Television Production

Course Details

Course Number
Section Number
Spring 2016
Fain Fine Arts Center
Classroom Number
Days & Times

Midwestern State University

Mass Communication

Television PRODUCTION MCOM 3613 Spring 2016: FA C117A, TR 9:30AM - 10:50AM 

Instructor: Jonathon Quam

Office: Fain Fine Arts Bldg. B-125 Email: Phone: 940.347.4849 

Office Hours:

M 10AM-11AM, 2PM-4PM





Jonathon D. Quam (view Profile)

Course Objectives


• Zettl, H. (2014). Television Production Handbook. Boston, MA: Wadsworth, Cengage Learning. 


• Mini-DV tapes (at least 2, 3 Sony tapes preferable)

• 32GB CF1 Card

COURSE DESCRIPTION: A basic field and studio television production course featuring planning, producing, and skill development for basic video production. Students are exposed to the terminology, equipment, roles and situations of the television production process. Students in Television Production will produce two television programs as major projects near the middle and end of the course. This assignment requires the student to utilize the basic television production skills taught in the course.

COURSE OBJECTIVES: Basic Television Production is designed to provide the student with a working proficiency and understanding of:

  1. The basic terminology of television production.

  2. The basic layout and operation of a television production facility.

  3. The proper operation of lighting equipment, studio equipment, video recording & editing, studio cameras and other tools associated with basic studio productions.

  4. Individual roles and teamwork in the television production process.

  5. The production process itself from the conceptualization stage through scripting, storyboards, production and post-production editing/packaging.

  6. Basic aesthetic principles as applied to television.

  7. The basic process of communicating in a visual medium.

Course Activities: This class will consist of lectures, in and out of class screenings, and audio/video projects.

Course Materials and Readings: In addition to the recommended chapters in the text, a number of current articles will be distributed, usually via D2L (these will be required readings). 


Course Expectations

Attendance: Each student will be allowed 3 absences for any reason. If you are to be absent on the date a project is due, you must still turn your project in to me on time. Beyond these two absences, the student will lose 10% of their final semester grade for any absences for any reason that is not university approved.



Course Conduct: Classroom behavior should not interfere with the instructor’s ability to conduct the class or the ability of other students to learn from the instructional program. Unacceptable or disruptive behavior will not be tolerated. Students who disrupt the learning environment may be asked to leave class and may be subject to judicial, academic or other penalties. This prohibition applies to all instructional forums, including electronic, classroom, labs, discussion groups, field trips, etc. The instructor shall have full discretion over what behavior is appropriate/inappropriate in the classroom.

Academic Integrity: Academic integrity is a responsibility of all university faculty and students. Faculty members promote academic integrity in multiple ways including instruction on the components of academic honesty, as well as abiding by university policy on penalties for cheating and plagiarism.

Plagiarism: Academic dishonesty includes both cheating and plagiarism. Cheating includes but is not limited to (1) using or attempting to use unauthorized materials to aid in achieving a better grade on a component of a class; (2) the falsification or invention of any information, including citations, on an assigned exercise; and/or (3) helping or attempting to help another in an act of cheating or plagiarism. Plagiarism is presenting the words or ideas of another person as if they were your own. Examples of plagiarism are (1) submitting an assignment as if it were one’s own work when, in fact, it is at least partly the work of another; (2) submitting a work that has been purchased or otherwise obtained from an Internet source or another source; and (3) incorporating the words or ideas of an author into one’s paper without giving the author due credit. Any writing that is not the work of you or your group members is plagiarism. Students in this course are expected to adhere to the MSU Student Honor Code.

Withheld Grades/Semester Grades Policy: Ordinarily, at the discretion of the instructor of record and with the approval of the academic chair/director, a grade of WH will be assigned only if the student cannot complete the course work because of unavoidable circumstances. Students must complete the work within one calendar year from the end of the semester in which they receive a WH, or the grade automatically becomes an F. If students register for the same course in future terms the WH will automatically become an F and will be counted as a repeated course for the purpose of computing the grade point average.

Senior Portfolio Requirement: Please note that all mass communication majors are required to submit a portfolio as part of their Internship course (Internship is a prerequisite to Senior Production). This requirement is a part of MSU1s reaccreditation with the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools and is non-negotiable. Through the portfolio, students are required to demonstrate communication competence through the written word and visual communication; two examples of each competency are required.

As you go through this and other classes, you are responsible for saving course work that could be included in your senior portfolio.

Please see me, your adviser, the department chair or any mass communication faculty member for handouts with more information ("Mass Communication Portfolio Competencies" and "Mass Communication Portfolio FAQ"). These handouts are also available on our department web page: masscomm/.

Privacy: Federal Privacy Law prohibits me from releasing information about students to certain parties outside the university. Thus, in almost all cases I will only discuss your grades and other academic matters with you. Do not have your parents call me! You’re college students and will be treated as such. Also, I will only correspond with you via email if your name is in the email address.

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Disability Support: Please inform me if you are a student with a disability and need accommodation in this class. Students with a disability must be registered with Disability Support Services before classroom accommodation can be provided. MSU provides students with documented disabilities academic accommodation (Disability Support Services, Clark Student Center, Room 168).

Final Caveat: The professor reserves the right to change any part of this syllabus for any reason. Sufficient notice will be given to students if changes to the syllabus are deemed necessary



  1. COMPS

    1. Camera Comp 15%

    2. Floor Manager Comp 15%

  2. LAB GRADE (Productions)

    1. Campus Watch (Producer) 25%

    2. Campus Watch (Crew) 20%

    3. Short Narrative 25%

LAB GRADE: This class requires students to attend a lab as well as the lecture. The Lab is not an optional part of this class. Roughly 60% of the student’s grade in Television Production comes directly from their attendance and legitimate participation in the work done within the lab. The majority of work during our lab time will be on assignments for that week’s episode(s) of Campus Watch. Students will work in groups to complete assignments and will either pass or fail as a CREW. This means that students are expected to conduct themselves with professionalism and courtesy within their crews and are ALL expected to contribute. Any student not contributing will be held personally responsible for their actions and level of activity.

