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Curriculum

The Filmmaking program is a professional degree with a curriculum designed to prepare graduates through a solid understanding and mastery of the expertise required to enter professional practice. The Department of Filmmaking is committed to providing students with a film production and film business education that fills the needs of today’s motion picture industry, and to prepare them for tomorrow’s convergence of social media, Internet, television and cinema. Our aim is to inspire filmmakers to develop and create powerful stories, both fiction and documentary, that will become part of the global discourse of cinema.



Film Business

FILM 304 Pre-Production Planning
FILM 402 Film Marketing and Distribution
FILM 403 Pitching for Film, Television, and Entertainment
FILM 405 Business of Entertainment
FILM 490 Internship Requirement
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Film Business

FILM 304 Pre-Production Planning 3 Units

This course explores all aspects of preproduction planning for digital film production. Students assume the role of producer, developing production companies to take the concept from inception to completion, through the development phase of the filmmaking process. Students will pre-produce their Senior Thesis. Prerequisites: FILM 102 OR permission of instructor.

FILM 402 Film Marketing and Distribution 3 Units

Open to all majors. This course will examine film acquisitions, distribution, marketing and exhibition. Topics include buyers (i.e. studios/independents, distributors, exhibitors), genres that sell, how buyers select films, the importance of festivals and producer reps/sales agents, the negotiation process, contracts, deal terms, domestic/international marketplace, avoiding unscrupulous distributors, marketing, successful and failing marketing campaigns, film ratings, psychology of film trailers, market research, publicity, merchandising/product placement. The students will be given knowledge of the business of film, what sells and how to bring their films into the marketplace. The course will link filmmaking and distribution/marketing so that each student will understand and appreciate the interconnected qualities of the two disciplines. Prerequisite: WRIT 112 Advanced Writing; ECON 2xx; TECH 201, Future of digital Media; Filmmaking OR permission of instructor.

FILM 403 Pitching for Film, Television, and Entertainment 3 Units

Pitching is crucial in the digital filmmaking business. Pitching is the ability to accurately and engagingly convey the basic outline of your story to another person, verbally, in a very short time. It is not as easy as one would imagine. Working with experienced professionals, students will actually practice pitching in a mock real-world session. They will come up with characters and storylines (or use one of the treatments they developed in prior screenwriting classes), practice verbally pitching them, and will then pitch to the instructor, gaining feedback and comments to further the student’s skills. Portfolio: A complete pitch package. Prerequisites: FILM 304, Pre-Production Planning OR permission of instructor.

FILM 405 Business of Entertainment 3 Units

Business of Entertainment

FILM 490 Internship Requirement 3 Units

An on-the-job practicum in commercial settings in media, design, entertainment, and marketing firms. Work experience is complemented by academic requirements specified in a contract with the faculty advisor. Prerequisite: Filmmaking majors only.

Communication Design

ANIM 211 Storyboarding
GDES 116 Typography 1
X

Communication Design

ANIM 211 Storyboarding 3 Units

A studio course in storyboarding for animation. Emphasis on visual storytelling, story structure, character development, cinematic language, and drawing techniques used in storyboarding. Studio. Prerequisites: ANIM 100, Animation Principles or consent of instructor.

GDES 116 Typography 1 3 Units

An introduction to the fundamentals of typography, including its theory, practice, technology and history. Study of typographic vocabulary, anatomy, proportion, grids, hierarchy and legibility.  Analysis of typographic solutions and their impact on visual communications.  Studio.

Foundation

FOUN 102 Design and Color Elements 1
X

Foundation

FOUN 102 Design and Color Elements 1 3 Units

A practical and theoretical study of the formal elements and principles of design. Formal and relational properties of line, shape, form, value, and texture are studied. Studio exercises using various media explore concepts of balance, harmony, repetition, rhythm, scale, proportion, time and motion in 2-dimensional and 3-dimensional organizations. Studio.

