2022 - Spring

LOWER-DIVISION COURSES

RTF 301R      FROM THE MIND OF JORDAN PEELE • JA'NELL N AJANI

Jordan Peele’s work and his creative engagement with race and racial issues is one of defiance in which he actively resists his work being placed in neat categories. As one author noted, “you cannot put him in a box” (The Guardian, March 2019). This undergraduate seminar is a survey of Jordan’s Peele’s work—past, present, future including his work on Key and Peele, Get Out, Us and upcoming productions in the horror genre. We will explore Peele’s creative process and the expansion of his business acumen since he started his company, Monkeypaw Productions in 2012. Students will use both a socio-cultural studies and an intersectional lens to engage fiction and non-fiction works that speak to the multi-layered creative and real-life issues reflected in Peele’s work.

Throughout the semester, the following questions will guide our analysis of Peele’s work: How are Peele’s brand and projects in dialogue with other black directors, writers and creatives (such as Ava Duvernay, Ryan Coogler, Issa Rae, Donald Glover, Lena Waithe, or Tyler Perry) working in the center or peripheral spaces? How has Peele carved out new forms of original film content? What is different about these “new” conversations about race and representation? What are the broader historical connections to Peele’s work and earlier generations of black cinema, television, and other media?

Students will engage in character development, cultural analysis, and will produce creative projects and writing assignments.

RTF 307 MEDIA & SOCIETY In Person / HybridJENNIFER McCLEAREN

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 HybridLAURA BROWN

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 308 DEVELOPMENT OF FILM & MEDIA Web-basedASH D'HARCOURT

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 DESIGNSUZANNE SCOTT

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 online synchronous 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 complete a variety of exercises, including a still photography project, a sound-design project with moving pictures, a short screenplay, and production of one final project (no longer than five minutes).


UPPER DIVISION - MEDIA STUDIES COURSES

RTF 322D FILM HISTORY 1960 TO PRESENT  Web-BasedCHARLES RAMÍREZ 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 the beginning of the New American Cinema in the 1960s (including figures like Stanley Kubrick, Mike Nichols, Steven Spielberg, and Martin Scorsese) to the present.  Among the topics and filmmakers covered are the cinemas of Japan (Kurosawa and Ozu), Latin America (the New Latin American Cinema and contemporary Argentinian cinema), Europe (Bergman and Kieslowski), Iran (Kiarostami) and Bollywood cinema, as well as recent developments in US cinema such as directors like the Coen brothers, Wes Anderson, the “Mumblecore” movement, and the rise of Austin as a filmmaking hub (Rick Linklater, Robert Rodriguez, Terrence Malick, Andrew Bujalski, and others).

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. This class follows RTF 322C-History of Film to 1960; however, that class is not a pre-requisite. Ideally, students would take both courses in their chronological order, but students are free to take only one of the courses, and they may be taken and out of order. Three written assignments are designed to acquaint students with how research in film history is conducted; in addition, three exams are also required.

RTF 327C DIGITAL REMIX CULTURES • SUZANNE SCOTT

This course will explore digital remixing as an art form and community of practice, while interrogating formal, ideological, and legal constraints on these modes of media making. Drawing on scholarly work from Walter Benjamin, Limor Shifman, Alison Piepmeier, Eduardo Navas and others, this course will consider the history and significance of remix culture through the lenses of authorship and authenticity, copyright and culture, technology and temporality, and pastiche and politics. Praxis assignments will require students to inform their creative practices with course concepts, ranging from analog experimentations with political remix (zine making, culture jamming), to more contemporary forms of digital remix (image mashups, GIFs, video essays, memes, and digital storytelling) using a range of software. Lab time will be devoted to becoming comfortable with remixing tools such as Photoshop and Premiere and working on projects that will allow students to assert their copyrights and critically reflect on the read/write culture championed by remix scholars. Because this is a media studies course with production components, emphasis will be placed on the argumentative capacity of digital remix as a media form and as a mode of public scholarship.

