RTV 3511 Exam #1 Study Guide

Just remember, this study guide is meant to "guide" you; it's not meant to be an exhaustive document, a blueprint for the exam.  You still have to fill in gaps with the things you learn in class, from the text and from the DVDROM.  Consider, however, my particular recipes for success:
Use our discussions in class as a guide to help you study the text.  There will be more information in those than you need for the exam.  Example:our discussion of the lens.  Zettl talks about zoom range.  We don’t discuss that in class.  You will encounter that in future RTV production courses should you move into our major, but for our class you simply don’t need to know it yet.  So as you study the text, you could safely ignore that particular topic.  On the other hand, Zettl does talk about f-stops and lens speed, which we did indeed discuss in class.  Therefore, you’ll need to study that portion of the text for the exam.
Avoid memorizing words on a page, such as from your notes.  This is the least effective way to learn material, and I do expect you to learn rather than memorize.  I recommend taking the highlighted material from the text, for example, and then transcribing that onto other sheets of paper, though instead of doing this as words consider transcribing as a diagram, or at least some kind of outline.  Transcribing helps further commit the information to you knowledge, but representing it in diagram or pictorial form really seals that knowledge for most of us.
Use mnemonic memorization devices.  There are tricks others have written about extensively (for example, The Memory Book) that are easy to use and can really help you recall information.
Get in a study pair or group.  Since everyone takes notes differently, someone will inevitably possess some information on a particular point that you missed.

And please remember that I stand prepared to help you any way I can absent, of course, giving you the questions in advance.  Here are topics and areas that will be covered in the exam:

What is production?
What are the three ways I described in class in which meaning can be conveyed in a production?
             - How do these differ from each other in terms of production?
             - How does the production process now differ from other earlier times of production?  (Hint:  consider such things as accessibility, broadcast quality versus consumer quality, technology, etc.)
What are some objectives we considered for a successful production?
What about multi-camera vs. single camera?
             - How are they different from each other?
             - Where would you find, for example, single camera productions? Multi-camera?
What’s the role of post-production? Is it associated with single camera production or multi-camera?
Sample key words:
             - Primary, secondary and tertiary production meaning
             - ENG, EFP, DI

Sample question:
The twin means we discussed in class for evaluating a given production are how well it communicates its intended message and this:
a. production cost
b. number of crew members
c. craftsmanship of execution
d. production length
e. production genre

Can you define transduction as it pertains to the video camera and describe how it works?
What is the imaging device?
Can you explain and describe the various architectural differences between studio cameras and field cameras?
Could you tell me what a moiré effect is?  (See your text for this.)
What are the various camera moves Zettl identifies?
             - Pan
             - Tilt
             - Arc
             - Dolly
             - Truck
             - Pedestal
Could you explain how a lens works in terms of the three main lens functions we discussed in class?
                - Focal length (consider also the equation we discussed that produces the focal length numerical value in millimeters and other things such as angle of view)
                - Focus
                - Light regulation (consider the two separate ways the lens does this)
What's the difference between iris, aperture and diaphragm?
How do f-stops work? What do they correspond to?
You should be able to describe and understand the various additional camera things as we talked about them, such as support systems, batteries, etc.
How does digital cinema differ from traditional video production?
What two advantages does digital cinema have over traditional film production?
What are the respective narrative differences between Sally Potter's 1992 film, Orlando, and Virginia Woolf's original 1927 novel of the same name?  (Just kidding...)

Sample Question:
Which is the best match?:
a. low light level - f 1.4
b. bright light level - f 1.4
c. low light level - f 22
d. bright light level - f 22
e. 1 & 4

Production Settings, Formats and Genres
You should be able to identify the basic production genres we discussed in class and understand the differences and/or similarities between them.
          - News
          - Commercial
          - Documentary
          - Corporate/Industrial
          - Artistic/Avant Garde
Why did I characterize Artistic/Avant Garde productions as labors of love?
How does documentary production differ/compare to journalistic production?
What are some of the things that make news production unique in terms of its production practices?  (Hint:  consider such things as the ethical code governing journalistic endeavors.)

Sample Question:
This production genre is constrained by real people and the need to be an objective witness:
a. documentary
b. commercial
c. artistic/avant garde
d. journalistic
e. corporate/industrial

Recording/Storage Media
How well do you know the abreviated history of video storage media as we described them in class?
What are the new technologies that replaced videotape?
What is a degausser?
What is the kinescope recording format?
What company pioneered memory card storage systems with their P2 format?  Optical disc recording?
If it's generally true that the bigger the image sensor (chip) the better the image quality, then which is a bigger chip, one that is 2/3" or one that is 4/3"?

Sample Question:
Which of the following enabled what we call frame-accurate editing:
a. time code
b. RGB
c. U-matic
d. control track
e. CCU

Production Employment and People
Can you characterize the apprenticeship mentality we discussed in class as it relates to employment in production-related fields?
What would be some likely beginning positions in non-journalistic productions?
Can you describe the differences between permanent employment and transient (freelance) employment?
Where might you find transient employment?  Permanent employment?
What are some of the basic above-the-line positions we discussed and their respective responsibilities in a given production project?  Below-the-line?
How are journalistic divisions of labor structured?  (Hint:  think of divisions such as news managers, talent, etc.)  What are their respective responsibilities?
Know the general duties of the following NON-NEWS production positions:
             - Executive Producer
             - Line Producer
             - Director
             - Technical Director
             - Director of Photography
             - Camera Operator
             - Videotape
             - Grip/Utility
             - Craft Services
Know the general duties of the following NEWS employment positions:
             - News Directors
             - News Executive Producers
             - News Producers
             - News Assignment Editors
             - News Assistant Producers
             - Reporters vs. Anchors
             - News Photographers
             - News Editors
             - Graphic (GFX)
             - Floor Director
             - Prompter

Sample Question:
In non-ENG production, this person has direct general supervision over the creative aspects of the production:
a. director
b. technical director
c. executive producer
d. director of photography
e. line producer

That's a lot of stuff, but you all seem pretty smart, and this is, after all, a 4-year, liberal arts university.   Questions will come from lectures as well as textbook and DVDROM.  Here are a couple more sample questions to give you an idea of how I’ll structure questions for the exam:

The process of taking film footage, transferring it to a non-linear computer for editing, then transferring the finished product back to film is called:
a. ENG
b. 24p
c. HD
d. DI
e. EFP

(answer: d)

Physically moving the entire camera toward or away from a subject is called a:
a. dolly
b. truck
c. pan
d. arc
e. pedestal

(answer: a)


Good Luck!