Film and Animation MFA

Film and Animation (2D animation option), MFA degree, typical course sequence

Course Sem. Cr. Hrs.
First Year
SOFA-603
2D Animation I: Fundamentals
This course will introduce graduate students to the concepts and mechanics of movement for animation, focusing on, but not limited to, character based movement. Animation principles and theories on movement and acting will be introduced and applied using hand-drawn methods, which will serve as the foundation for their application in any desired medium. Various styles of animation timing will be examined and students will have the opportunity to develop their own sense of timing and movement. Multi-week exercises will be recorded using standard animation software, and will be reviewed, discussed and open to group critique. (This course is restricted to students in the FILMAN-MFA program.) Studio 6 (Fall).
3
SOFA-605
Basic Sound Recording
This course will provide specialized knowledge and work in sound to prepare the student to be able 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 will record an audio and prepare a mixed soundtrack to professional quality standards. (his course is restricted to Graduate College of Art and Design students.) Lecture 3 (Fall).
3
SOFA-610
Graduate Seminar
A forum to establish among a diverse student group a common vocabulary for discussing film language and structure, collaborative relationships, and a sense of community, while exploring issues related to scene analysis, production practice and planning, story boarding, story telling, visual music, School of Film and Animation policies and professional business realities. (This course is restricted to students in the FILMAN-MFA program.) Lecture 2 (Fall).
2
SOFA-611
History and Aesthetics of Animation
This course will explore the beginnings, the evolution, and the creative and practical history of the animated film. This will include prehistory of animation, early film and animation history development, major trends, artists, animation studios, theoretical distinctions, and international identities in animation. Issues of animation aesthetics will also be revealed through discussions, readings and reviews of exemplary films: emphasizing 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. (his course is restricted to Graduate College of Art and Design students.) Lec/Lab 5 (Spring).
3
Choose one of the following:
3
   SOFA-615
   3D Animation Fundamentals
This course will provide a fundamental understanding of computer-generated three-dimensional imagery and world-building. Using top industry-standard software Autodesk Maya, students will explore the technology and processes of professional world-creation and animation. Students will experience the creation of completed digital animations and display skills in 3D modeling, animation, lighting and rendering. (This course is restricted to students in the FILMAN-MFA program.) Lab 3, Lecture 2 (Fall).
 
   SOFA-617
   Stop Motion Puppet Fundamentals
This introductory course will give graduate students a basic and solid understanding of stop-motion animation. The class will cover 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. Topics, such as latex and silicon mold-making and intensive postproduction techniques will be introduced. (his course is restricted to Graduate College of Art and Design students.) Lab 3, Lecture 2 (Fall).
 
SOFA-622
30 Second Film
An introduction into the world of producing television commercials or other 30 second films. Major emphasis will be placed on learning to generate and intensify a personal statement through creative projects. Work is critiqued weekly by the instructor and class. Students execute the production of a completed 30 second film. (Prerequisites: SOFA-603 or SOFA-615 or SOFA-617 or equivalent course.) Lecture 3 (Spring).
3
SOFA-625
Animated Acting Principles
This course will give students an opportunity to explore a visual language of acting and posing that will help their storytelling abilities. Acting, timing and pacing are critical elements to any successful character animated film. Identifying and building a library of expressions, poses, and movement for emotional and visual expression is the goal for each student. Students will study reference material from silent and animated films. Students will also create their own reference material through acting and filming. The visual references will be scrutinized on a frame-by-frame basis for a deeper understanding of this visual language. Students will produce animated studies related to the acting principles. (Prerequisites: SOFA-630 or equivalent course.) Lecture 3 (Spring).
3
SOFA-627
Pre-Production for Animators
Using pre-production steps, students will produce short film ideas. The course will cover concept creation, treatments, scripts, storyboards, design, budgets and experimental film structures. Students will make weekly presentations and work will be critiqued. (This course is restricted to students in the FILMAN-MFA program.) Lecture 3 (Fall).
3
SOFA-628
Animation Writing and Visual Storytelling
This course will provide an in-depth examination of structural elements of both the written and visual aspects of the animated film and the pre-production process. Particular attention will be given to: the application of materials, short film format, and layout of movements, visual composition, and storyboarding. Along with visualization and writing exercises, students will conceive a story idea, develop it in to formatted animation storyboards and create an animatic. (Prerequisite: SOFA-627 or equivalent course.) Lecture 3 (Spring).
3
Choose one of the following:
3
   SOFA-623
  Stop Motion Master Class
This course will introduce stop motion MFA students to more advanced techniques of single frame production. The class will be divided into teams that will execute a finished short film complete with post and sound work. Although these finished films will be short and simple they will expose the students to stop motion set and puppet building, lighting, grip work, camera movement and post work. This class builds on the fundamentals that were taught in the Puppet Fundamentals class and advances the student in their understanding of stop motion production. The team members will specialize in certain areas of building, camera work, animation and post work and will contribute to the team film until the completion of that project. The next step for these advanced students upon completion of this class will be to create an MFA thesis film. (Prerequisites: SOFA-617 or equivalent course and graduate student standing in FILMAN-MFA.) Lab 3, Lecture 2 (Spring).
 
