2024 - Fall

music vid class

Undergraduate Courses

Fall 2024

For class details, including times, click on "find courses now" on the registrar's page.
Not an RTF Major? See info on  nonmajor courses below or find out details about RTF minors.

Note: If you don’t meet the prerequisites stated in the course schedule, you can contact the instructor to request a prerequisite waiver. This will allow you to add the class if it’s open or to add yourself to the waitlist if it’s full.

LOWER-DIVISION COURSES

RTF 301C        COMICS AND CARTOONS • BEN BAYS
Open to BOTH RTF Majors & Non-RTF Majors. 

Students "trace" (har har) the history, techniques, conventions, themes and cultural spaces of comics and cartoons through hands-on skills-building projects (drawing). The artistic traditions of the middle ages gave rise to the cartoon, a form of mass media illustration and text which embraced non-realism, caricature and satire. The form has evolved across cultures, through history and alongside technological advances to its modern digital form. From panels, pages, gags, serials, covers, scripts, characters, layout, lettering, FX to much more.  Explore the legacy of comics and cartoons by creating them. 

RTF 301D        MEDIA STORYTELLING/ANALYSIS • SUZANNE SCOTT

This course is designed to help you understand and analyze the basic principles of story structure and storytelling technique through elements of style in contemporary film, television, and video games. Our primary goal is to understand precisely what these storytelling “rules” are, to understand how to use (and break) them when creating our own work, and how to produce textual analysis that critically engages how elements of narrative structure and style produce meaning.

RTF 302D        HISTORY OF MEDIA INDUSTRIES • KATHY FULLER SEELEY

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 303D        MEDIA AND CULTURE • TBA

This course approaches media as a fundamentally cultural experience. Cultural values, beliefs, and ideologies all shape the media we create as a society and inform how we as individuals and communities interpret the media that surrounds us. In this course, we examine how politics, economics, and social relationships all simultaneously shape and reflect media, culture, and society.

RTF 304D        INTRO TO FILM PRODUCTION • ARTURO R. JIMÉNEZ

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 - MEDIA STUDIES COURSES

RTF 321C        HISTORY OF AMERICAN TELEVISION – Web-Based • ADRIEN SEBRO

This course surveys the history of American network television during the 20th century. We will explore the complex ways that technological, social, political, industrial, and cultural factors have interacted to shape the form and content of broadcast, cable, and satellite television. Our discussion of industrial practices and regulatory decisions will be balanced with an analysis of representational and formal-aesthetic practices. The semester will briefly conclude with a consideration of the meaning and implications of digital convergence on contemporary American—and global—media culture.

RTF 321D        FILM HISTORY TO 1960 – Web-Based • TBA   
May count toward the Media Studies Minor and the Latino Media Arts & Studies Minor.

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 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 1960.  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; in addition, three exams are also required.

RTF 323C        SCREENING RACE • MADHAVI MALLAPRAGADA
Flag/s: Cultural Diversity in the U.S

This course draws on media and cultural studies literature on racial and ethnic representation and production matters in U.S entertainment media. It is designed to help students develop a qualitative media studies understanding of historical and contemporary debates relating to issues of representation, industry, and audiences. 

RTF 324C        INTRODUCTION TO GLOBAL MEDIA • SHANTI KUMAR
Flag/s: Global Cultures

This course critically examines the role that film, television, video games, and digital media play in shaping our sense of global, regional, national, and local cultures. It focuses on the role of global media institutions in society, from Hollywood and Netflix, to Bollywood, Korean Wave and telenovelas, and also examines how diverse audiences use global media to negotiate with issues of cultural identity in everyday life. The goal of this course is to introduce students to a broad range of issues and debates in the field of global media studies.

RTF 331P        VIDEO GAME CULTURE/CRITICISM • MARINA FONTOLAN
May count toward the Media & Entertainment Industries Minor.
Flag/s: Writing     

Games have always been an integral part of our culture, and studies of culture have long been fascinated by our propensity for play.  Beginning with a brief historical overview of the inception of the video game industry and arcade culture, this course is centrally concerned with identifying the pleasures of play and engaging with the cultural and academic discourses and debates that surround video games and game culture.  While video games have proven themselves as a dominant industrial force within over the past decade, the stigmas and social anxieties that circulate around video games persist. Consequently, one of the primary goals of this course is for students to both become conversant in these critiques and proficient in speaking back to them, acquiring the vocabulary to discuss and analyze the rules that govern our engagement with video games, and our experiences playing them.  To this end, in addition to discussing video game aesthetics and mechanics, we will have themed weeks on war and gaming, gender and gaming, and game-based learning. In addition to course assignments analyzing gameplay and considering the representation of video games in film and television, students will be required to collaboratively design and theorize a game as their final project.  No player or programming skill set is required, just a willingness to learn through (and about) video games.

