STUDENT CAPSTONE - NON-FICTION

Beehive Stories_Zion_ Photo 2Capstone Projects are peer-mentoring environments provided by the Media Arts Department and initiated by Media Arts majors. While the student initiating a Capstone Project assumes the primary responsibility for interacting with the Department, the process is collaborative. These advanced projects are generally culminating experiences at the end of a student’s undergraduate work (similar to a senior project). Each capstone project comes with associated coursework, class credit, and departmental supervision. Capstone projects also potentially receive a large amount of departmental support, through equipment access and funding.

Eligibility

The applicant pitching the project (usually a Director or Producer) must be in good academic standing, on track toward graduation, and must have a strong record of collaboration and citizenship.

Additionally, applicants pitching capstone projects must have completed the following pre-requisite classes: TMA 105, 112, 114, 185, 187, 273, 394

Project Size and Scope:

All nonfiction capstone projects must conform to a total runtime of at least 15:00 but no longer than 26:46.

Capstone Process:

All capstone projects start with a documentary concept, and with a project applicant. Generally, the applicant may be a Director or Producer. The initiation of the project by the project applicant also designates this individual as the liaison between the project and the department. This capacity is slightly different than his or her actual crew role on set, and the task of Project Liaison is in addition to the student’s specified crew responsibility. The Project Liaison is responsible for making certain that the peer mentoring environment is maintained and that the project complies with the departmental conditions placed on the Capstone process—from start to finish. The Project Liaison should find and commit additional crew members as early as possible in the planning stages.

Here’s a few things to keep in mind as you plan your documentary concept:

  • Scope of project must be filmable in one term (either Fall or Winter 2nd term). This may eliminate distance travel or overly complicated content.
  • Project should be one where you can feasibly get access to the people/organizations you need
  • Total runtime may not exceed 26:46
  • Content needs to stay within the guidelines set forth by the TMA Viewing & Creation Policy
This first approval step is called the Development Pitch, which occurs in March for the Fall project rotation, and November for the Winter rotation. For this pitch, you need to prepare a proposal, which includes the following:

  1. Project synopsis & background
  2. Discussion on project theme, format, structure, style, and point of view (a quarter-to half page long on each of them)
  3. Intended audience and distribution
  4. Proposed crew members
  5. Source material. Bibliography.
  6. List of reference works (from cinema, television, web, etc) with brief description (1-2 sentences each) on how your project is similar or different from each

Applicants are welcome to ask individual faculty members to review their proposal before the pitch. To do this, proposals should be emailed to the Media Arts Production Coordinator, noting that the proposal is for capstone consideration, and they will be passed along to nonfiction faculty. This must be done in the month before the pitch.

To prepare for the pitch:

  1. Finalize a proposal.
  2. Make 5 copies of finished proposal and the Development Pitch cover-page (Download Here)
  3. By the last weekday of February or October, bring all copies to Media Arts Project Coordinator, who will distribute to faculty.
  4. All proposals will be evaluated by media arts faculty. Following this evaluation, students will be notified by email and informed regarding the status of their proposals. If the department passes on a proposal, it is not approved to move forward. If the proposal is approved, the individual initiating the project will be invited to attend the Development Pitch.
  5. At the pitch date, the director will have a scheduled 15-minute presentation with the faculty. You will have 5 minutes to present your capstone proposal and to propose your participation as the Project Liaison. You may use any means to do so, but it must be only 5 minutes long. The remaining 10 minutes will be spent in a question and answer session. Be prepared to answer questions regarding project scope, intent, distribution, as well as your graduation plan.

Following the Development pitch, faculty will select no more than two proposals to continue into project development. Applicants will be notified within 24 hours of the pitch.

Click here to download the Pitch Cover Page

AFTER THE DEVELOPMENT PITCH

If the project is not approved, the applicant may continue to rework the proposal or another proposal and apply again at the next semester’s Development Pitch.