   SOFA-748
  Concept and Character Design
This course will introduce students to the basics of design as applied to characters and environments for animated productions. Line, color, texture, shape, form and story will be referenced when developing characters and environments. Projects will utilize drawing, digital painting, and live action. In this course, a variety of exercises will explore tone, mood, deep and shallow space, and natural and imagined spaces. Students will develop their own personal process of visual development through a variety of exercises, working toward a final finished project. (Prerequisites: SOFA-603 or equivalent course.) Lecture 2, Studio 3 (Spring).
 
SOFA-630
Animation Film Language
This course will introduce the historical and contemporary discourse on the theory, aesthetics and characteristics of the animated film. Lectures, readings, writing assignments, classroom discussions, and film viewings will emphasize animation’s diverse history, theories, philosophical and practical aspects. Concepts of animation production and related classification and terminology will be presented. (This course is restricted to students in the FILMAN-MFA program.) Lec/Lab 4 (Fall).
2
Second Year
Choose one of the following:
3
   SOFA-604
   2D Animation II: Mechanics
This course will build on information gained from foundation animation courses. Multi-week assignments will allow students to fully grasp the production process involved in hand-drawn animation and develop an understanding of different parameters commonly found in animated films, including but not limited to character interaction, emotion and animal movement. Students will have the opportunity to explore various approaches to timing, movement, acting and characterization. Character design and solid drawing skills are highly recommended. (Prerequisites: SOFA-603 or equivalent course.) Lab 3, Lecture 1 (Spring).
 
   SOFA-652
   Alternative Frame by Frame
This course will give all students a chance to explore three different approaches to stop-motion animation. The class will study and experiment with pixilation, time-lapse and relief animation with a “down-shooter.” These techniques will expand the student’s knowledge of traditional and experimental animation and present an alternative means of expression. The class 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. There will be a final project in the technique of the student’s choice. (This class is restricted to degree-seeking graduate students or those with permission from instructor.) Lecture 3 (Fall).
 
SOFA-618
Business and Careers in Animation
This class will be geared toward the small animation business owner, the studio employee, and the individual freelance animator. The course will discuss the setting up of a small business and all of its operations. The elements of discussion will teach students how to approach animation work in the industry from a small business perspective and from an individual approach. The class will discuss the creation of sample reels, websites, self-promotion, contracts, negotiation, pitching, fund-raising, research and interview techniques all related to the individual animator. Crowdfunding and grant writing will be discussed. There will be guest interviews from animation professionals. Discussions of ethics and individual responsibilities will be covered. (Prerequisites: SOFA-622 or equivalent course.) Lecture 3 (Spring).
3
SOFA-676
After Effects for Animators
This is an intermediate animation course that will focus on After Effects. The course will cover: visual effects development, character animation, puppet-building, world-building, time management, and post-production cleanup. Students will learn and engage with design and style development in animation production. (Prerequisites: SOFA-603 or SOFA-615 or SOFA-617 or equivalent course.) Lab 3, Lecture 2 (Fall).
3
SOFA-717
Animation Workshop
This course is the student’s second experience producing a complete animated film individually or in collaboration with a classmate. In this workshop-style course, students will design and implement all phases of an animated film production and produce a short film with sound. Students will rely only on techniques learned in previous classes. The final film must be screened for the school community at the end of the course. (Prerequisites: SOFA-622 or equivalent course.) Lecture 4 (Fall).
4
SOFA-780
Thesis Preparation Seminar
The focus of this course is to develop a written proposal for an MFA Film Thesis. The thesis will provide the backbone of a candidate's final film-making production leading to the completion of MFA creative work and the supporting written document. Students must identify a thesis chair and form a committee. The course will prepare students to present and defend their thesis before a faculty committee seeking approval of the proposal. (Prerequisite: SOFA-717 or SOFA-721 or equivalent course.) Seminar 2 (Spring).
1
 
