2018 - Spring

Undergraduate Courses – Spring 2018

 

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

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

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


INTERNSHIPS

RTF 330L INTERNSHIP IN FILM & ELECTRONIC MEDIA
The purpose of this course is to provide professional internship experiences with television and radio stations, film, video, and new media production companies, governmental agencies and production units, audio recording studios, and new media industries. Students are responsible for securing their own internship position. Resources and position listings are available in the College of Communication Career Services (CCS) office, CMA 3.104 / (512) 471-9421.

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

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

  • Your supervisor's confidential evaluation of your performance

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

To register: http://moody.utexas.edu/students/radio-tv-film-internship-courses


NON-MAJOR COURSES

RTF 301N   CONTEMPORARY HORROR CINEMA • LALITHA GOPALAN

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

The course introduces you to a range of reading strategies and writing skills befitting college education.

RTF 301N  GLOBAL TV IN THE AGE OF NETFLIX • JOE STRAUBHAAR

This course will examine the rapid globalization of the television industry, its programming, and its audiences. New technologies are rapidly changing television, letting new networks like Netflix rapidly expand globally and also expand what is available to US audiences. Industries are globalizing as co-production across countries by Netflix and others brings in many new shows with very different perspectives, forcing familiar genres like science fiction, comedy and drama to reflect sensibilities from around the world, and companies like Netflix increasingly target audiences not by where they live but what they like and the psychographics of their identities and tastes, as technologies permit them to personalize programming in hundreds of ways.

RTF 301N   SCREENING BLACKNESS IN AMERICAN FILM & TELEVISION • JACKIE PINKOWITZ

This course will explore the industrial, cultural, and textual production of blackness in commercial American film and television, from the silent film era to the post-network, digital present. We will interrogate popular media’s relationship to culture, examining how film and television representations of blackness have intersected with, reinforced, and challenged dominant ideologies and meanings of race in America (themselves often reduced to the simplistic black-white binary), and how these have shifted over time in relation to different industrial and sociohistorical contexts. In surveying a range of historical and contemporary media texts, we will track key movements, texts, and figures in the history of mediated blackness, paying particular attention to how both the American media industries and black creatives have constructed blackness in relation to gender, sexuality, class, and regional/national identities. Through discussing and writing about the politics, history, and style of popular film and television, this course will prepare students to critically analyze race and the media while introducing them to the particularities of blackness within American media and culture’s evolving racial imaginaries. NON-MAJORS ONLY.

RTF 301N   MEDIA LITERACY • KATHLEEN TYNER

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

RTF 305      INTRODUCTION TO MEDIA STUDIES - WEB BASEDJOE STRAUBHAAR

Introduction to historical, cultural, political, economic, and international characteristics of film, television, and other media in society. NON-MAJORS ONLY.

RTF 306     INTRODUCTION TO WORLD CINEMA HISTORY - WEB-BASEDCAROLINE FRICK

Love the movies? Join us and explore how the movies developed from a circus amusement to multinational industry as well as how film can be understood as socio-cultural, technological, aesthetic and economic artifact. Global in scope, this course will sample a variety of “national cinemas” in order to compare and contrast how moviemaking developed uniquely in different parts of the world. We will also address how decades of popular and critical attention to the glamour and gossip surrounding Hollywood movies has affected our understanding of “American” cinema. The course fulfills VAPA requirements, and is designed for non-RTF majors who have not taken previous coursework in film or media studies. Both an in-person and web-based version of this course are being offered in Spring 2018.  NON-MAJORS ONLY.

RTF 306     INTRODUCTION TO WORLD CINEMA HISTORY - IN PERSONKATE CRONIN

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. Both an in-person and web-based version of this course are being offered in Spring 2018.  NON-MAJORS ONLY.

RTF 344M   INTRO TO DIGITAL MEDIA PRODUCTION - WEB BASEDBEN BAYS

See course promo video.

