Film and Animation Bachelor of fine arts degree

17cfcc23-eda2-48fb-b7b4-bba70b76411c | 101407

Overview

Focus on production, screenwriting, 2D animation, 3D animation, or stop motion animation, while exploring the artistic, technical, historical, and business aspects of the motion picture industry.


The film and animation major is for students who recognize the moving image as an expressive force uniquely important to modern life. As a bachelor of fine arts student, you have two options to choose from to pursue your craft. The animation degree path focuses on 2D, 3D, and stop motion animation spanning from conception to application to final production of short films. The film degree path focuses on production through visual and sound artistry utilizing hands-on experience with camera, editing, and sound equipment. The major ultimately develops students’ production skills and promotes film and animation as creative media.

Plan of study

The curriculum emphasizes production, with students beginning their first year working in 16mm film, digital HD video, and animation. Production work continues in every semester. Students may choose one of two options: animation or production. The major prepares students to produce, creatively and practically, their own independent work and/or fulfill professional production responsibilities in any medium suitable to their interests and abilities.

Through lectures and laboratories, students develop individual skills in moving-image communications and learn the aesthetic principles governing art. Technology and technique are never taught as an end in themselves but in terms of learning to use the tools necessary to achieve a creative goal in relation to the audience.

Students produce several short films in either live-action or animation by working through all phases of production, from scripting, production planning, and budgeting to shooting, designing, animating, editing, and sound design. Students further their learning of visual and sound artistry through hands-on experience with camera and sound equipment. Film, video, and animation projects are designed by individual students. A wide variety of styles and intentions is expressed in the department’s work.

Utilizing research, critical thinking, creativity, and a range of problem-solving principles, students are taught to address complex motion imaging workflow issues within the constraints of time, space, budget, and technology. Upon graduation, students enjoy a variety of career opportunities, within feature film and television production.

What does amazing look like?

Attend our Open House and you’ll get a pretty good idea.

Industries


  • Movies, TV, and Music

  • Animation

  • Advertising, PR, and Marketing

  • Higher Education

  • Writing and Editing

86%

outcome rate of graduates

$33.3k

median first-year salary of graduates

Featured Work

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Curriculum

Film and Animation (animation option), BFA degree, typical course sequence

Course Sem. Cr. Hrs.
First Year
Choose one of the following: 3
  FDTN-121
   2D Design I
This course is a structured, cumulative introduction to the basic elements and principles of two-dimensional design. Organized to create a broad introductory experience, the course focuses on the development of both a visual and a verbal vocabulary as a means of exploring, developing and understanding two-dimensional compositions. Concepts are introduced through lectures, discussions, demonstrations, research, assigned projects and critiques. The course addresses a wide variety of media, tools, techniques both traditional and technological, and theoretical concepts to facilitate skill development and experimentation with process. Visual comprehension, the ability to organize perceptions and horizontal thinking that crosses other disciplines and theories, are key foundational components to the development of problem solving skills. Accumulative aspects of the curriculum included the exploration of historical and cultural themes and concepts intertwined with aspects of personal interpretation and experience.
 
  FDTN-131
   3D Design I
This course presents a progressive study over two-semesters in terminology, visual principles, exploration, concept generation, process, and techniques of three-dimensional design. Using hands-on problem solving, student will develop an informed understanding of the 3D form and space with an emphasis on the elements and principles of visual design and their function as the building blocks and guidelines for ordering a 3D composition. A heightened awareness of form and space will be developed through lecture, assigned projects, and critiques. Students will also develop a personal awareness of problem seeking and solving, experimentation, and critical analysis. **Note: May be taken as a one-semester offering**
 
SOFA-101
Production I
A fundamental course in non-synchronous film production and an introduction to digital video editing. Filmmaking is presented as a means of interpretation and expression. This course combines technical information in motion picture exposure and editing with a theoretical and practical approach to motion picture continuity. Production is in non-sync format and post-production is digital software. Students furnish film, tape and processing. **Fee: There is a lab free required for this course. **
3
SOFA-107
Principles of Animation
This course will introduce the concepts and mechanics of movement for animation, focusing on, but not limited to, character based movement. Animation principles will be introduced and applied using hand-drawn methods, which will serve as the foundation for their application in any desired medium. Weekly exercises will be recorded using standard animation software, and will be reviewed, discussed and open to group critique.
3
SOFA-121
LAS Perspective 2 (artistic): Animation I
This class will introduce students to the gamut of animation thinking and making through classroom instruction and hands-on practical experience. Lecture and readings will emphasize the process, theory and practice of animated filmmaking with extensive film screenings to illustrate each technique and related aesthetics. Hands-on supervised studio sessions will guide students to an intuitive understanding of the process of producing animation and students will use this understanding to analyze various animated works Each student will develop their personal vision through assigned projects utilizing the material discussed in class. Facilities fee required for non-majors.
3
SOFA-122
Fundamentals of Computers and Imaging Technology
This course provides an introductory overview to computer systems and to principles associated with motion picture technologies. Topics covered include computer history, basics in computer architecture basics, operating systems, HTML and networking. Human vision and perception, image capture and display technologies (both analog and digital), digital image processing and post-production equipment and software are also covered. The course focuses on exposing the students to basic principles necessary to proceed with subsequent courses with production or animation focus.
3
SOFA-131
Film History and Theory I
Film History and Theory I is a motion picture examination and readings course. It will give media production students the opportunity to trace the development of many of the techniques and forms in what now constitute traditional and expanded definitions of cinema. The course is taught from the perspective of a practicing filmmaker involved in the critical exploration of film language as well as its historical and cultural dimensions. In addition to lectures, the course includes weekly screenings of seminal works from the history of cinema. Screenings support class lectures.
3
YOPS-10
RIT 365: RIT Connections
0
Choose one of the following:
3
   SOFA-108
   Drawing for Animation (2D)
This course focuses on the mechanics of motion as applied to animated characters, both human and non-human. Working directly from a live model, costumed and nude, and also employing visualization techniques, students will apply figure-drawing skills along with gesture drawing, focusing on the correct representation of weight, energy and force in sequential poses. Specific attention is paid to improving drawing skills in order to create stronger storytelling poses for animated properties. A variety of drawn animation examples will be screened in class.
 
   SOFA-209
   Introduction to 3D Modeling (3D)
Students create models for animation in three-dimensional software. Students learn various modeling, texturing, and lighting techniques that apply to animation and digital cinematography. Students' model, texture and light three-dimensional environments.
 
Choose one of the following:
3
 
   LAS Perspective 5 (natural science inquiry)
 
 
   LAS Perspective 6 (scientific principles)
 
 
   LAS Perspective 7 (mathematical)
 
 
First Year Writing (WI)
3
 
LAS Perspective 1 (ethical)
3
 
Wellness Education*
0
Second Year
Choose one of the following:
3
   SOFA-203
   2D Animation I (2D)
This course focuses specifically on the sequential stages of hand-drawn digital animation. Students will explore every stage of production of a short animated scene, including dialogue, from ideation to clean up. Each week builds on the previous week’s progress. The final result is a complete rough-animated scene.
 
   SOFA-215 
   3D Animation I (3D)
This course is an introduction to three-dimensional computer animation and character rigging. The basic principles of animation will be addressed in relation to three-dimensional animation. Character rigging techniques are presented and will include skeletons and animation controls. Students produce a series of short 3D computer animations and some basic character rigs. Students will become familiar with a variety of 3D computer animation techniques.
 
