Topic outline

  • Course Introduction

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    Welcome to Communication Media 30 (CM30)! Some of you may have prior experience in this area as you may have had Communication Media 10 (CM10) in previous years. If you have take CM10, great! If not, no worries! You will have a great time! You will find our course outline in a document below. Please take a look at this to get an idea of where we will be going from here. 

  • Key Steps You Will Need to Know in CM30

    The folder below contains tutorials that will answer three of the most commonly asked questions in this course. Please use this resource throughout the year if you get stuck at any point. The videos in the folder will show you how to do the following:

    • Uploading and Sharing Files in Google Drive
    • Exporting an Audacity File into an MP3
    • Exporting a Video in Adobe Premiere

    I would like you to go into this folder and view the video "Uploading and Sharing Files in Google Drive". Please follow the steps in this video and share with via Google Drive a picture of your favorite food.

  • Keeping a Portfolio

    You will develop a working portfolio for this course...

    Portfolios encourage students to collect examples of their work as they progress through the various activities, labs, and production projects. Selecting particular items to include in a portfolio encourages students to reflect on what they have learned or accomplished and what they have yet to learn. Portfolio items may include: journal notes, drafts, photographs, audio or video tapes, computer discs, etc. Portfolios may be used for peer, teacher, and self-assessments, and to showcase selected works for parents, post-secondary institutions, or potential employers.

    Portfolios can help students:

    • reflect on personal growth and accomplishment
    • see links between home, school and community education and activities
    • collect materials to prepare applications for post-secondary education program entrance and scholarships
    • collect materials to prepare for employment applications
    • focus on career planning.

    • Portfolios can help post-secondary institutions:
    • determine suitable candidates for awards and scholarships
    • evaluate candidates for program entrance
    • evaluate prior learning for program placement

    • Portfolios can help communities:
    • reflect on the involvement in a student's education, and the support offered to learners
    • demonstrate the link between the home, school, and community in education

    • Portfolios can help potential employers:
    • identify employable skills desired in future employees
    • provide evidence of knowledge and skill development of potential employees

    Your digital portfolio will be the Google Drive folder that you have created. Once you finish a project, you are to upload it into this folder and share it with me.

    • Working with Basic Audio Intro/Refresh

      Many of you had exposure to Audacity in CM 10 but we will take a look back at the program just to make sure that your skills are fresh. We will go over the program together as a class but just in case you missed this day or forget, check the information below to get you up to speed:

      A) As Audacity is new to some of us, we will begin by looking at its main website for information on the program. Please click this link to explore:

      B) We will then walk through the basics of Audacity. We will first examine what the program has to offer and will explore its setup.

      Click this icon to open up Audacity

      Audacity Pic

      C) We will go over basic editing and effects as a class but just in case you missed the day or need to look back, consult the folder below labelled "Basic Audacity Tutorial Videos" for more information. The files inside of this folder will look at basic effects, recording, editing and mixing in Audacity.

      D) Review the document below labelled "CM30 Audio Assessment" to familiarize yourself with what I am looking for in your audio projects. This assessment document will be used for all audio based projects in this course.

    • Audacity Skills Reinforcement

      Now that we have went over a few basic tools and procedures in Audacity, you will apply that knowledge in a small exercise. You may notice when you are listening to the radio, the ads use special effects to gain the attention of the audience.

      In this activity, you will refresh how to add special effects and to work with a variety of clips in audacity, as well as incorporating background music to help your radio advertisements sound appealing and persuasive. Your client is Dorton Arena in Raleigh, NC. They are hosting a monster truck rally and Sesame Street wrestling match (fun for adults and children!). You have been given a raw recording of the commercial, a voice-over from Elmo talking trash to Big Bird, and a sound effect or two. You have also been provided with the final script of the commercial.

      Your job is to cut and splice the original audio recording to match the script, then add in some excerpts from Elmo's voice-over. This time, every individual clip that you splice needs to be on its own track in Audacity. You will use the software to add special effects like track fades, echo, amplification, bass boost, and others. Finally, you will incorporate sound effects and background music to help persuade your audience to attend the monster truck rally and Sesame Street wrestling tournament. The basic files that you will need for this assignment are available below but any other files that you would like to add to enhance this project even more can be pulled from or any other creative commons site of your choosing. 

      Please export your finalized piece and share with me via Google Drive at

    • Expressing Creativity with Custom Sound Effects

      What is Foley?

