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2014 - Fall

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

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UPPER DIVISION COURSES

LOWER DIVISION COURSES

RTF 305             INTRODUCTION MEDIA STUDIES • JOSEPH STRAUBHAAR

This course focuses on the study of both traditional and new electronic and film media. It surveys the cultural industries of music, film, radio, television, mobile media, social media and gaming, with a special emphasis on film, from multiple perspectives, including history, economics, genres and content, representation, regulation and social effects. It emphasizes the relationships among  media, culture, and power. The whole course is taught online, including lectures, discussions, screenings, quizzes and tests. Grading is by straight scale.

RTF 309              COMMUNICATION TECHNOLOGY AND SOCIETY  • SHARON STROVER                

This course examines the context and significance of contemporary information and communication technologies and institutions. It offers an overview of the social, political and policy dimensions of these technologies, surveys their historical development and current uses, and highlights some of the significant social issues and conflicts they raise. Communication and sociological theory are used to make sense of the relationship between communications technology and social use, operation and development. Special attention is paid to dilemmas in contemporary communications policy and practice, such as protection of privacy and personal information, information ownership, free speech, and the role of communication in political processes.


RTF 312C           GLOBAL MEDIA • SHANTI KUMAR

Talk of globalization and media is all around us, in the news, in the education system, in college classes, and in the employment sector. We know that there are important connections between media, globalization, and international communication. Whether these connections are between business, government, activist networks, or for-profit/non-profit international organizations, global media has an important history and a current presence that must be better understood in order to help make us better global citizens and consumers. This class in geared to help you gain background knowledge on these issues by first exploring global media from a historical/theoretical context. From there we can critically apply this knowledge to help us evaluate current debates, events and issues in global media such as: What do we mean by global media? How is it analyzed now and how was it viewed in the past? What are the cultural, political, economic and social implications of the globalization of media? What has been the impact of new media technologies? What are the relationships between global media and social change, international development, activism, and social networking? We will explore these cultural, socioeconomic, and political dynamics that impact the complex nature of human communication through lecture, media screenings, discussion and group work.


RTF 314              DEVELOPMENT OF MOTION PICTURE • CHARLES RAMIREZ BERG

This course will seek to build a multicultural history of cinema that surveys critical approaches (institutional, social, political, aesthetic, and technological) and stresses the relationship between films and context. It focuses on mainstream and alternative, North American and International, production and reception, and fictional and nonfiction cinemas in an effort to investigate the many voices and histories of film development.


RTF 316               HISTORY OF US RADIO AND TELEVISION • ALISA PERREN                           

This class is a historical survey of US radio and television broadcasting as well as related electronic media from the early 20th century to the present. We will watch and discuss representative programs and read academic texts, all the while maintaining a critical focus on the interactions between the broadcast/cable industries and technology, society, culture, politics, and aesthetics.

 

RTF 316M           RACE, ETHNICITY AND THE MEDIA • TBA

This course provides students with critical tools and an understanding of the main topics of concern and debate regarding representations of race and ethnicity in U.S. film, entertainment television, and media culture. We will explore evolving images of race and ethnicity from the era of silent film until the present day, how ideals of class, gender, and sexual orientation intersect in these dynamics, how various ethnic groups have participated in entertainment media production and consumption and in advocacy and activism targeting media producers, and other topics of study and popular interest related to race, ethnicity and media representation. While a variety of theoretical and methodological approaches will be reviewed, critical and cultural studies approaches to media studies will be emphasized.

RTF 317              NARRATIVE STRATEGIES • TBA    

This class focuses on the study of how meaning is structured and perceived through the aesthetics of audiovisual images. It also surveys the various modes used in narrative and non-narrative storytelling in fiction film and television.


RTF 318              INTRO TO IMAGE AND SOUND • MICAH BARBER

This course is designed to introduce fundamental production concepts and techniques through lectures, projects, and lab experiences. The acquisition of technical skills will be a priority, as this course is a prerequisite to upper-division production classes. Emphasis also will be placed on developing a storyteller's point of view and the ability to create works characterized by simple yet effective visual, aural and narrative structures. Students will be required to attend hands-on lab sections and to complete one still photography project, one sound-designed still photo project and one sync sound digital video project.


