Fall 2017 Undergraduate Courses
View FMA course descriptions.
For descriptions of specific courses, click the course number.
*For easy reference, because of changes in course offerings, we note which FMA courses are required and which are electives for this semester.
|REQUIRED: FMA 2001-01||INTRO TO FILM & MEDIA ARTS||3:00-4:20||MW||APPLIN, M|
|REQUIRED: FMA 2001-02||INTRO TO FILM & MEDIA ARTS||9:00-10:20||TTH||OWUSU-BOATENG, V|
REQUIRED: FMA 2001-03
|INTRO TO FILM & MEDIA ARTS||1:30-2:50||TTH||ZEMEL, D|
|REQUIRED: FMA 3001-01||FILM PRODUCING||3:00-5:50||M||PITRE, G|
PRACTICE ELECTIVE: FMA 3010-01
PRACTICE ELECTIVE: FMA 3011-01
|HIST. ELECTIVE: FMA 3502-01||ITALIAN CINEMA||6:00-8:50||M||BONGIORNI, K|
|HIST. ELECTIVE: FMA 3503-01||JAPANESE MASTERS||6:00-8:50||W||BARTON, K|
|HIST. ELECTIVE: FMA 3504-01||LATIN AMERICAN CINEMA||12:00-1:20||TTH||MAYER-GARCIA, E|
|HIST. ELECTIVE: FMA 3505-01||SLASHER FILMS||4:30-5:50||MW||PULLIAM, J|
|CHIN 2070-01||CHINESE CINEMA||3:00-5:50||TH||ZHOU, G|
|ENGL 2231-01||READING FILM||10:30-11:50||TTH||MACIAK, P|
|ENGL 2231-02||READING FILM||12:30-1:20||MWF||WEILL, C|
|ENGL 2231-03||READING FILM||9:30-10:20||MWF||NOHNER, L|
|CMST 2012-01||INTRO TO FILM||1:30-2:50||TTH||SUCHY, P|
|CMST 3107-01||RHET CONTEMP MEDIA||10:30-11:20||MWF||BUTCHER, J|
|CMST 4312-01||DOCUMENTARY FILM & VIDEO||12:00-1:20||TTH||SUCHY, P|
|ENGL 2009-01||WRITING SCREENPLAYS||3:30-6:20||W||BUCH, J|
|ENGL 2009-02||WRITING SCREENPLAYS||6:00-8:50||T||KORNHAUSER, M|
|ENGL 4000-01||WRITING FOR TV||4:30-5:50||MW||KORNHAUSER, M|
|ENGL 4009-01||ADV SCREENWRITING WK||3:30-6:20||M||GODSHALL, Z|
|ACTIVIST FILMS||10:30-11:50||TTH||CATANO, J|
Of Related Interest
|REL 3010-01||JEWS AND HOLLYWOOD||11:30-12:20||MWF||RETHELYI, M|
The following are course descriptions provided by the faculty teaching FMA courses.
The purpose of this course is to help students develop an appreciation for the variety of forms of audio-visual media by understanding the processes by which those forms are created, how they differ and how each accomplishes its own goals. It is also the purpose of this course to encourage students to think about the role of film, television and radio in society.
In this introductory course, students will study various film movements from around the world [hence, the focus is on global cinema], learn basic terminology of film analysis, discuss the social, political, cultural and historical influences of films in the representation of cultures and peoples, and practice writing skills through film analysis and interpretation.
This course is designed to introduce students to basic film history, theory, and production by letting them engage in all three elements of film and video work. We will view, write about, and create films from 3 different genres and periods: early 20th-century Méliès special effects narratives, later to mid-20th century film noir style, and close-of-the century film essays. All 3 forms continue today, and connections between them and contemporary works will be considered. No pre-existing film production skills are assumed or required.
This course provides students with an in-depth, intensive understanding of the business and managerial side of filmmaking, from story idea through development, casting, and production including on-set procedures, then finally distribution, each step as it pertains variously to Hollywood movies, independent films, shorts, TV, video games, commercials, documentaries. and new media. Topics covered include budgeting, negotiating, contracts, insurance and legal issues, copyright and clearance, raising money, scheduling, and running a film set. Instructor Glen Pitre has beaucoup experience producing both for Hollywood and indie, features and TV, narrative and docs, in the U.S. and overseas.
In-depth study of the role editing plays in the filmmaking process. Students gain hands-on experience working with non-linear editing software like Final Cut Pro or Adobe Premiere to assemble their own YouTube videos, short films (narrative, documentary, music video or commercial), and critical video essays. Conversations, readings and films are used to analyze and express how editing shapes our understanding of moving-image texts (montage, continuity, narrative, etc.). The first half of the semester we will explore the form and function of editing across various national, historical and generic contexts. The second half will be dedicated to hands-on learning where students will dive deeper into digital technology and gain insight into the editor's role within the context of collaborative production.
With this hands-on introduction to the art and practice of cinematography, students interested in motion picture camera technique, either as professional specialty or as one of several crucial disciplines of screen storytelling, will learn the principles, procedures and equipment that go into shooting video and film. Emphasis will be on how to control and manipulate lighting, framing, movement, and image qualities to shape mood, convey emotion, tell story, and create a coherent look. Students will learn, practice, and refine skills with cameras and other gear through formal instruction and considerable hands-on practice as classes deliver a nuts-and-bolts approach to narrative, commercial, and documentary cinematography as currently practiced.