RTF 335           RACE/CLASS/GENDER IN AMERICAN TV • MARY BELTRÁN

Television can be understood as a reflection of the American imaginary. It’s a conduit of creative and political expression, a cultural forum that plays a role in defining communities, and a site where ideas about identity and citizenship are enacted on a national scale. In this course we explore these various dynamics in scripted television in the United States from the late 1940s through the present day. In addition to study of how ideas about racial and ethnic diversity and also class, gender, and sexual orientation have been constructed in narrative television and how various groups have participated in television storytelling and consumption (and in advocacy targeting networks and producers), contemporary debates and negotiations related to race, class, gender, and sexual orientation and televisual representation and authorship will be explored. The history of U.S. television and a variety of approaches to television criticism rooted in the humanities also will be surveyed throughout the semester.

RTF 345           DOCUMENTARY/CREATIVE NONFICTION • CAROLINE FRICK

What do Muhammad Ali, the Tiger King, your local TV news anchor, and the Lumière Brothers have in common?  They have all been featured or otherwise involved in the creation of non-fiction film and media.  Reality shows, true crime dramas, Academy Award-winning documentaries, newsreels, and more have contributed to the so-called “blurred boundaries” between truth and fiction as represented on screen.  This course will feature a look at a wide range of non-fiction genres through carefully selected readings, screenings, and more.

RTF 347C        INTRO TO THE MUSIC BUSINESS • JOHN PEYTON
May count toward the Media & Entertainment Industries Minor.
For the 2022–2024 catalog, this course counts towards the 15 additional hours of radio-television-film coursework; however, it does NOT count toward the required 9 hours of media studies coursework.

What is the distinction between a manager, agent, publicist, promoter, or A&R? We will delve into record deals, music contracts, concert riders, intellectual property (IP), TV and film sync licensing, terrestrial and satellite radio, as well as the impact of AI and the metaverse on the music industry. What implications does streaming have for record labels? How did Fyre Fest come about? We are currently in an era where young entrepreneurs can establish a business in their twenties and subsequently sell it without obtaining a degree in business or finance. Students will acquire the skills to plan, coordinate, and manage their own small music business in their chosen avenue. We will explore artist management and representation, focusing on the development of recorded music and the significance of the touring business for contemporary artists. Additionally, we will delve into the business aspects of concerts and music festivals, teaching students how to book, market, and produce shows. Each session will tackle a different aspect of the music industry. Numerous special guests will share their success stories and entrepreneurial journeys, followed by an open Q&A session with the students.

RTF 347D        STREAMING MEDIA • ALISA PERREN
May count toward the Media & Entertainment Industries Minor.

Using the U.S. context of film and video streaming services as our primary focus, this course will survey how media industry structures, practices, and content have been changing with the rise of streaming video services such as Netflix, Hulu, Max, Amazon Prime Video, and Disney+. The course has three main goals: First, we will examine the breadth of scholarly approaches taken to the study of streaming media. Second, we will discuss how the growth of streaming video services is altering production, distribution, and consumption practices. Third, we will consider the larger cultural, economic, and social impact accompanying the launch of such streaming services.

RTF 347F         GERMAN CINEMA 1918–45 • JETTE GINDNER

This course explores the history, theory, and aesthetics of German cinema from 1918 until 1945. The first section of the course screens classics of 1920s/early 1930s Weimar Cinema, such as Nosferatu, The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari, Metropolis, Pandora’s Box, M, and Kuhle Wampe. Accompanying texts by Balázs, Eisner, Kracauer, and contemporary film critics introduce the transition from expressionism to New Objectivity and the arrival of film sound. Topics discussed include the aftermath of World War I, the rise of industrial mass production, and the New Woman. The second section analyzes National Socialist cinema, be it nascent Nazi aesthetics (Riefenstahl’s The Blue Light with Susan Sontag’s essay, “Fascinating Fascism”), propaganda (Hitler Youth Quex and Jud Süß plus Alain Resnais’s Holocaust documentary Night and Fog), or entertainment (The Great Love starring Zarah Leander). The final section screens anti-Nazi cinema made in Hollywood— by German filmmakers in exile during the early 1940s (Lang/Brecht/Eisler, Hangmen Also Die! and Lubitsch, To Be or Not to Be) and landmarks of contemporary American cinema, such as Inglourious Basterds and American History X. 

RTF 347F         HISTORY OF VIDEO GAMES • MARINA FONTOLAN
May count toward the Media Studies Minor.

Video games and video gaming have changed through history—from the early attempts of developing games in the late 1950s to the complex game systems we have today. This course aims at exploring the histories and historiographies of games and gaming. We will start by analyzing history and its challenges as a discipline and well as discussing historiography and how to read historical documents. Then, we will explore the literature on games and gaming history, going from fan-based histories of games and gaming to current scholarly takes on the subject. We will discuss the roles of people and processes within the industry, minorities in the industry, histories of technology, and how players are integral parts of the game industry. Course assignments are based on papers, enabling the student to research histories of games, people, and technologies of video games.

