Graduate ProgramsMFA in Production PhD in Media Studies MA in Media Studies MFA in Screenwriting

Contact:

Twitter Facebook Vimeo Flickr

 

2016 - Fall

FOR CLASS DETAILS, INCLUDING TIMES, CLICK ON "FIND COURSES NOW" ON THE REGISTRAR'S PAGE.

RTF 380C         SCREENWRITING FOR DIRECTORS • STUART KELBAN
The purpose of this course is to explore how to write effective narrative screenplays, with an emphasis on the short script.   By breaking-down screenplays and films  (ie: figuring out how they "work"),  the class explores the basic dramatic principles of story, character and structure, applying these concepts to the development of original short scripts.  

At the end of the semester, students will leave class with short scripts ready to shoot in the spring RTF 881KB narrative production class.

RTF 380J          FIRST-YEAR SCREENWRITING • CINDY MCCREERY
The gateway course for entering MFA Screenwriters, this class focuses on writing the feature-length screenplay, which means delving into the three primary elements of screenwriting: story, character and structure. Students discuss and evaluate each other's work on a weekly basis, developing their critical skills as screenwriters. By the end of the semester, each student will have a completed treatment, step-outline, and Act I of a feature-length screenplay. RTF Screenwriters will complete-and-revise their screenplay during the Spring, in the 380J companion course.

RTF 380M        *ADVANCED SCREENWRITING I • RICHARD LEWIS
This course fulfills the second year, second semester writing requirement for all screenwriting majors specializing in narrative motion pictures and television. The goals of this course are as follows: That you complete a feature-length script suitable for submission to agents, production companies and/or contests. That you leave this course a better writer than when you entered. That you help your fellow classmates achieve the above two goals and vice-versa.

*This course fulfills the second year, first semester writing requirement for all MFA screenwriting majors. Other qualified students will be admitted as space permits, by instructor permission.

RTF 380N         ADAPTATION • BEAU THORNE
This course will provide a pragmatic, hands-on approach to several skills crucial to the screenwriter's craft: adapting a screenplay from existing material, and executing creative work "on assignment". Students will write a film adaptation of a short story or similar source material, which will be assigned by the instructor. Students will also create an outline or treatment, revise their writing extensively, and engage in weekly discussions of each other's work.

RTF 380P         PRODUCTION WORKSHOP FOR WRITERS • SCOTT RICE
This class, open to students in Radio-TV-Film and the Department of Theatre and Dance, will provide an introduction to the art, tools and practice of filmmaking through hands-on collaborations between writers and actors to create original short films. This course is designed for non-production majors, so no prior production experience is required. Students will learn basic lighting, cinematography, directing and editing skills through short, collaborative hands-on exercises. The class will culminate in the production of original short films, developed collaboratively between the actors & writers.

RTF 384N        INTERNSHIP IN FILM & ELECTRONIC MEDIA

RTF 385K         MEDIA, MEMORY AND THE ARCHIVE • CAROLINE FRICK
This course introduces one of the most complicated (and under-studied) components of the media industries:  Preservation.  The course will employ both a theoretical and practical approach to archival media product, as well as will investigate the emerging connections with media and memory studies.  Debates over the merits (and drawbacks) of defining media product as artifact will be complemented by larger discussions over the practical ramifications of copyright, physical deterioration and the so-called “digital dilemma.”

RTF 386           ALTERNATIVE POETICS • CHARLES RAMIREZ BERG
This course is specifically designed for second year screenwriting and production students and for studies students who are interested in a comparative investigation of film form and film narrative. Beginning with the classic Hollywood paradigm (as delineated by Bordwell, Staiger and Thompson), the class will begin a survey (in weekly screenings) of alternatives to that narrative model. Among them will be films directed by Yasujiro Ozu (Tokyo Story), Robert Bresson (A Man Escaped), Akira Kurosawa (Ikiru), Carl Th. Dreyer (The Passion of Joan of Arc), Luis Buñuel (Los Olvidados), Federico Fellini (8 1/2), Abbas Kiarostami (Close-Up), Michelangelo Antonioni (L’Avventura), and Lucrecia Martel (La Mujer sin Cabeza [The Headless Woman]). Additional films include Casablanca, F.W. Murnau’s Sunrise, John Frankenheimer’s The Manchurian Candidate, and Alfred Hitchcock’s Vertigo. In each case the central question is “How does this film’s narration operate?”

