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For information on previous FTT course offerings, visit the Course Description Archive.
FTT 10101/11101/12101 Basics of Film and Television Jim Collins
This class is designed to enhance your understanding and appreciate of film and television. You will learn about the basic elements that distinguish films and television programs from other aesthetic forms, such as editing, cinematography, sound and set design, and how these components work together to develop stories and characters. We will also work with interpretive frameworks that uncover deeper meanings and patterns in film and television, such as genre theory, the idea of “authorship,” and ideological analysis. The class presents a range of films, from such Hollywood classics as Casablanca and The Departed, to award-winning international films and projects from our very own student film festival. Television shows we will screen include Mad Men, Grey’s Anatomy, and Ugly Betty. This course is required for all majors in Film and Television. This course serves as a pre-requisite to all upper-level film and television courses and fulfills the Fine Arts requirement.
FTT 10701 01/20701 01 Introduction to Theatre Ken Cole
FTT 10701 02/20701 02 La Donna Forsgren
FTT 10701 03/20701 03 Richard Donnelly
A study of theatre viewed from three perspectives: historical, literary, and contemporary production practices. Through lectures, readings, and discussions, students will study this art form and understand its relevance to their own life as well as to other art forms. A basic understanding of the history of theatre and the recognition of the duties and responsibilities of the personnel involved in producing live theatre performances will allow students to become more objective in their own theatre experiences. This course fulfills the Fine Arts requirement.
FTT 13182 01 Fine Arts University Seminar Susan Ohmer
FTT 13182 02 Marcus Stephens
This writing intensive course will be devoted to a variety of different topics in film, television, new media, and theatre depending on the individual instructor’s interests.
This course fulfills the Fine Arts requirement.
FTT 20705 Performance Analysis Anton Juan
Performance Analysis moves beyond analysis of scripts to teach a student how to “read” a performance. How do we understand an artist’s choices in a given performance? Can we determine who is responsible for every choice in a production? Attention will be given to the role of each individual theatre artist and how the collaborative process evolves. This course will introduce theories of representation and interpretation and will involve analysis both performances and text.
FTT 20801 Acting for the Non-Major Anton Juan
This course introduces the non-theatre major to the basic elements of the art and craft of acting. The student will explore the spaces of memory, the body in an external space, voice and diction, and the choices that must be made, through the observation and imagination of realities. The actor will explore the process of looking for the sense of truth and urgency in expressing a dramatic text and a character’s will and action. This course is participatory and will involve students’ scene study presentations as well as written textual analysis to introduce scene studies. This course fulfills the Fine Arts requirement.
FTT 20900 02 Script Analysis Anne García-Romero
In this course, students will learn: (1) how to read and interpret a playscript for production (script analysis) and (2) how to read and understand a dramatic text in terms of its historical and literary contexts (dramaturgical analysis). This course fulfills the Fine Arts requirement.
FTT 21001 Acting: Process Carys Kresny
The purpose of this class is self-discovery and growth as an actor. You will be introduced to basic principles and techniques for preparation and performance, as well as a context for developing a working methodology for personal creative growth as an actor, the creation of a role, realization of a scene, and an introduction to the production process. You are expected, therefore, to know and apply these principles and processes. Scene work is prepared and rehearsed with a partner(s) outside of class for presentation in class. Written textual analysis (including detailed character study) is required for all scene work. A critical journal will reflect on assigned readings, responses to the work, and continuing assessment of personal growth. This course fulfills the Fine Arts requirement.
FTT 30004 Makeup for the Stage Richard Donnelly
The theories and practices of makeup design and application, including basic techniques, old age, prosthetics, and special character makeup for the stage. Students will learn how to interpret a play script, analyze a character, and create the makeup for use on the stage.
FTT 30013 Shadow Puppetry & Modern Performance Marcus Stephens
We will explore the rich cultural history of shadow puppetry and its translation into modern theatrical performance. Through lectures and workshops students will shepherd their ideas from the classroom to a final public performance.
