Introduction to Filmmaking: Time and Form (UG)
This studio-style course introduces the principles of working with time-based media by focusing on the technology of 16mm film production. Exploring lighting, sound, photographic and editing processes, the course will provide a foundation for subsequent work in film, video, or new media. An introductory level, skills-oriented course, students will produce a series of short, non-sync films. Course time includes screenings, demonstrations, studio/lab work, and critiques. No previous experience required. Syllabus
Face to Face: The Filmed Interview (UG)
Interrogating the interview in film and on TV, this class will consider a practice that is ubiquitous in modern media but curiously neglected in the realm of theoretical analysis. In an effort to read and think through various media texts that feature interviews, we will consider a variety of philosophical approaches to the dialogue, conversation, confession and interrogation, reading texts from Plato to Deleuze. We will examine the practices of Errol Morris, Jon Stewart, Michael, Moore, and Oprah Winfrey – as well as avant-garde filmmakers including Jean-Luc Godard and Alexander Kluge. Students will also develop their skills as interviewers through a series of video and audio exercises and assignments. Syllabus
Remakes: Experiments in Repetition and Difference (UG/GRAD)
From Hollywood blockbusters to the re-packaging of old films in new formats, practices of re-making have been crucial to the history of moving images since the first cinematic experiments with found footage in the 1920s. This course will focus on processes of revision and reinterpretation as we explore the variety of ways in which repetition can be used to create difference. Beginning with found footage exercises, students will complete three short assignments and a longer final project over the course of the semester. Students will be encouraged to experiment with narrative and non-narrative material. Special attention will be given to the ways in which presenting the same material in different formats provides an opportunity to address different audiences. Students who are interested in re-working previous pieces are encouraged to take this course as we will think about how remaking provides a model for critical practice.
Introduction to Media Study and Analysis
An introduction to the key forms that constitute media in modern culture: photography, film, recorded sound, print, television, video, and new media. This course will expose students to a range of critical accounts of different media – considering media as representational forms as well as aesthetic, social, and/or political practices. We will examine both the material components that define various media and the historical and social functions that they serve. Lectures, screenings, and discussions will be structured by major theoretical concepts and approaches drawn from the disciplines of film and media studies, critical theory, and cultural studies. This course will provide a solid theoretical foundation for all forms of media study – including both production and analysis. Syllabus
Documentary Practices in an Expanding Field
How does documentary practice change in relation to different modes of production and formats for exhibition and distribution? This course will examine the history of documentary studies and practice in light of recent challenges posed to the basic assumptions about image production that takes “the real” as its object. Topics will include: the proliferation of documentary forms on the Internet, digital technology’s role in the creation of new forms of witnessing and surveillance, shifts in notions of “the real” and medium specificity, the function of documentary guarantees, and the prevalence of documentary forms in the gallery and museums. New media and documentary theory as well as recent considerations of the cinematic in contemporary art will be central to this course. Course requirements will include a 10-page mid-term paper and a final project or paper.
This graduate seminar will focus on the practice of the interview. We will treat the interview as a research tool, an aesthetic form, and a means of knowledge production that operates across history, media, cultures, and disciplines. The course will draw on materials from sociology, anthropology, medicine, oral history, critical theory, media studies, and documentary film in an effort to explore the range of methods and purposes that this form has taken. Topics will include: the interview and the Socratic method; the relation between the interview and interrogation; the dialogue and dialectics; translation, transcription, and editing. Screenings will include the work of Shirley Clark, Jean-Luc Godard, Jean Rouch and Edgar Morin, Jon Stewart, Errol Morris, and Heddy Honigman will accompany readings from Plato, Blanchot, Gadamer, Deleuze, Paulo Freire, and Henri Alleg. Students will complete a a series of practical exercises in a range of media, a short analysis paper, and a final project that can take shape as an interview project or a longer essay.