RTF 319              INTRODUCTION TO DIGITAL MEDIA  TBA

RTF 319 is an introductory course in the production and distribution of digital media content. The course will familiarize students with the basic tools and concepts necessary to produce content for new media environments. Students will be given the opportunity to produce and distribute a variety of content over the Internet.

The overall goal of the class is (1) to give students the opportunity to work and learn with each other while translating their ideas and creativity into digital media content; and (2) to help students develop an awareness of the social institutions that influence the production and distribution of digital media content. Students will be introduced to software-based techniques and principles for digital image composition, 2D and 3D static and motion graphics creation, audio and video editing and mixing, and principles of interactive media.

The course is divided into lecture (two 1.5 hour sessions per week) and lab (one two-hour session per week). Some lectures are intended to introduce students to various theories and histories of technological development while others are used to develop media production and communication skills. Labs are used to complete homework assignments and to give students a chance to work with their peers on projects.

UPPER DIVISION COURSES

RTF 330L/178           INTERNSHIP IN FILM & ELECTRONIC MEDIA 

The purpose of this course is to provide professional internship experiences with television and radio stations, film, video, and new media production companies, governmental agencies and production units, audio recording studios, and new media industries. Students are responsible for securing their own internship position. Resources and position listings are available in the College of Communication Career Services (CCS) office, CMA 3.104 / (512) 471-9421.

At the end of the semester, you will be required to submit an Internship Report consisting of:
- A weekly journal
- Work samples or a portfolio
- Your evaluation of the internship
- Your supervisor's confidential evaluation of your performance

FIRST CLASS DAY POLICY: Students must attend the first class day or they will be dropped.

RTF 331K          CRITICAL STUDIES IN FILM & TV STARDOM • MARY BELTRAN

Stardom is a central phenomenon of popular culture, driving film, television, and media production and a constellation of ancillary industries, in addition influencing the American and global public in a variety of ways. Yet it seldom is the object of study. What is stardom, and what can stars teach us about the entertainment media industries, social history, and contemporary concerns? And how has the construction and meaning of stardom and celebrity evolved since the days of the Hollywood studio system? This seminar foregrounds these questions in its exploration of the cultural phenomenon of mediated stardom and of media and film studies scholarship making sense of it. Among other topics, we will explore the development of stardom in the context of the entertainment media industries, the reading of star images as cultural texts, the evolution of popular stars in relation to shifting ideals of race, class, gender, and sexuality, the cultural and theoretical issues that stars raise, and new permutations of stardom and celebrity culture in the contemporary media environment.

RTF 331M           NEW MEDIA TECHNOLOGIES AND CULTURES • MADHAVI MALLAPRAGADA

This course explores technological, industrial, and social structures of communication and information. We will start with a brief overview of the history of U.S. telephone, broadcast, and computer industries. Then we will explore how technological and political developments in the last two decades profoundly altered the products these industries offer, the markets they serve, their relations with each other and with policy makers, and their effect on the daily life of various cultural groups. Throughout the course, we will keep a critical eye on the ends and means of government policy regarding communication and information technologies. NOTE: This is a writing intensive course, though it doesn’t carry the writing flag this semester.  If you are graduating in December, you may petition to have the flag added. Please see your advisor for details

RTF 331P           DIGITAL MEDIA AND DESIGN • CRAIG WATKINS

The course is developed for students who are interested in Interactive media, design, and innovative storytelling. Over the course of the semester students will examine interactive media productions and explore what makes these artifacts unique forms of narrative, knowledge production, and media experiences.  The primary project will involve students working in small teams to design and make an interactive media story.  The class will be most useful to students who have some expertise in digital media production, interactive media, storytelling, and/or interests in critical inquiry and thinking as part of good design and digital expression.

RTF 333              INTRODUCTION TO SCREENWRITING • TBA   

RTF 333 will introduce you to screenwriting, and the primary forms which writing for the screen may take: features, shorts, television and documentary. We will explore the basic theory and formal aspects of story, structure and character which are essential to all forms of screenwriting. In lecture and sections, we will carefully examine each step of the screenwriting process - from the initial premise, through character exploration and treatments, to writing the first draft - then apply those steps to the development of your own scripts. The class will also focus on critically examining produced scripts and films from a screenwriter's perspective, in order to learn more about the craft.

