2015 - Fall

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UPPER DIVISION COURSES

LOWER DIVISION COURSES

 

RTF 301N*            THE AMERICAN SOUTH ON FILM • JACQUELINE PINKOWITZ
*Only open to non-RTF majors.

This course will examine the American South as a cultural construct and analyze its representation in popular film.  It will explore the ways in which the region has been imagined and depicted throughout Hollywood history, whose films have participated in constructing ideas about what "the South" means for the nation (and the world).  In this course, students will gain an understanding of key developments in American film and cultural history over the last century and will critically read and analyze films in relation to their historical context, their construction of "the South," and the portrayal of racial, gender and other identities within these cinematic Souths.  This course will blend lecture and classroom discussion formats and will include a weekly film screening.  Please note that students are expected to actively participate in class discussions and should be prepared to discuss issues related to race, gender, class, sexuality, religion, and region as they appear in selected films.

RTF 301N*            SUBVERSIVE MEDIA & COUNTER CULTURE • LUCIA PALMER
*Only open to non-RTF majors.

This course invites students to engage with media that question or undermine the status quo. Using a cultural studies perspective, we will examine the meaning of the terms “counter culture” and “subversive media” and how these ideas have been constructed over time through popular culture and society. We will ask what it means to push against the status quo through cultural politics, resistance, and alternative discourses in the media. In this course, students will look at efforts over time and across a range of mediated texts that challenge social norms and mainstream histories through strategies such as satire, identity politics, advocacy, and the avant-garde. We will examine historical figures and texts that pushed against the dominant societal constraints of their time period. We will also investigate contemporary media that challenge current common sense assumptions and structures of oppression, including the potential of alternative media formats such as YouTube and subcultural movements such as political street art. This course is designed to be interdisciplinary, and welcomes students from a variety of departments. Students are expected to participate in class discussions and activities and attend a weekly screening.
 

RTF 301N*            VIDEO GAME HISTORY & EVOLUTION • MORGAN O'BRIEN
*Only open to non-RTF majors.

This class examines the development of the global video game industry. It surveys the history of the industry and arcade culture to provide insight into the key players and moments in the rise of the world’s largest and fastest growing entertainment sector. Over the course of the semester students will engage critically with the aesthetic, cultural, historical, political, technological, and social forces that have shaped an industry that is still exploring its limits. No design or programming skills are required, but students will be expected to play games outside of class hours in order to actively participate in class discussion.
 

RTF 305*               INTRODUCTION MEDIA STUDIES • SWAPNIL RAI
*Only open to non-RTF majors.

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 307              MEDIA AND SOCIETY • JOE STRAUBHAAR

This course surveys the role of media in our society through understanding economic, social, political, organizational, ideological, and global contexts. We will discuss themes relevant to media representation, audience interpretation, and social consequences.
 

RTF 308              DEVELOPMENT OF FILM AND MEDIA • KATHY FULLER-FULLER

This course examines the historical development of media industries—film, radio, television and digital. Through lecture, section discussions, readings and screenings, we will investigate historical contexts (cultural, industrial, technological) in which media have been produced and consumed in the US and globally.
 

RTF 317              NARRATIVE STRATEGIES AND MEDIA DESIGN • TOM SCHATZ

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.


UPPER DIVISION COURSES

RTF 322C              HISTORY OF FILM • CHARLES RAMIREZ-BERG

This course is a survey of international film history for undergraduate students who seek an understanding of the history and aesthetics of the motion picture. On a weekly basis, it consists of two 75-minute lectures, one 50-minute discussion section meeting, and a screening of a feature-length film. All RTF majors interested in learning more about the development of the motion picture are welcome, regardless of concentration. The course will cover the history of the medium from beginning (Thomas Edison and the Lumière brothers) to the present, concluding with filmmakers such as Robert Rodriguez and Richard Linklater. While the history of cinema will be looked at from various perspectives (as a technology, an industry, an entertainment medium, and a mode of personal and national expression), particular attention will be given to the evolution and development of film’s formal elements. Several written assignments are designed to acquaint students with how research in film history is conducted; three exams are also required

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             SCREEN THEORY • LALITHA GOPALAN

The course explores how the screen in its many incarnations has been a source of fascination for both viewers and makers.  Since such meditations on the screen are extensive including formulations on film’s relationship to other art practices, the course will focus on how the cinematic screen has long provoked theoreticians to consider the relationship between time, space, and movement.  Central to the course are writings by filmmakers whose practices include exploration of film as art.
Please note that this is a writing intensive course and attendance is mandatory.

