2020 - Fall

Undergraduate Courses – Fall 2020

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

NON MAJOR COURSES
LOWER DIVISION COURSES
UPPER DIVISION - MEDIA STUDIES COURSES
UPPER DIVISION - PRODUCTION & SCREENWRITING COURSES

UTLA - WOFFORD DENIUS UTLA CENTER FOR ENTERTAINMENT & MEDIA STUDIES (listed on separate site)
INTERNSHIPS


LOWER DIVISION COURSES

RTF 307           MEDIA & SOCIETY • HYUN JUNG STEPHANY NOH, MELISSA SANTILLANA, DAELENA TINNIN

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

RTF 308           DEVELOPMENT OF FILM & MEDIA • KATHY CACACE

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

RTF 317           NARRATIVE STRATEGIES & MEDIA DESIGN • ERIC FORTHUN, RUSTY HATCHELL, JING WANG

This class focuses on the style, structure and storytelling strategies in a wide range of media forms, from narrative films and television series to documentaries and videogames.

RTF 318           INTRODUCTION TO IMAGE & SOUND • DEBORAH EVE LEWIS

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 321D        FILM HISTORY TO 1960 • CHARLES RAMIREZ-BERG

This course is a survey of international film history for undergraduate students who seek an understanding of the history and aesthetics of the motion picture. On a weekly basis, it consists of two 75-minute lectures 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 • MARY BELTRAN

This course is designed to provide students with the language and critical tools to understand and discuss racial and ethnic representation and production issues in U.S. film and entertainment television. We will survey the history and evolving representations of race and ethnicity in the entertainment media and related topics of concern to media producers, audiences, and scholars. While a variety of theoretical and methodological approaches will be reviewed, critical and cultural studies approaches to film and television criticism will be emphasized. This course carries UT’s Cultural Diversity flag and meets the Moody College of Communication’s Communication and Culture requirement. It focuses on the representation of African Americans, Latinos, Asian Americans, and American Indians/Alaskan Natives in narrative film and television, as well as on Middle Eastern/Arab, Jewish, and European American representation and the construction of “whiteness.”  In addition, intersections of class, gender, sexual orientation, and citizenship with race and ethnicity in mediated representation will be explored.

RTF 324C         INTRODUCTION TO GLOBAL MEDIA • SHANTI KUMAR

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         PLATFORMS AND DIGITAL CULTURE (aka, DIGITAL MEDIA PLATFORMS) • LESLEY WILLARD

In modern society, we live our lives on and through digital media platforms. Every day, we use them to contact friends, share memes, watch television, stream music, review restaurants, buy products, find dates, and even access classes. We post and reblog, like and scroll, comment and subscribe, performing the endless creative labor of social media and further blurring the line between work and play. These digital platforms are microcosms of the contemporary media industries and, through them, we can critically examine the affordances, communities, politics, and economics that drive digital media. From Twitter, Tumblr, and Instagram to YouTube, Twitch, and Spotify, this course will use social networking and streaming platforms to explore digital technologies, user modifications, participatory cultures, content policies, community guidelines, intellectual property, online piracy, user-generated content, creator compensation, data collection, audience surveillance, media promotion, influencer marketing, and more. By digging deeper into these platforms—their uses and users, celebrities and subcultures, affordances and algorithms—we can interrogate abstract concepts like power and control, agency and collectivity, censorship and surveillance. Anchoring such discussions in platforms, this course will explore what it really means for us to create, share, consume, and ultimately become media commodities in an increasingly digital world. This course counts towards the Media & Entertainment Industries minor.

