UCOR 1300-12 Visual Storytelling
Dr. Craig Downing
UCOR 1300-13 Visual Storytelling
Dr. Craig Downing
This course takes a production-based and content-creation approach towards exploring the history, process and development of visual storytelling strategies. We will spend the duration of the course exploring totem poles, cave paintings, Japanese pictograms, iconic photographs, graphic novels, television advertisements, and other various cinematic formats. This course engages a variety of art practices, including comic strips, storyboards, 16mm film direct animation, flip books and video production.
UCOR 1400-09 Social Justice Cinema
Dr. Justine Barda
Since the beginning of the 20th century, movies have been one of the primary ways we learn about the world around us. In the recent documentary Life Itself, the great American film critic Roger Ebert describes movies as “a machine that generates empathy.” This empathy is generated through the experience of seeing the world through other people’s eyes: learning about their circumstances, understanding their problems, and, in some cases, being moved to take action. This course examines how movies can engage with issues of social justice. By analyzing how movies construct logical arguments, appeal to audiences' desires, and evoke a variety of emotional responses, this course traces the methods by which the viewer can be transformed from a passive spectator into an active social participant. Through analysis of both fiction and documentary films that address a variety of social justice issues, students in this course will gain an understanding of how moving images wield the power to catalyze audiences and effect social change.
UCOR 1400-10 Surveillance
Dr. Benedict Stork
“In 1895, the Lumières’ camera [the model for the modern film camera] was pointed at the factory gates; it is a precursor of today’s many surveillance cameras which automatically and blindly produce an infinite number of pictures in order to safeguard ownership of property.” –Harun Farocki, “Workers Leaving the Factory”
This course takes surveillance as a constant potential of cinema and, thus, a continual presence in cinematic fictions and realities alike. Indeed, we live in an intensely surveilled world that cinema, despite proclamations of its death, helped create and plays a central role in maintaining and expanding. Cinema, in its form and content, is an aesthetic of watching and being watched. In this course students will explore both the cinematic representation of surveillance and the ways cinema, along with other moving image media, partake in surveillance as a social process and reality. To do this the class will screen both fiction and documentary feature films while reading paradigmatic and contemporary academic writing on surveillance. The overall goal of the course is for students to critically engage the role of surveillance in the contemporary world and its relation to moving image media.
FILM 3000-01 Introduction to Film Analysis (X:ENGL 3820)
Dr. Kirsten Thompson
This foundation course in film studies is a requirement for all film majors and minors and is recommended as your first film class for all subsequent film classes. (Film majors are encouraged to take Film History next). It introduces you to the formal building blocks of films: narrative, mise-en-scène, cinematography, editing, and sound. We study the operations of each of these formal parts in detail and then consider how they work together. The course will train you in the specific critical methods necessary to describe, analyze, and appreciate the film text.* Required class for all majors
FILM 3020-01 Film History
Dr. Benjamin Schultz-Figueroa
Why study old films? What are the best methods for enjoying, understanding, and watching these moving image artifacts? What do the past artistic, political, and technological movements that created them have to say to us today? As a technology, art, industry, and cultural force, film dominated the twentieth century and continues to influence the media landscape of the twenty-first century. This course provides a survey of film history, moving from the invention of the cinema in (approximately) 1895 through to the mid-1960s. The class covers film movements such as Soviet silent film, German Expressionism, Classical Hollywood and genre filmmaking, and arthouse cinema. Throughout the quarter, we will collectively ask how to best approach these films, and what they can tell us about our contemporary relationship with moving image media. Students will leave knowing both the major developments in film history and different historiographic methods that can be used to study this history
* Required class for all majors
FILM 3250-01 Science Fiction
Dr. Benjamin Schultz-Figueroa
How do depictions of the future effect our present day? What role do these speculations play in our politics, our arts, our sciences? How has the desire to visualize the future been pursued on film? These are some of the questions we will ask together in Science Fiction Film. This course will examine the tropes, techniques, and preoccupations of science fiction. Space, cyborgs, aliens, and virtual reality will be among the weekly topics. You will engage with a wide range of material, from blockbuster features to short stories, video games to silent films, philosophy to kitsch. You will also learn various approaches to the central tropes and concerns of the science fiction film, considering the genre’s intersection with philosophy, media studies. * Meets Genre requirement
FILM 3420-01 Filmmaking 2
Dr. Alexander Johnston
Building on the technical and theoretical fundamentals acquired in Filmmaking 1, this course allows students to further develop their craft in the production of formally and aesthetically sophisticated creative works. While advancing their skills as cinematographers, students will also expand their understanding and approach to sound recording and design, editing, and post-production. In addition to working on their own narrative and documentary film projects, students in this course will also have the option to produce media for local non-profits and community-based organizations, obtaining valuable real-world media production experience while advocating for important social justice issues.