RTF 334             CHILDREN AND MEDIA • KATHLEEN TYNER 

In this course, students take an historical look at the uses of media and popular culture by children and teens. Particular focus is placed on recent trends in the uses of digital tools, cultural products, information and media produced by children and youth.  An archive of media produced for children will be explored.  The course also examines the way that media effects research has been used as a basis for policy, regulation and social movements that seek to both expand and restrict young people’s uses of media over time.  Throughout the course, students will be asked to analyze, evaluate and creatively design media products intended for audiences of children and teens.

RTF 335              TELEVISION ANALYSIS AND CRITICISM • ALISA PERREN

What is television today? What roles does television play in American society? How are shifts in the television industry impacting storytelling practices? In what ways are television’s aesthetics changing in the age of the iPhones and high definition TV sets ? How have representations of gender, race, and class changed due to television’s transformation from a three-channel mass medium to a niche-oriented medium? How are the relationships between television producers and viewers changing in the new millennium?

In this course, students will learn the fundamentals of television analysis and be asked to relate these analyses to screenings. Television’s formal traits, as well as its rapidly changing position as a cultural, social, political, and industrial force, will be explored. We will take television seriously in an effort to become more critically aware viewers and consumers of the medium. Over the course of the semester, we will examine a range of U.S. television programs through different critical lenses such as style, genre, and narrative. In addition to this examination of television texts, we will analyze its production and reception. We will also consider the ways in which television presently is being transformed as it is converging with other digital technologies. Come prepared to engage – and debate– complex ideas and sophisticated arguments.

RTF 341              AUDIO PRODUCTION: SOUND FOR PICTURE • ANDREW GARRISON

Sound Production and Sound Design are known as the “third half of cinema.” This course offers hands-on introduction to the fundamentals of sound production and post for picture. We will explore audio as a craft component of picture media and as a creative practice. Students will learn and apply production techniques to complete several project assignments in Pro Tools that will include sound design, dialogue editing, Foley, ADR, ambiences, creating FX, working with music, preparing for the mix, and your own basic mixes. Much hard work. Much fun. If you could take only one audio class on your path to filmmaking, this would be the one.

RTF 342              GLOBAL TELEVISION • JOSEPH STRAUBHAAR

In recent years, the globalization of media has become a key issue of debate in many nations and cultures around the world.  Yet, many discussions about globalization tend to obscure the often complex and contradictory relationships among global, national and local forces. In this course we will critically examine the role that film, television, video games, and other media play in shaping our sense of global, national, and local cultures and identities.

The goal of this course is to introduce you to a broad range of issues that are stimulating research in the field of global media studies. The first part of the course will focus on global media institutions, and the second part on audience uses of global media and issues of cultural identity.

RTF 343/388P    ADVANCED DIRECTING • ANDREW SHEA

Dogme 95 meets Meisner technique in this collaborative class. Each student will co-direct a Dogme-style film, utilizing Meisner techniques to develop story ideas in the early weeks of the semester. 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 343/388P    CREATIVE NON-FICTION PRODUCTION • ELLEN SPIRO 

This course will focus on documentary as an art form, in both the films we study and the creative work we produce. Students will be introduced to the combined and overlapping practices of documentary and experimental filmmaking.  Students will be encouraged to utilize a variety of innovative approaches and techniques. We will explore non-traditional uses of talking heads, imaginative ways of incorporating archival and found footage, hybrid genres, poetic and lyrical music-oriented work and other unconventional approaches. The study of both non-fiction and experimental practice and aesthetics will be in service of the creative work created by students in the class. 

RTF 343              ADVANCED NARRATIVE PRODUCTION • KAT CANDLER

From script to sound design, students spend the semester completing an advanced video production (3 - 10 minutes). Emphasis is placed on storytelling, strong cinematic style, and production values. Students are not required to direct, but must participate in the key crew positions on various projects for full credit.

RTF 343       DOCUMENTARY PRODUCTION FOR WEB • SCOTT RICE

Students will produce compelling short-form documentaries that may be aired on a new online network devoted to mental health awareness. Each web series episode will run 4-8 minutes. Emphasis will be placed on storytelling, character development, production value and educational value. Film students of any specialty are welcome. Producers, directors, editors, mograph artists, sound recordists/designers and cinematographers will all be given their choice of project. This course is cross-listed with psychology and other departments. Students who want to explore mental health issues through cinema are encouraged to enroll. Topics include how individuals or families are impacted by anxiety and trauma-related disorders (panic disorder, OCD, PTSD), mood disorders (depression, bipolar disorder) or psychotic disorders (schizophrenia, psychosis).