RTF 347P        THE BUSINESS OF HOLLYWOOD • ALISA PERREN

What is going on in the media industries today? What kinds of issues and challenges are entertainment industry professionals dealing with? This class has two 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 video 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 range of guest speakers coming from Hollywood, New York, and Texas about their personal experiences navigating the media business, past and present. While some of those visiting the class will work in production and postproduction (writing, directing, editing, etc.), most of the guests will work in other types of creative, managerial, and executive roles (e.g., studio and network development, acquisitions, marketing, talent management, etc.).

RTF 347S         SPECIAL EFFECTS • LALITHA GOPALAN

Cinema as spectacle, cinema as magic, cinema as art, cinema as light, cinema as machine, and so on are the various ways we will approach the movie-making machine.  This course explores the exalted place of special effects that enhance genre films, inflect art cinema, underwrite avant-garde experiments.  In cinema’s passage from analog to digital materiality, we also experience an expansion of perceptual possibilities and virtual journeys, which include theatrical viewing to accessories at home.  This course assumes that the language of cinema is universal and will be attentive to histories of moving image technologies adopted by different moving image cultures across the world. 

Please note that this course has a substantial writing component as well as room to develop practice based projects.

RTF 359S         BLACK TELEVISION COMEDY – Web-Based • ADRIEN SEBRO
Flag/s: Cultural Diversity in the U.S

For cultural critics to ignore television’s potential as a forum of resistance is to misread levels of vernacular meaning inherent in many Black television texts. Often viewed as a medium of buffoonery or harsh stereotyping, television comedies that focus on Black communities have in fact had a crucial role in political progress, activism, and evolving social conditions in the United States. With close attention to themes such as socioeconomics, gender, religion, and politics, Black television comedy addresses American social injustices in ways that other television simply are unable to. This course will chronicle a history of the American Black television and production over time, that worked to respond to their political moment and have radically transformed television as a space for pedagogy.

RTF 359S         CHICANA/O CINEMA • MIRASOL ENRÍQUEZ
Flag/s: Cultural Diversity in the U.S.Writing    

This course will investigate representations of Chicanas/os, both on-screen and behind the scenes of U.S. films. We will begin with a brief overview of representations of Mexicans/Mexican-Americans in U.S. film, from the silent era through the 1960s. The remainder of the class will focus on films made by, for, and about Chicanas/os from the 1960s/70s to the present day. Feature-length, short, experimental, narrative, and documentary films will be examined. While the majority of the texts we will be looking at were made by Chicana/o filmmakers, we will also be discussing key works by non-Chicana/o filmmakers who have made significant contributions to the representation of Chicanas/os on film. We will consider historical, economic, industrial, social, and political factors affecting access to and participation in the film industry, as well as the ways Chicanas/os are represented on-screen. Themes of particular interest include: the construction of racial, ethnic, national, and individual identity; the politics of representation; film as a tool for social change; the commodification of Latinidad; gender inequality in the Chicano movement, film industry, and the writing of film history; and issues of authorship and creative control.

RTF 359S         LATINA/OS AND U.S. MEDIA • MARY BELTRÁN
May count toward the Media Studies Minor and the Latino Media Arts & Studies Minor.

Latina/os & U.S. Media provides an introductory historical survey of how Latinas and Latinos have been depicted and at times have been the authors of U.S. English-language, bilingual (and to a lesser extent, Spanish-language) film, television, radio, and digital media since the silent film era. Through class lectures, screenings, readings, and discussions we will explore how Mexican Americans and other Hispanic Americans have been depicted in U.S. film and media, with focus on how specific national origin groups have been portrayed and the media industries’ construction of Latinidad more generally. Intersections with gender, race, citizenship, class, sexuality, and other elements of identity also will be highlighted and explored. In the last half of the semester, we’ll survey the work of Latina/o media makers, with a focus on the ways in which the media texts that they construct have offered counter narratives to the legacy of earlier representation. We’ll also explore contemporary issues and debates related to Latinx representation and media production, industry shifts related to Latinx narratives and media consumers, and shifting and static notions of Latinidad in the national and diasporic imaginary.

RTF 359S         QUEER MEDIA STUDIES • CURRAN NAULT
Flag/s: Cultural Diversity in the U.S.Writing    

This course immerses students in the critical and theoretical analysis of queer media in order to explore dominant strategies used by the media industries, as well as those utilized by LGBTQI independents and subcultures. Important to this project are historical shifts in representation, including the mainstreaming of queerness, and the alternative media reception, production and exhibition practices developed by LGBTQI communities. Marginalized queer identities (including qpoc and transgender) will be centralized and the intersections of queer identities, queer politics and media culture will be engaged.

RTF 359S         SUPERHERO MEDIA • TBA

Over the last century, superhero fiction has expanded from the cheaply printed tales of crime fighters in early 20th-century pulp magazines to the hyper-glossy blockbuster cinematic universes of today. This course will trace the development of the superhero genre from comics and across radio, film, television, video games, and other media, strongly focusing on how superhero narratives and intellectual property are produced, distributed, and received across these media. We will situate this history of the superhero genre alongside narrative, industrial, and technological changes in the media industries over the past century, emphasizing the role of media conglomeration, technological convergence, transmedia storytelling, and corporate synergy in this particular genre.

