Graduate Courses – Spring 2021
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RTF 380 RESEARCH METHODS Web-Based • ALISA PERREN
This course provides an introduction to key methodological approaches used by media studies scholars. There are four primary objectives to the course: First, we will address the considerations involved in developing and designing research projects, addressing potential ethical, political, and logistical challenges related to conducting different types of research. Second, we will survey several qualitative research methods employed by media studies scholars including historiography, discourse analysis, genre studies, ethnography, interviewing, and more. We will assess how such methods can be employed in the study of media industries, texts, and audiences. Students will be asked to undertake a series of assignments through which they apply and critique various methodologies. Third, we will engage in a number of question-and-answer sessions about methodology with RTF faculty members. In addition, we will read several different examples of the diverse work produced in RTF. Fourth, students will be asked to build on our semester-long survey of methodological challenges, concerns, and practices by developing their own research proposals.
RTF 380G ETHNOGRAPHIC AND QUALITATIVE INTERVIEWS Web-Based • JOE STRAUBHAAR
This course will introduce students to the use of ethnographic and qualitative interview approaches to media studies, in both theory and practice. The overall goal is to compare and contrast what can be learned about audiences and new media users through these different methods, as well as giving the student a good start on knowing how to do those kinds of research themselves.
RTF 380J FIRST-YEAR REWRITING Web-Based • CINDY McCREERY
A continuation of the first-year screenwriting class taught in the Fall, this course will focus on the process of revision. As a part of developing an organized strategy for approaching their second drafts, students will also be introduced to the “sequences” method of screenplay structure. All students must have a completed feature-length screenplay ready on the first day of class.
RTF 380M *ADVANCED SCREENWRITING II Hybrid / Blended • TOM WILLETT
This course fulfills the second year/second semester writing requirement for all MFA screenwriters. In this advanced screenwriting workshop, students write either a feature-length screenplay or an original television pilot (30 or 60 minute). With instructor’s permission, students may also write TV specs and revise previous work. Students will continue their exploration of the craft of screenwriting, while finishing polished, professional work that can serve as a calling-card.
*This course fulfills the second year, first semester writing requirement for all MFA screenwriting majors. Other qualified students will be admitted as space permits, by instructor permission.
RTF 380N ADAPTATION Web-Based • BEAU THORNE
This course will provide a pragmatic, hands-on approach to several skills crucial to the screenwriter's craft: adapting a screenplay from existing material, and executing creative work "on assignment". Students will write a film adaptation of a short story or similar source material, which will be assigned by the instructor. Students will also create an outline or treatment, revise their writing extensively, and engage in weekly discussions of each other's work.
RTF 380N PILOTS Web-Based • STUART KELBAN
Each student will create a new original 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 385K FILM HISTORY (FOR MFAs) Web-Based • CHARLES RAMÍREZ BERG
This course is a survey of international film history for graduate students who have not taken previous work in the history and aesthetics of the motion picture. It is required of all RTF MFA students in production and screenwriting. The course will cover the development of the medium from Thomas Edison to Robert Rodriguez. 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) and particular attention will be given to the evolution of film’s formal elements. Several assignments are designed to acquaint students with how research in film history is conducted.
RTF 385K MEDIA, MEMORY AND THE ARCHIVE Web-Based • CAROLINE FRICK
This course introduces one of the most complicated (and under-studied) components of the media industries: Preservation. The course will employ both a theoretical and practical approach to archival media product, as well as will investigate the emerging connections with media and memory studies. Debates over the merits (and drawbacks) of defining media product as artifact will be complemented by larger discussions over the practical ramifications of copyright, physical deterioration and the so-called “digital dilemma.”
RTF 386 BLACK POPULAR CULTURE-WB Web-Based • ADRIEN SEBRO
Throughout this course we will be attempting to answer, What is the “Black” in Black Popular Culture? We will be talking through our owned lived experiences and cultural consciousness about the complexity of everchanging forms of Black representation. We will investigate popular cultural forms including, but not limited to, social movements, literature, music, film, television, Sports, fashion, food, and art in the twentieth century. Through these cultural forms we will investigate the ways in which Black popular culture may reflect the particular values and ethos of Black people and the larger American society. How has Blackness worked to construct its own space in what we know as “popular culture?”
