Course Descriptions

Current students, visit insideND Class Search for more detailed information about credits, class meeting times, pre- or co-requisites, and cross-listings.

For information on previous FTT course offerings, visit the Course Description Archive.

International Studies

The University of Notre Dame offers Film, Television, and Theatre classes in various countries around the world for course credit. These countries include, but are not limited to, Ireland, England, Australia, and France. For more information and updates, visit International Studies Program, online or in person at 152 Hurley Building.
 

Spring 2019

FTT 10101/20101:  Basics of Film and Television                                                  Michael Kackman

This class is designed to enhance your understanding and appreciation 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, Television, and Theatre.

FTT 10720/20720:  Collaboration: The Art of Making Theatre                     Kevin Dreyer and Ken Cole
                                                                                                                          Anne García-Romero and Marcus Stephens

Collaboration: The Art of Making Theatre explores the roles of the artists who create the material world in which a performance exists, and most importantly, the collaborative nature of those relationships. Students will be challenged to understand the thinking behind the work of the designers, writers, directors, and off-stage personnel who bring stories to life on stage. Incorporating hands on projects as well as lecture/discussion formats, students will experiment with storytelling through the visual elements of scenery, costumes, lighting, etc. Collaboration: The Art of Making Theatre is an excellent entry point to the Theatre Concentration.

FTT 13182:  Fine Arts University Seminar                                   01: Richard Donnelly      02: Marcus Stephens

University seminars will address a variety of topics in the history of art depending on the interests of the professor. These courses require several short papers as well as a final written exercise appropriate to the material.

FTT 20009:  Broadway Theatre Experience                                                          Richard Donnelly

This 0-credit course offers students the opportunity to experience live, professional theatre at its finest. The course will include four days and three nights in New York City where we will see four Broadway productions. The dates for the trip to NYC are over Easter weekend from early Friday morning, April 19 through late Monday evening April 22, 2019. The course is being offered as a supplemental opportunity for Notre Dame, St Mary's, and Holy Cross students. The cost of the trip includes round-trip bus and air transportation from Notre Dame to a Times Square hotel in Manhattan, 3 nights at the hotel, and the best seats available for the four shows. Prior to the trip to NYC we will meet to answer any questions about the trip, discuss the itinerary, and meet everyone going to Broadway.

FTT 20036:  Harry Potter, Medievalism, and Transmedia Narratives                  Susan Ohmer

It has been twenty years since J.K. Rowling released the first book in the wildly successful Harry Potter series, one which has sprouted a total of seven books, eight films, and multiple spinoffs. The tales of magic, alchemy, castles, and fantastic creatures captivated audiences around the world and brought medievalism - the appropriation and reinterpretation of medieval history and culture - into the popular imagination in new ways. This course will offer students with any level of familiarity with the characters, films and books the opportunity to explore how the author and directors reconsidered common medieval themes of friendship, family, growing up, power, and - of course - magic. While a background with Rowling's books is encouraged, the course's main focus will be on the eight feature-length Harry Potter films and the ways in which they extended the novels into new narrative forms. At the end of this class, students will be able to explain some basic elements of the process and business of adapting texts, analyze narratives across different kinds of media forms, and articulate historically valid positions about medievalism in contemporary culture.

FTT 20260:  La Telenovela                                                                                     Kevin Barry

In this course you will explore the genre of the telenovela (a major social, cultural, political, and economic force in Latin America and, more recently, in the United States) by reading about the genre (in Spanish) and watching two condensed telenovelas (also in Spanish). You will demonstrate your understanding of the telenovela and its importance in Hispanic culture through writing and discussion and through application of these ideas as you write, produce, direct, act in, record and edit a mini-telenovela as a class. During this process you will learn and apply basic production (videography) and post-production (computer based video and audio editing) techniques. Course taught in Spanish.

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 s/he has to make, through the observation and imagination of realities. S/he 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.

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.

FTT 21006:  Playwriting                                                                                         Anne García-Romero

This course is designed to introduce students to creating original work for the theater. The course will explore the writing process as well as models from contemporary U.S. theater with the aim to present a variety of paths toward creating new, vibrant plays. This is primarily a writing course. In addition, by reading and discussing ten separate dynamic play texts, we will analyze dramatic writing. Weekly writing exercises, movement work, visual arts approaches, improvisation techniques and collaborative discussions will create resources for rich play material, which each student will eventually use in a final scene, presented in a public reading at the end of the semester.

