Courses

The listing of a course description here does not guarantee a course’s being offered in a particular semester. Please refer to the published schedule of classes on the Student Link for confirmation a class is actually being taught and for specific course meeting dates and times.

  • COM FT 703: Media Business Entrepreneurship
    This course will provide students with the practical knowledge and skills needed to heed the call of entrepreneurship. Classes will include guest speakers from various business sectors including venture capital professionals, angel investors, accountants, attorneys, marketing experts who are skilled in launch phases of PR, as well as media entrepreneurs who succeeded against all odds. Students will also participate in the development of a core business idea, from concept through the creation of a sound business plan as a final project/presentation. 4 cr. Fall
  • COM FT 704: Genre for Screenwriters
    This course starts with the basics of genre theory, then identifies American genre conventions using the course's "study" films. Study films will be discussed in terms of the genre's conventions: theme, structure, characters, setting, subject matter, visual motifs or recurring icons, and tone/mood. Each student is then required to write a treatment and 10-15 pages of a feature script in a genre unfamiliar to him/her. Students' creative work will be workshopped.
  • COM FT 705: Comedies and Melodramas for Graduate Students
    This class will view and discuss romantic comedies and domestic melodramas made in Hollywood in the 1930's and 1940's.
  • COM FT 707: Introduction to Video Production
    An introduction to the techniques of producing and directing video projects, including videography, lighting, editing, sound, and special effects. Emphasis is on execution and design of both "live" on tape and postproduced works using both field and studio equipment.
  • COM FT 708: ASIAN CINEMA FOR GRADUATE STUDENTS
    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 711: Screenwriting I
    Exclusively for screenwriting graduate students, an introduction to principles of drama, screenplay structure, characterization, screenplay description and dialogue through lecture and discussion of produced screenplays. Students begin with exercises and then write outlines/treatments in preparation for completing a first act (approximately 30 pages) and full treatment of an original feature screenplay. Student work will be discussed in workshop format.
  • COM FT 713: Screenwriting II
    Graduate Prerequisites: COM FT 711.
    Students compose a feature-length film and a set of revisions based upon the film outline created in COM FT 711. Further examples of dramatic structure are analyzed from the library of world cinema.
  • COM FT 721: International Masterworks
    An eclectic and unsystematic survey of a small number of the supreme masterworks of international film created by some of the greatest artists of the past eighty years. The focus in on cinematic style. What does style do? Why are certain cinematic presentations highly stylized? What is the difference from realistic, representational work? We will consider the special ways of knowing, thinking, and feeling that highly stylized works of art create and devote all of our attention to the function of artistic style and form to create new experiences and ways of thinking and feeling.
  • COM FT 722: American Masterworks
    Long: First course in a two-semester survey on American Cinema (each course stands on its own; no requirement to take both or take these in sequence). We study American cinema from its beginnings, rooted in fairground exbibition and nickelodeons, and track the establishment of the great studios in the 1910s and 20s, the height of the studio system in the 30s and through World War II, and the decline of this mode of filmmaking in the late 50s/early 60s. Focus is on Hollywood cinema, with some documentaries, independent films, and experimental shorts covered. Topics stardom and glamour, the Production Code/censorship, Cinema during the Depression, Realism and Expressionism, Hollywood and World War II, the anti-Communist witch hunt, the advent of color and widescreen film, TV as early competitor, and the B-movie, the teen market, and drive-ins. We pay special attention to the intersection of economics and the representation of race, gender, and sexuality. Genres include slapstick comedy, the gangster film, the musical, screwball comedy, film noir, the melodrama, westerns and historical epics. We study the impact of important individuals, including directors Alice Guy Blach?, D.W. Griffith, Oscar Micheaux, Charles Chaplin, Buster Keaton, Mabel Normand, Erich von Stroheim, Cecil B. DeMille, John Ford, Howard Hawks, Dorothy Arzner, Orson Welles, William Wyler, Frank Capra, Ida Lupino, Shirley Clarke, Nicholas Ray, Douglas Sirk, and Elia Kazan, cinematographers James Wong Howe and Gregg Toland, choreographers Busby Berkeley and Arthur Freed, and producers Irving Thalberg, David O. Selznick, Sam Spiegel, and Lou Wasserman.