Animation, Visual Effects, Digital Painting and CGI are used to produce digital content for a variety of media including films, animation and interactive formats like video games and VR/AR.  This course is an interactive, online experience designed to teach you the foundational Digital Media Production tools: Photoshop, After Effects, Adobe Animate (Flash) and Maya. Through creative hands-on challenges, you will apply digital media tools and techniques to a variety of tasks in the pipeline of production from concept, storyboard, layout to compositor, VFX, CG and interactive design. In the end, you must choose:  Will you become a generalist across all digital media production, will you specialize in one discipline or will you define a new role in digital media production? OPEN TO MAJORS AND NON-MAJORS. PRE-REQUISITES WILL BE WAIVED FOR ALL UPPER DIVISION STUDENTS.


LOWER DIVISION COURSES

RTF 307   MEDIA AND SOCIETY • JENNIFER McCLEAREN

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

RTF 308   DEVELOPMENT OF FILM AND MEDIA • SELENA DICKEY, TIM PIPER, LESLEY WILLARD

This course examines the historical development of media industries—film, radio, television and digital. Through lecture, 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 • PETE KUNZE

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 322D    FILM HISTORY TO 1960 • CHARLES RAMÍREZ BERG

This course is a survey of international film history for undergraduate students who seek an understanding of the history and aesthetics of the motion picture.  On a weekly basis, it consists of two 75-minute lectures and a screening of a feature-length film.  All RTF majors interested in learning more about the development of the motion picture are welcome, regardless of concentration. The course will cover the history of the medium from the beginning of the New American Cinema in the 1960s (including figures like Stanley Kubrick, Mike Nichols, Francis Ford Coppola, Steven Spielberg and Martin Scorsese) to the present. Among the topics and filmmakers covered are the cinemas of Japan (Mizoguchi, Kurosawa, and Ozu), Europe (Bergman), experimental American cinema (Maya Deren, Stan Brakhage, and David Lynch), as well as recent developments in US cinema, covering such directors as Ridley Scott, the Coen brothers, Wes Anderson, Quentin Tarantino, and Christopher Nolan. Also included are lectures on African American Independent Cinema (Julie Dash, Spike Lee, and Charles Burnett) and the rise of Austin as a filmmaking hub (Rick Linklater, Robert Rodriguez, Terrence Malick). 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, artistic, and national expression), particular attention will be given to the evolution and development of film’s formal elements. Students will also learn the neoformalist analytical method, which is the method used in lectures in the course.

This course follows RTF 322C-History of Film to 1960; however, that course is not a pre-requisite. Ideally, students would take both courses in their chronological order, but students are free to take either of the courses, or both but out of order. Three short written assignments are designed to acquaint students with how research in film history is conducted and to give them experience in neoformalist analysis; three exams are also required.

RTF 328C  GENDER AND MEDIA CULTURE • JENNIFER MCCLEAREN

This course provides an introduction to the critical and theoretical analysis of gender (femininities and masculinities) in media (film, television, new and emerging media). Students will engage dominant and oppositional practices of media production, representation, and reception to investigate the sociocultural mechanisms that shape individual and collective notions of gender in our media-saturated environment. Paying particular attention to wider questions of power, politics, and identity, students will read key texts in cultural, media, and communication studies, as well as influential theories 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   ANIMATION STUDIES • LALITHA GOPALAN

In media res. Animation offers an abbreviated story of the trajectory from cave paintings to digital pixels. As exaggerated as this claim may seem, it reverberates in a range of moving image practices that surround us and thus worthy of further exploration. This course explores the distinctiveness of animation in the age of the moving image. With this brief in the works, we will see how scholars deem animation proto-cinematic since it precedes film and anticipates digital. It’s a zigzag route from drawings and optical toys to pixels and codes with no straight story in place about the rise and persistence of animation, approaches that will dominate our seminar. That filmmakers have been enthralled with animation even while facing the dominance of narrative cinema inspires the theoretical questions in this course. The rich variation of animation practices, varied in both size and scope, allows for no settled definition except to direct us to look closer at the variedness in which time and space move and bend in the arts of animation.

To grasp the historical and geographical variations of animation are both challenging and intriguing, additional vectors that chart other ways to mark distinctiveness. For heuristic purposes, the syllabus carves cartography of different practices of animation, which, I expect, will be remapped along conceptual lines at the end of the term.

