Editing: Theory and Production Michael Trigilio | email: mtrigilio@ucsd.edu |


Office Hours: Monday, 3pm - 4pm at MCC 221; Thursday 1pm - 2pm at VAF studio 511
If you intend to visiting during office-hours, please send me an email to confirm.

N.B. I WILL NOT BE REVIEWING PETITIONS DURING THESE OFFICE HOURS. These office hours are for course/career/research matters only.

Make without ceasing.
This will be at the heart of your coursework in Editing. While we will often refer to readings derived from your VIS 70N reader and other writings over the course of the quarter, we will principally focus on a series of focused editing projects. We will treat this class like an intensive visual arts course one might find in another discipline (painting, ensemble performance, etc). The course has been designed as an intensive production and crit class at the Intermediate level of the Media Major and critiques will include discussion of a.) conceptual rigor and b.) technical execution.

Take notes.
You should take notes. When films, artworks, artists are mentioned in discussion or lectures, I suggest writing them down and then looking them up later. The Geisel Library is good for this and the website Google.com is very easy to use. Ubuweb.com is another excellent resource to find films to watch and research.

This will be a Visual Arts class, not an Apple Store demonstration.
This is not a "Final Cut Pro" course, insofar as our discussions will be principally concerned with your ideas, choices, and strategies as an editor. I will regularly demonstrate editing techniques towards this broad pedagogical agenda (including techniques universally found in most editing environments, such as Media Composer and Premiere Pro). Students should expect to be able to translate these techniques across a constantly evolving technological landscape (i.e., "learning how to learn" new software is key).

Collaboration is expected.
There will only be one assignment in which collaboration with a classmate is required (Asgn #2). Beyond that, I expect students to collaborate, and otherwise contribute to the productions of their peers.

60% will be based on all assignments (exercises, quizzes, and papers).
40% will be based on class participation in discussions and critiques.

I will only accept assignments late if you have an excused absence from class or in an emergency situation about which you have spoken with me directly. Late assignments will be accepted at my sole discretion.

Students are expected to attend all of every class meeting. “Absence” is a word describing “the state of being away from a place.” If you are away-from-class, you will be considered absent (notwithstanding absence due to illness).

Two absences = Lower final grade by one letter Each additional absence = Lower final grade by an additional half-letter

Arriving to class late twice will be noted as an “absence.” Thus, arriving to class late four times will lower the final grade by one letter.

If you are ill, you may miss class provided you present official documentation indicating your illness (a note from student health-services will suffice). If you miss more than three classes due to illness, I will apply the above grading policy and you should prepare to withdraw from the class.


Students will be active and engaged in participation, coursework, and attendance
Students will demonstrate professional use of the media center
Students will show creative and courageous responses to assignment prompts.
Students will actively resist cynicism and foster open-mindedness


Technical expectations:
I expect you to be actively practicing the editing strategies we discuss even as you experiment with cinematographic, compositional, and sonic techniques. I expect you to be making considered choices when composing and producing your footage. Legibility of the image is critical, and you should be prepared to discuss your specific methodology for shot-composition, camera-work, sound-recording, etc.


What students can expect:
Presentation of challenging examples and techniques prepared to broaden your experience as an editor.
Respect and honest critical feedback
A passionate and engaged articulation of course material, free of cynicism or contemptFair and honest grading of your participation, projects, and other classwork.


1. Three shots about a.) euphoria or b.) heartbreak (Due Wednesday, January 9)
2. Video in Public (collaborative) (Due Wednesday, January 16)
3. Over The Shoulder Improv (Due Wednesday, February 1)
4. dance video edits / continuity vs. style (Due January 30)
5. comic-timing: make the cut the joke. (Due Feb 11 or Feb 13, by alphabet)
6. make a series of between 5 and 7 short films around a theme. (Due March 11 or 13, by
- - - works in progress during week 9 (March 4, March 6)

1. alarm clocks
2. walking/running in Eucalyptus grove
3. working on a computer
4. stuffed animals
5. masculine self-discovery at La Jolla cliffs
6. shots without physical stabilization


COURSE SCHEDULE (subject to change)
Week 1 - Introduction to Editing, Framing, Pacing
assignment 1 DUE Wednesday January 9

Week 2 - Timing, pace, sync, public spaces.
Expect discussions of pacing, stylistic practice, and public-spaces.
assignment 2 DUE Wednesday January 16

Week 3 - (Monday holiday) | Wednesday, January 23: Directing improvisation workshop.

Week 4 - Body Continuity.
Framing, editing, and presenting the body on screen with attention towards continuity. assignment 3 DUE Wednesday February 6

Week 5 - The Cut's the Joke.
Comic-timing and the role of editing in generating a comic-moment.

Week 6 - Critique week
assignments 5 DUE MONDAY and WEDNESDAY (by last name) (Feb 11 and Feb 13)

Week 7 - (Monday holiday) | Wednesday, February 20: motion-graphics workshop

Week 8 - Serial
A discussion & presentation of works made in series and a discussion of serialization techniques for generating editing decisions.

Week 9 - Works-in-Progress / FCS workshop

Week 10 - FINAL CRITS (serial works)
assignment 6 DUE MONDAY AND WEDNESDAY (March 11 and March 13)





updated JANUARY 6, 2013