Fall Course Guide

Courses in Film and Video Studies (Division 368)

Fall Term, 1998 (September 8-December 21, 1998)

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200. Introduction to Film, Video and Television Production. (3). (CE). Laboratory fee ($50) required.
This course will provide students with a basic introduction to hands-on production in film, video, and television. Pre-production, production, and post-production (from basic script form to directing to editing) are all covered, and the differences as well as the similarities of these three related media are explored. Cost:2 WL:2 (Ching, Rayher, Sarris)
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236/RC Hums. 236. The Art of the Film. (4). (HU). Laboratory fee ($45) required.
This course examines the dramatic and psychological effects of the elements and techniques used in film making and television, and some of the salient developments in film's artistic and technological history. This course provides students with the basic tools and methods for film appreciation and study. Students write five two-page exercises, a seven-page analysis of a current movie, and a final exam. A lab fee of $50.00 is assessed to pay for the film rentals. (H. Cohen)
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300. Filmmaking I. Film-Video 200. (3). (Excl). Laboratory fee required.
This is the introductory 16mm motion picture production course. This laboratory-workshop course is designed to give students a solid understanding of how film technique can be used to communicate ideas in narrative, documentary, and experimental expression. Working in small groups, students script, shoot and edit exercises built around these three types of film. In creating their short motion pictures, students learn master-shot/coverage procedures, screen direction continuity, and artificial and available lighting techniques. Lectures and exercise critiques engage students in theoretical/aesthetic discussions of the relationship between film idea and film form. Evaluation: production assignments, midterm test, final project. Text: Cinematography by Kris Malkiewicz. Cost:4 WL:2 (Beaver)
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301. Video Art I. Film-Video 200. (3). (Excl). Laboratory fee required.
This course is designed to introduce students to the terminology, aesthetics, and methods of single-camera video production. Using Super-VHS equipment, students will learn the techniques of single-camera videomaking including pre-production, production, and post-production. Students design and produce video projects in a variety of genres, including narrative, documentary and experimental. Evaluation will be based on production projects and scripts and participation in class discussion and critique. This course is designed to teach students to analyze the relationship between technique and content in video production and to allow students to explore the creative potential of the video medium. Limited to 20 students, with preference given to film and video concentrators. Cost:2 WL:2 (Ching)
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302. Television Studio I. Film-Video 200. No credit granted to those who have completed or are enrolled in Comm. 421. (3). (Excl). Laboratory fee ($35) required.
This course is designed to introduce students to the terminology, aesthetics, and methods of multi-camera television studio production. Students will learn the techniques of multi-camera production, including scripting, directing, and practical operation of studio equipment and will gain hands-on experience in all studio crew positions. Students will be assigned a series of directing exercises with increasing complexity and will learn to direct various types of studio productions. Evaluation is based on completion of these studio projects, participation in studio and class critiques, short diagnostic quizzes, and one short paper. The goal of this course is to teach students to analyze the relationship between technique and content in the shaping of television programs. The course will meet in LSA Television Studio, located at 400 Fourth Street. Students should plan their schedules to allow for travel time. Cost:1 WL:2 (Sarris)
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310. Screenwriting. Film-Video 200. Completion of the introductory composition requirement. (3). (Excl). Laboratory fee required.
This course teaches students to write a feature-length screenplay in acceptable format. Students will learn to develop an idea first into a written "concept," then into a "treatment," "step outline," and finally into a full script. The class will focus on such subjects as screenplay structure, plot and subplots, characterizations, shots, scene, sequence, dialogue, thinking visually, and soundtrack. Students will also learn the importance of rewriting their work. As part of the process, the class will study select screenplays, then view the films which were made from these scripts. Students will also read and discuss each other's work. Given this "workshop" approach, attendance is critical. Students can expect to write between five and ten pages a week. Cost:2 WL:2 (Burnstein, Staff)
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350. The History of American Film. (3). (HU). Laboratory fee ($35) required.
This course is required for concentrators in the Program in Film and Video Studies, but is open to all students. The course will trace the history of American film from the earliest days of the kinematograph and the Nickelodeon to movies in the age of video, with concerns both for the contributions of individual filmmakers as well as the determining contexts of modes of production and distribution. The primary emphasis will be on the Hollywood narrative film, but some attention will be paid to independent cinema movements. The course aims to develop a sense of the continuing evolution of American film, in its internal development, in its incorporation of new technologies, and in its responses to other national cinemas. Films by the following directors, among others, will be screened: D.W. Griffith, King Vidor, Buster Keaton, Ernst Lubitsch, Howard Hawks, Orson Welles, Alfred Hitchcock, John Ford, Blake Edwards, and John Cassavetes. Students will attend three hours of lectures and discussion as well as view two or three hours of film each week. They will write a series of short papers and take a midterm and final examination. Cost:3 WL:1 (Paul)
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370. Television History. (3). (HU). Laboratory fee ($35) required.
This course traces the development of television from the medium's historical, industrial, and technological roots in radio to the advent of new audiences, technologies, and forms in the 1990s. Addressing television as a global phenomenon, we will investigate television's institutions, structures, and programming from various perspectives in order to understand television's role in mass culture of the late twentieth century. Cost:3 WL:1 (Ohmer)