Prerequisites: Radio-Television-Film 340 or 366K

RTF 343N             ADVANCED 3D PRODUCTION • BUZZ HAYS

This class will focus exclusively on student projects, exposing them to several very different types of collaborations. All projects will be produced and edited in a group lab lab environment, in collaboration with fellow students and under the supervision of UT3D staff. Successful completion of the Intro to 3D class with at least a grade of B, plus (exactly as before) the consent of the program director, is required for registration.

APPLICATION INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Download and fill out the application.
  2. Using the subject line: "UT3D - Application for RTF 343N", email the application as an attachment to rtf-submissions@austin.utexas.edu
  3. Priority deadline is April 14.

RTF 344M        CG FOR FILM AND GAMES • BEN BAYS

In-depth study and practice of 3D modeling, surfacing, lighting, compositing, animation and visual FX using Autodesk Maya, Adobe Photoshop, and other programs.

RTF 344M         INTERACTIVE MEDIA AND GAME DEVELOPMENT • WILLIAM BENNATT

The course will examine some of the basic principles of designing and creating a game with an emphasis on game architecture and logical structure of the story. It is intended for RTF students who have little or no background in computer programming and who would like to explore game creation. Topics will include – logical planning of a multi-threaded story, manipulation of objects and characters, interactive game play, screen management and other related technical issues. By the end of the course students will individually or in small teams develop some small games targeted at hand-held devices such as the iPhone.

Prerequisites: For radio-television-film majors, the following coursework with a grade of at least C in each course: Radio-Television-Film 305, 318 or 319, and six additional semester hours of coursework chosen from Radio-Television-Film 309, 314, 316, 317, 318, and 319; for others, upper-division standing and consent of instructor. For this course, students are not expected to have any formal training in programming, game development or game creation. However, skills such as drawing, story creation, sound design, graphic design, etc. will be of value. Meets with FA 360 and TD 354T.

RTF 344M         VISUAL EFFECTS & MOTION GRAPHICS • WILEY AKINS; BEN BAYS

This is a production course designed to introduce and expand your knowledge of the world of motion graphics and special effects. Credits, transitions, greenscreen, filters, masks, mattes, all sorts of things. In contrast to the animation course, this class will focus on advanced compositing and techniques to enrich your video, stills, typography and to get exactly what you want to see onscreen. You will not be required to draw anything (complicated). Consider this more of a course in design than art. We will take the elements of design: line, shape, value, texture, color, direction, size, perspective and space and add one more thing to them: time.

RTF 344M         WRITING FOR INTERACTIVE GAMES & MEDIA • SHELDON PACOTTI

Video games and other interactive media increasingly require well-crafted storylines and strong characters.  This workshop is designed to give aspiring game writers the skills, knowledge and techniques needed to write successfully for the games industry.  Through the creation of original interactive games, students will focus on such fundamentals as premise, character development, story structure, and the creation of multi-level worlds.

RTF 344N         ADVANCED VISUAL EFFECTS • BEN BAYS

Students organize, research and create projects based on advanced compositing and visual effects techniques.  Topics include Particles and Simulations, 3D animation, and Digital Matte painting.

RTF 344N          GAME DEVELOPMENT CAPSTONE: 2D GAMES* • PAUL TOPRAC

The Capstone Game Development course brings together students from Computer Science, College of Fine Arts, and Radio-TV-Film to form small teams in which each student will contribute specialized knowledge to the group creation of 2D games for mobile, online, and social technology platforms.  Students will gain a thorough understanding of the 2D game development process, through modeling of the environment and practices that are used in game studios.  
*If interested, please read instructions to apply.  Consent of instructor required. 

RTF 344N        CHARACTER ANIMATION IN 3D • WILEY AKINS

In-depth exploration of modeling and character animation in a CG workspace.  Designed to provide a basic-to-intermediate level of familiarity with Maya by modeling for articulation, rigging, skinning and animating through various technical exercises.