RTF 365          LATIN AMERICAN MEDIA • MARINA FONTOLAN
Flag/s: Writing     

This course of Latin American Media seeks to explore and analyze three different types of media: telenovela, children's television program, and video games. The analysis comprises of media originated from different Latin American countries (including Brazil) and includes screenings and play experiences.

RTF 370          ASIAN HORROR FILM • 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          COMEDY IN FILM AND MEDIA • KATHY FULLER SEELEY

This course explores theories of humor and comedy and applies them to media and performance from the early 20th century US to the present. Readings draw broadly from philosophy, cultural studies, cinema and TV studies, race, gender, sexuality, politics, psychology. We will examine producers, texts, performers and audiences across a wide variety of media -- television and film, literature, comics, radio, internet, live performance and other forms. The seminar will be focused on student group discussion and presentation of theories, texts, specific examples of applications, and findings. Students will develop research/and/or create projects

UPPER DIVISION - PRODUCTION & SCREENWRITING COURSES

RTF 329C         DIGITL MEDIA PRODUCTION - Web-Based • BEN BAYS
Open to BOTH RTF Majors & Non-RTF Majors. 

Animation, Visual Effects, Digital Painting and CGI are used to produce content for a variety of media including live-action film, classical and 3D animation and interactive formats like video games and XR.  This course will teach you the industry standard tools and practical techniques of digital media production, no experience necessary.  The course is self-paced, non-linear and offers a variety of options.  Students choose their area of interest from a large array of assignments covering topics like concept art and previsualization, color correction and post production, animation and simulation, compositing and visual effects or CGI and interactive game design (and more).  Will you become a generalist across all digital media production, will you specialize in one discipline or will you define a new role in digital media production? Choose your own path and the instructor and a team of TAs collaborate with you. No prior knowledge of digital media production required.  Mac or PC. No software purchase required. This course offers both access to instructor guidance and the ability to complete assignments at your own pace. 

View Course Promo Video.

RTF 333           INTRODUCTION TO SCREENWRITING • STUART KELBAN

RTF 333 will introduce students to screenwriting for both film & television. In lecture, we will study the fundamental concepts behind all screenwriting: story, character, and structure. In section, you will apply those concepts to writing your own original scripts for both features and TV in a workshop setting. Students will follow the same development process as professional screenwriters—from initial premise, through character exploration and treatments, to writing the first draft. The goal of this course is to develop skills to tell strong, engaging stories for the screen. This emphasis on storytelling will not only make you better screenwriters, but also better directors, editors, cinematographers, set designers, i.e.,  filmmakers.

RTF 340D         PRODUCTION DESIGN BASICS • ADRIANA SERRANO

Understand the role of production design and how the creation and selection of sets, locations and environments contribute to the visual language of film. Explore fundamental elements of story, production, critical analysis, and the collaborative process of film making from the design perspective.

RTF 340M        MUSIC VIDEO/FILM PRODUCTION • PJ RAVAL

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. Please note: Previously listed as 366K Music in Film Production.

RTF 340           MULTI-CAMERA TV 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 341D         PRODUCTION DESIGN PRACTICUM • 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 343D         CINEMATOGRAPHY • DEBORAH EVE 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 as well as time, movement and color. 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 343           ADVANCED NARRATIVE PRODUCTION • TBA

From script, to production, to edit and sound design, students spend the semester completing an advanced video production (5–10 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           ADVANCED DOCUMENTARY PRODUCTION • ILIANA SOSA

This course involves intensive hands-on work in all aspects of documentary video production, in addition to critical investigations of a variety of contemporary non-fiction forms. Much of the semester revolves around producing a documentary (either individually or in a small group) and completing workshop projects, thus offering experience in project development and conceptualization, camerawork, sound recording, lighting, and editing.

RTF 343           CINEMA LABORATORY •  DEBORAH EVE LEWIS 

Limited to 20 participants. In the Cinema Laboratory, you’ll make ten short films – some during class and some outside of class – with an emphasis on making, taking risks and exploring the cinematic form on an elemental level. There will be failures and triumphs—all work strengthening and stretching your ability to express ideas and feelings through moving pictures 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, playful and highly creative students are sought to participate.

Robert Bresson 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.

Cinema Laboratory seeks self-driven RTF graduate students, upper level RTF undergraduates (especially those in their last semesters at UT), Photojournalism students, SOA, and College of Fine Arts students. You must have at least some experience with digital photography and nonlinear editing in order to take the class. Reach out to the instructor if you have any questions about your readiness.

It’s recommended that Undergraduates registering for this class reach out to the instructor before registering to make sure this class is a good fit. Please contact Deb Lewis with any questions regarding the Laboratory: deb.lewis@utexas.edu.   

See website for more information: https://www.deborahevelewis.com/cinema-laboratory.

RTF 344C         2D ANIMATION • LANCE MYERS 

The study and practice of 2D digital and traditional animation, including its history, artistic theories, and current digital techniques. Hands-on exercises and creative projects include character concept and design, animated figures and walk cycles, lip sync and audio for cartoons, acting and performance for animation, and more.  Ultimately, students produce and animate their own 2D animated cartoon.  All skill levels welcome.  Taught in a state of the art computer animation lab.

