T3 Weeks 3-14 Production & Post-production

UPDATED 2018

OVERVIEW & KEY (IN-CLASS) DATES

  • 2 X PRE-PRODUCTION WEEKS
  • 8 X PRODUCTION WEEKS
  • See below for detailed schedule
  • 4 x POST-PRODUCTION WEEKS (Edit Month in August)
  • SCHEDULED IN-CLASS SESSIONS DURING EDIT WEEKS: TBA (TYPICALLY 3 DAYS EACH WEEK IN AUGUST)

PREAMBLE

This page covers your weekly schedule for T3. You have 8 Reporting Weeks and 4 Post-production Weeks. During the Production and Post-production Weeks, tutors will guide and monitor your progress via tutorials and by viewing regular updates of your practical work. They will provide guidance and critical feedback on your work to help to develop your stories and projects. This process is meant to mirror working with an editor in a professional setting, the same way working journalists check in with their editor from the field and go through a series of edits before their story goes to publication. 

In order to receive feedback and guidance, you will need to deliver your work in progress on set deadlines and to specific requirements. You are also required to submit some ‘mini-assignments’. Please follow instructions carefully. Students will not receive feedback on late submissions, or submissions that do not fulfill requirements or where the English level makes comprehension difficult. Please note, students who fail T3 practical modules usually do so because they missed interim deadlines and lacked formative feedback and guidance.

The editing stage is crucial, you’ll need to log your work during production and come to the edit month with a well prepared rough draft. In the post-production (Edit) month, you’ll take your rough draft to a polished final cut ready for submission.

Note – You may need to do a few ‘pickups’ during edit month  Pickup Shots are brief shots or scenes recorded after the main shooting period has ended. Pickups are done in order to correct a mistake or to film additional material. There are several kinds of mistakes that would justify a pickup: Equipment malfunction, lost or corrupted file; Human error, failing to capture an important visual, scene or sound-byte; The filmmaker wants to try something different; The footage does not work in editing and needs to be  refilmed; There is a rare opportunity to film an important scene that could not be filmed earlier. Tutors need to see a quality rough draft during the first edit week to help identify ‘pickups’ and so students have time to execute and edit. 

Please note the T3 Production & Post-production weeks schedule is a little flexible. No major changes will be made, but minor changes almost certainly will be. So, please take a look at the schedule regularly (every week) to stay on track. It’s YOUR responsibility to manage your own time and to submit things on time to the specified requirements. We cannot fix an exact schedule because tutors respond to the work we see as it develops, therefore, we may add in some additional ‘mini-assignments’ to target problems as they arise. Extra ‘mini-assignments’ may be general for all students (if we believe they will benefit the whole group) or individual to support specific students.  

Please note, if you miss interim deadlines, you can not hand your work in late. Tutors schedule dedicated days for feedback (generally on Fridays) so if you submit work late, you’ll need to wait until the next deadline for feedback and you won’t receive comprehensive feedback for the deadline you missed. This means you’ll miss timely and formative feedback essential to improve your work. From my experience students who miss interim deadlines often fail Term 3. Tutors need to see work as it develops to help guide and support.  

If you have an urgent question or problem, you can contact us outside of the scheduled deadlines. For non-urgent, more official communications please stick to email. We aim to respond within 72 hours. For urgent issues please WeChat message, Sharron or Alina. Also, sometimes you might just want to chat to a tutor for 20 minutes to discuss an idea or challenge, please contact us via Wechat, and we will aim to respond in a timely matter and arrange a call. Please also share questions, pictures, and videos to the group we-chat – so that you can support and receive support from your peers!

In the first few weeks, we accept links to videos etc for your bi-weekly interim deadlines. By the later reporting week interim deadlines, work submitted for tutors to view must be uploaded to your chosen digital platform URL. We do not expect your digital platform to be complete, however, the earlier you start working on it the better. Your final platform should not be an afterthought – consider it from the early pre-production stage. You’ll also need to test and explore the design and layout and think about how the story presentation is working (or not) early on. Uploading your work at your URL early on with placeholders helps you and us to get a really good sense of the final project. If you can do this by week 5 it’s preferable; otherwise, week 6 will be ok.

We cannot dictate exactly how you upload your work, every student will work in a different way depending on their story and chosen mediums. Endeavor to show us as much as you can in a well-organized fashion so that we can deliver constructive and critical feedback. If your work is well organized and substantial tutors will give you substantial feedback. If it is in poor shape, tutors will have little material to feedback on. If your English hampers comprehension we will not mark it. It is not our job to translate poor English. You’ll be asked to revise it and send it back on the next deadline wasting valuable time. Interview transcribes, video scripts etc can be attached at the end of your project forms. 

*All work submitted for interim deadlines must either be in English or be subtitled. Tutors can not and will not feedback on Chinese language video.