If approved, the project will continue to the Project Development phase. This phase includes crew assembly and pre-production. The process entails:

  1. Applicant should revise the proposal, particularly based on comments from faculty.
  2. Crew up. Find and begin assembling key crew members that will enroll for credit.
  3. Project liaisons should register for the TMA 474 class, and all other key crew members should register for the class corresponding to their roles.
  4. The project is given an initial $500 of funding at the beginning of the 1st Term for initial development.
  5. The project prepares for the second pitch, or the Greenlight Pitch. This involves pitching for Film Committee & Fulton funding, for equipment access, and to move into Production, based on the preparations shown in Pre-Production.

Begin forming your team.

CREW ORGANIZATION & SCOPE:

Once approved for development, the applicant may begin assembling a crew. Key Crew Members should be advanced students with some production experience, as well as vetted academic eligibility. It is strongly recommended, but not required, that all key crew members should have taken TMA 187. You may also wish to invite lesser-experienced students in the program to join your team.

NOTES REGARDING CREW ELIGIBILITY:

Key Crew Members could include: Director, Producer, DP, Sound, Editor

Additionally, your project may have need for a Research Specialist, Motion Graphics Specialist, etc.

Applicant and Key Crew Members must be in good academic standing.

“Good Academic Standing” means:

  • Students must be regularly attending class, maintaining at least a 3.0 GPA overall and a “C” grade in each of their TMA classes (this includes during production).
  • Students will be required to register for an amount of class credit corresponding to the amount of commitment and time required to fulfill each role. See grid below.
  • Involvement in this project must move Key Crew Members toward graduation. If the applicant or Key Crew Members are deemed to be unnecessarily delaying graduation, they will not be approved to serve on the project. Additionally, all access to University resources is terminated upon graduation, and each student must complete their role in conjunction with the project before graduation.

If any faculty member knows of any other reason for specific students not to be involved on capstone projects, they may need to remove them from the project.

CREW CLASS ENROLLMENT:

All key crew members that work on a capstone project must register for associated class credit. This serves to reward them academically for their efforts, as well as make their crew responsibilities more accountable through a grading process.  Note that while it is discouraged, key crew members may apply for permission to enroll in credit for multiple capstones (fiction and non) in the same term.  You must receive permission to do this from both your team and the faculty advisor.

*Be aware that you will not be able register for 2nd term credit until after project approval at the Greenlight Pitch. This means that those needing to fill credit hours for scholarships, etc must find other ways to do so.

NFcapstonescheduleTo register for 372R/215R credit:

  1. Go to the TMA front office and pick up the “TMA On-Campus Apprenticeship/Internship/Project Application” packet.
  2. Fill out your “Specific Learning Activities” associated with your crew role.
  3. Get signatures from the 372 instructor as well as the Media Arts Production Coordinator.
At the end of the first term, the project pitches to the faculty again, in the Greenlight Pitch.  The purpose of this pitch is to request funds, request access to TMA equipment and facilities, and to be greenlit to move forward into the Production Phase and complete the capstone project.

PREPARATION FOR THE GREENLIGHT PITCH

The 474 instructor will help prepare students for this pitch. These preparations include:

1. The project should be making substantial preparations to film, including all research, contacts, approvals, and test shoots.  Details will be outlined on your syllabus.

2. Filling out the Greenlight Pitch Cover Page (Download here). Attach the cover page to the front of your pitch packet.

3.  Preparing a pitch packet.  In order to help prepare you for formal pitching and fundraising post graduation, we have based ours on guidelines from public television documentary programming (ITVS’ “Open Call” grant specifically).  Adapted for our needs, please prepare the following, with as much detail as possible.

PART I (3 pages max)

  • A synopsis of the project
  • A treatment specifying how you will translate your story from page to screen
  • A discussion of theme, format, structure, style, and point of view
  • The anticipated audience for the project. Are there specific communities (for example, defined by geography, ethnicity, class, or generation) who are the target audience for this project?  What is your relationship and access to this community?
  • Reasons the project is appropriate for BYU & TMA (see the 4 Aims of a BYU Education and the TMA Mission Statement)
  • Describe the current status of the project in this development phase.  Has anything changed since the Development Pitch?

