Digital Filmmaking Courses
Check out our comprehensive courses in Filmmaking.
Audio for Visual Production (AVP)
AVP introduces students to the processes and tools used in sound design for moving images. It is designed for students in the visual arts, rather than those pursing an audio engineering program. AVP covers aesthetic and technical issues including sound design and manipulation. Combining theory with applied technical skills, students create and record a radio commercial, and create and engineer a complete soundtrack for a two-minute animation. Topics include audio post-production theory, composition, supervision, and editing of music for picture, digital audio theory, surround sound history and theory, an introduction to MIDI, digital non-linear audio post-production tools and processes with Pro-Tools, synchronization, audio processing, effects, and mixing. This course introduces students to the processes and tools used in sound design for moving images. It is designed for students in the visual arts, rather than those pursuing an audio engineering program. AVP covers aesthetic and technical issues including sound synthesis and manipulation. Combining theory with applied technical skills, students create and engineer a complete soundtrack for a two to five-minute video. Topics include audio theory, location audio theory, digital non-linear audio post-production tools and processes, synchronization, MIDI, sequencing and sampling, audio processing, effects, and mixing.
Broadcast Production (BP)
Broadcast Production is a course that takes Digital Film students into the fast-paced world of electronic news gathering and feature reporting for Television and New Media platforms. Working together with their classmates, students will research, plan, shoot, edit, and present a finished ‘news’ story or featurette in the space of six hours. The program includes on-location shoots at various events in local areas, chroma key setups, and working with virtual sets. Video acquisition will make use of tapeless high definition cameras, editing and effects will be done with various software and hardware packages, and the finished product will be in High Definition meeting established broadcast standards.
Business Technology (BT)
In order to survive and prosper, businesses must take advantage of the most appropriate technology available. Students receive an introduction to various business technologies including word processing and spreadsheets. The medium to achieve this knowledge will be the Microsoft Office Suite. Building on a foundational understanding of Windows as well as Internet browsers, students will learn the basic skills for Microsoft Word, Excel, and PowerPoint. Leveraging the interoperability of these applications will also be explored.
Career Management (CM)
This course is concerned with providing students with the tools to successfully navigate the business world while working as a self-employed artist. The end goal is to guide the student towards a feasible career plan aimed towards their individual needs, and specific goals.
Casting & Directing Talent (CDT)
The Director is the mechanism that lies between the script and the performer, and is the individual ultimately responsible for the final look and feel of a project. This is a workshop course focusing on specific skills and techniques for directing talent in a wide variety of circumstances. Students apply theory learned in the course to various directing situations (assignments) in and out of class to be critiqued and discussed within the class.
Cinematography 1 (CIN 1)
Cinematography 1 will introduce the student filmmakers to the art and craft of cinematography by exploring a wide range of topics that allow the lighting cameraperson to control their medium. Some of the subjects in this course are as follows: small crew basics, an overview of the camera department with job descriptions of the director of photography, camera assistants, camera operator, et al., documentary style and approaches including the doc crew and working with the sound recordist, lighting basics, understanding light meters, and an introduction to the zone system. The material in this course is a prerequisite to Cinematography 200 which will take the student lighting cameraperson even deeper into the topic of all things relating to and required as basic knowledge by those who aspire to be members of the camera department. Film viewing and discussions, as well as lecture and workshop style classes will be used in the course.
Cinematography 2 (CIN 2)
Cinematography 2 will continue to push the student filmmakers further into the deep end of the cinematography pool of technical knowledge and artistic concerns and will result in their becoming well rounded lighting and camera people. Some of the topics addressed in this course will be: Rating a camera’s ASA or IE using a light meter and waveform monitor, an overview of lighting terms and concepts, types of fixtures and a definition of light placement, and understanding photometrics. Students will take on a lighting project requiring that students analyze and recreate a painting by one of the masters of the 18th century and necessitating collaboration, adeptness, and finesse in the creation of their lighting scenario with documentation including photographs. Students will also discuss potential career path available upon graduating. Film viewing and discussions, as well as lecture and workshop style classes will be used in the course.
