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RTF 380C SCREENWRITING FOR DIRECTORS • FELICIA HENDERSON
Though focusing on the short script, 380C explores basic dramatic principles – story, character, and structure – which are applicable to all forms of narrative screenwriting. Students apply these narrative principles to the development of their own original short scripts, with an emphasis on the writing process: from the initial premise, through character exploration and outlining, to drafting and revision. 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 380G ETHNOGRAPHY & IN-DEPTH INTERVIEW • JOE STRAUBHAAR
This course will introduce students to the use of ethnographic, qualitative interview, and survey research approaches to media studies, in both theory and practice. We will cover examples of media ethnographies and other qualitative studies by both anthropologists and media scholars. We will look at how ethnographic methods and thinking have developed, as well as other approaches to qualitative interviewing. We will also exam how surveys have been used to understand audiences and new media users. We will cover some theoretical material to enable students to understand some issues about media use, the digital divide and migration to prepare for class exercises with interview fieldwork and surveys in East and South Austin. In the course, students will learn how to observe, write fields notes on, and analyze media and new media use both face to face and online. Students will learn how to conduct family history interviews and do interviews with three generations of several families to see how their use of media and cultural resources has changed over time. They will also work with recently collected.
RTF 380J FIRST-YEAR SCREENWRITING • STUART KELBAN
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 • 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 script or television pilot 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 WRITERS ROOM • CINDY MCCREERY
The class will develop and write an entire season of a one-hour drama with a known Hollywood Showrunner and two attached Production Companies, Pillar/Segan/Shepherd and Sundance Productions. At the end of the semester, the entire show will be sent out by the producers to every major network for consideration and the students will get full writing credit for their episodes.
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 386C RACE, MEDIA, & SOCIAL CHANGE • CRAIG WATKINS
Race continues to matter in the media and entertainment landscape. In this course we examine issues related to race and representation, race and industry, and race and social transformation. The representation of race in media culture is shaped by social, industrial, and technological currents. A key theme in the relationship between race and media is a changing industrial structure, one that establishes new fissure and opportunities for the production and consumption of race. The course also considers how the forces of social transformation inform the production of media that are attuned to the nuances of race. The course examines a wide range of media representations and industries including television, film, games, sports, music, and the web.
RTF 386C RECEPTION STUDIES • KATHY FULLER-SEELEY
This course for broadly examines a variety of qualitative methodological approaches to the study of reception and media audiences. Our readings will include works using historical methodology, TV audience studies, fan cultures (both of these drawing from the Birmingham cultural studies approach), ethnography, feminist film studies, film reception studies, and issues of race, ethnicity, gender, sexuality, and social class. We will discuss a wide variety of media; however, we shall start with television and film, we shall see who is interested in other aspects of book/print, comics, music, internet and other audience cultures. We will examine classic and recent works in the field, studying their methodologies, then individually design and research audience case studies. The seminar will be focused on student group discussion and presentation of texts, research methods, and findings.
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 388P/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 388P/368 IMMERSIVE MEDIA PRODUCTION • DEEPAK CHETTY
This class introduces basic concepts of “Immersive Media” as it applies to virtual reality and stereoscopic 3D content. Relying on basic production techniques regarding spherical photography as well as more advanced completely computer-generated techniques, students create content in the virtual (computer-generated) and photoreal realm. All content created is 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 use the Unreal Engine.
Official prerequisites* include any one of the following classes and the consent of the instructor, Deepak Chetty:
- 344M – 3 Visual Effects and Motion Graphics
- 344M – 2 Comp Graph for Film and Games
- 366M Introduction to 3D production
*Interested students who lack the prerequisites, may contact Deepak Chetty for more information.
RTF 389 GENDER, RACE, AND SEXUALITY IN SPORTS MEDIA • JENNIFER MCCLEAREN
This course examines the cultural politics of sports with a focus on the representation of gender, race, and sexuality across an array of digital and legacy sports media. We will draw upon critical, cultural, and feminist theoretical lenses to consider sports as more than “just a game” or mere escapist entertainment. Rather, sports media culture can be understood as a microcosm of broader cultural, political, economic, and social forces where power struggles play out on the court, on the field, in the ring, and across multiple screens. This course investigates how discourses of gender, race, and sexuality shape who watches, who participates in, and who is represented in the multi-billion-dollar enterprise of mediated sports. We will specifically scrutinize how discourses socially construct the sporting body to reinforce social inequalities and how fissures of resistance continue to erode these constructions.