PART II

  • A comprehensive line item documentary budget (you will be given a template to work with).  This will have much more detail than the one you turned in with your Development Pitch.
  • Production schedule (with any known specific events listed – interviews, verite scenes, etc).
  • Post-production schedule
  • All key crew members’ resumes and deal memos.
  • Any pre-production releases (as needed)

PART III (4-6 pages)

  • Updated references section from Development pitch
  • Comprehensive sections, one from your Cinematographer (1-2 pages), one from your Editor (1-2 pages).  Building upon the “references” section from your Development Pitch where you listed all your research of media with thematic similarities to your project, choose up to 2 or 3 pieces that show visual and stylistic inspirations.  Cinematographer section must include screengrabs from each reference work to complement written descriptions. (for Editor it is optional)
  • List specific festivals, student competitions, and any other venues you plan on submitting the finished project (along with their application deadlines and fees).  For some of them it may be helpful to briefly describe why it’s a good fit.

In addition to the 10 copies you turned in, be sure to bring at least one copy on the day of your pitch too for any faculty that want to see it there.

4. Attending an MAL Access meeting to request permission to use TMA equipment. This needs to be coordinated with the Access manager, and to be scheduled for the day of the Greenlight Pitch.  Visit http://film-old.byu.edu/access for procedures.

THE GREENLIGHT PITCH

The Greenlight Pitch takes place at the end of the 1st term of each capstone track. (Generally, at the end of February and middle of October.) For each capstone project, the Director and Producer should plan on being part of the pitch, with other select key crew members on standby.

The Greenlight Pitch is a 20-minute pitch. You have 10 minutes to pitch your project (time usually split between a Director and Producer), and then another 10 for a question and answer session with the faculty.

AFTER THE GREENLIGHT PITCH

If the project’s preparations are deemed incomplete or inadequate, or if there has been insufficient progress on the project, the faculty may decline greenlighting the project. In this case, crew members will receive credit for their educational efforts through the completion of the first term and will be invited to fill positions on other capstones if they so choose.

If the project is approved, members of the project will continue onto the 2nd term, which includes finishing Pre-Production preparations and moving into Production. Specifically, students will:

  1. Set up a meeting with the Media Arts Production Coordinator in the TMA office as soon as possible. They are the liaison to help set up the transfer of money to your account, schedule shooting days, connect you to Access, MotorPool, etc.
  2. Have all crew members sign up for 2nd term credit immediately, before the 2nd Term Add/Drop deadline.
  3. Continue holding Production Meetings and moving into production.

DOWNLOAD THE GREENLIGHT PITCH COVER PAGE

CAPSTONE PROJECT FUNDING

Funding for capstone projects come from five different sources:

1)    Development Funds ($500). This fund comes from TMA endowment monies, and is awarded after approval at the Proposal Development Pitch.

2)    Personal Funds. As part of their participation and involvement, it is expected that all Key Crew Members will personally contribute $25 to the overall budget of the project. This check is to be written to the department upon agreement to be a Department Head, and money to be put instantly in the project account. This is similar to a class or textbook fee.

3)    You can apply for the Fulton Funds grant (up to $750). This funding is associated with the TMA Department, but must be applied for separately. Details are at the front office.

4)    Film Committee Funds (up to $2000). This funding is approved and appropriated at the Greenlight Pitch.

5)    Independent fundraising efforts. If you wish, additional fundraising efforts may take place to secure additional funds. Fundraising events of any kind (bake sale, concert, party) can be held anytime after approval at the Development Pitch. Often, tax-deductible fundraising can be securely accomplished through a project group-funding website, like Kickstarter or IndieGogo.

This funding may go to all justifiable production expenses.

CAPSTONE ACCOUNTS

The Development Funds, Film Committee Funds, and Fulton Funds awarded to a capstone are all managed in an account at the school. Each capstone project will have it’s own account, managed in the Business Office (part of the Visual Arts office) by Thaylene Rogers. Through this account, you will have access to:

1) A purchasing card for your capstone. This is a credit card maintained by the school, but made available to be checked out for a few hours or few days at a time, to be used by a capstone project. It is imperative that all original receipts be turned in for any purchases made on this card. All receipts need to be itemized, and turned in within 1 day of purchase. If students do not submit a receipt, they are responsible to reimburse the school for their purchase with their individual funds. All receipts must also be signed by their faculty project advisor.

