to the fundamentals of producing audio for the moving image. Explores
emerging techniques and strategies of sonic practice while also emphasizing
underlying principles that have defined the film industry for the past century. Students
will learn the essentials of recording audio in the field, editing, mixing and
sound design, with particular emphasis on acquiring critical listening skills.
Students produce a series of short projects culminating with
an ambitious final project.
Students will work with digital cameras to learn composition,
lighting, lenses, and filters. They will study the language of film with a focus on visual
storytelling. Students will become proficient in technical aspects of shooting digital cinema, both
for documentary and narrative scenarios.
Introduction to Film Production I (4)
Through a series of short film
and sound exercises this introductory course puts basic film theory, language,
and dramatic structure for the screen into action. During the course,
students will study formal devices such as camera framing, lighting, sound,
dialogue, and editing choices.
Introduction to Film Production II (4)
In this course students will
continue learning the basics of film language through a series of short film
exercises. Each exercise will explore a specific approach or formal
device. Using specific feedback exercises, students will learn to engage
critically in each other's work.
Screenwriting (Short Film) (3)
This introductory course allows students to learn the fundamentals of screenwriting while developing a short 12-16 page screenplay. Students will learn about dramatic structure, development of character, writing dialogue, developing a theme, and concept as it applies to writing a short screenplay. The students will create "video drafts" from their screenplay to provide them with the opportunity to visually explore creative ways to drive the narrative beyond the word on the page. This interaction between writing and production allows the screenwriter to explore visual language and visual storytelling.
Advanced Sound (3)
This advanced audio course explores creative production and postproduction techniques for sound design. In this course, students will learn to design sound for an array of applications, from composition to sound for moving-image to sound installation. We also learn DIY and experimental strategies for sound production in the field. Students will work with ProTools digital audio workstations and field recorders to produce a range of projects geared around a set of unique design challenges.
Digital Field Production (3)
The intent of this course is to give students a comprehensive understanding of group-oriented Digital Field Production which can be applied to both fiction and documentary production strategies. Students will receive training on various camera systems and audio equipment. This is a hands-on field production course that covers single and multicamera shoots in multiple settings and locations. Students will work in small groups in a wide variety of real-world production situations. Students will learn production skill sets and the importance of collaborative processes in both the preproduction and production stages of filmmaking.
Essay Filmmaking (3)
Through lectures, in-class discussions, and feedback sessions, students will develop a deep understanding of the essay film, its history, and the possibilities for its future practice. Students will produce two, four-to-seven-minute essay film exercises.
Horror Film Production (3)
This production course is a deep consideration of horror as both subject and cinematic/artistic form. Horror has been dismissed for its "crude" aesthetics; criticized for the pleasures it takes in violence, misogyny, racism, escapism, etc.; lauded as a potential vehicle for subversion and critique. Class viewings will include a wide array of narrative fiction ("canonical", Hollywood, B-movies, cult films, arthouse, foreign, etc.), experimental films, and documentary, as well as works of video art, performance, photography, and radio. Class readings draw from film studies, cultural studies, psychoanalysis, and fiction. Utilizing an interdisciplinary approach to filmmaking, students will produce one nonfilmic work (audio, performance, or creative writing), a nonnarrative "horror" short film, and one final film.
Advanced Cinematography (3)
This is an intensive hands-on production course, intended to serve as a venue through which students will expand upon the skills they have acquired through Cinematography (211:120). In this course, students will learn more sophisticated lighting techniques, advanced composition, color, and different lens options. Students will study films for specific techniques, then attempt to shoot using those in class, then follow up with a group homework shoot that will be presented in the class.
Animation 2-D (3)
Introduces the basic terminology, concepts, and principles of 2-D animation intended
to illustrate or reinforce narrative concepts. It covers three distinct techniques within 2-D animation: animating for the web, stop motion animation, and 2-D vector-based animation. While focusing on technical aspects of 2-D animation, this course takes into consideration the historical perspective, current technologies, and applications of animation within documentary and fiction film.
Image Postproduction (3)
This course is designed to provide a workshop opportunity for students to develop their postproduction skills. We will explore a set of tools, concepts, and methods covering both primary and intermediate aspects of digital video postproduction. Over the course of the semester, we will delve into editing, compositing, sync sound, color correction/grading, and exporting techniques. The class time will be comprised of lectures, readings, exercises, and screenings to help students build a technical and aesthetic foundation in digital postproduction.
Intermediate Film Production I (4)
This course provides students with the opportunity to continue to gain theoretical and practical experience in the craft of conceptualizing and directing a film. Students will put film theory, language, grammar, and dramatic structure for the screen into action. This course builds on the fundamentals of film language and basic visual grammar, concentrating on collaboration, staging, shooting, and editing. Through lectures, readings, and screenings, students will engage in discussions regarding various formal approaches to cinema. By the end of the semester, students will have produced and directed four assignments guided by formal restrictions.