4 “B’s” of Media Production

• • • •

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COURSE SCHEDULE (Subject to change)


Topics / Assignments

Reading Due

Week 1

01/18 – 01/22

Introduction/ The production process

Ch. 1

Developing a scene for narrative/Camera Orientation


Week 2

01/25– 01/29


Ch. 10

Lighting Continued...

Ch. 11


Week 3

02/01 – 02/05

Directing, Scripting & Blocking

Ch. 16

Working with Talent

Ch. 15


Week 4

02/08 – 02/12

Field Sound

Ch. 9

<Planning Day>


Week 5

02/15 – 02/19





Week 6

02/22 – 02/26

Studio Operations & Layout


Audio Review & Studio Micing


Week 7

02/29 – 03/04

Camera Orientation and Operation

Ch. 7

<Studio Practice>

Due 03/5: Single Scene Narrative


Week 8

03/07 – 03/11

Technical Directing

Ch. 13
<Camera Comps Begin>

Timing & Prompter Operation


Week 9 03/14 – 03/18


Ch. 14

Pitch Day


Week 10

03/21 – 03/25



Week 11

03/28 – 04/01

Floor Managing


<Studio Practice>


Week 12

04/04 – 04/08


Ch. 19

Editing Cont.


Week 13

04/11 – 04/15

The Script

Ch. 3


Building a Show


Week 14

04/18 – 04/22

<Studio Practice>


Prep for Studio Production


Week 15

04/25 – 04/29

Campus Watch Production 1


Campus Watch Production 2


Week 16

05/02 05/06

Campus Watch Production 3


Campus Watch Production 4


Week 17

05/09 – 05/13



Final Exam

05/10/2016 8AM-10AM

Submission Format Policy

Note: You may not submit a paper for a grade in this class that already has been (or will be) submitted for a grade in another course, unless you obtain the explicit written permission of me and the other instructor involved in advance.

Plagiarism Policy

Plagiarism is the use of someone else's thoughts, words, ideas, or lines of argument in your own work without appropriate documentation (a parenthetical citation at the end and a listing in "Works Cited")-whether you use that material in a quote, paraphrase, or summary. It is a theft of intellectual property and will not be tolerated, whether intentional or not.

Student Honor Creed

As an MSU Student, I pledge not to lie, cheat, steal, or help anyone else do so."

As students at MSU, we recognize that any great society must be composed of empowered, responsible citizens. We also recognize universities play an important role in helping mold these responsible citizens. We believe students themselves play an important part in developing responsible citizenship by maintaining a community where integrity and honorable character are the norm, not the exception.

Thus, We, the Students of Midwestern State University, resolve to uphold the honor of the University by affirming our commitment to complete academic honesty. We resolve not only to be honest but also to hold our peers accountable for complete honesty in all university matters.

We consider it dishonest to ask for, give, or receive help in examinations or quizzes, to use any unauthorized material in examinations, or to present, as one's own, work or ideas which are not entirely one's own. We recognize that any instructor has the right to expect that all student work is honest, original work. We accept and acknowledge that responsibility for lying, cheating, stealing, plagiarism, and other forms of academic dishonesty fundamentally rests within each individual student.

We expect of ourselves academic integrity, personal professionalism, and ethical character. We appreciate steps taken by University officials to protect the honor of the University against any who would disgrace the MSU student body by violating the spirit of this creed.

Written and adopted by the 2002-2003 MSU Student Senate.

Students with Disabilities

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) is a federal anti-discrimination statute that provides comprehensive civil rights protection for persons with disabilities. Among other things, this legislation requires that all students with disabilities be guaranteed a learning environment that provides for reasonable accommodation of their disabilities. If you believe you have a disability requiring an accommodation, please contact the Disability Support Services in Room 168 of the Clark Student Center, (940) 397-4140.

Safe Zones Statement

The professor considers this classroom to be a place where you will be treated with respect as a human being - regardless of gender, race, ethnicity, national origin, religious affiliation, sexual orientation, political beliefs, age, or ability. Additionally, diversity of thought is appreciated and encouraged, provided you can agree to disagree. It is the professor's expectation that ALL students consider the classroom a safe environment.

Contacting your Instructor

All instructors in the Department have voicemail in their offices and MWSU e-mail addresses. Make sure you add your instructor's phone number and e-mail address to both email and cell phone lists of contacts.

Writing Proficiency Requirement

All students seeking a Bachelor's degree from Midwestern State University must satisfy a writing proficiency requirement once they've 1) passed the 6 hours of Communication Core and and 2) earned 60 hours. You may meet this requirement by passing either the Writing Proficiency Exam or English 2113. Please keep in mind that, once you've earned over 90 hours, you lose the opportunity to take the $25 exam and have no option but to enroll in the three-credit hour course. If you have any questions about the exam, visit the Writing Proficiency Office website at, or call 397-4131.

Campus Carry

Senate Bill 11 passed by the 84th Texas Legislature allows licensed handgun holders to carry concealed handguns on campus, effective August 1, 2016. Areas excluded from concealed carry are appropriately marked, in accordance with state law. For more information regarding campus carry, please refer to the University’s webpage at

If you have questions or concerns, please contact MSU Chief of Police Patrick Coggins at