RTF 386C FEMINIST MEDIA STUDIES Web-Based • JENNIFER McCLEAREN
Feminist media studies will consider how feminist theory can be applied to the political, social, cultural, economic, and structural conditions embedded in media representation, production, and reception. While the broader sub-field of feminist media studies is epistemologically and methodologically diverse, this course will primarily draw upon feminist cultural studies and other humanistic traditions that are strategically political in identifying inequalities and spurring change. The course is decidedly intersectional in approach and will examine gender as it intersects with race, ethnicity, sexuality, and other minoritized identities, in particular.
RTF 386C ART AND ACTIVISM Web-Based • CURRAN NAULT
This course immerses students in the intersectional study of transmedia art and activism, its attendant theories and practices, from the protest march, to the DIY punk club, to online hacktivist enclaves, to subcultural film festivals and beyond. Students will explore salient politics, practices, peoples and movements for radical/creative liberation, both past (e.g., the Harlem Renaissance, the Situationist International, Riot Grrrl) and present (e.g., Tik Tok takedowns, #BlackLivesMatter, #TransLivesMatter), delving into a diversity of artivist forms and strategies deployed across space and time. Students will read key theoretical texts on transmedia production and art/activist practice, and will have the opportunity to participate in artivist happenings, presumably online. This course insists on an intersectional approach that actively engages differences of race, ethnicity, gender, sexuality, class, nation, ability, generation and beyond.
RTF 387C GLOBAL MEDIA INDUSTRIES AND CULTURES-WB Web-Based • SHANTI KUMAR
In this course we will critically examine the political, economic, cultural and technological discourses of globalization in terms of the multiple forces which produce, sustain and disrupt global, national and local media. We will address questions of representation, production, consumption, identity and difference in specific cultural contexts, and pay particular attention to the role of media in globalization. The goal of the seminar is to ensure that by the end of the semester, all participants will be able to map key issues, concepts, theories and methodologies for future research in this area of inquiry.
The course will begin with an overview of some of the major theoretical debates in global media studies. In particular, we will focus on frameworks from South Asia, East Asia and Latin America and the Caribbean that have emerged in the past few decades in conversation with and in contrast to scholarship from the US and Western Europe (such as critiques of media imperialism, theories cultural hybridity, mestizaje, and rhizomatic flows.). The second part of the course will cover specific case studies of media industries and cultures in South Asia and East Asia. The third part of the course will include specific case studies of media industries and cultures in Latin America and the Caribbean. Although situated in specific regional and national contexts, the case studies will foreground the interregional character of global flows in film, television networks and digital platforms that are transforming media industries and cultures in these regions.
RTF 388C RESEARCH PROBLEMS: DOCTORAL EXAM PREP
RTF 388D RESEARCH PROBLEM IN SPEC FIELD OF RTF
RTF 388E RESEARCH PROBLEM IN SPEC FIELD OF RTF
RTF 388P / 343C ACTING FOR FILMMAKERS Hybrid / Blended • ANDREW SHEA
This workshop explores the key elements of basic acting technique through active engagement in a variety of exercises and assignments: improvisation, monologue and scene study, observation, and emotional preparation. The goal is to develop a deep understanding of the job of the actor: to live life truthfully under imaginary circumstances.
RTF 388P / 343 ADVANCED PRODUCTION: MUSIC IN FILM Hybrid / Blended • PJ RAVAL
Please note: Previously listed as 366K Music in Film Production.