RTF 328C    GENDER AND MEDIA CULTURE  Web-Based TBD

This course provides an introduction to the critical and theoretical analysis of gender (femininities and masculinities) in media (film, television, new and emerging media). Students will engage dominant and oppositional practices of media production, representation, and reception to investigate the sociocultural mechanisms that shape individual and collective notions of gender in our media-saturated environment. Paying particular attention to wider questions of power, politics, and identity, students will read key texts in cultural, media, and communication studies, as well as influential theories within gender, feminist, and transgender studies. Although primarily focused on the mediated construction of gender, this course insists on an intersectional approach that examines gender in conjunction with race, class, sexuality, nation, and generation.

RTF 331P     INTERNET CULTURES  • MADHAVI MALLAPRAGADA

Open to BOTH RTF Majors & Minors. This course counts towards the Media & Entertainment Industries minor.

The Internet refers to a global network of interconnected computers.  While Internet technology opened up new possibilities for communication, it was the development of the World Wide Web and the graphical browser in the nineties that made the Internet a popular and powerful tool for communication. Today, the Web is the most widely used part of the Internet and has dramatically transformed everyday life, culture, politics, business and communities. This course will critically examine the emergence and significance of Internet cultures in our world today. It will introduce you to the technological, financial, cultural and political aspects of the digital information revolution and Internet and Web-based media and communications. The course will deal with topics such as e-commerce, governance and regulation, online communities, homepages, blogs, videogame cultures, virtual realities, cyborg identities, multi-media applications, technological convergence, digital divide and transnational politics. It will interrogate the politics of race, class, ethnicity, gender, sexuality, nationalism, capital, community and technology shaping the practices of contemporary Internet cultures.

RTF 331P         THE VIDEO GAME INDUSTRY Hybrid LESLEY WILLARD

Open to BOTH RTF Majors & Minors. 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.

RTF 335             RACE/CLASS/GENDER IN AMERICAN TV • ADRIEN SEBRO

Television is one of the primary forums through which American notions of race, ethnicity, and citizenship have been constructed, in intersection with class and gender; this class explores the evolution of these dynamics in U.S. televisual representation. In addition to study of how racial and ethnic diversity has been represented in entertainment television since its inception and how various racialized and ethnic groups have participated in television production and consumption, scholarship on these topics and areas of theoretical and popular contention will be surveyed. Critical and cultural studies approaches will be emphasized.

RTF 342           CONTEMPORARY MIDDLE EASTERN CINEMA • NAHID SIAMDOUST

This course introduces students to some of the most pertinent themes in celebrated films across Arab countries, Turkey, Iran, and Israel & Palestine. In a region that has experienced decades of war, social uprisings, authoritarianisms, economic, social and political traumas, cinema has served as one of the most expressive avenues of insight into the politics and cultures of these countries. Together we will examine key films and delve into important debates that cross national borders.

The course will be organized into five topical sections. In the first, we will familiarize ourselves with foundational texts on Middle Eastern cinema with questions revolving around themes such as national cinemas, the neorealism/documentary format, postcolonial, Third-Worldist and accented cinemas, and the international film festival circuit. In the following four sections, we will watch films and read accompanying texts that highlight the themes of cultural memory, gender, social trauma, and authority/censorship. 

RTF 342S         GLOBAL HOLLYWOOD • SHANTI KUMAR

In this course we will examine the emergence of “global Hollywood” as an influential concept for understanding the ongoing changes in the US film and media industries in relation to other “national” and “regional” cinemas around the world.  In the first part of the course we will examine the reasons why for most of the 20th century, Hollywood was predominantly invested in the domestic US market, and why foreign markets were  peripheral to its business practices.  We will also explore the various theoretical debates about Hollywood’s role in expanding and consolidating the power of American media corporations around the world.  In this overall context of globalization, we will explore how major studios, national and regional film industries, independent and alternative filmmakers alike are seeking new strategies for collaboration and competition.  The course will include specific case studies focusing on globalization strategies such as international co-productions, changing techniques of storytelling to accommodate more diverse representations, and the convergence of cinema with new digital and mobile technologies to target newer, younger audiences around the world.

RTF 345           CENTRAL EUROPE GOES TO HOLLYWOOD • KATHERINE ARENS

Hollywood’s golden age, from the 1930s through the 1960s, was due in no small part to the presence of emigrants or refugees: actors, directors, writers, studio heads, and technical production people. The films in this class come from one of Europe’s most dynamic culture industry: the filmmakers in Central Europe (= Austria, Germany, and Slavic countries) and what they brought with them that created Hollywood as we know it.

