Film Production Classes

Exciting Electives in Film Studies

Elective courses in Film Studies aim to encourage an individualized approach to film study. The belief here is that when students choose their own path into a rich and complex subject, their interests will grow, either broadening that path or deepening it, and will assume their own meaningful development.

Electives in critical studies allow students to add courses in film history and film genres; concentrate on international cinema, ideally in support of a minor or double-major in another internationally-focused discipline; pursue gender issues in film, perhaps reinforcing a major or minor in Women Studies; study another major film director; and address additional theory and film culture issues at the 400-level.

Filmmaking Electives

In addition to courses in screenwriting and script analysis, Film Studies now offers new and revised digital filmmaking courses at the 300-400 levels, including:

FILM 3400 FILMMAKING I (5 credits)

Working from a provided short-film script, or short-film script developed in FILM 335 Screenwriting I, students develop the pre-production, cinematography and lighting, and editing skills to make one or more 2-5 minute MOS films. Pre-production includes script analysis and storyboarding, casting and location. Cinematography includes basics of lighting, camera placement, coverage and continuity. Editing includes basic principles and rules of both technical and creative digital editing, learning Final Cut Pro, and editing for emotion, pace, timing, smoothness and continuity. The MOS shorts may include minimal music and effects. Students can expect to study numerous short-film models. Prerequisite: Basic digital media production skills and experience, acquired in a media course or elsewhere. VS

FILM 3420 FILMMAKING II (5 credits)

Students write and shoot their own two minute sync-sound narrative short film. Pre-production study includes story development (conflict, memorable characters, relationships, minimal dialogue) and script breakdown, basic directing skills, casting and locations. Cinematography study includes shooting coverage, telling stories visually using camera movement, shot/lens selection, and advanced lighting packages to ensure quality and continuity of light and correct color balance. Sound study includes basics of production sound (mc selection/placement, room tone, mic/boom operation, and field mixer operation), ADR, foley, equalization, and mixing. Continued Final Cut Pro training, with focus on advanced logging and data management techniques, trim features, web compression, real-time remote review capabilities, and accelerating work-flows with hot-keys via keyboard mapping. Prerequisite: FILM 341. VS

FILM 3430 FILMMAKING III (5 credits)

Students write and shoot their own three-minute documentary. Screenwriting focuses on short-form documentary and narrative story-structure in depth, including relation to genre; writing inciting incidents, progressive complications, crisis, climax and resolution; and script workshopping and AV rundowns. Directing skills emphasize conducting interviews, directing actors, mis-en-scene, low-budget action scenes, and using dialogue and sound to tell an audio-visual story. Line producing and production management skills focus on developing resourceful approaches to low budget production scenarios. Additional Final Cut Pro training centers on dual system sync-sound editorial work-flows; and Photoshop basics, After Effects (motion graphics), Color (color correction), and DVD Studio Pro are also learned.

Prerequisite: FILM 3420


Students write and shoot their own short documentary film, workshopping their project at every stage of development. This course includes more advanced preproduction work and line producing responsibilities, including extensive research, advanced budgeting, and study of copyright, likeness releases, fair use law, and other legal issues. A workshop on developing distribution strategies is also included. Students should emerge from this senior-level course with a resume and DVD portfolio of films.


Students write and shoot their own short fiction film, workshopping their project at every stage of development. This course includes more advanced producing responsibilities, as well as a study of distribution opportunities and strategies. Students should emerge from this senior-level course with a resume and DVD portfolio of films.

FILM 4770 & 4790 FILM STUDIES HONORS (10 credits)

Students interested in undertaking a two-quarter, advanced filmmaking or scholarly project must submit to the Film Studies director a resume, DVD portfolio of completed film work or graded research essays, and a detailed proposal supported by a film faculty member who will mentor the project. A limited number of Honors projects will be approved each year, and an Honors student can expect to participate in an ongoing workshop with other Honors filmmakers.