RTF 386          LANDSCAPE & CINEMA (meets with RTF 345) LALITHA GOPALAN
Landscapes have surfaced in cinema since its inception, highlighting the long shadows cast by painting and photography on composition of panoramas and vistas. Yet, the film camera with its predilection for movement asserts its own singularity. This course particularly turns to post-war cinemas to explore how war, decolonization, and nationalism heralded a shift away from earlier forms of panoramas onscreen; ruins, debris, earthquakes, waste and so on, impinge on anterior concepts of the pastoral.  Such a focus on landscapes, the course suggests reconfigures the scholarship on global cinemas that has far too long been considered under distinct categories such as national, new waves, festival, experimental, and art house films. 

RTF 386C         MEDIA INDUSTRIES • ALISA PERREN
Three main objectives will guide us throughout the semester: First, we will trace the development – and increasing interrelatedness – of the media industries from the early twentieth century to the present.  We will focus in particular on the evolution of Hollywood’s film and television operations, considering the ways that regulatory and technological shifts, as well as growing impulses toward globalization, have intersected with industrial changes. Second, we will look at the range of qualitative methods that have been employed to research the media industries. In the process, we will read several “case studies” that provide examples of each of these approaches. Third, we will explore the emerging field of “media industry studies.” This field, which incorporates work in film, media, communication, and cultural studies, argues for the importance of integrating analysis of media structures with consideration of cultural and textual matters. Although our readings will focus most heavily on “filmed entertainment” from Hollywood, students are encouraged to explore such areas as video games, music, comic books, publishing, and radio in their final projects. Further, students are encouraged to apply the theoretical and methodological frameworks to other local, regional, and national contexts.

RTF 386C         RACE AND DIGITAL MEDIA CULTURES • S CRAIG WATKINS
This graduate seminar considers the complex ways in which race continues to evolve and matter in the contemporary world.  While race certainly continues to matter how we think about race in the era of digital media grows more complex.  This course will consider four distinct areas and what they reveal about race, social change, and social and economic inequality.  Part One takes a look at the evolution of the digital divide, with a particular focus on how shifts in the adoption of technology—computers, the Internet, and mobile—are remapping participation in digital life.  Part Two explores the fascinating shifts that are happening in the realm of media and cultural representation with a specific emphasis on the user-generated content produced via social media channels.  Specifically, the course probes how YouTube has evolved to become a site for the production of counter-narratives that expand our notions of race.  Part Three considers some of the current and critical debates about racial and economic inequality in the innovation economy.  Digital media culture significantly shapes our knowledge economy and has serious implications for how we think about issues of diversity and inclusion in that economy.  The final section of the course, Part Four, explores the terrain of civic and political life.  In this section we consider recent data trends as well as prominent social media-driven political initiatives that compel a reconsideration of the future of racial politics in the age of digital media culture.

The primary course assignment is a collaborative effort that will culminate in a final research report that the students and instructor will produce examining many of the key themes addressed during the semester.  

RTF 387C         GLOBAL MEDIA • JOE STRAUBHAAR
In this course we will critically examine the political, economic, cultural and technological discourses of globalization in terms of the multiple forces which produce, sustain and disrupt global, national and local media. We will address questions of representation, production, consumption, identity and difference in specific cultural contexts, and pay particular attention to the role of media in globalization.  The goal of the seminar is to ensure that by the end of the semester, all participants will be able to map key issues, concepts, theories and methodologies for future research in this area of inquiry.

