MA in Film, Radio, TV and Other Media Studies Modules

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GRADUATE FILM STUDIES MODULES

All modules are worth 8 ECTS credits each. Specific requirements for Doctoral students have been noted.

– What is “historiography” anyway? In short—it refers to the writing of history. In this module, students will investigate of a range of methodologies and approaches for writing about film. The purpose of this module is to familiarize students with the development and significance of analysis, as it relates to cinema, and to foster an understanding of the many ways in which film can be addressed—and the perspectives from which it can be considered. The resources for this course will include a broad range of studies ranging from trade publications, to film archives, to popular film criticism and publications. Requirements will include short written and oral responses to assignments issued, and a longer paper will be due at the end of the term. With respect to doctoral students, this paper should be written and formatted for a pre-selected academic journal, as per that journal’s guidelines.

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– When it comes to movies—everybody is a critic! And every film student has a theory on what makes a good film. This introduction to film theory and criticism, however, will acquaint students with critical literature devoted to cinema—and with many of the philosophical, theoretical, historical, and cultural components to which it is oriented. The evolution of this process, which has become an academic tradition and has produced credible contextual frameworks, will be thoroughly investigated. While becoming familiar with important examples of film theory and criticism, students will also learn to identify the ways in which these areas have evolved, and the relationships between film theory, criticism and culture. Requirements will include short written and oral responses to assignments issued, and a longer term paper. With respect to doctoral students, this paper should be written and formatted for a pre-selected academic journal, as per that journal’s guidelines.

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– This module is a broad survey of the history of film, from its inception through the present day. Its purpose will be to provide students with a knowledge of some of the key examples of those films that represent the finest in filmmaking of their day, and the ways in which these films advanced cinema to new levels. Students will be required to keep a journal of all the films viewed. In addition, short written and oral responses to assignments issued, and a longer term paper on the history of film will be due. With respect to doctoral students, this paper should be written and formatted for a pre-selected academic journal, as per that journal’s guidelines.

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– Categorizing works of art by genre first began in music and literature, then made its way to other art forms. In essence, a genre is a category of artistic composition characterized by similarities in form, style, and/or subject matter. This module is a broad survey of film genres and sub-genres, which will familiarize students with primary examples of films in each genre, and the components that render them appropriate to that genre. In addition to gaining an important knowledge of film genres, students will also learn to identify some of the most important genre directors, and the film styles often associated with film genres. Attention will also be paid to the blurring of genre definitions—and the continuing debate over what constitutes a film genre. Requirements will include short written/oral responses to assignments and a longer term paper on a topic specifically related to genre. With respect to doctoral students, this paper should be written and formatted for a pre-selected academic journal, as per that journal’s guidelines.

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– This module will familiarize students with the many tasks associated with making a movie—and the people who execute them. Every position will be analyzed—from the Executive Producer and Director to the Craft Services team. Through a process of learning about the many roles involved in executing a film project, students will also become aware of the truly collaborative nature of filmmaking. Requirements will include quizzes, short written/oral responses to assignments, and the construction of a mock film crew—for a selected genre—with all positions identified.

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– With the exception of extremely rare cases, every film begins with a screenplay. In this module, screenwriting and the various stages a screenplay goes through will be analyzed—from the first draft to the shooting script. Students will read a broad range of screenplays, and will compare them with the final products on film. Through this process, students will gain a thorough appreciation for the many considerations a screenwriter must address, and will come to understand the reciprocal exchange between the screenwriter and the film crew. Requirements will include short written/oral responses to assignments issued, and a longer written analysis of a screenplay. Students will also be required to write a short scene in screenplay format. With respect to doctoral students, the analysis should be written and formatted as a critical article for a pre-selected publication, as per that publication’s guidelines.

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– The film director is responsible for overseeing all creative aspects of a film—in essence for realizing the vision of the work (and the visions of the producer and/or screenwriter). The success or failure of a film is primarily attributed to the director. In this module, students will thoroughly examine the many aspects of filmmaking for which the director is responsible—and will also become familiar with the various “strings” and levels of film direction. In addition, the styles of particular film directors will be explored through the analysis of representative stylistic examples. Students will learn to identify how, when, and why directorial styles have been successful—and not so successful. Requirements will include short written/oral analyses of directorial aspects of assigned films, and a longer-term project in which the student will develop a shooting script for a scene.