RTF 331P         THE VIDEO GAME INDUSTRY • LESLEY WILLARD

Trade press and business experts love to hype the profitability of the global video game industry, measuring its success in units sold and revenues earned. And while it is certainly a juggernaut within the media industries, there has been much less focus on what it is like to actually work in the industry. From game designers to games journalists, QA testers to Twitch streamers, this course will explore the material realities, working conditions, and business models of the games industry and their impact on its workers: the good, the bad, and the ugly. Instead of focusing on specific games, genres, systems, or mechanics, this course will trace the impact of digitization, casualization, and globalization on the industry’s production cultures, employment models, commodity forms, profit centers, promotional logics, and more. We will explore historical and contemporary concerns shaping the industry, such as government regulations and rating systems, outsourcing and offshoring, labor casualization and unionization, precarious employment and crunch periods, loot boxes and revenue models, live streams and gambling laws, mods and skins, user-generated content and end-user license agreements, identity politics and systemic inequalities, promotional work and emotional labor, etc. In addition to a thorough consideration of what it means to work in the games industry (past, present, and future), we will also hear from guest speakers about their experiences working in a variety of games companies and positions. From crash to crunch, this course will give you a better sense of how to anticipate and navigate the changing nature of work in these increasingly digital and global media industries. This course counts towards the Media & Entertainment Industries minor.

RTF 335           QUEER TELEVISION • CURRAN NAULT

This course immerses students in the critical analysis of “queer” television, broadly construed. Students will read key queer/TV theory texts and explore a diversity of queer TV texts, past and present, paying close attention to their attendant practices of production and reception, as well as the contested discourses of identity, politics, activism, desire and representation that these texts elicit. Important to this project are historical shifts in the representation of LGBTQ+ individuals, including their growing visibility in commercial media culture and the “gaystream.” This course also insists on an intersectional approach to TV that actively engages questions of race, class, nation, ability and generation—in additional to gender and sexuality.

RTF 345           CONTEMPORARY HORROR CINEMA • LALITHA GOPALAN

Don’t expect gore and guts!  Rather, our collective endeavor during the term turns towards viewing films that envision extraordinary events and everyday perturbations that persist to unsettle us; time-bending narratives that turn our dreams into nightmares.  The course acknowledges our continued fascination with scenarios that taunt and provoke us to explore the ethics of viewing of what is unbearable.  The queue of films includes works by both established auteurs and emerging directors from contemporary world cinemas.

RTF 352           GERMAN MEDIA: PRINT TO TV • HANNES MANDEL

You likely have heard of Johannes Gutenberg and Martin Luther before, but they are not the only influential media entrepreneurs in the history of what today we have come to call Germany. In this course, we will investigate a whole range of once revolutionary, sometimes forgotten, always fascinating media technologies that have shaped the ways in which people perceive, know about, make sense of, and interact with the world. Some of these old media, it turns out, aren't quite as obsolete as we may think, and there is a lot to be learned from them about the media-saturated environment we are living in today, on either side of the Atlantic.

RTF 347P         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 359           ASIAN AMERICAN MEDIA CULTURES • MADHAVI MALLAPRAGADA

How can we locate the present status of Asian Americans in the media within a historical and cultural context? Why is it that despite increased representation in recent years, for Asian Americans, the road to fuller and more complex participation within US media industries is fraught with complexity and ambivalence? These two questions will guide our study of Asian American media cultures.

This course is designed to help us understand the role and significance of media such as film, television, radio, the Internet, and social media platforms as it relates to Asian Americans. We will examine a variety of media examples, from the early twentieth century to the present and focus on prevailing stereotypes as well as efforts to combat stereotypes. We will discuss representation alongside significant industry practices such as casting, writers and creative talent and explore controversies around color-blind casting. We will also consider examples of independent media production, activist media and transnational, digital media that offer alternative, local and subversive images, narratives and discourses about Asian Americans as media creators, distributors, consumer and audiences.

RTF 359           FROM THE MIND OF JORDAN PEELE • JA'NELL AJANI

This undergraduate seminar is a survey of works past, present and those slated for the future by Jordan Peele. The course will examine Peele’s canon, including the execution of his creative process and the development of his business acumen, since starting his company, Monkeypaw Productions in 2012. Students will investigate social and cultural studies in which race, ethnicity, gender, sexuality, and class are interconnected and symbiotic within the context of fiction and non-fiction works.