RTF 331K           TRANSMEDIA STORYTELLING  SUZANNE SCOTT

Defined by media scholar Henry Jenkins as “a process where integral elements of a fiction get dispersed systematically across multiple delivery channels for the purpose of creating a unified and coordinated entertainment experience,” transmedia storytelling has been widely adopted and celebrated as a narrative model that promotes collaborative authorship and participatory spectatorship. This course will use Star Wars, one of the precursors of contemporary transmedia storytelling systems, as a primary test case to critically analyze the narrative challenges and pleasures transmedia stories offer creators and audiences, and consider how they cater to horizontal integration within the media industry.  In addition to screening, reading, and playing components of the Star Wars transmedia narrative, other transmedia stories under discussion will include The Matrix, Battlestar Galactica, Gossip Girl, Game of Thrones, and Heroes, among others. As a final project, students will collaboratively build their own transmedia extensions for contemporary media properties.

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 • TOM WILLETT  

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 337             AUDIO DOCUMENTARY: MIC AS CAMERA • MICHELLE GARCIA

From the selfie to the Serial public radio podcast, producers and journalists increasingly confront the question of where and how they fit in the story. Whether we tell a story from a personal perspective or as a detached narrator, our presence invariably influences the story and the story-telling. In this class, students will experiment with different forms of audio narratives to encourage self-awareness and reflection of themselves in relation to “the other” to discover narrative techniques that are probing, empathetic and unexpected.

RTF 340             MULTI-CAM TELEVISION DIRECTING • DAVID SCHNEIDER

This course will examine the techniques of multi-camera live television directing in numerous formats. It will provide an overview of the current technology and how that technology impacts directing decisions.  Students will learn how directing styles shape various genres of broadcasts and how the director contributes to a successful production.  The course will focus on planning and preparation and elements of production design. The demands of a controlled studio atmosphere will be compared and contrasted with those of live remote sports and entertainment programs. Exercises will acquaint the students with camera placement, shot blocking and shot selection.

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             DEVELOPMENT COMMUNICATION AND SOCIAL CHANGE • KARIN WIKINS

If we are to improve our attempts to address serious global problems and resolve devastating conflicts, we must re-evaluate development communication as a practice and as an approach. Development communication involves the strategic application of communication technologies and processes to resolve social problems. This course surveys the field of development communication, from its historical conceptions within the US toward its current practice in developing countries.

RTF 342              GLOBAL MEDIA • SHANTI KUMAR

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              ADVANCED NARRATIVE PRODUCTION • KAT CANDLER; ANNIE SILVERSTEIN

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 343N             ADVANCED 3D PRODUCTION • BUZZ HAYS

This class will focus exclusively on student projects, exposing students to several very different types of collaborations. All projects will be produced and edited in a group 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 is required for registration.

RTF 344M        CG MODELING AND RENDERING • BUZZ 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         VISUAL EFFECTS & MOTION GRAPHICS • BEN BAYS; WILEY AKINS

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          CG CHARACTER ANIMATION • WILEY AKINS

The course in Character Animation is designed for students who seek an understanding of the art of character performance in 3D animation. It provides comprehensive artistic and technical training to help each student develop as an animation artist within the computer-generated (CG) animation environments. Using Maya the student will create character rigs, learn the basic animation principles, and become familiar with the variety of animation tools found in Maya. We will also be venturing into using Motion Capture and applying the data to existing 3D characters.

RTF 344N          INTERACTIVE MEDIA AND GAME DEVELOPMENT • PAUL TOPRAC

This course provides students with the fundamentals of interactive media through digital game creation. The course focuses on two areas: (1) general principals of game design and game development, and (2) development of simple 2D games.

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 346         INTRODUCTION TO EDITING • KAREN KOCHER; 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          ENTERTAINMENT INDUSTRY: CAREERS AND CONTEXTS • ALISA PERREN and CINDY McCREERY

What is going on in the media industries today? What kinds of issues and challenges are entertainment industry professionals dealing with? What job opportunities are available for RTF majors – and how can one best prepare for them?