Make music videos! This course explores the collaborative nature between filmmakers and performing artists. Students will partner with a local musical artist/band to create a portfolio of original short films ranging from live performance videos, to non-fiction and promotional materials, to music videos and ultimately music films. This course embraces conceptual and non-traditional forms of filmmaking often seen in the works of early music video pioneers. From the Buggles’ “Video Killed the Radio Star,” to Beyonce’s “Lemonade,” music videos have defined generations and cultural movements. This course will explore the artistic expressions and subsequent social impacts that music videos have had in steering the public conversations around artist personas, censorship, and cinematic innovation. Watch previous classes' work.
RTF 388P / 343 CINEMA LABORATORY Hybrid / Blended • DEB LEWIS
Limited to 15 participants. In the cinema laboratory, we will make ten short films – some during class and some outside of class – with the emphasis being on making, taking risks and exploring the cinematic form on an elemental level. There will be failures and triumphs—all work strengthening and stretching our ability to express ideas and feelings through picture and sound. Cinema Laboratory’s practice of consistent moviemaking aims to create a space and time where filmmaking efforts are not expensive and precious, but intuitive, brief, engaging, and challenging in a fast-paced workshop setting. Motivated, hard-working, curious and highly creative students are sought to participate.
Throughout the semester-long laboratory, we will sharpen our cinema-making skills through attention to process and experimentation in order to move to a higher level of precision in our work. We will take many exercises from the notebook of Robert Bresson, who wrote, “It is with something clean and precise that you will force the attention of inattentive eyes and ears.” Precision arises through both practice and experimentation.
“The cinema language happened by experimentation—by people not knowing what to do…. I always like to say that cinema without risk is like having no sex and expecting to have a baby… If you don’t take a risk then how are you going to make something really beautiful, that hasn’t been seen before?”—Francis Ford Coppola
Cinema Laboratory seeks self-driven RTF graduate students, upper-level RTF undergraduates (especially those in their last semester at UT), Photojournalism students, and students from the School of Architecture and the Art School. There will be a Wednesday evening lab for those from non-RTF departments to learn RTF protocol and basic editing, camera and sound work.
Undergraduates registering for this class will need to acquire emailed consent of the instructor. Please contact Deb Lewis with questions regarding the Laboratory: email@example.com
RTF 388P / 366K INTRODUCTION TO PRODUCTION DESIGN Hybrid / Blended • ADRIANA SERRANO
This class explores the world of production design and art direction for film. By watching films, analyzing concepts and using a series of practical projects the students will learn the different components of film design including: script interpretation, mood boards, breakdowns, clearances, scenery, location, props and color concepts.
The students are required to crew or design one film in collaboration with the RTF students.
RTF 388P / 343 PRACTICUM IN PRODUCTION DESIGN Hybrid / Blended • ADRIANA SERRANO
This class is structured around the practical aspects of how-to production design your own script. Students will learn how to develop a design from conceptualization to execution based on the needs of your particular story. The students will learn how to approach and find creative ways to deliver a design that will contribute to the creation of an effective visual design.
We will cover budgeting, breakdowns, creating specific graphics, drafting, clearances, and basics of set construction.
This class is open to all the students who have some previous experience in film or narrative production. Each student must have a script that they want to develop for this class.
RTF 388P/344M POST-PRODUCTION TECHNIQUES (COLOR GRADING) Web-Based • SIMON QUIROZ
This class will examine best practices in the finishing and mastering stages of digital post-production for a film or media piece focusing primarily on picture control and quality. The class will reinforce strong habits in media preparation when it comes to editing -- but this is not an editing class. We will depart from the moment the offline edit is done and move forward with preparing assets for online editing, sending them to sound design and mix, integration of VFX to color correction and grading (finishing) and then integration of all these elements (mastering) for deliverables creation. While we will cover color correction and grading, this course will also emphasize the technical elements that allow us to deliver the best quality images possible for different platforms. The concepts of infrastructure, pipeline and workflow should become second nature to the student upon successful completion of this course. Ideally, students should come with a pretty good understanding of nonlinear editing software. A limited number of seats are open to non-majors.
