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UCASS School of Media and Missouri School of Journalism: 2020 Collaborative Teaching Week on Art and Skills of Micro Movie/Documentary


From July 20 to August 3, UCASS School of Media and Missouri School of Journalism successfully rolled out the2020 Collaborative Teaching Week on Art and Skills of Micro Movie/Documentarythrough video conference. Centering around its theme,the week is spearheaded by Assoc. Prof. Steve Rice and Dr. Zhang Yuyan from Missouri School of Journalism with close to half a month of lecture series and practical guidance, touching upon both theoretical and practical elements of filming and post-production.



Focusing onmedia convergenceandartificial intelligence journalism, Dr. Zhang elucidated courses and practical cases of media convergence at Missouri School of Journalism, as well as cases of AI adoption in journalism by Associated Press on the ground and AI news projects by students of Missouri School of Journalism in its annual innovation contest.


Assoc. Prof. Rice shared with students what Missouri School of Journalism offers in its program and its achievements in micro movies and micro documentaries, and he specified means and techniques of filming, editing, production and recording in great detail. Through a series of vivid and intriguing videos, he demonstrated his exploration and practice in art, skills and devices of camera, as well as filming that involves drone-based aerial shooting, virtual reality and 360-degree panorama. In his view, a micro movie/TV documentary requires all-round improvement, including novelty in newsworthiness, appropriate angel for interview, quality audio and clear subtitles.



Both lecturers reflected upon their own teaching and professional experience to elaborate on cutting-edge technologies of micro movie and micro documentary in the context of media convergence. Their meticulous guidance inspired among students deeper insights into art and skills thereof. Throughout the teaching week, students were required to team up to complete a series of tasks within a specified time horizon, such as planning, filming and editing.


Despite challenges around filming on the spot amidst the pandemic, students all took adequate precautions to deliver each step of their tasks hands on, including topic selection, filming, dubbing and editing. On July 30, each students team presented their video homework filmed with mobile devices, and both lectures offered their detailed comments by pointing out its strengths and weaknesses.

As the moderator of the teaching week, Prof. Du Zhitao, Deputy Dean of UCASS School of Media reckoned the collaborative effort between the two institutions as one of the important initiatives UCASS has launched to adapt to the new realities of in-depth media convergence and to foster more capable talents in media convergence. Last year, the two sides have already convened theCollaborative Teaching Week on Media Convergence and News Report.Going forward, UCASS School of Media plans to gradually introduce the core curriculum in media convergence from Missouri School of Journalism via teaching weeks, covering news editing with media convergence as well as journalism that involves the use of drones, sensors, data, visualization tools and virtual/augmented reality, so as to scale up its capacity in nurturing talents that are ready for media convergence.