FTT 30022:   Acting: Physical Theatre & Wit                                                        Carys Kresny

This course introduces students to some of their artistic ancestors, including Commedia Dell’Arte, Absurdism, and American Vaudeville, as a scaffold-format for investigating comic acting traditions, leading to meeting the demands of heightened characterization and style in both classic and contemporary theatre work. The class is designed to help actors overcome the anxiety that comes from a sense of obligation to be funny and to develop a comedic point of view: emphasis is on the need to approach comedic material with the same process and commitment appropriate to any other acting challenge. Class exercises and scene study focus on continuing the discovery and development of imaginative and technical skills gained in previous class(es) to enable the student to discern the living world of a play and to embody a vibrant character within it.

FTT 30108:  Advanced Reporting                                                                        Jack Colwell

This is an advanced course in journalistic reporting and writing devoted to learning how to prepare in a professional manner in-depth articles for national and local publications and on-line. Emphasis will be on going out to get the news, through record searches, interviews and covering events. Stress also will be on the ethics and responsibilities of journalists in obtaining and presenting information.

FTT 30110:  How to Do Script Coverage                                        Christine Becker and William Donaruma

One of the most fundamental skills to have if you're interested in a career in film or television development is knowing how to do coverage. Whether you're working at an agency, management house, production company, network, or studio, especially early in your career, you will be asked to provide coverage on scripts, which means reading a complete script and providing a concise assessment of its potential viability, with a turnaround time of a weekend or even just an overnight. This workshop will provide instruction in how to do coverage, opportunities to assess real feature film and television pilot scripts, and Skype visits from FTT alumni in the industry who are coverage experts. It will meet six times across the semester for 90 minutes per class and will include reading and writing assignments for each session.

FTT 30129:  The Digital Newsroom                                                                    Victoria St. Martin

Building on the skills acquired in Fundamentals of Journalism, this practicum course is centered around students preparing stories, photos and videos for The Observer, the university's independent, student-run newspaper. Students will acquire real-world experience in reporting, writing, and using their digital journalism skills by covering live news events on campus and in the surrounding community. Pre-requisite: Fundamentals of Journalism.

FTT 30130:  Covering America                                                                          Victoria St. Martin

The course is a practical and conceptual exploration of the journalistic issues involved in reporting on topics of national interest. This is an advanced reporting course in which students will build on their digital and multi-platform journalism skills and learn to produce stories for audiences nationwide. The capstone assignment requires traveling to the site of an ongoing national story during Spring Break; the resulting stories, photos, and videos will be published on a student-produced website. Please note: There are no additional costs for students in this course; all travel costs will be covered for any student who is admitted to the course. Admission to the course by permission only.

FTT 30133:  A Star is Born Again... and Again... and Again                              Jim Collins and Pam Wojcik

This one-credit course looks at the origins and multiple remakes of A Star is Born, starting with What Price Hollywood from 1932 and ending with the 2018 film starring Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper. We will discuss different iterations of the narrative, charting changes in Hollywood style, changing gender roles, changing ideas of stardom across time and in different industries, different female stars, queer and feminist readings, and the pleasures and practices of remakes. Meets on 6 specific Fridays. Lab will meet on Thursday evenings prior to Friday class.

FTT 30202:  Global Cinema II                                                                            Edward Barron

This course traces the major developments in world cinema from the post-WWII era to the present. The course will examine the shifting social, economic, technological, and aesthetic conditions of this period, especially the demise of the Hollywood studio system, the rise of new technologies and auxiliary marketing outlets, and the increasing globalization of cinema. The course will not be limited to Hollywood filmmaking, but will also look at various international movements, including Italian Neorealism, the French New Wave, and recent Asian cinemas.

FTT 30238:  Writing the Short Film                                                                     David Barba

This course is an introduction to the theory and craft of dramatic screenwriting. The class explores how a script is developed from concept to final written form. Through lectures, film viewing, and weekly exercises, emphasis is placed on plot and story structure, the adaptation of ideas into cinematic forms, how to tell a story with images, character, plot, and dialogue development.  Each student writes two short 8-12 page scripts developed within the context of the workshop. 

