Fall Syllabi for Intro to American Film and Intro to Film/Video Production

I’ve just finished revising some of my syllabi for Fall 2015.  Below, you will find close to final drafts (I may do some additional tinkering) for two of my lower-division courses:

INTRODUCTION TO AMERICAN FILM HISTORY

This course is a freshman level, core curriculum class (emphases on written communication, personal and social responsibility).  I’ve revised this syllabus many times – I once tried to teach the class chronologically backwards to help students get into the subject easier (didn’t work very well, too many plates to keep balanced) – and this version has a new writing assignment.

Over the past three years, I’ve found that the big five page research paper never fully lands with the results I’d like and I think smaller assignments that gradually introduce them to producing a unique thesis may help.  The emphasis on American Independent Film (on race and LGBT cinema toward the end) is there to help produce a writing prompt specifically to help address the social/personal responsibility requirement.  Expect a full report in December.

INTRODUCTION TO FILM AND VIDEO PRODUCTION (THEORY AND PRACTICE)

Much less tinkering here.  I’ve found this hybrid between history and practice to work pretty well each semester.  The biggest challenge has been helping the students manage deadlines (my initial attempt to be fairly hands off did not work and I’ve written firmer deadlines with less student student flexibility – the film journal entries used to be student choice, but they often ignored the foreign film unit – into this syllabus).

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