Mediaworks: Animation, Documentary, and Experimental Approaches to the Moving Image

Fall 2020
Winter 2021
Spring 2021
Class Size: 48
Credits per quarter

Compare offerings and share your lists with others.

Taught by

animation, media studies
Laurie Meeker
film and video production, media theory

The Media Arts and Studies Path foundation program, Mediaworks, integrates skill building in media technologies and hands-on production practices with the study of film/video history and theory. In 2020-21, we will place our work as filmmakers in the context of sustainability and justice. Collaborating with other academic programs, we will center one thread of our inquiry on the climate emergency, environmental and social justice, relationships among people and the land, and the sustainability and resilience of human and natural communities; issues that are vital to our well-being and the health of the planet. Students will explore ways that media producers can contribute to debates around energy, the environment and climate change, and learn about the environmental impacts of different media tools and practices.

In this election year, another thread of inquiry will address critical alternatives to mainstream media. Media has the power to educate and influence attitudes and behavior. As filmmakers and artists, how can we educate people about the economic and political forces that affect them, contribute to public discourse, and support social justice movements? What media strategies will make a difference? By engaging with these questions, students will define and cultivate their artistic voices.

Working within broad definitions of nonfiction media, students will sharpen essential skills of observation, research, collaboration, design and production, critique and reflection. They will engage in substantial reading and writing while learning to analyze and critique historical and contemporary films and texts, explore strategies to challenge dominant forms and stereotypes, examine the politics of representation in relation to race, class, and gender, and develop fluency in media analysis and criticism. Through hands-on practice, students will gain experience with the tools and materiality of different analog and digital media formats, the distinct qualities of animated and live action imagery, and strategies of representation in documentary practice. Building skills in audio recording and composition, they will also learn how to make images and sounds work together to communicate effectively.

During fall and winter, students will develop media production skills as they work through a series of collaborative and individual design problems thematically related to a broadly defined framework of sustainability and justice. In spring, as a culmination of their learning, students will research and draft a proposal for a self-directed, nonfiction media project arising from that broad framework. Projects may take a number of forms, including film, video, animation, audio, installation, performance and internship.  Collaborative projects are welcome.  Students will produce these projects and exhibit them publicly at the end of the year.

In fall our work will be conducted remotely. Students can expect our remote teaching to be around 12 hours of synchronous (scheduled) coursework per week, mostly using Zoom, Canvas, and Microsoft One Drive. Students will need to complete additional work asynchronously.

This offering will prepare you for careers and advanced study in:

media arts, digital media, film/video production, visual art, journalism, communication, education, sustainability and social justice advocacy, and the humanities.


Credits per quarter


No prior production experience is required, but intermediate college level reading, writing and critical thinking skills are necessary. An additional prerequisite is successful completion of at least two quarters of college-level studies spanning multiple disciplines. This could be satisfied by Evergreen interdisciplinary programs or classes at Evergreen or elsewhere that provide breadth. Students must complete and submit an application in order to demonstrate that they have fulfilled these prerequisites.

Online learning:
  • Fall Complete Online Learning - This offering delivers all of its instruction online.
  • Winter and Spring: Enhanced Online Learning - This offering requires access to web-based tools, but use of these tools does not displace any face-to-face instruction.
Special expenses:

Students should expect to pay $150 for an external hard drive and $100 per quarter in supplies and travel for productions, depending on individual project needs.


$350 in fall for film/art admission fees, film production expenses, and supplies. In winter, $120 for entrance fees, studio production expenses, and supplies. In spring, $50 for film/art admission fees.

Class Standing: Sophomore–Senior
Class Size: 48

Scheduled for: Day

Final schedule and room assignments:

First meeting:

Tuesday, September 29, 2020 - 10:00 am

Located in: Olympia

2020-06-01Incorrect application link in signature requirement corrected