Advanced Digital Composition: Digital Narratives

Professor Jamie Skye Bianco

Spring 2010, University of Pittsburgh

Wednesdays, 6-8:30PM, 423 CL

ENGLIT C1200 (#37123)

Office Hours, Mondays 4:30-5:30

Office Location: 1502a CL (enter through 1501)

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Course Description:

[From Prof. JSB]:This studio and workshop course will offer students the opportunity to explore and create composed and composited storytelling in digital media. While our projects may run the gamut of writing styles and genres, our primary work will focus on non-fiction narrative expressed through social media, podcast, video, composite multi-media and transmedia, and networked website creation. To this end students will work on the development of texts with attention paid to the rhetorical modes and communicative platforms that specific media encourage. Students will also learn how to use audio and video editing software as well as basic HTML, website editing, and animation software. While previous experience in these practices is not necessary, solid access to reliable and sufficiently powered computing is required as will be access to quality software packages. Pitt labs offer all of these services. Students should anticipate a very heavy workload as the course will not only serve the work of the “writing” (including scripts, images, videos, linking, and editing) of narrative but also serve the work of learning new software and textual mark-up language. Students are encouraged to contact Prof. Jamie Skye Bianco in advance of the course regarding software requirements and to consult her website at


Attend ALL classes and arrive on time.

Complete all assignments as assigned and on time. Assignments described in the schedule.

Meet Prof. Bianco as requested and as scheduled for your mid-term evaluation.

Present your final Project Portfolio as scheduled. You may NOT miss the Final Presentation, so do not schedule a departure from campus prior to our Final class.

More on expectations, grading, and the quality of your coursework...


weekly entries on the class DIY How-To Make Media Blog

(micro-)blogging, NARRATIVES, Website design & informational writing



Narrative Video/Multimodal Composition

Multimediated/transmedia Composite

Integrated Final Project & Final Portfolio

Required Materials:

Adobe Creative Suite 4 Master Collection
*Available to students from CSSD (105 Bellefield Hall) at a seriously discounted price.
*This collection provides the entire Adobe CS4 Suite.
*There are limited work-around alternatives, including use of the Pitt Campus Computing Labs.
*I guarantee you we will use the following Adobe applications (though others may be used depending on our progress): Photoshop, Flash, DreamWeaver, Bridge, Premiere, Soundbooth, Media Encoder, & Media Player.
***Please Note: if you use any other software for this course, you are on your own for tech & tutorial support. This software is the required text for this course.***

domain and website host
*while Pitt offers students free domains and hosting service, this service is extremely limited.
*I strongly recommend you invest in your own domain and private hosting service. we will discuss this in class.

Memory Stick/Portable External Drive
*You will need a minimum of 16G of memory.
*This memory key will be used exclusively for this class.

Regular Access to Digital Camera
*Camera needs to have the capacity to shoot short video clips.
*Cell phones are fine, but may provide lower quality imaging.
*Make sure that whatever camera you use (especially if you borrow a videocamera) that you have the software to access the image files *and download them to your computer or memory key.

access to a microphone or sound recording instrument
*While most computers have a built-in microphone , experience has proven that this is not sufficient for different types of recording situations.
*cell phones can be used but will produce a bad, tinny quality.
*radio shack sells a very cheap clip-on mic that works well (if you purchase any mic, make sure it is compatible with your computer.

*ask me about the ear bud trick.

Important to Know:

Pitt Policy on Academic Integrity ... keep in mind what was discussed regarding intellectual property in Molly's lecture on the first day of class.


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M-2 Thaw Hall

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