RTF 331K   TRANSMEDIA STORYTELLING • SUZANNE SCOTT

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

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 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 359    SOCIAL MEDIA: GROWTH, USES, AND IMPACTS • S. 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   MEDIA ARCHAEOLOGY • CAROLINE FRICK

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

RTF 365     GENDER, RACE, AND SEXUALITY IN SPORTS MEDIA • JENNIFER MCCLEAREN

This course examines the cultural politics of sports with a focus on the representation of gender, race, and sexuality across an array of digital and legacy sports media. We will draw upon critical, cultural, and feminist theoretical lenses to consider sports as more than “just a game” or mere escapist entertainment. Rather, sports media culture can be understood as a microcosm of broader cultural, political, economic, and social forces where power struggles play out on the court, on the field, in the ring, and across multiple screens. This course investigates how discourses of gender, race, and sexuality shape who watches, who participates in, and who is represented in the multi-billion-dollar enterprise of mediated sports. We will specifically scrutinize how discourses socially construct the sporting body to reinforce social inequalities and how fissures of resistance continue to erode these constructions.

RTF 365C   MEDIA, COMMUNICATION LAW, AND ETHICS • SHARON STROVER

This course will engage some of the contemporary ethical and policy issues facing the transforming media industries and the American public. This course will enable you to understand both how our policy and legal systems operate as well as where the pressure points are located in our public culture. Rooted in an understanding of the First Amendment and the development of communication industries, the course will examine a range of topics raised by the waves of  “new media” over time, especially focusing on the Internet. The course will be structured in terms of modules on different ethical issues or dilemmas, and students will write several “position papers” and/or White Papers on certain topics. This course carries the Ethics and Leadership flag and the Writing flag.

RTF 365D   MEDIA LITERACY AND CIVIC ENGAGEMENT • KATHLEEN TYNER

Media literacy is the ability to access, analyze, evaluate, and produce communication in a variety of forms. This course explores the expanding nature of literacy in a digital world with particular focus on its role in social and political contexts. Through the use of new media tools and an awareness of the historical uses of literacy for civic engagement and action, students will explore the way that media have been used to change society over time. Relationships between print, broadcast and digital media are explored to analyze the content and contexts of a wide variety of media messages. Students will design innovative presentations and projects that take advantage of new media tools and messages. Dialogue related to the ethical uses of media is central to the course.

RTF 368S     MEDIA STUDIES THESIS

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

PREREQUISTES (in addition to instructor consent)
Must have before applying: Upper-Division Standing

APPLICATION DEADLINE
All applications should be submitted to Bert Herigstad in the RTF Main Office by Wednesday, January 16th (First Class Day) at the latest.

APPLY
Interested students should visit the RTF Main Office (CMA 6.120) to obtain an Media Studies thesis application.

RTF 370   FILM ANALYSIS AND CRITICISM: HITCHCOCK • TOM SCHATZ

This course traces the career of Alfred Hitchcock, focusing on the films that he directed as well as the social, cultural and industrial context in which those films were produced. While the general approach is historical (assessing Hitchcock’s films in chronological order, from The Lodger and Blackmail in the 1920s to Psycho and The Birds in the 1960s), the main thrust of the course is critical and analytical, combining various approaches – principally auteur and genre analysis; narrative, textual, and stylistic analysis; and theories of gender and sexuality – to assess Hitchcock’s films and his distinctive filmmaking style. In the process, we will trace Hitchcock’s development through nearly a half-century of filmmaking in England and the U.S., his changing status within the British and American film industries, and his changing stature within the critical and scholarly communities as well. This course carries a writing flag, so most of your work involves critical and analytical writing. This includes three critiques, a research paper, and a final essay exam. There is also a good bit of assigned reading (roughly 30-40 pages per class meeting), and a required weekly screening.