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– We have all heard the expressions, “it’s an actor’s movie” or “that was his/her film” in relation to the performance of an actor. Although film actors generally must comply with the director’s wishes, the performances in a film can make or break a movie (and/or an actor’s career). In this module, students will carefully examine some of the great performances (and not so great performances) in the history of film, including the work of lead actors, supporting actors, character actors, and right on down to the ‘extras’. Students will investigate the roles of certain actors to identify why their performances have ranged from the stellar to the mundane—and will come to understand what other elements of filmmaking contribute to the actor’s performance. A broad range of performances will be analyzed, crossing a variety of genres, as will the developments in the career of an actor, as seen through his/her performances. Requirements will include short written/oral critiques of a number of actors’ performances, as well as a term paper focused on a particular actor’s career. With respect to doctoral students, this paper should be written and formatted for a pre-selected academic journal, as per that journal’s guidelines.

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– It’s always about money, right? That certainly is true when it comes to making movies, because film production is very costly. Thus, despite the artistic objectives, film producers must attend to the very practical aspects of any business, which include raising money, developing budgets, maintaining a schedule, marketing and promoting the product, and distributing it. How well a film is produced can make or break its success—and every step along the way of a production is crucial. It takes money to make films—and it takes profits to continue making them! In this module, students will become familiar with the criteria by which a film’s success is measured in the realm of business, from pre- through post-production, then on to marketing, promotion and distribution. This examination will include analyses of films that enjoyed enormous critical success—but which failed miserably from a business perspective—as well as films generally regarded as “terrible” – but which made fortunes for their producers. Requirements will include short written/oral responses to assignments, as well as the completion of a business film proposal/plan.

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– The singular goal of every comedy is to “make ‘em laugh”! The primary emphasis of all comedies is on humor. However, within that broad scope are numerous and varied types of comedy. In this module, students will thoroughly examine the techniques and styles of comedy, which will include parodies and spoofs, black comedies, romantic comedies, physical comedies, anarchic comedies, serio-comedies, comedies of manners, screwball comedies—and other forms of the comedy genre. Students will learn to identify the many types of comedy that exist, as well as particular styles and techniques identified with each of those forms. In addition, comedy writing, direction, and performance will be investigated. Unfortunately, comedy is often overlooked when the time to grant filmmaking awards rolls about. In this module, we will explore some of the most brilliant examples of comedy—to give them the credit they are due. Requirements will include short written/oral responses to assignments, and a term paper focused on an aspect of film comedy. With respect to doctoral students, this paper should be written and formatted for a pre-selected academic journal, as per that journal’s guidelines.

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– While films in all genres can embrace drama, the movie drama is generally a narrative film focused on a particular theme (or related themes) and subject (fictional), which is explored through the “eyes” of well-developed characters and situations. There is generally a primary issue in a film drama around which the story unfolds. In this module, students will explore the film drama—from both cultural and artistic aspects. Students will also become familiar with a number of sub-genres within the drama genre, and the types of movies each has generated over time. Particular emphasis will be placed on why and how certain dramatic films have become dated—while others remain timeless classics. The many components that create dramatic tension within a film will be investigated, as will the evolving definition of ‘drama’ as it applies to film. Requirements will include short written/oral responses to assignments, along with a term paper analysis of a dramatic film. With respect to doctoral students, this paper should be written and formatted for a pre-selected academic journal, as per that journal’s guidelines.

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(including “biopics”) – It is sobering to note that much of the public’s knowledge of history and historical figures is acquired from movies, particularly when considering that writers and directors take great license with respect to historical accuracy. In this module, students will explore historical epics and ‘biopics” – past and present, in order to identify how historical dramas and film biographies are made, why they remain popular to the movie going public, and to what degrees they are a service (or disservice) to the goals of history. A primary goal of this module will be to identify how one goes about separating the facts from the fictions, and to evaluate the evolution of attitudes toward accuracy in this genre—over time, on the parts of writers and directors. Students will explore the types of research that goes into creating a historical (or biographical) film. They will learn to identify which of the “great epics and biopics” are the worst offenders when it comes to accuracy, and which ones actually provide a realistic portrait of history and its inhabitants. Requirements will include short written/oral responses to assignments, as well as a term research paper comprised of a comparative analysis of a historical person or event and its cinematic counterpart. With respect to doctoral students, this paper should be written and formatted for a pre-selected academic journal, as per that journal’s guidelines.