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399. Independent Study. Permission of instructor. (1-4). (Excl). Does not count toward film-video concentration requirements. Laboratory fee required. (INDEPENDENT). May be repeated for credit.
Independent study on a subject to be determined by student in conjunction with a faculty member. Must be approved by Program in term prior to enrollment. In exceptional cases, students can petition for enrollment during current term.
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400. Filmmaking II. Film-Video 300 or equivalent experience in filmmaking and permission of instructor. (3). (Excl). Laboratory fee required.
This is an advanced 16mm motion picture production course. The primary goal of this course is to familiarize students with dramatic film production from interpreting the screenplay through shooting, editing, and post-production. The relationship of these activities to aesthetic development being the fundament of the course, and the basis of its connection to Film Studies. You will have access to a state-of-the-art Panaflex 16mm camera in addition to standard production equipment. Students work in small groups to produce a substantial sync-sound final project, as well as participating in a large in-class dramatic production (collaboration with Theatre and Drama students). Evaluation: participation in in-class projects, production assignments, final project. Cost:4 WL:2 (Rayher)
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405. Computer Animation I. Film-Video 200, and permission of instructor. (3). (Excl). Laboratory fee required.
This animation course will investigate and exercise the basic concepts of Macromedia Director. It is a hands-on beginning level course that will explore the mechanics of computer generated 2-D animation, including the integration of sound, motion, and basic interactive programming. Fundamentals of the perception of motion over time, rotoscoping, storyboarding, and final output options of finished animations. Students should have a basic working knowledge of Macintosh illustration and paint programs. Cost:3 WL:2 (Farley)
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406. Computer Animation II. Film-Video 405 or equivalent experience with video production, and permission of instructor. (3). (Excl). Laboratory fee required.
This advanced class explores the theories and applications of interactive animation design. Individual student projects are developed using Macromedia Director along with other software tools such as Adobe Photoshop and Macromedia SoundEdit 16. Graphics, sound, and interactivity are utilized to create highly conceptual non-linear environments. Through critical analysis of both student assignments and professional works, we will investigate the success and failure of various types of interactivity to communicate with an audience. Cost:2 WL:2 (Kinnen)
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410. Screenwriting II. Film-Video 310. (3). (Excl). Laboratory fee ($35) required. May be repeated for a total of six credits.
Students will learn to cast a critical eye on their own first drafts by analyzing other class members' screenplays. Working in teams, students will break down screenplays in terms of structure, story logic, character development, character relationships, dialogue, visuals, and theme. Using feedback from their fellow students and instructor, students will strive to fix the problems in their own individual screenplays. A major rewrite and polish will be required. Please note: A maximum of twenty students will be admitted to this course. Students will be selected based on the quality of their original screenplays and/or their Screenwriting I instructor's recommendation. Other factors being equal, preference will be given to senior concentrators in film and video.
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412/English 412. Major Directors. (3). (HU). Laboratory fee ($35) required. May be repeated for a total of nine credits.
See English 412. (Freedman)
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414. Film Theory and Criticism. (3). (Excl). Laboratory fee ($35) required.
This is primarily a reading course designed to provide the student with an overview of how people through the twentieth century have thought about film. Theories of cinema offer a philosophical approach to understanding film as an art form. Starting with Hugo Munsterberg and Vachel Lindsay in the 1910s, students will read a wide range of theoretical approaches as they proceed through this 100 year history. We will compare and contrast the viewpoints of influential thinkers on film such as Eisenstein and Bazin, as well as analyze recent commentary that takes up questions regarding film as a representation of culture, as a medium for narrating stories, as a source of psychological fascination, and as a technologically unique process. This course is required for concentrators in the program, but is open to all students with some background in film. Requirements include several papers and a final exam. Cost:3 WL:1 (von Moltke)
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420. Documentary Film. (3). (Excl). Laboratory fee ($35) required.
The documentary form runs throughout the history of filmmaking from the first actualities to our present networked video. The documentary's prominence has been intermittent, but it has enjoyed periods of considerable popularity in some places and at some times, like WWII, the U.S. in the 1960s, etc. It has developed its own genres, formative traditions, theoretical reflections and aesthetic criteria, as well as supporting institutions of production, distribution, and exhibition. This course treats nonfiction cinema in a rough chronological order and touches upon the major moments and movements. Special emphasis, however, is placed on the development of documentary form, the claims it makes in representing the world, its role in societies, and its relation to ideology. In this sense, the course is not a historical survey designed to teach things about documentaries although it will expose you to a wide range of impulses and styles, from propaganda to ethnographic films to the evening news. We will instead develop rigorous ways to think about the documentary form. Evaluation is based on written assignments and a final exam. (Nornes)
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441. National Cinemas. Film-Video 360. (3). (Excl). Laboratory fee ($50) required. May be repeated for a total of six credits.
An in-depth exploration of the evolution and forms of a specific national or regional cinema in terms of its stylistic, socio-political, economic, and technological dimensions. Close study of the development of a cinema (e.g., Japanese, Eastern European, British) or of a film movement, e.g., Italian Neorealism, German Expressionism, French New Wave.