2) Reimbursements. If use of a purchasing card is impossible, students may make purchases out of pocket when absolutely necessary. In these cases, Thaylene can help with student reimbursements. Please note that these reimbursements may take several weeks, and students need to know that they can’t be reimbursed immediately. Once again, it’s crucial that students provide all original, itemized receipts. Bank account or credit card statements do not suffice. Students will not be reimbursed for anything they don’t have a receipt for.

3) BYU purchases through the account number. Purchases made through other BYU departments (such as MotorPool truck rentals, BYU Catering) will need to go through your account number.

SCHEDULING SHOOTING DAYS

We recommend that your project shoot on no more than 10-12 full shooting days, and aim for a final shooting to edit ratio of no more than 20:1.

We strongly discourage crew members to skip classes for a shoot. However, we recognize that occasionally documentary events happen at times outside of your control. If this circumstance occurs, and you must miss class for your capstone, ask your TMA 475 advisor to help you obtain an excused absence form for your professors to sign.

Generally, please avoid shoot days interfering with holidays, reading days, finals, Sundays, General Conference, or General Women’s Meeting.

Additionally, shooting hours should be scheduled to ensure that BYU vehicles (including the truck/grip trailer, if used) are not driven between 12am-6am, and not at all on Sundays.

EQUIPMENT

Every crew member that will be handling departmental equipment needs to be sufficiently trained on all equipment they use. For help in determining eligibility and proper training, feel free to contact Access managers.

Every capstone project needs to go through the Access procedures to finalize equipment accessibility.

  1. On the day of the Greenlight pitch, the Project Liaison should also attend Access. (This can be arranged through the Access manager.) Though this will be a few hours prior to the pitch, students much pitch for equipment use contingent on their approval at the Greenlight pitch.
  2. Set up the project reservation through Ashwire with MAL area heads.

If any equipment is damaged or lost, please report it immediately. The school may ask whoever is responsible for the damage to contribute to help repair the item, or purchase a new one. Reference the damaged/lost equipment policy in the MAL Handbook

RELEASES

With your documentary capstone, it’s crucial to make sure you have all appropriate releases signed. You should plan on getting specific releases for:

  • Locations (to be signed by locations owner)
  • Personal Releases (to be signed by anyone interviewed or even featured on camera)

With locations, it’s important to be careful of distinguishing what you might need to get city/county approval for, and what is personally owned.

Depending on the nature of your piece, you may need to get releases from background extras. If their involvement or visibility is high, you might want to get a personal release.  When shooting in large public places, it may suffice to place large notices declaring that you are filming in the area and they give consent when walking through.

You’ll also need deal memos and/or releases from a composer, or anyone whose images, sounds, or other creative property you use.

The amount of and types of release you get will also be contingent upon your distribution plans with the final film. There can be different regulations if your piece is aired on TV with a network, etc. It’s a good idea to keep distribution plans in mind when you get releases, and always safer to have more releases on file than fewer.

 

After production, some of your crew will be done with the capstone project. You need to make sure you keep their paperwork, including Crew Deal Memos. You also need to make sure they have completed all paperwork with the department, including their evaluations and paper for their 387, 372R, or 215R class.

The project has 1 term to complete its post-production processes, including picture lock, ADR, foley, color correction, music composition, final sound mix, final exports, and final deliverables due.

FACILITIES

The TMA Department offers the following to qualified eligible students for Post-Production. access to some of these areas will need to be approved/scheduled in the MAL Access Meeting:

  • Open Lab: contains basic post-production and editing software (open to all)
  • The Pocket: contains a sound booth, and can be scheduled to record ADR, Voice Over, or Foley
  • The Cave: includes high-end editing, color-correcting, DVD printing/duplicating, and other software needed for post-production and distribution
  • Studio E: contains high-end sound editing and mixing software

CLOSING CREDITS

• Please acknowledge your 474/475 advisor as an Executive Producer

• In your “Special Thanks” section, please list Ira & Mary Lou Fulton, and any other endowment donors or monies you may have received. (For example, BYU Film Committee funds, Alan Stock funds, etc.)

• End with “Theatre & Media Arts Department, Brigham Young University, © (year)

(Final closing credits must to be approved by your faculty advisor.)

Prior to finishing the film on DVD/BluRay and before using the University’s name with relationship to your film, please review your distribution plans with the TMA Department. This may require additional meetings with BYU Creative Works, and others. Talk to the Media Arts Production Coordinator to set this up.

