Undergraduate Courses – Spring 2017
FOR CLASS DETAILS, INCLUDING TIMES, CLICK ON "FIND COURSES NOW" ON THE REGISTRAR'S PAGE.
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: - A weekly journal - Work samples or a portfolio - Your evaluation of the internship - Your supervisor's confidential evaluation of your performance
FIRST CLASS DAY POLICY: Students must attend the first class day or they will be dropped. To register: http://moody.utexas.edu/students/radio-tv-film-internship-courses
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
RTF 301N EXPLORING CHILDREN'S MEDIA • KATHLEEN TYNER
This course investigates current debates about media use by children within larger historical, social and cultural contexts. We examine the way that media produced for and about children have been used for play, learning, and socialization. Using examples from a diverse archive of children’s books, film, television, and digital media, we analyze the tensions between adults’ visions of childhood and the authentic uses of media by children. We also study the production of new media by children as they explore their own interests and identities. In the process, we focus on recurrent efforts by adults to regulate media and play for children. Using project-based work, we explore innovative ideas for the production of new media products for children and their families. This course is intended for anyone with a general interest in childhood studies, early childhood, education studies and child psychology, and does not require any prior experience in media studies
RTF 301N NETFLIX & THE FUTURE OF FILM & TV • ANNIE MAJOR
Since its founding 20 years ago, Netflix has transformed from a relatively unknown Silicon Valley start-up that mailed big red envelopes into a ubiquitous global media corporation with 83 million subscribers. This change did not happen overnight. During Netflix’s rise, it has been credited with such “revolutionary” actions as disrupting Hollywood’s established norms, altering storytelling practices, and jump-starting the cord-cutting phenomenon. This course examines this so-called revolution, looking at Netflix’s evolution through a variety of historical, industrial, cultural, and media-based frameworks. Specifically, this course approaches Netflix as a site of convergence, a site which easily and appropriately lends itself to the examination of media histories, technologies, industry dynamics, audiences, narratives, and genres. Using Netflix as an exemplar of convergence, we will examine such topics as the company’s original and licensed programming strategies, its promotional campaigns, its dependence and exploitation of various technologies, and its business models. We will also consider popular discourses that circulate about the company.
Over the last decade, multiple online video distribution services such as YouTube, Amazon Instant, and Hulu have introduced new ways to discover and watch TV programs, films, and web-based content—and perhaps more importantly, how to pay for it. Throughout the semester, we will critically engage with Netflix’s revolutionary reputation by comparing its streaming services and technologies with traditional film and TV delivery models as well as models employed by its competitors. By the end of the semester, students will gain a multifaceted perspective on the historical, industrial, and cultural factors shaping our contemporary media environment, and be urged to consider the state of media production, distribution, and consumption in a post-Netflix world.
RTF 301N SUPERHERO GENRE & CONTEMPORARY HOLLYWOOD • LAURA FELSCHOW
Discover why superheroes currently rule the screen, big and small. As Hollywood studios have become parts of larger global media empires, the superhero genre has expanded beyond comic books and films to include television programs, video games, theatrical productions and more. This course will situate the superhero genre alongside significant changes in the entertainment landscape over the past thirty years due to media conglomeration, technological convergence, and corporate synergy. Why do superhero characters make such ideal source material for high concept marketing, blockbuster franchising, transmedia storytelling, and the use of spectacular digital effects? How do issues of gender, race, ethnicity, and sexuality factor in the development, production, and marketing of superhero properties in contemporary Hollywood? We will explore these questions as we analyze both successful superhero blockbusters and colossal box office failures. Additionally, we will look at television programs, comic books, video games, smart phone apps, and other media platforms as you explore the practices of transmedia franchising often associated with the genre. This class will include a screening, but you will have the option of viewing most of the materials on your own time.
RTF 305 INTRODUCTION TO MEDIA STUDIES • XUETING LIAO
Introduction to historical, cultural, political, economic, and international characteristics of film, television, and other media in society. Also taught as a Web-based course.