This class has three key goals: First, students will learn how the media industries operate, gaining a sense of the “big picture” of the contemporary film, television, and digital media landscape. Large-scale issues being faced by those working in the entertainment industry – including the impact of conglomerate ownership, regulation, globalization, and digitization on creative practices and work roles – will be addressed through readings and class discussion. Second, students will hear from a series of guest speakers coming from Hollywood, New York, and Texas about the range of career opportunities available in the entertainment industry today. While some of these speakers work in production (writing, directing, editing, etc.), other guests will include attorneys, talent agents, and managers, as well as development, production, and marketing executives. Third, students will undertake a series of individual and group activities (e.g., creating a digital portfolio) designed to prepare for a career in entertainment. The class will include a semester-long group project, supervised during lab sessions, in which students research the work roles and responsibilities of the different guest speakers and incorporate that information, along with clips of video from their class visits, into a website.

Please note: The specific speakers and topics will depend in part on guests’ availability, but readings and lecture/discussion will address areas not covered by guest speakers.

RTF 351C          INTRODUCTION TO 2D ANIMATION • BEN BAYS; LANCE MYERS

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/OS & US MEDIA • MARY BELTRAN

This course provides a critical survey of the participation and representation of Latina/os in U.S. English-language and bilingual film and television since the silent film era.  It explores the representation of Mexican Americans and other Latina/os in American media culture with respect to how various Hispanic origin groups have been portrayed and Hollywood’s construction of notions of Latinidad.  Intersections with gender, race, citizenship, class, sexuality, and other elements of identity also will be highlighted.  We’ll also survey the work of U.S. Latino and Latina media producers and explore contemporary issues and debates related to Latina/o representation and shifting and static notions of Latinidad in the U.S. public imaginary.  This course carries the Cultural Diversity flag.
 

RTF 365              ALTERNATIVE AND ACTIVIST 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             NEW MEDIA LITERACY • KATHLEEN TYNER

Media literacy is the ability to strategically access, analyze, evaluate, and produce communication in a variety of forms.  This course explores the expanding nature of literacy in a digital world.  Through the use of new media tools and an awareness of the historical uses of literacy, students will explore concepts of multiliteracies and the way they have changed society over time.  Relationships between alphabetic, electronic, social and digital media will be explored through crosscutting techniques that can also be used to analyze the content and contexts of a wide variety of media. Students will use promising practices and new tools in the field to expand  their existing media literacy skills and to design innovative presentations and projects that take advantage of new media.

RTF 365C           MEDIA, COMMUNICATION LAW AND ETHICS • SHARON STROVER

This course will engage some of the contemporary ethical and policy issues facing the transforming media industries and the American public. This course will enable you to understand both how our policy and legal systems operate as well as where the pressure points are located in our public culture. Rooted in an understanding of the First Amendment and the development of communication industries, the course will examine a range of topics raised by the waves of  “new media” over time, especially focusing on the Internet.

Typical questions we will examine include:

  • What is the public interest in the 21st century with respect to communication systems?
  • How do technologies such as Facebook, Twitter, and services such as Google complicate the standard values associated with older communication forms?
  • Where do the opportunities that they present – such as to help mobilize political movements – fit into our understanding of law and our social values?
  • With Facebook information pervasive and surveillance technologies deployed throughout society, where do privacy rights and responsibilities stand?
  • How should the international Internet be managed?
  • Are contemporary censorship and decency standards “working”? Why do we need them?
  • How do industry practices and laws compare for the press & broadcasting as opposed to cyberspace?
  • Why is the government involved in regulating media industries? How do policies and laws for different communication technologies (the telephone versus the Internet, for example) vary? Why should they?
  • What is the role of public broadcasting in the US? What are the expectations for public broadcasting in other countries? How do the economics of various communications systems influence law and policy?

The course will be structured in terms of modules on different ethical issues or dilemmas, and students will write several “position papers” and/or White Papers on certain topics. This course carries the Ethics and Leadership flag.

RTF 366D           DIRECTING WORKSHOP • ANDREW SHEA; ANDREW BUJALSKI

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           MUSIC FILM PRODUCTION • ELLEN SPIRO

Students in this course will create music videos, short-form music documentaries and a live music/film performance.  This is an intensive production course that will require ongoing creative work.  Film students without music experience and music students without film experience are welcome in the class. We will work with original music, local musicians and/or creative commons copyright-free music to create innovative music videos.  We will discover local subjects for music documentaries.