  SOFA-522
   Stop Motion Puppet Fundamentals
This is an introductory course that will give students a basic and solid understanding of stop-motion animation. The class covers all aspects of stop-motion in its various forms but will mainly concentrate on stop-motion puppet/character animation. There will be demonstrations on model fabrication, animation techniques and camera/grip techniques. More in-depth topics, like latex and silicon mold making and intensive post production techniques will be introduced. There will be opportunities for students to practice animation with specific goals and assignments.
 
SOFA-205
Basic Sound Recording
Students will learn to work with sound and to distinguish and evaluate proper sound techniques for film and animation productions. The course lays the foundation for professional work in the sound industry. Each student records audio and prepares a mixed soundtrack to professional quality standards.
3
 
 
 
SOFA-221
After Effects for Animators
This course will teach students the basics of Adobe After Effects. Students will learn production theory as well as gain practical experience in 2.5 D animation production.
3
SOFA-217
Animation Production Workshop I
This course will provide the first practical experience of building a complete animated film from conception to finish. Students use previously learned techniques and apply them in the greater context of an animation production pipeline. Weekly workshops are aimed towards helping students plan, develop, and execute their work with regular milestones and deadlines. At the end of the term, students will have learned about time-management and meeting deadlines, and will present their completed films to the RIT community.
4
SOFA-225
Performance Resources for Animation
In this course students will examine facial expressions and learn how to create emotion in the face. Advanced rigging techniques, especially pertaining to the faces, will be presented. Students will be presented with techniques to dissect sentences and reconstruct them in to useable connected speech for animated characters. Students will produce a series of short three-dimensional computer animations using a pre-rigged character.
3
SOFA-228
Animation Scriptwriting and Storyboard (WI)
This course concentrates on the structures of temporal organization for the screen in all animated productions. Particular attention is paid to the structures of scriptwriting and the layout of movements and visual composition via editing into storyboards. Various individual written script projects will be required of the student, leading to a final production script for an animated film that will be storyboarded and formatted.
3
SOFA-541
History and Aesthetics of Animation (WI)
This course will explore the beginnings, the evolution, the creative and practical history of the animated film, including prehistory of animation, early film and animation history, major trends, artists, animation studios, theoretical distinctions and international identities in animation. Issues of animation aesthetics will also be elucidated through discussions, readings and reviews of exemplary films to emphasize the unique characteristics of the animated art form and how those characteristics are used as a means of interpretation and expression. Both orthodox and unorthodox animation will be highlighted. Films will be screened at every lecture.
3
Choose one of the following:
3
  SOFA-224
   2D Digital Animation (2D)
This course will introduce students to two-dimensional computer animation, adapting traditional techniques to the digital production environment. Students will learn how to use specialized 2D animation software to produce short exercises adapted from traditional animation techniques. Students should be able to apply 2D digital animation tools into their own work.
 
  SOFA-226
   Advanced 3D Modeling (3D)
This course will focus on three-dimensional character modeling. Students will learn about anatomy and creating economical topology for deformation in animation and be introduced to industry-standard digital sculpting techniques.
 
Choose one of the following:
3
   SOFA-216 
   3D Animation II (3D)
In this course students will learn the mechanics of motion within characters. Complete character-rigging techniques will be discussed and demonstrated. Students will gain further knowledge of a variety of three-dimensional computer animation techniques and will produce a series of short 3D computer animations using a pre-rigged character.
 
   SOFA-218
   Concept and Character Design (2D)
This course will introduce students to the basics of design as applied to characters and environments for animated productions. Students will create and develop a cast of characters for an imagined property, focusing on group dynamics, visual appeal and personality development. Line, color, texture, shape, form and story are referenced when developing characters and environments. Students will institute a process of visual development through a variety of exercises, working toward a final, finished project.
 
  SOFA-533
   Advanced Stop Motion Techniques
This course will introduce stop motion students to advanced techniques of photographic single frame production. This course will concentrate on fabrication techniques from sculpting to mold building, including an introduction to three-dimensional printing. History and the specific language of stop motion will be covered. Camera and camera lenses and lighting are explored along with various exercises in animation.
 
 
LAS Perspective 3
3
Third Year
SOFA-306
Senior Capstone Seminar
Students discuss and generate written plans for their senior films or capstone projects. Each student will secure a film and animation faculty adviser for their senior year.
1
SOFA-317
Animation Production Workshop II
Students will explore all phases of animation short film production. Students design and produce a short film with sound that must be screened for the RIT community.
4
SOFA-518
Business and Careers in Animation
This course will focus on the role of the small animation business owner, the studio employee, and the individual freelance animator in developing a small business. The elements of discussion will teach students how to approach animation work in the industry from a small business perspective. This course will discuss the creation of sample reels, websites, self-promotion, contracts, pitching, fund-raising, research and interview techniques all related to the individual in animation. Ethics and individual responsibilities will also be discussed. Professionals working in the animation industry will often be guests for the class.
3
Choose one of the following:
3
   SOFA-323
   2D Animation II: Performance
This course will focuse on the continued development of students’ skills in the two-dimension animation medium, using computer software. As an intermediate course, students will build on the skills they accrued as well as learn new, advanced techniques. A variety of examples of 2D computer animation will be screened in class.
 
   SOFA-575
   3D Lighting and Rendering
This course is an intensive look at lighting for three-dimensional animation pipelines. Students will learn to observe, plan and replicate real-world environments and expand those into artistic interpretations of style and design. There will be a strong focus on surfacing, set-dressing, production design, as well as economical rendering techniques. Students will learn to identify the balance between artistic needs and technical limitations and how to adequately prepare a scene for post-production practices.
 
  SOFA-582
   Alternative Frame By Frame
This course will give students a chance to explore three different approaches to stop-motion animation. The course will study and experiment with pixilation, time-lapse and relief animation with a “down-shooter.” The techniques will expand the student’s knowledge of traditional or character animation and present an alternative means of expression. Students will explore character or experimental approaches to animation with these non-traditional alternative approaches to single frame photographic animation. Students will study existing work with these techniques, analyze and discuss them with the instructor and then produce several examples of their own after instruction for each approach. A final project in the technique of the student’s choice will be required.
 
 
CAD Electives‡
6
 
History and Aesthetics Elective
3
 
LAS Perspective 4 (social)
3
 
LAS Immersion 1 (WI)
3
 
LAS Elective 
3
 
Free Elective
3
Fourth Year
SOFA-406
Senior Capstone I
Students work independently with their advisor towards completion of their capstone experience for their BFA degree. Students have a predetermined timeline and must complete all deadlines to pass this course.
4
SOFA-407
Senior Capstone II
Students work independently with their advisor towards completion of their capstone experience for their BFA degree. Students have a predetermined timeline and must complete all deadlines of that timeline to pass this thesis course including completion and public screening of finished work or final presentation of craft experience.
4
SOFA-408
Senior Forum
This course is intended to best accompany and complement the student's Senior Thesis experience. All students in this course meet as a group to screen edited works in progress, discuss post-production problems, and plan jointly for the use of departmental production resources.
1
 
History and Aesthetics Elective
3
 
Free Electives
6
 
LAS Immersion 2, 3
6
 
CAD Elective‡
3
Total Semester Credit Hours
120

Please see General Education Curriculum–Liberal Arts and Sciences (LAS) for more information.

(WI) Refers to a writing intensive course within the major.

* Please see Wellness Education Requirement for more information. Students completing bachelor's degrees are required to complete two different Wellness courses.