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– Although these are separate film genres, action and adventure films share many of the same characteristics. Both tend to focus on exciting stories—largely told through physical action—both serve a human need for escapism—and both tend to require big budgets to produce. In this module, students will examine both the similarities and differences between these two genres—and explore the cultural reasons behind their massive popularity. A broad range of sub-genres will be examined (e.g., disaster films, swashbucklers, etc.), as will the construction of the “good guy vs. bad guy” themes and characters common to both genres. Students will also examine the enormous popularity of these genres, from cultural perspectives. Requirements will include short written/oral responses to assignments, as well as a term paper focused on a topic related to one or both of these genres. With respect to doctoral students, this paper should be written and formatted for a pre-selected academic journal, as per that journal’s guidelines.

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– Musicals and, to a lesser degree, dance films are movies that rely upon music and dance for storytelling and cinematic success. In this module, students will examine this genre and its subgenres—ranging from analyses of musical comedies to concert films. Particular emphasis will be placed on the evolution of the musical film—and its relationship to cultural tastes and interests. Students will seek to identify why (and when) musical films go in and out of favor with the movie going public, as well as with film producers and directors. The highly specialized needs associated with making a musical film will also be investigated. Requirements will include short written/oral responses to assignments, as well as a term paper analysis of a musical (or dance) film. With respect to doctoral students, this paper should be written and formatted for a pre-selected academic journal, as per that journal’s guidelines.

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– The public has long been fascinated with the future, with the possibility of worlds beyond the realms we know, with magical and supernatural powers—in short, with the inexplicable. The science fiction and fantasy genres embrace these fascinations, with quasi-science and limitless imagination. In this module, students will explore these genres—and their development over the course of film history—in efforts to identify their pre-film roots (such as literature and mythology) and will examine the application of those sources to these film genres. Particular emphasis will be based on the ways in which cultural, religious, mythological and literary traditions have fueled the development of these film genres. Requirements will include short written/oral responses to assignments, as well as a term paper focused on a topic related to one or both of these genres. With respect to doctoral students, this paper should be written and formatted for a pre-selected academic journal, as per that journal’s guidelines.

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– Although war films are sometimes considered a sub-genre of the drama and/or historical genres, and are also sometimes paired with such genres as action and adventure—the sheer number of films devoted to the subject of war justifies their treatment as a singular genre. In this module, students will examine the most significant war films ever made, in efforts to identify both the overt themes and sub-texts associated with them. Particular attention will be paid to the relationship between the message of each film examined—and the audience/time period for whom the film was made. Such concepts as heroism, integrity, love of country, honor, duty and the like are embedded within the fabric of war films—and students will gain an understanding of changing points of view, over time, regarding the perceptions and definitions of these concepts. War comedies and war dramas will be thoroughly investigated, as will propaganda films, specifically designed to rally audiences around wartime objectives. Requirements will include short written/oral responses to assignments, as well as a term research paper focused on a topic related to one or more war films. With respect to doctoral students, this paper should be written and formatted for a pre-selected academic journal, as per that journal’s guidelines.

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– Horror films grew out of a strong literary tradition frequently focused on a character’s or characters’ desire to destroy the world and everyone in it! The goal of every horror film is to arouse fear (even terror) in its audience—and there is often a hefty dose of the supernatural in a horror film. Generally, there is a singular villain who is identified early on in the film—although knowing the villain does not render the audience any less afraid of it! Horror movies are frequently categorized as exploitation films, and are often low budget movies, developed by little known producers, directors and actors—using the very cheapest of everything in production. However, there have been a number of film professionals who have elevated horror films to the level of ‘art’ – as well as “B-movies” that have become film classics. In this module, students will explore the full range of horror films, as well as the psychological and cultural characteristics of humans that so draw us to this genre. Particular attention will be paid to the application of style and technique to the horror film, and to the extreme importance of the collaborative effort in the making of a successful horror film. Requirements will include short written/oral responses to assignments, as well as a term paper/project focused on a horror film or films. This might include an analysis of a particular film, or a particular director, or the creation of a mini horror film! With respect to doctoral students, this paper should be written and formatted for a pre-selected academic journal, as per that journal’s guidelines.