We will screen and analyze music videos and films by directors who are also established feature directors, including Mark Romanek, Martin Scorcese, Ondi Timoner, Michael Apted and Michel Gondry featuring artists such as R.E.M., Laurie Anderson, Lady Gaga, Arcade Fire, Bjork, OK GO, Pearl Jam and others. We will have in-class visits from local music video and music documentary directors and producers including Bradley Beasley (Flaming Lips) and Karen Bernstein (Lou Reed, Ella Fitzgerald).

Professor Spiro produced the companion album to her Oscar short-listed film Body of War.  The album was co-produced by Eddie Vedder and featured two of his original songs written for the film.  Spiro directed a music video of Vedder’s song, “No More” for MTV and VH1.

RTF 366K           NARRATIVE PRODUCTION • STEVE MIMS; MIGUEL ALVAREZ; PJ RAVAL; NANCY SCHIESARI

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. 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 projects to completion. Pre-requisites for the course include RTF 317 and RTF 318 with a grade of B- or better and six additional hours of lower division RTF coursework.

RTF 367K            PRODUCING FOR FILM AND TELEVISION MICAH BARBER

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 • SCOTT RICE

This course takes students behind the scenes of the 2016 film THE FREE STATE OF JONES written and directed by Gary Ross (THE HUNGER GAMES) and starring Oscar winner Matthew McConaughey. Through the study of various drafts of the script, studio notes, budgets, schedules and much more, students will garner insight into the production of a major Hollywood feature. In addition, students will view the rough cut, fine cut and final cut of a scene chosen by the director as the film moves toward picture lock over the course of the semester. This class also gives students practical instruction on producing their own projects including web series, commercials and indie features. From guidance on fundraising to the ins and outs of founding a production company, Advanced Producing is an essential “how-to” for students who are serious about a career in production.

RTF 368            CINEMATOGRAPHY •  DEB LEWIS

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            IMMERSIVE MEDIA • DEEPAK CHETTY

This class will introduce basic concepts of “Immersive Media,” as it applies to virtual reality and stereoscopic 3D content. We will rely on basic production techniques regarding spherical photography as well as more advanced completely computer-based techniques, as students move from creating content in the virtual (compute-generated) and photoreal realm.  All content created will be intended for use on HMD (head mounted displays) such as the Oculus Rift or Samsung Gear VR.

Qualified students should have had some experience with 3D software—Maya, Unity, or another game development program. The class will primarily be using the Unreal Engine. Official pre-requisite will be any one of the following classes, or the consent of the instructor:

  • 344M – 3 Visual Effects and Motion Graphics
  • 344M – 2 Comp Graph for Film and Games
  • 366M Introduction to 3D production

Consent applications may be forwarded as an attachment to rtf-submissions@austin.utexas.edu.
 

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 368C            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 369              ADVANCED SCREENWRITING: FEATURE FILM • 
BRYAN POYSER; MIKE AKEL

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             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 • 
CINDY MCCREERY

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 370             ASIAN HORROR • LALITHA GOPALAN

This course assumes the student’s familiarity with classical horror films, European and American films to be precise, and all the attendant theories on genre and spectatorship.  While the established theoretical tracts have taken American and European films as their models, they seem totally unprepared for the vibrant horror films emerging from Asia, India to Japan, and this is exactly our charge for the course—to better understand the cinematic style of Asian horror films. As any cinephile would testify while these films have the stock figures of ghosts and monsters, haunted houses and possessed women, they also question our settled ideas of beauty and disgust that imperceptibly shape our notions of racial, sexual, and national differences.  The course will consider how questions of national style and authorship revise the ways in which we consider genre cinema.

RTF 370             THE FILMS OF ALFRED HITCHCOCK • TOM SCHATZ

This course traces the career of Alfred Hitchcock, focusing on the films that he directed as well as the social, cultural and industrial context in which those films were produced.  While the general approach is historical (assessing Hitchcock’s films in chronological order, from The Lodger and Blackmail in the 1920s to Psycho and The Birds in the 1960s), the main thrust of the course is critical and analytical, combining various approaches – principally auteur and genre analysis; narrative, textual, and stylistic analysis; and theories of gender and sexuality – to assess Hitchcock’s films and his distinctive filmmaking style.  In the process, we will trace Hitchcock’s development through nearly a half-century of filmmaking in England and the U.S., his changing status within the British and American film industries, and his changing stature within the critical and scholarly communities as well.

This course carries a writing flag, so most of your work involves critical and analytical writing.  This includes three critiques, a research paper, and a final essay exam.  There is also a good bit of assigned reading (roughly 30-40 pages per class meeting), and a required weekly screening.