RTF 346         INTRODUCTION TO EDITING • KAREN KOCHER; ANNE LEWIS; DON HOWARD

Whether you want to be an editor, director or producer, Introduction to Editing is an essential, hands-on course for any production student. By completing a series of narrative and nonfiction assignments, you will finish this course with increased confidence in, and understanding of, the seamless editing technique and the AVID software. We will also view and analyze film scenes to understand how editing contributes to meaning.


RTF 346E      ADVANCED EDITING • ANNE LEWIS; CHRIS ROLDAN

This course is a further elaboration of the principles and techniques of editing students will have encountered in RTF 346, building a broader technical background for professional development. We will discuss aesthetic, technical, and practical approaches to editing and consider how they might best apply to some (provided) editing challenges. In particular, we'll concentrate on the development of editing styles that are appropriate to a range of material and creative solutions to editing challenges.  Taught using AVID software.


RTF 347C           BROADCAST AND CABLE MANAGEMENT • STEVE JENNINGS

This course is designed specifically to give an in-depth look at what is necessary to operate a broadcast station organization. The course will offer first hand information from the leading News Directors, Promotion Directors, Programming Directors, General Sales Managers, Production and Operation Mangers, and Chief Engineers in local television and radio companies. More specifically, the course will address the following:

  • What does managing a leading news department entail?
  • How do you promote your station?
  • How does the revenue side of the business work?
  • How do you attain syndicated programming for your station?
  • What is involved in the negotiations for these programs?
  • What does high definition television mean for broadcasters in the future? 

Students will have the opportunity to interact with guest lecturers and hear how day-to-day operations work as well as learn about the unique challenges facing broadcasters in the future.


RTF 351C          INTRODUCTION TO 2D ANIMATION • GEOFF MARSLETT

This course will introduce the student to the art and mechanics of two-dimensional animation in film and in digital media. Weekly exercises will be required, with an emphasis on animation as personal expression.

RTF 359             ASIAN AMERICAN MEDIA CULTURES • MADHAVI MALLAPRAGADA

This course will examine diverse representations of Asian Americans in the US media by focusing on popular film, television, videogames and the World Wide Web. It will critically interrogate stereotypical images of Asian American identities, culture, and politics as well as representations that challenge and contest such stereotypes. In doing so, the course will locate the politics of representing Asian Americans in the US media within a broader historical, political and cultural context that includes issues of immigration, nationalism and citizenship, race, ethnicity, gender, class, sexuality and transnationalism.

RTF 359             LATINA FEMINISMS & MEDIA • MARY BELTRAN

This course surveys Chicana and Latina feminist scholarship, activism, and creative expression, with an emphasis on media production.  We will explore the rise and development of Latina feminisms and activism in relation to the Chicana/o, Puerto Rican, and U.S. women’s movements and in relation to historical and social contexts for women and girls of Mexican American and other U.S. Latina heritage.  The last half of the course will survey scholarship on Latina participation andrepresentation in mediated popular culture and strategies of resistance enacted through Latina film and media production.  
 

RTF 359S             GENDER AND MEDIA THROUGH HISTORY • KATHY FULLER-SEELEY

This is an upper-level course for students in RTF, history, women’s studies, American Studies,  English, etc, which examines issues of gender construction in American media (film, TV, advertising, music) and popular culture during the 1960s,  using methods drawn from feminist film studies and  social/cultural history. We will ask such questions as:  How were gender issues in Hollywood films (and other media forms like advertising and TV) shaped by the Baby Boom, the Cold War, Civil Rights,Vietnam, Women’s and youth movements?  How did American film and TV viewers make meaning from what they saw, as experienced through the lenses of gender, race, ethnicity and social class?  We will have lectures, continual discussions about the readings, and view some important film and TV examples; there will be several exams, in-class presentations and a  research paper. NOTE: This is a writing intensive course, though it doesn’t carry the writing flag this semester.  If you are graduating in December, you may petition to have the flag added. Please see your advisor for details.
 

