Film Studies Minor (21 Units)

Students minoring in Film Studies will complete 21 units of Film coursework, including 9 units (3 classes) of required lower-division foundational courses and 12 units (4 classes) chosen from any Film courses offered, including both  Film Studies (FLM) and Film Production (FLP) courses in any combination (see list below). Also, Film Studies minors may use the program’s filmmaking equipment and Film Lab, featuring all the screenwriting, editing, and other post-production software needed to complete film projects.

Lower Division Requirements (9 Units)

FLM 105 Introduction to Film Studies

Units: 3. Offered: Fall, Spring.

This course offers an introduction to methods and approaches for the study of film. Students will learn film terminology and its effective application in film analysis. Students also will develop, maintain, and improve strategies for close-reading individual shots and sequences, interpreting cinematic narrative and technique, and for negotiating various critical and theoretical paradigms of film study.

FLM 150 Film History

Units: 3. Offered: Spring.

This course studies the development of film history from its beginnings in the late nineteenth century up to the present day. As the growth of cinema has been a global phenomenon, we will look at major films, filmmakers, and film movements in the United States and around the world. Pre- or Co- requisite: ENG 123. Recommended: FLM 105.

FLM 250 Film Theory and Criticism

Units: 3. Offered: Spring.

This course introduces students to the major areas and concepts of film theory and criticism, from their inception in the early twentieth century to the present. It examines how various film theories, as part of a long-standing tradition of critical reflections on life and the arts in general, evolve and interact with one another and with neighboring discourses, nationally and internationally. Knowledge and skills gained in this class will prepare students for further upper-division film courses, in which film theory and criticism will function as important analytical tools. Prerequisites: FLM 105 and 150.

Upper Division Requirements (12 Units)

Complete twelve (12) units from the following:

FLM 300 National Cinema

Units: 3. Offered: Spring (even years).

National Cinema is an advanced course focusing on the most significant films and filmmakers of one country. It looks at cinematic history and practice in the nation being covered and may include a consideration of popular, independent, and/or art film. The course may cover the entire history of cinema in one nation or focus on a particular type of film or cinematic movement in one country. Special attention will be paid to the socio-historical contexts of the films assigned during the course. May be taken multiple times with change in topic. Prerequisite: FLM 150.

FLM 301 Basic Screenwriting

Units: 3. Offered: Fall.

This course is an introduction to the basic principles of writing for the screen. The elements of theme, plot, character, and dialogue in dramatic writing for cinema will be studied. Students will learn how to construct screenplays by closely examining produced films, reading film scripts, and writing their own short screenplays. The course will provide a foundation in the basics of the three-act act structure, dramatic action, character arc, the revision process, and an introduction to the business of screenwriting. By the end of the semester, students will have produced and polished a twenty- to thirty-page screenplay for a short film suitable for production. Prerequisite: ENG 113 and FLM 105.

FLM 302 Writing Short Screenplays

Units: 3. Offered: Spring.

This course is an intermediate level treatment of the principles of writing for the screen. It expands on the concepts covered in Basic Screenwriting, deepening the students’ knowledge of the elements of theme, plot, character, and dialogue in dramatic writing for cinema while building the students’ skills in the development of these elements in their own writing. By the end of the semester, students will have produced and polished screenplay for a 1-hour film. Prerequisite: FLM 301.

FLM 303 Asian Cinema

Units: 3. Offered: Spring (odd years).

This survey course offers a unique opportunity to screen and study technically innovative and culturally significant feature films from China, India, Japan, South Korea, Vietnam, Hong Kong, and Taiwan. Special attention will be given to the diverse genres in Asian cinema and the dynamic interactions between filmmaking and socio-historical transformation. An East-West comparative approach will be encouraged. Prerequisites: FLM 105 and 150.

FLM 305 Christianity and Film

Units: 3. Offered: Fall.

This course centers on the close reading of both religious and secular filmic texts in order to better understand the ideology that is wrapped within these artifacts of culture. Students will describe and analyze how these cinematic texts communicate both Christian and anti-Christian philosophical and theological arguments, which have the power to shape the horizons of the mind and impact culture. Prerequisite: ENG 123.

FLM 340 Major Directors

Units: 3. Offered: Fall (odd years).

With attention to theories about authorship and the auteur, this course surveys the work of one or two major directors. This course may treat a canonical auteur, such as Orson Welles, Alfred Hitchcock, or Akira Kurosawa, or may focus upon figures historically marginalized within cinema studies, such Oscar Micheaux, Ida Lupino, or Sam Fuller. Prerequisite: FLM 250.