This course will introduce you to some of their finest films, to the relationship between films and how/when they are made, and to the problems faced by artists in exile then and now (as they try to recoup careers and reputations, and deal with media, publicity, stereotyping, and  language barriers).  While these examples span films from b/w times on, they represent how the commercial film industries worked before the era of streaming and niche audiences.

The class will offer case studies in various problems associated with understanding films in their own right and as part of a culture industry. Case studies here will favor especially “Austria in Hollywood” as representing a cluster of problems surrounding filmmakers’ styles, audience expectations, censorship, and commercial film genres (and how they came from the stage).

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 345         RUSSIAN CINEMA FROM POTEMKIN TO PUTIN • PETAR PETROV

The course is intended as a general introduction to the history of Russian-Soviet cinema. It will survey prominent films from the early days of filmmaking in Russia to the present. In viewing and discussing these cinematic works, we will also be following the course of Russian social and cultural history. The goal, thus, is not only to acquaint you with major achievements of Russian cinema, but to tease out of them insights into Russian culture over a turbulent century.  The course fulfills the basic Russian, East European, and Eurasian studies requirement and counts toward the GC (Global Cultures) flag requirement. It has no special prerequisites for enrollment, apart from interest in Russian cinema and culture and commitment to shaping and sharing your thoughts. Prior familiarity with Russian culture and knowledge of Russian are a plus, but by no means a must. The class meets two times per week, with lecture on Tuesdays and film discussion on Thursdays. For most weeks, homework assignments combine reading (50pp, on average), viewing (one film), and writing (a short film response).

RTF 345         SILENT FILM • KATHY FULLER-SEELEY

This course explores silent cinema history – its production, reception, marketing and aesthetics, both in the US and globally. Readings draw broadly from US and world film history, also contexts of US cultural history, gender, sexuality and race and ethnicity studies. We will examine film texts, performers and audiences across a variety of topics – from the development of stardom, to early films produced in San Antonio in 1910-1911, to how movie fan culture spread across the US, and global artistic movements, to issues in comic performance and special effects production. The seminar will be focused on student group discussion; there will numerous writing assignments and participation in one of several group projects.  Screenings each week will provide illustrations and primary research sources. Students will develop final research and/or creative projects that apply historical and theoretical ideas and information learned throughout the semester. 

RTF 347C INTRODUCTION TO THE MUSIC BUSINESS SASCHA STONE GUTTFREUND

How did Fyre Fest happen? What does streaming mean for record labels? Why are concert tickets so expensive? What determines the order of artist names on the festival poster? What is the difference between a manager, agent, publicist, promoter or A&R? We are in the era of the young entrepreneur. People in their 20's are able to start a business, and then sell it without acquiring a degree in business or finance. Students in this course will learn how to plan, orchestrate, and oversee their own small music business in the avenue of their choice. We will discuss artist management and representation through the development of recorded music as well as the importance of the touring business for artists today. We will also cover the business of concerts and music festivals; students will learn not only how to book and market shows but also how to produce them. Each class will address a different element of the business and will feature a guest lecturer that will share their story of success and entrepreneurship, followed by an open Q&A with the students.

RTF 359        ITALIAN CINEMA • PAOLA BONIFAZIO

From La dolce vita to the spaghetti westerns, from Neorealism to Euro-horror: in this course, students will study some of the masterpieces of World Cinema that were made in Italy. Sometimes more successful abroad than in Italy, these films will introduce students to the history of Italian cinema cultures from a global perspective.; Italian Cinema is a “Global Virtual Exchange Course” and includes a module on Italian stardom and celebrity taught in partnership with the University of Udine (Italy) faculty and students.

Films: Bitter Rice (dir. G. De Santis, 1949); The Third Man (dir. C. Reed, 1949); Umberto D. (dir. V. De Sica, 1952); Big Deal on Madonna Street (dir. M. Monicelli, 1957); La dolce vita (dir. F. Fellini, 1960); L’avventura (dir. M. Antonioni, 1960); For a Fistful of Dollars (Per un pugno di dollari, dir. Sergio Leone, 1964); The Seduction of Mimi (dir. L. Wertmuller, 1972); Deep Red (dir. D. Argento, 1975); ll divo (dir. P. Sorrentino, 2007); All About You (dir. A. Marazzi, 2012); Quo vado (dir. G. Nunziante, 2016). Readings will be available on Canvas. The course is taught in English and it carries an Independent Inquiry Flag and a Global Cultures Flag. 

