week 02

context :: language :: syntax

reflective writing :: (5 minutes)
what questions should i be asking myself?

•the process or technique of selecting, editing, and piecing together separate sections of film to form a continuous whole.
• a sequence of film resulting from this: a dazzling montage of the movie’s central banquet scene.
• the technique of producing a new composite whole from fragments of pictures, text, or music: the play often verged on montage.
ORIGIN early 20th cent.: French, from monter ‘to mount.’

also …

the fact of two things being seen or placed close together with contrasting effect: the juxtaposition of these two images.



more info on this montage

other stuff ::
.the movie
.new adds?
.do platform survey :: assign pods
.facilities staff visits :: equipment/policies


  • ipods:   (mac)
  • tripods:  (pc)

discussion ::  (screen first piece)
pandora’s box

writing prompt from last week:
of the three pieces in the This American Life episode, which had the strongest impact on you? why? list and describe what were, for you, the three most important, memorable, and/or striking qualities about that video. can you list any qualities that ALL THREE of these pieces have in common?

writing.discussion :: +10 Things I Saw Today :: (good topics for journal entries)
.how did it go? easy? difficult? boring? surprising?
.do you see any habits or patterns?
.what were the pleasures? pains? insights?

writing.discussion :: (based off twyla tharp readings)
.what are your rituals of preparation for creative work?
.what are your biggest distractions when doing your work?
.what’s your favorite form of procrastination?
.what is your pencil? (ch2, p30): ’what is the one tool that feeds your creativity and is so essential that you feel naked and unprepared?’

screening ::
La Jetee, 28 min, 1964
(wikipediashort analysis)

Man With a Movie Camera, 58 min, 1929
beginning 5min w/ manifesto26min excerpt from middle
(wikipedia :: cinema verite :: montage (soviet theoryanother definition)

homework ::

email me the url link to your electronic journal

exploring ::

  1. read ‘Getting Lost”, by Tim Cahill (from his book, Jaguars Ripped My Flesh)
  2. following the spirit of this reading, and thinking of this whole class as a little journey into the unknown, get lost somewhere in or near C-U. walk in a neighborhood you’ve never visited. take a bus to the edge of town. drive south for 20 minutes. explore a strange building, open unlocked doors. hang out at the train station or a hospital. talk to strangers or take a vow of silence, assume a fictitious identity.
  3. consider working this experience into your making exercises below.

making ::
.continue 10 Things
I Saw (heard, smelled, noticed, paid attention to, remember, want to CAPTURE and INSCRIBE) Today. if you haven’t already done it, consider using a camcorder and recording 15-20 second clips.
.post to journal everyday

.montage sketches
using some of the ideas about montage discussed today, and possibly even working off of some of the examples shown (word, colors) start shooting short video clips (15-20 seconds) – build a small archive of clips; learn how to import those clips into iMovie or MovieMaker, get some experience with editing your raw clips; start to experiment with the concept of montage and juxtaposition in time-based media. Specific requirements: you should complete at least three 30-second montage sketches. these sketches should be uploaded to Youtube or Vimeo, and you should make these sketches available via an electronic journal post. during next week’s class, let’s look at at least one sketch from each student, more if we have time. this show-n-tell will be informal and will focus on what students are seeing, learning, discovering – it will not be heavy on critique.

remember: lynda.com (go.illinois.edu/lynda) offers very clear and effective video tutorials on a wide range of software, including iMovie and MovieMaker. you should be able to find answers to any of your production questions via this resource.

important: the emphasis here is on sketching. explore, experiment, discover. have some fun. try some things, take some risks. these sketches do not have to be brilliant or perfect. just learn by doing, and let both your discoveries and mistakes teach you about montage, narrative, and storytelling.

note: we will be viewing these sketches both with and without sound, so feel free to ignore the audio when editing, if you wish. you might even consider editing with your sound turned off.

remember, think: montage, juxtaposition, context.

  • screen The Man With a Movie Camera clip linked above.
  • look at the ‘inspiration’ links below.
  • think about all the material you’ve been collecting. consider how this raw archive can be re-assembled into new narratives: truthful, factual, chronological, literal, journalistic … poetic, personal, timeless, lyrical, metaphorical, fantasical, fictitious.
  •  experiment. don’t worry about being brilliant. instead, try to focus on being humble and curious. be playful, adventurous. step off the ledge. step into the unknown. explore. get lost.

radiolab: words
the mercadantes
magnetic poetry

william gibson’s NYTimes op ed piece: Google’s Earth
jerome jarre

next week ::


  • 10 things i noticed, remembered, inscribed
  • montage sketches

.screen more stuff