RTF 370     COMEDY IN FILM AND MEDIA • KATHY FULLER-SEELEY

This course explores theories of humor and comedy and applies them to media and performance from the early 20th century US to the present. Readings draw broadly from philosophy, cultural studies, cinema and TV studies, race, gender, sexuality, politics, psychology. We will examine producers, texts, performers and audiences across a wide variety of media -- television and film, literature, comics, radio, internet, live performance and other forms. The seminar will be focused on student group discussion and presentation of theories, texts, specific examples of applications, and findings. Students will develop research/and/or create projects

RTF 377H / 386C    QUEER MEDIA STUDIES *ADVANCED UNDERGRADUATE SEMINAR* • CURRAN NAULT

This course immerses students in the critical and theoretical analysis of queer media in order to explore dominant strategies used by the media industries, as well as those utilized by LGBTQI independents and subcultures. Important to this project are historical shifts in representation, including the mainstreaming of queerness, and the alternative media reception, production and exhibition practices developed by LGBTQI communities. Marginalized queer identities (including qpoc and transgender) will be centralized and the intersections of queer identities, queer politics and media culture will be engaged.

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


UPPER DIVISION - PRODUCTION & SCREENWRITING COURSES

RTF 333    INTRODUCTION TO SCREENWRITING TOM WILLETT

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

RTF 336    SPECIAL PROJECTS IN RADIO-TV-FILM

RTF 340    MULTI-CAM TELEVISION DIRECTING • DAVID SCHNEIDER

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

RTF 341    AUDIO PRODUCTION: SOUND FOR PICTURE • TODD THOMPSON

Great audio is the difference between pretty good and excellent. Great audio is often invisible. Great audio is a combination of creative of thinking, knowing the tools, and understanding how audio works in storytelling. This is the first-level class for audio, a perfect starting point for people who want to know how to better use audio 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 scratch mix. You will become familiar with the operation and use of the Sound Devices 633 mixer/recorder and 744T recorder, other production mixers, microphones on location and in the studio, and wireless systems. Most importantly, you will practice microphone placement and recording, and you will practice using sound as a creative element in storytelling.

Prerequisites: Upper-division standing, Radio-Television-Film 317 and 318 with a grade of at least B- in each, and six additional semester hours of lower-division coursework in radio-television-film.

RTF 341C   SOUND DESIGN AND MIXING • KOREY PEREIRA

Sound as a medium can create a sense of space, time, and set the mood of a film. This course will explore the post-production sound process for film, television, and immersive media.  We will develop a vocabulary for talking about sound, as well as provide practical hands-on training on each step in the post-sound process.  This includes sound editing, sound design, ADR and foley recording as well as re-recording mixing.  RTF 341C is the course for those who seek a career in post-production audio and for those who just want a thorough understanding of the  post sound  process.  A familiarity with Pro Tools or Non-linear editing is preferred, but not required.

Prerequisite: Upper-division standing, Radio-Television-Film 317 and 318 with a grade of at least B- in each, and six additional semester hours of lower-division coursework in radio-television-film. (RTF 341 is NOT required as a prerequisite.)

RTF 343     CINEMA LABORATORY • DEB LEWIS

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

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

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

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

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

RTF 343     ADVANCED NARRATIVE PRODUCTION • PJ RAVAL

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

RTF 343     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 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 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   INTRO TO 3D ANIMATION • BEN BAYS

3D modeling, surfacing and animation software like Maya and Blender (among others) allows authors, directors, creators and designers considerable freedom and flexibility to realize even the most fantastic vision. This hands-on production course explores different aspects of 3D animation, including but not limited to modeling, surfacing, lighting, simulation and performance. We will use state-of-the-art software, tools and techniques to produce a variety of media from 3D models, to game simulations to animation to visual effects for film.

RTF 344M   INTRO TO DIGITAL MEDIA PRODUCTION - WEB BASEDBEN BAYS

Animation, Visual Effects, Digital Painting and CGI are used to produce digital content for a variety of media including films, animation and interactive formats like video games and VR/AR.  This course is an interactive, online experience designed to teach you the foundational Digital Media Production tools: Photoshop, After Effects, Adobe Animate (Flash) and Maya. Through creative hands-on challenges, you will apply digital media tools and techniques to a variety of tasks in the pipeline of production from concept, storyboard, layout to compositor, VFX, CG and interactive design. In the end, you must choose:  Will you become a generalist across all digital media production, will you specialize in one discipline or will you define a new role in digital media production? OPEN TO MAJORS AND NON-MAJORS. PRE-REQUISITES WILL BE WAIVED FOR ALL UPPER DIVISION STUDENTS.