RTF 306 INTRODUCTION TO WORLD CINEMA HISTORY • 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. Designed for students who have not taken previous coursework in film or media studies
RTF 307 MEDIA AND SOCIETY • ADOLFO MORA, KYLE WRATHER
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 AND MEDIA DESIGN • NICK BESTOR, PETE KUNZE, RAMNA WALIA
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 • 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 322C FILM HISTORY (1960 TO PRESENT) • CHARLES RAMIREZ BERG
This course is a survey of international film history for undergraduate students who seek an understanding of the history and aesthetics of the motion picture. On a weekly basis, it consists of two 75-minute lectures and a screening of a feature-length film. All RTF majors interested in learning more about the development of the motion picture are welcome, regardless of concentration. The course will cover the history of the medium from 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 331K CRITICAL STUDIES IN FILM & TV STARDOM • MARY BELTRAN
Stardom is a central phenomenon of popular culture, driving film, television, and media production and a constellation of ancillary industries, in addition influencing the American and global public in a variety of ways. Yet it seldom is the object of study. What is stardom, and what can stars teach us about the entertainment media industries, social history, and contemporary concerns? And how has the construction and meaning of stardom and celebrity evolved since the days of the Hollywood studio system? This seminar foregrounds these questions in its exploration of the cultural phenomenon of mediated stardom and of media and film studies scholarship making sense of it. Among other topics, we will explore the development of stardom in the context of the entertainment media industries, the reading of star images as cultural texts, the evolution of popular stars in relation to shifting ideals of race, class, gender, and sexuality, the cultural and theoretical issues that stars raise, and new permutations of stardom and celebrity culture in the contemporary media environment.
RTF 331M DIGITAL REMIX CULTURES • SUZANNE SCOTT
Within the digital age, media culture has become not only increasingly customizable, but configurable, resulting in a robust remix culture. This course will explore digital remix as an art form and community of practice, while interrogating formal, ideological, and legal constraints on these modes of media making. Drawing on scholarly work from Lawrence Lessig, Walter Benjamin, Patricia Aufderheide and Peter Jaszi, Roland Barthes, and Henry Jenkins (among others), this course will consider the history and significance of remix culture through the lenses of authorship and authenticity, copyright and culture, technology and temporality, and pastiche and politics. Praxis assignments will require students to inform their creative practices with course concepts, ranging from analog experimentations with political remix (zine making, culture jamming), to more contemporary forms of digital remix (image mashups, GIFs, video essays, audio sampling, and digital storytelling) using a range of software. Lab time will be devoted to becoming comfortable with tools such as Audacity, Photoshop, and Premiere and working on projects that will allow students to assert their copyrights and critically reflect on the read/write culture championed by remix scholars. Because this is a media studies course with production components, emphasis will be placed on the argumentative capacity of digital remix as a media form and as a mode of public scholarship.
RTF 331P VIDEO GAME CULTURE AND 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 • ALISA PERREN
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 position as a cultural, social, political, and industrial force, 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 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 342 GLOBAL HOLLYWOOD • SHANTI KUMAR
In this course we will examine the emergence of “global Hollywood” as an influential concept for understanding the ongoing changes in the US film and media industries in relation to other “national” and “regional” cinemas around the world. In the first part of the course we will examine the reasons why for most of the 20th century, Hollywood was predominantly invested in the domestic US market, and why foreign markets were peripheral to its business practices. We will also explore the various theoretical debates about Hollywood’s role in expanding and consolidating the power of American media corporations around the world. In this overall context of globalization, we will explore how major studios, national and regional film industries, independent and alternative filmmakers alike are seeking new strategies for collaboration and competition. The course will include specific case studies focusing on globalization strategies such as international co-productions, changing techniques of storytelling to accommodate more diverse representations, and the convergence of cinema with new digital and mobile technologies to target newer, younger audiences around the world.
RTF 345 SOCIAL DOCUMENTARY • KAREN KOCHER
This course offers a conceptual overview of the forms, strategies, structures and conventions of documentary film and video. The course focuses on social documentary, or documentary that aims to construct arguments about the social world. Students will examine and discuss dominant and experimental modes of representation, important documentary movements and filmmakers, and a number of documentary genres. The aims of this course are two-fold. Students will gain knowledge of the current theoretical debates and dilemmas in documentary filmmaking, including questions of how to define documentary, what constitutes the ethical treatment of subjects and subject matter, and documentary's construction and positioning of its audience. In addition, students will develop critical thinking and viewing skills that will help them to conceptualize their own representations of the social world through audio-visual media.