Open Electives
6
 
Professional Electives
6
Third Year
SOFA-790
Research and Thesis I
This is the first of two courses designed to advance a student towards completion of their thesis. Students will work independently on their approved plan of work for their thesis while meeting on a regular basis with their committee chair. They are required to meet at least twice with their full committee during the semester. (Prerequisites: SOFA-780 or equivalent course.) Thesis (Fall).
4
SOFA-890
Research and Thesis II
This is the second of two courses designed to advance a student towards completion of their thesis. Students will work independently on their approved plan of work for their thesis while meeting on a regular basis with their committee chair. They are required to meet at least twice with their full committee during the semester as well as present a final screening of their thesis. (Prerequisite: SOFA-790 or equivalent course.) Thesis 4 (Spring).
4
Total Semester Credit Hours
65

Professional Electives
Course
SOFA-620
3D Modeling Mastery
In this advanced three-dimensional modeling course, students will refine their knowledge and skills by creating objects and characters in 3D space. Students will build and create on their previous modeling knowledge and will be introduced to digital sculpting. Modeling concepts such as edge-loop placement for proper animation deformation will be emphasized. (Prerequisites: SOFA-615 or equivalent course.) Lab 3, Lecture 2 (Spring).
SOFA-638
Complete 3D Character Creation
This course will explore the process of character creation, specifically character rigging for digital animation. Students will learn to build a working rig by applying their research into body mechanics, character deformation, and dynamic restructuring. Students will combine their understanding of aesthetic character creation with the study of 3D technology. Students will be exposed to automation through code-building and expressions. This course has an additional research component. (Prerequisite: SOFA-695 or equivalent course.) Lab 4, Lecture 2 (Fall).
SOFA-644
Cinematic Compositing
Students will learn digital compositing using rotoscoping, image tracking, alpha channels and transparency. Composites may be accomplished through green screen shooting, transfer modes, masks, and/or traveling mattes. Students will shoot their own footage to combine with their effects to create the final image. Node based compositing will be addressed as well. (Prerequisite: (SOFA-602 or SOFA-624) or equivalent courses.) Lab 3, Lecture 2 (Spring).
SOFA-652
Alternative Frame by Frame
This course will give all students a chance to explore three different approaches to stop-motion animation. The class will study and experiment with pixilation, time-lapse and relief animation with a “down-shooter.” These techniques will expand the student’s knowledge of traditional and experimental animation and present an alternative means of expression. The class 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. There will be a final project in the technique of the student’s choice. (This class is restricted to degree-seeking graduate students or those with permission from instructor.) Lecture 3 (Fall).
SOFA-665
Creative Research Workshop
A research and/or production opportunity for advanced students with extensive prior experience in the field of animation or live action filmmaking to work on a special project independently or collaboratively under the supervision of a faculty adviser. Enrollment in this course is by application only and with permission of a faculty adviser. (This course is restricted to students in the FILMAN-MFA program.) Lecture (Fall, Spring).
SOFA-684
Animation Gesture
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 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. (This course is restricted to students in the FILMAN-MFA program.) Studio 6 (Spring).

Film and Animation (3D animation option), MFA degree, typical course sequence

Course Sem. Cr. Hrs.
First Year
SOFA-605
Basic Sound Recording
This course will provide specialized knowledge and work in sound to prepare the student to be able 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 will record an audio and prepare a mixed soundtrack to professional quality standards. (his course is restricted to Graduate College of Art and Design students.) Lecture 3 (Fall).
3
SOFA-610
Graduate Seminar
A forum to establish among a diverse student group a common vocabulary for discussing film language and structure, collaborative relationships, and a sense of community, while exploring issues related to scene analysis, production practice and planning, story boarding, story telling, visual music, School of Film and Animation policies and professional business realities. (This course is restricted to students in the FILMAN-MFA program.) Lecture 2 (Fall).
2
SOFA-611
History and Aesthetics of Animation
This course will explore the beginnings, the evolution, and the creative and practical history of the animated film. This will include prehistory of animation, early film and animation history development, major trends, artists, animation studios, theoretical distinctions, and international identities in animation. Issues of animation aesthetics will also be revealed through discussions, readings and reviews of exemplary films: emphasizing 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. (his course is restricted to Graduate College of Art and Design students.) Lec/Lab 5 (Spring).
3
Choose one of the following:
3
   SOFA-603
   2D Animation I: Fundamentals
This course will introduce graduate students to the concepts and mechanics of movement for animation, focusing on, but not limited to, character based movement. Animation principles and theories on movement and acting will be introduced and applied using hand-drawn methods, which will serve as the foundation for their application in any desired medium. Various styles of animation timing will be examined and students will have the opportunity to develop their own sense of timing and movement. Multi-week exercises will be recorded using standard animation software, and will be reviewed, discussed and open to group critique. (This course is restricted to students in the FILMAN-MFA program.) Studio 6 (Fall).
 