RTF 344M  INTRO TO VISUAL EFFECTS AND MOTION GRAPHICS • 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 • SUSAN O'CONNOR

Interactive storytelling is a form of dramatic writing, just like theater or television. What makes the medium unique is that the author does not control the story; the audience does. Creatives have only just begun to explore the storytelling possibilities of this field. In this class, you will begin to develop the skills & knowledge necessary to write for interactive mediums such as video games, digital media, VR, and augmented reality. Your final deliverable in this course - a narrative design document - will serve as a writing sample for your portfolio.

RTF 344N   ADVANCED 3D ANIMATION • WILEY AKINS

This course in 3D Animation is designed for students who seek an understanding of character performance in animation. It provides comprehensive artistic and technical training to help each student develop as an animation artist within the computer-generated (CG) environment. Using Maya the student will create character rigs, learn basic animation principles, and become familiar with the variety of animation tools found in Maya. We will also be exploring Motion Capture as an adjunct to more traditional animation techniques.

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 • DON HOWARD; KAREN KOCHER; SARAH HENNIGAN

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 • 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 • LANCE MYERS

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

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 • YA’KE SMITH; 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 PROJECTANDY GARRISON

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

RTF 366K DOCUMENTARY PRODUCTION • 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. Students will work on class exercises while each student will have the opportunity to make a 5-minute documentary.

RTF 366K NARRATIVE PRODUCTION • DEB LEWIS; STEVE MIMS; NANCY SCHIESARI

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.  *This class is open to students from other departments, who may not have completed the RTF pre-requisites. For further details, please contact the program director at don.howard@austin.utexas.edu.

RTF 367K PRODUCING FILM AND TELEVISION • MICAH BARBER

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

RTF 367Q  SCRIPT TO SCREEN • SCOTT RICE

Script to Screen takes students behind the scenes of the 2018 film WHITE BOY RICK, a crime drama starring Oscar winner Matthew McConaughey. By studying the movie’s true story, early scripts, shot lists, storyboards, shooting schedule, early edits and even exclusive behind the scenes footage from the Cleveland set, students will garner insight into the making of a major Hollywood feature. Script to Screen also gives students practical instruction on producing their own projects including web series, shorts, commercials and indie features. From guidance on pitching to the ins and outs of founding a production company, Script to Screen is an essential “how-to” for students who are serious about producing and directing.

Prerequisites: Upper Division standing and either RTF 367K (Producing I), RTF 366D (Directing Workshop) or RTF 333 (Intro. to Screenwriting). Non-majors will not be allowed to add this course. If you do not meet the prerequisites you may seek admittance by contacting the instructor.

RTF 368   IMMERSIVE MEDIA PRODUCTION • DEEPAK CHETTY

This class introduces basic concepts of “Immersive Media” as it applies to virtual reality and stereoscopic 3D content. Relying on basic production techniques regarding spherical photography as well as more advanced completely computer-generated techniques, students create content in the virtual (computer-generated) and photoreal realm. All content created is 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 use the Unreal Engine.
Official prerequisites* include any one of the following classes and the consent of the instructor, Deepak Chetty:

  • 344M – 3 Visual Effects and Motion Graphics
  • 344M – 2 Comp Graph for Film and Games
  • 366M Introduction to 3D production

*Interested students who lack the prerequisites, may contact Deepak Chetty for more information.

RTF 368    ADVANCED CINEMATOGRAPHY • PJ RAVAL

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

RTF 368S  PRODUCTION THESIS (UNDERGRADUATE) • RICHARD LEWIS

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

The class is for DIRECTORS and PRODUCERS (exceptions to this rule noted below), and students should apply in two-person directing/producing teams that will work together to shepherd the project from beginning to end. From pre-production to sound mix, students will complete a short film or video project (under 12 minutes in length) with the most advanced equipment available to RTF undergraduates. Emphasis will be placed on storytelling, strong cinematic style, and production values.  Teams should plan to enter the class with detailed outlines or scripts, and the directing/producing teams are responsible for assembling their own crews.

  • 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.