‡ Please see an adviser for a complete list of CAD electives.

Electives

History and Aesthetics Electives
Course
ARTH-135
History of Western Art: Ancient to Medieval
The subject of this course is the history of western art and architecture from Prehistory through the Middle Ages. We will examine the form, style, function, and meaning of important objects and monuments of the past, and consider these in their social, historical and cultural contexts. A chronological study will allow us to recognize when, where and by whom a given object was produced. Once these decisive factors are established, we may try to determine why the object was made, what it meant in its time, place and culture, and whose ideology it served. Since we are dealing with visual information, the primary goals of this class are to learn how to look, and how to describe and analyze what we see. At the end of the term, students will be prepared to pursue additional courses in the discipline, for they will have gained a foundational knowledge of the object, scope and methods of art history. The knowledge obtained in this introductory course will also guide students in their own creative endeavors.
ARTH-136
History of Western Art: Renaissance to Modern
The subject of this course is the history of western art and architecture from the Renaissance through the early 20th century. We will examine the form, style, function, and meaning of important objects and monuments of the past, and consider these in their social, historical and cultural contexts. A chronological study will allow us to recognize when, where and by whom a given object was produced. Once these decisive factors are established, we may try to determine why the object was made, what it meant in its time, place and culture, and whose ideology it served. Since we are dealing with visual information, the primary goals of this class are to learn how to look, and how to describe and analyze what we see. At the end of the term, students will be prepared to pursue additional courses in the discipline, for they will have gained a foundational knowledge of the object, scope and methods of art history. The knowledge obtained in this introductory course will also guide students in their own creative endeavors.
ARTH-311
Art and Architecture of Italy: 1250-1400
The subject of this course is painting, sculpture and architecture of the second half of the Dugento and the Trecento in Italy and its aim is to provide insight into the ways in which society and culture expressed its values through art; 1250 marks the death of the last Hohenstaufen Holy Roman Emperor Frederick II and 1401 is considered by many to mark the beginning of the Early Renaissance, with the competition for the second set of bronze doors for the Baptistery of Florence. Artists students will study will include Nicola and Giovanni Pisano, Arnolfo di Cambio, Cimabue, Pietro Cavallini, Giotto, Duccio, Simone Martini, Pietro and Ambrogio Lorenzetti, Tino da Camaino, Andrea Pisano, Orcagna, Andrea Bonaiuti, Giusto de’ Menabuoi, Altichiero, and Paolo Veneziano. The works students will study will include altarpieces, private devotional images, mural cycles, tombs, churches, chapels, town halls, palazzi and piazze. Questions for consideration will include: the nature and meaning of this proto-Renaissance, the importance of antique and medieval precedents, the increasing attention to the effects of nature, the role of the patron, and the relevance of documents, literary sources and visual precedents for our interpretation of images.
ARTH-312
Art and Architecture of Italy: 1600-1750
This course will focus on Italian artists working in Italy from circa 1600 to circa 1750 and to provide insight into the ways in which society and culture expressed its values through art. Students will explore painting, sculpture, and architecture, and more or less chronologically in each major artistic center of Italy. Students will also have the opportunity to explore how these different media coalesce to create an overwhelming visual experience. Students will pay particular attention to major commissions given to Annibale Carracci, Michelangelo da Caravaggio, Gianlorenzo Bernini, Alessandro Algardi, Francesco Borromini, Pietro da Cortona, Guarino Guarini, Filippo Juvarra and Giambattista Tiepolo, as we seek to define the nature and meaning of the Italian Baroque and Rococo.
ARTH-317
Art and Architecture in Florence and Rome: 15th Century
The subject of this course is 15th century painting, sculpture and architecture in Florence and Rome and its aim is to provide insight into the ways in which society and culture expressed its values through art betwee 1401, the year when the Calimala Guild announced a competition for a second set of bronze doors for the Baptistery of Florence, and 1500 the year when Michelangelo completed work on the Roman Pietà. Artists students will study include Filippo Brunelleschi, Lorenzo Ghiberti, Donatello, Nanni di Banco, Luca della Robbia, Michelozzo, Leon Battista Alberti, Lorenzo Monaco, Gentile da Fabriano, Masaccio, Fra Angelico, Fra Filippo Lippi, Paolo Uccello, Bernardo and Antonio Rossellino, Andrea del Verrocchio, Antonio del Pollaiuolo, Sandro Botticelli, Domenico del Ghirlandaio, Leonardo da Vinci, Filippino Lippi and Michelangelo. The works students will study will include altarpieces, private devotional images, portraits, mural cycles, paintings and sculpture of mythological subjects, allegories, ceilings, doors, tombs, churches, chapels, palazzi, villas and piazze. Questions for consideration will include: the nature and meaning of the Early Renaissance, developments in artistic theory and practice, the importance of Antique and Medieval precedents, the increasing attention to the effects of nature, the role of the patron, and the relevance of documents, literary sources and visual precedents for our interpretation of images.
ARTH-318
Art and Architecture in Florence and Rome: 16th Century
The subject of this course is 16th century painting, sculpture and architecture in Florence and Rome and its aim is to provide insight into the ways in which society and culture expressed its values through art between 1501, the year when Michelangelo returned from Rome to Florence to begin carving the colossal marble David, and 1600 which marks the emergence of the Baroque style in Rome. Artists students will study include Leonardo da Vinci, Bramante, Michelangelo, Raphael, Sebastiano del Piombo, Jacopo Sansovino, Baccio Bandinelli, Jacopo Pontormo, Agnolo Bronzino, Benvenuto Cellini, Bartolomeo Ammannati, Giorgio Vasari, and Giovanni Bologna. The works students will study will include altarpieces, private devotional images, portraits, mural cycles, paintings and sculpture of mythological subjects, allegories, ceilings, tombs, churches, chapels, palazzi, villas, piazze, fountains and equestrian monuments. Questions for consideration will include: the nature and meaning of the High Renaissance, Mannerism, and the late Renaissance, developments in artistic theory and practice, the importance of antique and medieval precedents, the increasing attention to the effects of nature, the role of the patron, and the relevance of documents, literary sources and visual precedents for our interpretation of images.
ARTH-364
Art in Paris
Students will study the history of artistic production and display in Paris, a city long regarded as a capital of the art world, from the Middle Ages to the twentieth century. The class will explore issues related to artistic production and display in Paris, including Paris as a center for Gothic production, art and the royal court, the intersection of classicism and French art, art and revolution, art and public space, Paris as a center of modernity, the role of historic conservation, and the role of museums.
ARTH-366
18th, 19th Century Art
This course will examine Western art in the period leading up to the French Revolution and the early “Modern” period – generally, the mid-19th century. This process will include a close examination of the works and careers of individual artists who have been considered some of the best-known representatives of the most significant art movements of the era, such as Rococo, Neoclassicism, Romanticism, Realism, and Impressionism. Students will learn a new vocabulary for discussing visual representations and will situate issues within political, religious, literary, and historical contexts. Throughout the course, a series of questions about art will be presented and students will assess how the nature of those questions affects the way they see images.
ARTH-368
20th Century Art: 1900-1950
A critical study of the art and visual culture of the first five decades of the twentieth century. Major stylistic movements in Europe and America will be examined with special attention to innovations in materials, subject matter, and philosophy. Central themes include: the relationship between art and politics, abstraction vs. figuration, primitivism, anti-modernism, and the search for origins, reactions to modernity and the rise of technology, the tension between the avant-garde and popular culture, utopian and dystopian views of art and society, the institutional critique, artistic responses to Phenomenology, Existentialism, Nihilism, and the special role of art and artists in modern society. Part I of a two-semester historical sequence devoted to 20th century art.
ARTH-369
20th Century Art: Since 1960
A critical study of the art and visual culture of the second half of the twentieth century. Major stylistic movements in Europe and America are examined with special attention to innovations in materials, subject matter, and philosophy. Central themes include: Abstract Expressionism, Pop Art, West Coast Junk, Funk and Beat, Nouveau Réalisme, CoBRA and Situationism, Arte Povera, Earthworks, Site Specificity, Allegory, Conceptualism, Minimalism, Feminism, Performance, Happenings, Installation, and New Media. Part II of a two semester historical sequence devoted to 20th century art.
ARTH-373
Art of the Last Decade
A critical study of the art and visual culture of the last decade with a strong emphasis on the current American and international scene. The primary focus will be on living artists and artists who remain crucial to contemporary debates with special attention paid to recent, current, and forthcoming exhibitions, their methodological frameworks, and historical context, as well as the key critics, theorists and curators who are shaping the visual culture of the present.
ARTH-378
Baroque Painting in Flanders
Students will study the history of Baroque painting in Flanders from the mid-1500s to 1700 with a specific focus on women, gender and illness, and the birth of Early Modern Europe. Students will consider the meaning of the Flemish Baroque, the observation and recording of natural appearances (still-life paintings), “hidden symbolism” and sacramental themes and connections between Flemish and Italian art. Peter Paul Rubens and Anthony Van Dyck are among the major artists to be studied in addition to those who are lesser known.
ARTH-379
Renaissance Painting in Flanders
The history of Renaissance painting in the Southern Netherlands from the beginning of the 15th century to the end of the 16th century with specific focus on women, gender, and illness and the birth of Early Modern Europe. We will consider the meaning of the Renaissance in Flanders, the observation and recording of natural appearances, “hidden symbolism” and sacramental themes in Early Netherlandish painting, the connections between Flemish, German, and Italian art, the development of new genres in the 16th century, “originality” and artistic progress.”
