RTF f301N SCREENING BLACKNESS IN AMERICAN FILM AND TELEVISION • JACKIE PINKOWITZ (first session)
Because the history of American race relations has long been governed by the simplistic binary of black and white, the constructions of blackness in popular media carry significant implications for how race – both blackness and whiteness — and identity more generally are understood in national culture and society. How have different popular media — at different industrial, historical, and cultural moments — variously constructed this racial category, and thus made blackness both visible and meaningful for American audiences? In addressing this question, this course will critically examine the representation and production of blackness in commercial American film and television, from the emergence of cinema on the eve of the 19th Century through classical Hollywood to the digital, post-network, conglomerate present. Through surveying American film and television history, we will track key movements, texts, and figures in the history of mediated blackness. We will explore such topics as stereotyping and the politics of representation; independent and/versus mainstream black media producers and productions; feminist critiques and intersectional identities; and black audiences, among others. In screening and discussing texts like The Birth of a Nation (1915), Imitation of Life (1934), The Cosby Show (1984-1992), Do the Right Thing (1989), Atlanta (2016-), and Moonlight (2016), among many others, this course will prepare students to critically analyze race and the media. It will introduce them to key concepts and methodologies from media studies, critical race and feminist theories, and cultural studies, and teach them to apply them through lectures, discussion, and weekly screenings; quizzes and a final exam; written screening responses; and a group project.
RTF n301N INTRO TO SCREENWRITING • STUART KELBAN (nine-week session)
This course will introduce you to writing for film and television, delving into the three primary elements of screenwriting: story, character and structure. In lecture, we will carefully examine each step of the screenwriting process – from the initial premise, through character exploration and treatments, to writing the first draft – then apply those steps to the development of your own scripts in workshop. The class will also focus on critically examining produced scripts and films from a screenwriter’s perspective, in order to learn more about the craft.
RTF s301N DISNEY: FROM MICKEY TO MARVEL • PETE KUNZE (second session)
From an independent production company struggling to survive to a highly profitable global conglomerate, the history of the Walt Disney Company echoes the history of the U.S. media industries. Disney offers generative insights into children’s culture as well as into corporate behaviors and logics that govern media production. In this course, we will consider the role of industry in textual analysis as well as the value of texts for understanding industry. We also will hone our knowledge of the cultural studies framework through close attention to race, gender, sexuality, and class both on screen and behind the scenes at Disney. Through in-depth formalist and ideological analyses of representative Disney narratives, students will better understand Disney and American media in general, both on screen and behind the scenes.
RTF f305 INTRO TO MEDIA STUDIES – WEB BASED • CLAIRE LEE (first session)
Introduction to historical, cultural, political, economic, and international characteristics of film, television, and other media in society.
RTF s344M DIGITAL MEDIA PRODUCTION – WEB BASED • BEN BAYS (second session)
Animation, Visual Effects, Digital Painting and CGI are used to produce digital content for a variety of media including films, animation and interactive formats like video games and VR/AR. This course is an interactive, online experience designed to teach you the foundational Digital Media Production tools: Photoshop, After Effects, Adobe Animate (Flash) and Maya. Through creative hands-on challenges, you will apply digital media tools and techniques to a variety of tasks in the pipeline of production from concept, storyboard, layout to compositor, VFX, CG and interactive design. In the end, you must choose: Will you become a generalist across all digital media production, will you specialize in one discipline or will you define a new role in digital media production? Please note this is a brand-new, web-based upper-division course; it will be open to any upper-division student at UT.
Lastly, RTF s317-NARRATIVE STRATEGIES & MEDIA DESIGN (second session) and RTF f318-INTRO TO IMAGE & SOUND (first session) will be open to non-majors from the beginning of registration. This is the best—and oftentimes only—opportunity for non-majors to take these courses.
For a full list of RTF summer offerings, check here
RTF 305 will continue to be web-based and open to non-majors.
RTF 306 INTRODUCTION TO WORLD CINEMA HISTORY – WEB–BASED (and In–Person) • CAROLINE FRICK
Love the movies? Join us and explore how the movies developed from a circus amusement to multinational industry as well as how film can be understood as socio-cultural, technological, aesthetic and economic artifact. Global in scope, this course will sample a variety of “national cinemas” in order to compare and contrast how moviemaking developed uniquely in different parts of the world. We will also address how decades of popular and critical attention to the glamour and gossip surrounding Hollywood movies has affected our understanding of “American” cinema. The course fulfills VAPA requirements, and is designed for non-RTF majors who have not taken previous coursework in film or media studies. Both an in-person and web-based version of this course are being offered for Fall 2017. A reminder that this class is now officially VAPA-approved!
We also have three upper-division RTF courses that will have some seats available for upper-division non-majors:
RTF 322C FILM HISTORY TO 1960 • CHARLES RAMÍREZ BERG
This course is a survey of international film history for undergraduate students who seek an understanding of the history and aesthetics of the motion picture. On a weekly basis, it consists of two 75-minute lectures and a screening of a feature-length film. All RTF majors interested in learning more about the development of the motion picture are welcome, regardless of concentration. The course will cover the history of the medium from beginning (Thomas Edison and the Lumière brothers) to 1960. While the history of cinema will be looked at from various perspectives (as a technology, an industry, an entertainment medium, and a mode of personal and national expression), particular attention will be given to the evolution and development of film’s formal elements. Several written assignments are designed to acquaint students with how research in film history is conducted; in addition, three exams are also required.
RTF 344M INTRO TO DIGITAL MEDIA PRODUCTION-WEB-BASED • BEN BAYS
Animation, Visual Effects, Digital Painting and CGI are used to produce digital content for a variety of media including films, animation and interactive formats like video games and VR/AR. This course is an interactive, online experience designed to teach you the foundational Digital Media Production tools: Photoshop, After Effects, Adobe Animate (Flash) and Maya. Through creative hands-on challenges, you will apply digital media tools and techniques to a variety of tasks in the pipeline of production from concept, storyboard, layout to compositor, VFX, CG and interactive design. In the end, you must choose: Will you become a generalist across all digital media production, will you specialize in one discipline or will you define a new role in digital media production? Please note this course will be web-based and all prerequisites will be waived for any upper-division student.
RTF 347C THE BUSINESS OF HOLLYWOOD • ALISA PERREN
What is going on in the media industries today? What kinds of issues and challenges are entertainment industry professionals dealing with? This class has two key goals: First, students will learn how the media industries operate, gaining a sense of the “big picture” of the contemporary film, television, and digital media landscape. Large-scale issues being faced by those working in the entertainment industry – including the impact of conglomerate ownership, regulation, globalization, and digitization on creative practices and work roles – will be addressed through readings and class discussion. Second, students will hear from a series of guest speakers coming from Hollywood, New York, and Texas about the range of career opportunities available in the entertainment industry today. While some of these speakers work in production (writing, directing, editing, etc.), other guests will include attorneys and talent agents, as well as development, production, and marketing executives.
As always, there may be additional RTF courses open(ed) to non-majors during the registration period. Interested students should frequently check the online course schedule as restrictions may be lifted at any point during any registration period.
More information on RTF courses available to non-majors (for Fall 2017) is here.