Course Outline

Welcome to Art & Motion:

This is the fifth year that Art & Motion has been offered to students in the Art Department. I have learned a lot since I started this course and will share this knowledge with each of you. Please feel free to check out my experimental animations at:

The class starts by learning how to edit and reshape film/video. This will include two short projects that will help you become confident regarding the applications and software. I’ll have you cycling through sound apps, editing software(Final Cut Pro) and video. Before long you’ll be creating your own “fresh” mashups. By the end of the course everyone will leave creating an animated film that have lots of imagination and technical skill. All within three short months.

Each semester is unique and dependent on the group “vibe”. Some classes like to collaborate while others like working alone. I will help you determine what is best for both you and the group. The process of making animations is collaborative in nature but there are times when the only way to learn is to “do it yourself”!

As the semester progresses, I will hold demonstrations that will show you how to execute your ideas using, digital cameras, computers and film editing software. Please be present for each demonstration as things move quickly and your ideas will be held back if you do not know how things work.

This course will provide you with an opportunity to explore completely new areas in your art. In addition, each one of you will leave the course with the knowledge to edit and make films, something that can and will help you later on.

Finally, we’ll have visiting artist/animators, a possible field trip(Mass Art Animation Studios) and a musical/film experience(Somerville Theatre-Alloy Orchestra), which I’ll go over in class.

Your first attempts at stop-motion will be based on several problems that I will present in class. Each problem will help you to tackle a specific technique. The films you create to solve these problems. These films will be around one minute in length. After we have laid the groundwork, each student can create their own film using stop-motion and any three-dimensional process that has captivated their interest.

I cannot stress hard enough how much trial and error goes into making art and especially the process of making a short film. I do not expect you to create a long epic movie in the amount of time we have this semester. On the other hand, if you are willing to work hard I will help you in whatever way I can to complete a project.

We have six Mac computers. Like any “tool” if you treat it respectfully it will return the favor. Save your files often and you’ll avoid the heartbreak that comes with occasional crashes. During presentations, I will be pointing out “best practices” regarding the process. Please pay attention and ask questions as these tips might prevent a total meltdown when you are creating your masterpiece. I would like to emphasize that this is an art class. The technological features to this class are important in so far as they allow you to “play” in a different medium.

Week 1 & 2– Introduction Basic features in sound and editing.

First project: creating your own sound track to a piece of silent film.

Week 3 & 4 – Recording your own sound.

Second project: select from three films and replace the soundtrack with your own-recorded sound pus any additional sounds from our sound library.

Week 5 & 6 – First stop-motion exercise. Create a one minute stop-motion animation using clay. Your character/creature/form must stay on a white plate. You film can tell have a narrative or it can be abstract.

Sound will be included.

Week 7 & 8 – Last semester each student created a unique head and made it talk. The content was absurd, silly, and totally random. The goal was to take all the heads and edit them together into something coherent. Unfortunately, the final part was more difficult then I had imagined. I’ll show you some of the results. Someone in the lass may consider tackling this part of the problem or adding a new talking head.

Or we start from scratch.

Spring Break

Week 9-10-11 – Create a stop-motion animation that explores a box. This box can be a found object or something you fabricate. You can investigate the relationships between the interior and exterior. You can include found objects along with modeling objects/characters in clay. I will show examples to help illustrate the possibilities.

Week 12 – 16 – Final Project. – You will now have time to develop your own projects. We will sit down and create teams so that students are helping each other. Each project should incorporate sound and some of the techniques we have explored. However, I expect that you will develop unique approaches and explore things that are personal. You can tell a short story or venture into purely abstract sound and image relationships.

Maybe if the gods are kind to us we can put on another festival in May Hall at the end of our course. The one we put on two years back was a huge hit. The room was packed with people in the hallways. Students, administrators, parents, children, and friends cheered and laughed.


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