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Video Production

Course Description

Video Production is a year-long elective which meets the A-G Fine Arts requirement for UC approval.  Video Production has an articulation agreement with Saddleback Community College and is honors weighted.  Students who pass the class with a B or better will receive college credit at Saddleback Community College.  Storytelling is the most common way that we communicate to one another. Stories told with video and film have a tremendous influence on our attitudes and perceptions of the world around us.  In fact, the media may be one of the most powerful tools in modern culture for shaping values and conveying information.  By writing, editing, and producing digital video, students develop and demonstrate skills in technological literacy, critical thinking and problem solving - skills that will serve them well in the real world.  

COURSE STRUCTURE:  The course is broken down into three areas:

Pre-production – The students will learn to generate and pitch ideas, write treatments, scripts, storyboards, shotlists, and shooting schedules.

Production – Students will learn narrative and documentary forms, proper use of digital video cameras, lighting, and sound equipment as well as lighting, camera and sound recording techniques through hands-on location and studio shoots and collaboration on group projects.

Post-production – Students will engage in critiques of each other’s work as they learn the concepts of motion picture editing through the use of non-linear editing systems.


  1. Keeping up with assigned reading.
  2. The completion of three short videos, one due at the end of each six week grading period. The videos produced will be a fictional narrative, a documentary, and a choice of music video, commercial, or public service announcement.
  3. Keeping of notebook of all notes and assignments.
  4. Preparing and studying for quizzes, tests, and final exams.
  5. Getting help when having difficulty with a topic.

MAKE UP WORK:  Late assignments will be accepted following an excused absence. In the case of an extended illness, assignments can be obtained by calling the guidance office.  To receive credit, all assignments, tests, and quizzes must be made up within one week of returning from an excused absence and must be accompanied by a printout from the attendance office verifying that the absence is excused. All assignments, tests, and quizzes that are not made up in the required time will be given a grade of ZERO.


The course will be based on a “Total Point System”.  Students will earn points based on attendance, class participation, exams, and video projects.  Video project points are earned by the completion of pre-production writing assignments (treatment, step outline, script, and storyboard – 20 points each per project), shooting raw footage for video projects (50 points per video project), completing rough edits of video projects (100 points per video project), and completing final edits of video projects (200 points per video project).  Students may work with a partner on their video projects but only a maximum of two students may receive credit for any one project.   The exception to this rule is group and/or class assignments.

About Mr. Ohnstad

  • BFA in Media Arts from the Minneapolis College of Art and Design

  • MA in Telecommunications, Film and New Media Production from San Diego State University

  • Teaching Credential in English with CLAD Emphasis from San Diego State University

  • Teaching Credential in Multimedia from Cal State Long Beach

  • 18th year teaching in Capistrano Unified District

  • 12th year teaching at Aliso Niguel High School

  • 5th year as Fine and Practical Arts Department Chair