RTF 387C         MEDIA AND DIASPORA • MADHAVI MALLAPRAGADA
This course will introduce you to the key conceptual and theoretical issues relating to media, migration and diaspora. We will focus on the relationship between race, ethnicity, class and nationalism in the formation of immigrant identities and diasporic communities; varied histories and contexts of migration including exile, voluntary emigration, forced migration; the response of nation-states to transnational mobility and the particular cultural struggles and political commitments of migrant subjects. We will interrogate such issues by examining how the media represent the identity, difference and hybridity of diasporic communities in specific socio-historical and cultural contexts. We will also discuss the politics of media technologies, texts, institutions and audiences in reshaping conventional understandings of media and diaspora. Readings for the course will draw from postcolonial theory, critical race and ethnic studies, diaspora studies and media and cultural studies. The examination of media in a diasporic context will offer us a rich site to explore issues relating to hybrid identities, border crossings, transnational politics, racial and ethnic minorities, strategic nation-states and flexible citizenships.

RTF 388C         RESEARCH PROBLEMS: DOCTORAL EXAM PREP 

RTF 388D         RESEARCH PROBLEM IN SPECIAL FIELD OF RTF

RTF 388E          RESEARCH PROBLEM IN SPECIAL FIELD OF RTF

RTF 388P         ADVANCED DIRECTING • ANDREW SHEA
This course is designed to bring together advanced directing and acting students in an environment that will foster mutual growth and understanding of the director/actor dynamic in the filmmaking process.  The class will work closely with Lucien Douglas's Acting For The Camera course in the Department of Theatre & Dance.  Each student will direct or co-direct a Dogme-style film in which the Theatre & Dance actors play the leading roles.  We will adhere to a production code that is a modified version of the Dogme 95 Vow of Cinematic Chastity.  The goal will be to create collaborative, performance-based works that emphasize simplicity and ingenuity in image and sound choices.

RTF 388P         CINEMATOGRAPHY • DEB LEWIS
This course explores visual storytelling and the art of cinematography through practice in a workshop environment. We will explore visual expression through a variety of cinema tools including camera and lighting. Students are encouraged to think cinematically in both fiction and non-fiction approaches. A number of readings and exercises are assigned to also increase a student's technical knowledge and understanding of one's tools, leading to greater creative and personal visual expression.

RTF 388S         RESEARCH PROBLEM SPECIAL FIELD RTF: PRODUCTION

RTF 389           MEDIA AND POPULAR CULTURE (meets with 359) • SHANTI KUMAR
Drawing on the current debates in media and cultural theory, this course provides in-depth analyses of a wide range of issues in media and popular culture-- such the changing nature of production and consumption in digital culture, representations of race, gender, class in the media, and the growing centrality of regulations and surveillance in everyday life. The goal of this course is to help students develop the theoretical and methodological skills necessary to critically evaluate the reciprocal relationship between media and popular culture in the 21st century.

RTF 390C        INTRODUCTION TO EDITING FOR GRAD STUDENTS • ANNE LEWIS
Required for first year MFA production students. This is an introductory course in which we will build the foundation for later postproduction practice within the MFA program. It will incorporate technical, aesthetic, and practical considerations into an overall view of editing as a process, and we will use class discussion, written assignments, and (provided) editing exercises toward that end. The final third of the class will workshop your documentary film at various stages of postproduction.

RTF 393Q       VIDEO GAMES STUDIES • SUZANNE SCOTT
Games have always been an integral part of our culture, and studies of culture have long been fascinated by our propensity for play. From early arcade games to emergent VR technologies, this course will survey the core cultural and academic discourses and debates that surround video games and game culture.  In addition to engaging seminal texts within video game studies from Johan Huizinga, Roger Caillois, T.L. Taylor, Mia Consalvo, Henry Jenkins, Ian Bogost, Jesper Juul, Celia Pearce, James Paul Gee, Jane McGonigal, Alexander Galloway, and Tracey Fullerton (among others), themed weeks of content will address game aesthetics, rules and mechanics, narrative, spectatorship, genres (casual and social games, MMORPGs), gaming and/as identity, war games, and video game fan culture.  Students will be required to play games for course assignments, but no prior gaming experience or access to particular consoles will be required.

