Directing Course Descriptions

Acting for the Camera

GH228 (4 credit hours)
Prerequisite: GH125 Introduction to Acting
In acting for the camera, less is often more. Through exercises and scene study, this course will help actors hone their craft for the screen and help directors understand the boundaries the screen requires for the actor.

Acting: Advanced Technique

GH227 (4 credit hours) 
Prerequisite: GH125 Introduction to Acting
Offers character development through various acting techniques, styles, and improvisation exploring more diverse and intense characters in individual and duo scene work. Students will also work on vocal and physical development to heighten their expression as actors. Some acting "theories" employed will include those of Constantin Stanislavski ("The Magical If"), Lee Strasberg and "The Method," and the (Sanford) Meisner Technique.

Acting: Classic Texts

GH229 (4 credit hours)
Prerequisite: GH125 Introduction to Acting, One (1) advanced acting course
Through the exploration of classic texts, theatre and performance history, acting, body, and vocal exercises, as well as performing in class and writing in a journal about their characters and experiences students will strengthen their acting tools, hone their craft, and expand their ability to express themselves. Students will work with the works of William Shakespeare as well as other playwrights that are considered “classics.” Students will have a deeper understanding of the history of theatre and the classics and how they impact film and television today.

Advanced Acting Workshop

GH226 (4 credit hours) 
Prerequisite: GH125 Introduction to Acting
Through body, vocal, and acting exercises as well as performing in class and writing a journal about their characters and experiences, students will strengthen their acting tools, hone their craft, and have a better understanding of what it takes to act. They will also develop and perform a one person piece that will be filmed.

Art Direction (Production Design)

F132 (4 credit hours)
Prerequisite: F105 Visual Design
A practical introduction to the profession of production design, with an emphasis on communicating ideas This course introduces the fundamentals of art direction. Class discussions lay out the duties and responsibilities of the art director, producer, and construction personnel. By the end of the class, students will be able to break down scripts, present set design concepts, and draw up a set that can be built by the construction coordinator.

Art of the Pitch

GH166 (4 credit hours) 
Prerequisite: GH253 Hollywood Business Practices & History
A course for producers, writers, and directors, “Art of the Pitch” instructs students how to encapsulate their ideas into saleable concepts, present those ideas, and communicate with the writers and others who become involved in bringing these ideas to fruition. The course features guest speakers from the executive ranks of the industry, as well as producers, agents, attorneys, and others, with the instructor being both the constant guide for the students as well as moderator.

Comedy Improvisation

GH326 (4 credit hours)
Prerequisite: GH125 Introduction to Acting
Under the supervision of an instructor students will form a comedy improvisation group.

Directing Action

F308 (4 credit hours) 
Prerequisite: All Tier 1, All Tier 2, F210 Directing 2
Exploration of the challenges of directing sequences involving action and movement for both drama and comedy. Coursework includes hands-on directing projects designed to advance understanding of how camera placement and other tools allow action to speak to the audience in the way the filmmaker intends.

Directing Actors

F425 (4 credit hours) 
Prerequisites: F111A Directing:  Casting Through Rehearsals
Directors develop their ability to communicate with actors to build and adjust their actors' performances. Directors cast actors and work on scenes for several weeks, bringing the actors to a professional level of performance.

Directing Comedy

F309 (4 credit hours) 
Prerequisite: F210 Directing 2
When he was on his deathbed, the great actor Edmund Kean is reputed to have said, “Dying is easy. Comedy is hard.” This course explores the dynamics and particulars of camera and communication with actors that make comedy both come alive and fun to create. Students will choose and shoot comedy scenes.