      Foley is the reproduction of everyday sound effects that are added to film, video, and other media in post-production to enhance audio quality. These reproduced sounds can be anything from the swishing of clothing and footsteps to squeaky doors and breaking glass.

      In this section we will get a chance to take a look at how sound is added to films using everyday objects. We will look at the creativity behind this technique and will also get a chance to look at real foley artists at work. 

      1. Visit this link to get some further specifics as to what foley is.

      2. Below you will find a link to a folder labelled "Foley Videos". In that folder, I would like you to view the videos in the following order:

      1. The Magic of Making Sound
      2. Foley Artist Gary Hecker
      3. Vegetable Violence

      3. Once you have checked out the videos listed above, I would like you to then view the feature in the "Foley Videos" folder called "Sound Design - Star Wars Episode II".

      4. After viewing the Star Wars audio production feature, please try the exercise below labelled "Foley Exercise".

      5. Once you have completed the exercise, begin working on the assignment for this section. Here are the simple instructions for this section. 

      1. Download this video to begin the assignment.
      2. Select 8 out of the 12 scenes in this video to provide your own created sounds for. You will need to cut out the 4 that you are not going to do in Adobe Premiere. Everyone must do the sword battle. 
      3. You will need to create your own custom foley SFX for the video and insert them into the video to make it as realistic as possible. You will use a recorder, phone, IPod, etc to record your own custom sound effects. You will need to get very creative in order to make these sounds seem realistic. Good luck!

      There are a number of sites available to assist you creating sound effects:

    • Linking Word Mix

      Using your the skills gained from the previous activity, you will create a music mix that primarily links itself together using linking words. This will be evaluated using the audio assessment rubric listed above. Your remix must follow the following guidelines:

      - You must use a minimum of 8 songs (You will download these from YouTube using YouTube to MP3 converter)
      - Your track must be a minimum of 3:00 minutes
      - One track should not play consecutively for longer that 15-20 seconds. You want to focus on having quick cuts that keep the song fresh and lively.
      - Your finished product should have a minimum of 10 cuts
      - Your finished product must use a minimum of 5 effects. These effects can but subtle.
      - You must keep a written record of the songs that you chose, where the cuts take place in the song, and where and when specific effects are used. You may do this once you are finished the project but it might be easier for you if you record this information as you go.
      - You must find linking words to match up to the next song that is about to play for the majority of your transitions.
      - Export as an MP3!!!!!!!

      Examples can be found in the folder below labelled "Linking Word Mash Examples".

      Be as creative as possible and have fun!

    • Engaging with the Community Using Audio

      As we all understand the importance literacy in our world, we will use our gifts and talents to help others develop theirs. This year we will be creating audio books that will explore the areas of planning, recording, splitting and cutting audio, and inserting sound effects. We will record and create captivating audio books for young children at one of our sister schools to use as a learning resource. Here is what you will need to do:

      1. Please view the video below labelled "The Importance of Reading to a Child".

      2. Choose a children's book that is around a grade one reading level. I have a stack of books in the green screen room.

      3. Script your audio book in Celtx. We will go over this program as a class but just in case you missed the lesson, a tutorial of the program is available below and is labelled "Celtx Tutorial".

      4. You will need to then plan where and when you are going to place appropriate sound effects. These sound effects should be sound effects from our 300 SFX collection (on my USB drive) or from the internet using sites such as YouTube or Sound Bible.

      5. You will then record the book in its entirety using one of the laptops and/or microphones that are in the green screen room. You may also use your phone if the microphone is clear enough. We will come up with a recording schedule for the class.

      6. Be sure to have a sound effect selected to notify the reader to turn the page. Make sure that you introduce this sound effect at the start of the book.

      7. Once you have recorded the book, you will then transfer the MP3 file of you reading the book, to your computer.

      8. Open your audio file in audacity and begin to add background music, and proper sound effects where necessary. You MUST have a sound effect that notifies the turning of a page.

      9. Once you have added some background music and sound effects to this project and feel that it is complete, please export this in MP3 form and email the MP3 file to

    • The Cutting Edge Film Documentary

      "The Cutting Edge" is a documentary that explores the world of film editing. It examines the progression of film over the years and features insight from a variety of directors, producers and editors. Please view the documentary and answer the corresponding questions below labelled "The Cutting Edge" Questions.

    • Adobe Premiere Elements Introduction

      Using a video of your choice from YouTube, you will be demonstrate the different capabilities that Adobe Premiere has to offer.