RTF 389/COMM 370 MEDIA & POPULAR CULTURE • 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. This course will be structured in a seminar format similar to graduate-level or honors courses. Advanced undergraduate students interested in learning more about graduate school, or graduate students seeking a more introductory approach to advanced theoretical materials are especially encouraged to enroll in the course. Class is capped at 15 students. This course is structured in a seminar format similar to honors courses. Advanced undergraduate students interested in learning more about graduate school, or graduate students seeking a more introductory approach to advanced theoretical materials are especially encouraged to enroll in the course.
RTF 390C INTRO TO EDITING • 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 393N INTERNET/INFORMATION POLICY • ANGELA NEWELL
The Internet/Information Policy course is a survey course relevant for students interested in understanding the varied components of Information Policy and in engaging in depth study or practical experience with an aspect of Information Policy of particular interest to the individual student. Topics covered in the course include Information Economics; Data, Information, and Open Data and Applications in Planning and Policy Making; Community Informatics; Information Security; Cybersecurity and Global Internet Governance; Hacktivism and Social Media; Artificial Intelligence and the Future Workforce; and Planning and Policy Applications for the Future of Information and the Internet of Things; among others.
Students will engage in readings, practical experiences, and guest lectures to cover the subject matter and will be responsible for completing an individual or group project related to a topic of their choosing within the purview of Information Policy. Students will have the opportunity to engage in local technology projects with Austin City Council related to connecting City Council members to timely, relevant data for evidence-based policy making, as well as projects related to artificial intelligence and transportation and artificial Intelligence and the future workforce.
Examples of student projects include exploring how information architecture plays a role in community informatics and regional planning, conducting field research to understand how user design plays a role in open data and local policy making, researching cybersecurity policies and enhancements or hindrances to economic growth, developing a model organizational design to exploit information flows for better policy or economic outcomes, designing an app for disease mitigation, discovering the regulatory barriers to financial inclusion in mobile banking, understanding and exploring any role 3D printing might play in affecting health and health informatics, connecting businesses and local organizations to open data to spur innovation, and those yet to be unleashed by the student imagination. This class is cross-listed with CS, BGS, CMS, INF and MIS. LBJ is the home department.
RTF 393N TECHNOLOGY & CULTURE • SHARON STROVER
In this course we will examine several influential books that address the interplay of media systems, technologies and society. The class does not have a single theme or one overarching question. Rather, the material we'll read during the term has been selected because it raises issues concerning the social context for which media, old and new, have defining powers. Our simplest goals will be to understand alternative conceptions of how technology is viewed, including its supposed "impacts" on society, its role in creating and shaping broad media systems and the attendant cultural reverberations. Theories of society are foregrounded in some of the readings, and occupy central positions in other work even though they may be more implicit than explicit. Our point of departure is that one cannot meaningfully discuss media systems without acknowledging the social context in which they reside, originate, function and evolve. Culture and cultural issues are defined and explored broadly as encompassing the common practices and rituals of everyday life as well as the long-standing patterns and values that characterize American society. The ways in which media systems or technologies are synonymous with modernity will be directly addressed in many of our readings. The social construction of technology, technological determinism, actor-network theory and the political economy of communication will be among some of the theoretical approaches we will consider.
RTF 395 THEORY & 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 & LITERATURE (PhD) • 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
RTF 398T PEDAGOGY • CHARLES RAMIREZ-BERG
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 • YA'KE SMITH
This is the required class for 2nd year MFA students. It is not open to anyone else. Pre-thesis fiction projects shall be under 12 minutes in length, and documentary projects shall not exceed 30 minutes. Production must be completed prior to the end of the semester. Post-production will take place in the spring semester.
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 DIRECTING DOCUMENTARY • NANCY SCHIESARI
For MFA Production first-year students. This course focuses on directing and producing short documentaries. Using a combination of screenings, workshops, discussion and analysis, all in parallel with each student's semester-long documentary project, we will cover aspects of film structure that pertain to both documentary and narrative. Documentary projects, within a range of 10-15 minutes in length, will be completed and screened at semester's end.