RTF 365              ALTERNATIVE MEDIA LAURA STEIN

This course offers a conceptual overview of alternative media, or media that lie outside of the "mainstream" in terms of content, aesthetics, organization, production practices and audience relations.  The course focuses on several alternative media forms, including subcultural, radical, tactical, social movement, community, ethnic and indigenous media.  Primary course objectives are to expose students to alternative approaches to media as a cultural practice, to foster critical analysis of various alternative media forms, and to both construct and deconstruct alternative media.  Additionally, the course will address: the significance of alternative media from cultural, political economic and democratic perspectives; factors motivating and shaping different alternative media forms; alternative media aesthetics and techniques; and alternative media audiences.

RTF 365              MEDIA INDUSTRIES AND ENTREPRENEURSHIP • WENHONG CHEN

Media industries have been challenged by large social forces such as globalization and technological advancements from analog to digital, wired to wireless, and desktop to cloud. Web 2.0 and social media facilitate former members of the audience to actively participate in media production. While legacy media learn to adapt to a new landscape, new media experiment with and search for viable business models and legitimacy. Great challenges bring unprecedented opportunities and risks for organizational innovations, entrepreneurship, and social change.

Drawing on literatures from media studies, management, sociology, and communication, this course helps students to develop a critical understanding of the media industries. We start with a survey of the media landscape. In the second part, we examine the social, political, and economic contexts in which media and culture are produced, distributed, and monetized. Special attention is paid to new media and communication technologies such as Web 2.0, social media, gaming, and mobile phone and apps and the implications of these disruptive innovations for media production and consumption. Cases in old and new media industries from different countries will be analyzed. 


RTF 365              SOCIAL MEDIA/CIVIC ENGAGEMENT • CRAIG WATKINS

Designed to accommodate 35 or fewer students. Course number may be repeated for credit when the topics vary. Advanced topics addressing media, communication, and society. Restricted to radio-television-film majors. Prerequisite: Varies with the topic. Prerequisite: Upper-division standing. meets with AFR 372E.

RTF 366D           DIRECTING WORKSHOP • ANDREW SHEA 

This workshop explores the role of the director in the process of translation from page to screen, focusing on the director/actor relationship, narrative structure and visual language. Assignments will include the casting, mounting and realization of dramatic narrative scenes. Special emphasis will be placed on the development of the skills necessary to communicate effectively with actors to achieve authentic and vivid performances.

RTF 366K            INTRODUCTION TO DOCUMENTARY PRODUCTION • ELLEN SPIRO

This course will serve as an immersive and hands-on introduction to documentary production.  Students will direct, shoot, edit and record sound on 8 - 10 short documentaries throughout the semester. Students will present works-in-progress in all phases of the creative process and participate in constructive critical discussions about each others work. 

To supplement ongoing production, we will screen and discuss a variety of documentaries by both historical and contemporary filmmakers from diverse backgrounds and points of view.  Students will have multiple opportunities to attend local and community documentary events.

RTF 366K           NARRATIVE PRODUCTION • STEVE MIMS; ANDY GARRISON; AMY BENCH

The class explores the expressive potential of sound and image through the production of digital video and 16mm exercises and short films. It is an intensive workshop in visual storytelling and non-dialogue filmmaking. It is designed to build upon the fundamental production concepts and techniques that were introduced in RTF 318 and to prepare students for the advanced narrative classes.


RTF 366M            INTRODUCTION TO 3D PRODUCTION •  BUZZ HAYS

This gateway course, in which students learn the theory and history of 3D, along with current production techniques and business/industry considerations, will include lectures, readings, and hands-on skill training.  A final group project will allow students to work under the direction of the lead instructor, who will assign production and post-production duties and carry the project to completion. Pre-requisites for the course include RTF 305 and three additional hours of lower-division RTF coursework, and RTF 317 and RTF 318 with a grade of B- or better, and interested students must also apply directly to the program director for consent in order to be admitted. Instructions for this process are available from the undergraduate advisors or through the RTF website. Students must apply to be granted admittance to this course.

RTF 367K            PRODUCING FOR FILM AND TELEVISION RICHARD LEWIS

RTF 367K will detail how things work in the supposedly noncreative side of the entertainment industry. The course will focus on the function and duties of a producer as he or she shepherds an idea through a project "life cycle": development, financing, pre-production, post-production, marketing and distribution. Lecture topics will mirror the project life cycle while students concurrently develop their own business plans/prospectuses for original film or television projects of their choosing. At the end of the semester, each student should have a complete and realistic business plan for a film or video project, one which is ready for presentation to entertainment industry contacts and financiers.