      • You will select a video roughly 2 minutes in length and store it your documents in MP4 format using
      • You will open the downloaded file in Adobe Premiere and will place the timeline.
      • Delete the audio that comes with your video.
      • Once the file is in the timeline, you will split your video into ten second intervals.
      • You will then place a title in front of your video with a name of your choice. You can just go with "Adobe Sample By : Your Name".
      • You will then experiment and place one effect on every ten second clip. You may chose which effect you would like for each clip.
      • Once you have used all of the effects, you will then label each ten second interval with a different type of text on each segment and name what type of effect you used. You will be expected to use different styles and colours of font on each slide. Also, show that you know how to position font in different places on the screen.
      • Once done these tasks, your last step will be to place transitions. Like the effects, you must use a different transition for each split. Make sure you place the transitions in the timeline properly.
      • Once finished, have me come to view your video to check that you're attaining the concept.
      • We will go over exporting our sample videos as a class but just in case you weren't here, please consult the following video:

      Sample Videos

      The video on the left shows the original video while the video on the right shows the original video altered in Adobe Premiere using effects, transitions, titles, and captions.

      • Self Introduction Multimedia Project

        Introduce Yourself- using pictures or video, create a 1.5 - 2 minute presentation of YOU! Background, interests, hobbies-- your choice!

        You will use you new found skills in Adobe Premiere Elements for this assignment.

        • You will use a combination of downloaded videos, pictures from the internet, your own personal pictures (they may be taken from your Facebook account if you would like), pictures from online, etc to show me who you are.
        • You must incorporate three downloaded video into your presentation that shows a hobby/interest of yours. This will show me that you know how to edit downloaded videos.
        • This video will be an introduction to let me know who you are and what your hobbies and interests consist of.
        • Use animations, transitions, titles, audio, and effects appropriately.
        • You will play music over top of this video so please choose something that fits who you are.

        Below are video tutorials of how to use the basic tools in Adobe Premiere Elements 7.0. We will go over these tools as a class but if you miss a day, you will be able to go through these videos to get caught back up to speed. This will help you with your Self Intro Video Assignment.


        The rubric below will explain how you will be evaluated on this assignment. The file is labelled "CM30 Self Introduction Rubric".

      • Framing Your Shots Properly Introduction/Refresh

        Before we get into advanced video camera shot types and movements, we will look at how to frame our shots with the most basic techniques in film. This will be a basic review for some of you while others will be introduced to these for the first time. As we progress through this section, new techniques will be implemented.

        1. Rule of Thirds

        What is it?
        The rule of thirds is applied by aligning a subject with the guide lines and their intersection points, placing the horizon on the bottom or top line, or allowing linear features in the image to flow from section to section.


        This link examines the foundation of camera work; "The rule of thirds":

        The rule of thirds:

        2. Why Use Different Camera Techniques?

        Using a variety of camera techniques allow us to demonstrate different aspects of a film's setting, characters, and themes.

        3. Techniques You May Know

        Students that have taken Communication Media 10 in previous years will will be familiar with some of the basic cinematic techniques. We will do a quick refresh of these before moving into a few new techniques.

        The video and document below provide the shot types and movements that we examines in CM10.

        4. New Shots and Techniques To Examine

        This video does a fantastic job at covering many of the new techniques that we will be using. It provides explanations and examples from different Hollywood productions.

        Here are two videos that will further clarify some of the shots:

        The links below are also fantastic resources when examining camera shot types and movements.

        How many different shot types can you count?!?

        5. Getting The Most Out Of Your Tripod

        The Perfect Pan

      • Lighting

        Here is an excellent resource to use when you are learning different lighting techniques: Lowell Lighting EDU

        Why is lighting important in video production? In order to achieve the desired effects, it is essential to consider lighting along with camera work.

        Students should consider lighting for the following reasons:

        • for the clarity and visibility of images
        • to connect the mood and content of a scene
        • to help create atmosphere
        • to make images more vibrant

        Direction of Light Source

        The direction of the light source will determine where the shadows fall. This will influence the look or mood of the scene as well as the appearance of people and objects in a shot. Lighting directions include:

        • front lighting - makes the subject appear flat and two-dimensional; colours are most saturated or vivid
        • side lighting - brings out detail and texture in irregular surfaces
        • back lighting - places the subject in silhouette; colours are least saturated or vivid.