FINAL PROJECT DELIVERABLES:

Ultimately, the project needs to submit all deliverables to the Media Arts Production Coordinator, at the end of each corresponding production phase. All materials need to be turned in the last day of finals of the Post-Production Term.

  • a copy of your greenlight pitch materials
  • final budget (with all purchases and balances)
  • copies of signed Release Forms, Crew Deal Memos, and Locations Agreements
  • all other licenses and clearances (for music, must include royalty-free, unlimited use in synchronization with the Project in perpetuity)
  • final crew list
  • HD Master Quicktime file (to be on the XSAN, then put on an LTO tape)
  • 3 DVDs of final cut of film
  • behind-the-scenes high resolution still photographs for promotional purposes

CAST & CREW SCREENING

After the completion of the capstone project, the department will help sponsor a Cast & Crew Screening for your capstone in the term following Post-Production, which will feature a discussion with critical studies faculty as well as your advisor. This event should be kept a “Cast & Crew Screening,” rather than a Premiere, as to not conflict with film festival submissions that require a premiere at their Festival.

BYU FINAL CUT FILM FESTIVAL

We invite capstone projects to submit to our own BYU annual film festival, Final Cut. This festival is held in April, with submission deadlines usually in February.

STUDENT OWNERSHIP OF INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY

Students (a “student” is a person enrolled in BYU courses for credit) who independently develop intellectual property arising out of their participation in programs of study at the university will retain the ownership rights to such property when the intellectual property does not result from their employment at BYU and/or where there is no written agreement to the contrary. Students employed by the university will be treated in the same manner as similarly situated university personnel. However, any student not employed by the university, but either (i) engaging in research or development of intellectual property under the supervision and direction of a faculty member in connection with a program or activity subject to this policy or (ii) using substantial university resources in connection with a research program or activity agrees to grant and hereby does grant to the university, as a condition of being allowed to participate in the project and/or use university resources, a non-exclusive, perpetual, royalty-free, paid-up, irrevocable license to exploit, use, and sublicense the resulting intellectual property. Faculty using students, whether volunteer, non-employed, or employed, in their scholarly work projects should have the students sign a “Student Assignment of Ownership and Nondisclosure Agreement” form, available from Intellectual Property Services.

If in the event that either the Student or the Department would like to distribute a student’s project with the purpose of gaining revenue, the two parties will meet to discuss how revenue is distributed or shared.

TMA CREATION & VIEWING POLICY

Part 1.  Introduction

This document presents principles and policies which guide media use and creation and use in BYU’s Department of Theatre and Media Arts. Following this policy will allow us to provide students intellectual and character building experiences within the framework of the Gospel.

Part 2.  Background and General Principles

The Aims of a BYU Education  (Aims) specifies a BYU education should be “spiritually strengthening, intellectually enlarging, character building, leading to life-long learning and service” and requires that students “seek for perfection and eternal life” and that “these characteristics are best instilled and nurtured in students when they have the opportunity of exercising them in challenging settings under the direction of the Spirit.”  To become spiritually strong, as well as intellectually literate, Media Art students must know and be conversant with relevant historical and contemporary media “texts.” More importantly they must learn to be vigorous in their search for and discernment of truth.  A BYU graduate will not have received anAims  education if s/he leaves without spiritually- grounded critical, theoretical and practical skills, as well as practice in interpreting and evaluating the highly complex aesthetic, moral and stylistic elements in media texts.

This section provides background on concerns about the nature of decision making and how media texts (in particular how Hollywood films classified with a MPAA “R-rating”) are selected, viewed, and created as part of curricular activities.  Media Arts faculty carefully consider historical, moral, and intellectual relevance as they select films and film clips for curricular uses.

The issue could impact the quality of education in the following ways:

  • limit student preparation by restricting the use of visual texts that are recognized internationally as classic aesthetic and social documents, and required viewing for an equivalent BA degree in any other four year institution of higher learning.
  • inhibit faculty intellectual and spiritual stewardship and efforts to provide spiritual, historical and cultural education and development of critical thinking skills in an intellectually challenging and spiritually based environment.
  • put faculty members’ efforts at academic rigor and student preparation in open conflict with ecclesiastical authorities.
  • escalate on-campus differences where edited, R-rated Varsity Theatre screenings are considered acceptable but sometimes faculty in-class selections are questioned.
  • create a shibboleth out of the MPAA ratings standards, although these guidelines make no attempt at serious critical evaluation based on sound aesthetic or moral values.

