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Joni Varner

Cinema 1 : Introduction to Motion Picture Production Syllabus

Varner China Ball Demo





Class Schedule & Dates

If you need help - email: or call 1-888-930-5222. Canvas:

Information to help students also about free internet access and laptop give aways:

In Cinema 1: Introduction to Motion Picture Production, we will go behind the scenes in movie making (cameras, lenses) and post production (editing, effects, color) and learn all about the technical equipment operation, producing techniques and occupational knowledge needed to be to pursue the profession of filmmaker.

Learn how a movie crew works and who is the leader over each area. Get answers to questions like what is the difference between an AD and an AC? Is the Best Boy always a man? Most professional movie crew members made more than $200 a day for these jobs so learn about the freelance lifestyle and how to get started in the business.

If you are a novice or even if you are working in the entertainment industry, you will learn something new with every unit. This course is good for anyone who would like to go Behind the Scenes (B-T-S) in movie making.This class has transferability to the University of California and California State University systems (UC:CSU).

NEW ONLINE meeting times TBD through Canvas. You are not required to have a Zoom or Canvas account - it is all done through the student portal:

If you need help with Canvas, or logging into the Student Portal, call the toll-free Student Help Line: 1-888-930-5222

Class Section Numbers: LACC Cinema classes - when you enroll in one section (lecture) - you get enrolled in a second (lab) automatically.  

Cinema 1 Textbook (also used in Cinema 2 & 33)
filmmakers handbook 5th edition Current Textbook Recomended: Steven Ascher & Edward Pincus: The Filmmaker's Handbook: A Comprehensive Guide for the Digital Age 2019 Edition - ISBN: 978045229728-9;  
This older 2013 edition of the book can be used instead:
Cover of The Filmakers Handbook

Older Text Allowed:  Steven Ascher & Edward Pincus: The Filmmaker's Handbook: A Comprehensive Guide for the Digital Age 2013 Edition - ISBN: 978-0-452-29728-9 (This older version is OK to use for this semester

Copies of textbook are available in the LACC Library


Syllabus Information About This Online Class:

  • This course is required of all first semester Cinema majors - open to all other interested students. This is a lecture class only, no "hands-on" equipment work in Cinema 1 - however it is a sister course to Cinema 2 which is a "hands-on" course. Cinema 1 and 2 can be taken together or separately. We strongly recommend they be taken together. This class leads to certificates in cinema and video production.
  • The course will be reading in Canvas, Zoom lectures with audio-visual materials. No prerequisites but strong English skills are needed. Your English comprehension should be strong, as you will be reading and taking notes. This website contains information, not the actual class.
  • In the event of serious illness or other circumstances beyond a student's control a student must notify the instructor by Canvas (List of Cinema/TV Instructors at LACC)  to keep from being dropped. A later discussion can determine if too much work or information has been missed to continue the class. According to LACC procedure a student can be excluded after missed assignments such as discussions or quizzes - which count as absences from this online class. 
  • If a student stops virtually attending a class it is the student's responsibility to officially drop the class in order not to receive a failing grade at the end of the semester (can be done through the student portal system). Disruptive behavior can result in the expulsion of the student from class. Consult the current Calendar for its information concerning Holidays, Drop Dates, Registration, etc. It is the students responsibility to follow these dates:
  • Important! Drop Date Information
    The deadline to drop without a “W” is the first day of Week 3 (of the semester), If you must drop a course, drop before the specified deadline for dropping a class without a grade of "W." Dropping after Week 2 will result in a “W” on your transcript. Effective July 1, 2012 students will only have 3 attempts to pass a class. If a student gets a "W" or grade of "D", "F", “I”, or "NP" in a class, that will count as an attempt. A student's past record of course attempts district wide will also be considered. Therefore, before the end of Week 2 you should carefully consider if you can reasonably manage this course with the other factors in your life (e.g. work, family, course load). If you think you will not be able to complete this course with a C or better, drop by this last day to drop Calendar Notice the last day to drop WITH a "W" grade. If you have any questions, email the teacher before that date. You may also chat with an Academic counselor.

All Quizzes Must be Taken to Pass This Course. There will be 15 - Ten question quizzes (one each week) and a 50 question final exam. There will be three discussion assignments. These chapter numbers are from the 2019 book - 5th edition.

Quiz 1-7 Chapters 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 7, 8  (2013 book: 1,2,3,4,6,7,8) 20 pts ea.
Quiz 8-12 Chapters 9, 10, 11, 12 & 15, 16 (2013 book 9, 10, 11, 12, 15, 17) 20 pts ea.
Quiz 13-15 Chapter 6 (partial) 13, 14 (2013 book Chpt 5 partial, 13,14,16) 20 pts ea.
Quiz 16 - Final Exam Cumulative from the chapters above 50 points
Partic-ipation: Three Discussions: 50 Points Each (Topics: Movies, Lighting and Crews)  50 pts ea.
Letter Grades / Course Points
A 500 - 450 points
B 449 - 400 points
C 399 - 350 points
D 349 - 300 points
  • 299 - 000 points
Cinema 1 Student Learning Outcomes: 
  1. Students will explain equipment procedures and production techniques for single camera, film-style production and post-production
  2. Students will explain single camera workflow in pre-production, production and post production.
  3. Students will explain the functioning of the below the line motion picture crew and post-production positions and responsibilities.
Student Services (Where to find stuff): 
  • If you need help enrolling OR If you need help paying for books and other college expenses, call the Financial Aid Office at (323) 953-4000 extension 2010, or visit the live chat website
  • And the LACC Office of Financial Aid Website  
  • At the beginning of each primary semester the LACC Foundation has a textbook loan program. Information on the application at the LACC Foundation Vouchers up to $350 for books will be given to qualifying students within the first two weeks of the semester.
  • If you need special testing contact: Office Of Special Service Students with a verified disability who may need authorized accommodation(s) for this class are encouraged to notify the instructor and start the application process at the Office of Special Services (323-953-4000, ext. 2270) as soon as possible, at least two weeks before any exam or quiz. All information will remain confidential.
  • If you are a Military Veteran, visit the virtual LACC Veteran's Resource, call (323) 953-4000 Ext. 2125, or email for the resources, support, and advocacy needed to succeed in higher education.
  • The LACC Campus Child Development Center is an on-campus preschool and school-age program for children of LACC students. This might be virtualized for the pandemic. Priority is given to full-time (12 units) students. Children two-six up to 5 years of age are eligible for the preschool program. An evening school-age childcare program has been available for children from kindergarten through age 10. The location is directly behind the Communications building. Contact the Center at 323-953-4000 ext. 2220.
  • LACC Extended Oppoprtunity Program is a specialy funded program for first time college students. There will be a chat mode
  • LACC Ralph Bunche Scholars Program  is a special program for LACC students who want to transfer to a four year college. The program provides money and special classes to help students transfer into the college of their dreams.
  • Get Microsoft Office™ for your computer as an LACCD student.
  • Get a semester long MTA Go-Pass for students for Metro rides all semester.
  • Classroom Rules of Conduct: Violations of Academic Integrity include, but are not limited to, the following actions: cheating on an exam, plagiarism, working together on an assignment, paper or project when the instructor has specifically stated students should not do so, submitting the same term paper or project to more than one instructor, or allowing another individual to assume one's identity for the purpose of enhancing one's grade.