Media Standards

Find a quick write-up of the issues around HTML5 here

Info on Ogg Theora, an alternative open video compression standard, can be found here

For Monday: Read Henry Jenkins

To access Jenkins’ Chapter from Textual Poachers, go to the “Readings” page.

Henry Jenkins on Convergence Culture

i246 Library page

The library page for Multimedia Information is up and running!

Also, see the “Research” tab (upper right) to review the resources discussed in class.

Materials for Thinking about Mise-en-Scene

The Conversation (1974)

Mini-Assignment #1

Take three photos to present in class. Compose and shoot these images according to one or more of the categories outlined in David Bordwell’s Film Art.  Be prepared to discuss your photos on these terms.

Due Monday, February 7th


This course will be an introduction to the past, present, and future of the theory and practice of multimedia information systems. Through readings in semiotics, film and media theory, and the history and theory of computation and computational media, we will examine the development and differentiation of media into distinct technologies and data flows, as well as their subsequent mixing and re-mixing.

We will establish a conceptual and historical foundation to design, assess, and critique multimedia information systems. We will explore the theory and methods of the multimedia production cycle, including the editing, storage, retrieval, management, and distribution of digital media.  Students will apply their theoretical knowledge in working hands-on to learn video and audio production practices.

The course will be divided into three parts. These descriptions are written as though the parts are independent, but the intention is to integrate them across the course.  Students will both draw on media theory as they use production and editing tools and learn from the use of current platforms so that they can ground their theoretical knowledge in practical experience.

1)     History and theory of film practice.  We study both the narrative style of classical Hollywood film examples and the social practices that emerged around the cinema during the early twentieth century.  This aspect of the course will involve both mapping the major technological developments of film (from Edison, to Lumière, to sound synchronization) to situating the impulse towards realism that achieved dominance, in part through these developments.  In looking forward, we will consider to what extent some notion of the cinema is useful for thinking about contemporary multimedia systems.

2)     Subsequently, the course will survey current commercial and academic research systems for media production, editing, retrieval, and reuse. We will investigate social media, user-generated content, automated media analysis and processing, as well as current media standards. Students will write an analysis of an existing multimedia system.

3)     We will look into the future of digital multimedia information systems including systems that automate and integrate many aspects of digital media production and reuse. Topics will include mobile media, media metadata, and digital asset management. Students will work on and present final projects improving an existing system or designing a new component for a digital multimedia system.