2019 - Spring

Undergraduate Courses – Spring 2019

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

NON-MAJOR COURSES

RTF 301N        MEDIA LITERACY • KATHLEEN TYNER

This course addresses media and information literacy skills that can be used to support personal, academic, civic, and career interests through thoughtful access, critical analysis, evaluation and production of media in a digital world. In the process, the uses of literacy throughout history are contextualized within broader cultural, political, economic and aesthetic traditions. The course also focuses on the literacy skills needed for identity management, security and privacy in the context of big data collection. Through historical examples, international models, project-based assignments and dialogue, students explore the relationship between critical media analysis and critical media production for a broad range of media from print to screen to online interactive texts. Dialogue related to the ethical uses of media is central to the course. NON-MAJORS ONLY.

RTF 303C         INTRO TO MEDIA & ENTERTAINMENT INDUSTRIES – WEB-BASED • KYLE WRATHER

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.

OPEN ONLY TO NON-RTF MAJORS. Fulfills the social & behavioral sciences core curriculum requirement for the 2018–2019 academic year.

RTF 306           INTRO TO WORLD CINEMA HISTORY- WEB-BASED • CAROLINE FRICK

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. OPEN ONLY TO NON-RTF MAJORS.

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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LOWER DIVISION COURSES

RTF 307           MEDIA AND SOCIETY • BRIANA BARNER; RICHELLE CROTTY; NABEEHA CHAUDHARY

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 AND MEDIA • KATHY FULLER SEELEY

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

RTF 317           NARRATIVE STRATEGIES & MEDIA DESIGN • BRITTA HANSON; CAMERON LINDSEY; BRETT SIEGEL

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           INTRO TO IMAGE AND SOUND • DEB 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 322D        FILM HISTORY 1960 TO PRESENT • CHARLES 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 323C         SCREENING RACE • JENNIFER McCLEAREN

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 328C         GENDER AND MEDIA CULTURE • JENNIFER McCLEAREN

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 of gender, feminism and transgenderism. 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 331N        INFORMATION SOCIETY & BEYOND • SHARON STROVER

This course provides an introduction to and analysis of the Information Society; including its political, economic, and cultural characteristics.  We will also examine technological innovations and how technological change, particularly among communication technologies, has impacted the historical continuity of capitalist economy and society, as well as the traditional policies and practices of government, institutions, and business. We will also explore information and media industries and the emerging technologies in mass communication.  We will focus on how technological and political developments in the last two decades profoundly altered the products these industries offer, the markets they serve, their relations with each other and with policy makers, and their effect on the daily lives of various cultural groups. Throughout the course, we will keep a critical eye on the ends and means of government policy regarding communication and information technologies. Our goals in the course will be to:

1)    Evaluate competing historical accounts of the emergence of new communication technologies.
2)    Examine information-based industries from the perspective of their economic and cultural impacts.
3)    Identify international and U.S.-specific dimensions of the Information Society.
4)    Explore the contribution of telecommunications, computers, and software to the digital economy.
5)    Analyze key debates over ethical problems introduced in the Information Age.

RTF 331P         INTERNET CULTURES • MADHAVI MALLAPRAGADA

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         VIDEO GAME CULTURE & CRITICISM • SUZANNE SCOTT

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

RTF 335           CONTEMPORARY TELEVISION CRITICISM • MIRASOL ENRIQUEZ

What is television today? How is the television industry responding to dramatic technological, economic, and cultural shifts? How are changes in the TV industry impacting storytelling practices? What roles does television play in contemporary American society? In what ways are TV’s aesthetics changing in the age of the mobile phones, tablets, and HDTVs? How have representations of gender, race, and class changed due to television’s transformation from a three-channel mass medium to a niche-oriented, “anytime, anywhere” medium? How are the relationships between television producers and viewers evolving?

In this course, television’s formal traits, as well as its rapidly changing cultural, social, political, and industrial position, will be explored. Over the course of the semester, we will examine a range of U.S. television programs through different critical lenses such as style, genre, and narrative. In addition to this examination of television texts, we will analyze its larger TV’s industrial context, as well as production and reception practices. We will also consider the ways that TV presently is being transformed as it is converging with other digital technologies. Students will learn the fundamentals of TV analysis and then be asked to relate these analyses to screenings. Come prepared to engage – and debate – complex ideas and sophisticated arguments.