   SOFA-617
   Stop Motion Puppet Fundamentals
This introductory course will give graduate students a basic and solid understanding of stop-motion animation. The class will cover 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. Topics, such as latex and silicon mold-making and intensive postproduction techniques will be introduced. (his course is restricted to Graduate College of Art and Design students.) Lab 3, Lecture 2 (Fall).
 
SOFA-615
3D Animation Fundamentals
This course will provide a fundamental understanding of computer-generated three-dimensional imagery and world-building. Using top industry-standard software Autodesk Maya, students will explore the technology and processes of professional world-creation and animation. Students will experience the creation of completed digital animations and display skills in 3D modeling, animation, lighting and rendering. (This course is restricted to students in the FILMAN-MFA program.) Lab 3, Lecture 2 (Fall).
3
SOFA-622
30 Second Film
An introduction into the world of producing television commercials or other 30 second films. Major emphasis will be placed on learning to generate and intensify a personal statement through creative projects. Work is critiqued weekly by the instructor and class. Students execute the production of a completed 30 second film. (Prerequisites: SOFA-603 or SOFA-615 or SOFA-617 or equivalent course.) Lecture 3 (Spring).
3
SOFA-625
Animated Acting Principles
This course will give students an opportunity to explore a visual language of acting and posing that will help their storytelling abilities. Acting, timing and pacing are critical elements to any successful character animated film. Identifying and building a library of expressions, poses, and movement for emotional and visual expression is the goal for each student. Students will study reference material from silent and animated films. Students will also create their own reference material through acting and filming. The visual references will be scrutinized on a frame-by-frame basis for a deeper understanding of this visual language. Students will produce animated studies related to the acting principles. (Prerequisites: SOFA-630 or equivalent course.) Lecture 3 (Spring).
3
SOFA-627
Pre-Production for Animators
Using pre-production steps, students will produce short film ideas. The course will cover concept creation, treatments, scripts, storyboards, design, budgets and experimental film structures. Students will make weekly presentations and work will be critiqued. (This course is restricted to students in the FILMAN-MFA program.) Lecture 3 (Fall).
3
SOFA-628
Animation Writing and Visual Storytelling
This course will provide an in-depth examination of structural elements of both the written and visual aspects of the animated film and the pre-production process. Particular attention will be given to: the application of materials, short film format, and layout of movements, visual composition, and storyboarding. Along with visualization and writing exercises, students will conceive a story idea, develop it in to formatted animation storyboards and create an animatic. (Prerequisite: SOFA-627 or equivalent course.) Lecture 3 (Spring).
3
SOFA-630
Animation Film Language
This course will introduce the historical and contemporary discourse on the theory, aesthetics and characteristics of the animated film. Lectures, readings, writing assignments, classroom discussions, and film viewings will emphasize animation’s diverse history, theories, philosophical and practical aspects. Concepts of animation production and related classification and terminology will be presented. (This course is restricted to students in the FILMAN-MFA program.) Lec/Lab 4 (Fall).
2
SOFA-695
Advanced 3D Animation
This course will explore advanced character animation utilizing performance, emotion, and speech. Course content will include facial expressions and scenes with multiple characters interacting. Professional animation software will be used. By the end of the course, students will be able to create advanced biped character animation with dialogue and emotion. (Prerequisites: SOFA-615 or equivalent course.) Lab 3, Lecture 2 (Spring).
3
Second Year
SOFA-618
Business and Careers in Animation
This class will be geared toward the small animation business owner, the studio employee, and the individual freelance animator. The course will discuss the setting up of a small business and all of its operations. The elements of discussion will teach students how to approach animation work in the industry from a small business perspective and from an individual approach. The class will discuss the creation of sample reels, websites, self-promotion, contracts, negotiation, pitching, fund-raising, research and interview techniques all related to the individual animator. Crowdfunding and grant writing will be discussed. There will be guest interviews from animation professionals. Discussions of ethics and individual responsibilities will be covered. (Prerequisites: SOFA-622 or equivalent course.) Lecture 3 (Spring).
3
Choose one of the following:
3
   SOFA-675
   3D Lighting and Texturing
This course will offer an intensive look at lighting for three-dimensional animation pipelines. The focus of the course will be: surfacing, set-dressing, production design, and economical rendering techniques. Students will learn to observe, plan, replicate real-world environments, and apply to artistic interpretations of style and design. The course will also provide a balance between artistic needs and technical limitations in order to prepare a scene for post-production practices. This course has an additional research component. (Prerequisites: SOFA-615 or equivalent course.) Lab 3, Lecture 2 (Spring).
 