This situation is not dissimilar to that faced by science professors who are required by their professional discipline to prepare students in the theory of evolution or any other topic not considered compatible with LDS theology.  A student in the sciences cannot very well leave this campus with a degree and expect to excel in industry or education without knowing these associated ideas and theories.  Here, however, the challenge in media arts is not abstract ideas but realistic images.

Formulating a policy can often create as many problems as it resolves, but we believe there is a need to offer some guidelines for in-class curricular use and creation of media.  The University’s Mission Statement and The Aims of a BYU Education  document a sure foundation.  The Aims  document provides a flexible set of principles that challenge individual faculty and students to reach higher in fulfilling their intellectual and creative stewardships within clear, spiritually-related criteria.  If the Aims  document’s four central principles–”spiritually strengthening, intellectually challenging, character building, leading to lifelong learning and service”–are used as touchstones in the selection, viewing, discussion, and creation visual material, we will able to:

  • strengthen intellectual freedom and spiritual agency by requiring a heightened sense of responsibility from both faculty and students: “Students need not ignore difficult and important questions.”
  • identify the Aims’   four central touchstones as selection criteria, as each principle is given appropriate weight within each viewing, discussion, and creative experience.
  • appeal to a standard higher than that of the industry’s MPAA rating guide.
  • provide a framework within which faculty and students can “reason together” with clear criteria, without resorting to debilitating conflict: “Keep balance in your lives.  Beware of obsession.  Beware of narrowness.”
  • require faculty and students to explore and wrestle with complex historical, social, political, and creative issues in a spiritually strengthening setting: “A BYU education should bring together the intellectual integrity of fine academic discipline with the spiritual integrity of personal righteousness.” Character comes from students growing more broadly and deeper with a spiritually and intellectually challenging perspective.
  • assist students in moving beyond easy answers and platitudes by becoming tolerant, open-minded, and self-reliant in partnership with faculty members: “Students who graduate from BYU should be capable of competing with the best in their fields.”
  • provide students with principles that are part of their “life-long learning and service,” which will bless them, their families, and their communities.

This is designed to raise the standard by balancing the secular with the spiritual in both analytical and creative contexts (the viewing as well as the creation of visual media), not an attempt to construct intellectual license.  The key is an educational environment that allows the student to understand concepts, ideas, and theories within the context of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.  It is the process of critically studying relevant ideas, texts, and processes and creating visual media within a Gospel setting, to build strength and character, as students grapple with the challenges of integrating cultural issues and values within the spiritual framework of the Gospel.   This is needed by both professionals and families to contend with the onslaught of visual media that is no longer restricted to the movie theatre but finds its way into the home on wave and wire.

Choices should be made in the spirit of Elder L. Tom Perry’s guidance in the 1997 April Conference: “We do not need manmade rating systems to determine what we should read, what we should listen to or how we should conduct ourselves.  What we do need to do is live worthy of the continued companionship of the Holy Ghost.” It is Moroni who gives the criterion that should govern our interests to teach and inspire students: “For behold, the Spirit of Christ is given to every man, that he may know good from evil, . . .” (Moroni 6:16).

Part 3.  Guidelines, Responsibilities and Grievance Process

To advance the mission of Brigham Young University by providing students with a broad university education firmly grounded in the Gospel of Jesus Christ, the Media Arts Program has developed the following guidelines to “help students think clearly, communicate effectively, understand important ideas in their own cultural tradition as well as that of others, and establish clear standards of intellectual integrity” (Mission of Brigham Young University).   The following principles guide selection, viewing, teaching, study, and creation of media materials within the Media Arts program:

1.  Faculty and students accept the Aims  principles, “spiritually strengthening, intellectually enlarging, character building, leading to life-long learning and service,” as touchstones for evaluating, selecting, viewing, discussing, and creating (written and visual) media material.