Digital Film Editing 1 (DFE 1)
DFE 1 is an introduction to the basic concepts of non-linear editing. Using Digital Video and Final Cut Pro, students will learn the fundamentals of editing and composing techniques using the following elements: effects, transitions, and titles. Course topics will include: Media formats and workflows, three-point editing, project and file management, importing/exporting, tools and shortcuts, and using text and graphics.
Digital Film Editing 2 (DFE 2)
DFE 2 is an advanced look at Final Cut Pro. This course will include lectures, handouts, and demonstrations. The course is made up of several projects, and will focus on editing dialogue and cutting scenes for pacing, and how to bring a project ‘alive’ with sound effects and music.
This course is devoted to introducing the students to the world of documentary filmmaking. Unlike dramatic filmmaking, documentary focuses on capturing footage of real world people and events. Doc filmmakers have the exciting opportunity to explore the intricacies of humanity and also deliver powerful messages though objective social commentary.
Emerging Technologies (ET)
The Digital Film Revolution is ongoing. This course explores a range of emerging capture and display technologies, from DSLR sensor cameras to 3D Stereoscopic filming and display, and, most importantly, their impact on storytelling. Students will learn about and experience a variety of the leading edge technologies in the film industry and in the home. Technology is only a tool in a filmmakers hand and toolbox, the important thing is knowing which tools to use and when to use them. Emerging Technologies (ET) will help you understand and prepare you to thrive in the digital future.
DFM Employability Skills 1, 2, 3 (DF M ES 1, 2)
In today’s marketplace technical skills and talent are not sufficient to find and keep high quality jobs. Employers desire candidates with a high level of employability skills that include personal management, communication, problem solving, positive attitudes and behaviors, adaptability, and teamwork skills. Employability Skills 100, 200, and 300 provide a space to explore the realities of the work world through a variety of real world case studies, breadth, and depth training opportunities, and/or work/production projects where employability skills (covered in the Professional Development Program series of courses) can be practiced. Each term the faculty will determine an appropriate focus for the courses that best serves the needs of the student cohorts or individual students, and local industry. Potential topics include specialized local industry needs overviews, guest speakers, case studies, or projects; interdisciplinary breadth and depth courses assigned per class or per individual need; class or individual development assignments and projects based on class or individual needs (as determined by the instructor or dept head or industry mentor); and work experience or simulated work experience projects and group projects.
Exercises in Visual Communication (EVC)
Visual messages have an unmatched potential to inform, educate, and entertain Exercises in Visual Communication (EVC) are a class designed as the applied portion linked to Visual Storytelling (VS). By applying production methods identified from previous courses, students will explore and produce experimental pieces, commercial works, music works, and other traditional, untraditional, and business formats. Through the preparation and production of materials in this class, students will add a variety of different genres to their demo reel.
Film Accreditation (FMACC)
Developed with industry participation, this regionally-based course provides an overview of the positions that make up a film crew. It serves as a preliminary screening mechanism for entry into the industry and improves the ability of new entrants to function safely and effectively on set. Whether participants already have some experience in films, are looking to switch careers from a related field, or are just getting started, this course provides valuable information about the working conditions and regulations governing employment in the film industry. Course content will be campus-specific.
Film Publishing for the Internet (FPI)
The Internet has forever changed the way films are made, distributed, and marketed. Film Publishing for the Internet focuses on how the Digital Filmmaker can use the Internet and related technologies to their best advantage. Through case studies and practical exercises we prepare the student to use the Internet in virtually all aspects of film production, from initial creative collaboration through to the promotion and marketing of their films, and the filmmaker.
Film Screenings 1 (FS 1)
Each week students examine influential (and some not so influential) films to broaden their core understanding of film as a craft. Films are chosen for screening based on a combination of relevant elements such as: Genre-Era–Direction-Performance–Plot–Sound Design-Production Design–Historical Relevance–Lighting and Camera work–Editing–Canadian & Foreign Productions–Independent Productions–or because it is generally considered to be a ‘Classic ‘.