ARTH-392
Theory and Criticism of 20th Century Art
A critical study of some of the major theoretical and philosophical texts that ground twentieth century art as well as their impact on artists and art historians/critics. Taken together they constitute what is presently called critical theory across a wide range of the humanities and social sciences, as well as the emergence of an alleged postmodernism. Major issues include: the theory of autonomy and self-reflexivity, the structuralist paradigm, post-structuralist and Marxist critiques of modernism, feminist approaches to spectacle, semiotics, and the theory of the sign, spectatorship, and commodity fetishism, the relation of vision to constructions of identity and power. Key authors to be discussed include: Lessing, Kant, Greenberg, Foucault, Barthes, Benjamin, Saussure, Pierce, Levi-Strauss, Lacan, Lyotard, Bataille, Debord Baudrillard, and Ranci.
ARTH-457
Art and Activism
This course will focus on artists who use their work for the explicit purpose of changing society, and who subscribe to the belief that all representation is ideological. It considers work by both individual artists (and artists working collectively) that cause critics, art historians, other artists, and the viewing public to ask if what they are doing is truly art. Although there will be forays back to the 19th and early 20th centuries, most time will be dedicated to the last three decades. Students will examine texts that propose a form of activism and persuade artists to be responsible for the way they represent the world – and perhaps, even determine if the goal of art is not to represent it in the first place. “What is Art?” “What should Art do?” “How can Art incite social change?” “Does the artist have any social responsibility?” are just some of the questions raised when art comes into contact with the political sphere– especially when that art proposes to make a political or social change – i.e., when art becomes action. Although these questions may not seem immediately answerable, it is our responsibility to ask them, and then attempt to answer them as best we can. The artists and theorists that we will discuss are concerned with problems in our society that effect gender, race, sexuality, poverty, labor issues, and the environment. Most of the theorists and artists can be classified as angry and confrontational, or at least evoking a form of contestation, their art and ideas are reflective of these positions. Key artists to be discussed include Martha Rosler, Kara Walker, David Hammons, Allan Sekula, Mel Chin, Barbara Kruger, Hans Haacke, Fred Wilson, General Idea, Guerilla Girls, Adrian Piper, and Alfredo Jaar.
ARTH-521
The Image
The image remains a ubiquitous, controversial, ambiguous and deeply problematic issue in contemporary critical discourse. This course will examine recent scholarship devoted to the image and the ideological implications of the image in contemporary culture. Topics will include: the modern debate over word vs. image, the mythic origins of images, subversive, traumatic, monstrous, banned and destroyed images (idolatry and iconoclasm), the votive and effigy, the mental image, the limits of visuality, the moving and projected image, the virtual image, image fetishism, the valence of the image, semiotics and the image, as well as criteria by which to assess their success or failure (their intelligibility) and their alleged redemptive and poetic power.
ARTH-541
Art and Architecture of Ancient Rome
Students will examine the visual culture of ancient Roman civilization from the foundations of Roman culture through the Late Imperial era. Rome was heavily reliant on images as a means of transmitting concepts of lineage, status, and power; students will learn how these images may have been perceived in the context of Roman social and political history, and how style may have been used as an ideological tool.
ARTH-544
Illuminated Manuscripts
Students in this course will examine the history of illuminated manuscripts, learning about the working methods of artists as well as the cultural significance of the illuminated book. Issues of production, style, function, and patronage will be introduced, and students will explore the relationships between images, texts, and readers.
ARTH-550
Topics in Art History
A focused, critical examination and analysis of a selected topic in Art History varying according to faculty teaching the course. A subtopic course description will be published each term course is offered. This course can be repeated.
ARTH-555
Topics in Medieval Art and Architecture
A critical examination of a select theme within the field of medieval art and architecture. A subtopic description will be posted each term the course is offered. This course may be repeated for credit, but students may not repeat a topic.
ARTH-561
Latin American Art
Students will explore the historical development of art of Latin America from colonial times to the present. Included will be a consideration of painting, sculpture, architecture, graphic, and photographic arts. Potential themes to be addressed include the dependence on the European neo-classical academic model; indigenism; nationalism and the resurgence of popular art; the role of the visual arts in the construction of history; the conflicts and tensions involved in the search for a cultural identity.
ARTH-563
Modern Architecture
Students will explore the history of world architecture from the late nineteenth century to the present. Issues to be considered include the definition of modern as it applies to the built environment; new building types; historicism; stylistic movements; urban development; housing; modern materials; critical theory and its impact on design; and architectural representation.
ARTH-568
Art and Technology: From the Machine Aesthetic to the Cyborg Age
Students will explore the link between art and technology in the 20th century with special focus on the historical, theoretical, and ideological implications. Topics include the body in the industrial revolution, utopian, dystopian, and fascist appropriations of the machine, engendering the mechanical body and machine-eroticism, humanism, the principles of scientific management, the paranoiac and bachelor machine, multiples, mass production, and the art factory, industrial design and machines for living, the technological sublime, cyborgs, cyberpunk and the posthuman. Key theorists to be discussed include: Karl Marx, Norbert Weiner, Reyner Banham, Siegfried Gideon, Marshall McCluhan, Michel Foucault, Deleuze and Guattari, Donna Haraway, and Martin Heidegger, as well as examples from film (Modern Times, Metropolis, Man with the Movie Camera and Blade Runner) and literature (Shelley’s Frankenstein, and Zamyatin’s We). Artists covered include: Tatlin, Rodchenko, Malevich, Moholy-Nagy, Léegr, Sheeler, Picabia, Duchamp, Calder, Ernst, Le Corbusier, Klee, Tinguely, Oldenburg, Rauschenberg, Warhol, Beuys, Kiefer, Lewitt, Fischli and Weiss, Acconci, Nam June Paik, Survival Research Laboratories, Bureau of Inverse Technology, Stelarc, Orlan, Dara Birnbaum, Roxy Paine, Marina Abramovic, Kac and Bill Viola.
ARTH-572
Art of the Americas
This is a survey course of native north and South American visual arts within an historical and anthropological framework. Included will be an examination of the development of principal styles of Ancient American architecture, sculpture, painting, and ceramics up to the 16th century when the Spanish conquistadors defeated the Aztec and Inca empires and imposed colonial rule. Consideration is also given to materials used, techniques of construction, individual and tribal styles, as well as to the meaning and function of various art forms within Native American societies.
ARTH-573
Conceptual Art
This course examines the widely influential mid-1960s art movement that questioned the fundamental nature of art itself by renunciating the material art object as well as the phenomenon of art making. The definition of art as well as its institutional framework was thereby expanded, and the idea, concept, or intellectual dimension of the work was underscored. Students will be acquainted with the philosophical foundations and critical implications of this global movement across a wide spectrum of works and practices (paintings, performance, installations, books and texts, photography, film, and video) and its relevance to contemporary concerns.
ARTH-574
Dada and Surrealism
Students will examine the widely influential Dada and Surrealist movements in Europe and the United States from 1916 through the post-World War II period as well as their relevance to contemporary concerns. Emphasis is on identifying the major works of artists involved in these movements as well as their philosophical foundations, critical implications, as well as the broader literary and ideological contexts (e.g., Freud, Breton, Lautréamont, Leiris and Bataille). A wide range of works and practices (paintings, performance, installations, literary texts, photography, film, and ephemeral objects) will be studied, and the work of certain key artists (Höch, Heartfield, Schwitters, Duchamp, Picabia, Dalí, Ernst, Giacometti, Man Ray, Bellmer, Cahun, Cornell, Magritte, Miro, Oppenheim, Toyen and Picasso) will be analyzed in depth.
ARTH-576
Modernism and Its Other: Realism in the Shadow of Expressionism
This course is an inquiry into one of the major debates of modern art; this debate had a seemingly clear victor. The idea that the artist expresses his/her individuality and then communicates that “self” to the rest of “humanity” through a higher, transcendental, language has dominated the discourse and practice of modernist art. In retrospect, the art that dominated most of the first half of the 20th century was of an expressive nature. On the other hand, art that in anyway addressed direct and specific social issues was banished by art’s major institutions. Realism was dead. Students will look at the circumstances of how Realism became subordinated to expressionism. The course will address the question of what exactly constituted the practice of realist art. Examining the roots of both movements, taking us at times into the 18th and 19th centuries, but we will concentrate on how institutions like the Museum of Modern Art helped to define how we see the history of 20th century art as being pre-determined and following teleology. Students will explore how modernism’s “other”, namely Realism, survived and gained new currency in practices of late 20th and early 21st century art.
ARTH-577
Displaying Gender
This course brings together two of the most significant strains of recent art historical scholarship: the study of gender in representation and the critical examination of exhibitions and museums with particular focus given to key examples of curatorial practice from the late 19th century to the present day. Through readings, possible museum visit(s), class discussions, and guided individual research, questions of gender in exhibitions will be considered in relation to other aspects of identity including sexuality, race, and class.
ARTH-578
Edvard Munch