FTT 30201 01/02 Global Cinema I Pam Wojcik
Students will explore the major phases of development of the international phenomenon of the motion pictures from the invention of cinematography in the late 19th century to the diffusion of film through the 1940s War years. We’ll study the historical and cultural contexts of cinema production, dissemination, and reception. Among the questions to be explored are: how did film evolve as a medium for telling stores through motion pictures and sound? What was the relationship between films and the global societies that produced and watched them? How did the movies’ distinguishing features such as the star system and genres (Slapstick, Musicals, etc.) become part of the institution we call classical Hollywood? How did world cinema develop in relation to American economic dominance? One goal is to learn how to do historical research and writing, which are communication skills. Another goal is simply to become well informed and articulate about important enduring ideas and aspects of our society. For film- and media makers, the cinema movements, national cinemas, and film techniques we’ll study will offer a vast range of ideas, inspirations, and models for what can be done, what already has been done – and what not to do again. For students in history, American Studies, and international area studies, the course will provide in-depth context for understanding how the movies contributed to national cultures in Asia and Europe, as well as in the Americas.
FTT 30408 Video Essays Matthew Payne
This upper-division course introduces students to essayistic approaches to media analysis and production. As the name signals, this class explores the sometimes experimental and sometimes playful video essay mode of expression with the goal of understanding how media makers and artists utilize sounds and images for fictional and non-fictional ends. By emphasizing the multiple points of connection that exist between media theory and praxis, this course aims to help students understand how to craft compelling arguments and evocative, impressionistic sequences using this unique form of storytelling.
FTT 30410 Intro to Film and Television Production Ted Mandell
An introductory course in the fundamentals of shooting, editing, and writing for film and video productions. This is a hands-on production course emphasizing aesthetics, creativity, and technical expertise. The course requires significant amounts of shooting and editing outside class. Students produce short video projects using digital video and DSLR cameras and edit digitally on computer workstations. The principles of three-camera studio production are also covered.
FTT 30416 3D Digital Production Jeff Spoonhower
Interested in pursuing a career in feature animation, special effects, or video games? This class will be your first step in learning the tools and techniques of 3D digital content creation for the entertainment industry. Students will learn the basics of modeling, texturing, animation, lighting, and rendering suing the industry-standard program, Autodesk Maya. Through video tutorials and production lessons, students will get hands-on, practical experience in the major areas of digital content creation in Maya. Students will also learn foundational principles of animation and 3D design through weekly lectures, screenings of feature animated films, and interactive play-through of modern console video games. This class will require a significant amount of individual work in the DPAC 3D Animation Lab outside of class time.
FTT 30420 Sound and Music Design Digital Media Jeff Spoonhower
Sound and music for digital media is an often overlooked art form that is critical to the effective telling of a story. Writer-director George Lucas famously said that "sound is 50 percent of the movie-going experience." Director Danny Boyle mentioned in an interview that "the truth is, for me, it's obvious that 70, 80 percent of a movie is sound. You don't realize it because you can't see it." At its root, sonic design creates mood and setting - it engages the audience on a primal, emotional level, in ways that imagery alone cannot achieve. A cleanly recorded and creatively edited sound effects track can immerse an audience in a fictional world. Music, whether used sparingly or in grandiose fashion, can enhance or subvert the visual component of a film or video game to create cinematic magic. Through feature film screenings, video game play-through sessions, and hands-on production assignments using Adobe Audition CC, students will learn how to direct the emotions of an audience through creative recording, mixing, and editing of sound effects and music.
FTT 30437 Film and Popular Music Pam Wojcik
This course examines the use of popular music in American film. Students will learn about the distinction between the classical film score and uses of popular music in film. We will consider how changes in the film industry, including horizontal integration, impact the use of popular music; why and how the film industry resisted rock and roll; narrative uses of film music; uses of pop music to signify time periods, subcultures, racial identities, queer identities, and more. We will look at uses of pop music in classical Hollywood, the film musical, rockumentaries, biopics of musicians, and the use prerecorded music as soundtrack. Throughout, we will attend to ways in which gender, race, and sexuality are expressed musically. Students will see a wide range of films, including American Graffiti, Saturday Night Fever, Do the Right Thing, Pride, Goodfellas, Round Midnight, Truth or Dare, and Hard Day’s Night.