Directing: From Casting Through Rehearsals

F111A (4 credit hours)
Prerequisite: GH125 Introduction to Acting
How do you work with actors to ready their performances for the camera through mutual communication? How should you listen to them and be open to their instincts at the same time they listen to you? How do you express the intent of the line and the event of the scene in an efficient, cogent manner, and help actors find the necessary place within themselves to bring to life what is on the page? How do you create a “safe” place for them? This course will focus on that thread that leads from understanding the basis of acting to directing actors in front of the camera. You’ll learn techniques of casting and rehearsing scenes and other short pieces with actors to create performances that will jump off the page and screen.

Directing 1

F110 (4 credit hours)
Prerequisite: All Core Tier 1 courses
Focuses on directing actors and experiencing the filmmaking process from the actor’s point of view: analyzing dialogue and dramatic material; the development of the dramatic situation; understanding character needs and relationships; script breakdown. Director/actor preparation, research and the casting process are also covered. Students direct a short film within class time and crew on all projects.

Directing 2

F210 (4 credit hours)
Prerequisite: F110 Directing 1 and Dean's Approval
Explores the basic techniques of blocking and staging action for the camera, with emphasis on the practical problems and aesthetic questions that arise. Students work alone and in groups to develop solutions to dramatic and practical problems. Each student conceives, develops, shoots, and does post production on a short film shot within an allotted time frame outside of class.

Directing 3

F310 (4 credit hours) 
Prerequisite: F210 Directing 2
Lectures, discussion, screenings, assignments and class projects illuminate the process and aesthetics of directing. Workshop format and in-class tapings focus on developing a directing team. Each student selects, casts, directs, shoots and edits a short film, while also assisting and managing others’ projects.

Distribution: How to Sell Your Production

F422A (4 credit hours)
Prerequisite: None
A great film or other production can sit in a vault or in your closet if you do not find distribution to an audience. Through lecture and practical application, this course gives students the tools to sell their production when it is completed and maximize its potential – be it to the big screen, the small screen, or the smallest screen.

Documentary Production Workshop

F131 (4 credit hours)
Prerequisites: F101 Principles of Cinematography, F102 Cinematography 1, F141 Production Sound
In this class students will conceive, shoot and do post production on a short documentary during the length of the quarter. Class time also includes lectures on the modes and genres of the documentary, screening and analysis of documentaries, and production exercises in which students work together to create instant documentaries.

Entertainment Law

GS256 (4 credit hours) 
Prerequisite: GH101 Writers Workshop 1
The objective of this course is to introduce the basic concepts of entertainment law pertaining to the entertainment industry. The course will cover: copyright and intellectual property rights; idea theft (and how to protect your ideas); the legal aspects of setting up a production company; an overview of film finance; the agreements pertaining to development; pre-production; production; post-production; distribution; and exhibition; literary option/purchase agreements; writer employment agreements; director employment agreements; producer employment agreements; crew employment agreements; location agreements; and the right of publicity; the right of privacy; and defamation. The role of negotiating strategies will also be examined.

Experimental Video Workshop

F231 (4 credit hours)
Prerequisite: F102 Cinematography 1
A lot more can be done with the camera than merely shooting narrative or documentary films. The camera is a tool with vast artistic possibilities. In this course, students will execute single channel or installation video art pieces, and have an expressive, creative experience with the camera unencumbered by the narrative screenplay. This course is designed to expand the student as artist with camera.

Film Financing

F420 (4 credit hours)
Prerequisite: GS108 Modern Business & Industry
This course introduces the fundamental concepts of film financing. The course explores the film financing options available to filmmakers and the advantages and disadvantages of each option. Topics covered include choice of business entity, collaborators and co-productions, financing independent films, attracting investors, tactics and strategy in arranging distribution, distribution agreements, distributor defaults, production incentives, and studio financing.

Guerilla Filmmaking

F160 (4 credit hours)
Prerequisite: F102 Cinematography 1, F141 Production Sound
No financing? No problem! Learn to shoot short films with minimal financial security. Learn how to write a zero-budget script, maximize your limited assets, and get the shots off quick. Emphasis is also placed on blocking, hostile locations, pick-ups, and re-shoots. The class will shoot multiple student-generated projects.

