2023 - Spring

Undergraduate Courses – Spring 2023

Note: some changes may still occur.

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

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

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

SPECIALTY COURSES
STUDY ABROAD
INTERNSHIPS
MAY TERM
NON MAJOR COURSES
MINORS IN RTF
UTLA - WOFFORD DENIUS UTLA CENTER FOR ENTERTAINMENT & MEDIA STUDIES (listed on separate site)
UTNY


UPPER DIVISION - MEDIA STUDIES COURSES

 

RTF 321C       HISTORY OF AMERICAN TELEVISION • MARY BELTRAN

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

RTF 322D        FILM HISTORY 1960 TO PRESENTWeb-Based CHARLES RAMÍREZ BERG

May count toward the Media Studies Minor and the Latino Media Arts & Studies Minor.

This course is a survey of international film history for undergraduate students who seek an understanding of the history and aesthetics of the motion picture.  On a weekly basis, it consists of two 75-minute lectures and a screening of a feature-length film.  All RTF majors interested in learning more about the development of the motion picture are welcome, regardless of concentration. The course will cover the history of the medium from 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 328C    GENDER AND MEDIA CULTURE • CURRAN NAULT

Flag/s: Cultural Diversity in the U.S.
May count toward the Media Studies Minor

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 331K    TRANSMEDIA STORYTELLING • SUZANNE SCOTT

Flag/s: Writing
May count toward the Media Studies Minor and the Media & Entertainment Industries Minor

Defined by media scholar Henry Jenkins as “a process where integral elements of a fiction get dispersed systematically across multiple delivery channels for the purpose of creating a unified and coordinated entertainment experience,” transmedia storytelling has been widely adopted and celebrated as a narrative model that promotes collaborative authorship and participatory spectatorship. This course will use Star Wars, one of the precursors of contemporary transmedia storytelling systems, as a primary test case to critically analyze the narrative challenges and pleasures transmedia stories offer creators and audiences, and consider how they cater to horizontal integration within the media industry.  In addition to screening, reading, and playing components of the Star Wars transmedia narrative, other transmedia stories under discussion will include The Matrix, Battlestar Galactica, Gossip Girl, Game of Thrones, and Heroes, among others. As a final project, students will collaboratively build their own transmedia extensions for contemporary media properties.

RTF 331P          INTERNET CULTURES • MADHAVI MALLAPRAGADA

May count toward the Media Studies Minor and 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         VIDEO GAME CULTURE & CRITICISM • SUZANNE SCOTT

Flag/s: Writing
May count toward the Media Studies Minor.

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 331P         THE VIDEO GAME INDUSTRYHybrid-Blended LESLEY WILLARD

May count toward the Media Studies Minor and 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 • MARY BELTRAN

Flag/s: Cultural Diversity in the U.S.; Writing
May count toward the Media Studies Minor and the Latino Media Arts & Studies Minor.

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 • N SIAMDOUST

Flag/s: Global Cultures
May count toward the Media Studies Minor.

RTF 342S         GLOBAL HOLLYWOOD • SHANTI KUMAR

Flag/s: Global Cultures
May count toward the Media Studies Minor, the Media & Entertainment Industries Minor, and the Latino Media Arts & Studies Minor.

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          CONTEMPORARY HORROR CINEMA • LALITHA GOPALAN

Flag/s: Writing
May count toward the Media Studies Minor.

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         SILENT FILM • KATHY FULLER-SEELEY

May count toward the Media Studies Minor

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

May count toward the Media & Entertainment Industries Minor

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 347D        STREAMING MEDIA • ALISA PERREN

May count toward the Media & Entertainment Industries Minor.

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

RTF 352            MEDIA AND THE MIDDLE EAST • N. SIAMDOUST

Flag/s: Global Cultures
May count toward the Media Studies Minor.

 

RTF 359S         CHICANA/O CINEMA • MIRASOL ENRIQUEZ

Flag/s: Writing
May count toward the Media Studies Minor and the Latino Media Arts & Studies Minor.

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

RTF 365           MEDIA INDUSTRIES & ENTREPRENEURSHIP • WENHONG CHEN
Flag/s: Writing

May count toward the Media Studies Minor and the Media & Entertainment Industries Minor.