*All work must be proofread, tutors will not feedback on work where language is so poor that comprehension is hindered. We do not expect perfect English, however, we do expect a smooth read/watch.

Production Weeks (8 weeks)

4th June – T3W3 Project Week 3 (Interim Deadline) Submit Mini-Assignment: 7th June

  • Monday 4th JUNE
  • 10am – 4pm – Christopher Cherry Video Seminar & Workshop
  • Tuesday 5th JUNE 
  • 10am – 12am Presentations & feedback. (6 mins per story)
  • 1 – 2pm – Sharron to outline Term 3. Revise Pre-production guide (All students to print and bring to class)
  • 2pm – 4pm Video Editing workshop – Basic color and audio correction
  • 6th June MINI-ASSIGNMENT!!! Listen to this podcast. Listen to the point Jonah Kessel makes about ‘following action’. Many of you will produce a long-form video/documentary as a major story component. With eight production weeks — most of you should all be able to capture engaging ‘live’ scenes – where things are actually happening… think about your live scenes now! Write down potential ‘live scenes’ and email them to your lead tutor. You might also include some in your key ‘shot list’ in your style & methodology section.
  •  Listen to the podcast at https://soundcloud.com/multi-media-week/mmw-56
  • See more of Jonah’s work at @jonahkessel / www.jonahkessel.com.
  • Mike Davis’ Three Commandments of Multimedia (Referred to in the podcast and an interesting follow-up read)
  • *Please note. Not every short-form video requires action scenes. Perhaps you are doing something more stylized in approach. Of course, this is totally fine, but then you will need to clearly outline your visual approach in the style & methodology section.
11th June – T3W4 Project Week 4 
  • Reporting / filming / shooting / editing / research / creating digital platform etc
  • Tutorials are available with Sharron on the 11th 
18th June – T3W5 Project Week 5 (interim deadline) Submit Mini Assignment & Assets Online: 22nd June
  • Monday 18th JUNE MINI-ASSIGNMENT! (Estimated time 3 hours)
  • If video is a major story component write a ‘Video Treatment’ be sure to include potential ‘live-action scenes’ too. 
  • You can find out what a video treatment is at DOCUMENTARY TIP #7: Writing a Strong Treatment. This is also worth a watch https://vimeo.com/9992731If you’d like to see a pitch example from me – here’s one I made earlier: India’s Poisoned Villages (Please do not share).
  • Thursday 21st JUNE (interim deadline) Tutors will want to see tangible assets online at this point. You might include interview transcripts, a gallery of images, a rough cut of a video, a subtitled interview…. whatever best helps us to understand what you have been reporting and capturing in the field.
  • Friday 22nd JUNE (or Monday 25th June depending on your lead tutor) Tutorials (remote via We-chat or face to face in Beijing). Tutors will look at your work in the early morning and hold scheduled feedback tutorials in the afternoon.

25th JUNE – T3W6 Project Week 6

  • Reporting / filming / shooting / editing / research / creating digital platform etc

2nd JULY – T3W7 Project Week 7 (Interim Deadline) Submit Mini Assignment & Assets Online: 6th July

  • Mon 2nd July MINI-ASSIGNMENT! (Estimated time 5 hours)
  • Please also refer to the IMMJ-MA CODE OF ETHICS. Thoroughly revise your ethics section in light of a) the practical work you have done so far b) the research you have done so far 

  • Thurs 5th July (Interim Deadline) Selected assets online at your project/story digital platform URL. There should be some semblance of how your final project may look with placeholders for assets etc. Re-upload your revised project form and ensure that diary sections are complete. Make sure you have revised your time management plan for the 5 remaining weeks so that tutors can track your plans. Your ethics section must now be in perfect order and revised in light of this weeks mini-assignment. 
  • Friday 6th July (or by Monday 25th July depending on your lead tutor) – written feedback via emails from your assigned tutor

9th JULY – T3W8 Project Week 8 (interim deadline) 1st Rough Cut

  • Thurs 12th July (Interim Deadline)Refined selected assets (1st rough cut) online at your digital platform URL. There should be a strong semblance of how your final project may look with placeholders for any missing or incomplete assets etc.
  • If video is your main or a central medium, please also deliver – via email – a video story narrative structure in bullet point form. Later as you progress, this will be replaced by your video script. If you already have a script for the 1st rough edit of your video, this is optimal and means tutors can give you better support at an earlier stage.
  • Fri 13th July (or Monday 16th July depending on your lead tutor) – Either written feedback or tutorials TBC. This week both tutors will look at both work you will get brief feedback from your lead tutor. You will get more in-depth feedback from your non-lead tutor. This is a good chance for students to get a fresh pair of eyes on the work.
  • If possible Sean will conduct in-class tutorials with Sharron’s students. Sharron will have 30-minute wechat tutorials with Sean’s students.