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 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 345C         EXPERIMENTAL MEDIA, ART OF DISRUPTION • KATHLEEN TYNER

This course explores experimental and avant-garde media with a particular focus on North American artists.   Through the intentional disruption of mainstream media aesthetics and conventions, experimental media artists confront, question, and recontextualize the traditional narratives and conventions of commercial media.  In the process, they create dynamic tensions between artists and audiences that transform the reception of both mainstream and innovative media content. The course examines a portfolio of experimental work across genre, including narrative and non-narrative film, title sequences, the use of media performance and gallery installations, public art, online interactive formats, and experimental video games. Through active viewing of experimental and non-narrative media, students gain familiarity with seminal avant-garde media artists within the contexts of artistic movements in the fine arts and popular culture.  The course includes opportunities for the production of simple, individual and collaborative projects that explore the uses of experimental form, aesthetics and content for creative disruption and social expression.

RTF 359           RACE, INTERNET, & SOCIAL MEDIA • CURRAN NAULT

From its earliest incarnations, the internet has been celebrated as a place where bodily concerns such as race “don’t matter.” A sizable body of research and recent popular online trends have since proven otherwise. This course gives students the vocabulary to critically examine the relationships between online technologies and embodied cultural practices that affiliate around “race” (with an emphasis on Asian American). In doing so, this course will contextualize the topic of “race and social media” within wider histories and theories of race, technology and the social. Broad topics include internet identities, online communities, and social media activism, covering everything from early text-based internet identity tourism to the phenomenon of Asian American YouTube stars to cultural discourses of “Black Twitter.” In addition, this course adopts an intersectional approach that includes attention to gender, sexuality, ability and nation, in addition to race/ethnicity. Finally, this course is, like social media, participatory by design and will require students to explore topics through both individual critical thought and applied group projects.

RTF 359           SOCIAL MEDIA: GROWTH, USES, AND IMPACTS • STEVEN MALCIC

The rise of social media is one of the defaining aspects of life in today's digital age.  In this class we will consider a range of issues related to young people's use of social media.  We begin by exploring the questions: what is social media and how does it differ from more traditional media platforms like television and print?  In addition, the class will examine how expressions of human social behavior are evolving with the increasing use of social media. Are we more or less social today? The bulk of the work for the class will be hands on field experiments related to platforms like Facebook and Twitter.  For example, students will conduct creative fieldwork that explores various activities in Facebook. More precisely, how are we using social media to navigate our news, entertainment, and information environment?  How has the use of Twitter evolved and what do those shifts reveal about young people's engagement with social media. We will use a number of studies regarding social networks, media use, and the internet to inform our approach and analysis of social media.  In addition to collecting original data students are expected to produce written reports and presentations based on their fieldwork.

RTF 359S         LATIN AMERICAN TELEVISION • JOE STRAUBHAAR

This course will examine Latin American television industries, genres and audiences. It looks at the development of broadcast television with genres like telenovelas, at the more recent expansion of cable and satellite TV across the region, and new kinds of shows and stars emerging on video, as well as the attraction of new kinds of television, like Netflix and other new streaming TV services to young people. It will examine the massive attraction of telenovelas to audiences and the flow of them across the region, as well as to Europe, Africa, Asia, etc. It will also examine the changes in TV as audiences become more affluent, more cosmopolitan, etc.

RTF 359S         LATINA/OS AND U.S. MEDIA • MARY BELTRÁN

This course provides a critical survey of the participation and representation of Latina/os in U.S. English-language film and television since the silent film era.  It explores the representation of Mexican Americans and other Latina/os in North American media culture with respect to how various Hispanic origin groups have been portrayed and Hollywood and the television industry’s construction of notions of Latinidad.  Intersections with gender, race, citizenship, class, sexuality, and other elements of identity also will be highlighted.  We’ll also survey the work of U.S. Latina and Latino media producers and explore contemporary issues and debates related to Latina/o representation and shifting and static notions of Latinidad in the public imaginary.  This course carries the Cultural Diversity flag.

RTF 365           ACTIVIST MEDIA • MIRASOL ENRIQUEZ

From #MeToo to #BlackLivesMatter, immigrant rights allies to advocates for gun control laws, a new generation of activists has taken the world by storm, with social media networks as their megaphones. Activist media also has taken many other, equally effective forms. This course enjoins students to critically consider the resilience and creativity of activist media makers and how the media have been utilized as tools to advocate for social and political change. Engaging with scholarly literature, we’ll explore historical and contemporary social movements’ utilization of activist media campaigns and tactics, examining their diverse interventions in old and new media arenas. Students’ critical acumen will be sharpened through participating in critiques of various social movements’ utilization of activist media and through, with a group, developing their own activist media campaign. This course carries UT’s Cultural Diversity flag.