“Hailed as a light bearer for our fears and social ills,” Writer/Producer/Actor/Director Jordan Peele tackles topics situated in privilege, power, and political turmoil.  Most importantly, Peele is also dedicated to revealing “the complex and deep-rooted dynamics of race” in transnational contexts as well as its broader meaning for the human condition.  As Peele’s projects have a trajectory of “defying neat categories and labels” traditionally held within the Hollywood industry. His work is simultaneously “action movie, comedy, drama, thriller, and horror movie, all rolled into one. You cannot put it or him in a box.”

Throughout the semester, the following questions will guide our analysis of Peele’s work: How are Peele’s projects in dialogue with other black directors, writers and creatives working within the center, peripheral and margins of the space he has carved out? How does his brand specifically fit into the renaissance of other black creatives such as Ava Duvernay, Ryan Coogler, Issa Rae, Donald Glover, Lena Waithe, or a Tyler Perry? What are the broader historical connections to Peele’s work and earlier generations of black cinema, television, and other media?

RTF 359C         MEDIA ARCHAEOLOGY • CAROLINE FRICK

Romantic images of the archaeologist have been a component of cinema for over a hundred years. But what if Indiana Jones needed to search for old media – magic lantern slides or nitrate celluloid – instead of golden treasure? This course will cast students as historical explorers, focusing our quest to discover and better understand media as artifacts rather than just as narratives or “texts.” How can understanding radio, television, film and online video as physical objects that decompose (and even explode) over time complicate our understanding of the past? This class will focus upon the materiality of media within specific socio-cultural, economic and technological time periods, each with their own modes of historic, and futuristic, discourse. Topics will include studio preservation policy and national cinemas, the role of the archive and museum, high profile film restorations and even Martin Scorsese.

RTF 359S         GENDER AND FAN CULTURE • SUZANNE SCOTT

Over the past decade, fans have been transformed from a stigmatized subculture into a mainstream power demographic, catered to and courted by media industries. This course will survey fan studies from the 1990s to the present, with an emphasis on fandom within convergence culture and digital fan cultures and practices, from fan fiction to fantasy football. Using gender as a critical axis, this course will consider the lingering impact of fan studies’ roots in feminist and queer media studies, and contemplate how gender shapes our discussions of fan labor, fan representations, fannish taste, modes of fan performance and production, and industry-audience power dynamics. Finally, this course will consider what forms of identity work have been elided or marginalized as a result of the field’s focus on gender as its central critical axis, in an effort to move towards a more intersectional conception of fan identity and fan studies. In addition to critically analyzing fans' transformative works, students will mobilize course concepts to produce and theorize fan texts of their own.

RTF 359S         LATINA FEMINISMS & MEDIA • TBA

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

RTF 359S         BLACK TELEVISION COMEDY • ADRIEN SEBRO

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 370           FILM NOIR • NOAH ISENBERG

The term was first coined in 1946 by a French film critic who, when viewing a few recently imported American films for the first time after World War II—The Maltese Falcon, Double Indemnity, Laura, and others—focused on their similarities, and labeled what he saw as noir, or “black.”  Noir thus became the name for a post-war cycle of morally ambiguous crime films and the pulp novels that frequently inspired them. Yet with the passage of time, it has become ever clearer that noir is not just a matter of stylized low-key lighting and cynical gunplay, femmes fatales and private eyes. This course approaches noir with a critical eye toward its numerous iterations, old and new, and its enduring allure.