The Norwegian artist Edvard Munch (1863-1944) continues to generate a great deal of popular interest, critical scholarship, and reflection. The 4-volume catalogue raisonné of his paintings was published in 2009, and the graphic work appeared in 2001. A painter, printmaker, photographer, and filmmaker, Munch was also a prolific writer, well acquainted with the symbolist poets and playwrights, as well as the broad intellectual drift of the fin-de-siècle. He is the one Scandinavian artist included within the Modernist canon and his image, The Scream (1893), is an icon of the modern age. Munch traveled widely throughout Europe and his work was exhibited in North America beginning with the famous 1913 Armory Show. Students will examine recent scholarship devoted to Munch and the critical issues that his work addresses. It will also place him within the broader cultural context of Scandinavian and European modernism, while examining his impact on subsequent generations.
ARTH-581
Realism and Avaant-Garde in Russian Art
The term “avant-garde” was originally used to describe the foremost part of an army advancing into battle. The concept of the avant-garde is considered by some to be synonymous with Modernism. The radical move away from classical forms of representation in the late 19th and early 20th centuries is typical of how one understands the avant-garde. In Russia, the experiments in art from the mid 1890’s through 1922 are seen as modernist avant-garde practices that were extreme departures from art practices of the earlier 19th century. Although this art is very often described, like other western art of the period, in terms of form rather than with regard to its ideological content, students will examine the avant-garde’s social and, therefore, political underpinnings. In order to get to the roots of an earlier understanding of the avant-garde, we find in its beginnings the writings of Claude Henri de Rouvroy, comte de Saint-Simon, and Olinde Rodrigues. In Russia the artists who painted images that represented the social world, and therefore put themselves in opposition to the status quo, were known as the Peredvizhniki. Students will connect this group of artists to the Russian formal and political avant-garde of the early 20th century and to the latter non-conformist artists of the second half of the 20th century that coincides with Perestroika and the eventual demise of the Soviet Union.
ARTH-583
Installation Art
This course will introduce students to historic, contemporary, and critical issues surrounding installation art. There will be an introduction to the development of installation art as a genre. We will examine the changes, which have developed over the past three decades, of object sculpture to non-object. There will be an emphasis on the development of the concept of an installation project and its relationship to site and/or audience. Both public and gallery spaces will be discussed.
ARTH-584
Scandinavian Modernism
Students will examine the decorative arts and visual culture of modern Scandinavia from 1860 to the present, with special emphasis on the social, economic, and political impulses that have shaped them. Scandinavian Modern design plays a significant role in the postwar epoch; it is equated with such leading brands as Volvo, Saab, Ericsson, Nokia, H&M, Electrolux Orrefors, Georg Jensen, ARTEK, Iittala, and IKEA and the idea of progressive, social democracy. The myths and realities of its success will be examined and related to emerging cultural and national identities, as well as its impact on contemporary design.
ARTH-586
History of Things: Studies in Material Culture
This course is an examination of techniques and materials together with a historical overview of the artistic achievements of craftsmen and women in the past, with particular emphasis on ceramics and metalsmithing. It includes study of Renaissance and early modern earthenware and stoneware as a prelude to the consideration of the history of porcelain and explores creative thinking and designing in other traditional craft areas such as fiber, glass, and wood.
ARTH-588
Symbols and Symbol Making: Psychoanalytic Perspectives on Art
Students will explore the links between psychoanalytic theory, art history and visual culture with special focus on the work of Sigmund Freud, Carl Jung, and their followers. A central aim is to examine the way in which psychoanalytic theory has been employed by art historians and theorists as a mode of interpretation, as well as to study how, why, and what several of the most notable psychoanalysts have written about art. Topics include the interpretation of dreams, transference, the Oedipal myth, melancholia, narcissism, abjection, the structure of the unconscious, the fetish, Archetypes and the Collective Unconscious, as well as outsider art, and the art of the insane. Key theorists to be discussed include: Freud, Jung, D.W. Winnicott, Melanie Klein, Jacques Lacan, Otto Rank and Julia Kristeva; individual artists studied include: Albrecht Dürer, Leonardo da Vinci, Edvard Munch, Lars Hertervig, Max Ernst, Jackson Pollock, Antonin Artaud, Louise Bourgeois, Mary Kelly and Victor Burgin; in addition to examples from film (Maya Deren, Luis Bu–uel and Salvador Dali, and Stan Brakhage).
GRDE-322
Women Pioneers in Design
This course will center on the contributions made by Modernist women designers. Emphasis will be placed on their unheralded pioneering efforts. Exemplars from the field will be presented, set in a historical context. Lectures are complemented by guest speakers, videos, participatory exercises, discussion, and critical essay writing.
GRDE-326
20th Century Editorial Design History
This course is a thematic approach to the history of magazine design and provides a necessary historical basis for students in the visual arts and design. The course involves lectures on editorial designers, other pioneering Modernist designers, and design from other countries. Exemplars from the field are presented, set in a wide historical context. Lectures are complemented by guest speakers, videos, participatory exercises, discussion, and critical essay writing.
PHAR-211
Histories and Aesthetics of Photography I
The objective of this course, part one of a two semester sequence, is to present an overview of the multiple, intersecting histories and aesthetic practices of photography as utilized for fine art, snapshot, documentary, scientific, commercial and propaganda purposes in a global perspective. Course lectures include the medium's pre-history and a detailed development of the camera obscura. Students will learn about many technical processes, as well as, the multiple interpretations of notable images during the period 1800-1915.
PHAR-212
Histories and Aesthetics of Photography II
The objective of this course, the second course of a two-semester sequence, is to present an overview of the multiple, intersecting histories and aesthetic practices of photography from the development of Modernism to the present, including the medium's transformation by digital imaging in the 21st century. Photography's applications within fine art, documentary, scientific, journalistic, commercial and vernacular practices will be investigated within a global perspective, but primary emphasis is placed upon developments and movements within the United States and Europe.
SOFA-511
Film Sound Theory: Music
This course is one of three in the study of film sound theory. Through readings, focused group discussion, and the viewing of/listening to select films, the course promotes critical analysis of the varied and profound uses of music in sound design. Addressed is the history of music from the silent era to the modern score. The concepts studied include the modal changes in point-of-audition, and positioning across diegeses. Newer topics including audio-visualization and ventriloquism theory are also addressed.
SOFA-512
Film Sound Theory: Effects
This course is one of three in the study of film sound theory. Through readings, focused group discussion, and the viewing of/listening to select films, the course promotes critical analysis of the varied and profound uses of effects in sound design. Addressed is the history of effects from the early sound era to the modern design. The concepts studied include the modal changes in point-of-audition, and positioning across diegeses. Other topics like complementarity and the acousmetre acousmatic are also addressed.
SOFA-513
Film Sound Theory: Voice
This course is one of three in the study of film sound theory. This course will promote critical analysis of the varied and profound uses of music in sound design through readings, focused group discussion, and viewing and listening to select films. The history of voice from the silent era to the modern sound design will be addressed. The concepts studied include the modal changes in point-of-audition, and positioning across diegeses. Other topics include the acousmetre and the mute, vococentric mixing and separation, relativizing, and dialogue theory.
SOFA-541
History and Aesthetics of Animation
This course will explore the beginnings, the evolution, the creative and practical history of the animated film, including prehistory of animation, early film and animation history, major trends, artists, animation studios, theoretical distinctions and international identities in animation. Issues of animation aesthetics will also be elucidated through discussions, readings and reviews of exemplary films to emphasize the unique characteristics of the animated art form and how those characteristics are used as a means of interpretation and expression. Both orthodox and unorthodox animation will be highlighted. Films will be screened at every lecture.
SOFA-542
History and Aesthetics: Animation Stories
This course will provide an in-depth study of an animation artist, animated genre, or other specific topics that has had a major impact on the animated film art form. Films will be viewed and discussed in the context of the specific times and places in which they were made. Emphasis will also be placed on determining the unique characteristics of the animation medium and how those characteristics are used as a means of interpretation and expression.
SOFA-561
New Documentary Issues
This course will examine the current trends in documentary film during the last decade. Students will view 1-2 documentary films each week. Students will examine each film critically; analyzing the film’s theme, structure, style, relationship to reality, and effectiveness. In addition, students will examine how current filmmakers interpret and build upon the basic ideas and discourse that have defined documentary filmmaking since its beginnings.
SOFA-562
International Film History
This course examines selected, varying film topics in a wider socio-historical context. Seminar themes change each year and may include topics such as post-war German film, films of the Holocaust, Japanese film, surrealist and magic realist film, Soviet film, Native Americans on film, etc. Students are expected to participate actively in the course discussions.
SOFA-566
Documentary Film History
This course will examine the development of documentary film from 1920 to the present day. Students will explore central themes in documentary filmmaking, including the Grierson social documentary, the Flaherty romantic tradition, cinema verite, propaganda films, first-person narratives, and experimental documentary. Through film viewings, class discussions, and assigned readings, the students will critically examine how documentary film is constructed, keeping in mind the critical relationship between the film’s content and its meaning.

