Program Requirements

COM FT 201: Screen Language: The Aesthetics, Grammar and Rhetoric of the Moving Image

4 credits

This course is designed to help students communicate through audio, still images and moving pictures. We will study how films and photographs of various kinds communicate ideas, tell stories, and convey artistic expression. Students will then be given many opportunities to demonstrate their own grasp of fundaments of communication and storytelling through images, sounds and montage. The aim of this course is not simply to reinforce existing rules but rather to test the validity of those norms. Accordingly, students will be asked both to employ and to violate conventions.

COM FT 310: Storytelling for Film & Television

4 credits

Required of all undergraduate students in Film & Television. An introduction to the art and craft of storytelling through the moving image. Particular emphasis will be given to writing short scripts. Topics covered include character development and narrative structure as it applies to shorts, features and episodic television.

And one of the following:

COM FT 250: Understanding Film

4 credits

Understanding Film will introduce students to key aesthetic aspects of film. Students will explore a range of styles and genres in film, including narrative and non-fiction forms, and dominant and alternative styles. Students will also study a variety of historical examples of theses different styles that illustrate the expressive possibilities of image and sound. Finally, students will learn to analyze and write about these formal elements, viewing both complete films and individual sequences.

COM FT 303: Understanding Television

4 credits

In this course we will examine the ways in which industrial factors and communication policies have shaped the medium that sits in 99% of U.S. homes. We will begin by examining television's roots in radio. The remainder of the course will be broken down into three stages of television history advanced by Rogers, Epstein and Reeves (2002). The first category is TVI- the period of three-network dominance. The next stage, TVII, is characterized by the rise of cable television and the decentering of the three networks. We will conclude the course by considering the current stage of television- TV III- in which the era of "on demand" has further destabilized traditional notions of content, audiences, producers, scheduling and technologies. In addition to tracing this development historically and thematically, we will confront it critically, analyzing the connections between power and money in the medium of television.

Additional Studies Requirement

Students who choose to take both FT 303 AND FT 250 do NOT need to select this additional studies course.

FOREIGN CINEMA STUDIES [Prereq: FT 250 (formerly FT360)]

If you take FT250 (but not FT303): Choose one film studies course with an international focus.*

COM FT 404: Asian Cinema

4 credits

Surveys important and influential films from India, Japan, mainland China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, and elsewhere in East Asia from the 1950s to the present, taking in the work of such directors as Satyajit Ray, Ozu, Mizoguchi, Kurosawa, Zhang Yimou, Tsai Ming-liang, and Wong Kar-wai. The course is designed to make students familiar with foundational styles of realism and fantasy in Asian film and with ways Asian films address changes and evolution in Asian culture and society. The course should help students understand certain traditions in Asian film, and prepare them to engage critically with the ever burgeoning, new, and compelling filmmaking that comes from this part of the world.

COM FT 458: International Masterworks

4 credits

Subjects vary with the instructor. Directors discussed include Carl Dreyer, Satyajit Ray, Sergei Eisenstein, V. I. Pudovkin, Jean Renoir, Rene Clair, Andrzej Wajda, Jean-Luc Godard, Michelangelo Antonioni, Federico Fellini, Ingmar Bergman, Akira Kurosawa, Bernardo Bertolucci, and Luis Buñuel.

COM FT 511: Davidcronenberg

4 credits

COM FT 513: Polish Cinema

4 credits

COM FT 547: HISTAVANTGARDE1

4 credits

COM FT 548: Antionionibergm

4 credits

COM FT 550: Scandinavian Cinema

4 credits

This course traces the major discourses that have developed around the Dogme'95 movement. The major focus of this class is to study the work, vision, influences and contribution of Lars Von Trier to the New Scandinavian Cinema and its assorted practitioners. We will attempt to perceive and critique Von Trier's vision as a site for understanding cultural dynamics of European and American Societies. The course is organized chronologically to structure and present the development of both Trier's work and evolvement of the Dogme 95' movement. Some of the readings are assigned around those concerns.

COM FT 576: Globalnewwaves

4 credits

TELEVISION STUDIES [Prereq: FT 303]

If you take FT303 (but not FT250): Choose one designated TV studies course.*

COM FT 520: Tv Theor & Crit

4 credits

COM FT 524: Golden Age of Television

4 credits

Course examines the extraordinary explosion of talent and creativity in live television's early days. It covers writers such as Paddy Chayefsky and Rod Serling, personalities like Edward R. Murrow, entertainers Sid Caesar, Milton Berle, Groucho Marx, Gertrude Berg, and Lucille Ball, live political broadcasts and blacklisting, and most significantly the great anthology series like Philco Television Playhouse, Studio One, Playhouse 90 which presented great and original American teleplays "Marty", "Requiem for a Heavyweight", "Patterns", "The Comedian", "The Defenders", and many more. Also covered are the great early TV directors John Frankenheimer, Alfred Hitchcock, Delbert Mann and actors who began their careers in television like Paul Newman, Ed Begley, and James Dean. We also look at the quiz show scandals and unique series like "The Twilight Zone." These live television shows (seen by kinescope) are of major importance in understanding the history of television.

