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MFA in Film

Spring 2018 Graduate Film Courses

Location: 535 8th Avenue, Manhattan

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FLM 520.S60 (#57075) KILLER FILM SURVEY
Christine Vachon & Pamela Koffler
Tuesdays, 5:20-8:10 pm, 3 credits

Killer Films' Selected Filmography. The course delves into, film by film, the resume of Killer Films. We will analyze each film from several perspectives. 1) a film as a text and a story, the filmmaking, how it approaches story telling, what are its influences, choices the filmmaker made and why, what is its vocabulary, 2) the film as a commercial enterprise and how it fit into the marketplace of an evolving independent film landscape over 20+ years, 3) the story of how the film was developed/financed/ produced/marketed and how any one of those efforts was impacted and in a conversation with the time it was made and the market it was interacting with.

 

FLM 505.S60 (#57074) FILM MANAGEMENT I - PRODUCTION DEVELOPMENT (MARKETING & DISTRIBUTION)
Simone Pero
Independent study by appointment with instructor, 3 credits

This is a highly interactive and practical application class where students will work individually and collaboratively on building an executable marketing plan tailored to getting their project out and into the world. The class is structured as an independent study for students to workshop their on-going individual projects and receive one-on-one mentoring from class instructor. Throughout the semester this course will also include in-class conversations with working industry professionals in areas of marketing, distribution, outreach, and financing. Students will explore the fundamentals of promotions, how visual images and words communicate messages in trailers, audience building and engagement, the strategic use of digital and social media, what makes a project attractive to potential financiers/buyers/audiences/supporters, and how to amass and manage resources against goals. This class prepares students to think like a marketer, offer practical application and feedback, and equips you with a critical piece of collateral to sell and promote your project. Classes will be structured around student presentations, group work-shopping, and industry guests.This class will meet in-person as a whole approximately 1 time per month throughout the semester. Students will also meet individually with instructor. Attendance is mandatory for all in-class sessions. 2-3 meetings with advisor/semester. Expectation is student works 12 hrs/week on project.

 

FLM 523.S60 (#57076): FILM IN NEW YORK - PROD I
Jennie Allen
Mondays 5:20-8:10 pm, 3 credits

You will work from the scripts you developed in Fall. In the first weeks of the semester, you will attend workshops in casting, budgeting, scheduling, safety, and running a set while doing all the necessary preparation to bring your vision of the script to the screen. Then we launch into the production phase where you will present, discuss, and troubleshoot each other’s plans in class. Everyone crews on each other’s films in NYC - expect to spend a fair amount of days on set. We will workshop rough cuts and you will present a cut of your film at our final screening.

 

FLM 525.S60 (#56662) TOPICS IN FILM – VIEWING & WRITING THE COMING OF AGE FILM (Genre Survey)
Magdalene Brandeis
Tuesdays 5:20-8:10 pm, 3 credits

This course will focus on 8 films that offer unique perspectives on coming of age themes. We will define the coming of age film, also known as the film of formation or the film bildungsroman, situate it within a historical context, outline its themes, and note how, while timeless, its definition of the emerging self has evolved with the evolution of the society which surrounds it. We will look at the goal of coming of age: the creation of a “self”, through the lens of psychology, philosophy, spirituality, sexuality, and gender, and note how the story arc changes when the bildungsroman is no longer the unique domain of the young white male. In the process of viewing films we will also analyze various narrative strategies employed in creating films with an emphasis on voice and point of view. We will work from in class and assigned prompts and write our own Coming of Age stories. The main goal in studying this genre is for students to learn how to mine coming of age themes in order to write a coming of age screenplay of their own imagining. Please note that additional class time will be arranged with instructor.

 

CWL 530.S61 (#56663): FORMS OF SCRIPTWRITING - THE ADVANCE PARTY SCREENWRITING CLASS
Lenny Crooks
Wednesdays, 5:20-8:10 pm, 3 credits

The Advance Party challenges all you know about screenwriting as you progress from a blank page to a short form screenplay. We start with a character - each student creates a single character and learns how to describe his or her character in an authentic way. If the class size is 10 then there will emerge 10 characters and you will choose which of these characters will interact with your own. We then focus on the natural story as an essential element in this organic approach to screenwriting. As we progress each of your stories will evolve, not out of traditional plot driven characterization, but out of the characters' actions and reactions to situations created by you. The Original Advance Party was based upon a challenge to selected first time filmmakers by Lars Von Trier. He charged his collaborators Lone Sherfig and Anders Thomas Jensen to create six characters which were given to the filmmakers around which to create feature scripts. You will be given the original character descriptions as a guide to bringing your own character to life. Andrea Arnold's Cannes Jury prizewinning film Red Road (2006) was created in this way.

 

FLM 550.S60 (#57077) TEACHING PRACTICUM
Karen Offitzer
Mondays, 5:20-8:10 pm, 3 credits

Required course for those seeking future employment as an instructor at the undergraduate level. This course plunges into the basics of pedagogy, including designing assignments, sequencing them, grading them, and creating syllabi for writing, directing, film analysis and producing courses. You’ll get hands-on experience creating lesson plans and conducting lectures, seminars and filmmaking workshops, and will gain a preliminary overview of pedagogy on your way to devising your own. Most importantly, you’ll ask and ask again, “What is teachable about filmmaking, and who am I to teach it?” (You need permission of the director and at least 6 program credits under your belt to take this class.) Please note that additional class time will be arranged with instructor.