RTF 344C         3D ANIMATION • BEN BAYS 

3D (CGI) animation is ubiquitous in animated cartoons, video games, and visual effects. Blending critical inquiry and creative expression, students explore the historical influences and evolution of 3D animation technology, theories of performance and mimesis (role play) in virtual spaces, and storytelling through 3D animation using CGI software environments and platforms.  Ultimately, students produce a 3D animated short.  All skill levels welcome.  Taught in a state of the art computer animation lab.

RTF 344M        INTERACTIVE MEDIA & GAME DEVELOPMENT • DEEPAK CHETTY 
Open to BOTH RTF Majors & Non-RTF Majors. 

This course provides students with the fundamentals of interactive media through digital game creation. The course focuses on two areas: (1) general principles of game design and game development, and (2) development of simple 3D games. A limited number of seats are open to non-majors.

RTF 344M        WRITING INTERACTIVE GAMES/MEDIA • NATHAN CUTIETTA 

Interactive storytelling is a form of dramatic writing, just like theater or television. What makes the medium unique is that the author does not control the story; the audience does. Creatives have only just begun to explore the storytelling possibilities of this field. In this class, you will begin to develop the skills & knowledge necessary to write for interactive mediums such as video games, digital media, VR, and augmented reality. Your final deliverable in this course - a narrative design document - will serve as a writing sample for your portfolio. A limited number of seats are open to non-majors.

RTF 344M        POST PRODUCTION TECHNIQUES • DAN STUYCK 

This course involves intensive hands-on work in digital color grading. It is designed to familiarize students with the entire digital image-making process, whether you are a director or a cinematographer who wants to understand how picture finishing works, to more advanced students who wish to specialize in post production or color correction.

RTF 344M        GAME PROGRAMMING PARADIGMS • SARAH ABRAHAM

The course is designed to give students experience and insight into how game engines are built. Students will work with Unreal Engine 4 as an example of modern game engine architecture, and work with the existing systems including physics, graphics, AI, networking, and animation among others to understand how these components interact. Students will also gain experience working with source control, built systems, and understanding the UE4 compilers. Projects will be done in teams to allow students to gain experience working together with other programmers on relatively large projects, as well as working with ticketing systems. We also expect students to "fend for themselves" to an extent greater than that of most other courses in the department. This means we try to provide the minimal amount of starter code and help with build environments to encourage students to leverage online resources and the expertise of colleagues. By the end of this course you should feel comfortable working in large systems with multiple APIs, and have greater experience debugging and reading documentation of third-party software.

RTF 344M        VFX FOR STORYTELLING • DEEPAK CHETTY 

In this hands-on course, students will be introduced to the new frontiers of VFX technology, including neural networks for VFX (deep learning), Style Transfer, Real-time rendering and mixed reality Stagecraft. These technologies, fast becoming industry standards, are not out of reach! Along with production elements, the class will have screenings and analysis of films that contain historical milestones in VFX, which have led us to the present state of VFX and the development of the industry.  Whether you are interested in VFX as an additional skill in your filmmaker's toolkit or would like to become a visual effects artist and technician, you must understand the past to contextualize the present and the future of this art form. This class explores the production of contemporary and cutting edge VFX as well as both sides of this chronology, with the ultimate goal of creating a well-rounded understanding of where VFX started, and where it is headed.

RTF 344M        VIRTUAL PRODUCTION • DEEPAK CHETTY 

Virtual Production and real-time rendering are here. Learn how to plan, layout, light, animate and render your ideas, concepts and art in real-time using Unreal Engine. Physically accurate cameras will simulate their real-world counterparts and give you the ability to learn and develop your real-world skills in a virtual environment or integrate your real-world skills into the virtual production environment. Final projects, which will be fully realized short-form pieces, will display an understanding of the methodology and creative potential of this game-changing workflow.

RTF 344T          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 3D games for mobile, online, and social technology platforms. Students will gain a thorough understanding of the 3D game development process, through modeling of the environment and practices that are used in game studios.

*OFFERED IN FALL SEMESTER. If interested, please read instructions to apply. Consent of instructor required.

RTF 346           INTRODUCTION TO EDITING • KAREN KOCHER, MATT LENNON, ANNE LEWIS

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, students will finish this course with increased confidence in, and understanding of, Avid software and editing technique and style. We will view and analyze film scenes to understand how editing contributes to meaning.

RTF 347E          ADVANCED EDITING • ANNE LEWIS

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 366K         DOCUMENTARY PRODUCTION • NANCY SCHIESARI

This class introduces students to single-camera field documentary video production. During this semester-long documentary workshop, we will screen a variety of documentary works, but our focus will be on making documentary films. There will be group discussions, reading assignments, lectures, hands-on lab instruction, and short documentary exercises, in addition to a culminating documentary project. Students will keep a journal of the documentaries they see and how these films influence the documentaries they make (or plan to make). The primary focus of the class will be working from pre-production to post-production by starting with an idea and finishing with a short documentary film.