RTF 359S       HOLLYWOOD AND SOCIAL PROBLEMSMIRASOL ENRIQUEZ

This course will examine the way that Hollywood films have been used to approach a variety of "social problems" related to race, class, gender, sexuality, labor, war, and violence (among others). We will spend the first half of the class considering the genre of social problem films that were made between the 1930s and the 1950s, when concerns about public morality and fears about the threat of communism loomed large in the United States. We will pay particular attention to the social, political, and historical factors that influenced the development of the genre during this era. The ways in which the Production Code and the Hollywood Blacklist affected filmmaking will be explored in good detail. The second half of the class will cover prominent films that were made after the era of social problem films ended, from the early 1960s onward. We will examine the ways in which social problems were addressed as social movements made significant gains in their efforts to achieve social and political equality during this time. Key to our discussions will be the ways in which filmmakers who belong to various underrepresented communities have addressed "social problems" in films as they have gained increasing amounts of control over their own images and the communities to which they belong.

RTF 359S         LATINA FEMINISMS & MEDIA MARY BELTRAN

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 course will also survey scholarship on Latina participation and representation in mediated popular culture and strategies of resistance enacted through Latina film and media production.

RTF 359         SIXTIES YOUTH CULTURE AND MEDIA • KATHY FULLER-SEELEY    

In the 1960s, young people experienced gender, race, sexuality, ethnicity, social class and generation through media (TV, film, music, magazines, advertisements). This course explores how media challenged and complicated their lives. Readings draw broadly from US cultural history, television and film studies, cultural studies, and gender studies. We will examine texts, performers and audiences across a wide variety of media -- television and film, literature, comics, radio, internet, live performance and other forms. The course will be focused on lectures and student group discussion; there will also be written tests, and brief in-class writing assignments. Screenings each week will provide illustrations and primary research sources. Students will develop final research and/or creative projects that apply historical and theoretical ideas and information learned throughout the semester. 

RTF 365           LATINX MEDIA, ARTS, AND ACTIVISM • MIRASOL ENRIQUEZ

This course will investigate the ways in which Latinx activists use mainstream, alternative, legacy and new media, as well as other visual and performing arts to effect social and political change. We will investigate where/how the creative practices of socially/politically engaged artists intersect with the strategies and tactics that social movements employ to mobilize support and achieve their goals. Historical and contemporary examples of activism from the 1960s to the present day will illustrate the ways in which collective action can be facilitated through the use of media and the arts, and we will consider the ways in which the internet has provided new opportunities for connective action via social media networks that amplify the voices of underrepresented populations. Students will engage with a variety of materials, including scholarly articles and texts by artists and activists who have effected/are effecting change “on the ground," and consider how they shape and reflect the discourse around social and political issues in the United States. Students will also participate in critiques of various social movements’ utilization of activist media and art via personal blogs and the development of group projects. Some examples of topics we will explore throughout the semester include (but are not limited to): the Nuyorican Poets cafe, El Teatro Campesino, documentary film, political posters, Las Mujeres Muralistas, Ana Mendieta, the Zapatistas, Mujeres de Maiz, DREAMers and immigrant rights, storytelling for advocacy, Ricardo Dominguez and tactical media, the poetry of raúlsalinas, neoliberalism, globalization, Latin American solidarity, community building, radio activism, protest music, DIY activism, and zines.

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.

RTF 370 INDEPENDENT AMERICAN CINEMA Web-Based  TBD


UPPER DIVISION - PRODUCTION & SCREENWRITING COURSES

RTF 329C DIGITAL MEDIA PRODUCTION Web-BasedBEN 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? This course offers both access to instructor guidance and the ability to complete assignments at your own pace. OPEN TO BOTH RTF MAJORS & NON-RTF MAJORS.

View Course Promo Video

It is suggested (but not required) that students have Adobe Creative Suite and Autodesk Maya software.

RTF 333 INTRODUCTION TO SCREENWRITING Hybrid / Blended CINDY MCCREERY

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 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 • 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 744T 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.

Prerequisites: 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.

Students must have their own headphones. Over-ear headphones are highly recommended, and an industry standard, such as the Sony MDR-7506, is preferred. (Earbuds will only do in a pinch).

