Technology Requirements

Technology Requirements

Technology Requirements

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A lot of thought has gone into determining the tech requirements for the Online Film Certificate. We consulted with our professional subject matter experts and took into consideration a wide range of options to reduce cost to students, along with educational and professional outcomes.

Camera & Mic: Students are required to use a camera that has the ability to adjust key features manually, including aperture and focus; additionally the camera should be able to accept input from an external mic, which we also require. These are not expensive extra features and they can be found on a range of affordable and used cameras, as well as on high-end consumer and prosumer models. While many inexpensive and handy devices are able to shoot video, we determined that requiring the option of manual controls would give students greater power over the tools of visual story-telling and make them more effective content creators.

Editing Software: We are suggesting that students use Avid Media Composer as their non-linear digital editing platform. Avid is widely used throughout the entertainment industry and is able to run on both Mac OSX and Windows operating systems. Avid’s student pricing and included upgrades are incredibly competitive, offering an affordable entry point to a powerful, professional tool. Students who are already proficient on an alternate, comparable program will not be required to purchase Media Composer.

Additional Expenses: We’ve carefully constructed our curriculum to minimize extraneous costs to students for textbooks and materials. Not counting the cost of the required equipment (camera, mic, editing software), students will face a maximum expenditure of $100 per course, and the total is often less. Additionally, we’ve taken cost into account in the design of creative assignments.

HARDWARE AND SOFTWARE REQUIREMENTS

Required Hardware

  • Video camera that has the ability to manually adjust the following:
    • Focus
    • White balance
    • Aperture
    • Zoom (wide, telephoto)
    • Allows an external microphone attachment

  • External microphone for the camera:

    Make sure that your camera can accept an external microphone—most will. If not, you will also need a means of digitally recording sound from the microphone. You may be able to use your computer/laptop, smart phone, or a dedicated digital recording device to capture sound externally using the microphone. More information about capturing audio will be discussed in the course textbooks.

  • Windows OS or MAC OS computer

    Note: Video files are large and require computer systems with adequate processing power. As the program begins to explore editing and as you begin working with more and more media, you will want a system that has enough drive space, memory (RAM), and a fast processor.

Windows Specifications

Intel Core™2 Duo or better, AMD Phenom II processor or better

  • Microsoft Windows 8, Windows 7 (Service Pack 1), Windows Vista, or Windows XP (Service Pack 2 with Media Center installed).
  • 4GB of RAM (8GB recommended)
  • 40 GB of available hard-disk space
  • 1280 × 900 minimum display resolution (dual display optional)
  • Graphics card with updated drivers
  • External or USB drive, with backup software.
  • DVD-ROM drive compatible with dual-layer DVDs (DVD+-R burner for burning DVDs; Optional Blu-ray burner for creating Blu-ray Disc media)
  • Free QuickTime 7.6.6 (or better) software

Mac OS

  • Multi-core Intel processor with 64-bit support
  • Mac OS X 10.6.8, 10.7, or 10.8
  • 40GB of available hard-disk space
  • 1280 × 900 minimum display resolution (dual display optional)
  • Backup drive configured for Time Machine backup software, ideally hot-swappable
  • DVD-ROM drive compatible with dual-layer DVDs (SuperDrive for burning DVDs; Optional Blu-ray burner for creating Blu-ray Disc media)
  • Free QuickTime 7.6.6 (or better) software

Required Software

  • Avid Media Composer 6.5 or higher?The program administration suggests that students have the required camera, Avid Media Composer software, and a computer that can run Avid Media Composer, in order to complete this program. If you already have a copy of (and know how to use) another non-linear digital editing program, such as Final Cut or Adobe Premier Elements, that software should be sufficient to complete the assignments. However, if you do not have experience with, or a preference for, a video-editing program, Avid Media Composer is recommended because of its student pricing, upgrade policy and because of its widespread use in the industry.?Less sophisticated programs designed for home users, such as iMovie or Windows Movie Maker, are not recommended. These programs are not industry relevant; they lack sophisticated features required by some projects in the program. Using software on smart phones to edit video is strongly discouraged.
  • Internet Browser (e.g. the latest version of Internet Explorer, Firefox, or Safari)
  • PDF Reader (e.g. free Adobe Acrobat reader software)

Options for Obtaining Required Films for Course Screening

  • Netflix.com
  • Hulu.com
  • iTunes
  • Public library
  • Redbox
  • Friends and family

HARDWARE AND SOFTWARE RECOMMENDATIONS

Recommended Hardware

  • Still camera with video capabilities or video camcorder with the following features
    • Digital
    • High-resolution
    • SD/SDHC/SDXC or some other storage card for recording media
    • USB exporting
    • Multiple recording sizes (e.g., HD at 1280 x 720 (50p/60p [59.94] fps) or SD/VGA at 640 x 480 (30p [29.97] and 25p fps)
    • Ability to manually adjust the following:
      • Focus
      • White balance
      • Aperture
      • Zoom (wide, telephoto)
      • Allows an external microphone attachment

  • Tripod

Camera suggestions and contact information for purchase

Below are 3 camera options for students as well as the contact information for purchase in order to get educational pricing. Though students are not required to use or purchase from Canon, these recommendations fulfill the minimum technology requirement.

PowerShotSX160 IS EOS Rebel T3 EOSRebel T5i


Important Note Regarding Smart Phones

You will need a camera with manual controls to complete some of the assignments in FLMO 1102 Media Production 1: Producing & Directing, and you are encouraged to have a camera with these capabilities throughout the program. If you need to use your smart phone to avoid additional expenses, that is your option, but it may compromise your ability to complete some assignments.

Recommended Software

Microsoft Office Suite