Hip Hop Production

V320 (4 credit hours)
Prerequisite: All Tier 1
Don’t just dance to Hip Hop – make it!  In this cutting-edge class you will develop and shoot a short project that either employs the hip hop style or comments on it – your choice of a film, TV commercial, music video, or documentary. 

Hollywood Business Practices & History

GH253 (4 credit hours) 
Prerequisite: All Core Tier 1 Courses
Hollywood Business Practices & History offers the student the information to understand and analyze the foundational business model of “Hollywood” -- the center of not only the American motion picture and television industries, but the movie capital of the world. Students will learn the language and operations of these businesses. Topics include representation, trade publications, publicity, how the project development process works, the roles of unions and guilds, the roles of different job titles, how the money flows, and, perhaps most importantly, how to find your place in the industry.


F266 (4 credit hours) 
Prerequisite: All Core Tier 1 courses
An exploration of a remarkably resilient genre that has been used to explore every imaginable subject and theme. The course surveys the aesthetics, history, and storytelling techniques of the mockumentary. Students conceive, plan, and produce a mockumentary as a class.

Music Video Production

V318 (4 credit hours)
Prerequisite: All Core Tier 1 courses
Production workshop for 3-minute music videos, from conception to answer print. Students write their own scripts, prepare schedules and budgets, recruit cast and crew, produce, direct, shoot, and post-produce, including editing, sound effects, music, and dubbing.

Navigating New Media

F315 (4 credit hours)
Prerequisite: All Core Tier 1 courses
Students learn to employ their production skills outside of feature films and television to create content for the smallest screens, such as the Internet, mobile phones, and other emerging media. In addition to guiding in the particulars of production for these platforms, lectures offer current information on the scope of the business side of emerging media.

Nonfiction TV Production

V209 (4 credit hours)
Prerequisite: F101 Principles of Production, F102 Cinematography, F122A Editing Theory & Practice
Nonfiction TV programming is a staple of broadcast networks, first-run syndication, cable and especially digital tier cable. It is not to be confused with reality programming. Students create a nonfiction TV program segment and learn such specifics of the genre as strong interview techniques, clearance issues, and editing a final product that has an engaging structure.

Post Production Process

F221 (4 credit hours)
Prerequisite: F127 UPM/AD
After a film project completes principle photography, the complex process of post-production begins. Students are exposed to the entire digital post-production workflow, starting with scheduling and ending with delivery elements to distribution companies. This course uses real world solutions from studio and independently produced films as a backdrop. Students will be guided through budgeting, editing, color correction, ADR, VFX, negotiating with vendors, trailers, EPK footage, and problem solving situations that occur during post production. This course is for producers, directors, and editors who seek solid post-production knowledge of Independent and studio-produced projects.

Production for New Media

F317 (4 credit hours)
Prerequisite: All Core Tier 1 courses
New Media is a wide terrain, and one that could be a large part of a student’s future in entertainment. Students will create and produce dynamic program content that crosses multiple genres and can be launched on many different platforms – from the web to DVDs to streaming media. You will conceive, produce and post concepts such as “Behind the Scenes” shorts, and shorts for cellular launch, iTunes, downloadable content, and other media. Some emphasis is placed on marketing tools, one of the hottest new media genres.

Reality TV Production

V235 (4 credit hours) 
Prerequisite: F110 Directing 1
Reality TV is one of the hottest genres in entertainment today. Students will work together to create reality series, of both the competition and non-competition stripe, with full understanding of their development and structure. They learn the rigors of ongoing production, capturing moments, encouraging subjects who may be reticent in front of the camera, and combining all elements to create a viable TV program.

Scoring Your Soundtrack

F144 (4 credit hours)
Prerequisite: F141A Sound Design Basics
This course teaches how to use Pro Tools to create and lay the soundtrack for your short film or documentary, and, eventually your feature film. It is hands-on training and includes field trips to professional recording studios.