RTF 370           ASIAN HORROR FILM • LALITHA GOPALAN

This course assumes the student’s familiarity with classical horror films, European and American films to be precise, and all the attendant theories on genre and spectatorship.  While the established theoretical tracts have taken American and European films as their models, they seem totally unprepared for the vibrant horror films emerging from Asia, India to Japan, and this is exactly our charge for the course—to better understand the cinematic style of Asian horror films. As any cinephile would testify while these films have the stock figures of ghosts and monsters, haunted houses and possessed women, they also question our settled ideas of beauty and disgust that imperceptibly shape our notions of racial, sexual, and national differences. The course will consider how questions of national style and authorship revise the ways in which we consider genre cinema.

RTF 370           FILMS OF MARTIN SCORSESE • TOM SCHATZ

This course examines the films and filmmaking of Martin Scorsese, focusing primarily on his narrative fiction work (versus his fairly extensive documentary and more recent television output).  We will trace Scorsese’s career chronologically, from his NYU student films in the 1960s to recent masterworks like The Departed and Hugo.  We will examine and assess the development of his distinctive directorial style, his narrative and thematic interests, and his steady transformation from the innovative, renegade independent of the 1970s to his current stature as a veritable American (and Hollywood) institution.  Our primary analytical approaches will derive from theories of authorship and genre, as well as stylistic, ideological, and textual analysis.  Along with Scorsese’s evolving style and stature and his expanding body of work, we will chart the enormous changes in the American film industry during his career, thus situating Scorsese and his work within a larger historical context of the so-called New Hollywood. This course carries a Writing Flag and thus will require a considerable amount of critical and analytical writing throughout the term, including several short responses/critiques, a major research paper and in-class essay final.  There will be a good bit of reading as well, along with weekly required and recommended screenings.

RTF 377H/386C         ADVANCED UNDERGRADUATE SEMINAR: WOMEN BEHIND THE CAMERA • LALITHA GOPALAN

This course looks at a range of international women filmmakers to explore how their film-work shaped, challenged, and transformed the cinematic medium. In this regard, we will look at their role in various film movements, understand their location in relationship to national cinemas, and map the mutually reinforcing relationship between their concerns and those of film theory, particularly feminist theory.

This course will be structured in a seminar format similar to graduate-level or honors courses. Advanced undergraduate students interested in learning more about graduate school, or graduate students seeking a more introductory approach to advanced theoretical materials are especially encouraged to enroll in the course. Class is capped at 18 students.



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 SCREENWRITING • TOM 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 336           SPECIAL PROJECTS IN RADIO-TV-FILM

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.

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 DOCUMENTARY PRODUCTION • 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.

RTF 343           ADVANCED NARRATIVE PRODUCTION • PJ RAVAL

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 will each direct a short exercise but are not required to direct a final project and may participate in the key crew positions on various projects for full credit.

RTF 343 / 388P CINEMA LABORATORY • DEB LEWIS

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

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

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

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

Please contact Deb Lewis with questions regarding the Laboratory: deb.lewis@austin.utexas.edu

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 • JOHN FIEGE

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       CG FOR FILM AND GAMES • BEN BAYS

This course is a production-based overview of Maya, with a focus on modeling, surfacing, lighting, and particles. Topics include interactive environments and CG compositing and lighting.

RTF 344M       INTERACTIVE MEDIA & 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.

RTF 344M       INTRO VFX & MOTION GRAPHICS • BEN BAYS

This is a production course designed to introduce and expand your knowledge of the world of motion graphics and special effects. Credits, transitions, greenscreen, filters, masks, mattes, all sorts of things. In contrast to the animation course, this class will focus on advanced compositing and techniques to enrich your video, stills, typography and to get exactly what you want to see onscreen. You will not be required to draw anything (complicated). Consider this more of a course in design than art. We will take the elements of design: line, shape, value, texture, color, direction, size, perspective and space and add one more thing to them: time.

RTF 344M       POST-PRODUCTION TECHNIQUES • SIMON QUIROZ

This course examines the necessary processes and best practices to finish and deliver a film or a media piece after the offline edit is done. From preparing assets for online editing and sending them to sound design, integration of VFX to color correction, grading and mastering. While we will cover a great deal of color grading, this course will also emphasize on the technical elements that allow us to deliver the best quality of images possible for different platforms with the assets given from production and preparation from editing. Ideally, the students should come with a pretty good understanding of nonlinear editing software.