FTT 30330:  Ireland on Screen                                                                           Briona Nic Dhiarmada

This course will examine and analyze representations of Ireland in film from the Silent era through Hollywood film to the contemporary independent indigenous cinema of today. It will trace the representation of the rural and the urban through the varying utopian/dystopian lenses of filmmakers from the Kaleb Brothers to John Ford to Jim Sheridan to Lenny Abramson. Films discussed will range from early 20th century silent films to The Quiet Man, Ryan's Daughter, The Commitments, Poitin, The Field, Kings, My Left Foot, Once, Garage, Goldfish Memory and The Guard.

FTT 30407:  Internet Television Production                                                        Theodore Mandell

Working in conjunction with Fighting Irish Digital Media and the website UND.com, students will learn the many aspects of producing content for an internet based television network. From the beginning idea to the final upload, this is a creative hands-on production course with students writing, shooting, and editing digital media pieces for an online audience. In addition, as part of a live broadcast production team during numerous Notre Dame sporting events throughout the semester, students will also learn the many techniques used in multi-camera television production.

FTT 30410:  Intro to Film & TV Production                                                         Theodore 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.  Material fees required. Cannot have taken FTT 30405 or FTT 50505.

FTT 30420:  Sound & Music Design for 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 30423:  Global Modern Art                                                                           Nicole Woods

This course will study the history of art in the twentieth-century from a global perspective, focusing on several cities and regions that were crucial to the development of modernism, including Paris, Moscow, Berlin, Zurich, London, Rome, Buenos Aires, Rio de Janeiro, New York City, Mexico City, Johannesburg, and Tokyo. Spanning the decades 1900-1989, the course will examine a wide variety of figures, movements, and practices within the visual arts, situating them within the social, political, and historical contexts in which they arose. The history of these artistic developments (e.g., abstraction, the readymade, conceptual, feminist, postcolonial) will be traced through the rise of mass-media technologies (such as photography, radio, video, and cinema) and the aesthetic accomplishments of the avant-garde. Exploring the forces of late-industrial capitalism, urbanization, and postmodernism, we will attempt to understand how artistic innovations of the century fundamentally altered, negotiated, and framed the ways in which we understand and represent the world.              

FTT 30455:  The Godfather                                                                                 Mary Parent

Francis Ford Coppola's The Godfather is known as one of the greatest films of all time. Not only is this epic a brilliant cinematic masterpiece, but it also challenges and explores the competing ideas of justice and the rule of law. From Bonasera's plea for justice, to Michael's rise to power, students will develop an appreciation for the complexities of the film. Students will follow the challenges that plagued Coppola as he adapted Mario Puzo's best-selling novel into a script. We will look at pre-production decisions on the direction of the film, actors' screen tests, and the dynamics of filmmaking. By the end of this course, students will have analyzed The Godfather from many different perspectives - and have a full understanding of the phrase: I'm gonna make him an offer he can't refuse! THIS CLASS MEETS ON 6 SPECIFIC FRIDAYS.

FTT 30455:  Critical Approaches to Television                                                   Matthew Payne

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 30456:  Critical Approaches to Screen Cultures                                         Jim Collins

In this course, students will learn different theories, methods, and approaches to understanding and writing about screen cultures. We will explore approaches that consider aesthetics/style, narrative, authorship (directors, show runners, stars), genre (e.g. the musical, horror), history (history of film/media industries, history of visual spectacle, historical context for films/media, etc.), technologies (sound, color, digital technologies, etc.), identities (considerations of gender, sexuality, race, nation, age, etc.), and audience (reception, fandom). Students will: Read theories that articulate and advocate each approach; consider the parameters, value, and appeal of that approach, as well as its limitations; practice each approach in written exercises; and research and write a final paper using one or more of these approaches. Students may also use video essays or other media as tools of analysis and critique. This is a course in academic criticism, not journalistic reviewing. Strong emphasis will be placed on argumentative writing.

FTT 30461: History of Television                                                                        Christine Becker

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.