RTF 345 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.
RTF 359 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 359 SOCIAL MEDIA: GROWTH/USES/IMPACTS • CRAIG WATKINS
The rise of social media is one of the defining 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 GENDER AND MEDIA CULTURE • CURRAN NAULT
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 365.9 MEDIA INDUSTRIES & ENTREPRENEURSHIP • WENHONG CHEN
Media industries have been challenged by large social forces such as globalization and technological advancements from analog to digital, wired to wireless, and desktop to cloud. Web 2.0 and social media facilitate former members of the audience to actively participate in media production. While legacy media learn to adapt to a new landscape, 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 Web 2.0, social media, gaming, and mobile phone and apps 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 365D CHILDREN, YOUTH AND MEDIA • KATHLEEN TYNER
In this course, students take an historical look at the uses of media and popular culture by children and teens. Particular focus is placed on recent trends in the uses of digital tools, cultural products, information and media produced by children and youth. An archive of media produced for children will be explored. The course also examines the way that media effects research has been used as a basis for policy, regulation and social movements that seek to both expand and restrict young people’s uses of media over time. Throughout the course, students will be asked to analyze, evaluate and creatively design media products intended for audiences of children and teens.
RTF 370 INDEPENDENT AMERICAN CINEMA • TOM SCHATZ
This course will involve the history and analysis of “independent” American film – that is, low-budget commercial feature films produced, distributed, and/or exhibited outside of mainstream Hollywood. (This definition is purposely general and vague; in fact we’ll spend a good deal of time during the semester trying to come up with a more precise and accurate definition.) We will explore the industrial, economic, socio-cultural and formal-aesthetic characteristics of independent features, ranging from genre films to art films to studio-based indies (that is, films produced by a studio-based “indie division” like Sony Classics, Fox Searchlight, and so on). In addition, we will address the validity and usefulness of the label of “independence” within the present media context. A key emphasis throughout the course will be on the relationships between independents and the mainstream, and the ways in which definitions of independence have changed over time. The first half of the term will survey the history of independent films in the U.S. through the 1980s, and the second half will trace the emergence of the so-called indie film “movement” that emerged in the course of the 1990s, spurred by the success of indie powerhouses like Miramax and New Line, the growing importance of festivals like Sundance, and the rise (and more recent decline) of the studios’ indie divisions. This will be a major writing component course that will require two 4-5 page critiques and a term paper, as well as a final essay exam. Required readings will include John Pierson, Spike, Mike, Slackers and Dikes Revisited; Peter Biskind, Down and Dirty Pictures: Miramax, Sundance, and the Rise of Independent Film; and Geoff King, Indiewood, USA.
RTF 377H/386C **ADVANCED UNDERGRADUATE SEMINAR** HBO AND POST-NETWORK TELEVISION • SUSAN McLELAND
At the beginning of the 21st century, the Home Box Office pay cable network began promoting itself by declaring, “It’s not TV…it’s HBO.” The slogan suggested that HBO offered its subscribers something qualitatively different from—and significantly better than—standard broadcast fare. Critics lauded and viewers reserved their watercooler talk for HBO original series from The Sopranos and Sex and the City to Game of Thrones and Veep, and celebrities and top producers sought HBO financing and distribution for pet projects. The most recent Emmys continued HBO’s longtime dominance of the awards, despite strong competition from streaming entities and other channels that have been designed or retooled to explicitly challenge HBO’s lock on “quality” and award-bait television.
This course will use HBO as a case study to look at changes in the television industry from the inception of satellite transmission in the 1970s to the streaming era. Along the way, we’ll discuss the ways that technological innovation, a unique regulatory environment and business conglomeration have contributed to its programming. We will take a three-pronged approach to studying HBO, looking at the place it has carved out in the entertainment industry, some of the texts it creates or appropriates as its own, and the ways it constitutes and responds to its audience. Within each of these areas, we will tease out assumptions about what “television” is, what HBO is, and whether the two terms share any significant characteristics.
HBO and Post-Network Television will be structured like a graduate or honors seminar. Advanced undergraduates 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.
RTF 331T ADVANCED FUNCTIONS OF MUSIC IN FILM • BRIAN SATTERWHITE
This lecture/lab course introduces students to the various functions of music in film and other media. We will work with Apple Logic Studio Pro and other resources. There will be no Windows software in this course.