RTF 367L            16MM NARRATIVE FILMMAKING •  NANCY SCHIESARI

This course is aimed at increasing proficiency in production concepts and skills and to develop an aesthetic analysis of the production process in areas of directing, cinematography, sound recording, production design and editing. Specific instruction in technical areas will be offered in workshops and through practical application on class assignments. Students will be given the opportunity to produce an individual short 1-3 minute film and up to an 8-minute, group film. Students may elect to shoot final projects on digital cameras.

RTF 367P            ADVANCED PRODUCING • MICAH BARBER

Advanced Producing is a business oriented, hands-on, extremely practical, intimate class of only twenty students learning the parts of filmmaking that aren't writing, shooting, or directing. The very first class in Spring 05 set the bar very high for those that have followed by taking on a superb low-budget, digital film called CAVITE during its post-production as it prepared for SXSW. Over the next 18 months (and three more classes) it reaped critical acclaim, stormed the festival circuit, got a distribution deal, won the Someone To Watch Spirit Award, and shipped tens of thousands of DVDs. The Advanced Producing students received much recognition along the way as they learned the ropes. But that was just the start. Subsequent classes have pitched in on key post-production decisions then handled promotion, publicity and distribution sales for a series of other SXSW films including the documentaries JAM (2006), THROW DOWN YOUR HEART and OF ALL THE THINGS (both 2008). In 2007 the class garnered national coverage in the NY Times and LA Times for its involvement with a film that critically appraised Michael Moore called MANUFACTURING DISSENT, an international success story.

RTF 368            ADVANCED DIRECTING •  ANDREW SHEA

Dogme 95 meets Meisner technique in this collaborative class. Each student will co-direct a Dogme-style film, utilizing Meisner techniques to develop story ideas in the early weeks of the semester. 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 368            CINEMATOGRAPHY •  PJ RAVAL

Cinematography is designed for highly motivated, advanced students of film and video, who have a strong desire to explore, test and experiment with different aspects of cinematography. Each final project plan will be worked out between student and instructor to best suit the interests of that individual. All students should come to the first class with a strong sense of which particular aspects of cinematography they wish to investigate. Presentation of final projects will occur at the end of the semester, with interested RTF students and faculty in attendance. Films and videos, both student produced and otherwise, will be screened and discussed throughout the semester.

All students must have previous first-hand experience shooting both film and video, and have a firm grasp of the basic principles of lighting.

RTF 368           MEDIA STUDIES THESIS   

Hour(s) to be arranged. Restricted enrollment; contact the department for permission to register for this class. Course number may be repeated for credit when the topics vary. Advanced media studies research. An independent research project based on primary data, resulting in a written summary of theoretical foundations, methodological approach, results, and a discussion. Restricted to radio-television-film majors. Prerequisites: Upper division standing and consent of faculty sponsor.

RTF 369             ADVANCED SCREENWRITING: TV PILOTS • 
BEAU THORNE 

Each student will create a brand new television show (30 or 60 minute, network or cable) from the ground up: researching the setting and historical moment, inventing the characters and relationships, and ultimately designing the conflicts necessary to propel a show through multiple seasons.  Students will then distill all of this work into a single showpiece episode - a pilot - that demonstrates the artistic and commercial potential of the new show.  We’ll also be looking at a range of produced pilots (both aired and unaired) and discussing what makes the best of them work. 

RTF 369             ADVANCED SCREENWRITING: TV SPECS • 
STUART KELBAN

This course explores writing for series television.   Over the course of the semester, students will write "spec" scripts of an existing half hour comedy and hour-long drama.  The class will take an in-depth look at TV writing from the inside out, learning how to "break" an episode and how a TV writer's room works.

RTF 369              ADVANCED SCREENWRITING: FEATURE FILM • 
TOM WILLET; BRYAN POYSER

In this class, students will complete a feature-length screenplay (90-120 pages) by the end of the semester. In addition, they will read and comment on their classmates' work on a weekly basis. Incompletes will not be given in this class.