FILM 3910-01 Producing
Dr. John Comerford
The life cycle of a motion picture is both formulated and guided by the Producer and it is their creative relationship with films, television and web content multitude of responsibilities for this often misunderstood position. It will enable participants to acquire a rare and highly prized skill in the content creation process – the ability to challenge and simultaneously elevate collective motion picture that outlasts all others. A producer’s vision largely determines the success of a story in reaching its audience and communicating the message of its themes. This course offers an unobstructed view inside the work.
FILM 3630-01 International Film: Japan
Dr. John Trafton
Rooted in a rich cultural history, Japanese cinema has moved audiences and influenced filmmakers worldwide for over one hundred years. Since the beginning of cinema, Japanese filmmakers have drawn from vibrant theatrical traditions, spiritual philosophy, expressive art forms, and thousands of years of historical drama to tell exciting (and often deeply humanistic) stories that have expanded and improved the cinematic form. This class will explore the world of Japanese film from a variety of perspectives: historical, theoretical, and industrial. We will experience the intense swordplay of samurai films, as well as deeply moving melodramas set in contemporary Japan. We will look at the vivid world of anime, and then venture into the dark underworld of the yakuza film. We will stare into the abyss of J-Horror, and we will contend with the brutal, city-destroying creatures of kaiju films. Lastly, we will explore the work of influential filmmakers like Yasujiro Ozu, Kenji Mizoguchi, and Akira Kurosawa – tracing their influence to the mean streets of Scorsese’s New York, to the hyperlink world of The Matrix, to the dusty plains of Sergio Leone’s Spaghetti Westerns, and, of course, to a galaxy far, far away. * meets International Requirement
FILM 3910-02 Remix Media
Dr. Alexander Johnston
Calling all filmmakers, remixers, mash-up artists and cinephiles! This production course will examine the dynamic and distinctly modern practice of found footage film and media production. We will consider the practice of “recycling” images and sounds, and the possibility of finding new use for that which has been discarded, a use perhaps not intended by the original “owner” or “creator.” We will explore the history of the “found object,” collage, appropriation, sampling, as well as issues of authorship and originality, ownership, cultural critique, autobiography and parody, through the work of a diverse range of artists and filmmakers. This class is designed to be post-production intensive, providing a valuable opportunity to develop your skills in editing, after effects and sound design, while creating your own found footage works. Our class time together will consist of technical workshops, discussion of class materials, screenings, and screening/critiques of student work.
FILM 4570: Film Industry-Special FX
Dr. Kirsten Thompson
This advanced seminar examines the historical, aesthetic and technological aspects of special effects (or mechanical and optical illusions created for the camera) and visual effects (digital illusions created through a variety of means), with a primary focus on Hollywood. We will look at the history of special effects created throughout the twentieth and twenty-first century, from the silent period’s earliest trick photography to the Schüfftan process in the twenties, stop motion animation, the Slitscan screen, and developments in animatronics, makeup and explosives, among many others. We will then turn to the digital era, tracing the technological development of CGI or computer generated imagery in the eighties and nineties, examining digital sets and environments, performances and sound, including the role of crowd simulation software and mocap. Films or clips will include Metropolis, King Kong, Jason and the Argonauts, 2001 Space Odyssey, Jaws, Star Wars, Aliens, Terminator 2, Jurassic Park, The Matrix, Terminator 2, Avatar, Lord of the Rings trilogy, Gravity, Inception and Black Panther. We will consider how technological changes and new digital tools have transformed the experience of the image as spectacle, and we will trace specific contemporary aesthetic phenomena produced by visual effects like digital multitudes, verticality, swarming and morphing. We will also consider the role that special and visual effects have played in the history of genres like science fiction, action and horror.