REQUIREMENTS: RTF 331T is a unique music course in that it requires no formal training in music. It approaches it from a very cinematic point-of-view in order to better understand its physical, psychological, and technical properties. Regardless of how much or how little musical training you have, you will learn concepts that will help you better utilize music for the purpose of narrative storytelling. These concepts, which are rarely taught in an academic setting, will help if you’re a director, writer, film editor, composer, or any other member of the filmmaking process. The class doesn’t rely on the typical “lecture - notes - test” approach that most classes do, in fact, it relies heavily on class discussions and one’s personal feelings and reactions to specific pieces of music. Class attendance and participation is vital to the students’ success in this course.
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 340 MULTI-CAM TELEVISION PRODUCTION • 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: SOUND FOR PICTURE • TODD THOMPSON
Sound design/Editing to a pre-mix. Course will cover dialogue editing, creating sound elements, Foley, ADR, ambiences, working with music, effects, and preparing for the mix. Students will also be expected to do their own mixes of a student or professional film. These may be the final mix as stereo or may be a pre-mix for a professional mixer in a video non-linear editing system. If you could take only one audio class on your path to filmmaking, this would be the one.
RTF 341C SOUND DESIGN AND MIXING • PEREIRA (TENTATIVE)
Sound Design happens before production begins, through production and post. This is the mix class for those who see themselves in a career in audio post or those who just want a thorough understanding of the process. This class is a practical and theoretical exploration of the craft and esthetics of post-production sound with the goal of making you experienced and comfortable mixing in stereo and surround. It will cover editing, Foley and effects, ADR, processing audio, cleaning up sound issues, and experimenting with sound, music, and silence before and in the re-recording—the mix.
PREREQUISITE: Radio-Television-Film 337, 337P, or 341, or permission of the instructor.
RTF 343 ACTING FOR FILMMAKERS • ANDREW SHEA
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 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 are not required to direct, but must participate in the key crew positions on various projects for full credit.
RTF 343 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: firstname.lastname@example.org
RTF 343N ADVANCED 3D PRODUCTION • BUZZ HAYS
This class will focus exclusively on student projects, exposing participants to several very different types of collaborations. All projects will be produced and edited in a group lab environment, in collaboration with fellow students and under the supervision of UT3D staff. Successful completion of the Intro to 3D class with at least a grade of B is required for registration.
RTF 344M COMPUTER GRAPHICS 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 VISUAL EFFECTS AND MOTION GRAPHICS • BEN BAYS; WILEY AKINS
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 WRITING FOR INTERACTIVE GAMES AND MEDIA • SHELDON PACOTTI
Video games and other interactive media increasingly require well-crafted storylines and strong characters. This workshop is designed to give aspiring game writers the skills, knowledge and techniques needed to write successfully for the games industry. Through the creation of original interactive games, students will focus on such fundamentals as premise, character development, story structure, and the creation of multi-level worlds.
RTF 344N CHARACTER ANIMATION IN 3D • WILEY AKINS
This is a production course designed to introduce you to the fundamental principles of character animation within the context of using Maya specifically. The course will cover some of the variety of tools used in Maya to create object movement and animation and how to use those tools to follow the basic conventions of animation.
RTF 344N 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; DON HOWARD
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 346E ADVANCED EDITING • CHRIS ROLDAN; ANNE LEWIS
This course is a further elaboration of the principles and techniques of editing students will have encountered in RTF 346, building a broader technical background for professional development. We will discuss aesthetic, technical, and practical approaches to editing and consider how they might best apply to some (provided) editing challenges. In particular, we'll concentrate on the development of editing styles that are appropriate to a range of material and creative solutions to editing challenges. Taught using AVID software.
RTF 351C INTRODUCTION TO 2D ANIMATION • BEN BAYS
This course will introduce the student to the art and mechanics of two-dimensional animation in film and in digital media. Weekly exercises will be required, with an emphasis on animation as personal expression.