COM FT 543: Television Situational Comedy

4 credits

The American television situation comedy has been an enormously popular and powerful art form. This course traces the growth of the sitcom genre from the beginnings in the early 1950's up to the present time and analyzes how American life has been influenced by it. We look at how sitcoms affected popular perception of working class, race, ethnicity, idealized family life and then the growth of different family structures, fantasy and war. We study how sitcoms initially portrayed women and then the emerging changes in response to the feminist movement. We analyze Norman Lear's series which talked about the real things Americans were saying but in the privacy of their homes and the revolution that his series created. Finally we examine anti-family satire and take a close look at contemporary single life, both straight and gay.

COM FT 552: Special Topics

4 credits

See the Department of Film and Televison for specifics.

COM FT 561: Television Drama

4 credits

Surveys the history of television drama from its "live" beginnings in the 1950s to contemporary taped and filmed series, mini-series, and specials. The critical evaluation of such forms as sitcoms, soap operas, and regularly scheduled dramatic series from the perspective of the producer, writer, and director. Lectures, screenings, writing reviews, and discussions.

COM FT 570: Uncensored TV: The rise of Original Scripted Series on Cable TV

4 credits

Using series like The Sopranos, Weeds, and Breaking Bad as case studies, this course will examine the current state of cable TV with regard to industry, "quality," genres, auteurs, and the so-called "post-network" era. Students will approach these cable series with a critical eye as they work to connect industry, political economy, and government regulation to issues of social class, television hierarchies, and artistry. Students will also emerge from the course with a thorough understanding of how to perform television-focused research and analysis.

Program Electives (choose five)

FILM & TV STUDIES

Complete list available on department website

COM FT 401: Romantic Comedies and Melodramas

4 credits

This class will view and discuss romantic comedies and domestic melodramas made in Hollywood in the 1930's and 1940's. these films were some of the most popular and culturally significant of their time, involving many of the era's best screenwriters and directors and most prominent stars. The films set standards for dialogue writing, rich characterization, film performance and story structure.

COM FT 457: American Masterworks

4 credits

Subjects vary with the instructor. Directors discussed include D. W. Griffith, Charlie Chaplin, Buster Keaton, King Vidor, Frank Borzage, Victor Fleming, Howard Hawks, Frank Capra, Alfred Hitchcock, John Ford, John Huston, Elia Kazan, George Cukor, Orson Welles, Robert Altman, John Cassavetes, and Woody Allen.

COM FT 506: Digital Game St

4 credits

COM FT 552: Special Topics

4 credits

See the Department of Film and Televison for specifics.

COM FT 554: Special Topics

4 credits

Details are available from the department of Film and Television. Topics and instructor vary each semester. Recent topics have included the films of John Cassavetes, Mike Leigh, and Rainer Fassbinder; the Blacklist; Low Brow Comedy.

COM FT 560: The Documentary

4 credits

Surveys the history of the documentary and the changes brought about by the advent of television. Examines the outlook for the documentary idea in national and international markets. Periodic highlighting of special areas such as the portrayal of war, historical events, drama-documentary, and propaganda. Students develop critical and professional skills. Lectures, screenings, discussions.

COM FT 561: Television Drama

4 credits

Surveys the history of television drama from its "live" beginnings in the 1950s to contemporary taped and filmed series, mini-series, and specials. The critical evaluation of such forms as sitcoms, soap operas, and regularly scheduled dramatic series from the perspective of the producer, writer, and director. Lectures, screenings, writing reviews, and discussions.

COM FT 569: Holocaust on Film

4 credits

Holocaust on Film examines the aesthetics of filmic texts which place the experience of the Holocaust at the center of their investigation.

MANAGEMENT/PRODUCING

COM FT 304: Film Industry

4 credits

A survey of current business trends in the motion picture industry. Focuses on script development; studio structure; agents, attorneys, and contracts; independent filmmaking; and distribution.

COM FT 325: Producing I

4 credits

An introductory course that takes the student through the various stages of production, beginning with concept and ending with full-fledged, camera-ready proposals. Students are introduced to issues of finance, scheduling and organization; they learn to keep budget and concept on track.