2.  The Aims’ principles as they apply to Media Arts will be introduced and discussed with students in advance of students’ application to the program, and the principles’ purpose and program rationale will be clearly presented in the “Media Arts Student Handbook.” Faculty will continue to find strategies to bring these principles into critical and creative course syllabi.

3.  The selection and cataloguing of the department’s purchased and produced video and laser disc library housed in the HBLL Learning Resource Library will be governed by the same Aims  principles.

4.  The Media Arts viewing lists will be guided by the Aims’  principles: (1) the “Media Arts Master Viewing List” will outline film, television, and multi-media listings that all students should be familiar with and from which could be drawn material for classroom presentation and discussion, and (2) the “Media Arts  Select Viewing List” will introduce students to other media that students should be historically aware of but not required or encouraged to view.

5.  In-class viewing of historically and conceptually relevant media will be governed by:

  • carefully evaluating all available options before selecting any film or film clip.
  • appropriately contextualizing, the presentation’s historical or aesthetic importance within a spiritual framework of the Aims  document.
  • consider carefully the age and maturity of students, in particular in introductory, “Classic Cinema,” and General Education courses, by employing a “milk before meat” philosophy.
  • limit more thematically challenging material to advanced course work for students who are more mature and have more experience with fundamental spiritual and critical skills and carefully contextualize these ideas and themes using the Aims’ principles. This applies as well to texts used as part of student prepared in-class presentations and creative writing and productions.

6.  Student and faculty work, both in written and visual form, will follow the sameAims’ criteria.  Creative projects must be “spiritually strengthening, intellectually enlarging, character building, leading to life-long learning and service.”

7.  Everyone involved in each teaching situation will be sensitive to the spiritual well-being of all; great caution will be used so as not to “offend” the innocent.

Part 4.  Responsibilities and Grievance Procedure

Responsibility of Faculty

  1. To carefully choose required and optional texts (written and visual) in keeping with the course requirements and aims of a BYU education as outlined in the Aims document.
  2. To encourage the creation of written and visual media that is in accordance with theAims principles.
  3. To provide a context for the study of texts (visual and written) that strengthen students’ critical and creative awareness of historical, cultural, technological, and aesthetic dimensions and enable them to understand the larger value ofstudying and creating works that may include some potentially disturbing elements.
  4. To be considerate of and respond to student concerns respectfully and, where feasible, to provide alternative assignments to students with conscientious objections.

Responsibility of Department

  1. To insure that course syllabi and texts are consistent with the curriculum and in harmony with department and University missions.
  2. To guide new faculty in designing courses that are appropriate to the BYU environment and to counsel with faculty who are challenged consistently with issues related to selection of visual materials.
  3. To assist students and faculty in resolving disputes about reading assignments or teaching styles, and to defend both students and faculty against unreasonable demands or reprisals.

Responsibility of Students

  1. To make good-faith efforts to understand and accommodate the purposes of the specific course and general curriculum in light of the intellectual and creative challenges outlined in the Aims document.
  2. In the event that a particular assignment seems objectionable, to discuss the matter with the teacher and request an alternative assignment.
  3. If the matter cannot be satisfactorily resolved with the teacher, to follow the prescribed grievance procedure.
  4. To thoughtfully select appropriate media texts and methodologies for course- related work, such as in-class presentations, analysis assignments, and creative projects.

Grievance Procedure

Occasionally faculty and students may disagree about the appropriateness of a particular media text or assigned material may have an unintended negative impact or a student may feel that his or her expectations are not satisfactorily filled.  To prevent these difficulties and to deal with conflicts that may happen, the following grievance process will be followed.

In the spirit of Doctrine and Covenants 42:88, students should first take their concerns to the teacher and attempt to resolve the matter “between him or her and thee alone.”  Students who feel that their concerns have not been satisfactorily met by the teacher should go next to the program administrator or department chair or other assigned departmental grievance officer.   In some cases, the department may require a written statement of the grievance.  If the grievance cannot be resolved at the department level, it should be referred to the dean’s office.  Grievances that cannot be resolved at the college level will be referred to the University administration.  A written statement is required for any grievance that goes beyond the department level.   College and University administrators will generally not respond to complaints until earlier levels of review have been completed.