Media industries have been challenged by large social forces such as globalization and technological advancements from analog to digital, wired to wireless, desktop to cloud, and linear to streaming. Social media facilitate former members of the audience to actively participate in media production. While legacy media enter the streaming wars, new media experiment with and search for viable business models and legitimacy. Great challenges bring unprecedented opportunities and risks for organizational innovations, entrepreneurship, and social change. Drawing on literatures from media studies, management, sociology, and communication, this course helps students to develop a critical understanding of the media industries. We start with a survey of the media landscape. In the second part, we examine the social, political, and economic contexts in which media and culture are produced, distributed, and monetized. Special attention is paid to new media and communication technologies such as mobile media, gaming, VR/AR, AI, and Web 3.0 and the implications of these disruptive innovations for media production and consumption. Cases in old and new media industries from different countries will be analyzed.

RTF 370           BLACK FILMMAKERS AFTER BLAXPLOITATION • ADRIEN SEBRO

Flag/s: Cultural Diversity in the U.S.
May count toward the Media Studies Minor

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 377H/386C FEMINIST MEDIA STUDIES • JENNIFER McCLEAREN
ADVANCED UNDERGRADUATE SEMINAR

Flag/s: Independent Inquiry
May count toward the Media Studies Minor.

Feminist media studies will consider how feminist theory can be applied to the political, social, cultural, economic, and structural conditions embedded in media representation, production, and reception. While the broader sub-field of feminist media studies is epistemologically and methodologically diverse, this course will primarily draw upon feminist cultural studies and other humanistic traditions that are strategically political in identifying inequalities and spurring change. The course is decidedly intersectional in approach and will examine gender as it intersects with race, ethnicity, sexuality, and other minoritized identities, in particular.

This course is an Advanced Undergraduate Seminar, which means that it will be structured in a 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. The class is capped at 18 students.

LOWER-DIVISION COURSES

 

RTF 307           MEDIA & SOCIETY • LILY KUNDA, LUIS RIVERA-FIGUEROA, ANDY WRIGHT
Qualifies for the Media Studies Minor and the Latino Media Arts & Studies Minor.

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

RTF 308           DEVELOPMENT OF FILM & MEDIA • KATHY FULLER-SEELEY
Qualifies for the Media Studies Minor.

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 • LAUREL ROGERS, PAXTON HAVEN

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 RACHEL BARDIN

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 - PRODUCTION & SCREENWRITING COURSES

RTF 329C DIGITAL MEDIA PRODUCTIONWeb-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 thoFlash) 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 SCREENWRITINGHybrid-Blended TOM WILLETT
Flag/s: Writing

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
Flag/s: Independent Inquiry

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 340D/388F   PRODUCTION DESIGN BASICS • ADRIANA SERRANO

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

RTF 341 AUDIO PRODUCTION INTO POST • TODD THOMPSON
Flag/s: Independent Inquiry

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 are encouraged to 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 341D/388F   PRODUCTION DESIGN FOR TV PILOT • ADRIANA SERRANO

Covering all aspects of production design for the concept of a TV pilot—from pre-production to production—we will develop the production design of an actual pilot through collaboration with the class “Producing the TV Pilot,” taught by RTF professor Ya’Ke Smith. We will delve into the various PD tasks and approaches to the work, including scouting locations, creating graphics, doing research, designing costumes, selecting props, and exploring the differences between shooting on location vs. on a soundstage. No previous experience in production design is necessary.

RTF 343 / 388P ADVANCED PRODUCTION: DOCUMENTARY • ILIANA SOSA
Flag/s: Independent Inquiry

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 PRODUCTION: NARRATIVE • MIGUEL ALVAREZ
Flag/s: Independent Inquiry

From script to sound design, students spend the semester completing an advanced video production (5–10 minutes). Emphasis is placed on storytelling, strong cinematic style, and production values. Students are not required to direct but must participate in the key crew positions on various projects for full credit.

