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 and DVDROM. 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 (primary, secondary, tertiary) I described in class in which meaning can be conveyed in a production?
- How does the production process now differ from historically earlier times in production's history? (Hint: consider such things as accessibility, exhibition, broadcast quality versus consumer quality, technology, etc.)
- What are some objectives we considered for a successful production?
- Don’t forget terms we associate with news production such as VO, SOT, package, natural sound/pictures, etc.
- What about multi-camera vs. single camera?
- How are they different from each other?
- Where would you find, for example, multi-camera productions?
- What is a switcher? What do we call the signal coming out of a switcher?
Actor costumes and prop pieces that make a production seem from an ealier historic time, are examples of this type of production meaning:
d) post-production editing
PRODUCTION SETTINGS, FORMATS AND GENRES
- Be able to define both multi-cam and single cam productions in video. Where and why would we prefer a multi-cam production to a single cam production?
- Why can't film ever be a true multi-cam production?
- You should be able to identify the basic production genres we discussed in class and understand the differences and/or similarities between them.
- What is it about news generally that dictates certain production practices in that genre?
- Why did I characterize Artistic/Avant Garde productions as labors of love?
- How does documentary production differ/compare to ENG production?
- What is a promo? How/where might a promo be used?
- Some key words:
Primary, secondary and tertiary production meaning, ENG, EFP, DI
This production genre is contstrained by real people and the need to be an objective witness:
c) artistic/avant garde
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 essential differences between permanent employment and transient (freelance) employment?
- Where might you find transient employment?
- Be able to generally characterize the positions I included in our lecture and on the PDF study guide on our website.
- 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?
In commercial production, this person has direct general supervision over a single production:
b) technical director
c) executive producer
d) director of photography
e) line producer
- What's the difference between sensing and perceiving?
- What is semiotics? How does it apply to the way we perceive visual and acoustical stimuli?
- What is the “path” of light and sound in the human body? (Be prepared to discuss the various physiological components in this path and their respective roles in sensing and perceiving.)
- What are the four things we visually recognize?
- What are the four types of movement I described? How do they differ from one another?
- What is persistence of vision, and who worked out that particular physiological/psychological theory as it relates to motion picture film?
- What is the name of the region in our brain that stores visual and acoustical information?
- What are the three primary colors?
The motion picture film depends on this type of movement to be understood as motion:
- Can you define transduction as it pertains to the video camera and describe how it works?
- Can you explain and describe the various architectural differences between studio cameras and field cameras?
- What's white balance all about? Why do you have to do this for the camera?
- What are the various camera moves Zettl identifies?
- Cant (or dutch)
- Could you explain how a lens works in terms of the three main lens functions we discussed in class?
- Focal length (consider also the definition of focal length and how it determines angle of view)
- Focus (internal/external)
- Light regulation (consider the two separate ways the lens does this)
- What's the difference between iris, aperture and diaphragm?
- What do f-stops represent?
- You should be able to describe and understand the various additional camera things as we talked about them, such as support systems, batteries, etc.
- 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...)
- Know the lens distortion Zettl addresses when he discusses the telephoto lens and that I discussed relating to short lenses.
- What do we mean by digital cinema?
This kind of lens can potentially cause big-nose distortion:
a) narrow angle
b) fast lens
c) long lens
d) wide angle lens
e) slow lens
VIDEO RECORDING FORMATS AND SYSTEMS
- How well do you know the history of video storage media as we discussed it in class? (Hint: consider such formats as kinescope, videotape and tape alternatives, etc.)
- Do you understand the composition of videotape? It's materials? It's tracks? How/where is videotape used today?
- What are the new technologies that are replacing videotape? Can you associate some manufacturer's names with a particular technology? (Consider Sony and Panasonic.)
This is a numeric address laid down in the video recording process that progressively changes with each advancing frame:
a) time code track
b) control track
c) sync pulse
d) audio track
e) video track
- What is a production sound system and what are some of the principle components of it as we described them in class?
- Can you define some of the key terms we associate with sound production, for example:
- How do we distinguish between mic's, that is, what are the different kinds of mic's by signal generating element?
- What are the various pick-up patterns we discussed?
- What's a plosive and how do you avoid one?
- What are the three roles of a mixer?
- What is the name of the signal coming out of a mixer?
- What are those aesthetic considerations about sound that we employ in a production, such as contrapuntal sound, sound environment, sound perspective, figure/ground?
On ribbon mic's, this device is used to prevent "plosives" from disrupting the sound signal:
d) pop filter
e) VU meter
- Identify the ways we distinguished the twin concerns in video lighting: creating a picture and creating a meaning.
- How do these concerns differ from one another?
- What is baselight?
- What kinds of things do we seek to depict when creating meaning?
- Who are the five historical figures we referred to in class in reference to the history of working with light and photography?
- What were their respective contributions to our understanding of light and photography and our practice of both?
- In broad terms, how many forms (sources) of light are there?
- Could you describe what light color is about?
- What basic kinds of light sources produce what kinds of light color and at what relative temperatures, for example:
- Do you know how it relates to white (color) balancing the video camera?
- What is the term we use to describe light coming from the source itself?
- We know that reflected light will ALWAYS be what kind of lighting pattern ?
- How does studio lighting differ from field lighting?
- What is a studio lighting dimmer board and what does it do?
- What did I claim to be one of the reasons that one sees fewer instances of legitimate lighting for video?
- What is the difference between directional and diffused lighting?
- How do those terms relate to high key and low key lighting? Fall-off?
This is the unit of measurement we use for light intensity in the United States:
c) foot candle
That's a lot of stuff. Remember that potential questions may come from the discussion we had regarding the docuemntary Visions of Light as well. As always, cramming is the least effective means of taking an exam. First, you won't remember it past a day or two. Second, you'll jumble up your mind with a bunch of definitions, and on my exams you also must know the relations between things as well as how these are used or practiced.
REMEMBER, QUESTION SHEETS WILL ONLY BE HANDED OUT UNTIL THE FIRST EXAM IS HANDED IN.