—Student will have access to computer lab during scheduled times
—Good internet bandwidth for sharing large files
—Access to a system with enough RAM and GPU (at least 8GB RAM and 2GB VRAM) capable of running Davinci Resolve and able to at least run HD video in real time.
—Access to Davinci Resolve (free version is okay) and a good NLE.
—250GB hard drive space.
RTF 388P/344M XR STORYTELLING Web-Based • DEEPAK CHETTY & SVEN ORTEL
Hands-on exploration and prototyping of the mixed reality design challenges posed by the Eyes-On-The-Skies project. : hybrid physical & digital sets, physical sets & virtual performers, real actors & virtual sets. A basic knowledge of Unreal Engine and Adobe Creative Suite is required.
RTF 388S RESEARCH PROBLEM SPEC FIELD RTF: PROD
RTF 388T PRODUCING FILM AND TELEVISION Web-Based • MICAH BARBER
RTF 388T is cross listed as the undergraduate course 367K. It 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. 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.
Please note: This is a "Substantial Writing Component" course with three 5-6 page papers. RTF 388T is cross listed as the undergraduate course 367K.
*This course fulfills a second year requirement for all MFA production majors. Other qualified students will be admitted as space permits, by instructor permission.
RTF 390E AUDIO FOR PICTURE: PRODUCTION & POST-PRODUCTION Hybrid / Blended • ANDREW GARRISON
Required for first year MFA production students. Open to a limited number of students from other disciplines.
An intensive introduction to audio for picture from writing to production and post. The course integrates with the 881KB assignment and is designed to prepare first-year MFA students to make good decisions about audio with a base of knowledge and practice. By the end of the course you will have a basic knowledge of various microphones and their usage; professional mixer/recorders; techniques of location recording, sound editing and basic mixing; use of Pro Tools for editing and recording Foley and ADR, and an understanding of audio as a significant tool for storytelling.
RTF 395 THEORY & LITERATURE - HUMANITIES PHD Web-Based • MADHAVI MALLAPRAGADA
This course offers an introduction to the most significant theoretical developments in critical media studies as influenced by the humanities and to the progressive politics that underlies such scholarship. This Ph.D-level graduate seminar follows the development of these ideas through various schools of thought, illustrating how the field has grown more complex, diverse, and engaged with and responsive to shifts in mediated popular culture, media industries, and audience’s media consumption practices over time. It will provide a broad working knowledge of the main interventions in critical media studies and of the scholars whose work fueled new trajectories. By the end of the seminar, students will have a familiarity with key concepts, movements, and approaches that have informed the critical and cultural analysis of media histories, industries, texts, and audiences.
RTF 488M PRE-THESIS FILM: POSTPRODUCTION Hybrid / Blended • PJ RAVAL
RTF 488M THESIS FILM PRODUCTION
RTF 881KB PRINCIPLES OF FILM AND TV PRODUCTION Hybrid / Blended • MIGUEL ALVAREZ
An introduction to the fundamentals of narrative filmmaking, this course gives students the opportunity to direct and edit a 3 – 7 minute short film. These projects will introduce students to scheduling, location scouting, storyboarding, workflow, directing the camera and directing actors. The films also serve as the culmination of skills learned in the cinematography and audio class, taken concurrently. Emphasis in the class is placed on collaboration, visual storytelling, performance and production value.
RTF 384N INTERNSHIP IN FILM & ELEC MEDIA
RTF 388C RESEARCH PROBLEMS: DOCTORAL EXAM PREP
RTF 388D RESEARCH PROBLEMS IN SPEC FIELD OF RTF
RTF 388E RESEARCH PROBLEMS IN SPEC FIELD OF RTF
RTF 388S RESEARCH PROBLEMS SPEC FIELD RTF: PRODUCTION
RTF 398R MASTER'S REPORT
RTF 399W DISSERTATION
RTF 650L SEMESTER IN LA / INTERNSHIP-LA
RTF 698A THESIS
RTF 698B THESIS
RTF 699W DISSERTATION
RTF 999W DISSERTATION