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.

RTF 344N        IMMERSIVE FILMMAKING • SIMON QUIROZ

By relying on stereoscopic 3D production and post-production techniques as our foundation, the goal of this course is to explore different ways and techniques of what makes immersive filmmaking as it applies to 360 spherical video and/or Stereoscopic 3D. Students will complete at least one short piece to be viewed via a Head Mounted Display, a 3D monitor, or on the web.

RTF 344N        MOTION CAPTURE STUDIO • DEEPAK CHETTY

Utilizing a combination of hardware (motion capture suits and facial capture techniques) and software (Unreal Engine, Motion Builder), students will write, direct and virtually shoot and edit a completely computer-generated film within Unreal Engine using an actual human performance. The course will also cover the history of motion capture techniques and their utilization within the world of cinema, gaming and non-entertainment related fields.

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.
*If interested, please read instructions to apply.

RTF 346           INTRODUCTION TO EDITING • KAREN KOCHER; ANNE LEWIS; CHRIS ROLDAN

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 • DON HOWARD

This course is a further elaboration of the principles and techniques of editing that students will have encountered in RTF 346, building a broader background for professional development. We will discuss aesthetic, technical, and practical approaches to editing variety of media and consider how they might best apply to some (provided) editing challenges. In particular, we'll concentrate on the development of modern editing styles. The class will use AVID software only.

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.

RTF 366K        CREATING A WEB SERIES • MIKE AKEL

This is a hands-on production course designed to create an original web series. Throughout the semester students will write, shoot and edit 3 episodes for season 1 of their show. The production teams will consist of three students and each person will get to direct at least one episode. The class will conclude with a professional feedback screening from Austin’s own ROOSTER TEETH producers!

RTF 366K        DOCUMENTARY PRODUCTION • SHELBY HADDEN

This class introduces students to single-camera field documentary video production. Basic instruction will be provided on digital cameras and digital off-line editing. Individual exercises and group projects will be assigned throughout the semester.

RTF 366K        EAST AUSTIN STORIES DOCUMENTARY PROJECTANDREW 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        NARRATIVE PRODUCTION • STEVE MIMS; DEB LEWIS; HUAY-BING LAW

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 367D        DIRECTING WORKSHOP • MIGUEL ALVAREZ; YA’KE SMITH

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

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. 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 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         FILM PRODUCTION THESIS • RICHARD LEWIS

For filmmakers wishing to create a narrative or documentary film that demonstrates and showcases advanced filmmaking skills. 

The class is for DIRECTORS and PRODUCERS (exceptions to this rule noted below), and students should apply in two person directing/producing teams that will work together to shepherd the project from beginning to end.  From pre-production to sound mix, students will complete a short film or video project (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 detailed outlines or scripts, and the directing/producing teams are responsible for assembling their own crews.

Each two-person team must apply no later than 5 pm on Thurs, November 1. See details here: https://rtf.utexas.edu/undergraduate/courses/thesis#Production

RTF 368S         SCREENWRITING THESIS • STUART KELBAN

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

Deadline to apply: Friday, November 2nd at 5:00pm For more information and how to apply, see: https://rtf.utexas.edu/undergraduate/courses/thesis#Screenwriting

RTF 368S     MEDIA STUDIES THESIS

An independent research project based on primary data, resulting in a written summary of theoretical foundations, methodological approach, results, and a discussion.  All Media Studies thesis must have a faculty thesis supervisor in RTF. Exact hour(s) to be arranged with faculty thesis supervisor.

For more details, see: https://rtf.utexas.edu/undergraduate/courses/thesis#Studies

RTF 369           ADVANCED SCREENWRITING: TV PILOTS • STUART KELBAN; TAMAR LADDY

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 • CINDY McCREERY

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.

RTF 369           ADVANCED SCREENWRITING FOR FEATURE FILM • MAYA PEREZ

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 on a weekly basis. Incompletes will not be given in this class.

RTF 369           ADVANCED SCREENWRITING FOR FILM: INDIES • MAYA PEREZ

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 on a weekly basis. Incompletes will not be given in this class.


INTERNSHIPS

RTF 330L INTERNSHIP IN FILM & ELECTRONIC MEDIA
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:
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  • A weekly journal

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

  • Your supervisor's confidential evaluation of your performance

Register Now

RTF 178 RADIO-TV-FILM INTERNSHIP
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 owfn 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