RTF 366K         LATINX FILMMAKING • ILIANA SOSA

In Latinx Filmmaking, we will push boundaries and delve into fresh perspectives on the US Latino experience. Each student will craft a 5–10-minute film of their choice, be it fiction, documentary, or experimental, centered around Latinx themes with a specific focus on US Latino communities. The course will feature screenings of underrepresented works by Latinx artists and engaging discussions with established and emerging Latinx filmmakers and producers.

RTF 366K         NARRATIVE PRODUCTION • MICAH BARBER 

The class explores the expressive potential of sound and image through the production of digital video 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 advanced narrative classes.

RTF 366K         SOCIAL MEDIA PRODUCTION • JORDAN LEVIN

Mine what you’re passionate about to produce your own original short-form content and engage with online communities who share your passion. Learn how digital entertainment companies and online content creators, like Austin-based Rooster Teeth, think about what they make, who they make it for, and where and how they reach their fans. You’ll hear how to collaborate with your audience in the creative process and explore the role of community in digital media. Creative and business executives from Rooster Teeth and elsewhere will be regular guests throughout the semester to share their experiences in the increasingly influential world of social media entertainment and consider how these lessons will impact the future of film / television production and fan engagement.

RTF 366S          AUDIO PRODUCTION INTO POST • TODD THOMPSON 

Audio is half of your movie; arguably more than half since it exceeds the limits of the visible frame. It operates at a literal and subliminal level and gives the filmmaker access to deeper parts of the audience’s consciousness. Great audio is a combination of creativity and an understanding of both the science and the tools of the medium.  This is the first-level class for audio, a perfect starting point for people who want to know how to better use sound in their projects as well as for those who may be thinking about audio as a lifelong craft. You will learn production mixing, basic post techniques, and the ideas behind them.  This will include recording on location using both high-end and low-end recorders, especially recording dialog, set and location problems and protocol, basic sound editing, mix prep, and creating a basic mix. You will become familiar with the operation and use of the Sound Devices 633 mixer/recorder and Zoom H6 recorder, other production mixers, and microphones on location and in the studio. You will learn the science behind the tools, and cultivate an appreciation for sound as a creative element in storytelling. You will create mixes in Pro Tools for audio-only projects, as well as fully realized soundtracks synced to picture. 

RTF 366S          PRODUCTION SOUND TECHNIQUES • KOREY PEREIRA 

Capturing quality sound on location or set is fundamental to making a project successful. Throughout the semester we will learn how to approach production sound recording for various filming environments, meet with top production sound teams and work on at least two film sets. Whether you want to pursue a career in production sound or just want to learn more about it, you will leave with an understanding and appreciation for the value that well-recorded sound can bring to any project.

RTF 366S          SOUND DESIGN AND MIXING • KOREY PEREIRA

Sound as a medium can create a sense of space, time, and set the mood of a film. This course will explore the post-production sound process for film, television, and immersive media.  We will develop a vocabulary for talking about sound, as well as provide practical hands-on training on each step in the post-sound process.  This includes sound editing, sound design, ADR and foley recording as well as re-recording mixing.  RTF 341C is the course for those who seek a career in post-production audio and for those who just want a thorough understanding of the post sound process.  A familiarity with Pro Tools or Non-linear editing is preferred, but not required.

Prerequisite: Upper-division standing, RTF 317 and 318 with a grade of at least B- in each, and six additional semester hours of lower-division coursework in radio-television-film. (RTF 341 is NOT required as a prerequisite.)

RTF 367D         DIRECTING WORKSHOP • ANDREW SHEA, MICAH BARBER 

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 367K         PRODUCING FILM AND TELEVISION • SARAH OH
Open to BOTH RTF Majors & Minors. This course counts towards the Media & Entertainment Industries Minor.

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. Prerequisites: Upper Division standing.

RTF 368P         PRODUCING SHORT FILMS • SARAH OH

Short films are often seen as an excellent calling card for first time filmmakers. But it’s much more than just a way to practice your craft or make something that is shorter or cheaper than a feature film. Though the principles and steps involved to produce a short film is no different than producing a feature film, it is also a unique discipline of its own. How do you tell an interesting and compelling story in a short film?  How do you translate a minimum budget into maximum quality on screen?

This course will examine all fundamental aspects of development, pre-production, production, and distribution of producing a short film. Students will practice the step-by-step processes of physical production such as script breakdown, scheduling, budgeting, location scouting, crew hiring, working with cast and crew, etc. Using weekly lectures, homework assignments, course readings and class workshops to reinforce each class topic, students will put together a final production binder for a short film

RTF 368           DRAWING THE STORYBOARD • JAMES BUCHANAN 

Improve your skills of visual expression and communication through the act of Drawing. In the course we will experiment with various drawing media, and examine the Principles and Elements of Design through conceptual and observational drawing.