RTF 370           BLACK FILMMAKERS AFTER BLAXPLOITATION • ADRIEN SEBRO

In this course, we will use case studies of various contemporary Black filmmakers (1980s-Present) while working to question and complicate the ways in which they deploy images, understandings, and narratives of Blackness within American society. This course will work to answer questions such as; How have the filmmakers of the Blaxploitation Era inspired contemporary Black filmmakers? Have they? How have (or haven’t) contemporary Black filmmakers worked to resist Hollywood conventions? How has politics continued to evolve the ontological status of Blackness? How have technological advances changed the ways in which Black filmmakers contend with production, distribution, and exhibition? How is Blackness framed in these films? Through the myriad of Black filmmakers discussed, this course will build an understanding of Black film as art, resistance or compliance, and a pedagogy that is constantly evolving and taking new forms. As many of these Black filmmakers and their films have not (or have yet to be) been discussed in scholarly works, the weekly readings will be a mixture of scholarly published texts, journals, film reviews, newspaper articles, and trade press. With that in mind, course discussion will rely heavily on these various readings in conversation with the films themselves. 



UPPER DIVISION - PRODUCTION & SCREENWRITING COURSES

RTF 329C         DIGITAL MEDIA PRODUCTION - WEB-BASED BEN BAYS

Animation, Visual Effects, Digital Painting and CGI are used to produce digital content for a variety of media including films, animation and interactive formats like video games and VR/AR.  This course is an interactive, online experience designed to teach you the foundational Digital Media Production tools: Photoshop, After Effects, Adobe Animate (Flash) and Maya. Through creative hands-on challenges, you will apply digital media tools and techniques to a variety of tasks in the pipeline of production from concept, storyboard, layout to compositor, VFX, CG and interactive design.  In the end, you must choose:  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? OPEN TO BOTH RTF MAJORS & NON-RTF MAJORS.

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RTF 333        INTRODUCTION TO SCREENWRITINGTOM WILLETT

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

RTF 337 / 388P      EARS ONLY: AUDIO STORYTELLING • ANDREW GARRISON

Audio production and post for storytelling using voice, actuality, music, ambiences and sound effects. Structuring stories for audio only, plus microphone and recorder techniques, mono, stereo, and binaural recording,  field mixers, basic Pro Tools, signal processing, and noise reduction, applicable to sound for picture as well. Students will make a variety of small projects leading up to a longer, final project of their choice. 

RTF 340           MULTI-CAM TELEVISION DIRECTING • DAVID SCHNEIDER

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

RTF 341           AUDIO PRODUCTION INTO POST • ANDREW GARRISON

RTF 341           FILM SCORING • SAM LIPMAN

A practical guide to contemporary film composition, in both narrative and documentary styles. Subjects include working with directors, finding the sound language of the film, spotting the film, composing and developing themes, transitions and underscore. Students will study landmark scores, as well as hone their own film-scoring abilities through in-class assignments. Prerequisites are a working knowledge of Logic Pro X and some previous instrumental composition instruction.

RTF 343            ADVANCED PRODUCTION: NARRATIVE • MICAH BARBER, NANCY SCHIESARI

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

RTF 343            ADVANCED PRODUCTION: MUSIC IN FILM • 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 343/388P  ADVANCED PRODUCTION: PRODUCTION DESIGN • ADRIANA SERRANO

If you are passionate about design and have experience in any of these fields: art, graphics, set design, construction, or painting—or if you have production designed at least one film—this class might be for you. An in-depth exploration of all the visual components of studio sets and production design for film, this class covers production design at an advanced level, providing the core principles to translate your visual vision into a successful film set. All students will design or crew one narrative project with the Radio-Television-Film students.

Students are required to have taken Intro to Production Design or have other equivalent credits in design, art or architecture. Instructor consent required; form available through RTF Student Advising.

RTF 343D        CINEMATOGRAPHY • HUAY-BING LAW

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 344M          3D ANIMATION AND DIGITAL PERFORMANCES • BEN BAYS

3D Animation and Digital Performances introduces students to the principles of motion, animation, simulation and performance through creative-project based learning.  Using Autodesk Maya and other software, students will explore techniques and methods for generating animation including but not limited to rigging and skinning, simulation and dynamics, motion graphics and procedural animation, motion capture, virtual cinematography, sequencing, and rendering.  As we build fluency with the tools, we will explore the applications of 3D animation in animation, visual effects and interactive. No prior knowledge or experience using Maya or CGI required, only a passion for storytelling and animation.

