In this project-based course, we will collaborate to produce a nonfiction television program discussing sustainability and energy issues. Students will collectively serve all roles in the project, from research and writing, to shooting and editing, resulting in a team-based environment with tight deadlines. Visiting filmmakers and experts will offer project guidance, with the final project shown on local cable, online, and possibly in conjunction with the PBS series Planet Forward. Students will be selected by application to create a team with a range of experience and expertise – prior video production or environmental studies experience is preferred but not required.
Professor Jason Mittell
If you’re thinking about taking this course, you should know a few things. First, this is a project-based course, meaning it will not focus on discussing shared readings or screenings or learning specific content. Instead, the entire class will be focused on making and doing, creating the television program and exploring the process of collaborative creativity. Grades will be based on being a productive part of the team, not individual work.
The official Winter Term schedule will have the class meeting around 9 hours a week. However, the nature of the project will require many more hours of collaborative work, both in the production labs and in the field. Students with major time constraints over January should consult with Professor Mittell as to whether they will be able to dedicate the needed time to the course. Working on such projects can be stressful and time-consuming, but will hopefully be outweighed by the excitement, energy, and sense of teamwork fostered by collaborative creativity.
Part of this project is being supported via a collaboration with Planet Forward, a website and PBS program produced by Midd alum Frank Sesno. We will submitting many of our video pieces to Planet Forward, and some may appear on PBS – there is a chance some of us will also have the opportunity to attend a taping of the show in 2010. If successful, Sustainable Television can continue to produce content for the web, our local cable access channel, and Planet Foward.
If you have any questions about the class, please email Professor Mittell or post them in the comments below.