RTF 341C 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 343 ADVANCED PRODUCTION: DOCUMENTARY • PAUL STEKLER

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. Watch teaser.

RTF 343 ADVANCED PRODUCTION: MUSIC IN FILM • PJ RAVAL

Please note: Previously listed as 366K Music in Film Production.
This course explores the collaborative nature between filmmakers and performing artists. Students will partner with a local musical artist/band to create a portfolio of original short films ranging from live performance videos, to non-fiction and promotional materials, to music videos and ultimately music films. This course embraces conceptual and non-traditional forms of filmmaking often seen in the works of early music video pioneers. From the Buggles’ “Video Killed the Radio Star,” to Beyonce’s “Lemonade,” music videos have defined generations and cultural movements. This course will explore the artistic expressions and subsequent social impacts that music videos have had in steering the public conversations around artist personas, censorship, and cinematic innovation. Watch previous classes' work.

RTF 343 ADVANCED PRODUCTION: NARRATIVE • MIGUEL ALVAREZ

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.

All lectures, discussions and screenings will be online. Labs will be in person, with an option to opt out for those who wish to do so. Projects assigned outside class must follow the RTF Covid filming protocol.

RTF 343 ADVANCED NARRATIVE FOR WRITER’S ROOM • NANCY SCHIESARI

Create two fun projects:  your own original short as well as an episode of a web series in collaboration with the graduate writers’ room class and the production design class! Filmmaking is a collaborative medium, but how do all these specialists synchronize? This class combines real-world collaborative experiences with traditional, specialized film school assignments to provide a greater understanding of this co-creation process. For part of the semester, you and your cohort will be completing advanced narrative shorts (6 - 8 minutes), from pre-production to editing, in collaboration with two other cohorts: the MFA Screenwriting Writers' Room class will provide scripts which are episodes of a web series, and the Intro to Production Design class will contribute production design. RTF 343 students will be serving as directors, producers, cinematographers, editors, and in other key crew positions. Emphasis is placed on working as part of a team, storytelling, strong cinematic style, and production values. Additionally, students will also complete an original short 1-3 min film based on their own scripts.

RTF 343/388P CINEMA LABORATORY • DEBORAH EVE LEWIS

Limited to 15 participants. In the cinema laboratory, we will make ten short films – some during class and some outside of class – with the emphasis being on making, taking risks and exploring the cinematic form on an elemental level. There will be failures and triumphs—all work strengthening and stretching our ability to express ideas and feelings through picture and sound. Cinema Laboratory’s practice of consistent moviemaking aims to create a space and time where filmmaking efforts are not expensive and precious, but intuitive, brief, engaging, and challenging in a fast-paced workshop setting. Motivated, hard-working, curious and highly creative students are sought to participate.

Throughout the semester-long laboratory, we will sharpen our cinema-making skills through attention to process and experimentation in order to move to a higher level of precision in our work. We will take many exercises from the notebook of Robert Bresson, who wrote, “It is with something clean and precise that you will force the attention of inattentive eyes and ears.” Precision arises through both practice and experimentation.

“The cinema language happened by experimentation—by people not knowing what to do…. I always like to say that cinema without risk is like having no sex and expecting to have a baby… If you don’t take a risk then how are you going to make something really beautiful, that hasn’t been seen before?”—Francis Ford Coppola

Cinema Laboratory seeks self-driven RTF graduate students, upper level RTF undergraduates (especially those in their last semester at UT), Photojournalism students, and students from the School of Architecture and the Art School. There will be a Wednesday evening lab for those from non-RTF departments to learn RTF protocol and basic editing, camera and sound work.

Undergraduates registering for this class will need to acquire emailed consent of the instructor. Please contact Deb Lewis with questions regarding the Laboratory: deb.lewis@utexas.edu.

RTF 343/388P PRODUCTION DESIGN A FEATURE FILM • ADRIANA SERRANO

In this class we will cover all the aspects of how-to production design the concept for a feature film. The class will develop the production design of a film currently under preproduction We will have different modules with special guests, from the screen writer, the director, the cinematographer and the costume designer giving the class their vision of the script. We will be covering all the main steps into developing the design: from scouting locations, creating graphics, period research and the use of the integration of VFX into the design.