COM FT 428: Creating New Ideas With Existing Content

4 credits

Introduces students to the tools and techniques used to produce multi-platform content. Students learn multimedia concepts, elements, and production to extend the brands of properties and to attract new audiences. Training in the use of computer-based hardware and software for multimedia creation. 4 cr. Fall/spring

COM FT 508: Line Producing for Undergrads

4 credits

Any film- even a very short one- requires the making of thousands of decisions. How long do we shoot? How many mouths do we feed? How much will the props cost? This course offers systems for arriving at intelligent answers to these myriad questions. In covering logistics of getting a media production made, the course addressed how to catalog all the practical considerations that go into a production, how to schedule a shoot, how to budget a production and how to plan for distribution of the final product.

COM FT 517: Television Management

4 credits

The responsibilities that television and multi-platform content managers face. Research, programming, revenue, regulatory issues and ethics are all explored. Lectures, readings, case studies, and visits from professionals develop the student's understanding of a variety of managerial functions and the challenges these functions entail. 4 cr. Fall/spring

COM FT 525: Creative Producing II

4 credits

Course takes the student through the process of creating a fictional program or film. The course covers comedy and drame series and movies-of -the week from development through production and post-production. The student learns the complexities of the industry, the layers of decision makers to be dealt with, the place of agents, the nature of negotiation, and the fundamentals of hiring crews, scheduling and budgeting. 4cr, 2nd sem.

COM FT 545: Television and Childhood

4 credits

Examines the important role played by television in child development and culture, with special reference to the provision and content of programming for children of different ages, from preschool to adolescence.

COM FT 566: Special Topics

4 credits

Topics and instructor vary each semester. Recent topics have included Television Production Hothouse and the Avid Film Composer.

WRITING [PREREQ: FT310]

COM FT 411: Screenwriting II

4 credits

Writing the feature-length narrative film; creation of characters, narrative outline; writing the first draft of an original screenplay.

COM FT 412: Screenwriting III

4 credits

Writing an original (second) feature-length screenplay (a first draft and set of revisions required). Further study of dramatic structure: tone and rhythm.

COM FT 512: Writing Episodic Drama

4 credits

Deals with the process and techniques of writing a dramatic series for commercial network and cable television. Students will select a current prime-time drama, develop A, B, and (possibly) C stories for an episode, and complete a Writer's Draft and polished First Draft, suitable for a Writer Portfolio. Lectures will include the life of a working television writer, one-hour story, structure, genres, and character development. We will view and analyze TV series from the past and present, and focus on proper drama script format, character development and voice.

COM FT 514: Advanced Writing for Television

4 credits

Prereq FT 512 or FT 522. Explores the development and creation of the Television Series Pilot. Each student will pitch a concept, write a treatment and a finished pilot script for an original series, either comedy or drama. Emphasis on premise, story structure, characterization and originality. Lectures, screenings, script readings, written assignments and critiques. 4 cr. 2nd sem.

COM FT 522: Writing Television Situation Comedy Scripts

4 credits

Intense writing workshop learning how to write professional sitcom scripts. Elements of character, dramatic story structure, how comedy is created, how scenes build and progress a story, formal story outlines, dialogue, the business of sitcom writing, pitching, arc, comedic premise are analyzed. The class becomes a sitcom writing team for a current hit series and writes an original class spec script to understand the process of group writing employed on most sitcoms. Also, students write their own personal spec scripts with individual conferences with the professor.

COM FT 542: Advanced Screenwriting

4 credits

The student will write a first-draft screenplay and two sets of revisions. 4cr. 1st sem.

COM FT 552: Special Topics

4 credits

See the Department of Film and Televison for specifics.

PRODUCTION

COM FT 352: Film-Style Video Production

4 credits

Covers practical application of film production, including script writing, production management, production, and post-production techniques. Theory and practice of digital production and non-linear post production. Short projects using digital video. Development of ideas and visual creation in a variety of genres.

COM FT 353: Production I

4 credits

An intensive course in all the fundamental aspects of motion picture production. Students learn to use cameras, sound recording equipment and editing software and then apply these skills to several short productions. The course emphasizes the language of visual storytelling and the creative interplay of sound and image.

COM FT 402: Production II-Digital

4 credits

Continuation of the study of digital field production and postproduction editing. Students develop, produce, direct, shoot, record, and edit longer-form, single-camera, location productions. Emphasis on the development of storytelling in narrative and nonfiction production.

COM FT 468: Production III - Film

4 credits

Students apply to the class as director, producer, cinematographer, editor or sound designer. Directors submit scripts for consideration. The film production faculty then selects eight directors, based on the scripts and the student?s previous work. Faculty then selects the producers, cinematographers, editors and sound designers based on their work in FT 403, their ability to work as a team, and their performance in other related classes. The eight directors form production teams to make eight thesis-quality films. Maximum running time for each film is fifteen minutes.