RTF 369             ADVANCED SCREENWRITING: SCI-FI/HORROR • 
BEAU THORNE

This workshop class will focus on horror and science fiction writing - two genres that have provided opportunities for countless new writers in the film industry. Each student will write a feature-length horror or science fiction screenplay and provide weekly notes on their classmates’ work. In addition, we’ll make a semester-long study of the current trends in each genre, reading and analyzing the biggest hits of recent years. 

RTF 369/388P             SCRIPT-TO-SCREEN INCUBATOR, PART 1: WRITING THE SHORT SCREENPLAY • 
ALEX SMITH

This is the first semester in a year-long Script-to-Screen Incubator. The two-semester sequence, a collaboration with the Department of Theatre and Dance, will serve RTF screenwriters, directors, cinematographers, editors, producers, sound editors/mixers, along with Theatre & Dance actors, designers, playwrights, and directors, as well as students from other units on campus -- including the School of Architecture, the School of Music, the Michener Center for Writers, and the Department of Advertising and Public Relations.

The fall writing workshop is for advanced screenwriters who wish to develop short-form narrative work -- at the same time exploring how a short can serve as a ‘proof-of-concept’ for a longer format, be it a television series, a feature film, webisodes or other transmedia.  Students will develop, write and rewrite their scripts, workshopping each draft with the class and instructor. They will also map out possible ways to expand/‘brand’ their short film concepts. The semester will culminate with a rehearsed public reading of the scripts, followed by a feedback session with an invited audience. The main characters in the screenplays must be written for college-age characters, so these films can be produced in the spring production workshop with actors from the Department of Theatre and Dance.

PREREQUISITES

Graduate: Completion of the first year of the MFA Film and Media Production program or good standing in the MFA Screenwriting program.

Undergraduate: Must be an RTF major with a University GPA of at least 2.25 and upper-division standing. Students must have completed RTF 333, Introduction to Screenwriting.

ENROLLMENT CRITERIA

Enrollment requires instructor consent, based upon your short film synopsis/proposal, your experience level, your writing sample, and your workshopping ability.

TO APPLY

Please e-mail Professor Shea (andrew.shea@austin.utexas.edu) with the following information and attachments no later than 5:00 pm on Sunday, April 20:

  • Name/UT EID/Email address/Anticipated date of graduation
  • Writing sample attached as PDF.
  • A short synopsis of a short screenplay you wish to develop in this class, plus a brief description of its possible expansion potential -- attached as a PDF.
  • Whether you intend to enroll in the spring production workshop—and, if so, in what capacity (beyond screenwriter.) Let us know if you hope to direct your short.
  • A complete list of screenwriting/production classes you have taken.  Include names of instructors & TAs, and date enrolled. Instructors & TAs will be contacted about your workshopping ability.

Please note that not all of the scripts written in the fall class will be produced in the spring production workshop.   Enrolling in the fall class does not guarantee you a seat in the spring class.

Consent decisions will be made by Wednesday, April 23.
 

RTF 370             INDEPENDENT AMERICAN CINEMA • TOM SCHATZ

This course will involve the history and analysis of “independent” American film – that is, low-budget commercial feature films produced, distributed, and/or exhibited outside of mainstream Hollywood.  (This definition is purposely general and vague; in fact we’ll spend a good deal of time during the semester trying to come up with a more precise and accurate definition.)  We will explore the industrial, economic, socio-cultural and formal-aesthetic characteristics of independent features, ranging from genre films to art films to studio-based indies (that is, films produced by a studio-based “indie division” like Sony Classics, Fox Searchlight, and so on). In addition, we will address the validity and usefulness of the label of “independence” within the present media context.

A key emphasis throughout the course will be on the relationships between independents and the mainstream, and the ways in which definitions of independence have changed over time. The first half of the term will survey the history of independent films in the U.S. through the 1980s, and the second half will trace the emergence of the so-called indie film “movement” that emerged in the course of the 1990s, spurred by the success of indie powerhouses like Miramax and New Line, the growing importance of festivals like Sundance, and the rise (and more recent decline) of the studios’ indie divisions.

This will be a major writing component course that will require two 4-5 page critiques and a term paper, as well as a final essay exam.  Required readings will include John Pierson, Spike, Mike, Slackers and Dikes Revisited; Peter Biskind, Down and Dirty Pictures: Miramax, Sundance, and the Rise of Independent Film; and Geoff King, Indiewood, USA.