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 516: Writing The Sitcom Pilot
    Undergraduate Prerequisites: COM FT 512 or COM FT 522.
    Graduate Prerequisites: COM FT 512 or COM FT 522.
    Prereq FT 522 or FT512. Got a funny idea for a show? Let's see if it has legs. In "Writing the Comedy Pilot," students will develop an original concept for their own half-hour, TV comedy series. This includes pitching their idea, writing a beat sheet, an outline and the pilot script. We will also create a "leave behind" pitching document that will include an overview of your series, character bios, loglines for future episodes and much more. We'll screen pilot episodes, read produced pilot scripts and see why some worked and some didn't. Then we'll do some other things.
  • COM FT 517: Television Management
    Undergraduate Prerequisites: COM FT 303.
    Graduate Prerequisites: COM FT 701.
    This course will examine current management and leadership issues facing television executives. Research, content development, revenue models, consolidation, regulatory restrictions, distribution and ethical considerations are explored using lectures, readings/screenings, case studies, and discussion. 4 cr. Fall/spring
  • COM FT 518: Media Money Trail
    Undergraduate Prerequisites: COM FT 303.
    Graduate Prerequisites: COM FT 517.
    This course examines the critical financial and strategic challenges that businesses face whether they are in start-up, expansion, or exit mode. Students will use case studies to delve into the lives of the founders and CEOs of some of the world's most innovative and enduring brands and industry game-changers. We'll delve into each company's business model(s) and learn why some evolve to become industry gold standards while others fail.
  • COM FT 519: Storyboarding
    Undergraduate Prerequisites: COM FT 353.
    Storyboards are essentially ʻdirecting on paper.ʼ They are the blueprint for live action or animation projects. This fun yet in-depth course teaches the fundamental skills needed to create dynamic storyboards and animatics (moving storyboards), skills that are crucial for filmmakers 2D & 3D animators and motion graphic designers. Storyboard Artists must think like a director, cinematographer storyteller and artist, yet you donʼt need to be any of those to take this course. Through progressive lessons youʼll learn visual storytelling, scene composition, timing, and transitions, camera angles, and cinema-graphic language. We cover basic drawing with Adobe Animate CC, color, perspective, character design, acting, and action poses. Youʼll complete numerous projects for your portfolio and demo reel.
  • COM FT 520: TV Theory and Criticism
    Undergraduate Prerequisites: COM FT 303.
    As an omnipresent site of entertainment and information, "reality" and fantasy, "quality" and "trash," and commerce and the public interest, television requires an active, critical analysis of its texts, uses, and production of meaning. Students in this class will engage in such analysis, confronting television as a rich and contradictory site of entertainment, culture, politics, ideology, and signs. This discussion driven seminar sets aside evaluative considerations of TV in favor of theoretical and critical approaches that challenge widespread assumptions about the medium and expand our understanding of its role in our lives. These approaches, which constitute some of the dominant frameworks in Television Studies, include analyses of culture, industry, narrative, genre, images and sounds, liveness, and the television schedule. This course fulfills the additional TV Studies course requirement. Pre-req: FT303.
  • COM FT 521: Promoting Your Content Online
    The course teaches students how to market their creative content online. Students will learn how to identify targeted marketing and distribution platforms for new websites, pilots, video channels and series, blogs, etc. and how to use social media to find an audience, generate buzz and identify potential funding sources. Students will also learn practical entrepreneurial tools needed to organize their creative work as a business venture.
  • COM FT 522: Writing Television Situation Comedy Scripts
    Undergraduate Prerequisites: COM FT 310.
    Graduate Prerequisites: COM FT 709 or COM FT 711.
    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 525: Creative Producing II
    Undergraduate Prerequisites: COM FT 325.
    Graduate Prerequisites: COM FT 727.
    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 526: Directing
    Undergraduate Prerequisites: COM FT 353.
    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 532: NBC: Anatomy of a Network
    Undergraduate Prerequisites: COM FT 303.
    Undergraduate Pre-req FT 303 NBC has the distinction of being the first national network on the air, and at various points in its history it has stood for corporate stodginess, quality programming, enviable target audiences, and abject failure. In this course students will analyze the different stages of TV's development by using NBC as a case study, approaching the network's history from various vantage points, including those of the larger industry, network executives, and early audiences. Driven by primary sources (NBC's back-office documents, industry trade articles, and NBC's radio and television programs) and scholarly literature, this course will explore the ways "America's network" has navigated the transition from radio to TV, monopolistic trends, inter-network competition, programming decisions, conglomeration, and competition with cable and the Internet.