COM FT 502: Sound Design for Film and Television

4 credits

A comprehensive technical examination of the role of sound as an emotional motivator and major storytelling component in both fiction and nonfiction films. Covers location sound recording, acoustic theory, track building, foley and dialog replacement, and mix preparation, as well as music editing and composition. Introduces a variety of postproduction pathways and technologies, including current digital innovations in the field and in audio postproduction, and provides an ongoing workshop for solving editing and track building problems.

COM FT 504: Post production FX Editing

4 credits

This course teaches all aspects of video post production including window dubbing, rough cuts, A/B editing, non-linear editing, digital graphics, digital sound, and the integration of all of these processes and technologies that apply to the postproduction completion of video projects. Familiarity with Macintosh computers is desirable. Experience with video timecode editing is a necessity.

COM FT 505: Television Production Hothouse

4 credits

This is a class that operates as a student-run, client-driven production company. Projects include PSA's and web videos for local, national, and international non- profits. An application letter, due the week after fall and spring registration is required. GPA of 3.0 or higher. 4 credits only.

COM FT 507: Television Studio Production

4 credits

Continuation of television studio production and the development of those formats that are best suited to it. Emphasizes the creative use of studio technology. 4 cr, either sem.

COM FT 526: Advanced Directing

4 credits

Students learn all aspects of directing, with particular emphasis given to script analysis and working with actors. The director's involvement in blocking action, composing shots, managing the production process and editing are also covered. Acting experience is helpful but not required.

COM FT 527: Lighting

4 credits

An intensive combination of lecture, demonstration, and hands-on work in lighting. Film and video systems, from the camera to the transfer, are explained, explored, and used. Guest lecturers and field trips to production facilities and shooting locations are included. 4 cr, either sem.

COM FT 544: Documentary Production

4 credits

This course is designed to develop skills necessary for producing long-form documentaries. There is an emphasis on exploring new, more engaging forms of storytelling and a broad range of stylistic approaches. It covers the entire process: finding a topic, developing a story structure, conceiving a style, shooting, editing, and post-production. Students develop their own ideas and form small groups to produce them.

COM FT 551: Designing the Short Film

4 credits

This course explores the aesthetic and technical parameters of the short film format, with the goal of celebrating Short Film, as a genre in and of itself. 4cr. either sem.

COM FT 552: Special Topics

4 credits

See the Department of Film and Televison for specifics.

COM FT 553: Special Topics

4 credits

Topics and instructors vary each semester. Details are available from the Department of Film and Television. Recent offerings have included Writing Episodic Drama.

COM FT 555: The Narrative Documentary Practicum

4 credits

This practicum, designed for advanced film and television production students, focuses on the highly specialized filmmaking techniques used for the narrative documentary; that is, character-driven films about real people. The course also explores this tradition's rich legacy: from the Russians of the 1920s, through the CV movement of the 1960s, and on to the present day host of new films spawned by digital filmmaking technology.

COM FT 565: Motion Picture Editing

4 credits

This is an advanced editing class in which students edit challenging and complex projects using Avid software. Students edit scenes from features and episodic television shows that were shot using single camera techniques, as well as multi-camera material, such as sitcoms and music concerts. Students learn rhythm and pacing, when and where to make a cut, how to increase the emotional content of a scene, ways to propel the story forward, and the proper use of sound, effects, titles and music. Students must have previously taken a production class that used Avid software.

COM FT 593: Introduction to Cinematography

4 credits

Based on a fundamental knowledge of technical and creative procedures of film production, this course pays deeper attention to important elements of cinematography such as composition, raw stock, sensitometry, lighting, movement, colors, and space. Emphasis is on a conscious usage of pictorial elements in the picture-building process.

GENERAL

COM FT 456: Acting for Directors and Writers

4 credits

Develops the director's knowledge and understanding of actors --the "human equipment" of filmmaking--through direct acting experience. Students learn the language and tools of the craft through sensory exercises, improvisation, text analysis, and scene study.

COM FT 491: Directed Studies

Var credits

Individual projects; opportunity for advanced students who have completed a major portion of their degree requirements to engage in-depth tutorial study with specific faculty in an area not normally covered by regular curriculum offerings.

COM FT 493: Internship

Var credits

Opportunity for students to gain professional experience at television and radio stations, film and video production houses, and other media institutions. Responsibilities vary. Availability depends on market needs.

COM FT 494: Internship

Var credits

Opportunity for students to gain professional experience at television and radio stations, film and video production houses, and other media institutions. Responsibilities vary. Availability depends on market needs.

COM FT 573: BUTV

2 credits

Provides students with the opportunity to develop and product television programs for student television station BUTV10, and for student -operated production group, Growling Dog Productions.

COM FT 574: BUTV

2 credits

Provides students with the opportunity to develop and produce television programs for closed-circuit and, possibly, cable-access distribution, and to produce low-budget videos for nonprofit organizations.