Production

FILM 102 Beginning Digital Filmmaking
FILM 341 Intermediate Digital Filmmaking
FILM 441 Senior Thesis Project I: Production
FILM 442 Senior Thesis Project II: Advanced Post-Production
X

Production

FILM 102 Beginning Digital Filmmaking 4 Units

This course is a hands-on television production course that provides solid grounding in the technical and creative aspects of production. Students will conceptualize and develop group video projects and become familiar with digital non-linear editing techniques. Lecture. Prerequisite: WRIT 100, Academic Writing I. Portfolio Project: 2 short projects will be screened at semester end and judged by peers and faculty.

FILM 341 Intermediate Digital Filmmaking 4 Units

This course is intended to provide students with advanced video production experience. The student will learn industry terminology, crew production skills, and other professional aspects found in the media industry. The students will be encouraged to develop complex shooting and lighting assignments that will enhance their critical thinking skills. Students will fill skilled positions within the crew. Lecture. Prerequisites: WRIT 112, Academic Writing II, and FILM 104, Beginning Digital Filmmaking Filmmaking OR permission of instructor. Portfolio: Complete digital film project of 10 minute length, post-produced and burned to DVD. It will be critiqued and ranked by faculty and students.

FILM 441 Senior Thesis Project I: Production 4 Units

The senior thesis/project demonstrates both depth and sophistication in the major. A project or thesis proposal must be submitted and accepted to enroll in this course. This project may be cross-disciplinary. It is meant to serve as a portfolio item or as part of a demo reel. Project will be shot during this course and post-produced in Senior Thesis Project II. Prerequisites: FILM 304, Pre-Production Planning; FILM 341, Intermediate Digital Filmmaking.

FILM 442 Senior Thesis Project II: Advanced Post-Production 4 Units

Explores advanced practical and conceptual issues in editing images and sound in a digital production environment. The project shot in FILM 441 will be edited, color corrected, and outputted to various media. Double system production sound will be married to the visuals. New sound elements will be designed, added to the visuals, and a final mix created. This completes the Senior Thesis Project and is meant to serve as a portfolio item or as part of a demo reel. Prerequisite: FILM 441, Senior Thesis Project I.

Production Supporting Skills

FILM 106 The Actor’s Craft in Digital Film Production
FILM 201 Digital Video Editing
FILM 202 Beginning Screenwriting
FILM 203 Sound Recording and Digital Sound Editing
FILM 204 Cinematography
FILM 205 Production Design and Art Direction
FILM 306 Directing Actors for Digital Film Production
FILM 311 Advanced Screenwriting
FILM 342 Sound Design and Mixing
X

Production Supporting Skills

FILM 106 The Actor’s Craft in Digital Film Production 3 Units

This workshop course exposes students to the basic techniques of acting for the camera. It distinguishes the differing methods of acting for stage, television, and film. Students will prepare monologues, dialogs, and ensemble pieces. They will be required to act in projects for FILM 104, Introduction to Media Production. Lecture. Prerequisite: none.

FILM 201 Digital Video Editing 4 Units

Students will learn the basic elements of editing using non-linear digital video editing software. Emphasis will be placed on establishing continuity of direction, motion, time, and place. These techniques will be expanded into cutting for rhythm, timing, and storytelling. No experience required. Lecture and lab. Prerequisites: WRIT 111, Academic Writing I; FILM 102, Beginning Digital Filmmaking.

FILM 202 Beginning Screenwriting 3 Units

An introduction to the fundamentals of writing screenplays, using beat analysis techniques. Students will learn and put into practice the principles involved in conceiving theme, plot structure, characters and dialogue for a compelling cinematic story whether it be for features, television or internet, live action, or animation. Study includes analysis of selected classic and contemporary films together with their written screenplays and the sharing/critiquing of each other’s developing scripts. At the completion of the course, students will have written a detailed outline and a fully executed Act One for their own original screenplay or the complete script for a short to be produced in FILM 310. Lecture. Prerequisite: WRIT 111, Academic Writing I.

FILM 203 Sound Recording and Digital Sound Editing 3 Units

An in-depth practicum of recording double system sound for production with a focus on the recording and manipulating of sound to enhance visual communications. Students sharpen their skills in adapting standard recording tools to the requirements of video/film. The class encourages critical thinking about how sounds convey meaning and transform the meaning of the image. Pre-requisite: FILM 102, Beginning Digital Filmmaking.