FTT 30455 Critical Approaches to Television Mary Celeste Kearney
This course offers an introductory survey of the primary critical approaches used to analyze television, and thus serves as a foundation for other TV-specific courses within the major. Through an examination of pioneering and contemporary studies of television, we will explore how television has been analyzed as a communication medium, a technological apparatus, a commercial industry, and a cultural forum, as well as a form of recreation, education, and social bonding. We will also consider critical approaches that focus on how television shapes our personal identities and values. While examining methods developed to study TV production, reception, and texts, we will explore such concepts as publicness, liveness, quality, art, and representation. In addition to discussing how television was analyzed in the past, we will consider how both television and TV studies have changed as a result of globalization, industrial convergence, digital media, and participatory culture.
FTT 30461 History of Television Michael Kackman
Television has been widely available in the United States for only half a century, yet already it has become a key means through which we understand our culture. Our course examines this vital medium from three perspectives. First, we will look at the industrial, economic, and technological forces that have shaped U.S. television since its inception. These factors help explain how U.S. television adopted the format of advertiser-supported broadcast networks and why this format is changing today. Second, we will explore television’s role in American social and political life: how TV has represented cultural changes in the areas of gender, class, race and ethnicity. Third, we will discuss specific narrative and visual strategies that characterize program formats. Throughout the semester we will demonstrate how television and U.S. culture mutually influence one another, as television both constructs our view of the world and is affected by social and cultural forces within the U.S. This course fulfills the Fine Arts requirement.
FTT 30465 Sports and Television Karen Heisler
Sports have played an integral role in the television industry since the medium’s early days. This course will highlight the history of sports on television and focus on the nuts and bolts of how television sports programming works today. The course will also examine the impact of televised sports on our culture as well as the ethical issues raised by the media’s coverage of sports. Taught in the fall only.
FTT 30471 Transmedia Storytelling Matthew Payne
There are more ways to tell stories and to share stories with others today than at any other point in human history. Professional story scribes, cultural producers, commercial media firms, and throngs of fans have harnessed the power of digital technologies and the Internet to both craft and distribute new tales, and to extend existing narratives and fictional universes across media - a practice commonly referred to as "transmedia storytelling." This course examines how storytellers (understood broadly) navigate the industry and medium specificities of modern media (e.g., film, television, comics, webseries, video games, social media, etc.) when extending intellectual properties across platforms. This class will also look at the often unpredictable ways that fans re-imagine those same properties; free labor which may amplify the market value of a property, or which may jeopardize its narrative cohesion and commercial viability. Students in this class will critically examine a range of experiments in transmedia storytelling to assess the underlying commercial logic of industry franchising, the challenges and opportunities posed by fandom, and how transmedia entertainment is a dynamic process emblematic of a vibrant, twenty-first century participatory culture.
FTT 30472 TV Newsroom Survival Skills Gary Sieber
This course covers four topics essential for students to develop the competence and confidence to work in a TV or visual electronic media newsroom: (1) Writing for broadcast and visual storytelling media with emphasis on grammar, form, and style in the construction of effective news stories. (2) Anatomy of a newsroom: understanding who does what in the newsgathering process, and how economics, ratings, and marketing affect the flow of information. (3) Journalism ethics: Analysis of personal, societal, and professional values, ethical principles, and journalistic duties that influence newsroom decisions. (4) Legal considerations in news gathering with special attention to libel/defamation laws and invasion of privacy. Note: This is not a production course. While students will write news stories and come to better understand studio production, technology, visualization, photography, and video editing as important parts of the storytelling process, the course is not designed as a vehicle for technical field training.
FTT 30491 01/02/03 Debate Susan Ohmer
This course will focus on research of current events and the efficacy of proposed resolutions toward the alleviation or reduction of societal harms. It will also involve discussion of debate theory and technique.
FTT 30703 Stage & Theatre Management Kevin Dreyer
This course will look at the functioning of a theatre and of a production. Starting with an examination of the role of the stage manager, a centrally located part of the overall management structure of a theatre company, we will learn how to mount a production from selection of title to strike. We will learn the stage manager’s functions in pre-production and production phases and each student will produce a promptbook. The stage manager's relationship to the other members of a theatre company will take us into a discussion of the overall structure of Theatre Management focusing primarily on non-profit organizations. We will look at the organizational structure of a company and its relationship with their board of directors. Students will be required to attend some rehearsals and two productions during the semester. Grading will be based on attendance, participation, a final project, written reports, a paper and mid-term and final exams.