 

FLM 576.S60 (#57078) FILM WORKSHOP: EDITING THE GENRES
Jordan Roberts
Thursdays, 5:20-8:10 pm, 3 credits

Horror, comedy, drama and action. Four different genres, four different editing styles. This course will cover the methods on how to edit these very different pieces of material and why each and every cut that is made has a purpose. We will focus on both the tools of editing as well as the theory of it. Through analyzing film clips, class discussion and hands on lessons, we will break down the fundamental differences in these styles and delve into the process of constructing them. Working with Adobe Premiere Pro, students will have the opportunity to edit various scenes, which will range in style and tone. This course will get you thinking critically about all aspects of filmmaking, including blocking, framing, locations and shot selection, all leading up to production at the end of the semester productions. Please note that additional class time will be arranged with instructor.

 

FLM 576.S61 FILM DESIGN: SHOOTING WITH STYLE
Jordan Roberts
Wednesdays 8:20-11:10 pm, 1 credit

As important as are story, script, casting and locations, all have to captured properly…and you first have to learn how to use the equipment that does just that. This intense 6-week workshop will introduce you to the tools that you will have at your disposal to shoot your films. We will further cover set safety, proper handling of the gear, set protocol, the ins and outs of a professional level camera and lens kit, sound equipment, grip and lighting gear. This is the next step to help you create beautiful images that bring your stories to life. 

 

FLM 651.S63 (#56660) SCREENWRITING WORKSHOP II: SCRIPT DOCTOR
Lenny Crooks
Thursdays 5:20-8:10 pm, 3 credits

Our Script Doctor course is for graduate students who have already taken the plunge and written a narrative feature film script AND are prepared to subject the script to a health check by class colleagues led by Lenny Crooks. In the first Class Lenny will share his views on screenwriting and highlight some common problems encountered by entry-level screenwriters. Each subsequent class will focus on the script presented (and uploaded one week in advance) by an individual class member. Students with partially written scripts will be accommodated and will present in pairs. Each week, following an introduction by the selected class member, the class will be a forum for critique and discussion with a view to assisting the writer to redraft with renewed confidence. Lenny will lead each class and draw on his extensive knowledge of story, character, dialogue and the essential elements of script to help identify areas where each script could be improved. Over the duration of the course all students will come to a greater understanding of the craft through exposure to the work of their peers. When all students have presented the remaining classes will be given over to a review of selected sequences or passages of script which have been redrafted by students. Please note that additional class time will be arranged with instructor.

 

FLM 651.S64 (#56661) TV WRITING II - WRITING THE PILOT
Scott Burkhardt
Tuesdays 5:20-8:10 pm, 3 credits

CREATING AN ORIGINAL SERIES - PILOT. Each student creates an original series, mini bible and writes a pilot script. Meets 3 hours per week as a class. Building on the skills developed in the Fall semester, each student creates and develops an original series concept. This requires a set of characters and a central conflict that can sustain multiple seasons of compelling stories. The successful series has both this type of story engine and a strong emotional core. From the series concept students move on to creating stories for their pilot episode, outlining and finally writing scenes. Please note that additional class time will be arranged with instructor.

 

FLM 670.S60 (#70299): DIRECTING WORKSHOP - PRODUCTION II
Jennie Allen
Wednesdays 5:20-8:10 pm, 3 credits

The primary goal of this flexible workshop is to foster students’ individual visions while expanding the scope of their production knowledge and experience. Participants should bring a 5-12 page script to the first class. Classes will focus on directors’ preparation - both creative and practical. For the shoots, students will choose their collaborators and run their own sets.. Please note that additional class time will be arranged with instructor.

 

FLM 690.T60 (#57083) PROFESSIONAL INTERNSHIP - INTERNING ON A FEATURE FILM
Brandeis/Koffler

Students work on Killer Films NYC-based production or other productions elsewhere. Southampton.

 

FLM 691.V60 (#57084) THESIS PROJECT – DAVID HINAJOSA

FLM 692.V60 (#57085) THESIS PAPER – DAVID HINAJOSA

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TV WRITING CORE CLASSES

CWL 530.S65 (# 57086)PILOT 1 - CREATING AN ORIGINAL SERIES
Alan Kingsberg
Thursdays, 5:20-8:10 pm, 4 credits

Students build on the skills developed in the Fall semester to create a pilot script for an original series.  Working from the ground up, students begin by creating a series concept that has both a powerful emotional core and a story engine that can sustain multiple seasons.   Next, students create stories for their pilot episode and then move on to outlining scripts and writing scenes with dialogue, working toward their finished pilot script.  Paired with one-on-one advisement every other week.

 

FLM 576.S65  (# 57087) THE WRITERS ROOM:  GUEST SERIES
Alan
Kingsberg, et al
Mondays TBD, 1 credit

Six Mondays. Students participate in discussions with industry insiders. The focus is on the writing process and the class is designed to reinforce the Pilot Intensive.  Topics include: story inception, breaking stories, working in a writers room, season arcs, writers on the set.  

 

FLM/TV 651.S65 #58082 SCREENWRITING – Find Your Story, Write Your Script
Annette Handley Chandler
Wednesdays5:20-8:10 pm, 3 credits

This course will offer intensive study of the screenwriting craft with a focus on character development, structure, scene construction, scene sequence/juxtaposition, dialogue and theme. Viewing films, film clips as well as analyzing and deconstructing more complex screenplays will be required. Rigorous class sessions will consist of group readings and open critiques. The objective of this course will be to create a three-act outline and to write or rewrite a full-length feature screenplay. All levels.

 

FLM/TV 576.S66 (#57088) Film Design: Skills
Jordan Roberts
Wednesdays 8:20-11:10 pm, 1 credit

From the script to the screen...but what comes in between? A lot of hard work and planning! This course will introduce you to the tools that are integral to bringing your vision to life. Working with top of the line camera and sound equipment, you will acquire the skills necessary to navigate the rocky waters of production. This highly focused 6 week workshop will prepare you for the challenge of bringing your script to the small screen. 

 

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