RTF 343/388P 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.
See website for more information

RTF 343    PRODUCING THE TV PILOT YA'KE SMITH

Television offers some of the most exciting, innovative, emotionally resonant and cutting-edge content today. But how is this content created? What are the ingredients of a great television series? Through watching television pilots and breaking them down, students will learn the theoretical components of producing and directing for television. We will then turn those theoretical skills into practical ones, as we collectively produce an original television pilot. Once enrolled in the course, students must “apply” for their respective crew positions (cinematographer, costume designer, unit production manager, assistant director, etc) and are expected to work within the confines set up by the show-runner (the professor in this case), as we work through visual approach, breaking down a script, casting and working with actors, as well as shot-listing and story boarding. If working in the exciting world of television is in your sights, this is the class for you.

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.

RTF 344M    INTERACTIVE MEDIA AND GAME DEVELOPMENT • DEEPAK CHETTY

This course provides students with the fundamentals of interactive media through digital game creation. The course focuses on two areas: (1) general principals of game design and game development, and (2) development of simple 3D games.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 TO VISUAL EFFECTS AND MOTION GRAPHICS • BEN BAYS
Flag/s: Independent Inquiry

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 • DAN STUYCK

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

RTF 344M    VIRTUAL PRODUCTION • DEEPAK CHETTY

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

RTF 344M    WRITING FOR INTERACTIVE GAMES & MEDIA • NATHAN CUTIETTA
Flag/s: Independent Inquiry; Writing

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
Flag/s: Independent Inquiry

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, MATT LENNON
Flag/s: Independent Inquiry

Whether you want to be an editor, director or producer, Introduction to Editing is an essential, hands-on course for any production student. By completing a series of narrative and nonfiction assignments, students will finish this course with increased confidence in, and understanding of, Avid software and editing technique and style. We will view and analyze film scenes to understand how editing contributes to meaning.

RTF 347E ADVANCED EDITING • ANNE LEWIS
Flag/s: Independent Inquiry

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

RTF 351D ADVANCED 2D ANIMATION • LANCE MYERS
Flag/s: Independent Inquiry

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
Flag/s: Independent Inquiry

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

RTF 366K 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     DEATH AND DOCUMENTARY • ANDREW GARRISON

Stories have a beginning, middle, and end, as do people. Maybe that's one reason we are compelled by stories. This production class asks you to create a culminating doc project that relates to the idea of death—as biological event, as medical definition, as religious inspiration, as cultural practice, as policy issue, as a moment in a game, as a cartoon trope, as metaphor, as essential to life, whatever fits—the topic is broad and almost automatically leads to depths. We will be working asynchronously with a production class in Portugal, reflecting on each others' work.

RTF 366K NARRATIVE PRODUCTION •  NANCY SCHIESARI, MICAH BARBER
Flag/s: Independent Inquiry

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

RTF 367D DIRECTING WORKSHOP • ANDREW SHEA, MIGUEL ALVAREZ
Flag/s: Independent Inquiry

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
Flag/s: Independent Inquiry; Writing
Open to BOTH RTF Majors & Minors. This course counts towards the Media & Entertainment Industries minor. 

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

RTF 367Q SCRIPT TO SCREEN: COMMERCIALSSCOTT RICE & LAURA BRIGHT

From SalesForce to Lincoln, Script to Screen: Commercials takes students behind the scenes of Matthew McConaughey’s latest commercial work. By studying campaign briefs, early concepts, scripts, storyboards and exclusive behind the scenes footage, students will garner insight into the making of major advertising campaigns. Script to Screen: Commercials is cross-listed with the Stan Richards School of Advertising and Public Relations, and it offers many experiential learning opportunities. Students will explore the production of commercials as well as the development and distribution of advertising campaigns from the ad agency perspective. Script to Screen: Commercials is an essential “how-to” for students who are serious about advertising, marketing, producing or 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 • RACHEL BARDIN

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 368P/389P         PRODUCING SHORT FILMS • SARAH SEULKI OH

Short films are often seen as an excellent calling card for first time filmmakers. But it’s much more than just a way to practice your craft or make something that is shorter or cheaper than a feature film.  Though the principles and steps involved to produce a short film is no different than producing a feature film, it is also a unique discipline of its own. How do you tell an interesting and compelling story in a short film?  How do you translate a minimum budget into maximum quality on screen?
This course will examine all fundamental aspects of development, pre-production, production, and distribution of producing a short film. Students will practice the step-by-step processes of physical production such as script breakdown, scheduling, budgeting, location scouting, crew hiring, working with cast and crew, etc. Using weekly lectures, homework assignments, course readings and class workshops to reinforce each class topic, students will put together a final production binder for a short film

RTF 368S EMERGENT CINEMATIC ARTS THESIS • BEN BAYS
Flag/s: Independent Inquiry

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

QUESTIONS?
Read more about RTF's Emergent Cinematic Arts area.
Attend one of tho Virtual Info Sessions on 10/20/22: at noon or 5 pm CT.
Contact Ben Bays at benbays@utexas.edu for more information.
 