FTT 30705 01 Theatre, History, and Society I Tarryn Chun
Theatre, History, and Society I examines with varying degrees of breadth and depth selected periods and sites in theatre history before 1800 to understand the theatrical event within the prevailing culture. The course emphasizes theatre both as an industry and as sites of aesthetic debate and political and social change, while considering the larger question of the role of theatre and drama in human society through time. Students who are FTT majors acquire historical, theoretical, and critical knowledge both to inform and to support their choices as artists, while other students gain informed understanding and appreciation of theatre as audience members and future patrons of the arts. This course is discussion oriented with mandatory attendance required.
FTT 30706 Musical Theatre History Matthew Hawkins
The intention of this course is to provide you with a context within which to understand the history of the American Broadway musical, while cultivating your own opinions about the art form and how it relates to society. You will track the progression of the musical by studying its path through the operetta, minstrelsy, vaudeville, Golden Age, Sondheim and the concept musical, the modern rock musical, the juke-box musical and the post-modern era. This course is a research based course. Research topics are assigned by eras so that we may analyze and compare the material to the history of society. You will apply your growing knowledge of musical theatre history and context to intelligently observe and engage in discussion of the thoughts and presentations of your peers within a structured setting. Throughout the course there will be group discussions, group research, independent research, group presentations and weekly writing responses to prompts, which will require critical thinking and self-reflection. There will be two papers due throughout the semester while ending in a one on one meeting with the instructor.
FTT 30707 Musical Theatre Movement/Style Matthew Hawkins
This course introduces the theory of movement in regard to musical theatre and how it relates to style and character, while exploring physical and emotional risk. This class will be a physically rigorous approach toward body awareness with the study of dance, choreography, and theatre movement for the musical. You will learn a variety of iconic dance choreography from a variety of different musical styles, while working on overall movement for the musical stage. Throughout the course there will be exercises to explore your own physicality as well as the creation of a physically based ensemble within the class through dance and movement. You will also gain experience in learning dance choreography and what it would be like to be in a rehearsal process for a musical. You will sweat.
FTT 30708 Performance Techniques Matthew Hawkins
The intention of this course is to provide you with a context within which to understand the techniques of musical theatre performance and the foundational skills needed to personally inhabit these techniques. This course will give you the tools to “act a song.” You will work on analysis and performance of five songs from the following categories: Golden Age, modern, rock, pop, and any other kind of song you love. These songs are assigned by era sequentially so that we may simultaneously introduce the context of this material within the genre-at-large. You will also apply your growing knowledge of technique and context to intelligently observe and comment on the work of your peers within a structured setting. Throughout the course we will incorporate short group exercises to better explore performance technique and promote a deeper understanding of the differences between traditional script/text analysis and score/lyric analysis. There will be reflection papers due after the exploration of your songs.
FTT 30809 Story Structure Anne García-Romero
Story Structure is designed to engage students in exploring a variety of approaches to playwriting and screenwriting structure. The course will delve into structural analysis utilizing models from contemporary world theater and film with the aim to present a variety of paths toward creating new, vibrant plays and screenplays. Students will write one act plays and short screenplays throughout this course, which culminates in a public reading of their work. This course is ideal for any student interesting in writing for theater and film.
FTT 31008 Acting: Text and Technique Siiri Scott
This upper level acting course will focus on the intersection between written and embodied (performed) text. The class will use scripts from film, television, and theatre to practice the actor's craft of close reading: students can learn to look beyond the explicit facts in a given scene to uncover the implicit information that feeds objectives and intentions. Daily classes will explore the relationship between close reading and strong artistic choices. We will begin the semester solidifying the basic acting techniques of improvisation, physicality, intention and subtext and move quickly into textual analysis. Students will be required to create detailed scene breakdowns with scene studies and to rehearse weekly outside of class time.