* Meets Special Topics requirement
FILM 4540-01 Gender and Sexuality in Film (X-HIST 3910–01 and LGBTQ minor)
Dr. Hazel Hahn
This course explores gender and sexuality in film, in varied settings around the world (Europe, Asia, US, Latin America etc.). We highlight women’s role and place in society through film, as well as the intersectionality of gender, sexuality, class, race, and ethnicity. The course draws on interdisciplinary perspectives from Film Studies, History, Literature, Art History, Architectural History, and Psychoanalysis. *This course meets Women & Gender Studies & LGBTQ electives.
FILM 4950: Internship 2-5 Credits (flexible)
Internships are opportunities for Film majors to network and gain valuable professional experience. According to a recent study from Michigan State University, employers go on to offer 50 % of their interns fulltime jobs! Film Internships count towards your major. All internships are pass/fail. 5 credits requires 15 employer hours a week and some academic requirements, but there is flexibility for less than this, depending on individual needs. Register on Handshake and find an internship there with the assistance of the Career Engagement Office and then see Dr Thompson, the department internship director for paperwork and instructions on how to register for Winter quarter.
Every student is strongly encouraged to consider taking at least ONE internship for credit in Fall Quarter and one additional (paid or unpaid) no credit internship before you graduate. It’s an essential way to network and gain professional experience!
According to a recent study from Michigan State University,* employers go on to offer 50 percent of their interns fulltime jobs.
(*Collegiate Employment Research Institute, Report, 2017. Study reported in NY Times, April 7, 2017)
A 5-credit internship requires 15 hours weekly with the employer. In addition to these hours, you will also need to meet with your academic supervisor and complete specified academic assignments (such as a storyboard, reports, visual media samples, research projects or a final reflective essay). We will work together to find the best academic requirements that match your internship and professional interests.
Your internship could also be split into two separate internships taken over two different quarters but generally must add up to 5 credits (unless you don't need 5 full credits to graduate in your credit count). There is flexibility in the credit count to accommodate your work schedule or credit count needs. There are no summer internships for credit (but you can do them for no credit)
These are the hour requirements you must work for the employer, for an internship for credit:
5 Credits = 15 hours/week or 150 hours/quarter
4 Credits = 12 hours /week or 120 hours/quarter
3 credits = 9 hours /week or 90 hours/quarter
2 credits = 6 hours /week or 60 hours/quarter
1 credit = 3 hours/week or 30 hours/quarter
Here are just a sampling of recent internships featured on Handshake, the platform that offers you access to internships, career information and more. Check it out here.
Internships can be taken for credit toward the major.
English and CW students can take internships as general electives, Writing Studies students can take internships that are writing related toward their minor.
Check out the College of Arts and Sciences' Pathways to Professional Formation website with information about internships and how to get them.
Do you have more questions? Make an appointment with the Career Engagement Office.
Create a Student account on the new national website, Handshake, to search for internships and apply for them.
We also have a number of dedicated internships that are reserved just for Film or English Majors.
If you know an employer who might be a suitable candidate for an internship, get them to register themselves on Handshake here and then post the position there. Instructions for posting jobs are available here.
Once you have found a suitable internship fill out the internship packet of forms. These are available, with the instructions, below or at the English Department front desk. Then, make an appointment with the Internship Director to register for 5 credits (or less) for the next quarter.
Dr. Kirsten Moana Thompson, Internship Director, English Department, Email.