Film Screenings 2 (FS 2)
Film Screening 200 builds on Film Screening 100 (FS100) and further challenges your critical abilities. In this course students will apply the critical viewing abilities that you learned in FS 100 and use them to critique more difficult films that aren’t necessarily the traditional Hollywood narrative, including more foreign and Canadian films.
Internet Programming 1 (IPRO 1)
This entry-level course in Internet publishing focuses on the origins of the World Wide Web and creating websites from the designer’s point of view. Using Web design software, students will be able to create basic Web pages and integrate introductory level Cascading Style Sheets (CSS) with (X)HTML.
Introduction to Computer Graphics (ICG)
This foundation course provides a solid background in vector and bitmap graphics creation, translation skills, graphic file management, scanning, and format conversion necessary for every field of computer graphics. These applied skills get you underway in a variety of our core computer graphic applications that are used in ever increasing levels of integration throughout the program.
Introduction to Video Production (IVP)
Media convergence has meant a wider group of communication professionals have more requirements than ever to produce video based material. Exposure and hands-on practice with the tools and techniques of video production will allow students to capture and produce video which is to-the-point, meaningful, and has some level of production value beyond the shaky, hard-to-hear home video.
Location Audio (LA)
Location Audio introduces students to the equipment, techniques, protocols and procedures used in on-site recording for film and TV. Topics include power requirements and electrical noise, acoustic isolation, location mixing, on set sound design for post-production considerations, field and post synchronization, recording ambience and sound effects, microphone placement, wireless microphones, protocols, and professional communication.
Media Studies – Film (MS-Film)
In MS-Film, students explore the history, processes, technologies, theory, and business of film and TV production from multiple perspectives, including aesthetic and critical socio-cultural perspectives. Having a breadth of understanding in these areas will be of great value to future storytellers (in whatever specialization, whether film, animation, games, multi-media, etc.) with respect to their ability and accountability in impacting audiences.
Narrative Film 1 (NF 1)
In Narrative Film 1 students work in groups of 5-8 to produce a weekly dramatic web series, rotating key positions on each episode. Production planning, pre-production, episodic and series story arcs, casting and directing talent are reviewed and put to practical use. Working under an assigned student producer, the team meets weekly, releases deadlines, and publishes each episode online. Proper production office procedures and planning is stressed and footage/edits are reviewed each week in class. This course is supported by other courses this quarter including Casting and Directing Talent (where students cast the series), Production Design, where students work on sets and the production design, and Digital Film Editing 200, where students use their footage for assignments.
Narrative Film 2 (NF 2)
In this course students produce their major digital film project. Decisions concerning the 24p mindset are explored. Students learn to build blocking diagrams and work with camera techniques for camera in motion.
Production Design (PD)
A compelling story is essential for a film’s success, but just as important is a movie’s look and feel. Production Design looks at the creation of a film’s mood and tone through the selection of locations, set designs and decorations, backgrounds, costumes, makeup, and props. Students participate in design exercises where they apply theory to their own story ideas.
Production Management (PM)
The Production Manager is responsible for managing all issues of production outside of the actual directing of the film. This includes budgeting, hiring crew, keeping the production on schedule and running smoothly, as well as dealing with suppliers, locations, contracts, copyright /licensing as well as permissions. This introductory level course prepares students for working in the film world, organizing, and preparing budgets and requisite paperwork. They are also introduced to the terminology and hierarchy of the set and production crew.
Professional Development 1 (PD 1)
PD 1 is the foundational class in the Professional Development series. It is designed to assist students to develop self-awareness by critically examining different aspects of their personalities. They will also be prompted to question their beliefs and behaviors in order to develop a clear sense of the influence they have on their own lives. Students will develop a vision for their future based on the insights they gain from the exercises in this class.
Professional Development 2 (PD 2)
PD 2 builds on the topic of self-awareness to focus on effective interpersonal skills. Students will examine their styles of communicating and they will be given an opportunity to build communication skills in a variety of class exercises. Students will also explore methods for dealing with conflict, setting boundaries, as well as giving and receiving feedback. Through the process of completing the final interview project, students will apply their communication skills and develop knowledge about the interview process.