Intermediate Film Production II (4)
This course provides students with the opportunity to expand upon theoretical and practical experience in the craft of conceptualizing and directing the film. Students will produce, direct, and edit three exercises and a final project of their choosing. Thematic restrictions will guide each exercise. Students will learn to work in groups and share the responsibilities in the filmmaking process. Through lectures, readings, and screenings, students will engage in discussions regarding various formal approaches to cinema.
Directing the Actor (3)
This is a workshop course designed to develop techniques for directing engaging and believable on-screen performances. Exercises and assignments will emphasize the relationship between the director and actor. Through script analysis, rehearsals, and scene performances, students will learn the fundamentals of the acting process and gain the necessary skills to communicate their objectives and intentions with actors effectively.
Special Topics in Digital Filmmaking (BA)
Explores in depth a unique topic in filmmaking. Topic determined by the program.
Short Film Repurposed (3)
postproduction course where students will explore the possibilities of moving
images from multiple artistic and conceptual perspectives. The course will
engage with the tradition of science documentary filmmaking, as well as with
found footage/appropriated filmmaking. In the
first part of the course, students will
complete short documentary films focusing on the needs of scientists and/or science communication. For the second part, using the raw footage of their science films, students will make another film that is conceptually and artistically different. Students will be exposed to found/appropriated footage filmmaking and be expected to produce innovative and critical works from the images and obstructions presented in this course.
Sensory Ethnography (3)
This course introduces students to Sensory Ethnography as both a research method and aesthetic approach to filmmaking. Through in-class screenings, production workshops, and seminar, students are exposed to the key terms and debates fundamental to ethnographic filmmaking, the films, and filmmakers crucial to its evolving practice, and the tools and techniques used to produce sensory films. The course will continually interrogate the relationships between film form, content, and the ethnographic method. Students will produce two short production assignments, a detailed written treatment, and a sensory ethnography film.
Screenwriting: Feature Film I (3)
This course allows students to advance their screenwriting abilities while developing a
feature-length screenplay. During this
course, students will continue their learning of the fundamentals of
screenwriting and apply those principles to the development of a step-outline
and the first act of a feature-length screenplay (approximately 25-30 pages).
The class will be a mixture of lecture, screenplay analysis, discussion of
viewed films, and workshopping of the students' screenplays with peer review.
Web Filmmaking (3)
Gives students hands-on experience as a producer, writer, director, and editor of their own web-based serialized narratives. Students will learn how to conceptualize and structure a web series. They will write two screenplays or documentary treatments: the pilot and episode #1. The students will gain theoretical and practical experience in producing, directing, and editing as they work to complete these episodes through preproduction, production, and postproduction.
Animation 3-D (3)
This course introduces the basic terminology, concepts, and principles of 3-D animation. It is
designed to remove the complexities of modern digital 3-D development tools by examining each segment individually and reinforcing it with in-class workshops and weekly assignments. This course takes into consideration the historical evolution of 3-D animation, the current technologies, and applications of animation within documentary and fiction film.
Experimental Film (3)
Production course based on an overview of key works and ideas that
have informed "avant-garde" and "experimental" film, from their beginnings in
the early years of cinema through the present day. While emphasis is placed on
nonnarrative works, which generally stress nonlinear and/or abstract
expression via form, color, and movement, the course also considers narrative
and documentary films that utilize experimental form to challenge, question, and
problematize traditional kinds of cinematic storytelling. Through in-class workshops and assignments, students will learn the fundamentals of experimental film production, including shooting on/working with 16mm, hand-processing, darkroom techniques, etc. Students will produce three short-film exercises and a final film.
Advanced Directing I (4)
This advanced course is designed to enable students to produce from conception to
completion a 5- to 7-minute short fiction film. In class, students will workshop every project through all the stages of production. Crew members for shoots can be drawn from within the course; each student is required to crew a minimum of three projects in addition to their directing project. An understanding of historical and aesthetic issues that have shaped the development of the narrative film will comprise a significant part of the course. The class will consist of continuous feedback sessions throughout the development of each student's script, rough cut, and final cut.
Advanced Directing II (4)
In this advanced course, students will complete a 7- to 10-minute documentary film. In class, students will workshop every project through all the stages of production and discuss the general stylistic approach of each film. An understanding of historical and aesthetic issues that have shaped the development of documentary film will comprise a significant part of the course. Students will participate in various dynamic feedback exercises, which will encourage intellectual and artistic investment in each other's projects. A collaborative spirit of participation and discussion is essential as students engage with each student's work and collectively develop critical viewing skills.
Senior Thesis I,II (4,4)
This two-semester culminating filmmaking workshop provides the framework and opportunity for senior B.F.A. film students to write, produce, direct, and edit an 8- to 12-minute short thesis film. In this class, students will workshop every aspect of this project with student feedback. In the final semester, students will present their latest cut to faculty members for a thesis review panel. By the end of the semester, students will have produced, directed, and edited a short film that can be submitted to film festivals.