Film and Animation (production option), BFA degree, typical course sequence

Course Sem. Cr. Hrs.
First Year
SOFA-101
Production I
A fundamental course in non-synchronous film production and an introduction to digital video editing. Filmmaking is presented as a means of interpretation and expression. This course combines technical information in motion picture exposure and editing with a theoretical and practical approach to motion picture continuity. Production is in non-sync format and post-production is digital software. Students furnish film, tape and processing. **Fee: There is a lab free required for this course. **
3
SOFA-102
Production II
This is the second sequenced production course for freshmen film/video students pursuing a concentration of live action production. Emphasis is on a variety of approaches to the edited image. In addition to continuing to develop basic concepts of creating articulate film language in short productions, this course introduces the nature and importance of the sound component in creating cinematic works and focuses on digital workflow. An essential course for students in the film/video curriculum who must be able to create not only images but also mature and appropriate soundtracks for their film and video works.
3
SOFA-112
Fundamentals of Screenwriting 
This course will introduce students to the forms and techniques of writing for visual media, particularly the short film. Students will develop resources for finding stories and concepts that can be turned into films. Students will be responsible for writing a short script of their own choosing and for completing several brief written exercises in areas such as personal storytelling, character development, dialogue, and plot. Scripts written in this course can be used as the basis for films produced in other classes.
3
SOFA-121
LAS Perspective 2 (artistic): Animation I
This class will introduce students to the gamut of animation thinking and making through classroom instruction and hands-on practical experience. Lecture and readings will emphasize the process, theory and practice of animated filmmaking with extensive film screenings to illustrate each technique and related aesthetics. Hands-on supervised studio sessions will guide students to an intuitive understanding of the process of producing animation and students will use this understanding to analyze various animated works Each student will develop their personal vision through assigned projects utilizing the material discussed in class. Facilities fee required for non-majors.
3
SOFA-122
Fundamentals of Computers and Imaging Technology 
This course provides an introductory overview to computer systems and to principles associated with motion picture technologies. Topics covered include computer history, basics in computer architecture basics, operating systems, HTML and networking. Human vision and perception, image capture and display technologies (both analog and digital), digital image processing and post-production equipment and software are also covered. The course focuses on exposing the students to basic principles necessary to proceed with subsequent courses with production or animation focus.
3
SOFA-131
Film History and Theory I
Film History and Theory I is a motion picture examination and readings course. It will give media production students the opportunity to trace the development of many of the techniques and forms in what now constitute traditional and expanded definitions of cinema. The course is taught from the perspective of a practicing filmmaker involved in the critical exploration of film language as well as its historical and cultural dimensions. In addition to lectures, the course includes weekly screenings of seminal works from the history of cinema. Screenings support class lectures.
3
YOPS-10
RIT 365: RIT Connections
0
 