FTT 30463:  Business of TV                                                                               Karen Heisler

This course examines the history and current practices of the broadcast and cable television industry and looks at its effect on American culture and society. Topics of discussion include important issues in the industry, government regulation, news, sports, and entertainment programming strategies and practices, ratings, and advertising. Taught in the Spring only.  Note: interested non-majors require permission of Instructor.

FTT 30468:  Ethics in Journalism                                                                       Gary Sieber

"The primary purpose of journalism," according to media observers Bill Kovach and Tom Rosenstiel, "is to provide citizens with the information they need to be free and self-governing." That's a lofty goal in any age - but it's especially difficult in the current era of market-driven journalism that has produced fabrication and plagiarism scandals, political cheerleading on news networks, "gotcha" videos on the internet and social media, and an outright obsession with celebrities. Students in this course will come away with a deep-seated understanding of journalism's purpose, develop a disciplined and repeatable process of making sound ethical choices when confronted with tough situations, and be able to articulate ethically defensible arguments explaining their decisions. They will accomplish these goals by reading, viewing, debating, analyzing, and writing about actual cases and issues in the news. The focus will be as much on what journalists should do, as on what they should not do.

FTT 30491:  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. Permission required.

FTT 30510: The Italian Cityscape                                                                       Alberto Lo Pinto

Italian cinema provides a key documentation of Italy's rapid urbanization after World War II, a process that deeply transformed the country's once rural landscape and tranquil lifestyle. A close examination of the history of Italian cinema reveals the real-life urban complexities beneath the superficial, touristic, and romantic imagery often associated with Italy. This course uses film and other media as lenses to examine the various aspects of contemporary society so that we may more fully understand the urban experience in Italy since the end of World War II. Through the study of major and minor films, literary texts, and other media, we will unveil Italy's contradictory present and trace its future trajectory. This course is divided into two sections. The first adopts a geographical approach: we will explore some of the most representative Italian cities such as Rome, Milan, Venice, and Naples. In this section, students will assess the culture of Italian cities through their heterogeneous origins from a mix of republics and city-states through unification in 1861, as well as the more recent homogeneous postwar developments. In the second section, the course will address a number of relevant issues in contemporary Italian urban culture, including industrialization, immigration, urban planning, social marginality, race, class, and gender injustices, and the legacies from Italy's colonial and fascist past. Some of the questions we will pose include: what is unique to the Italian cityscape and its history? What is shared, if anything, among Italian cities? How do recent developments dialogue with the historical built environment?

FTT 30654:  Writing with Media in France                                                           Olivier Morel

Virtual and augmented reality, 3D reporting, web documentaries, online graphic novels, short animated journalism, digital storytelling, experimental podcasts - the past decade has seen an unprecedented multiplication of hybrid forms of expression and France has often been at the avant-garde of those trends. How have those changes affected the production and the content of the "news"? What kinds of new fictions and genres have emerged? How are the recent tensions and shocks (terrorism, refugee crisis) perceived in this versatile media landscape in France and other francophone countries? We will welcome guests on Skype: authors, filmmakers. Two written assignments, oral presentations as well as active participation in our class will constitute the basic requirements.

FTT 30802:  Lighting Design                                                                               Kevin Dreyer

This class will teach you what is involved in creating and executing a lighting design. We will cover lighting equipment and safety. You will design and draft a light plot, and you will learn how to write and use paperwork. Most importantly, the goal of this class will be to teach you how to see light. There will be lectures, videos, projects (take-home and in-class), hands-on training, and required attendance at TWO performances. The semester culminates with a final design project, as well as written components.

FTT 30810:  Period Costume Making                                                                 Richard Donnelly

Period costume making will introduce students to the skills needed to create period sewing patterns to be used for costumes on the stage and screen. Through the two methods of draping and drafting flat patterns, students will learn the techniques needed to create three-dimensional costumes that are both aesthetic and functional. By completing in-class assignments and at-home projects, students will become proficient with the two patterning methods used in the costume profession. The course will culminate with the students applying the skills they have acquired to a final project. Students will be expected to participate in additional lab hours, which will be arranged with the professor on Thursdays from 6:30 to 8:30, or Fridays from 1:30 - 3:30.