Script Analysis 2

GH255 (4 credit hours)
Prerequisite: GH155 Script Analysis 1
The methods of Script Analysis 1 are put to work in a rigorous and practical way. Several scripts are analyzed in a variety of genres. The student examines—separately—the original script and the finished film, comparing her own analysis and dramatic plans with those of the actual filmmaker.

Shooting the Multi-Camera Comedy

V350A (4 credit hours) 
Prerequisite: V102 Introduction to TV Production
With cable networks embracing multi-camera sitcoms and sketch comedy shows along with ongoing broadcast network production, understanding and experiencing multi-camera comedy can lead to increasing opportunities in the business. In this course, students will learn the artistry behind shooting the multi-camera comedy or sitcom. Students learn how to plan a production and break down a script, and use existing sitcom scripts to direct multi-camera sequences.

Storyboard Design

GH151 (4 credit hours) 
Prerequisite: GH135 Drawing
In this course, students develop a complete understanding of the storyboarding process – upcoming directors, in particular, will hone their “eye.” Students learn the fundamentals of turning a script into a sequence of images, as the class is designed to get them comfortable with the all-important pre-visualizing work flow. A 3-D software system is used in creating the storyboards. Additionally, the class analyzes several elite films and their director’s approach to storyboarding.

TV Commercial Production

V118 (4 credit hours) 
Prerequisite: F102 Cinematography 1, F141 Production Sound
A production-based course for commercials from concept to finished spots. Students write their own scripts, prepare storyboards, prepare schedules and budgets, recruit crew and cast, produce, direct, and shoot their spots. Spots are completed in post-production, including editing, sound effects, music, and dubbing.

TV Directing and Producing 1

V103 (4 credit hours)
Prerequisite: F110 Directing 1, V102 Introduction to TV Production
To provide the student an understanding of the role of the Producer and Director in a multi-camera studio production environment, the class will guide the student from the Pre-Production to Production process followed by Post-Production to the final presentation of their completed project.

TV Directing and Producing 2

V203 (4 credit hours)
Prerequisite: V103 TV Directing and Producting 1
An advanced course in which students direct and/or produce a studio and control room-based short TV program they have individually developed.

TV Documentary Production

V207 (4 credit hours)
A hands-on approach to developing and shooting TV Documentary. The instructor guides the student through all areas of the format: writing, scheduling, principal photography, and editing. Students will complete this course having shot a viable TV-style documentary as well as learning the business dynamics of this genre.

VFX Production for the 21st Century

F234 (4 credit hours)
Prerequisite: F127 UPM/AD
This course explores the high-end production environment of Visual Effects. From summer blockbusters to independent art films, VFX have become a vital tool in the production process of 21st Century entertainment. This course opens the door to the modern visual effects production pipeline. Students learn first-hand how to breakdown a script for VFX, budget and schedule that breakdown, and implement all elements into a successful VFX pipeline.

Video Game Design: Part I: Development
Video Game Design: Part II: Execution

M300 (4 credit hours) M301 (4 credit hours) 
Prerequisite: F150 Screenwriting 1, GH155 Script Analysis 1, F122A Editing Theory & Practice
Video games have become an expanding staple of entertainment. This two-part class demonstrates how to create, develop, and execute a video game idea. Uses the Unity 3D and Maya software programs.

Visual Production Design

F345 (4 credit hours)
Prerequisite: All Core Tier 1 courses
This course allows the student to study the vast range and expressive potential of production design. Students will study production design concepts through viewing and discussing feature films and shorts that make extensive use of architectural space, costumes, props, color and texture. More importantly, they will apply these practical concepts to their own projects. Students will examine how the visual and structural elements that make up cinematic form can be used to reinforce, create and comment upon their story and its underlying ideas. They will learn how others use these elements and how to skillfully apply them to their own work.