First Year Writing (WI)
3
Choose one of the following:
3
 
   LAS Perspective 5 (natural science inquiry)
 
 
   LAS Perspective 6 (scientific principles)
 
 
   LAS Perspective 7 (mathematical)
 
 
History and Aesthetics Elective
3
 
LAS Perspective 1 (ethical)
3
 
Wellness Education*
0
Second Year
SOFA-202
Production Processes 
This course is an introduction to all aspects of professional film/video narrative production. Students produce short projects while learning basic shooting and crewing procedures, studio protocol, equipment handling and maintenance, and basic sync editing.
4
SOFA-205
Basic Sound Recording
Students will learn to work with sound and to distinguish and evaluate proper sound techniques for film and animation productions. The course lays the foundation for professional work in the sound industry. Each student records audio and prepares a mixed soundtrack to professional quality standards.
3
SOFA-206 
Directing
An introduction to the arts of directing and acting with an emphasis on script analysis, performance, and blocking. Students direct and act in scenes from professional productions. Scenes are rehearsed outside of class, and then staged and critiqued in class.
3
SOFA-208 
Dramatic Structure (WI)
This course explores the theories of dramatic structure from Aristotle to the present and applies these theories to current and classic dramatic works. The class also explores dramatic script structure as it is used in dramatic works on stage and screen.
3
Choose one of the following:
4
  SOFA-211
   Documentary Workshop
Students will make a short documentary film on a subject they choose. Students plan for pre-production including research, contacting possible subjects, and writing a proposal. During the production phase of the film, students will learn interviewing skills, how to direct a documentary crew, and how to work with their subjects. During post production students will learn how to organize their material into a short film. Students will complete projects for screening at the end of the semester. Students can retake this course as a SOFA elective after completing Fiction or Radical Cinema Workshop.
 
  SOFA-212
   Fiction Workshop
Students will direct short fiction projects using either film or digital media and also serve on the production crew for other projects. Students specializing in a cinematic craft will work in important creative capacities on two or more projects. Students are encouraged to explore individual styles and concepts. Intensive pre-production protocol and documentation are followed. Editing and sound design will be completed as well. Students will complete projects for screening at the end of the semester. Students can retake this course as a SOFA elective once they have completed Documentary or Radical Cinema Workshop.
 
  SOFA-213
   Radical Cinema Workshop
Students will produce at least one major artistic work that uses the moving image. This course demands the use of alternative expressions in concept, style, or technology, and students are encouraged to take risks, break "rules" and explore their own unique creative potential. Students may work in a variety of media, depending on their proficiencies and their vision of the project. Non-majors are welcome with the permission of instructor. Students will complete projects for screening at the end of the semester. Students can retake this course as a SOFA elective once they have completed Fiction Workshop or Documentary Workshop.
 
 
LAS Perspective 3 (global)
3
 
LAS Perspective 4 (social)
3
 
SOFA Craft Choice§
3
 
CAD Elective‡
3
 
Free Elective
3
Third Year 
SOFA-306
Senior Capstone Seminar
Students discuss and generate written plans for their senior films or capstone projects. Each student will secure a film and animation faculty adviser for their senior year.
1
SOFA-514
Business and Careers in Film
An introduction to all aspects of the business side of professional film/video narrative documentary and commercial production. Students will form production companies and develop a business plan while considering alternative careers in film, basic financial and legal protocol, and mental preparation needed to enter the film business market. Resumes and reels are assigned projects.
3
Choose one of the following:
4
  SOFA-211
   Documentary Workshop
Students will make a short documentary film on a subject they choose. Students plan for pre-production including research, contacting possible subjects, and writing a proposal. During the production phase of the film, students will learn interviewing skills, how to direct a documentary crew, and how to work with their subjects. During post production students will learn how to organize their material into a short film. Students will complete projects for screening at the end of the semester. Students can retake this course as a SOFA elective after completing Fiction or Radical Cinema Workshop.
 
  SOFA-212
   Fiction Workshop
Students will direct short fiction projects using either film or digital media and also serve on the production crew for other projects. Students specializing in a cinematic craft will work in important creative capacities on two or more projects. Students are encouraged to explore individual styles and concepts. Intensive pre-production protocol and documentation are followed. Editing and sound design will be completed as well. Students will complete projects for screening at the end of the semester. Students can retake this course as a SOFA elective once they have completed Documentary or Radical Cinema Workshop.
 
  SOFA-213
   Radical Cinema Workshop
Students will produce at least one major artistic work that uses the moving image. This course demands the use of alternative expressions in concept, style, or technology, and students are encouraged to take risks, break "rules" and explore their own unique creative potential. Students may work in a variety of media, depending on their proficiencies and their vision of the project. Non-majors are welcome with the permission of instructor. Students will complete projects for screening at the end of the semester. Students can retake this course as a SOFA elective once they have completed Fiction Workshop or Documentary Workshop.
 
 
History and Aesthetics Electives
6
 
CAD Electives‡
6
 
LAS Elective 
3
 
SOFA Craft Choice§
3
 
Free Elective
3
 
LAS Immersion 1 (WI)
3
Fourth Year
SOFA-406
Senior Capstone I
Students work independently with their advisor towards completion of their capstone experience for their BFA degree. Students have a predetermined timeline and must complete all deadlines to pass this course.
4
SOFA-407
Senior Capstone II
Students work independently with their advisor towards completion of their capstone experience for their BFA degree. Students have a predetermined timeline and must complete all deadlines of that timeline to pass this thesis course including completion and public screening of finished work or final presentation of craft experience.
4
SOFA-408
Senior Forum
This course is intended to best accompany and complement the student's Senior Thesis experience. All students in this course meet as a group to screen edited works in progress, discuss post-production problems, and plan jointly for the use of departmental production resources.
1
 
History and Aesthetics Electives
3
 
Free Electives
6
 
LAS Immersion 2, 3
6
 
CAD Elective‡
3
Total Semester Credit Hours
121

Please see General Education Curriculum–Liberal Arts and Sciences (LAS) for more information.

(WI) Refers to a writing intensive course within the major.

* Please see Wellness Education Requirement for more information. Students completing bachelor's degrees are required to complete two different Wellness courses.

† SOFA production workshop courses include Documentary Workshop (SOFA-211), Fiction Workshop (SOFA-212), and Radical Cinema Workshop (SOFA-213). Students must complete two production workshops over the course of three semesters, starting in the spring of the second year and ending in the spring of the third year. Once the student has completed two different workshops, courses may be repeated for credit.

‡ Please see an adviser for a complete list of CAD electives.

§ SOFA craft choice courses include Advanced Sound Recording (SOFA-521), Advanced Editing (SOFA-523), Advanced Directing (SOFA-524), Writing the Short (SOFA-526), Advanced Cinematography (SOFA-578).