Section 001 Japanese Cinema. For Fall Term, 1998, this section is offered jointly with Japanese 475.001. (Nornes)

Section 002 The Films of Rainer Werner Fassbinder. For Fall Term, 1998, this section is offered jointly with German 330.001.

Section 003 Latin/o Film Across the Americas: Currents and Crosscurrents. This course examines the concept of "national cinema" through an analysis of the relationship between Latin American and United States Latino cinema in both its Hollywood and independent modes. The class will re-examine the notion of film as a register of borders cultural, economic, geographic, ethnic, and aesthetic as well as look at distinctive features of cinemas of the Americas that strive for a national identity.
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455. Topics in Film Studies. (3). (Excl). Laboratory fee ($35) required. May be repeated for a total of nine credits.
Section 001 Psychology and Film.
Film was born in 1895 at the same time that Freud was putting together his theory of dreams. For the past hundred years film and psychology have impacted significantly on our culture while also responding to one another instinctively and tellingly. Film criticism frequently concerns itself with an analysis of character. Film scholars and psychologists often involve themselves in the subject of creativity especially as it applies to auteur filmmakers. Perhaps most impressive has been the steady amount of theorizing on the psychological experience of the audience at the cinema. This class will examine all of these issues and through them try to understand the nature of the filmic medium. The class will explore the applicability of such schools of thought as cognitive psychology, psychoanalytic theory, social psychology, and feminist theory to the cinema. The class will read some basic theoretical texts in both film and psychology while viewing a variety of film genres and types as the basis for its study. Cost:2 WL:1 (Konigsberg)

Section 002 American Film Comedy. "Dying is easy, comedy is hard," runs an old theatrical adage. This course aims to explore what is so hard about producing films that seem so easy, films that are among the most popular and, arguably, the most significant films produced by the American film industry. American film comedy is foremost an art form of performance, drawing on the distinctive skills of great clown-actors as well as theatrical conventions that range from the ancient Greeks to the popular theater of the turn-of-the-century. This course will look at the performance traditions of American film comedy by exploring the most common types of screen comedy: slapstick, romantic comedy, sex farce, satire, and parody. Films by Charles Chaplin, Buster Keaton, Ernst Lubitsch, Billy Wilder, Preston Sturges, Jerry Lewis, Blake Edwards, Mel Brooks, and others will be shown. Work for the course will require some reading in comic theory, as well as analytical essays and in-class exams. Cost:2 WL:1 (Paul)

Section 003 Orson Welles in Global Perspective. A critical survey of the theatrical, radio, and film oeuvre of Orson Welles that will explore his prolific activity as actor-director-producer over fifty years in a range of national and artistic contexts. Close analysis of plays produced for the Federal Theater Project in the thirties; radio and film work for the Coordinator of Inter-American Affairs during World War II; film adaptations of Shakespeare's plays; and experimentations in film noir will permit an appreciation of Welles' innovations in the construction of visual and aural space; his reflections on modernity and cultural identity; and his committed involvement in national and international politics. Throughout, Welles will be presented not only as a prominent auteur whose work exhibits a distinct array of stylistic and thematic concerns; but as a multitalented, free-spirited artistic collaborator whose influence can be noted in American public life as well as in the work of several generations of filmmakers. (Benamou)
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480. Internship. Concentration in Film and Video Studies. (2). (Excl). Offered mandatory credit/no credit. May not be included in a concentration in Film/Video. (EXPERIENTIAL). May be repeated for a total of six credits.
This course is restricted to Film/Video concentrators who work, under careful supervision, in some part of the film or video industry. Students will work in some aspect of preproduction, production, or postproduction, in the creative or business areas of film and video, documenting their experiences and learning in a journal that must be submitted for final credit.
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489. Senior Screenwriting Tutorial. F/V 410 and permission of the instructor. Open to Dramatic Writing concentrators only. (3). (Excl). Laboratory fee ($35) required.
This course is restricted to students in the Dramatic Writing concentration. Coursework consists of independent study in writing and refining a screenplay under the supervision of a faculty member.
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490. Senior Honors Research. Acceptance as an Honors Candidate in Film and Video Studies. (1-4). (Excl). Laboratory fee required. (INDEPENDENT). May be repeated for a total of four credits.
This course is restricted to students taking Honors in the Program in Film and Video Studies. Students work independently with a faculty member in the Program on a thesis or on a film or video project during their senior year.
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500. Directed Study in Film and Video. Permission of instructor. (1-4). (Excl). Laboratory fee required. (INDEPENDENT). May be repeated for a total of six credits.
Advanced course permitting intensive study of film and/or video subject under supervision of a Film/Video faculty member.
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