In teaching various subjects within the the broad scope of Digital Media, I often occupy the roles of instructor, producer and creative advisor. My ultimate goal is to guide students through the wide range of possibilities within the production process, from both the artistic and professional perspectives.
Production, whether in video or sound, is a complex, multi-faceted process and I encourage students to look the processes beyond a reductionist notion of right or wrong; rather, I encourage students to contextualize them for a specific situation. Thus, the challenge becomes one of moving into a fluid creative environment that best serves the goals of the particular project, always taking into account the given available resources.
In all of my courses, be it “Introduction to Cinema Studies,” “Electronic Field Production,” or “Advanced Digital Editing,” I structure each semester as a building blocks that culminate in a final standalone project, such as a single work of art and/or portfolio piece. For example, sounds sampled with a field recorder during one class, can be combined sequentially with video components generated in another class; in turn, both elements are used to create core elements of a final interactive audiovisual piece. Working through graded milestones account for various assignments throughout the semester, making all progress measurable and valuable in a production environment.
There are a number of ways I strive to achieve both academic and creative goals in my classroom :
- Creating an inclusive and creative atmosphere: Students are expected to present ideas, critique and comment on each other’s projects, as well as offer contributions in all areas of fellow classmates’ coursework.
- Providing a clear historical context to the materials being discussed: The history and technological developments of sound and video production coincide with major historical events dating back to the 1870s. Theoretical knowledge, in addition to practice, is key to students professional and creative development.
- Providing professional level technical expertise: I emphasize the importance of knowing the full range of digital media theory and practice, as students in all areas of media production can be well served by developing such knowledge early on.
- Emphasizing the importance of professionalism in all aspects of production: While my classroom is an inclusive and creative environment, I hold students accountable for following proper rules in organization, file management, pre-production planning, documentation, and strict post-production processes and deadlines.
Ultimately, my goal as an instructor is to find an interdisciplinary balance between theory, practice, and technology, which helps give students the foundational tools to creatively and intelligently analyze and discuss various areas of media production that will benefit them artistically and professionally.