4
Hours: 4 lecture, 1 laboratory per week (60 total per quarter)
Advisory: Not open to students with credit in F TV 20, GID 20 or VART 20.
Degree & Credit Status: Degree-Applicable Credit Course
Foothill GE: Non-GE
Transferable: CSU/UC
Grade Type: Letter Grade (Request for Pass/No Pass)
Repeatability: Not Repeatable

Student Learning Outcomes

  • "A successful student demonstrates a working knowledge of basic video production principles.
  • A successful student analyzes the creative and technical decisions made in the video production process.
  • A successful student demonstrates a comprehensive knowledge of the video production process and the skills necessary to function successfully as a member of a production team.


Introduction to the concepts, theory, techniques, and strategies of narrative film production. Basic camera, lighting, and sound recording techniques are practiced through technical assignments and team productions. Pre-production, production, and post-production processes are covered, with an emphasis on storytelling and creative problem-solving.

Course Objectives

The student will be able to:

  1. Understand and apply basic concepts and processes of pre-production, including scheduling, budgeting, scriptwriting, and storyboarding
  2. Demonstrate knowledge of cinematography concepts and techniques, including lighting, framing, composition, use of lenses, and exposure
  3. Demonstrate proficiency as a working member of a film production team, including the ability to work productively within different jobs on set a film set
  4. Apply knowledge of film production and post-production skills, techniques, and workflows to the completion of a short film project
  5. Apply the critical thinking and problem-solving skills needed for successful teamwork on a film set
  6. Critique the creative and technical decisions made in a short film
  7. Demonstrate understanding of legal and ethical issues relevant to film and media production
  8. Recognize the contributions made to the field by people from diverse cultures and backgrounds

Course Content

  1. Pre-production
    1. Write a treatment and budget
    2. Write a basic script and storyboard
    3. Scheduling: prepare scene and script breakdowns, call sheets
    4. Examine production design, including set design, lighting design, props, costumes, hair and make-up design
  2. Production
    1. Understand production team roles and appropriate communication; examine and apply set safety rules and etiquette
    2. Study and apply camera concepts and techniques, including exposure, depth of field, lens types and function, framing and composition, camera placement and movement, camera support
    3. Examine and apply lighting theory and techniques, equipment
    4. Study and apply basic directing techniques on set
    5. Apply appropriate sound recording strategies in a production, including single and/or double-system sound recording, production mixing, microphone use and placement
    6. Understand the specifications and requirements of recording media used in  production
    7. Recognize the legal and ethical issues relevant to media production
  3. Post-production
    1. Examine workflows, processes, and organization necessary to move from production to post
    2. Learn basic non-linear editing operations and software; apply basic editing strategies and theory to the successful completion of a film project
    3. Incorporate audio mixing techniques and knowledge of basic sound theory in post-production
  4. Critical thinking
    1. Apply and hone problem-solving strategies through all phases of the media production process
    2. Storytelling processes and self-expression
    3. Analysis of the communicative power of film media
  5. Cultural issues
    1. Examine issues of culture in media content creation, including race, gender, and sexual orientation
    2. Consider the influence of directors' and producers' cultural backgrounds on the expression of the subject matter and self in the film/media

Lab Content

  1. Use of studio facility and equipment for the completion of media production lab assignments
  2. Pre-production planning (budgeting, gathering crew, rehearsal, casting, preparing sets, props, and costumes)
  3. Preparation and testing of equipment for production
  4. Group narrative film production team shooting (in studio and on location)
  5. Use of digital editing laboratory for post-production
  6. Screening of media examples and tutorials of production techniques

Special Facilities and/or Equipment

1. Computer lab with video editing software, video cameras, tripods and other camera support, microphones, lighting and grip equipment, computers for screenwriting.
2. When taught via Foothill Online Learning: on-going access to computer with email software and capabilities, email address, JavaScript-enabled internet browsing software.

Method(s) of Evaluation

Methods of Evaluation may include but are not limited to the following:

Participation in the hands-on technical processes of pre-production, production, and post-production, though the completion of the film portfolio
Completion of pre-production writing assignments (treatment, script, storyboard)
Demonstration of technical and aesthetic achievement through completion of a short film where the student has worked in a team and applied the skills learned in the course to their individual roles on set
Writing assignments (research paper, discussion, essay) that demonstrate mastery of film production workflows, techniques, theory, strategies, and systems
Exams that demonstrate mastery of film production workflows, techniques, theory, strategies, and systems

Method(s) of Instruction

Methods of Instruction may include but are not limited to the following:

Lectures on technical and conceptual concepts in media production
Demonstration of media production equipment
Group work that requires students to fulfill a position on a film production set
Discussion and critique of group film projects and representative media
Field trips to media businesses and industry
Collaborative work in pre-production planning teams

Representative Text(s) and Other Materials

Ascher, Steven. The Filmmakers Handbook: A Comprehensive Guide to the Digital Age. 2019.

Schenk, Sonia, and Ben Long. The Digital Filmmaking Handbook. 2014.

Hurbis-Cherrier, Mick. Voice & Vision: A Creative Approach to Narrative Filmmaking. 2018.

Schroeppel, Tom. Barebones Camera Course for Film and Video. 2015.

Honthaner, Eve Light. The Complete Film Production Handbook. 2010.

Although some texts listed are older than the suggested "5 years or newer" standard, they remain seminal texts in this area of study.

Types and/or Examples of Required Reading, Writing, and Outside of Class Assignments

  1. Weekly reading assignments from text and outside sources
  2. Reading of screenplays and script analysis
  3. Analysis of film scenes
  4. Writing of treatments and scripts
  5. Film and video production analysis in the form of journals and online discussion forum entries
  6. Research and planning of production projects
  7. Completion of production projects, portfolio


Media Production or Commercial Music