Motion Pictures M.F.A. Featured Courses

Advanced Cinematography

Advanced technical and photographic principles begun in CMP 651. Preparation for the filming of the MFA project film.

Advanced Editing

Advanced concepts in aesthetics and theories of picture and sound editing, mixing, color correction, and finishing techniques.

Advanced Motion Graphics and Compositing

Extend the 2D skills of students who have taken CMP 550 to 3D motion graphics and animation. Emphasis on title design and animation.

Advanced Motion Picture Marketing

Advanced marketing considerations in the distribution of motion pictures.

Advanced Projects and Directed Research

Analysis of the Screenplay

An examination of the narrative structure and character development of selected screenplays. Focus is placed on the screenplay's contribution to both the finished film and the process employed to arrive at the finished film.

Aspects of Contemporary Cinema

The study of the ways in which film communicates. Intensive analysis and criticism of cinematic techniques exemplified through particular films.

Character and Dialogue

An examination of the craft and techniques of creating original characters and dialogue.

Cinematography

This hands-on course provides students with the aesthetic and technical aspects of professional concepts and techniques in film and digital media cinematography.

Cinematography

Aesthetic and technical aspects of motion picture photography including color, black and white, silent, and synchronous sound techniques.

Directing Performance and Creative Collaboration

Directing Techniques

To build a more advanced set of professional skills and practices through scene work, shooting, and collaboration.

Directing the Actor

The purpose of this course is to teach and practice the craft of directing, including text analysis, characterization, visualization, design, intention and rehearsal: to train students to articulate their ideas to actors and film crew.

Directing the Camera

An introduction to directing actors in low budget, independent films utilizing traditional, modern and evolving directorial techniques used by independent and traditional film makers: analyzing and orchestrating scripted material, developing a directorial concept, creating indelible characterizations, building a visual image, auditioning and casting the talent, blocking and directing the untrained amateur or highly skilled professional actor.

Documentary Production

An introduction to the documentary genre including the production of a documentary from start to finish.

Film Culture I

An introductory immersion in the culture, history, and theory of cinema.

Film Culture II

Readings in classical and contemporary film theory, with critical analysis of current as well as historically significant movies representing a diversity of cinematic traditions.

Film Directors

This course will address the conditions of authorship in film through an intensive study of the films of two or more directors, whose careers will serve as case studies. These directors will be historically important and their work will represent significant achievements in the art of film.

Foundation of Screenwriting

This course explores the fundamental skill set necessary to manipulate the basic elements of cinematic writing. The course will investigate common dramatic elements found in all screenplays as well as teach format principles of feature, TV and emerging media scripts.

Genres

A study of selected movie genres from a variety of critical perspectives. Issues pertaining to selfhood, sexual difference, and other concerns of present-day film criticism will be examined.

Introduction to Editing

Marketing and Distribution

Media Activism

In this course, students will examine the role of media in shaping social reform to document social issues such as poverty, human rights, social inequities, the environment, and powerless groups. We will review the philosophy and history of media as activism ranging from photography, documentary, cinema, the Internet, social media and newer forms of media. Emphasis is placed on developing a critical understanding of current media advocacy practices with a conscious goal; awareness, change minds, to affect policy, and action.

MFA Project - Screenwriting

The writing and re-writing of a full-length narrative film screenplay. Course may be repeated to a maximum of six credits.

MFA Thesis

Motion Graphics and Compositing

Methods, techniques and aesthetics of 2D computer animation and compositing including animated text, title design and green screen.

Motion Picture Internship

Motion Picture Marketing and Distribution

Economic and marketing considerations in the production and distribution of motion pictures.

Motion Picture Post-Production Procedures

An examination of the esthetics of editing, recording, re-recording, and laboratory procedures following completion of principal photography.

Motion Picture Workshop I

A course designed to provide an understanding and appreciation of the technical, aesthetic, and theoretical aspects of filmmaking. The use of lectures, laboratory, and demonstration to develop an awareness of the nature of film production is included.

Narrative Production

An introduction to film and digital production techniques on narrative projects. Emphasis on collaboration, group process and social purpose. Students will be expected to produce a short film abroad as part of this course.

National Cinemas

Selected films from Europe, Asia, Africa and Latin America will be studied in relation to their diverse social/political and cultural contexts.

Nonfiction Film

An examination of American and world nonfiction films.

Online Screenwriting

The student will prepare and complete the first act of a feature-length screenp lay or the student will prepare and commence the rewrite of an existing screenp lay.

Pedagogy and Film

Post Production Procedures II

Advanced editing and re-recording procedures. Prerequisite: CMP 656.

Producing the Motion Picture

A practical examination of the development, production, and marketing responsibilities involved in producing theatrical feature films. Focus is placed on the processes involved including the ethical considerations that confront the producer.

Production Management

A comprehensive examination of the skills and techniques employed by line producers and production managers in the preproduction, production, and post-production of motion pictures.

Production Workshop II - Individual Projects

A concentration on four distinctive film directors and their work. Utilization of techniques from film theory, film criticism, and film history to arrive at a definition of their unique cinematic styles.

Rewriting the Feature Screenplay

Rewriting the Screenplay

The preparation for and completion of the rewrite of a feature-length screenplay.

Scriptwriting

Study of and practice in writing feature-length, narrative motion picture scripts. Focus is placed on cinematic structure and presentation of character.

Scriptwriting for Motion Pictures

Seminar In Documentary Film History: Cinema-Verite

Seminar in Documentary Production

Sound Design

Sound Design through seminar and workshop provides a practical and theoretical introduction to sound and its function in the narrative moving image process. The course utilizes professional environments to instruct in the basics of sound editing, studio recording and mixing as it is practiced in the film industry. It will also present the aesthetic use of sound and its integral part in the moving image narrative process.

Special Topics in Motion Picture

This course subject matter varies according to announced special topic. See class schedule for details.

The Business of Motion Pictures

The Structure of Dramatic Art

An investigation into structural forms widely employed by screenwriters with emphasis on Syd Field's three-act paradigm and Joseph Campbell's hero monomyth.

UX Research

Video Production/Postproduction

An introduction to videography with emphasis on documentary field production. The course will focus upon aspects of video production and postproduction.

Writing for Episodic Television

The course will explore the art and craft required to write a "spec" Television episode. The course will explore how TV writing differs from feature writing and how the TV writer/producer business model works. By the end of the course the student will have finished an hour-long "spec" script for an existing TV show or a two-part sitcom teleplay.

Writing for Series Television

Advanced examination of the techniques and elements of television writing. Focus is placed upon both the situation comedy and the dramatic series.

Writing the Feature-Length Screenplay

Writing the Short Film

A course in the fundamentals of screenwriting focused on the creation of a 15-30 page screenplay suitable for an MFA project film.