16th JULY – T3W9 Project Week 9 (Pickups)

  • Reporting / filming / shooting / editing / research / creating digital platform etc
  • Based on the feedback received on your 1st Rough cut in the previous week, you may be directed to gather some pick-ups. Doing this now before the edit month is optimal. 

23rd July – T3W10 Project Week 10 (Interim Deadline)  2nd Rough cut

  • Thurs 26th July (interim deadline) 2nd Rough Cut online at your digital platform URL. There should be a strong semblance of how your final project will look. 
  • Video scripts must be complete.
  • Fri 27th July – Sharron will give feedback in class on 30th July. Sean will give either written feedback or tutorials TBC. 

Editing weeks (4 weeks)

Sharron returns to Beijing on 1st August and will be on hand in class for most of weeks 1 2 & 4 . Specific dates TBC. You are expected to spend the Edit weeks in Beijing and sometime each week editing in class so that Sharron and Sean can support your editing process.

The edit weeks are where you take your work from rough cut stage to The Polish Edit and then The Final Cut that you will submit. 

The edit month works the same way a professional edit works at a news organization. The process works as a cycle of review & feedback & revision. If you do not come to edit month properly prepared with a high-quality rough cut and your assets well logged and organized and leave things to the last moment the process won’t work and you risk failing the module. We see this happen every year – make sure it’s not you! 

30th July – T3W11 Edit Week 1

Please note come to the first day of Edit Month (Monday 30th July) well prepared with your full project online and your hard drive of assets well logged and organized. We need to be able to see how the full project looks and all content text/ video/images/graphics will need to be in place in a draft form. Videos will need to have a strong narrative structure at this point – with a clear beginning, middle end and clear meaning and news value. You should also have folders of assets ready and organized and at hand on your computer or hard drive so that tutors can look at raw content as needed. For example, you should include items such as a folder of translated transcribes of all your interviews (for text and video); a folder of your raw video footage; a folder of all selected images; a folder of graphics and the sources you have used to create those graphics. Your digital research page containing key factual and contextual information. Your work needs to be well organized for us to help you if it isn’t we can’t support you. If your work isn’t in a good shape by the 28th and we are unable to adhere to a cycle of tutor review/tutor feedback/student amend … tutor review/tutor feedback/student amend formative assessment process you will very likely fail. This process needs to start on the 30th. 

  • Monday 30th JulySharron in class feeding back on her students work. Yan will also be on hand to give one to one tutorials for your dissertations.
  • Tuesday 31st July – Sharron in class feeding back on Sean’s students work.  Yan will also be on hand to give one to one tutorials for your dissertations.
  • For the rest of the week, you may edit in class or at home. We do recommend spending some days in class with classmates. That way you can help each other to edit, copy edit, fact check and test out your stories and platforms. This week should be dedicated to ensuring that your projects are in a high-quality complete draft mode for the group critique on the 6th August. 

6th August – T3W12 Edit Week 2 – THE POLISH EDIT

  • Monday 6th AugustProject presentations & Critiques with all tutors. Please be in class at 9.40am so that Stacey can collect projects onto the class disk for smooth presentations. Each student or pair of students will have 10 to 12 minutes to present. (After 12 mins your time will be cut). Show your main mediums on your URL platform and for the elements that are less visual, you can talk through the content so that tutors and peers get a detailed understanding of your project/story. Expect a long day in class. No student may miss this date! and must attend the full day. 
  • Tuesday 7th August – Sharron in class feeding back on her students work. Yan will also be on hand to give one to one tutorials for your dissertations. Students will also be asked to focus group projects with peers. 
  • For the rest of the week, you may edit in class or at home. We do recommend spending some days in class with classmates. That way you can help each other to edit, copy edit, fact check and test out your stories and platforms. 

13th August – T3W13 Edit Week 3 – THE FINAL CUT

  • Monday 13th August – Sharron in class. Students will also be asked to focus group projects with peers. 
  • Tuesday 14th August – Sharron in class. Students will also be asked to focus group projects with peers. 
  • For the rest of the week, you may edit in class or at home. We do recommend spending some days in class with classmates. That way you can help each other to edit, copy edit, fact check and test out your stories and platforms. 

20th August – T3W13 Edit Week 3 – DEADLINE and final copy edit

  • Tuesday 21tst August – Sharron in class. Students will also be asked to focus group projects with peers. 
  • Friday 24th August – Assesment presentations. Each student will present their work individually to tutors for assessment. You will also need to bring all your final project assets on a hard drive for collection. 
  • Friday 24th August – You should upload all large files (videos) by the 24th, uploading can be a slow process with Chinese internet speeds so you’ll need to upload any videos or big files day ahead of the deadline. The 25th can then be used for tweaking design and information architecture and copy editing. Please be aware slow internet speeds are not accepted as an excuse for late submissions. Everyone is aware that internet speeds are slow so upload in plenty of time. 
  • Saturday 25th August – Final Deadline
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