Film Classes

Film Studies - Summer 2018 Courses

 

UCOR 1300-01: Visual Storytelling
J. Trafton

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.

 

FILM 3000-01: Art of Film (X: ENGL 3820-01)
J. Trafton

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 electives. 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 also consider how they work together.  The course will train you in the specific critical methods necessary to describe, analyze, and appreciate the film text. 

 

Film Studies - Fall 2018 Courses

 

UCOR 1300-23 & -24: Visual Storytelling
C. 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 1400-13: Social Justice Cinema
J. Barda

We know that the cinema can work towards producing social change, but to what ends? D.W. Griffith’s fictionalized portrayal of the post-Civil War American south in Birth of a Nation (1915) singlehandedly brought about the second rise of the Ku Klux Klan in the United States. It was a wildly popular film that established the now-familiar trend of the Hollywood blockbuster. Leni Riefenstahl’s depiction of the 1933 Nuremberg Rally in Triumph of the Will (1935) worked towards unifying the German people under the banner of National Socialism. Riefenstahl’s filmmaking innovations continue to inform how films are made today.

By contrast, Errol Morris’ The Thin Blue Line (1988) successfully overturned one convicted man’s prison sentence. The success of Spielberg’s Schindler’s List (1993) led to the creation of the USC Shoah Foundation, an institute that holds over 52,000 interviews and testimonies from survivors of the Holocaust. There are many other examples in the long history of the cinema, where a movie had an immediate and measurable affect on the historical world. But does the cinema of social justice make the claim that it can change the world? If so, what examples can we turn to where the cinema has quantitatively improved the situation of oppressed or marginalized people? What are the problems and possibilities of social justice filmmaking? Does social justice cinema even exist, and if it does, what are the stakes of this kind of filmmaking? And given the advancements of media in the 21st century, what might the social justice cinema of the future look like? We will spend the duration of this course exploring these questions. By closely examining the formal qualities and ideological effects of various “social justice” oriented films, and by placing these films within a broader social and historical context, we will attempt to address these questions in meaningful ways.

 

UCOR 1400-14: Race in Popular Culture
B. Stork

This course explores the construction of race in American popular culture, with a particular emphasis on popular visual culture. Taking as its presupposition that racial categories are social and cultural products rather than “natural” givens, the class focuses on the role popular practices and texts play in shaping racial identities in the United States. Because race is socially constructed, this course is also, in part, a history of American popular culture as the source of our contemporary understanding of racial identities. Through critical analyses that put the past in conversation with the present, the class examines both what has changed in popular representations of race and what persists. Though “race” in American discourse tends to refer to those marked as “different” or “other,” this course investigates the ways popular representations of American Indians, African-Americans, Asian Americans, Latinx, and other racial identities function to define dominant conceptions of whiteness as a nonracial, universal American identity while also considering the specific representation of whiteness in various ways. Questions? Contact Dr. Stork at storkb@seattleu.edu.

 

Film 3000-01: Intro to Film Analysis (X: ENGL 3820-01)
J. Trafton

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 electives. 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.

 

FILM 3020-01: History of Film
B. Schultz-Figueroa (New Film Studies Faculty)

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.

 

FILM 3350-01: Screenwriting (X: ENGL 3180-01)
J. Keasey

This course takes a practice-based approach to screenwriting, engaging the Aristotelian foundations of story, plot, character, dialogue, and conflict within the framework of the individual writer's lived experiences. You will write scenes on a weekly basis and we will read and critique these scenes during workshop. This scene work prepares you to produce a final short film screenplay. With the filmmaking tools of the 21st century taken into account—inexpensive video cameras and audio recorders, self-promoted internet distribution, and handheld devices that literally put cinematic experiences in our hands—you will write screenplays that can be independently produced on a low/no-budget basis.

 

FILM 3400-01: Filmmaking I
Johnston (New Film Production Faculty)

By carefully examining the elements of film form, including composition, cinematography, editing, lighting, and sound, you will gain the technical proficiency to put these elements into practice. Through a range of assignments emphasizing imaginative problem-solving, collaboration, visualization, and critical media literacy, we will explore the three primary modes of filmmaking: experimental, documentary, and narrative. We will examine the formal elements that have historically defined these modes and put our findings into direct practice through a series of audio-visual projects. In addition to the formal elements of filmmaking, we will consider the historical and ideological aspects that inform the art and craft of filmmaking. As we produce work throughout the course, we will conduct regular class critiques, and discuss our findings. (Prerequisite for Filmmaking II, Industrial Film and other advanced Film Production classes)

 

FILM 3680-01: Latin American Cinema
J. Trafton

Latin American cinema provides a rich, cultural history of the region—one that brings into relief a multitude of discourses on national and ethnic identities, debates on the effects of globalization, and the enduring impact of Latin American culture on the rest of the world. This course is designed to introduce students of Film Studies, Latin American Studies, and Modern Languages to Latin American cinema in two ways: from a historical perspective and from topical perspective. We will begin with early Latin American films, exploring the influences from other cinema movements as well as their unique components. From there we will explore the important ideas and filmmaking manifestos that would define Latin American filmmaking in the latter half of the twentieth century. We will also perform case studies of various national and ethnic cinemas that emerged during the twentieth century, filmmaking communities that continue to make an impact in the twenty-first century. Lastly, we will consider the role that globalization and transnational cinema productions have played in shaping our understanding of contemporary Latin American cinema. Additionally, this course will feature workshops in which students can interact with current Latin American filmmakers and other Latinx media projects.

 

FILM 3910-01: James Bond
J. Barda

Bond, James Bond will be the subject of this course.  We will watch ten of the 26 Bond films, and survey the 50+ year history of the franchise.  In so doing, we will examine changing conceptions of masculinity (Bonds), femininity (Bond girls), geopolitics (Bond villains), and genre conventions.

 

FILM 3910-02: Sound Design (X: THTR 3910-01, MUSC 3910-01)
D. CodyKramers

*This course is 3 credits. A supplemental, 2-credit internship in fall or winter is required.

This course is a hands-on and ears-on exploration of the technical and aesthetic aspects of sound and music for performance-based art:

  • Playback and Reinforcement Systems Overview
    • Analog & Digital Mixing Consoles, Amplifiers, Loudspeakers, Microphones, Effects Processors, Computer Audio Interfaces
    • Sound Equipment Interconnection
  • Playback & Editing software:  QLab, (Audacity, GarageBand peripherally)
  • Developing an Aural Image
  • Sound Effects & Music Cues – functions/conventions + Resources
  • Documentation – Audio Line Diagrams, Cue Sheets

This course is a great complement for students who have taken the Audio Production class, and is also a valuable elective for theatre, film, and music students who are interested in delving deeper into sound.

 

Past courses offered:


Spring 2018 Film Studies Courses

Winter 2018 Film Studies Courses

Fall 2017 Film Studies Courses

Spring 2017 Film Studies Courses

Winter 2017 Film Studies Courses

Fall 2016 Film Studies Courses