Film & Television

  • COM FT 715: Market Analysis & Research for Creative Ventures
    This course will provide Media Ventures students with the research tools, techniques, and methodologies required to explore, evaluate viability, test, and validate potential business ideas using design thinking and product strategy based principles. Students will learn the importance qualitative and quantitative approaches to understanding their industry, market, and audience in order to ensure their idea has considerable value and a competitive advantage in today's data-driven marketplace.
  • COM FT 717: TV Management
  • COM FT 718: Writing the Television Drama Spec Script
    Graduate Prerequisites: COM FT 716; Production of video projects using A/B editing suites and computer graphics.
    Exclusively for Screenwriting MFA students, this is an advanced, reading- and writing-intensive course in which students develop and write a spec script for a current hour-long television drama or dramedy. Students begin by mapping out the various storylines for their episode, then move on to writing detailed beat sheets and outlines. After mastering those steps, students write a 50-55 page spec script, followed by a fully-revised second draft. All student work will be discussed in workshop format.
  • COM FT 719: Writing the Half-Hour Scripted Comedy
    This class explores the creation of a solid situation comedy script. This is done through readings, screenings, writing exercises and writing your own sitcom spec. There is also a good deal of group work and even a "staff" writing gig for all to participate in. Your story begins with an idea to pitch for a current sitcom series. Embedded in the idea is a comedic premise that will drive the episode. From there we move into writing beat sheets, network outlines, and then scripted pages. The goal is a structurally sound thirty-minute episode. A lot of the humor doesn't show up initially and rewriting beyond the class is greatly encouraged for those who wish to pursue a career on a writing staff, and potentially use their spec as a calling card for the industry.
  • COM FT 720: Writing the Social Purpose Short
    Writing the Social Purpose Short is an intensive writing workshop class that focuses on mastering the short form narrative screenplay. This class gives particular attention to crafting narratives that are socially engaged, meaningful, and speak to the pressing issues of the day. Students will explore screenplay structure, watch a cross-section of global shorts, and write and revise FIVE (5) short screenplays, ranging from 10-20 pages. Students will write at a pace of roughly one script per two weeks. Each student will choose two shorts to hone and polish. Final projects will be eligible for production next semester.
  • 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 725: Creative Producing II
  • 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 736: Film Theory
    In-depth survey of key debates in film and digital theory between film practitioners, involved observers, and theoreticians and philosophers. Part I surveys theories of medium specificity and of film exhibition (cinema of attraction, film as mass culture) and of film as art (Gestalt theory, French Impressionism) and as a revolutionary tool (Soviet Montage). We study the debate around the relation between film and reality in theories of realism. Part II covers film theory form the 1960s to the 1990s. Topics include structuralism and semiotics, apparatus theory, genre and authorship, psychoanalytic film theory, and the impact of debates in gender, sexuality, and race on film theory. We survey theories of oppositional gazes in their struggles against sexism, racism, classism, and colonialism. Further, we cover discourses in phenomenology, cognitive film theory and the theory of affects. Part III focuses on recent developments related to digital media. We will investigate the relationship between the digital image and reality (theories of simulacra) and consider the role of infrastructures and economies of digital distribution.
  • 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.