  • COM FT 724: Screenwriting III
    Advanced screenwriting for 2nd year Graduate Screenwriting Students. Based upon lectured material, the feedback received during workshops, and one-on- one consults with the professor, students will write and revise a full feature-length screenplay. Students will be expected to have a firm grasp on narrative structure, character development, and cinematic storytelling. The material covered in the first year of the graduate screenwriting program will be applied to this intense workshop atmosphere.
  • COM FT 727: Creative Producing I
    This course takes students through the process of creating non-fiction TV programming. Think talk shows, reality programs, and documentaries. How to create a concept, write a proposal, cast a program, and develop a marketing reason to do the program. It's all part and parcel of being a creative producer.
  • COM FT 728: Creating New Ideas
    This course provides students with the practical entrepreneurial tools and strategies needed to test and refine a new venture concept or existing product innovation that will eventually serve as their Thesis Project for the Media Ventures program. Students will take this idea from concept to working model/wireframe and will present to investors and industry executives at the end of the Media Ventures Program.
  • COM FT 729: Script Analysis
    A detailed and exhaustive analysis of selected screenplays through which we will focus on the cultivation of critical skills leading to a sharpened perception, and a heightened awareness of how a screenplay can be vastly improved. Utilizing these analytical skills, students will provide in-depth analysis for participating production companies who are in need of pre- production revisions. Each student will examine the chosen scripts, write coverage, write a more in-depth report for some of the production companies and meet with representatives from each project. Using the model of our workshops, the class will conduct story meetings with writers, directors and producers involved in each project. Students will be expected to conduct themselves in a professional manner through both their written reports and their verbal consultations. In addition, students will look at how source material, such as short films, stage plays and/or books can be adapted for the screen. Each student will then design a pitch based upon chosen source material and do pitch presentations.
  • COM FT 730: Screen Adaptation I
    Graduate Prerequisites: COM FT 713.
    More than half of Oscar nominated films are literary adaptations. This course analyses the current commercial and artistic reasons behind the surge in adaptations, touches upon adaptation theory, and studies novels and short stories that have been adapted for film. Students present papers on film adaptations and begin the adaptation of a short story.
  • COM FT 731: Screenwriting IV
    Graduate Prerequisites: COM FT 730.
    Restricted to Graduate Screenwriting students. Through a rigorous writing schedule, the students complete a feature-length screenplay. A solid first draft of a new feature-length screenplay and two sets of revision.
  • COM FT 825: Thesis Project
    Creation of an original work in any one of four areas: producing; scriptwriting; directing/production; or a research paper. One-on-one advisor supervision throughout the entire process.
  • COM FT 851: Thesis Preparation
    This course, required of second semester film production graduate students, explores the aesthetic and technical parameters of the short film format with the goal of celebrating the short form as a genre unto itself. Students also develop and write their thesis scripts in preparation for thesis production the following year.
  • COM FT 852: Thesis Project
    Devoted to completion of thesis projects in film production and film studies.
  • COM FT 951: Directed Studies
    Graduate Prerequisites: consent of supervising faculty and department chair.
    Individual projects: opportunity for advanced graduate students who have completed a major portion of their degree requirements to engage in in-depth tutorial study with specific faculty in an area not normally covered by regular curriculum offerings.
  • COM FT 952: Directed Studies
    Graduate Prerequisites: consent of supervising faculty and department chair
    Individual projects: opportunity for advanced graduate students who have completed a major portion of their degree requirements to engage in in-depth tutorial study with specific faculty in an area not normally covered by regular curriculum offerings.