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– In this module, students will examine the documentary genre and its power and influence over the realms of facts and ideas. Is the documentarian who shows us only one extremely biased point of view trying to provide a thought-provoking experience—or is it an exercise designed to manipulate rather than inform our thinking? Is it even possible to make a documentary, without an orientation and point of view, and thereby without any bias attached to it? If the documentary fails to be ‘honest’ and comprehensive, can it be regarded as information—or does it become gross misinformation? At what point does a ‘documentary’ become a ‘propaganda film’? There is much disagreement on the answers to such questions in film history and criticism. Students will thoroughly examine the documentary genre, as well as the literature directed to it, in order to gain an understanding of the criteria by which the documentary is evaluated. This process will include analyses of documentary films made over time (some of them award winners) that remain highly questionable with respect to their credibility, despite critical and popular acclaim. Requirements will include short written/oral responses to assignments, as well as a term research based comparison between actual events and their treatment in the documentary genre. With respect to doctoral students, this paper should be written and formatted for a pre-selected academic journal, as per that journal’s guidelines.

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– The public has always avidly embraced films devoted to crimes, criminals, and mysteries. Indeed, much of what we think they know about police work, the law, investigative work, and such—comes from movies hailing from these genres. Moreover, some of film’s most beloved and memorable characters are the “bad boys” of cinema, and the characters from film’s most well known “whodunits”. In this module, students will explore some of the finest examples from each of these genres, in order to gain a cinematic sense of what contributes to their success—and a cultural understanding of why the public responds to them with such enthusiasm. Special attention will be paid to the roots of these genres in literature and history, as well as to the development and evolution of the popular anti-hero and his/her influence on both cinema and culture. Requirements will include short written/oral responses to assignments, as well as a term paper/project focused on a topic related to one or more of these genres. With respect to doctoral students, this paper should be written and formatted for a pre-selected academic journal, as per that journal’s guidelines.

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– One of the most enduring sub-genres of the crime genre is film noir—the birthplace of cinema’s anti-hero. Popularized during the 1940s and 1950s, the gritty, typically black and white, ‘film noir’ generally involved a hero/anti-hero faced with at least one moral dilemma, complicated by self-interest, sexual tension, and a fair amount of danger. The label “film noir” – and the scholarship devoted to it actually occurred after this body of work was created. Influences on film noir include German Expressionist cinematography, as well as the popular crime novels that developed in America during the Great Depression. Its roots, however, date back to classical literature—and its particular “look” derives from movements in art history that include Mannerism and the proto-Baroque. In this module, students will closely examine film noir, in order to fully understand its establishment, evolution and popularity in film—and to identify the ways in which film noir characteristics have become embedded in the vocabulary of cinema. Special attention will also be paid to the relationship between film noir and the historical, cultural and economic developments that corresponded with it, at the height of its popularity. Requirements will include short written/oral responses to assignments, as well as a term paper/project focused on a topic related to the film noir sub-genre. With respect to doctoral students, this paper should be written and formatted for a pre-selected academic journal, as per that journal’s guidelines.

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– In the realm of cinema, there are many sub-genres that have held a strong appeal for the public—over time and at various periods in history. These include Thrillers and Suspense Films, Road Movies, Disaster Films, Spy Movies, and Westerns—among others. This module will familiarize students with a wide range of sub-genres, and the reasons behind the cyclical waxing and waning of their popularity, over time. Students will eventually select a sub-genre to thoroughly investigate—in order to develop a term project focused on the development of that sub-genre. This project will involve students in an investigation into the design, development and execution of several representative examples from the chosen sub-genre—and the cultural, historical, and technological developments associated with that sub-genre’s evolution, popularity and demise (where applicable). When did the road movie originate and how did it evolve over time? Why was the road movie so popular during the 1960s? Why did the American Western gain such popularity all over the globe and what developments marked its eventual decline? What is it about a disaster movie that appeals so strongly to the public? Why does James Bond (007) continue to enjoy such a long life? These and other questions will be addressed in this module. Requirements will include short written/oral responses to assignments, as well as the aforementioned term paper/project. With respect to doctoral students, this paper should be written and formatted for a pre-selected academic journal, as per that journal’s guidelines.