RTF 344M        CG FOR FILM AND GAMES-WB • BEN BAYS

CGI for Film and Games is an online, creative-project based course that explores 3D Modeling, Surfacing, Animation and Simulation using Autodesk Maya, Photoshop and a game engine (Unity and/or Unreal).  We will model, surface and light navigable levels and interactive virtual spaces.  We will design, rig, animate and render vehicles and other complex systems of animation for both interactive and pre-rendered media.  We will simulate effects and composite them onto live-action (or animated) footage, utilizing CGI for previsualization, sequencing, virtual cinematography and rendering short films.  No prior knowledge of CGI or the software listed is required, only enthusiasm and access to a computer.

RTF 344M        DIRECTING FOR VIRTUAL REALITY • SIMON QUIROZ

While exploring the language of cinematic storytelling in Virtual Reality 360 Production, students will develop, produce and direct immersive and interactive story experiences geared for the Virtual Reality Medium in stereoscopic 3D.

While students will be exposed to best practices for shooting and editing stereoscopic 360 material, UX and UI for VR headsets, the main focus of this class will be on the development and directing of effective stories. Further, students will be encouraged to think volumetrically as an approach for cinematography and directing which will translate to their growth as filmmakers and story content creators in general.

RTF 344M        INTERACTIVE MEDIA AND GAME DEVELOPMENT • DEEPAK CHETTY

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

RTF 344M/388P  POST-PRODUCTION TECHNIQUES (COLOR GRADING) • 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.

RTF 344M        WRITING FOR INTERACTIVE GAMES & MEDIA • SUSAN O'CONNOR

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        CONCEPTS OF REAL-TIME RENDERING • 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 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 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-Television-Film to form small teams in which each student will contribute specialized knowledge to the group creation of 2D games for mobile, online, and social technology platforms. Through modeling of the environment and practices that are used in game studios and the larger industry, students will gain a thorough understanding of the 2D game development process. Local game companies and industry professionals are committed to evaluating student projects and hiring successful graduates. 
*If interested, please read instructions to apply. Consent of instructor required.

RTF 346           INTRO TO EDITING • DON HOWARD, KAREN KOCHER, 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, you will finish this course with increased confidence in, and understanding of, the seamless editing technique and the AVID software. We will also view and analyze film scenes to understand how editing contributes to meaning.

RTF 347E         ADVANCED EDITING • CHRIS ROLDAN

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

RTF 351C        INTRODUCTION TO 2D ANIMATION • LANCE MYERS

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

RTF 366K        DOCUMENTARY PRODUCTION • DEBORAH EVE LEWIS

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/388P   INTRO TO PRODUCTION DESIGN • 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, 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 366K        NARRATIVE PRODUCTION • STEVE MIMS, NANCY SCHIESARI, ILIANA SOSA

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

RTF 366K         DRAWING THE STORYBOARD • JASON BUCHANAN

Learn the art and skills of drawing a storyboard, even if you can’t draw.

A storyboard is a set of sequential drawings used to tell a story—a graphic organizer that helps to illustrate a narrative.  Used often in entertainment applications like film, TV, theatre, gaming, and immersive experiences, storyboards are also valuable in the development of advertising videos or demonstrating a production process. 

RTF 366K         ROOSTER TEETH MEETS RTF • MICAH BARBER

Create your own original short content while learning how Rooster Teeth thinks about the things they make. You’ll see how to bring your audience into the creative process from the start, learn from Rooster Teeth’s successes in emerging social media entertainment, and explore the role of community in the future of digital media. Creative and business executives will be regular guests throughout the semester, including exclusive sessions taught by media executive Jordan Levin, General Manager of Rooster Teeth and prominent UT alum.