Electives

History and Aesthetics Electives
Course
 
Any "ARTH" undergraduate course
FNRT-372
American Film of the Studio Era
This course examines the history and aesthetics of the motion picture in the United States between the 1890s and the early 1960s; emphasis will be placed on the analysis of both the work of major American filmmakers and the development of major American film genres during the Classical Hollywood Studio period. Among the filmmakers to be studied are Griffith, Chaplin, Hawks, Ford, Capra, Welles, Curtiz, Wilder, Donen, Sirk, Ray, Hitchcock, and Kubrick. Genres to be covered include the melodrama, silent comedy, screwball comedy, western, thriller, film noir, newspaper film, and the gangster film. The films will be studied within the context of contemporary cultural and political events, and will be discussed from several viewpoints, including aesthetic, technical, social, and economic. The ways in which gender and class are constructed through the movies will also be a major focus of study.
FNRT-373
American Film Since the Sixties
This course examines the history and aesthetics of the motion picture in the United States since the late 1960s, when the classical studio era ended. Emphasis will be placed on the analysis of both the work of major American filmmakers and the evolution of major American film genres between 1967 and 2001. Among the filmmakers to be studied are Kazan, Cassavetes, Penn, Coppola, Scorsese, Spielberg, Allen, Seidelman, Lee, Burton, Altman, Tarantino, Coen, and Lynch. The course will consider the evolution of such traditional Hollywood genres as the gangster film, the romantic comedy, and the Hollywood movie, study the development of new, blended genres, investigate the rise of the blockbuster, explore the rise of the Independents, and follow the aesthetic changes that occurred since the 1967. The films will be studied within the context of contemporary cultural and political events, and will be discussed from several viewpoints, including aesthetic, technical, social, and economic. The ways in which gender, race, and class are constructed through the movies will also be a major focus of study.
GRDE-322
Women Pioneers in Design
This course will center on the contributions made by Modernist women designers. Emphasis will be placed on their unheralded pioneering efforts. Exemplars from the field will be presented, set in a historical context. Lectures are complemented by guest speakers, videos, participatory exercises, discussion, and critical essay writing.
GRDE-326
20th Century Editorial Design History
This course is a thematic approach to the history of magazine design and provides a necessary historical basis for students in the visual arts and design. The course involves lectures on editorial designers, other pioneering Modernist designers, and design from other countries. Exemplars from the field are presented, set in a wide historical context. Lectures are complemented by guest speakers, videos, participatory exercises, discussion, and critical essay writing.
PHAR-211
Histories and Aesthetics of Photography I
The objective of this course, part one of a two semester sequence, is to present an overview of the multiple, intersecting histories and aesthetic practices of photography as utilized for fine art, snapshot, documentary, scientific, commercial and propaganda purposes in a global perspective. Course lectures include the medium's pre-history and a detailed development of the camera obscura. Students will learn about many technical processes, as well as, the multiple interpretations of notable images during the period 1800-1915.
PHAR-212
Histories and Aesthetics of Photography II
The objective of this course, the second course of a two-semester sequence, is to present an overview of the multiple, intersecting histories and aesthetic practices of photography from the development of Modernism to the present, including the medium's transformation by digital imaging in the 21st century. Photography's applications within fine art, documentary, scientific, journalistic, commercial and vernacular practices will be investigated within a global perspective, but primary emphasis is placed upon developments and movements within the United States and Europe.
SOFA-511
Film Sound Theory: Music
This course is one of three in the study of film sound theory. Through readings, focused group discussion, and the viewing of/listening to select films, the course promotes critical analysis of the varied and profound uses of music in sound design. Addressed is the history of music from the silent era to the modern score. The concepts studied include the modal changes in point-of-audition, and positioning across diegeses. Newer topics including audio-visualization and ventriloquism theory are also addressed.
SOFA-512
Film Sound Theory: Effects
This course is one of three in the study of film sound theory. Through readings, focused group discussion, and the viewing of/listening to select films, the course promotes critical analysis of the varied and profound uses of effects in sound design. Addressed is the history of effects from the early sound era to the modern design. The concepts studied include the modal changes in point-of-audition, and positioning across diegeses. Other topics like complementarity and the acousmetre acousmatic are also addressed.
SOFA-513
Film Sound Theory: Voice
This course is one of three in the study of film sound theory. This course will promote critical analysis of the varied and profound uses of music in sound design through readings, focused group discussion, and viewing and listening to select films. The history of voice from the silent era to the modern sound design will be addressed. The concepts studied include the modal changes in point-of-audition, and positioning across diegeses. Other topics include the acousmetre and the mute, vococentric mixing and separation, relativizing, and dialogue theory.
SOFA-541
History and Aesthetics of Animation
This course will explore the beginnings, the evolution, the creative and practical history of the animated film, including prehistory of animation, early film and animation history, major trends, artists, animation studios, theoretical distinctions and international identities in animation. Issues of animation aesthetics will also be elucidated through discussions, readings and reviews of exemplary films to emphasize the unique characteristics of the animated art form and how those characteristics are used as a means of interpretation and expression. Both orthodox and unorthodox animation will be highlighted. Films will be screened at every lecture.
SOFA-561
New Documentary Issues
This course will examine the current trends in documentary film during the last decade. Students will view 1-2 documentary films each week. Students will examine each film critically; analyzing the film’s theme, structure, style, relationship to reality, and effectiveness. In addition, students will examine how current filmmakers interpret and build upon the basic ideas and discourse that have defined documentary filmmaking since its beginnings.
SOFA-562
International Film History
This course examines selected, varying film topics in a wider socio-historical context. Seminar themes change each year and may include topics such as post-war German film, films of the Holocaust, Japanese film, surrealist and magic realist film, Soviet film, Native Americans on film, etc. Students are expected to participate actively in the course discussions.
SOFA-566
Documentary Film History
This course will examine the development of documentary film from 1920 to the present day. Students will explore central themes in documentary filmmaking, including the Grierson social documentary, the Flaherty romantic tradition, cinema verite, propaganda films, first-person narratives, and experimental documentary. Through film viewings, class discussions, and assigned readings, the students will critically examine how documentary film is constructed, keeping in mind the critical relationship between the film’s content and its meaning.

Admission Requirements

Freshman Admission

For all bachelor’s degree programs, a strong performance in a college preparatory program is expected. Generally, this includes 4 years of English, 3-4 years of mathematics, 2-3 years of science, and 3 years of social studies and/or history.

Transfer Admission

Transfer course recommendations without associate degree

Courses in liberal arts, science, design, drawing, and film, video, or animation.

Appropriate associate degree programs for transfer

Transfer as a third-year student is uncommon, as comparable programs are not generally available at other colleges.

Learn about admissions and financial aid 

Additional Info

Admission requirements

For information on undergraduate admission, including freshman and transfer admission guidelines, please refer to the Undergraduate Admission section of this bulletin.

Portfolio guidelines: Specific instructions on portfolio submission for applicants to the film and animation major are available on the college website. The review committee is looking for work that is original in concept and content. It does not necessarily need to be motion media, but should be visual or aural. Examples include films/videos, photos, drawings, paintings, sculpture, stop-motion puppets, scripts, creative writing, storyboards, and original music.

Writing policy

The School of Film and Animation has a minimum writing requirement within each of its majors. A copy of the school’s official writing competency policy may be obtained from the department or from the Office of Academic Student Services.

Summer session

The School of Film and Animation offers a limited selection of courses during the summer term. These range from beginning courses to those requiring a substantial background. For information on summer courses, please contact the school.

Memberships

The school maintains memberships in a number of professional organizations, including: Animation World Network, College Art Association, Rochester Audio Visual Association, Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers, University Film and Video Association, Siggraph, and BEA.