RTF 368S FILM PRODUCTION THESIS • RICHARD LEWIS
Flag/s: Independent Inquiry

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 Monday, October 31.

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

Learn more! Attend a virtual info session.
Zoom Link for 10/11 Virtual Info Session
Professor Lewis will host a virtual information session at 6 pm CT on Tuesday, Oct 11. Please join if you're interested in learning more, as well as for an opportunity to meet other producers and directors!

RTF 368S SCREENWRITING THESIS • STUART KELBAN
Flag/s: Independent Inquiry

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 7. 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
Flag/s: Writing

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 • ANDREW LOGAN
Flag/s: Writing

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 • NATHAN PATTON
Flag/s: Writing

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.

SPECIALTY COURSES

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

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

Prerequisites:

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

RTF 368S    UNDERGRADUATE 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

Register Now

RTF 130N INTERNSHIP IN THE MEDIA INDUSTRIES – Hybrid-Blended
 
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
 
RTF 330N INTERNSHIP IN THE MEDIA INDUSTRIES – Hybrid-Blended
 
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.
 
RTF 630N INTERNSHIP IN THE MEDIA INDUSTRIES -– Hybrid-Blended
 
RTF 630 is a six-hour internship course intended for students doing time-intensive internships, i.e., logging at least 20 internship hours per week throughout the semester. 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
 

NON-MAJOR COURSES

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

 

RTF 303C        INTRO TO MEDIA/ENTERTAINMENT INDUSTRIESWeb-BasedWENHONG CHEN
Restricted to non-RTF majors. Fulfills a social & behavioral sciences core curriculum requirement for the 2022–2023 academic year. Qualifies for the Media Studies Minor.

Drawing on literatures from media studies, management, sociology, and communication, this course helps students to develop a social science understanding of media industries and entrepreneurship. We start with a survey of key social science theories and concepts the media landscape. We examine the social, political, and economic contexts in which media are produced, distributed, and monetized. Special attention is paid to new media and communication technologies such as Web 2.0, social media, gaming, and mobile media and the implications of these disruptive innovations for media organizations and professionals. Cases in old and new media industries from different countries will be analyzed. It is designed to help students achieve the following goals upon successful course completion:

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

RTF 306           INTRO TO WORLD CINEMA HISTORY - Web-BasedLALITHA GOPALAN
Restricted to non-RTF majors. Fulfills a Visual and Performing Arts core curriculum requirement for the 2022–2023 academic year. Qualifies for the Media Studies Minor and the Latino Media Arts & Studies Minor.

Love the movies? Join us and explore how the movies developed from a circus amusement to multinational industry as well as how film can be understood as socio-cultural , technological, aesthetic and economic artifact. Global in scope, this course will sample a variety of “national cinemas” in order to compare and contrast how moviemaking developed uniquely in different parts of the world. We will also address how decades of popular and critical attention to the glamour and gossip surrounding Hollywood movies has affected our understanding of “American” cinema. The course fulfills VAPA requirements, and is designed for non-RTF majors who have not taken previous coursework in film or media studies.
 

RTF 329C         DIGITAL MEDIA PRODUCTION - Web-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.

View Course Promo Video

 

MAY TERM (May 2–31)

RTF 368P PRODUCING SHORT FILMS – Hybrid-Blended • SARAH OH
Class meets  MTWTH 2:00 p.m.-4:00 p.m.

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

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

RTF 369 ADVANCED SCREENWRITING: SHORT FILMS TOM WILLETT
Flag/s: Writing. Earn a writing flag in 30 days!
Class meets MTWTH 10:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m

You will write, workshop, and revise short screenplays – screenplays you can make in RTF production classes or independently.