RTF 367D        DIRECTING WORKSHOP • ANDREW SHEA, ANNIE SILVERSTEIN

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 • MICAH BARBER, SARAH SEULKI OH

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

RTF 367Q        ADVANCED PRODUCING: SCRIPT TO SCREEN • SCOTT RICE

Script to Screen takes students behind the scenes of Oscar winner Matthew McConaughey’s latest film. 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: FEATURES • RICHARD LEWIS

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: INDIES • 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 • BEAU THORNE

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

RTF 369           ADVANCED SCREENWRITING: TV PILOTS • BEAU THORNE

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

RTF 369           ADVANCED SCREENWRITING: TV SPECS • STUART KELBAN

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


INTERNSHIPS

RTF 178 RADIO-TV-FILM INTERNSHIP
Restricted to Radio-Television-Film majors. RTF 178 is a one-hour internship course intended for students doing a second internship, i.e., those who have already taken RTF 330L. The purpose of this course is to provide professional internship experiences with television and radio stations, film, video, and new media production companies, governmental agencies and production units, audio recording studios, and new media industries. Students are responsible for securing their own internship position. Resources and position listings are available in the College of Communication Career Services (CCS) office, CMA 3.104 / (512) 471-9421.

At the end of the semester, you will be required to submit an Internship Report consisting of:

  • A weekly journal
  • Work samples or a portfolio
  • Your evaluation of the internship
  • Your supervisor's confidential evaluation of your performance

Register Now

RTF 330L INTERNSHIP IN FILM & ELECTRONIC MEDIA
Restricted to Radio-Television-Film majors. The purpose of this 3-hour internship for RTF majors 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. 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. While no meeting time is listed, there will be multiple required workshops scheduled throughout the semester, totaling 10 contact hours for the semester. Resources and position listings are available in the College of Communication Career Services (CCS) office, CMA 3.104 / (512) 471-9421.

RTF 330L and RTF 330N may not both be counted. Offered on the pass/fail basis only.
Prerequisite: Upper-division standing and consent of the internship coordinator.

At the end of the semester, you will be required to submit an Internship Report consisting of:


  • A weekly journal

  • Work samples or a portfolio
  • Your evaluation of the internship

  • Your supervisor's confidential evaluation of your performance

Register Now

RTF 330N   INTERNSHIP IN MEDIA INDUSTRIES (for non-majors)

Restricted to non-Radio-Television-Film majors. The purpose of this 3-hour internship for non-RTF majors 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. 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. While no meeting time is listed, there will be multiple required workshops scheduled throughout the semester, totaling 10 contact hours for the semester.

Resources and position listings are available in the College of Communication Career Services (CCS) office, CMA 3.104 / (512) 471-9421.

RTF 330L and RTF 330N may not both be counted. Offered on the pass/fail basis only.
Prerequisite: Upper-division standing and consent of the internship coordinator.

Register Now


NON-MAJOR COURSES

RTF 301N        INTRO TO NONFICTION TELEVISION • KATE CRONIN

Restricted to non-RTF majors.
This course provides an introductory survey of non-fiction television, from the early days of cigarette-sponsored newscasts and quiz show scandals to present-day debates over the relationship between news media and reality television. Course units will cover the evolution of television news, game shows, documentary, and reality television, and will address the considerable historical, industrial, and aesthetic overlap between these different genres. With an overall emphasis on developing robust media literacy skills, students will gain a thorough understanding of non-fiction television as a historical artifact, a technological achievement, a dynamic media practice, and a complex and evolving media industry. Class discussions will address the intersections between news, politics, entertainment, celebrity, and culture, and students will interrogate how broader social identities have shaped and been shaped by non-fiction television, with both commercial and public mandates. Class will meet Monday, Wednesday, and Friday from 10 to 11 and will be a combination of lecture, screenings, and discussion.

RTF 303C         INTRO TO MEDIA & ENTERTAINMENT INDUSTRIES – WEB-BASEDWENHONG CHEN

Restricted to non-RTF majors. Fulfills the social & behavioral sciences core curriculum requirement for the 2019–2020 academic year.
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 306         INTRODUCTION TO WORLD CINEMA HISTORY – WEB-BASED CAROLINE FRICK

Restricted to non-RTF majors.
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. We will also address how decades of popular and critical attention to the glamour and gossip surrounding Hollywood movies has affected our understanding of “American” cinema. The course fulfills VAPA requirements, and is designed for non-RTF majors who have not taken previous coursework in film or media studies.
 

