Video Arts

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Overview

Taft’s video program starts in our high-tech video lab, and reaches across the globe. The lab has 10 Mac workstations equipped with a variety of cutting edge editing and special effects software for teaching the art of filmmaking. Students have access to professional quality HD and 4K video cameras and support equipment, including lights, tripods, stabilizers, and microphones.

VIDEO ARTS

The program begins with an introduction to fundamental filmmaking tools, and film basics: composition, shot types, camera angles and scripting. Beginning students complete a series of “shoot-to-edit” projects, which become their building blocks for video storytelling. As students advance through the program, they will work more on scriptwriting and storyboarding, advanced audio recording, and lighting techniques, and will take on projects documenting the life of the school, and promoting school programs and events. Class projects may range from adapting novels and creating mini-series, to recreating the school’s history and producing video content for other academic disciplines.

In recent years, student filmmakers have worked on major motion pictures with well-known directors, and have competed in prestigious film competitions at both the local and national level. Taft students recently took home top honors at the Tribeca Film Festival’s “The America I Am” Youth Film Competition.

“I look at the program as communicating in pictures. We develop a real sense of what the images say, and learn to enhance them with music and dialogue.” - Scott Serafine, Video Arts Teacher

Video Arts Course Offerings

AV505: Video

Term: Semester 1

The first activities of this introductory course will focus on learning the tools of video production: software, cameras, tripods and microphones. From there we will cover composition, shot types, camera angles and scripting. Once the basics are mastered, students will complete a series of “shoot-to-edit” projects, which become their building blocks for video story telling. Students will be introduced to storyboarding and shot mapping. Working in small groups, they will use a single camera, take multiple shots, and edit them together to tell a story.

AV506: Video

Term: Semester 2

The first activities of this introductory course will focus on learning the tools of video production: software, cameras, tripods and microphones. From there we will cover composition, shot types, camera angles and scripting. Once the basics are mastered, students will complete a series of “shoot-to-edit” projects, which become their building blocks for video story telling. Students will be introduced to storyboarding and shot mapping. Working in small groups, they will use a single camera, take multiple shots, and edit them together to tell a story.

AV518: Intermediate Video

Term: Semester 2

The prerequisite for this class is Video or a comparable experience at another school, or permission from the instructor. A continuation of Video, this class will introduce the art of movie making and some of the specialty software including but not limited to: Final Cut Pro X, Adobe After Effects (special effects) and Garage Band (sound effects and music). Students will further their knowledge by experiencing the following aspects of video production:

  • Chroma key (green screen)
  • Script writing and storyboarding
  • Advanced audio recording and voice over
  • Lighting techniques
  • Shot types and shot angles

Students in this class will primarily create original videos including but not limited to: stories, documentaries, music videos, and advertising.

AV530: Advanced Video

Term: Year

The prerequisite for this course is Intermediate Video or a comparable experience at another school. Along with their own creative work, students are responsible for outside video projects including community service projects and producing high quality recordings for school events and performances. Students are expected to compete for various video contests throughout the state including, but not limited to, the Student Film Challenge sponsored by Education Connection and the DMV video challenge. Finally, students are responsible for producing a “Taft TV” newscast / news magazine show highlighting Taft events and news. This will be posted for parents and Alumni on a “Taft TV” website.

AV991: Independent Tutorial in Visual Art

Term: Semester 1

This is an opportunity for a student to work with a member of the Department on a project in which they share a common interest. Open to Seniors by permission of the Department Head and the Dean of Academic Affairs.

AV992: Independent Tutorial in Visual Art

Term: Semester 2

This is an opportunity for a student to work with a member of the Department on a project in which they share a common interest. Open to Seniors by permission of the Department Head and the Dean of Academic Affairs.

Catching Fire at the TriBeCa Film Festival

What started with a poetic spark quickly caught Fire, and swept five Taft students into the white hot lights of the TriBeCa Film Festival.

Jack on the Box Productions

Jack Elrad '17 has established himself as a talented videographer and producer, documenting life at Taft, and working with Hollywood's best.

Upcoming Arts Events