RTF 351D ADVANCED 2D ANIMATION • LANCE MYERS
Students will use the basic 2D animation skills learned in the 351C Digital Animation and Graphics 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 366D DIRECTING WORKSHOP • CLAY LIFORD; MIGUEL ALVAREZ
This workshop explores the role of the director in the process of translation from page to screen, focusing on the director/actor relationship, narrative structure and visual language. Assignments will include the casting, mounting and realization of dramatic narrative scenes. Special emphasis will be placed on the development of the skills necessary to communicate effectively with actors to achieve authentic and vivid performances.
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 EAST AUSTIN STORIES DOCUMENTARY PROJECT • ANDY GARRISON
The East Austin Stories documentary class is an intensive hands-on course in small format documentary video production. Student will produce two finished documentaries, one of which will be screened before audiences in East Austin in at least two locations, as well as streamed on the website.
RTF 366K EXPERIMENTAL FILM • KAREN KOCHER
This course encourages students to break the boundaries of conventional film and video making by using inventive formal approaches, interventionist techniques and challenging content, as well as new and emerging forms of digital media. While the primary focus in student production will be using non-fiction content in innovative ways, students may combine genres and create hybrid forms, as well as using web-based platforms for interactive and digital media creation. Students will develop their own creative voice and point of view and are highly encouraged to produce work that defies standard genres and conventions.
Students will be encouraged to capture material through a variety of means (such as smartphones, cheap digital cameras and security cameras) and try different ways to process and edit it. We will also be discussing production topics such as working with video in multiple channels, alternative materials for projections, basic animation techniques, and connections between image and sound.
Works screened in class will include groundbreaking avant garde film, sound and video from the 1930’s to the present, including artists such as Stan Brackage, Shirley Clarke, Jonas Mekas, Maya Deren, John Cage, George Kuchar, Andy Warhol, Tony Oursler, Nam June Paik, Steina and Woody Vasulka, Sadie Benning, Shirin Neshat, Bruce Nauman, Ant Farm, Joan Jonas, Laurie Anderson and Bill Viola. Screenings of experimental works will be tailored to reflect the specific interests of students as projects develop.
Readings discussed in class will create a context for the production of experimental work, providing an overview of the history of video art and avant garde filmmaking. Readings will also explore a range of cultural, formal, political, and historical issues emerging from video art practice, experimental film and audio art forms.
This is a production intensive class. Students will produce short works during the semester, as well as a longer final project
RTF 366K INTRODUCTION TO DOCUMENTARY• NANCY SCHIESARI
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 NARRATIVE PRODUCTION • NANCY SCHIESARI; DEB LEWIS; STEVE MIMS
The class explores the expressive potential of sound and image through the production of digital video and 16mm exercises and short films. It is an intensive workshop in visual storytelling and non-dialogue filmmaking. It is designed to build upon the fundamental production concepts and techniques that were introduced in RTF 318 and to prepare students for the advanced narrative classes.
RTF 366M INTRODUCTION TO 3D PRODUCTION • BUZZ HAYS
This gateway course, where students learn the theory and history of 3D, along with current production techniques and business/industry considerations, will include lectures, readings, and hands-on skill training. A final production project will allow students to work under the direction of the lead instructor, who will assign production and post-production duties and carry the project to completion. Pre-requisites for the course include RTF 305 and three additional hours of lower-division RTF coursework, and RTF 317 and RTF 318 with a grade of B- or better in order to be admitted.
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 367P ADVANCED PRODUCING: SCRIPT TO SCREEN • SCOTT RICE
Script to Screen takes students behind the scenes of the Matthew McConaughey films MUD and FREE STATE OF JONES. Students will garner insight into the production of both films by studying scripts, shot lists, storyboards, shooting schedules, VFX and even exclusive behind the scenes footage. This class 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 a career in production. RTF students who do not meet the prerequisites but have experience in either directing or screenwriting may be able to gain admittance into the class by contacting the instructor.
Non-majors will not be allowed to add this course.
RTF 368/388P 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. If they have not previously taken 366K Intro to Narrative Production, undergraduates will not be admitted. For permission to enroll, please contact PJ Raval at email@example.com.
RTF 368.6 IMMERSIVE MEDIA PRODUCTION • DEEPAK CHETTY
This class will introduce basic concepts of “Immersive Media,” as it applies to virtual reality and stereoscopic 3D content. We will rely on basic production techniques regarding spherical photography as well as more advanced completely computer-based techniques, as students move from creating content in the virtual (compute-generated) and photoreal realm. All content created will be intended for use on HMD (head mounted displays) such as the Oculus Rift or Samsung Gear VR.