Professional Development 3 (PD 3)
PD 3 is designed to build on the self-awareness and interpersonal skills to focus on self-mastery and leadership. Students will define what success means to them and then develop strategies for creating that success in their studies, their careers, and their personal lives. They will develop strategies for being an effective leader – both in their own lives and in leading others. Students will also explore the concept and issues related to work/life balance and will have the opportunity to develop and implement a variety of strategies that will assist them with achieving balanced academic and social supports.
Professional Development 4 (PD 4)
PD 4 is designed to build on the skills developed in earlier PD modules to develop professionalism. In this module students will learn the importance of ‘branding’ and corporate culture. Students will create a unique ‘brand’ statement and an effective resume. The final project in this course is a panel interview where students will have the opportunity to apply their professional skills in a formal interview setting. The interview will be filmed so that students can critique their performance and develop strategies for improvement.
Professional Development 5 (PD 5)
PDP 500 is the final stage of preparing students for the professional world as they combine what they have learned in the previous four modules. Students will demonstrate their visualization, writing, networking, and presentation skills as they develop and publically present their ‘Success Plan’ to assist them in making the transition from student to successful employment in the field of their choice.
Screenwriting explores the process of professional screenwriting for film and television. A variety of methodologies (e.g. lectures, screenings, discussions, guest speakers, readings, assignments, and workshops) are used to help students develop their own short story ideas and scripts. Various topics and genres are explored according to the needs and desires of the class and their projects. The process continues through in-depth workshops in which the instructor and the guest speakers help students develop their scripts into a final, workable format for their film projects. During this course students will read and write scripts, learn why great scripts aren’t written – they’re re-written, and produce scripts of their own.
Techniques for Video and Film Production 1 (TVFP 1)
This course introduces students to comprehensive shot types, focal lengths, compression of space, perspective, framing types, framing composition theory and practice, film cadence vs. video cadence, tape vs. solid state, internal and external coverage during dialogue along with the logic and production value of camera placement. Students will learn to use line management to keep spatial continuity for the audience. This course also introduces students to the world of location audio recording and production. Choosing locations, evaluating and recording ambience, choosing microphones, practicing booming techniques, monitoring camera return, hi pass/low cut filtering, using wireless systems, calibrating and setting up field recorders, proper cable handling, and techniques for micing talent will all be studied and practiced by students in the course so they can produce professional location audio.
Techniques for Video and Film Production 2 (TVFP 2)
Picking up from where TVFP 1 leaves off, TVFP 2 develops intermediate to advanced film and video production skills, and acquaints students with the various business aspects of industry production models. A class major project, ‘The Mentored Film Shoot’, combines technical instruction, class critiques and the simulation of a working production company and shooting crew. Emphasis is on direction and production design with particular attention to camera placement, shot selection, sound, scene flow, and continuity. Students learn the fundamentals of professional shooting and editing, basic lighting, more advanced shooting techniques, digital cinematography, and production planning with further emphasis on set etiquette and protocol. Departments focused on during this mentored shoot involve Direction, Assistant Direction, Camera and Cinematography, Lighting and, Grippage.
Visual Effects 1 (VFX 1)
VFX 1 is an introduction to Visual Effects. Visual Effects are primarily used for creating motion graphics and visual effects. Visual Effects will allow users to animate, alter, and composite media in 2D and 3D space with various built-in tools and third party plug-ins, as well as individual attention to variables like parallax and user-adjustable angle of observation.
Visual Effects 1 (VFX 1)
Visual Effects 2 is an advanced look at creating Visual Effects. Visual Effects will allow users to animate, alter, and composite media in 2D and 3D space with various built-in tools and third party plug-ins, compositing, and motion tracking.
Visual Storytelling (VS)
This course introduces students to the complex language of film by examining individual components, aspects and concepts concerned with the visual medium. Specific detail is paid to the relationship between the writer, director, and the audience. Emphasis is placed on understanding the basics of narrative, aesthetics, and the practical application of the techniques behind these theories.
daVinci constantly upgrades its programs due to ever-changing industry needs. Program content and courses are due to change without notice. Due to Provincial regulations, course offerings may differ per campus.
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