RTF 369P         SCRIPT TO SCREEN: MOVIES • SCOTT RICE

Script to Screen takes students behind the scenes of Oscar winner Matthew McConaughey’s films. By studying script drafts, shot lists, storyboards, early edits and even exclusive behind the scenes footage, students will garner insight into the making of a major Hollywood feature. Script to Screen also gives students practical instruction on producing their own projects including web series, shorts, commercials, and indie features. From guidance on pitching to the ins and outs of founding a production company, Script to Screen is an essential “how-to” for students who are serious about producing and directing.

Prerequisites: Upper Division standing and either RTF 367K (Producing I), RTF 366D (Directing Workshop) or RTF 333 (Intro. to Screenwriting). Non-majors will not be allowed to add this course. If you do not meet the prerequisites you may seek admittance by contacting the instructor.

RTF 369           ADVANCED SCREENWRITING: FEATURE FILM • KATHERINE CRAFT

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.

RTF 369          ADVANCED SCREENWRITING: INDIE FILMS • TOM WILLETT 

This workshop class is focused on writing screenplays designed for micro-budget, independent production. As students write their own feature-length scripts (90-120 pages) throughout the semester, they will study and analyze completed micro-budget films and their production methods. In addition, they will read and comment on their classmates' work.

RTF 369          ADVANCED SCREENWRITING: SCI-FI/HORROR • MAYA PEREZ 

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: SHORT FILMS • TOM WILLETT

In this class, students will focus on short films and what makes for a successful short script.  At a minimum, students should expect to write five short scripts and rewrite a minimum of two of them.  These scripts can be used in other classes or for projects produced outside UT/RTF. In addition, students will read and comment on their classmates' work.

RTF 369           ADVANCED SCREENWRITING: TV PILOTS • TOM WILLETT 

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.

INTERNSHIPS

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RTF 330N   INTERNSHIP IN THE MEDIA INDUSTRIES - Hybrid/Blended • MICAH BARBER

The purpose of this 3-hour internship for RTF majors and minors is to provide practical work experience in the media industries (film, television, radio, video games, and/or digital media). Students must make their own arrangements to secure relevant internships in the Austin area, though remote internships may be accepted, depending on need and opportunity. In addition to providing practical experience in the vocation of your choice, this course is designed to help you develop the resources and routines necessary to succeed in the contemporary media industries. The course meets weekly for one hour, in addition to the student's off-site internship. This course is offered on a pass/fail basis only.

RTF 347D             Media Content Management

This RTF practicum offers hands-on, experiential learning about the lifecycle of media objects, from celluloid and ¾” video to digital asset. Once created, film and digital media enter an ongoing (and messy!) process of distribution, revision, and challenges to long term access. Offered in collaboration with the award-winning Texas Archive of the Moving Image, this practicum allows students an “Insider look” at the evolving world of post-production. Students will learn boutique preservation practice alongside contemporary discussions driving Digital Asset Management decisions in corporate settings.  In addition to work shadowing opportunities, students will be responsible for developing high quality, historically informed non-fiction content (e.g., educational videos, podcasts, documentaries, etc.) through unique access to the archive’s newly digitized media. This practicum provides a unique field experience while still in residence on the forty acres.  
RTF 347D can count towards the RTF internship requirement.

RTF 630N    INTERNSHIP IN THE MEDIA INDUSTRIES - Hybrid/Blended • MICAH BARBER

The purpose of this 6-hour internship for RTF majors and minors is to provide practical work experience in the media industries (film, television, radio, video games, and/or digital media). Students must make their own arrangements to secure relevant internships in the Austin area, though remote internships may be accepted, depending on need and opportunity. In addition to providing practical experience in the vocation of your choice, this course is designed to help you develop the resources and routines necessary to succeed in the contemporary media industries. The course meets weekly for one hour, in addition to the student's off-site internship. This course is offered on a pass/fail basis only. 

NON MAJOR COURSES

Note: In addition to courses listed below, which are open to non-majors, there are courses listed on this page that count toward minors in Media Studies, Media and Entertainment Industries, or Latino Media Arts & Studies.

RTF 301C        COMICS AND CARTOONS • BEN BAYS
Open to BOTH RTF Majors & Non-RTF Majors. 

Students "trace" (har har) the history, techniques, conventions, themes and cultural spaces of comics and cartoons through hands-on skills-building projects (drawing). The artistic traditions of the middle ages gave rise to the cartoon, a form of mass media illustration and text which embraced non-realism, caricature and satire. The form has evolved across cultures, through history and alongside technological advances to its modern digital form. From panels, pages, gags, serials, covers, scripts, characters, layout, lettering, FX to much more.  Explore the legacy of comics and cartoons by creating them. 

RTF 303C          INTRO TO MEDIA AND ENTERTAINMENT INDUSTRIES - Web-Based • WENHONG CHEN
Restricted to non-RTF majors. Fulfills a social & behavioral sciences core curriculum requirement for the 2022–2023 academic year. Qualifies for the Media Studies Minor.