FTT 30900:  Guest Lectures                                                                                Ted Mandell

A unique insiders' view of the entertainment industry, this course features seven guest lecturers/industry professionals who will share the inner workings of the many aspects of the film and television world. Members of Notre Dame's iNDustry Alliance alumni group will speak on aspects of Development, Marketing, Production, Distribution, New Media and other areas. A one-of-a-kind chance for students to meet and learn from working professionals in a classroom environment. Meets every other Friday.

FTT 31002:  Voice and Movement                                                                       Siiri Scott

A course designed to help the advanced acting student focus on kinesthetic awareness. The actor will identify and work to remove physical and vocal tensions that cause habituated movement and impede natural sound production. Through movement and vocal exercises created for actors, students will experience what "prepared readiness" for the stage consists of, and how to meet the demands of a live performance.

FTT 31006:  Directing: Process                                                                           Matt Hawkins

Directing: Process is a class intended to help a director develop their own particular directorial voice or vision while encouraging their theatrical imagination. The class will focus on fundamental principles and tools in the fields of play analysis, acting, design, and staging.

FTT 31150:  Programming for Video Game Development                                   Michael Villano

The purpose of this course is to provide students with experience in various aspects of programming for video game development. No prior programming experience is necessary and students will proceed at their own pace. In addition to several programming projects that utilize gaming APIs or frameworks, students will also be exposed to level design (map creation), 3D construction techniques, custom textures, sound design, and lighting effects. 3D game development will utilize the Hammer Editor, part of the Half-Life 2 video game modding Software Development Kit (Source SDK) and its associated tools. Additional third-party (and often free) utilities will also be necessary. Students will work on their own or in teams on a final project agreed upon with the instructor. Students will need to provide their own Windows compatible computer or laptop or a Mac running Windows under BootCamp.

FTT 33500:  Behind the Iron Curtain                                                                    Emily Wang

Was the Soviet Union a “workers paradise” or an “evil empire”? Nearly three decades after this country transformed into what we now call “post-Soviet space,” the legacy of the USSR looms large in international politics and culture. This course will offer students an introduction to Soviet history through film, which Lenin famously called “the most important of the arts,” and literature, which Soviet writers used to “engineer human souls.” Since the 1917 Revolution, art has had a close relationship to the Soviet state. At the same time, writers and filmmakers with individualistic and even rebellious tendencies have created some of the twentieth century’s greatest masterpieces, including Dziga Vertov’s Man With a Movie Camera and Mikhail Bulgakov’s Master and Margarita. In this class we will explore how this tense relationship between art and the state developed in the first half of the twentieth century. Since cultural context is an important lens for our analysis, each artistic work will be accompanied by historical readings about the period in which it was produced, as well as artistic manifestos and contemporary reviews, when relevant. All films will be shown with subtitles and all readings offered in English. Students of the Russian language have the option of discussing the course material in Russian once a week with the instructor in a group for an additional course credit.

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) to obtain three credits. Interns will complete a project, mid-semester progress report and a final evaluation paper. NOTE: This course does not count as an upper level course toward the FTT major.

FTT 37600:  Notre Dame Film Society                                                                   Christine Becker

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. The meeting times and requirements may vary from semester to semester. Contact the sponsoring professor for more information. NOTE: This course does not count as an upper level course toward the FTT major.

FTT 40021:  Acting: Advanced Technique                                                               Siiri Scott

Acting: Advanced Technique is an upper-level acting course offered to students who have completed two or more acting classes (including Acting: Process and at least one successive course). Each actor will study, explore, and chart the effectiveness of several acting techniques in relation to style, genre, and concept. Advanced Technique will use the Stanislavski system, script analysis, improvisation, and Fay Simpson's The Lucid Body as the actor's starting point while using a professional class structure to prepare students for work beyond the University level. Each student is responsible for choosing material (the play and the scene) that suits specific assignments. Students and their partners must research, edit, analyze and create the world of the play. Enrollment is limited: six senior (fourth year) students and six underclass students, and each must be admitted by permission of the instructor.