FILM 204 Cinematography 3 Units

This course focuses on the visual aspects of digital video filmmaking. Students learn important concepts of cinematography including, how to operate and care for cameras and lenses; how to compose the image; lighting techniques; camera operating techniques including panning, tilting, zooming, booming, and dollying; controlling focus; controlling attention of the viewer; shooting to edit; creating camera reports; interfacing with the film labs and post houses; filters for lenses; exposure; and color balance. Prerequisite: FILM 102, Beginning Digital Filmmaking.

FILM 205 Production Design and Art Direction 3 Units

This course explores the aesthetic process for designing and/or choosing color schemes, costumes, makeup, set design, set dressings and decoration, props for both digital film production. Students will view and analyze classics of production design, then develop designs for advanced projects. Prerequisites: ANIM 211, Storyboarding andd FOUN 102, Design and Color Elements I; FILM 102, Beginning Digital Filmmaking, OR permission of instructor.

FILM 306 Directing Actors for Digital Film Production 4 Units

The student will produce and direct two scenes in class using competent, well-rehearsed actors cast and rehearsed by the student director for their roles. Students will be able to choose a script, hold auditions, cast it, rehearse the actors, and present a scene in class, along with a production package, including script notes, scene goals, character analysis, storyboard and shot list. Prerequisites: FILM 105, The Actor’s Craft; ANIM 211, Storyboarding, OR permission of instructor. Portfolio: Two videotaped scenes, post-produced and burned to DVD. These will be critiqued and ranked by faculty and students.

FILM 311 Advanced Screenwriting 3 Units

A seminar in which students work on individual scripting projects of substantial length, using class and instructor for critical analysis. This course may be used to develop either the Senior Thesis project or a feature length script. Portfolio: Finished script must be approved by faculty for development in FILM 304, Pre-Production Planning. Prerequisite: FILM 202, Beginning Screenwriting OR permission of instructor.

FILM 342 Sound Design and Mixing 3 Units

This course is intended to provide students with advanced post production experience. The student will learn industry terminology, crew production skills, and other professional aspects found in the media industry. The students will be encouraged to develop sound design assignments that will enhance their critical thinking skills about the use of sound in cinema. Students will mix Advanced Media Productions. Lecture. Prerequisites: WRIT 112, Academic Writing II, and FILM 104, Introduction to Media Production Filmmaking OR permission of instructor. Portfolio: Complete sound design and mix of digital film project of 10 minute length, burned to DVD. It will be critiqued and ranked by faculty and students.

History

FILM 101 Film History
FILM 104 Film History II
FILM 206 Social Documentary
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History

FILM 101 Film History 3 Units

Through lectures, discussions and analyses of screenings of films and film clips, this course will offer a chronology of the development of both the artistic elements in the narrative motion picture—exploring the film story as a natural progression of the storytelling tradition that has shaped scripture, poetry, drama and the novel throughout human history—and as a globe spanning business that has reshaped our perceptions of cultures, ethnic groups, and economic systems. Covers the period from 1890 to 1950. No pre-requisites.

FILM 104 Film History II 3 Units

Through lectures, discussions and analyses of screenings of films and film clips, this course will offer a chronology of the development of both the artistic elements in the narrative motion picture—exploring the film story as a natural progression of the storytelling tradition that has shaped scripture, poetry, drama and the novel throughout human history—and as a globe-spanning business that has reshaped our perceptions of cultures, ethnic groups, and economic systems. Covers the period from 1950 to present and examines other media of mass entertainment such as TV, VHS tapes, DVDs, cable TV, satellite TV, and streaming on the internet. No prerequisites.

FILM 206 Social Documentary 3 Units

This course will focus on the ways documentaries both report on and influence culture looking at the specific processes of persuasion. A variety of theoretical perspectives will be used to untangle the meanings inherent in texts presented as entertainment so that their complexities and cultural logic become visible and subject to critique. Students will consider how such documentaries have influenced their own lives and those of others through the mechanisms of popular culture. Prerequisite: WRIT 111 or high school AP English with passing grade.