  • PREREQUISITES

    Everyone:

    Must be a currently-enrolled RTF major with a University GPA of at least 2.25 and have upper-division standing.

    Narrative directors:

    Have completed one of the following courses before applying:

    • RTF 343 – Advanced Narrative Production
    • RTF 367L – Narrative Filmmaking – 16mm

     

    Documentary directors:

    Have completed the following course before applying:

    • RTF 343 – Advanced Documentary Production

     

    Producers (narrative or documentary)

    Have completed or be concurrently enrolled in:

    • RTF 367k – Producing Film and Television

     

    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. Know that director/producer teams are like marriages – choose your partner very carefully. 

  • EXCEPTIONS

    Professor Lewis 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:

    1. 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.
    2. 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 take, 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 CRITERIA AND HOW TO APPLY

    Enrollment in this class is by consent. Consent will be based on:

    • Your experience level and the quality of your previous work
    • The quality of your thesis project synopsis
    • The instructor's perception of your ability to complete the project (through final sound mix) by semester's end. Note that your prior instructors and TAs will be contacted about your timeliness, attendance, ability to meet deadlines, etc.
    • Whether you are in a producer/director team
    • Your flexibility on shoot dates
    • Your seniority (seniors are given preference over juniors)

     

    There should be ONE e-mail consent application for each TEAM. When e-mailing, please make sure the words “RTF 368s consent” + your name(s) are in the subject line. Please e-mail Professor Lewis (rmlewis@austin.utexas.edu) with the following information for each two-person team no later than 5 pm on Thurs, November 2. For each of the director and the producer, please provide:

    • Name
 and position (producer or director)
    • UT EID

    • E-mail address
    • Telephone number(
s)
    • Anticipated date of graduation (e.g. May '18)

    • 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 remember them)
    • Describe your writing / directing / producing experience on previous projects.
    • Provide a STORY SYNOPSIS of the film you intend to make in the class. Two pages max, single-spaced, double-spaced between paragraphs. Also note whether the script is to be written by an outside screenwriter (i.e., not the director or producer). Note: this class has a strict 12-minute running time limit for fiction films.
    • URL(s) of previous work (and any passwords if required)
    • All shoots will have Wednesday checkouts and check-ins the following Tuesday. Please indicate which of the following periods (all in 2018) you can do. Know that a lack of flexibility here may impact whether or not your project is given consent for the class.
      • 2/21 – 2/27
      • 2/28 – 3/6
      • 3/7 – 3/13
      • 3/14 – 3/20
      • 3/21 – 3/27
      • 3/28 – 4/3

     

    Again, please collect this info for both the director and the producer, and then submit via a single e-mail.

    Consent decisions will be made by 5 pm on November 8 so that you can register by the 10th, the last day for early registration.

  • 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.

  • QUESTIONS

    Contact Professor Lewis via e-mail:  rmlewis@austin.utexas.edu) or drop by during his office hours: CMA 6.126B on Mondays 2:00 – 4:00, Thursdays 5:00 – 6:00.

RTF 368S UNDERGRADUATE SCREENWRITING THESIS • CINDY McCREERY

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

Undergraduate Screenwriting Thesis Class – how decisions are made:  

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.  What previous screenwriting workshops have they taken that makes them feel that they are ready for this challenge? 

Email the following to Professor McCreery (cindy.mccreery@austin.utexas.edu) by October 30th at 6pm:  

1.  Name
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 you want to take this class.  

Decisions will be made by November 4th. 

RTF 369   ADVANCED SCREENWRITING: FEATURE FILMMAYA PEREZ

In this class, students will complete a feature-length screenplay (90-120 pages) by the end of the semester. In addition, they will read and comment on their classmates' work on a weekly basis. Incompletes will not be given in this class.

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

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

RTF 369  ADVANCED SCREENWRITING: TV SPECS 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.

RTF 369  ADVANCED SCREENWRITING FOR FILM: INDIES TOM WILLETT

This workshop class is focused on writing screenplays designed for micro-budget, independent production. As students write their own feature-length scripts (90-120 pages) throughout the semester, they will study and analyze completed micro-budget films and their production methods. In addition, they will read and comment on their classmates' work on a weekly basis. Incompletes will not be given in this class.