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– We have probably all lost count of the number of times we’ve said, “The movie was good but I liked the book better”. In this module, students will examine films that have been adapted for the screen from works of literature, to become acquainted with the best and worst adaptations, and the reasons underlying their success or failure. When do we feel the integrity of an author has been betrayed by an adaptation—or find that the original intention of a beloved story has been diluted? Which characters and outcomes presented in film adaptations have been the most disappointing to us—and the most satisfying? Why do screenwriters and directors take liberties with words and scenes written by the likes of Shakespeare, Hemingway, Austen, Pasternak, Tolstoy, Pinter and others—when the original work, as written, is as near to perfect as one can get? On the other hand, what are examples of screen adaptations that surpass the quality of the original material—earning the critical acclaim as a film that the original written work never garnered? These are only some of the questions students will address in this module—as we explore the realm of adaptation, with all of its pitfalls and potential. Requirements will include short written/oral responses to assignments, as well as a term paper/project comprised of a comparative analysis of a work of literature and the film adapted from it. Students have the option to adapt a scene from a work of literature to film. With respect to doctoral students, the paper/adapted scene submitted should be written and formatted for a pre-selected academic journal, as per that journal’s guidelines.

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The “Unforeign” Foreign Film: Analysis of the Foreign Language Category – A film is only “foreign” if you don’t happen to live in the country where it was produced and speak the native language! As a general rule, however, the term “foreign language films” refers to non-English speaking works of cinema. The finest foreign language films cross all ethnic, cultural, and national boundaries—and speak to us in “tongues” using the universal language of cinema. In this module, students will examine foreign film masterpieces that have earned acclaim by doing just that—and which are timeless in their style and appeal. Because many of these films cannot be wholly understood through translated subtitles—special emphasis will be placed on those dynamic, non-verbal devices that define characters, tell stories, and drive thematic content. Students will increase their understanding of the value of non-verbal language, and the visual vocabulary, as these are expressed on film—and will also thoroughly examine sociological and cultural developments that have contributed to the success of the subject films. The cinema library for this module will cover a broad base of genres. Requirements will include short written/oral responses to assignments, as well as a term research paper, produced from an interdisciplinary perspective, which analyzes the success of a selected ‘foreign’ film from both cinematic and cultural perspectives. With respect to doctoral students, this paper should be written and formatted for a pre-selected academic journal, as per that journal’s guidelines.

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: An Examination of Independent Features – There have always been independent films, however, the “indies” really began to enjoy their heyday in the 1960s. Filmmakers who were weary of the old studio system—and who wanted more control over their projects—began producing “indies” even before the studio system began to break down. Some of the independents simply raised funds based on their reputations and functioned as “lone wolves” in the arena of cinema. Others formed their own companies, in order to produce projects important to them and cultivate new talent. Before long, there were a variety of festivals cropping up—strictly devoted to independent films—as well as film “camps”, such as Sundance, devoted to cultivating young filmmakers by providing them with opportunities to make independent works. Numerous ‘art houses’ (movie theatres) exclusively dedicated to exhibiting independent films were also established. Now, every major studio has an independent film division and, indeed, the “indies” have become a big business. Nevertheless, independent films are still typically produced on much smaller budgets than studio features—and are often described as artsy, quirky, offbeat, fun little movies—definitely a step removed from “mainstream” cinema. In this module, students will examine some of the most noteworthy independent features, and identify they ways in which they’re different from major studio releases—in terms of subject matter, dialogue, character development, cinematic style, and other devices that are alternatives to more costly approaches. In addition, students will investigate the cultural reasons behind the niche that exists for independent films, and the process by which these films actually get produced. Requirements will include short written/oral responses to assignments, as well as a term paper that thoroughly analyzes a selected independent feature—and/or compares it with a studio feature addressing the same subject matter. With respect to doctoral students, this paper should be written and formatted for a pre-selected academic journal, as per that journal’s guidelines.

