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MFA in Film

Spring 2017 Graduate Film Courses

Location: 535 8th Avenue, Manhattan

 

FLM 506.S60 (#70286) ADVANCED MASTER CLASSES FOR WRITERS/DIRECTORS & PRODUCERS
Christine Vachon, Pamela Koffler, & Simone Pero
Tuesdays, 5:15-7:45 pm, 3 credits

Has merged with:

FLM 505.S60 (#70288) FILM MANAGEMENT I - PRODUCTION DEVELOPMENT (MARKETING & DISTRIBUTION)
Simone Pero
Tuesdays 5:15-7:45 pm, 3 credits

In this course, students will be guided through a deeper examination of best-practices, a changing landscape, and strategies for marketing, distribution, financing, production, and post-production in film and television. This is a highly interactive and practical application class where students will work throughout the semester individually and collaboratively on building an executable plan to get their independent film/tv/digital project out and into the world. This course is a deeper dive into topics covered in the Master Class in Independent Film Production from scheduling, budgeting and legal, to talent management, foreign sales, marketing and audience engagement, to producing for digital platforms. Classes will be structured around provocative conversations with working industry professionals, group work-shopping, mentoring sessions, and student presentations. Assignments offer practical application and are designed to prepare students to think like an entrepreneur and to equip them with a critical piece of collateral for selling their projects. Please note that additional class time will be arranged with instructor.

 

FLM 523.S60 (#70289): FILM IN NEW YORK - PROD I
Jennie Allen
Wednesdays 5:15 - 7:45 pm, 3 credits

From January to May, your training is synthesized, focused, and put into practice. You will work from the scripts you have developed. In the first weeks of the semester, you will attend workshops in script revision, camera, sound, lighting, casting, scheduling, safety, and running a set while doing all of the necessary director’s preparation and pre-production to bring your vision of the script to the screen. Then we launch into the production phase. Intense practical sessions will prepare you for the rigors of your film shoot. Every job on set is vital, and you will have the opportunity to fill each one. To make the experience truly immersive, everyone crews on each other’s productions in NYC - expect to spend many days on set! Please note that additional class time will be arranged with instructor.

 

FLM 525.S60 (#70290) TOPICS IN FILM – VIEWING & WRITING THE COMING OF AGE FILM (Genre Survey)
Magdalene Brandeis
Tuesdays 5:15-7:45 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. 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. Students will view 8 films, read and respond to excerpts from books. Each week a new element of the coming of age theme will be explored. Please note that additional class time will be arranged with instructor.

 

CWL 530.S60 (#52080): FORMS OF SCRIPTWRITING - THE ADVANCE PARTY SCREENWRITING CLASS
Lenny Crooks
Mondays, 5:15 - 7:45 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. We will screen and discuss Red Road in our second class. Please note that additional class time will be arranged with instructor.

 

FLM 530.S60 FILM DESIGN WORKSHOP: SHOOTING WITH STYLE
Jordan Roberts
Thursdays 7:50-10:20 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 5 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. Please note that additional class time will be arranged with instructor.

 

FLM 550.S60 (#70291) TEACHING PRACTICUM
Karen Offitzer
Mondays, 5:15-7:45 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 (#70292) FILM WORKSHOP: EDITING THE GENRES
Jordan Roberts
Thursdays, 5:15-7:45 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. Please note that additional class time will be arranged with instructor.

 

FLM 651.S60 (#70297) SCREENWRITING WORKSHOP II: SCRIPT DOCTOR
Lenny Crooks
Thursdays 7:50-10:20 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.S61 (#70298) TV WRITING II - WRITING THE PILOT
Alan Kingsburg
Thursdays 5:15-7:45 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 7:50-10:20 pm, 3 credits

The primary goal of this small, flexible workshop is to foster students’ individual visions while expanding the scope of their production experience. Participants should bring a near-final draft of a 5-10 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. Prerequisite: Prod I or Dir II. Please note that additional class time will be arranged with instructor.

 

FLM 670.S61 (#70300) DIRECTING WORKSHOP: DIR III
Bogdan Apetri
Wednesdays 5:15-7:45 pm, 3 credits

This workshop builds on the knowledge gained in the Directing II class during the Fall. It continues to blend theory and practice (with an emphasis on the latter) with the ultimate goal of developing and mastering the advanced director's toolbox for the students enrolled in the class. The theoretical lectures will further expand on the familiar concepts discussed during the previous semester and introduce new skills and tools necessary for precise, authoritative and innovative dramatic screen directing. The hands-on assignments will put into practice more complex, harder-to-master directing tools such as camera movement, blocking, visual choreography etc. Experimentation will be encouraged and unconventional ways to direct will be explored. The class is geared towards the successful preparation of more advanced final projects (thesis films) and especially the developing of each director's creative vision, encompassing all genres, styles or personal cinematic preferences.  Please note that additional class time will be arranged with instructor.

 

FLM 690.T60 (#70301) PROFESSIONAL INTERNSHIP - INTERNING ON A FEATURE FILM
Brandeis/Koffler

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

 

FLM 691.V60 (#70302) THESIS PROJECT – DAVID HINAJOSA

FLM 692.V60 (#70303) THESIS PAPER – DAVID HINAJOSA