FTT 40022:  Musical Theatre: Advanced Performance Techniques                        Matt Hawkins 

Musical Theatre: Advanced Performance Techniques is an upper-level performance class offered to students who have completed the Musical Theatre Performance Techniques Class: How to Act A Song. This course will build upon techniques explored in the previous Performance Techniques Class, with the intention of working songs in context, while exploring character work in both the book scenes and the musical numbers.

FTT 40031: African American Musicals in FTT                                                       La Donna Forsgren

This course traces the development of African American musicals as they cross different social, cultural, and aesthetic boundaries. The course invites students to contextualize a variety of musical performance traditions - ranging from 19th century blackface minstrelsy to today's television hip hopera Empire - through the lens of black feminist and queer theories. In so doing, students will engage in critical discussions about how individual artists, spectators and African American musical productions more broadly have signified, reaffirmed, and challenged dominant US society's understandings of race, class, gender, and sexuality. The course is divided into four units of study: "Early Black Musical Performance" reconsiders the contributions of black women minstrel and vaudeville performers; "Hollywood's Black-Cast Musical" explores mainstream representation of black folk culture in iconic films such as Carmen Jones and Show Boat; "New" Black Musicals of the 1970's considers revolutionary off-Broadway musicals and queer reimaginings of the 1975 Broadway hit The Wiz; and "Contemporary Musical Performances" brings our discussion to the present with an exploration of gospel musicals on Broadway, hip hopera and Madea mania. Assessment includes: participation; leading a discussion of a film, play, or televised performance; and four short critical response papers.

FTT 40106: Barn Stories                                                                                        William Donaruma and Ian Kuijt

Visual Anthropology provides a powerful and engaging means of sharing historical and anthropological stories. This new course is based on the assumption that people think in terms of images, movement and sound and that film can be used to create powerful and important human narratives. This class is designed to train students in how to research, design, manage and produce short documentary film projects using both state of the art production equipment and accessible forms of media capture such as iPhones and GoPros. As a graduate/undergraduate elective, this course thematically focuses on understanding and documenting the historical, social, economic and personal stories centered on 19th through 20th century Indiana local barns, and placing these in a meaningful cultural and historical context. Students will work in teams of two to research an assigned farmstead, focusing on the barn as a material setting and documenting the past through the integration of historical research, oral history and digital video. Students will develop 2 minute videos for inclusion in a video book (as seen here https://islandplacesislandlives.com/) that touches on local history as well as a longer 8 minute video that explores the life, history and social context of the barn. The result will be a collaborative effort that creates a body of work by the class exploring local history and linking Anthropology with filmmaking to tell stories. Department approval is required. This is designed to be an equal collaboration between Anthropology, History, and Film, Television, and Theatre students. Preference will be given to those with greater experience in respective areas as an advanced class.

FTT 40108:  Interactive Storytelling                                                                        Matthew Payne

This course is an introduction to the history and examination of interactive entertainment, media theory, and the global games industry. The course is intended for advanced students who are conversant with the techniques and concerns of media criticism (i.e., junior/senior dept. majors). The class will also give students the opportunity to try their hand at designing their own interactive stories. Accordingly, the class has two major components: one dedicated to the critical analysis of games, and the other to the creative choices that go into successful game design. The former is organized along historic and thematic lines; the latter is organized procedurally so students can work together on their projects. By understanding the technological and cultural history of games and by working together to create our own interactive rule systems and stories, students will gain an appreciation for how games function as popular cultural texts and as storytelling vehicles.

FTT 40121/60121:  Writing the Feature Film                                                            David Barba

This workshop focuses on the theory and craft of dramatic writing as it applies to feature screenplays. Through lectures, film viewing, and weekly exercises, emphasis is placed on plot and story structure, the adaptation of ideas into cinematic forms, how to tell a story with images, character, plot, and dialogue development. Students should come to class with 2 ideas for a feature script in hand and be prepared to develop one idea into the first half of a feature length screenplay (approximately 60 pages) at a minimum.