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– In this module, students will embark on a historical survey of animation, in order to become acquainted with the many evolutions through which animation has gone. Students will then take a more in-depth look at specific examples of animation forms, including flip books, cel animation, rotoscoping, stop-motion, claymation, cutout, silhouette, graphic, and model animation, puppet animation, and computer generated animation (CG), among others. Animation is a highly specialized art form. It is a painstaking, precise, and costly process. Although the quality of CG animation is rapidly improving—many artists still choose to create animated works in traditional forms. While animation began as a genre almost exclusively designed to entertain children—recent years have witnessed a barrage of animated films that are as appealing to adults as they are to youth audiences. Students will investigate the genre and sub-genres of animation, in order to explore their broadening appeal to both viewing audiences and cinema artists. Special attention will be paid to those works of animation, and animated characters, that have become embedded in the cultural fabric on a global scale. Requirements will include short written/oral responses to assignments, as well as a term paper/project that thoroughly analyzes a selected animated film. Students will have the option to compare an animated film with a corresponding live-action film, or create a short animated film that demonstrates a thorough knowledge of a particular type of animation. With respect to doctoral students, the term project should be written and/or visual project should be prepared for professional submission.

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– The short subject enjoyed enormous exposure during the days when a “short” always preceded the feature film in movie theatres. Eventually, the short began to cover a much broader range of topics and became far more sophisticated in the years that followed its heyday. Both the exposure for and attention paid to short subjects is once again changing dramatically, particularly with the emergence of so many new venues for the short subject—through online distribution and streaming media venues, film festivals and competitions, theme parks and such. A “short” is not simply a film that doesn’t happen to run as long as a feature. The entire structure and approach to producing a short subject is significantly different from the way a feature is made—and is, in many ways, far more challenging. In this module, students will explore the short (or micro) film—in order to understand both how and why short subjects are produced. Analyzing works that include live action, animation, and a combination of both—and which span a broad range of subject matter—students will learn to identify the primary elements of the short subject, and analyze the devices filmmakers use to establish plot and theme, introduce and develop characters, create the conflict central to all forms of storytelling, and resolve issues that leave lasting impressions on viewers—all within an extremely limited time frame. Students will also examine the “short short” (generally under five minutes) and discuss the ways in which these films are now being produced, created, marketed and distributed. The numerous venues for filmmakers on the Internet are changing the nature of the film industry—and represent a cultural phenomenon that students will also investigate. Requirements will include short written/oral responses to assignments, as well as a term paper/project that thoroughly analyzes a selected short film. Students will have the option to create a short subject film that demonstrates a thorough knowledge of the styles and techniques essential to the short subject. With respect to doctoral students, the term project submitted should be formatted and presented for professional release.

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– Can you name five of the most important film editors in the history of cinema? Probably not. And yet, the editor can be the “best friend” or “worst enemy” of the film director. Film editing is a highly specialized process—one that requires an astute understanding of technology, storytelling, visual communication techniques, art, music, lighting, sound—and the many other layers that contribute to a successful motion picture. The film editor is responsible for taking raw footage—shot out of sequence—and turning it into an intelligible, artistic, and appealing film that represents the film director’s vision—and will insure commercial success. The whole is actually a great deal more than the sum of its parts, as it relates to the final cut of a film. How well a film editor does his or her job significantly influences the ultimate success or failure of a movie. In this module, students will undertake a historical survey of film editing, and become familiar with some of the finest and poorest examples of film editing in the history of cinema. This survey will also include a review of changes in technology over time, which have dramatically affected the processes and potential associated with editing films. Requirements will include short written/oral responses to assignments, as well as a term paper/project that thoroughly analyzes the editorial assembly of a film. Students will have the option to create a short film, and to present the raw footage and finished product in a way that demonstrates a thorough knowledge of film editing. With respect to doctoral students, any paper submitted should be written and formatted for a pre-selected academic journal, as per that journal’s guidelines. Any film project created should be acceptable for presentation on an online venue.