        First, let us begin with how to use the Three Point Lighting Technique in Video.


        Here are some solutions on how to light easily and affordably....

        Then you can use your lighting techniques in different ways to illicit reactions from your audience.

        Light Sources

        There are two types of light sources-- hard and soft light.
        Hard light is direct light. Direct light from the sun or a small focused light source, such as a spotlight, casts well-defined hard shadows.
        Soft light is diffused or indirect light, sometimes called "bounced light". Soft light sources cast less-defined shadows. Examples include florescent light in an office building or natural light on an overcast day.
        Soft light can be created on set through the use of reflective materials, colour filters or fabric.

        Once you understand the concepts in lighting, you can experiment with more advanced techniques...

        • Green Screen Techniques

          Special Effects Are Ruining Movies....Right?

          Green Screening and The Avengers

          In this upcoming project, you will be using different green screen effects that are available on YouTube. You will learn how to videomerge and place effects/objects into your own filmed video.

          You will create a sample video using green screen effects like the one displayed below:

          These green screen effects can be found on YouTube. The best YouTube channel for these effects is Best Green Screen.

          You will choose 5 different effects and will create a sample video that shows that you are able to successfully place effects/objects into your own videos. You will need to insert the effects/objects into your your own videos to look as lifelike as possible. The first thing that you will do is film corresponding video that you will be inserting your green screen footage into. Here are examples showing merged videos using effects and also showing what the effects look like on their own:

          Good and bad student examples are available in the link below labelled "VFX Examples".

          Complete and hand in the document below labelled "Special Effects Video Plan" before you begin filming your scenes.

          Video Merge Tutorial

          IN CASE YOU FORGOT...

          In order to make these effects work, you will need do the following steps upon completion of filming:
          1. Video merge desired clips (Remember, you are working with two clips at this point. Your own video and a piece of green screen footage).
          2. Trim any unnecessary parts from either video so that your clips match up.
          3. Scale and position the green screen footage so that it appears as realistic as possible.
          4. Adjust tolerance levels to your green screen footage to minimize the green outline around your effect.
          5. Render the clip to view and ensure that it looks the way that you had envisioned.
          6. Add any appropriate sound effects/music to suit the clip. Remember, you are trying to make the clip seem as real as possible.

        • Chase Scene

          As we just finished discussing different camera angles and movements, we will no apply these skills to a small project. You will get into partners or a small group and will develop chase scenes. These scenes will showcase a variety of different camera shot types and movements to make a person travelling from point A to point B more engaging and interesting to the viewer.

          Examples of Chase Scenes:

          Tips for a Successful Chase Scene

          Step 1 - Come up with a concept

          *These scenes will be about 1 minute and 30 seconds in length.*

          These scenes will be taking place in and around the school. You will need to think of reason for your chase to begin (Ex: Someone is trying to steal from you, you really need to go to the washroom, trying to make it to the servery line before it gets too big, etc). Once you have a concept, you need to determine a start and an endpoint for your production in terms of location. Make sure that you are not disruptive to other classes during this time as school is in session. You may also film outside on school grounds.

          Step 2 - Create a Shot List

          Once you have your idea, you will need to break each detail of the scene down into its very most basic parts.You are not limited to any specific shots for this chase scene. You may use any of the shots that we discussed in the previous section located:

          *Your scene should have 25 to 30 different cuts*

          Here is an example of how a shot list should look:

          Shot List.jpg

          Step 3 - Production

          You will borrow a camera from the backroom to carry out this production. Here are the details that you will need to know about the capturing of this project.

          • During this stage, you and your group will film all required footage needed for your chase scene. You will have approximately 4 (four) classes to complete filming, so use your time wisely.
          • Filming must be as professional as possible. Make sure you follow proper shot composition techniques and use equipment to assist with high-quality filming ( microphones, etc. as required).
          • Your filming will feature:
          • Excellent variety of shots (close-ups, long shots, interesting angles, natural framing, rule of thirds, etc.).
          • Steady shots (unless you are deliberately trying to create an effect with shaky camera work) - USE A TRIPOD!
          • Multiple takes of shots when on location. This allows you to choose the BEST shot from all your footage for your final video and helps eliminate the need to go out and reshoot scenes.
          • Consistent costume/on-screen talent. Nothing can ruin a video's professional appearance more than accidental changes in costumes, actor appearance, lighting, etc. Pay attention to these details when filming.