This course offers an introduction to the Classical Master Directors of Japanese cinema (1920s-1970s) with close attention to the language, style of film, and film-historical and socio-cultural contexts. An analysis and appreciation of the major works of three distinct masters will be explored, and insight to the political and cultural era in which they were created is discussed. Through secondary readings, lectures, and discussions students will critically examine how Japanese cinema as an institution both responds to and intervenes in the social, cultural, and political history of Japan.
No previous classes in Japanese culture or language are required, and all readings, films and discussions are in English.
In this film history and criticism course, students will be introduced to the cinema of several Latin American countries, including Brazil, Cuba, Columbia, Chile, Mexico, Argentina, and, of course, the United States. We will study film as a response to social and political change, revolution, and state-instituted violence. Through weekly responses, class discussion, lab/practice-based experiments, and a final film analysis project, students reconsider their own practice in relation to the work of politically-engaged filmmakers.
The slasher film is a subgenre of horror that has been derided as misogynist because the killer generally targets women who threaten his fragile sense of masculinity. The most graphic scenes are reserved for the death of his victims who are sexually active, while a lone virginal woman survives. In fact, the genre has evolved considerably since its beginnings in 1960, to one that illuminates the violence that young women negotiate in order to become strong and autonomous adults. The slasher film then allows viewers to consider why this violence is normalized and how it is used to subordinate women.
This course is intended to serve as an introduction to the new Chinese cinema from the early 1980s to the present. No prior knowledge of the Chinese language, Chinese history and culture is required. The representative directors under discussion include Chen Kaige, Zhang Yimou, Tian Zhuangzhuang, Ang Lee and others. We will explore themes, styles, and socio-historical contexts of the Chinese cinema concerned. The course format combines lecture, discussion and weekly screening of a Chinese film.
This course helps students develop a deeper and more nuanced understanding of how moving images communicate meaning and introduces students to the various languages of film and the vocabulary of terms used in filmmaking and film studies. The course develops an appreciative and critical capacity for watching films and analyzing how they communicate, as well as a functional understanding of the technological elements of filmmaking. Students will gain confidence and experience working with digital video technology and develop their ability to communicate with moving images and sound through course projects.
This course will focus on the medium of television–specifically, television situation comedies. More specifically, we will evaluate and analyze television sitcoms theme songs from the 1960s to the present (with a brief exploration of the 1950s). We will use various methods of rhetorical criticism to help us understand how theme songs deliver powerful, compacted rhetorical statements concerning such cultural aspects as family, race relations, the anti-war movement, women’s liberation, social and class distinction, and cultural identity.
Through readings, screenings, and discussion, we will become acquainted with approaches to documentary film and video in theory and practice. Our focus will be on the ethical, rhetorical, and creative choices that form conventions and modes documentary filmmakers have developed in their practice and critics have used to describe and analyze how documentaries communicate. We will experiment with some of these choices by working on our own short documentary projects. No prior filmmaking experience is necessary; the point of the projects is to learn about the choices available to documentary filmmakers and the significance of these in the active mode.
Students will learn the fundamentals of writing a feature film script by writing a series of short scripts and the first act (with the rest of the script outlined) of a feature script. In addition, films will be watched and studied, in and out of class, culminating in a short critical paper or film. Other forms of writing, such as collaborating with writing partners, writing for web-series and television, may be discussed and/or practiced. Students will workshop their scripts and critique each other’s work.
This course examines how femininity and fear intersect in contemporary witch films. We will examine how witches in film often articulate gendered cultural anxieties and crises. Students will explore these anxieties and crises as they relate to issues of gender, sexuality, and feminism. The course will pay close attention to the ways witch films represent and reconfigure notions of female sexuality and gender and the ways they reinforce and/or challenge social norms.
Students will learn how to write narrative television series and what it is like being in a writers’ room. In this workshop, students will write their own series pilot, bible, and break the story/character arc of a ten-episode season. They will also compile a look book for their series. In addition, we will simulate a writers’ room using a web series as well viewing various television series for analysis. Students will critique and read each others work. Prerequisite: ENGL 2009
On the documentary spectrum, activist films lie between journalistic/objective documentaries and autobiographical ‘personal essay’ forms. ‘Editorial’ in stance, activist documentaries reveal their filmmakers’ opinions--and sometimes the filmmakers themselves. Practitioners include Kopple, Morris, Minh-ha, Folman, Moore, Mohamadi. The course will examine a range of activist films—some subtle, some blatantly opinionated. We will view examples, study styles, write about some and produce our own. No skills in video production are needed. A desire to have your voice heard—and to hear those of others—is a plus. Students will be asked to suggest films to study.
This Italian/FMA course is designed to introduce students to Italian culture through film. It traces the history of Italian cinema from Neo-Realism, beginning in WWII to the early 2000s, and exposes some of the cultural and cinematic exchange between Italian and American cinemas. Through readings and film (including some American Austrian films), students will learn to see film in a national-cultural context, as cultural expression, and in a global and aesthetic context that crosses national boundaries and epochs. Students will develop critical analytical skills through presentations, class discussions, and assignments. Regular reading and viewing assignments will serve as the basis for discussion.