FTT 40236 - Intro to Film through Brazilian Cinema                                                Marcio Bahia             

Students will be able to improve their argumentative and analytical skills through the study of key issues and concepts in film studies. Film form and narrative, gender, class, stereotypes, the film auteur, cultural industry, violence and social denunciation will be some of the topics explored for the exploration of Brazilian case studies. Special emphasis will be given to the retomada - the rebirth of Brazilian cinema from the mid 1990s on - with in-depth analyses of feature films such as Carlota Joaquina (Carla Camurati, 1995), Central do Brasil (Walter Salles, 1998), CIdade de Deus (Fernando Meirelles, 2002) and Tropa de Elite (José Padilha, 2007); documentary movies such as Edifício Master (Eduardo Coutinho, 2002) and Santiago (João Moreira Salles, 2007) , as well as short movies such as Recife Frio (Kleber Mendonça Filho, 2009) and Eu não Quero Voltar Sozinho (Daniel Ribeiro, 2010). Taught in English.

FTT 40249: Italian Cinema: Realities of History                                                       Zygmunt Baranski

This course explores the construction and development of the Italian cinematic realist tradition from the silent era to the early 1970s, although its primary focus is on the period 1934-1966, which stretches from the appearance of Blasetti's openly fascist "historical" reconstruction, La vecchia guardia, to Pasolini's "eccentric" exercise in Left-wing commitment, Uccellacci e uccellini, with its mix of expressionist and hyper-realist techniques. At the centre of this period are found some of Italy's most highly regarded films made by directors, such as Vittorio DeSica, Roberto Rossellini, and Luchino Visconti, who belonged to the neo-realist movement (1945-53). These filmmakers rejected escapist cinema and tried to make films that examined the contemporary experiences of ordinary Italians. As well as analyzing the films in themselves, the course examines the formal and ideological continuities and differences between neo-realist films and their silent and fascist predecessors. In a similar way, it analyses neo-realism's impact on later filmmakers, such as Federico Fellini, Pietro Germi, Pier Paolo Pasolini, Gillo Pontecorvo, Dino Risi, and Francesco Rosi, who attempted to develop new versions of cinematic realism. Finally, the course aims to locate the films in their historical and cultural contexts and to address theoretical issues arising from the concept of realism.

FTT 40256:  Masters of European Cinema                                                                Olivier Morel

This course examines recent trends in fiction and nonfiction European film through a historical lens attentive to developments that have led to contemporary cinematic creations that reveal a "globalized Europe." Innovations in European cinema over the years have had a lasting impact on cinema worldwide, changing the way movies are made and marketed. We study formal aspects of filmmaking (artistic approaches) alongside structural elements (financing, distribution, formats, i.e., 3D, 4D, VR etc.), paying special attention to the following categories: "Auteurs" (directors, stars and beyond); Genres; Stories; Identities (race, gender, class); Boundaries (national and transnational); Screen cultures (current debates). These points of entry allow us to carefully analyze the works of such esteemed directors as Chantal Ackerman, Pedro Almodovar, Michelangelo Antonioni, Robert Bresson, Luis Bu'uel, Pedro Costa, the Dardenne Brothers, Claire Denis, Federico Fellini, Jean-Luc Godard, Michael Haneke, Werner Herzog, Emir Kusturica, Fritz Lang, Ken Loach, Chris Marker, Nanni Moretti, Joshua Oppenheimer, Jean Renoir, Agn's Varda, and Luchino Visconti. Rigorous reading as well as viewing of the audiovisual sources, active participation in all class discussions and two papers or a creative project will be required for this class.

FTT 40402:  Advanced Digital Cinema Production                                                    William Donaruma

This is an advanced production course for those students who have taken Digital Cinema Production I and want to continue working in narrative storytelling. There will be an emphasis on writing dialogue, sound recording, advanced shooting, directing and editing techniques with a more critical attention to detail when producing your films. Working in teams, students will co-produce a short film using RED Digital Cinema cameras and the latest in lighting and audio technology, while also being assigned crew positions on the other films in the class. Department approval is required.

FTT 40416:  Advanced 3D Digital Production                                                            Jeff Spoonhower

You have learned the basics of 3D digital production in Maya, and your insatiable thirst for digital content creation cannot be quenched. Welcome to the next level-Advanced 3D Digital Production! In this class, you will move beyond the fundamentals of 3D production and tackle advanced concepts such as complex object and character creation, digital sculpting, high dynamic range (HDRI) image-based lighting, key frame and motion captured character animation ,and more. You will create a portfolio of high-quality 3D assets which you can use for graduate school and job applications. You will dig deeper into the Maya toolset as well as learn new programs such as Mudbox and Motion Builder. Students will be treated as professional 3D artists, and expectations for timely, quality final deliverables will be high.