   SOFA-652
   Alternative Frame by Frame
This course will give all students a chance to explore three different approaches to stop-motion animation. The class will study and experiment with pixilation, time-lapse and relief animation with a “down-shooter.” These techniques will expand the student’s knowledge of traditional and experimental animation and present an alternative means of expression. The class 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. There will be a final project in the technique of the student’s choice. (This class is restricted to degree-seeking graduate students or those with permission from instructor.) Lecture 3 (Fall).
 
SOFA-676
After Effects for Animators
This is an intermediate animation course that will focus on After Effects. The course will cover: visual effects development, character animation, puppet-building, world-building, time management, and post-production cleanup. Students will learn and engage with design and style development in animation production. (Prerequisites: SOFA-603 or SOFA-615 or SOFA-617 or equivalent course.) Lab 3, Lecture 2 (Fall).
3
SOFA-717
Animation Workshop
This course is the student’s second experience producing a complete animated film individually or in collaboration with a classmate. In this workshop-style course, students will design and implement all phases of an animated film production and produce a short film with sound. Students will rely only on techniques learned in previous classes. The final film must be screened for the school community at the end of the course. (Prerequisites: SOFA-622 or equivalent course.) Lecture 4 (Fall).
4
SOFA-780
Thesis Preparation Seminar
The focus of this course is to develop a written proposal for an MFA Film Thesis. The thesis will provide the backbone of a candidate's final film-making production leading to the completion of MFA creative work and the supporting written document. Students must identify a thesis chair and form a committee. The course will prepare students to present and defend their thesis before a faculty committee seeking approval of the proposal. (Prerequisite: SOFA-717 or SOFA-721 or equivalent course.) Seminar 2 (Spring).
1
 
Professional Electives
6
 
Open Electives
6
Third Year
SOFA-790
Research and Thesis I
This is the first of two courses designed to advance a student towards completion of their thesis. Students will work independently on their approved plan of work for their thesis while meeting on a regular basis with their committee chair. They are required to meet at least twice with their full committee during the semester. (Prerequisites: SOFA-780 or equivalent course.) Thesis (Fall).
4
SOFA-890
Research and Thesis II
This is the second of two courses designed to advance a student towards completion of their thesis. Students will work independently on their approved plan of work for their thesis while meeting on a regular basis with their committee chair. They are required to meet at least twice with their full committee during the semester as well as present a final screening of their thesis. (Prerequisite: SOFA-790 or equivalent course.) Thesis 4 (Spring).
4
Total Semester Credit Hours
65
Professional Electives
Course
SOFA-620
3D Modeling Mastery
In this advanced three-dimensional modeling course, students will refine their knowledge and skills by creating objects and characters in 3D space. Students will build and create on their previous modeling knowledge and will be introduced to digital sculpting. Modeling concepts such as edge-loop placement for proper animation deformation will be emphasized. (Prerequisites: SOFA-615 or equivalent course.) Lab 3, Lecture 2 (Spring).
SOFA-638
Complete 3D Character Creation
This course will explore the process of character creation, specifically character rigging for digital animation. Students will learn to build a working rig by applying their research into body mechanics, character deformation, and dynamic restructuring. Students will combine their understanding of aesthetic character creation with the study of 3D technology. Students will be exposed to automation through code-building and expressions. This course has an additional research component. (Prerequisite: SOFA-695 or equivalent course.) Lab 4, Lecture 2 (Fall).
SOFA-644
Cinematic Compositing
Students will learn digital compositing using rotoscoping, image tracking, alpha channels and transparency. Composites may be accomplished through green screen shooting, transfer modes, masks, and/or traveling mattes. Students will shoot their own footage to combine with their effects to create the final image. Node based compositing will be addressed as well. (Prerequisite: (SOFA-602 or SOFA-624) or equivalent courses.) Lab 3, Lecture 2 (Spring).
SOFA-652
Alternative Frame by Frame
This course will give all students a chance to explore three different approaches to stop-motion animation. The class will study and experiment with pixilation, time-lapse and relief animation with a “down-shooter.” These techniques will expand the student’s knowledge of traditional and experimental animation and present an alternative means of expression. The class 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. There will be a final project in the technique of the student’s choice. (This class is restricted to degree-seeking graduate students or those with permission from instructor.) Lecture 3 (Fall).
SOFA-665
Creative Research Workshop
A research and/or production opportunity for advanced students with extensive prior experience in the field of animation or live action filmmaking to work on a special project independently or collaboratively under the supervision of a faculty adviser. Enrollment in this course is by application only and with permission of a faculty adviser. (This course is restricted to students in the FILMAN-MFA program.) Lecture (Fall, Spring).
SOFA-681
Particle Effects and Dynamics
This course will introduce three-dimensionally generated visual effects designed to enhance film and animation productions. The course content will explore generated particle animation and dynamic simulations of fluid, hair and cloth. Students will work across multiple software platforms and learn to successfully integrate various elements together into single, cohesive scenes. (Prerequisites: SOFA-615 or equivalent course.) Lab 3, Lecture 2 (Fall).
SOFA-684
Animation Gesture
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 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. (This course is restricted to students in the FILMAN-MFA program.) Studio 6 (Spring).