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– For those of us who are film enthusiasts, a “great” film is one we watch over and over again. We soak in the details—scrutinize the directorial choices, memorize the dialogue, study the editing, focus on the music, art direction, sound and special effects choices—and essentially take ownership of those cinematic works we most admire. We come to recognize the styles and approaches of our favorite directors, screenwriters, actors and such—and we develop certain expectations of them. We live and learn a lot about making films—by watching films—and each of us is something of a film critic! But how does that kind of learning process really work in the professional realm? How does one apply what has been learned without being imitative? How does a filmmaker take the cinematic language of various film masters and create a unique vocabulary of his or her own? In this module, students will focus on just such a process, utilizing an analytical approach. Mimesis is an ancient technique of literary imitation, first given life and elaboration by Aristotle. Through analyses of literature and film, students will become acquainted with the ways in which a constructive mimetic process can be applied to film—and how it has influenced great film artists. This exploration will include an examination of the influences on some of cinema’s most renowned directors and performers—as expressed in their own words—as well as more precise identifications of applications of earlier masters on the artists who have followed them. The focus will be on film directors and film actors. Requirements will include short written/oral responses to assignments, as well as a term paper/project that thoroughly analyzes the career of a selected director or actor, in the context of the mimetic approach. Note:This module is required for all doctoral students.With respect to doctoral students, the required paper should be written and formatted for a pre-selected academic journal, as per that journal’s guidelines.

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– Successful films are greater than the sum of their parts. But some movies contain cinematic moments or pieces of dialogue that have become part of our individual psyches—and our cultural fabric. These films are considered “iconic” because they contain moments that survive and transcend time and place—moments that embody a universal understanding and appeal. We may not remember who wrote or directed some of these films—we may not even recall who starred in them, or what their stories were all about. In some cases, we may not have even seen the original films! But their greatest moments are burned into our brains—and references from them are repeated over and over again in our daily lives. Have you ever been completely lost on the road only to find yourself saying, “Toto, I don’t think we’re in Kansas anymore”? Did you ever prepare a fantastic business proposal and laughingly suggest, “I’m gonna make him an offer he can’t refuse”? Have you ever responded to a question asking for too little, too late by saying, “Frankly, my dear, I don’t give a damn”, or raised your glass to a romantic partner and said, “Here’s lookin’ at you, kid”? These are more than just lines from our favorite movies. They carry with them a sub-text, a tone, a meaning, and a mood that often communicates a message we want to send better than any we can create. Powerful cinematic moments, moods and suggestions from iconic films stay with us forever. They make their way into everything from ad campaigns and TV commercials to parenting techniques and negotiation strategies. They influence our personal philosophies and our fashion choices. They tap into our dreams, our hopes, and our fears—and both reflect and define human culture. In this module, students will examine the power of iconic films within cultural, societal frameworks—in order to identify how they articulate such concepts as good, evil, passion, nobility, cowardice, courage, honor and humility. This examination will include films from a broad range of genres. Requirements will include short written/oral responses to assignments, as well as an interdisciplinary term paper on a topic related to iconic films. This module is required for all doctoral students.With respect to doctoral students, the required paper should be written and formatted for a pre-selected academic journal, as per that journal’s guidelines. Back to Top

Independent Study Electives

The following modules can be customized by the student and mentor into independent studies focused on a particular topic within these subject areas. Students may also work with their mentors to customize additional modules related to other aspects of cinema that do not appear in this list. All independent studies must be approved by Warnborough College Ireland. Requirements for all independent studies will include regular written and oral progress reports, as well as a term paper/project that demonstrates a thorough knowledge of the subject matter under investigation. All projects must be approved by the mentor and Warnborough College Ireland. With respect to doctoral students, term projects should be prepared for professional publication and/or presentation.

  • FS 529 Special Studies in Streaming Media and the Mini-Movie
  • FS 530 Special Studies in Music and its Role in Cinema
  • FS 531 Special Studies in Cinematography
  • FS 532 Special Studies in Film Editing
  • FS 533 Special Studies in Film Themes
  • FS 534 Special Studies in Film and Culture
  • FS 535 Special Studies in Technical Filmmaking (e.g., Sound, Costume Design, Set Design, etc.)
  • FS 536 Special Studies in Animation
  • FS 537 Special Studies in Experimental and Avant-Garde Film

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