FLM 350 Film and Literature

Units: 3. Offered: Spring.

This course addresses the adaptation of literature to film. It examines diverse concepts and theories that have been applied to cinematic adaptations of literary texts as part of a larger constellation of issues, including the development of cinematic language, approaches to genre studies, and an appreciation for cinematic visions in literary texts. In addition to film screenings, course readings will include prose fiction and film criticism. Prerequisite: ENG 123.

FLM 400 Special Topics in Film Studies

Units: 3. Offered: As offered.

This course focuses on a different subject in the field of cinema studies each time it is offered. Designed to reflect both our rapidly changing culture and the technologically progressive nature of the film industry, this course is devoted to a critical examination of film with regard to, for example, time period, genre, theme, etc. May be taken multiple times with change in topic. Prerequisite: FLM 250.

FLM 403 Writing Adapted Screenplays

Units: 3. Offered: Fall.

This is a course in the art of writing a feature-length film script based on a piece of literature or other literary material. Contemporary feature film structure paradigms will be reviewed as the student (individually or in pairs) crafts their own feature-length screenplay from a self-selected literary source. The art of the studio “pitch” used to sell a screenplay also will be reviewed and practiced. Prerequisite: FLM 301.

FLM 420 Independent Film and Counter-Cinema

Units: 3. Offered: Fall (even years).

Independent Film and Counter-cinema is an advanced course that studies diverse film texts considered “independent” while examining the varied and constantly evolving definition of independent film. In addition, the course investigates counter-cinema—film that actively opposes mainstream cinema, offering alternative discourses—and explores the complex relationship between independent film and counter-cinema. Prerequisite: FLM 250.

FLM 430 Film and Sound

Units: 3. Offered: Spring (even years).

Thoughtfully addressing the importance of film’s auditory component, which is often ignored or taken for granted by visually-dominated studies of the moving pictures, this course critically engages the importance of sound to cinema, from a theoretical as well as a historical perspective. Prerequisite: FLM 250.

FLM 450 World Cinema

Units: 3. Offered: Fall.

World Cinema is an advanced course focusing on films made outside of North America and their socio-historical contexts. It looks at cinematic history and practice in diverse nations and introduces students to a range of non-Hollywood film styles and forms, including popular and art cinemas, from across the globe. May be taken multiple times with change in topic. Prerequisite: FLM 250.

FLM 470 Adaptation and Intertextuality

Units: 3. Offered: Spring (odd years).

This advanced course focuses on diverse texts and theories regarding adaptation and intertextuality as they impact film and other media. The course explores the ways in which texts are adapted from one medium into other media and the ways in which texts intersect and communicate with one another. The complex manner in which adaptation and intertextuality function in our media-saturated, global culture is investigated. Texts that might be examined in this course include films, video games, television shows, novels, comics/graphic novels, operas, and musicals. Course content will vary. Prerequisite: FLM 250.

FLM 491 Film Practicum

Units: 1-15. Offered: As Offered.

Students participate in an internship experience in some aspect of the Hollywood film or television industry. These are non-paying positions that may be part of an actual Hollywood film or television production, or similar entertainment industry experience with development companies, agencies, producers, etc. Unit value will vary in relation to time commitment and the individual’s learning contract. Students will be supervised by a member of the Film Studies faculty. Prerequisite: FLM 250 and junior status.

FLP 306 Basic Production: Line Producing

Units: 3. Offered: Fall.

This class will approach film production from prep to post from the perspective of the independent film producer. This will include introductory workshops on all the different departments, including technical areas such as grip, electric, and camera. The students will learn how to break down and budget a script, schedule a shoot, create and fill out paper work such as deal memos, call sheets, contracts, location scouting, and holding auditions. Prerequisite: FLM 105; Pre- or Co- requisite: FLM 301.

FLP 360 Cinematography

Units: 3. Offered: Spring.

An introduction to the fundamental tools and principles used by cinematographers to create digital or film images generated from the context of the story. Curriculum covers visualization, digital manipulation, sensitometry, filters and lenses, lighting, color, processing procedures, camera systems, special effects, and image control. Prerequisite: FLP 306.

FLP 406 Film Directing

Units: 3. Offered: Fall.

This course explores a range of ideas, methods, and theories of narrative film directing. While helping students understand the director’s complex functions in the creative process of directing, the course mainly focuses on the study of and practice in two areas: directing the camera and directing actors. Significant time is devoted to the understanding of acting and working with actors (casting, rehearsal, character development, and performing for the camera). Students will work in groups on a series of focused short projects to build the creative experience step by step. Prerequisite: FLP 360.