FTT 40444:  Sinatra                                                                                                    Pam Wojcik

This course examines the career and image of Frank Sinatra. As an entertainer who worked in numerous media - radio, the music industry, television, cinema, and live performance -- Sinatra provides a lens through which to examine American 20th century media. Moreover, as an iconic figure, Sinatra enables an explanation of masculinity, American identity, ethnic identity, race, liberalism, and more. Sinatra will be paired with various other performers, especially Bing Crosby, Dean Martin, and Gene Kelly, to consider his star image comparatively. Sinatra will be situated within discourses on Italian immigration, urbanism, the Depression, prohibition and war. Students will listen to Sinatra music and radio programs, watch Sinatra films and TV shows, and read a wide range of materials - including contemporary accounts of Sinatra performances, analyses of his career and meaning, essays and articles about the star system, recording technology, film genre, acting styles, the mob, and more. Throughout, we will consider what model of American masculinity Sinatra embodies - ranging from early concerns that his female fans and lack of military service rendered him effeminate to his image as family man, and later incarnation as playboy. We will consider what Sinatra means today through an analyses of his entertainment heirs, like George Clooney, parodies, like Joe Piscopo's, the use of his music in film soundtracks and advertising, and in performances like the Twyla Tharp’s "Come Fly With Me."

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 40500/60500: Hitchcock Seminar                                                                       Susan Ohmer

This senior seminar offers an opportunity to study the work of one filmmaker in depth and to think critically about the methods we use to study film and television texts, industries, and audiences. The director of 64 films and many television programs, whose career spanned the silent era of the 1920s through the color and sound spectacles of the 1970s, Hitchcock also wrote and produced many of his works and closely controlled their visual style and narrative structure. This unusual degree of control inspired critics to classify him as an "auteur" and to analyze the themes, visual elements, character types, and narrative structures that recur in his films. These recurring elements have also spurred analyses that employ other forms of media theory, including psychoanalytic, ideological, industrial, and cultural studies perspectives. The massive amount of critical writing on Hitchcock therefore allows us to understand his work more deeply, but also to compare and contrast the critical and metacritical: we examine Hitchcock himself, his reputation as a director, his films and television programs, as well as the theories and methodologies that we use to study media.

FTT 40618:  Modern China on Screen                                                                       Xian Wang

This course introduces contemporary cinemas of mainland China, Hong Kong and Taiwan by focusing on a selection of internationally acclaimed Chinese films. In addition to examining cultural background, narrative themes and cinematic technique of the films, we will be exploring how these selected films respond to fundamental issues such as history, gender, identity, memory, social justice, nationalism, and globalization. The goals of the course are to introduce students to major films and directors in contemporary China, to learn Chinese culture, value and history through films, and to refine students' abilities to analyze and write about film critically. All readings are in English; no prior knowledge of Chinese language or culture is required. All films selected for the course have English subtitles.

FTT 40890:  Media Industries                                                                                  Christine Becker

How do the contemporary film and television industries work? How can an analysis of the "business of entertainment" enable a greater understanding of contemporary media aesthetics and culture? This course will explore these questions by focusing on the structure, practices and products of America's film and television industries, and students will engage with academic readings, screenings, trade publications, current events, guest lectures, and written and oral assignments in order to understand the activities of the film and television industries. By the end of the course, students should be able to understand prominent practices employed by media conglomerates today; recognize the ways in which industrial structures and practices can shape media products; examine how television shows and movies are influenced by business strategies; and identify the potential impact that the media industries have on creativity, culture, and society. The course should be especially beneficial for students intending to pursue scholarly or professional careers related to film and television through its comprehensive overview of how these industries work, why they work as they do, and the broader practical and theoretical implications of media industry operations."

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 46001:  Directed Readings  

This course provides students with an opportunity to explore readings and research as directed by an assigned faculty member in the department. It is offered by arrangement with individual instructors.