FTT 35501 FTT Internship Karen Heisler
Students who successfully complete at least two of the following courses:
FTT 30410, FTT 30462, or FTT 30463, may be eligible for an internship at a television station or network, radio station, video production company, film production company or similar media outlet. Interns must work 10-15 hours per week and compile 150 work hours by the end of the semester (120 hours for the summer session). Interns will complete a project, mid-semester progress report, and a final evaluation paper. Students can take no more than two 35501 internships for a total of no more than six (6) total credits. This course cannot be repeated more than twice.
FTT 40000 CAD for the Stage Clayton Cole
The study of the use of the computer to design scenery and lighting for the stage. The course will begin at a rudimentary level of understanding of computer-aided design and progress to 2-D and then 3-D design techniques. A basic understanding of computer systems is necessary, and significant computer work is required outside class.
FTT 40120 RKO Pictures Edward Barron
This course will examine the history of RKO Pictures, one of the original "Big 5" Hollywood studios, and how its early history reflects both the successes and failures of the Hollywood film industry in the mid-20th century. This course will begin with an overview of RKO's heyday as a major studio which featured stars such as Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers, Katharine Hepburn, Cary Grant and Orson Welles, continue through its takeover by Howard Hughes and its early demise. We will also consider the studio's relaunch in the 1980s and more recent efforts to rebrand itself as a multimedia enterprise.
FTT 40252 Cinema & Graphic Novels Oliver Morel
Blue is the Warmest Color is the title of the film that won the 2013 Cannes Festival's Palme d'Or. For the first time, the prize went to the cinematic adaptation of a graphic novel. Graphic novels have demonstrated a tendency to serve as a major source of inspiration for filmmakers. The goal of this class is to analyze how literacy, print technology, the film industry, and developments in narrative art combine to transform the tradition of graphic novels in a changing context. Our approach consists of analyzing how post-9/11 graphic novels depict today's world in an original way, in an innovative genre located at the intersections of several disciplines: journalism, auto-fiction, photographic and cinematic representations. In our examination of the most recent developments of the genre, the texts and films we study include works by Will Eisner alongside Art Spiegelman's In the Shadow of No Tower, Alissa Torres and Sungyoon Choi's American Widow, Sid Jacobson & Ernie Colón's The 9/11 Report: A Graphic Adaptation, Guibert, Lefèvre & Lermercier's The Photographer: Into War-torn Afghanistan, Marjane Satrapi's Persepolis, Joe Sacco's Palestine and Days of Destruction, Days of Revolt, Etienne Davodeau's The Initiates, and Enki Bilal's The Dormant Beast, among others.
FTT 40401 Digital Cinema Production I William Donaruma
Through hands-on field experience, you will develop, write, produce, direct and edit one short, narrative film using RED Digital Cinema cameras in a 4K workflow in groups of two. This will be a non-dialogue driven film with a post-produced soundtrack. We will explore the use of composition, cinematography, camera movement, and editing to create a narrative structure. This class will also provide you with a technical knowledge of the tools required in professional filmmaking including various lighting and grip equipment, etc. We will discuss various filmmaking techniques and current industry topics, including film in relation to digital cinema and current workflows. Editing will be done on Adobe Premiere Pro. This is an advanced digital video production course, which requires significant amounts of shooting, editing, sound design, and post-production work outside of class. All students are expected to assist their classmates as crew members on their shoots.
FTT 40411 Documentary Video Production Ted Mandell
A hands-on creative course for the advanced production student interested in the production process and storytelling techniques of the documentarian. Emphasizing the cinema verite approach of filmmakers D.A. Pennebaker, Albert Maysles, and Frederick Wiseman, students learn the importance of capturing life's moments, being faithful to a subject, and understanding the filmmaker's point of view. The goal is to produce a short documentary film over the course of the semester which honestly portrays its subject(s), while at the same time, challenges its audience.
FTT 40435 Perspectives on Law and Order Mary Parent
Millions of viewers are addicted to police procedural dramas and lawyer TV shows. Law and Order and Law and Order: SVU follow a specific two-part approach. The first half is dedicated to the police investigation of a heinous crime and the arrest of a mysterious perpetrator. The second half follows the District Attorney's office as prosecutors build the case against the defendant. The "ripped from the headlines" storylines make great television and serve as the foundation for edge-of-your-seat interrogations, arrests, and courtroom scenes. In this course, students will look at episodes of Law and Order from different perspectives. Police Procedure: Can the detectives really do that? Legal: What do the charges mean? Television: What elements of the real-life crime should be written into the screenplay for dynamic storytelling? Students will tackle specific legal issues and share their own unique perspectives on Law and Order.