RTF 329C         DIGITAL 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 digital content for a variety of media including films, animation and interactive formats like video games and VR/AR.  This course is an interactive, online experience designed to teach you the foundational Digital Media Production tools: Photoshop, After Effects, Adobe Animate (Flash) and Maya. Through creative hands-on challenges, you will apply digital media tools and techniques to a variety of tasks in the pipeline of production from concept, storyboard, layout to compositor, VFX, CG and interactive design.  In the end, you must choose:  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?

View Course Promo Video
 

RTF 330N   INTERNSHIP IN MEDIA INDUSTRIES

Restricted to non-RTF majors.
The purpose of this 3-hour internship for non-RTF majors 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. 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. While no meeting time is listed, there will be multiple required workshops scheduled throughout the semester, totaling 10 contact hours for the semester.

RTF 330L (the version of this internship offered for majors) and RTF 330N may not both be counted. Offered on a pass/fail basis only.
Prerequisite: Upper-division standing and consent of the internship coordinator.

RTF 331P         PLATFORMS AND DIGITAL CULTURE (aka, DIGITAL MEDIA PLATFORMS) • LESLEY WILLARD

Open to BOTH RTF Majors & Non-RTF Majors. This course counts towards the Media & Entertainment Industries minor.
In modern society, we live our lives on and through digital media platforms. Every day, we use them to contact friends, share memes, watch television, stream music, review restaurants, buy products, find dates, and even access classes. We post and reblog, like and scroll, comment and subscribe, performing the endless creative labor of social media and further blurring the line between work and play. These digital platforms are microcosms of the contemporary media industries and, through them, we can critically examine the affordances, communities, politics, and economics that drive digital media. From Twitter, Tumblr, and Instagram to YouTube, Twitch, and Spotify, this course will use social networking and streaming platforms to explore digital technologies, user modifications, participatory cultures, content policies, community guidelines, intellectual property, online piracy, user-generated content, creator compensation, data collection, audience surveillance, media promotion, influencer marketing, and more. By digging deeper into these platforms—their uses and users, celebrities and subcultures, affordances and algorithms—we can interrogate abstract concepts like power and control, agency and collectivity, censorship and surveillance. Anchoring such discussions in platforms, this course will explore what it really means for us to create, share, consume, and ultimately become media commodities in an increasingly digital world.

RTF 331P         THE VIDEO GAME INDUSTRY • LESLEY WILLARD

Open to BOTH RTF Majors & Non-RTF Majors. This course counts towards the Media & Entertainment Industries minor.
Trade press and business experts love to hype the profitability of the global video game industry, measuring its success in units sold and revenues earned. And while it is certainly a juggernaut within the media industries, there has been much less focus on what it is like to actually work in the industry. From game designers to games journalists, QA testers to Twitch streamers, this course will explore the material realities, working conditions, and business models of the games industry and their impact on its workers: the good, the bad, and the ugly. Instead of focusing on specific games, genres, systems, or mechanics, this course will trace the impact of digitization, casualization, and globalization on the industry’s production cultures, employment models, commodity forms, profit centers, promotional logics, and more. We will explore historical and contemporary concerns shaping the industry, such as government regulations and rating systems, outsourcing and offshoring, labor casualization and unionization, precarious employment and crunch periods, loot boxes and revenue models, live streams and gambling laws, mods and skins, user-generated content and end-user license agreements, identity politics and systemic inequalities, promotional work and emotional labor, etc. In addition to a thorough consideration of what it means to work in the games industry (past, present, and future), we will also hear from guest speakers about their experiences working in a variety of games companies and positions. From crash to crunch, this course will give you a better sense of how to anticipate and navigate the changing nature of work in these increasingly digital and global media industries.