RTF 343C / 388P ACTING FOR FILMMAKERS • MIKALA GIBSON

This workshop explores the key elements of basic acting technique through active engagement in a variety of exercises and assignments: improvisation, monologue and scene study, observation, and emotional preparation.  The goal is to develop a deep understanding of the job of the actor: to live life truthfully under imaginary circumstances.

RTF 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.

All lectures, discussions and screenings will be online. Labs will be in person, with an option to opt out for those who wish to do so. Projects assigned outside class must follow the RTF Covid filming protocol.

RTF 344M INTRO TO VISUAL EFFECTS AND MOTION GRAPHICS • BEN BAYS

This guided, non-linear, self-paced course teaches students concepts, tools and techniques in VISUAL EFFECTS--the intersection of live action video and other media formats including (but not limited to) CGI, miniatures, matte paintings and UI/UX elements. From advanced photographic and on-set visual effects techniques to compositing and tracking of plates, simulations, even traditional animation, students will create a portfolio of projects of their own choosing enhanced with titles, transitions, credits and various other MOTION GRAPHICS. It is designed for introductory, intermediate and advanced students, allowing for multiple pathways to generalization or specialization.

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.

Requirements:
—Student will have access to computer lab during scheduled times
—Good internet bandwidth for sharing large files
—Access to a system with enough RAM and GPU (at least 8GB RAM and 2GB VRAM) capable of running Davinci Resolve and able to at least run HD video in real time.
—Access to Davinci Resolve (free version is okay) and a good NLE.
—250GB hard drive space. 

RTF 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 344T GAME DEVELOPMENT CAPSTONE: 3D 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 SPRING SEMESTER. If interested, please read instructions to apply. Consent of instructor required.

RTF 346 INTRO TO EDITING • 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, 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.

As a Hybrid/Blended version of this class, our lectures and meetings will be held both online and in person, but always according to the best current sense of student safety, including appropriate distancing protocols whenever in-person meetings occur. Taped versions of the in person lectures will be available for any student who prefers participating from home for a particular meeting. For the Avid lab sessions, which will all be conducted online, you may use either the safe protocol computer labs in CMA and CMB, or your own computer at home (though we recommend at least 16GB of RAM and an external hard drive for such use).

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.

Course will include a rotation of students attending any given day. The students enrolled will be divided into groups and notified by the instructor which class days you will be allowed to participate in the physical classroom and which days they will participate in online instruction from the instructor. Students may also complete assigned work remotely provided that they have Avid software and Sony MDR 7506 headphones OR beyerdynamic DT770 Pro 80ohm headphones.

RTF 351D ADVANCED 2D ANIMATION • LANCE MYERS

Students will use the basic 2D animation skills learned in the 351C Intro to 2D Animation class to focus on the production of longer animated projects. Additional techniques including some motion graphics, stop motion, and advanced 2D will also be covered in class. Watch teaser.

RTF 366K DOCUMENTARY PRODUCTION • ILIANA SOSA

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.

Introduction to the Documentary will be held mostly online (class) and sometimes in person (labs following all safety guidelines). This balance may change as the semester progresses, depending on how things go. Student, staff, TA and faculty safety, as well as the safety of documentary subjects, is of paramount importance. All students must have their own headphones. Here are some recommendations from the audio department: Over-ear headphones are highly recommended, and an industry standard, such as the Sony MDR-7506 is preferred. (Earbuds will only do in a pinch). For editing, students on campus will have access to computer labs during scheduled class times. Students choosing to work remotely will need a computer with at least 16GB Ram and an external harddrive.

RTF 366K DRAWING FOR DESIGNERS JASON 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 366K     EAST AUSTIN STORIES DOCUMENTARY PROJECT • ANDREW GARRISON

The East Austin Stories documentary class has been making short-from documentaries in East Austin and screening them publicly since 2001. Simply listening can be an empowering act for the filmmaker and for the documentary subject. We will practice basics of production and non-fiction story structure. The end of the semester culminates in two public screenings in East Austin.

RTF 366K FILMMAKING TO DECOLONIZE • VANESSA UHLIG

Filmmaking to Decolonize is a hands-on, collective laboratory aimed at delving into vulnerable personal territory to create socially responsive and responsible media. We will look at a range of non-western influences to problematize the film “canon,” while taking a likewise critical eye toward our own impulses and biases in point of view, narrative structure, audience, and visual treatment. As Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie states, "The single story creates stereotypes, and the problem with stereotypes is not that they are untrue, but that they are incomplete."