FTT 40443 Disney in Film and Culture Susan Ohmer
The name "Disney" has achieved nearly mythic status in U.S. and international film and culture. For many, the name evokes treasured childhood memories of watching the The Lion King or The Little Mermaid or of discovering Mickey Mouse and Donald Duck for the first time. Among film scholars, Disney cartoons stand as some of the finest examples of carefully crafted, naturalistic, character-centered animation. For business majors and professionals, The Walt Disney Company has come to symbolize a modern, competitive corporation that seeks to leverage its stories and characters across a variety of media platforms in a global marketplace. While many love Disney films, and see Walt Disney as an American icon, his popularity and "American-ness" have sparked controversy in other countries and in various historical periods. This class examines Walt Disney, Disney films, and the Disney Company from a variety of perspectives that will help us understand both Disney's enduring popularity and the kinds of suspicions its work has raised. Our readings will draw from biographies of Walt Disney; histories of the Disney studio and of the animation industry in general; critical analyses of the films; and cultural studies of Disney merchandising, theme parks and theatrical productions. Screenings will include the classic films of the studio era, such as Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, Pinocchio, Dumbo, Cinderella, and Peter Pan, as well as more recent works such as Mary Poppins, Aladdin, and Beauty and the Beast. Requirements include weekly reading responses, exams, and an extended research paper.
FTT 40469 Cold War Media Culture Michael Kackman
From Invasion of the Body Snatchers to Red Dawn, this course explores the popular media of the Cold War. The course explores the interconnections between film and television, popular music, foreign and domestic policy, and US social movements. Topics include anti-communism, the Red Scare, invasion films, sub-urbanization and domestic "containment culture", anxieties about the nuclear bomb, Beats and the counter-culture, the civil rights and women's movements, and youth culture. The course centers on the ways in which the Cold War was experienced culturally, with particular attention to its impact on everyday cultural practices and identities.
FTT 40600 Shakespeare on the Big Screen Peter Holland
This course explores the phenomenon of Shakespeare films designed for the big screen. We shall be looking at examples of films of Shakespeare plays both early and recent, both in English and in other languages, and both ones that stick close to conventional concepts of how to film Shakespeare and adaptations at varying degrees of distance from his language, time and plot, reaching a limit in versions that erase Shakespeare from the film. We shall also be considering the recent phenomenon of Live from screenings of theatre productions. The transposition of different forms of Shakespearean texts (printed, theatrical, filmic) and the confrontation with the specificities of film production have produced and will continue to produce a phenomenon whose cultural meanings will be the subject of our investigations. There will be required screenings of films each week in the Lab.
FTT 40702 Audition Seminar Siiri Scott
Preparation for acting professionally and/or the advanced study of acting, directing and performance. A course of study is developed between the student and the faculty advisor(s) at the beginning of the semester. Students who are interested in taking this course but are not FTT majors should consult the instructor. Senior Acting majors only. Offered fall only.
FTT 43610 Senior Thesis Workshop Susan Ohmer/Pam Wojcik
A writing workshop for those students approved for a senior thesis.
FTT 46000 Acting Pedagogy & Practice Siiri Scott
This course introduces the advanced acting student to various methods of acting training. In addition to directed readings, the student serves as the teaching assistant for Acting: Process or Acting: Character under the supervision of the instructor. The student is expected to attend all class meetings and supervise weekly rehearsals outside of class.
FTT 47600 Notre Dame Film Society Richard Herbst
The Film Society is a film screening-and-discussion group that meets once a week in the Browning Cinema to watch an independent, foreign, or classic film. Students can take the course for either zero credit or one credit. Those taking it for one credit will have a minimum attendance and writing requirement.
FTT 48000 Thesis and Undergrad Research Various Instructors
Research and/or thesis development for the advanced student.
Application and permission of the sponsoring professor and department chair is required.
Application may be obtained from the FTT office, 230 Performing Arts Center.