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UC Berkeley Extension Expands Into Digital Filmmaking

(August 28, 2001)
An introductory course for aspiring digital filmmakers debuts this fall at UC Berkeley Extension. Among the first of its kind, this course will help the directors of tomorrow bridge the gap between cost and technology.

Digital video has created a technological revolution, supplying the filmmaker with new and more cost-effective tools even as it makes the filmmaking process more accessible to the average person. This course emphasizes a passion for filmmaking by showing how digital video can be used to enhance, rather than replace, the process of film.

Instructor William Davenport, a filmmaker who has recently completed his first feature film, Housebound, and whose short films and music videos have been shown at festivals around the world, will take participants on the entire creative journey from idea to completed film.

Through various exercises, participants will learn techniques of directing, camera, lighting, sound and editing. Participants will learn to operate the Sony PD-150 video camera, the Pro/Consumer camera that offers an image quality that is nearly rivaling that of traditional film. Working in production teams of four, each participant will make a short digital video project from conception through storyboards/scripting, production and editing to final distribution on video and the Internet. Participants are also instructed in the use of Final Cut Pro, a nonlinear editing program and will learn to use Pro-Tools to enhance the soundtrack.

The course surveys the work of such contemporary digital videomakers as Dogme 95, Sadie Benning, Jean-Luc Godard and Mike Figgis, as well as recent works from the Whitney Biennial. Discussion revolves around the aesthetics of digital video versus film and how you can use the limitations of video to your advantage.

"Introduction to Digital Filmmaking" will take place on Wednesdays, Sept. 5-Nov. 21, 6:30 to 9:30 pm, at the UC Berkeley Extension San Francisco Center, 55 Laguna St., in San Francisco. The fee is $650. Note: enrollment for the fall class is already full. The overwhelming response has prompted Extension to expand its offerings for spring 2002, including the addition of an intermediate level course.

For a free catalog listing 1,300 courses offered by UC Berkeley Extension this fall in locations around the Bay and beyond, call toll-free 1-888-UC-SMART (1-888-827-6278) or visit Extension's Web site at

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