We will begin with a short documentary exercise, tracing the history of filmmaking through a colonial lens (“capturing,” “shooting,” the implicit power imbalance in telling someone else’s story) and the persistence of the White gaze even in contemporary BIPOC stories. To release our grip on embedded biases, we will then write and produce one narrative in two ways. Focusing on process over product, the first completed narrative film will launch a series of writing, workshop, and filming exercises attacking the deeply-held assumptions, beliefs, and fears present in our films.

In the final thrust of the course, we will dismantle these core beliefs with the help of the collective workshop, opening up the role of film author and becoming participants and partners in the process of re-imagining our films through a decolonized lens. Each student will create one short documentary, one short narrative, and a pre-production plan for the revised narrative film through this rigorous process.

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.

Course will meet face to face once a week alternating weeks. The class will be divided In two groups so we can ensure proper distance. The labs will be led by the TA.

RTF 366K NARRATIVE PRODUCTION • NANCY SCHIESARI, STEVE MIMS

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.

All lectures, discussions and screenings will be online. Labs will be in person, with an option to opt out for those who wish to do so. Projects assigned outside class must follow the RTF Covid filming protocol.

RTF 367D DIRECTING WORKSHOP • ANDREW SHEA, MIGUEL ALVAREZ

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.

Instructor will conduct online instruction weekly. There will be five in-person labs led by the TA. Auditions will be online while rehearsals and film shoots will take place in-person and outdoors, as current conditions permit. However, the instructor will offer alternative assignments and projects to students who are unable to meet with their actors in-person due to health and safety concerns. Studios will be available to students during scheduled course meeting times and also by reservation.

RTF 367K PRODUCING FILM AND TELEVISION • MICAH BARBER

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

RTF 367Q ADVANCED PRODUCING: SCRIPT TO SCREEN • 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 368D/388P    ADVANCED CINEMATOGRAPHY • PJ RAVAL

This course is designed for students to explore the art of cinematography beyond the basic principles of camera and lighting. Students will film several assignments designed to help one understand the cinematic tools used to create an overall visual approach to storytelling. A close study of film genre will also be emphasized as well as aesthetic and technical topics such as color, texture, lens continuity, and aspect ratio. We will also explore practical on set strategies and challenges. Undergraduate students are strongly encouraged to take 343 Advanced Narrative Production or equivalent as a prerequisite. Undergraduates who have not previously taken 366K Intro to Narrative Production will not be admitted.

RTF 368S EMERGENT CINEMATIC ARTS THESIS • BEN BAYS

The Emergent Cinematic Arts Thesis course is for animators, game designers, visual effects and/or CGI artists wishing to create a film or interactive experience that demonstrates and showcases cinematic techniques and storytelling in digital and emerging media forms.

From pre-production to final render, students will produce a creative visual short, animation or game using the most advanced hardware and software available to RTF undergraduates.

Emphasis will be placed on storytelling, strong cinematic style, and production values. Students may work individually or in teams.

PREREQUISITES
Upper-Division Standing and Consent of Instructor

DEADLINE TO APPLY
Apply by 1/18/22 via this form.

QUESTIONS?
Read more about RTF's Emergent Cinematic Arts area.
Attend 10/19/21 Virtual Info Session.
Contact Ben Bays at benbays@utexas.edu for more information.

 

RTF 368S FILM PRODUCTION THESIS • RICHARD LEWIS

This course is for filmmakers wishing to create a narrative or documentary film that demonstrates and showcases advanced filmmaking skills.

The class accepts DIRECTORS and PRODUCERS only (exceptions to this rule noted below), and students should apply in two-person directing/producing teams with the intent of working together to shepherd the project from beginning to end.  From pre-production to sound mix, students will complete a short film (under 12 minutes in length) with the most advanced equipment available to RTF undergraduates. Emphasis will be placed on storytelling, strong cinematic style, and production values.  Teams should plan to enter the class with considerable story work already completed.

Each two-person team must apply no later no later than 5 pm on Thursday, October 28.