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

Course Sem. Cr. Hrs.
First Year
SOFA-602
Production Processes
This course is an introduction to various aspects of professional film/video narrative production. Course content focuses on collaborative production techniques with various student levels to reinforce team building needed to produce a film. At the completion of this course, students create short projects while learning basic shooting and crewing procedures, studio protocol, equipment handling and maintenance, and basic sync editing. Lecture 2, Studio 10 (Fall).
6
SOFA-605
Basic Sound Recording
This course will provide specialized knowledge and work in sound to prepare the student to be able 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 will record an audio and prepare a mixed soundtrack to professional quality standards. (his course is restricted to Graduate College of Art and Design students.) Lecture 3 (Fall).
3
SOFA-606
Graduate 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. (This course is restricted to students in the FILMAN-MFA program.) Lecture 3 (Fall).
3
SOFA-610
Graduate Seminar
A forum to establish among a diverse student group a common vocabulary for discussing film language and structure, collaborative relationships, and a sense of community, while exploring issues related to scene analysis, production practice and planning, story boarding, story telling, visual music, School of Film and Animation policies and professional business realities. (This course is restricted to students in the FILMAN-MFA program.) Lecture 2 (Fall).
2
SOFA-613
Graduate Screenwriting
This course focuses on the forms and techniques of writing for visual media, particularly the short film. Throughout the course, students develop resources for finding stories and concepts that can be turned into films. Students are 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 class can be used as the basis for films produced in other classes. (This course is restricted to students in the FILMAN-MFA program.) Lecture 3 (Fall).
3
SOFA-621
Spring Film
In this course students will complete their first full semester production. Students must decide on a concept, develop a treatment, write a script or research a non-fiction subject. Student will produce a film complete with mixed track and finished titles and credits. (Prerequisites: SOFA-602 or equivalent course.) Lecture 3 (Spring).
3
SOFA-626
Writing the Short
This course will explore the short screenplay as its own genre and as a stepping-stone to writing longer forms. Students will improve their ability to develop goals and obstacles and, thereby, create a complete narrative journey. Students will write approximately a 15 minute film or animation scripts. Film scripts will be used in production courses. (Prerequisite: SOFA-613 or equivalent course.) Lecture 3 (Spring).
3
SOFA-678
Cinematography and Lighting I
This advanced level course will enable students to develop an appreciation for the multi-dimensional nature of the craft of cinematography and provide them with theoretical, technical and practical knowledge. Students will explore visual aesthetics and engage in conceptual and critical thinking. They will also learn about industry standards, best practices, and workflows and channel their learning into class projects. (Prerequisites: SOFA-602 or equivalent course.) Lecture 4 (Fall Or Spring).
3
 
History and Aesthetics Elective
3
Second Year
SOFA-614
Business and Careers in Film
An introduction to all aspects of the business side of professional film/video narrative and commercial production. Students develop a business plan to create their own production company while learning alternative careers in film, basic financial and legal protocol, and mental preparation needed to enter the film business market. (Prerequisites: SOFA-621 or equivalent course.) Lecture 3 (Fall, Spring).
3
SOFA-721
Fall Film
This course allows 2nd year graduate student in production or screenwriting an opportunity to complete their second major production in the program. They must decide on a concept, develop a treatment, write a script or research a non-fiction subject and produce the film complete with mixed track and finished titles and credits. (Prerequisites: SOFA-602 or equivalent course.) Lecture 3 (Fall).
3
SOFA-733
Hybrid Forms: Theory and Practice
This graduate seminar explores storytelling across a multitude of hybrid forms. It examines an array of fictional and non-fictional strategies as fluid and organic form-content relationships that constitute the shared language between Cinema and New Forms. The creation of a hybrid character in this class is complemented by experimentation in the ways in which we experience characters and stories in contemporary times. Students develop a final semester project, two position papers and an artist statement. The course encourages the use of new media technologies including archival material, prosumer cameras and software. Lecture 4 (Spring).
3
SOFA-780
Thesis Preparation Seminar
The focus of this course is to develop a written proposal for an MFA Film Thesis. The thesis will provide the backbone of a candidate's final film-making production leading to the completion of MFA creative work and the supporting written document. Students must identify a thesis chair and form a committee. The course will prepare students to present and defend their thesis before a faculty committee seeking approval of the proposal. (Prerequisite: SOFA-717 or SOFA-721 or equivalent course.) Seminar 2 (Spring).
1
 