  • COM FT 534: Critical TV Industry Studies
    Undergraduate Prerequisites: COM FT 303.
    Whether you want to work in the television industry or focus your research on it, your connection to it will be incomplete without a critical interrogation of its history and processes. Tv industry studies is a scholarly reading and discussion-driven seminar that conceptualizes the u.s. television industry as a complex site of negotiation between producers and audiences, labor and management, creativity and commerce, and government and corporations. Whereas other television studies courses might privilege the intricacies at work within specific programs or genres, this class asks students to locate those programs within the broader context of a capitalist media system.
  • COM FT 536: Film Theory and Criticism
    An introduction to classical and contemporary film and media theory. Topics include montage theory, realism, structuralism, post-structuralism, semiotics, psychoanalysis, phenomenology, and cultural studies. The course includes screenings of films that have contributed to critical debate and those that challenge theoretical presuppositions.
  • COM FT 541: TV Genres
    This class uses fan studies and genre studies approaches to critically analyze the ways that fan practices have shaped and been shaped by the television industry as well as how fans have used their position to influence the norms of television. We will focus on genres with extremely active and integral fandoms and how they are similar or distinct: science fiction/fantasy, melodrama/soap operas, and sports.
  • COM FT 542: Advanced Screenwriting
    Undergraduate Prerequisites: COM FT 412.
    Graduate Prerequisites: COM FT 713.
    The student will write a first-draft screenplay and two sets of revisions. In addition to participating in weekly discussions on aspects of screenwriting that are tailored to student needs, each student will complete and revise a full length motion-picture screenplay. 4cr.
  • COM FT 544: Documentary Production
    Undergraduate Prerequisites: COM FT 353.
    Graduate Prerequisites: COM FT 707.
    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 545: Television and Childhood
    Children represent an important target for mediated messages. However, there are important rules, ethics and differences we should keep in mind when creating content for this audience. In this class, we will consider the effects messages have on behavior and development in younger populations. We will also consider design and programming decisions that influence these effects.
  • COM FT 547: Avant Garde Cinema
    A survey of global avant-garde film and experimental media from the 1920s to the present. We will explore film, video, and digital video as mediums of unadulterated artistic expression resulting in daring, experimental forms and controversial contents. The course covers 1920s and early 30s high modernist cinema of "isms" (Dadaism, Surrealism, Impressionism), Transatlantic and international currents after World War Two including trance film, underground film, structuralism, and "psychedelic expanded cinema of split and multiscreen films (Kenneth Anger, Andy Warhol, Michael Snow, Peter Kubelka, Rudy Burckhardt), 1970s video art including feminist and gay/lesbian filmmakers, X-rated Europeans (Kren and the Vienna Secessionists) and international "trash" cinema auteurs, the digital video avant-garde, masters of found footage cinema, queer digital media, recent transnational trends. Disclaimer: Some of the films shown in this course contain sexually explicit and graphic bodily acts.
  • COM FT 552: Special Topics
    Special Topics for Fall 2021:FT 552 A1 Producing Writing the Short (Weinberg) Wed 2:30-5:15 (pre-req FT 310); FT 552 B1 Late Night Laughs Tues 12:30-3:15 pre-req FT 512 or FT 522) undergrads only-grad section in spring; FT 552 C1 Crowdfunding & Distribution (Geller) Wed 2:30 to 5:15 pm (pre-req FT 201) Recommended that students bring in a project that is in script phase, in production, or has been produced.); FT 552 D1 Market Analysis Media Ventures Grads Only!; FT 552 E1 Advanced Lighting Fri 12:30-3:15 (pre-req FT 594)
  • COM FT 553: Special Topics
    Graduate Prerequisites: .
    n/a
  • COM FT 554: Special Topics
    Special Topics for Fall 2021 include: FT 554 A1 International Film & Identity Tues 12:30 to 3:15 & Thur 1:30 to 3:15 (pre-req FT 250) Fulfills foreign cinema requirement. FT 554 B1 Streaming TV (Howell) Mon, Wed 2:30-4:15 Fulfills Addtl TV req FT 554 C1 International Genre Film Mon, Wed 10:10 to 11:55 Fulfills foreign cine req FT 554 D1 American Film of the 60s (Grundmann) Tues, Thurs 9:00 to 11:30 FT 554 E1 TV & the Home (Jaramillo) Mon, Wed 4:30 to 6:15