English -­ Film Studies

English -­ Film Studies

01:351:314 Documentary Filmmaking

  • Course Description:

    In this course, documentary films are understood to be character driven non-fiction narratives created from the selecting, organizing and presenting of factual material. This course focuses on the importance of story-telling in documentaries and teaches students about the various filmic techniques, elements and choices needed to create their own successful short film.  Students will learn how to conduct an interview, film additional visual material and b roll, utilize archival footage, and layer sound, music and image into a compelling film.

01:351:308 Experimental Filmmaking

  • Course Description:

    This filmmaking course has a two-pronged approach. The first is to give students hands-on filmmaking experience while learning the fundamental components of experimental film production: use of camera, lighting, editing, special effects and other techniques. The second is to screen and analyze a variety of experimental films.
    The Pre-Production component focuses on the following elements: preparation/research, budgeting, choosing/using materials (camera, film, etc.), pre-visualizing (benefits/pitfalls), ordering ideas, using still photography and video, location selection (inside/outside), scripting shots, costumes/sets, cast/crew selection, lighting, weather, patience, shooting economically, etc. Throughout the course, students will develop their own image and text collage-notebooks which will assist them in realizing their own artistic and cinematic visions. Creating these collage-notebooks, or abstract storyboards, trains the students on how to assemble disparate images and information into a sequential whole (cinema).
    The Production component primarily focuses on learning how to use and maintain the Super 8mm film and Digital cameras. The goal of this section is to teach students how to focus correctly on still and moving images while maintaining good shot composition (making sure everything in the frame is there for a reason). Students also will be instructed on how to read the camera’s light meter, how to do in-camera editing (pixilation) and other special effects, and how to transcend the limitations of one’s resources. The Post-Production component primarily focuses on editing. Each student will be instructed on how to physically assemble various pieces of film using a viewer, tape splices, and a film splicer as well as digitally. Students will also be taught how to catalog and organize their footage to facilitate the editing process. Finally, we will also discuss the film industry and the difficulties (both economic and ideological) of becoming an experimental filmmaker.
    Warning: some films may contain nudity, sexual situations, violence, profanity, substance abuse, and disturbing images.

  • Instructor(s): ALBERT GABRIEL NIGRIN

01:351:308 Playwriting

  • Course Description:

    Students study different playwriting genres throughout the course, and the course features thoughtful reading choices that reflect in-class discussions. Dynamic, visceral, exciting. This is what writing for the stage and live performance are all about. In this class, you will explore, character, setting, site-specific work, and the poetry of writing imaginatively and without fear for live presentation. Whether you're interested in theatre, dance, or music, this workshop is designed to creatively unleash your imagination and explore the unique challenges of thinking about and making live work.

01:354:385 Theories of Women and Film

  • Course Description:

    This course will develop a feminist analysis of the cinema from the dual perspective of individual films themselves and their social/cultural context. Using examples from both Hollywood and alternative feminist cinema, we'll trace the development of feminist film criticism and theory, from the landmark articles of Claire Johnston and Laura Mulvey to the current work of Ginette Vincendeau and Mary Ann Doane, among others. We'll consider such issues as female authorship, the woman viewer, woman-as-spectacle and visual pleasure. Our concern will be to 1) construct a theory of the "female voice" in cinema, 2) define and interpret the function of the woman's image, and 3) understand the concept of sexual difference as a social concept and a phenomenon of the unconscious. Framing our analyses of filmmaking, film viewing, and films themselves will be the ongoing search for an "alternative language of desire." Films will include such Hollywood classics as Stella Dallas, Marnie, and Duel In The Sun, and more recent feminist films such as Vagabond, Daughters Of The Dust, and Jeanne Dielmann. Attendance at both lectures and weekly screenings is required; a midterm, a final, and a term paper.

  • Instructor(s): Sandy Flitterman-Lewis

01:351:203 Screenwriting for Film

  • Course Description:

    Screenwriting for Film focuses on a more in-depth look at cinema scripting as a craft. In addition to learning how to write for film, students will read film scripts and screen selected works. Instructors also hold first-hand knowledge of the film industry, and bring their experiences directly into the classroom.