Undergraduate Courses (list)

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