For more information and how to apply, see: https://rtf.utexas.edu/undergraduate/courses/thesis#Production

RTF 368S SCREENWRITING THESIS • STUART KELBAN

The class is run like a graduate screenwriting class where advanced students will develop and write either a feature-length screenplay or an original tv pilot. Applicants must have already taken a 369 Screenwriting class and should submit a sample (a feature or pilot) and a one-page statement as to why they are interested in this class. We will also be reaching out to the applicant’s former or current instructors to find out how they performed in their workshop.

Extended Deadline to apply: no later than 5 pm on Monday, November 1. For more information and how to apply, see: https://rtf.utexas.edu/undergraduate/courses/thesis#Screenwriting

RTF 369 ADVANCED SCREENWRITING: FEATURES • MAYA PEREZ, TOM WILLETT

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: TV PILOTS • KATHERINE CRAFT, NATHAN PATTON

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 • NATHAN PATTON

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.


SPECIALTY COURSES

RTF 336      SPECIAL PROJECTS IN RADIO-TELEVISION-FILM

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; contact the department for permission to register for this class.

Prerequisites:

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

RTF 368S    UNDERGRADUATE THESIS COURSES - OFFERED SPRING SEMESTERS ONLY
https://rtf.utexas.edu/undergraduate/courses/thesis

RTF 368S UNDERGRADUATE EMERGENT CINEMATIC ARTS THESIS
RTF 368S UNDERGRADUATE FILM PRODUCTION THESIS
RTF 368S UNDERGRADUATE MEDIA STUDIES THESIS
RTF 368S UNDERGRADUATE SCREENWRITING THESIS


INTERNSHIPS

Learn more about RTF Internships

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RTF 130N INTERNSHIP IN THE MEDIA INDUSTRIES
 
RTF 130 is a one-hour internship course intended for students doing a second internship, i.e., those who have already taken RTF 330.The purpose of this course 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. While no set meeting time is listed, there will be multiple required meetings and/or workshops scheduled throughout the semester, totaling 10 contact hours for the semester. This course is offered on a pass/fail basis only and is restricted to RTF majors and minors. 
 
RTF 330N INTERNSHIP IN THE MEDIA INDUSTRIES
 
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. While no set meeting time is listed, there will be multiple required meetings and/or workshops scheduled throughout the semester, totaling 10 contact hours for the semester. This course is offered on a pass/fail basis only and is restricted to RTF majors and minors. 
 
RTF 630N INTERNSHIP IN THE MEDIA INDUSTRIES
 
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. While no set meeting time is listed, there will be multiple required meetings and/or workshops scheduled throughout the semester, totaling 10 contact hours for the semester. This course is offered on a pass/fail basis only and is restricted to RTF majors and minors. 
 

NON-MAJOR COURSES

RTF 303C         INTRO TO MEDIA & ENTERTAINMENT INDUSTRIES–WB Web-BasedSOOYEON HONG

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 –WB Web-BasedLALITHA GOPALAN

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–WB  Web-BasedBEN 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.

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RTF 331P         INTERNET CULTURES MADHAVI MALLAPRAGADA

Open to BOTH RTF Majors & Minors. This course counts towards the Media & Entertainment Industries minor.

The Internet refers to a global network of interconnected computers.  While Internet technology opened up new possibilities for communication, it was the development of the World Wide Web and the graphical browser in the nineties that made the Internet a popular and powerful tool for communication. Today, the Web is the most widely used part of the Internet and has dramatically transformed everyday life, culture, politics, business and communities. This course will critically examine the emergence and significance of Internet cultures in our world today. It will introduce you to the technological, financial, cultural and political aspects of the digital information revolution and Internet and Web-based media and communications. The course will deal with topics such as e-commerce, governance and regulation, online communities, homepages, blogs, videogame cultures, virtual realities, cyborg identities, multi-media applications, technological convergence, digital divide and transnational politics. It will interrogate the politics of race, class, ethnicity, gender, sexuality, nationalism, capital, community and technology shaping the practices of contemporary Internet cultures.

RTF 331P         THE VIDEO GAME INDUSTRY HybridLESLEY WILLARD

Open to BOTH RTF Majors & Minors. 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.

RTF 344M/388P  POST-PRODUCTION TECHNIQUES (COLOR GRADING) SIMON QUIROZ

Open to BOTH RTF Majors & Non-RTF Majors.

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.