RTF 395          THEORY AND LITERATURE (MA) • TOM SCHATZ
This course provides an introduction to the broad range of theories in media studies from the perspectives of social sciences and cultural studies.  It is required for all new M.A. students in the RTF Department. We will review the primary theories and researchers in the field, with an emphasis on understanding the development of the discipline and its varied trajectories of research (such as mass communications, political economy and critical-cultural analyses of media). The course will be conducted as a seminar, with in depth discussions of the books, articles and authors we encounter.

RTF 395        THEORY AND LITERATURE (PhD): REVISITING MEDIA THEORIES IN THE DIGITAL AGE WENHONG CHEN
Theory is the foundation of knowledge production. Drawing on literature from the fields of media studies, communication, sociology, and management, this course aims to equip new PhD students with skills to understand, critique, use, and develop media theories. The course has three major components:  

  1. We start with the foundational theorists and theories, broadly in social science and specifically in media and communication studies.  We will examine whether and how these theorists and theories remain relevant in the digital age. We will discuss how digital media have challenged conventional modes of theorizing.  
  2. In the second part, we will draw on milestone studies to showcase how theories are applied, criticized, appropriated, revised, and reclaimed, crossing disciplinary and national boundaries.
  3. In the third part, students are encouraged to engage with media theories through review and research. Students will be guided step-by-step to achieve the following goals:
  • A1.  Demonstrate a solid understanding of:

a.   Major theoretical approaches and their confluence in media studies, especially as applicable to recent advancements in digital media studies

b.   Modes and processes of theorizing media and society

  • A2.  Develop skills to apply major media theories to specific research topics
  • A3.  Recognize various opportunities, challenges, and implications of doing and communicating media theories in a rapidly changing digital media landscape

RTF 398R       MASTER'S REPORT

RTF 398T       PEDAGOGY: SUPERVISED TEACHING IN RTF • LAURA STEIN
This is a course on methods and practices of teaching communication area college courses.  It is designed to introduce you to some of the philosophies behind different ways of teaching, as well as to assist you in your teaching experience at UT Austin.  We will thus be dealing both with theoretical material as well as more basic, “how to” information and skills.  The goal of the course is to make you more comfortable in the classroom, to better your pedagogical skills, and to improve your understanding of your own teaching.  The course plan moves you from “how to teach at this particular institution” (i.e., the syllabus assignments) through “thinking about the theory and practice of teaching” (i.e., the research paper, observations, discussions of ethics, practicums) to evaluating your own teaching and preparing to sell it on the job market (i.e., teaching philosophy and portfolio). You are expected to keep up with the reading, meet all course deadlines, and fulfill your responsibilities as a member of an academic community.  Class time will be reserved every week for the discussion of issues, problems, and positive experiences in your individual classrooms.

RTF 488M        PRE-THESIS PRODUCTION • MEGAN GILBRIDE
This is the required class for 2nd year MFA students. It is not open to anyone else.

RTF 488M        THESIS PRODUCTION • PJ RAVAL
This course is designed to aid students in the planning, production and completion of "short project" film/video projects required as partial fulfillment of the MFA degree; Students involved in pre-production must complete a story synopsis, treatment and/or shooting script (if the latter is already under way), plus a production budget and date for production start and completion; a student must have script, production plan, budget, and equipment list approved by his/her MFA committee before shooting can begin; and each project in post-production must have a budget and picture delivery date set by the student producer's MFA committee and course instructor.

RTF  881KA     PRINCIPLES OF FILM AND TV DOCUMENTARY PRODUCTION • PAUL STEKLER
This course offers an introduction to the principles and techniques of filmmaking with an emphasis on documentary production. The class does this by focusing on both the hands-on practice of all the necessary craft and technical skills to create successful documentaries and the necessity to understand aspects of storytelling and characters that are common in all genres of filmmaking. Each student will complete a semester long short documentary project. All work will be screened and critiqued by class members

RTF 399R, 699R, 999R       DISSERTATION      

RTF 698A, 698B    THESIS