History and Aesthetics Elective
3
 
Professional Electives
9
 
Open Electives
6
Third Year
SOFA-790
Research and Thesis I
This is the first of two courses designed to advance a student towards completion of their thesis. Students will work independently on their approved plan of work for their thesis while meeting on a regular basis with their committee chair. They are required to meet at least twice with their full committee during the semester. (Prerequisites: SOFA-780 or equivalent course.) Thesis (Fall).
4
SOFA-890
Research and Thesis II
This is the second of two courses designed to advance a student towards completion of their thesis. Students will work independently on their approved plan of work for their thesis while meeting on a regular basis with their committee chair. They are required to meet at least twice with their full committee during the semester as well as present a final screening of their thesis. (Prerequisite: SOFA-790 or equivalent course.) Thesis 4 (Spring).
4
Total Semester Credit Hours
65
History and Aesthetics Electives
Course
ARTH-600+
Any ARTH-600 level course or above
PHGR-701
Histories and Aesthetics of Photography I
This course, the first in a two-semester sequence, will present an overview of the multiple and intersecting aesthetics, applications, perceptions, and philosophies of photography. Readings and discussions will examine the emergence and establishment of fine art photography, documentary and photojournalism, photography in the sciences, commercial and pop-cultural photographic applications, photography in the political arena, and photography as a mode of social interaction and identity formation. The class will also study the evolving technical history of photographic processes and the proliferation of critical theoretical perspectives on the medium during its first 100 years. (This class is restricted to degree-seeking graduate students or those with permission from instructor.) Lecture 3 (Fall).
PHGR-702
Histories and Aesthetics of Photography II
This course, the second in the two-semester sequence, will offer an in-depth study of key historical, critical, and theoretical issues in photographic visual culture in the modern, postmodern, and contemporary periods. The course will explore aesthetic trajectories in modern and contemporary photography from the emergence of the modernist Avant Garde at the beginning of the 20th century to such contemporary phenomena as the deadpan aesthetic, performance documentation, fictive photography, and photographic appropriation. This course will also examine the evolving language of commercial photography, stylistic and ethical approaches to photojournalism, photography and the politics of the museum, vernacular photographies, and the presence of digital technologies and social media networks in the contemporary global media age. (This class is restricted to degree-seeking graduate students or those with permission from instructor.) Lecture 3 (Spring).
SOFA-642
History and Aesthetics: Animation Stories
This course will provide an in-depth study of an animation artist, animated genre, or other specific topic that has had a major impact on the animated film art form. Films will be viewed and discussed in the context of the specific time and places in which they were made. Emphasis will also be place on determining the unique characteristics of the animation medium and how those characteristics are used as a means of interpretation and expression. (his course is restricted to Graduate College of Art and Design students.) Lec/Lab 4 (Fall).
SOFA-660
Documentary Film History
This course will examine the development of documentary film from 1920 to the present. Key activities will explore: 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 student will critically examine how documentary film is constructed in relationship to the film’s content and meaning. (his course is restricted to Graduate College of Art and Design students.) Lec/Lab 5 (Spring).
SOFA-661
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. Graduate students will be required to do additional research on various topics and write extended papers. (This course is available to RIT degree-seeking graduate students.) Lec/Lab 4 (Fall).
SOFA-662
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. (This course is restricted to CAD Graduate students.) Lec/Lab 5 (Fall, Spring).
SOFA-691
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. (This class is restricted to degree-seeking graduate students or those with permission from instructor.) Lec/Lab 6 (Fall, Spring, Summer).
SOFA-692
Film Sound Theory: Effects
This course is one of three in the study of film sound theory. Through readings, focused group discussion, viewing of and 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 include complementarity and the acousmatic. (This class is restricted to degree-seeking graduate students or those with permission from instructor.) Lec/Lab 6 (Fa/sp/su).
SOFA-693
Film Sound Theory:Voice
This course is one of three courses offered in the study of film sound theory. Through readings, focused group discussion, and the viewing/listening of select films, the course promotes critical analysis of the varied and profound uses of music in sound design. 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 like the acousmetre and the mute, vococentric mixing and separation, relativizing, and dialogue theory are also addressed. Each student gives a presentation on a chosen concept within film voice theory. (This class is restricted to degree-seeking graduate students or those with permission from instructor.) Lec/Lab 6 (Fall, Spring, Summer).
Professional Electives
Course
SOFA-607
Advanced Directing