Qualified students should have had some experience with 3D software—Maya, Unity, or another game development program. The class will primarily be using the Unreal Engine. Official pre-requisite will be any one of the following classes, or the consent of the instructor:
- 344M – 3 Visual Effects and Motion Graphics
- 344M – 2 Comp Graph for Film and Games
- 366M Introduction to 3D production
Consent applications may be forwarded as an attachment to firstname.lastname@example.org.
RTF 368S UNDERGRAD 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 must enter the class with detailed outlines or scripts, and the directing/producing teams are responsible for assembling their own crews.
IMPORTANT: The class historically takes a max of 12 projects. With a max of two projects shooting simultaneously, six production weeks are required to get everyone shot out. With April reserved for post and backtracking six weeks from March 31, some projects will have to shoot in late February.
For Narrative Directors, RTF 343 – Advanced Narrative Production or RTF 367L – Narrative Filmmaking – 16mm. For Documentary Directors, RTF 343 – Advanced Documentary Production. For Producers, RTF 367K – Producing Film and Television. All students also need consent from the instructor.
NOTE: If you are a director or a producer but do not yet have a collaborator, go ahead and apply, and Prof. Lewis will do his best to match you up. You will have the final say with regard to who your collaborator is (i.e., no forced collaborations), but you must be in a director/producer team to be in the class.
EXCEPTIONS: I will consider exceptions to the “Directors and Producers only” rule for non-director/producers, but you must make a case as to how your work in this class will truly equal a semester’s worth of work. For example, DP’ing one film is not a semester’s worth of work. Previously granted exceptions fall into two categories:
Multiple roles on one project. One student, for instance, was part of a project team where he did locations in pre-production, DP’d during production, and edited in post. That’s definitely a semester’s worth of work.
One role on multiple projects. One student, for instance, did location sound on five different projects. That’s definitely a semester’s worth of work. Note that if this is the route you want to go, you’ll have to wait until after the consent period to see which projects get selected, then make your case to those directors and producers, then present your proposal to me for approval. I.e., you likely wouldn’t be able to register until January. This is not a problem and you shouldn’t worry about space not being available in the class.
Know that you CAN take undergrad thesis twice for credit as long as your role changes: i.e., once as a director and once as a producer.
Enrollment in this class is by consent. Consent will be based on 1.) Your experience level and/or quality of project synopsis and 2.) the instructor's perception of your ability to complete the project (through final sound mix) by semester's end. Completed director/producer teams will be given priority.
TO APPLY, please e-mail Professor Lewis (email@example.com) with the following information for each two-person team.
For each of the director and the producer, please provide:
1. Name and position (producer or director)
2. UT EID
3. Email address
4. Telephone number
5. Anticipated Date of graduation (e.g. May '15)
6. Complete list of production/screenwriting classes you have taken and the names of the instructors for those classes (as well as the TAs if you can remember them)
7. Describe your writing/directing/producing experience on previous projects.
8. Provide a SYNOPSIS (or script if you already have it) of the film you intend to make in the class. Also note whether the script is to be written by an outside screenwriter (i.e., not the director and/or producer). Note: this class has a strict 12-minute running time limit.
9. URL(s) of previous work (and passwords if required)
10. Preferred shoot week? (If you had to shoot in February, will that be a problem?)
There should be ONE e-mail consent application for each TEAM. When e-mailing, please make sure the words “RTF 368s consent” are in the subject line.
Again, please collect this info for both the director and the producer, and then submit via a single e-mail.
FIRST CLASS DAY POLICY
Students must attend the first class day or make prior arrangements with the instructor. Students who do not attend the first class meeting may be dropped from the class.
Contact Professor Lewis via e-mail or drop by during his office hours (CMA 6.126B on Tuesdays 1:00 – 2:30, Thursdays 12:30 – 2:00).
The deadline to submit all information is Friday, October 28th at noon. Consent decisions will be made by November 2nd so that you can register by the 4th, the last day for early registration.