Drawing on literatures from media studies, management, sociology, and communication, this course helps students to develop a social science understanding of media industries and entrepreneurship. We start with a survey of key social science theories and concepts the media landscape. We examine the social, political, and economic contexts in which media 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 media and the implications of these disruptive innovations for media organizations and professionals. Cases in old and new media industries from different countries will be analyzed. It is designed to help students achieve the following goals upon successful course completion:

  • Understand key social science theories, concepts and methods on the complicated interaction between media and society.
  • Recognize various opportunities, challenges, and responses media industries have to address due to globalization and technological advancements.
  • Understand government policies and industry practices that affect the formation and function of media organizations.
  • Understand the trajectory and development of various legacy and new media industry sectors.
  • Evaluate entrepreneurial opportunities, challenges, and process in the media industries facilitated and constrained by institution and culture.

RTF 304           STORYTELLING IN FILM AND TV • TERESA WARNER
Restricted to non-RTF majors. 
In this introduction class, students will be given the fundamentals of story structure for Feature Films and Television. This will include analysis of three act structure, character development and the language of screenwriting.

RTF 306          INTRO WORLD CINEMA HISTORY - Web-Based • NOAH ISENBERG 
Restricted to non-RTF majors. Fulfills a Visual and Performing Arts core curriculum requirement for the 2022–2023 academic year. Qualifies for the Media Studies Minor and the Latino Media Arts & Studies Minor. The course fulfills VAPA requirements, and is designed for non-RTF majors who have not taken previous coursework in film or media studies.

Love the movies? Join us and explore how the movies developed from a circus amusement to multinational industry as well as how film can be understood as socio-cultural , technological, aesthetic and economic artifact. Global in scope, this course will sample a variety of “national cinemas” in order to compare and contrast how moviemaking developed uniquely in different parts of the world. 

RTF 329C         DIGITL MEDIA PRODUCTION - Web-Based • BEN BAYS
Open to BOTH RTF Majors & Non-RTF Majors. 

Animation, Visual Effects, Digital Painting and CGI are used to produce content for a variety of media including live-action film, classical and 3D animation and interactive formats like video games and XR.  This course will teach you the industry standard tools and practical techniques of digital media production, no experience necessary.  The course is self-paced, non-linear and offers a variety of options.  Students choose their area of interest from a large array of assignments covering topics like concept art and previsualization, color correction and post production, animation and simulation, compositing and visual effects or CGI and interactive game design (and more).  Will you become a generalist across all digital media production, will you specialize in one discipline or will you define a new role in digital media production? Choose your own path and the instructor and a team of TAs collaborate with you. No prior knowledge of digital media production required.  Mac or PC. No software purchase required. This course offers both access to instructor guidance and the ability to complete assignments at your own pace. 

RTF 344M        INTERACTIVE MEDIA & GAME DEVELOPMENT • DEEPAK CHETTY 
Open to BOTH RTF Majors & Non-RTF Majors. 

This course provides students with the fundamentals of interactive media through digital game creation. The course focuses on two areas: (1) general principles of game design and game development, and (2) development of simple 3D games. A limited number of seats are open to non-majors.

RTF 344M        WRITING INTERACTIVE GAMES/MEDIA • NATHAN CUTIETTA 

Interactive storytelling is a form of dramatic writing, just like theater or television. What makes the medium unique is that the author does not control the story; the audience does. Creatives have only just begun to explore the storytelling possibilities of this field. In this class, you will begin to develop the skills & knowledge necessary to write for interactive mediums such as video games, digital media, VR, and augmented reality. Your final deliverable in this course - a narrative design document - will serve as a writing sample for your portfolio. A limited number of seats are open to non-majors.

RTF 367K         PRODUCING FILM AND TELEVISION • SARAH OH
Open to BOTH RTF Majors & Minors. This course counts towards the Media & Entertainment Industries Minor.

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. Prerequisites: Upper Division standing.

SPECIALTY COURSES

STUDY ABROAD WITH MOODY

RTF 336      SPECIAL PROJECTS IN RADIO-TELEVISION-FILM   
Flag/s: Independent Inquiry

This course gives students the opportunity to do independent research or creative projects. These are developed and executed by the student under the supervision of a faculty member. (Note: Students cannot use departmental equipment to complete these projects.) May be taken twice for credit. May be counted toward the independent inquiry flag requirement. Hour(s) to be arranged. Restricted enrollment; review instructions.

Prerequisites:

  • Upper-division standing
  • Approval from a faculty sponsor
  • Approval from the Department Chair

RTF 368S - UNDERGRADUATE MEDIA STUDIES THESIS

See thesis page.

UTNY

The New York City experience amplifies creative energy, professional opportunity and world-class arts and culture. Live, work, and learn as you explore and engage through UTNY’s connection to companies, people and prospects. Business, government, and technology merge with entertainment, fashion, and media in this global epicenter.

UTLA

Spend a semester in Los Angeles to jump-start your career in the entertainment industry. Open to all UT Austin students regardless of major, the UTLA program is a chance to get hands-on training at an internship, take classes taught by industry insiders, and explore new career paths to set yourself up for success after graduation. Learn about UTLA courses.