You must complete at least three 2-3 page essays this semester on the following questions/films:

~1~  Analyze Hearts of Darkness in terms of the visual, aural, and narrative elements exhbited in the film. What are the filmmakers

        ultimately trying to sxpress about the art of filmmaking?

~2~  Analyze the structure of Collateral in terms of Syd Field's screenplay paradigm. Identify the set-up, confrontation, resolution,

        and plot points I and II as they unfold in the script.

~3~  Choose one of the characters from American Beauty and analyze the four essential qualities that go into his/her development.

        What is their dramatic need? How do they express their point of view and personify an attitude? Does this character undergo

        some kind of change or transformation?

~4~  Discuss Spike Lee's stylistic choice of shooting both digital video (Sony VX1000 Mini DV) and film (Super 16mm) in

        Bamboozled. How does the aesthetic of his imagery function to express the core themes of the film?

~5~  Choose a scene from Trois couleurs: Bleu and analyze its use of color. Give specific examples of how the settings,

        costumes/makeup, and lighting function to evoke a particular idea or emotion.

~6~  Select a scene from Requiem For a Dream and discuss the editing style. What is significant about the graphic, rhythmic, spacial,

        or temporal relations of the scene? What ideas or emotions does the scene evoke?

~7~  Discuss Robert Altman's The Player as a critique of Hollywood. What is Altman ultimately trying to say about the world of

        Hollywood filmmaking, and how does he go about revealing his perspective visually/aurally/narratively?


week 16 ~ exposure and printing

week 14 ~ editing film and video

week 12 ~ the art of recording sound

week 2 ~ storytelling and production

course information

course lectures


course reader

week 1 ~ the art of filmmaking

week 3 ~ film as a narrative art form

week 4 ~ the screen story

week 6 ~ screenplay/film screening

week 7 ~ mechanics of the film/video camera

week 8 ~ cinematography and the lens

week 9 ~ film and video aesthetics

week 11 ~ lighting for film production

week 13 ~ the fundamentals of editing

week 15 ~ the art of editing sound

week 10 ~ manipulating the image

week 5 ~ writing characters

In-Class Assignments

~1~  Using only your cell phone, iPod, or tablet, as an image-capturing device (no cameras proper), set about the campus to take

        some snapshots of images that examplify your personal photographic aesthetic. Pay specific attention to the framing

       (angles/distance), perspective (space/dimension), and focus of each image.

~2~  Try to recall an event/incident that had a lasting impression on you. Your assignment is to retrieve this memory and

        reconstruct it as a picture or series of pictures for the class. The goal is to tell the experience in such a way that the spectator

        will understand it narratively, while also feeling the emotion invested in it. Try to create a sense of what it was like to undergo

        this experience.

~3~  Search the internet for an image of a person (not someone famous or someone you know), and write a breif character

        biography about them. Start with their interior aspects, and work your way through the exterior aspects, making sure to

        include details about their personal, private, and professional lives.

~4~  Using the sample script given to you in class, interpret the scene from Being John Malkovich in any way you see fit, using

        in-camera editing only. Focus on maintaining the continuity of your scene by paying specific attention to the framing of your

        subjects, the 180 degree rule, shot/reverse shot patterning, and the duration of your images.


film/video project

Final Film/Video Project

Each student will be expected to either work individually, or with a smeall group (no more than three), to produce a film or video project of approximately five minutes in length. You may choose to shoot a narrative, abstract film, or a documentary, and the onus is on you to be creative. You will ultimately be responsible for planning, writing, shooting, editing, and uploading your film for screening during the final week of class.


essay questions

week 17 ~ the business of film

week 18 ~ final class session

adam p. wadenius