RTF 368S UNDERGRAD SCREENWRITING THESIS • CINDY MCCREERY
For dedicated screenwriters seeking a culmination of their screenwriting studies at RTF. Students will write either a feature screenplay (in any genre) or an original TV pilot (30 or 60 minute, network or cable). The course will take students through the entire development process – from loglines, through outlining, to finished first draft. The goal is for students to leave with a polished piece of writing that showcases their advanced screenwriting talents, suitable for competitions, grad school applications, or as calling cards into the professional world.
Prerequisite: RTF 369 – Advanced Screenwriting and consent of instructor
1. WRITING SAMPLE
Must submit either a completed PILOT (half hour or hour long) or FEATURE SCREENPLAY. Pilots are preferred, but specs of an existing show will be considered. If the student is currently writing this project in their class, they may submit the first ten pages along with the outline.
2. WORKSHOPPING ABILITY: We will be contacting previous instructors.
3. STATEMENT: One page statement completed by the student as to why they want to take this class.
Email Professor McCreery (firstname.lastname@example.org) by October 28th at 6pm.
2. UT EID
3. Email and Telephone number
4. Anticipated Date of graduation
5. Complete list of screenwriting classes including final grades (names of instructors and TA’s).
6. Writing Sample attached as PDF
7. One page statement as to why they want to take this class.
Decisions will be made by November 2nd.
RTF 369 ADVANCED SCREENWRITNG: FEATURES (INDIES) • JOHNNY MCCALLISTER
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.
RTF 369 ADVANCED SCREENWRITNG: FEATURE FILM • TOM WILLETT
In this class, students will complete a feature-length screenplay (90-120 pages) by the end of the semester. In addition, they will read and comment on their classmates' work on a weekly basis. Incompletes will not be given in this class.
RTF 369 ADVANCED SCREENWRITNG: WRITING TV PILOTS • CINDY MCCREERY; BEAU THORNE
Each student will create a brand new television show (30 or 60 minute, network or cable) from the ground up: researching the setting and historical moment, inventing the characters and relationships, and ultimately designing the conflicts necessary to propel a show through multiple seasons. Students will then distill all of this work into a single showpiece episode - a pilot - that demonstrates the artistic and commercial potential of the new show. We’ll also be looking at a range of produced pilots (both aired and unaired) and discussing what makes the best of them work.
RTF 369 ADVANCED SCREENWRITNG: WRITING TV SPECS • TAMAR LADDY
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.
UTLA - SEMESTER IN LOS ANGELES PROGRAM
Note: For a listing of 2016 RTF summer courses, including those at UTLA, see this page: rtf.utexas.edu/undergraduate/courses/2016-summer
RTF 324L CAREERS IN ENTERTAINMENT - LA • PHIL NEMY
RTF 330L INTERNSHIP FILM & ELECTRONIC MEDIA - LA
RTF 347C HOW HOLLYWOOD WORKS - LA • PHIL NEMY
Tracking the life cycle of motion pictures and television shows from inception of the original ideas all the way through marketing and distribution, this course is designed to explore business topics in the entertainment industry. Through case studies, readings, and guest speakers representing all facets of show business, students will gain a deeper understanding of the business side of the entertainment industry, the commercial challenges facing producers and network and studio executives, and the continual struggle between creativity and the bottom line.
RTF 348 DEVELOPMENT PROCESS OF FILM/TV - LA • DIANE KEREW-SHAW
This course is aimed at gaining a better understanding of the development process in both film and television. Through lectures and discussion with guest speakers, students will gain experience in preparing pitches, coverage, and development notes as they learn to identify strengths and weaknesses of literary material typical of that submitted to studios, networks, and production companies. Topics will include story logic; story structure; character development; dramatic tone; the adaptability of other source material into scripts; and the extensive life cycle by which literary material makes it from page to screen. Further emphasis will be given to generating ideas and concepts; networking and tracking; agent contacts; working for a producer vs. working for a studio; the creative executive position; readers, studio and network story departments, and the script coverage process.
RTF 348 NEW MEDIA/EMERGING ENTERTAINMENT - LA • JAMES FINO
What is new media? From a technical point of view, it’s the emergence of digital computerized or networked information and communication technologies. From an entertainment point of view, digital interactivity provides creative networks for young and old alike, in challenging, thought-provoking and entertaining gaming environments. This course will explore the burgeoning areas of digital entertainment including broadband, video-on-demand, interactive television, mobile entertainment, and interactive digital gaming.