Students will deepen their skills in analyzing scripts and directing actors while adding the breakdown of scenes into shots and the choreography of the camera with actors. Students will stage scenes from professional productions in class, and then shoot and edit them outside of class with a focus on creative rather than technical accomplishment. (Prerequisites: SOFA-606 or equivalent course.) Lecture 3 (Spring).
SOFA-635
Acting for Film
A course in basic acting technique with an emphasis on the requirements of film production. Students are introduced to various approaches to acting through exercises and by performing in scenes from professional productions. Scenes are rehearsed outside of class, and then staged and critiqued during class time. (This class is restricted to degree-seeking graduate students or those with permission from instructor.) Lecture 3 (Fall, Spring).
SOFA-641
Advanced Sound Recording
This course continues the work from Basic Sound Recording to include audio synchronized or locked to picture and the use of Foley and ADR production techniques. Students will develop workflow approaches for complex multi-track mixing and signal manipulation. Each student will prepare a mixed track to professional quality standards and manages sound and video files between various hardware and software platforms. (Prerequisite: SOFA-605 or equivalent course.) Lecture 3 (Spring).
SOFA-644
Cinematic Compositing
Students will learn digital compositing using rotoscoping, image tracking, alpha channels and transparency. Composites may be accomplished through green screen shooting, transfer modes, masks, and/or traveling mattes. Students will shoot their own footage to combine with their effects to create the final image. Node based compositing will be addressed as well. (Prerequisite: (SOFA-602 or SOFA-624) or equivalent courses.) Lab 3, Lecture 2 (Spring).
SOFA-652
Alternative Frame by Frame
This course will give all students a chance to explore three different approaches to stop-motion animation. The class will study and experiment with pixilation, time-lapse and relief animation with a “down-shooter.” These techniques will expand the student’s knowledge of traditional and experimental animation and present an alternative means of expression. The class 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. There will be a final project in the technique of the student’s choice. (This class is restricted to degree-seeking graduate students or those with permission from instructor.) Lecture 3 (Fall).
SOFA-655
Film Practice
In this course students and faculty collaboratively produce a film project determined prior to the start of class. Students attend class and work on the production in specific job functions. This course can be taken twice with different topics. Topic is determined by the instructor. (Prerequisites: SOFA-621 or equivalent course.) Studio 4 (Fall Or Spring).
SOFA-657
Digital Color Correction
This course offers hands-on projects to develop the skills needed to understand and communicate the process of digital color correction and grading. Course content will cover technical workflow planning and calibration from simple primary color correction to advanced secondary and color separation methods. At the completion of this course, students will be able to use tone and color to augment theatrical storytelling and add a dimension of professional finish to their films. Lab 3, Lecture 2 (Spring).
SOFA-665
Creative Research Workshop
A research and/or production opportunity for advanced students with extensive prior experience in the field of animation or live action filmmaking to work on a special project independently or collaboratively under the supervision of a faculty adviser. Enrollment in this course is by application only and with permission of a faculty adviser. (This course is restricted to students in the FILMAN-MFA program.) Lecture (Fall, Spring).
SOFA-670
30 Second Commercial Production
An introduction to the world of producing television commercials. Students learn the workflow between advertising agencies, their clients and production companies. They also execute the production of a television commercial from conception to editorial. (Prerequisites: SOFA-602 or equivalent course.) Lecture 3 (Spring).
SOFA-671
Advanced Production Immersion
This workshop provides students with the opportunity to learn more about a particular area of production—editing, cinematography, lighting, sound, etc.—with an industry professional. Different topics may be taken in the same semester. Topics may only be taken once. (Prerequisites: SOFA-602 or equivalent course.) Lecture 3 (Fall, Spring).
SOFA-672
Mixing and Sound Design
This course will continues the work completed Advanced Sound Recording by mixing multi-track sessions with video to post-produce several different projects to professional standards. Students will learn how to listen and develop a trained ear while understanding proper equalization and use of effects and digital signal routing. Sessions can include documentaries, dialog and musical productions. Students will also create templates and develop editing/mixing techniques to balance creativity and time constraints of a typical project. (Prerequisite: SOFA-641 or equivalent course.) Lecture 3 (Spring).
SOFA-678
Cinematography and Lighting I
This advanced level course will enable students to develop an appreciation for the multi-dimensional nature of the craft of cinematography and provide them with theoretical, technical and practical knowledge. Students will explore visual aesthetics and engage in conceptual and critical thinking. They will also learn about industry standards, best practices, and workflows and channel their learning into class projects. (Prerequisites: SOFA-602 or equivalent course.) Lecture 4 (Fall Or Spring).
SOFA-682
Underwater Cinematography
This course is designed to prepare students to professionally complete cinematography assignments in an underwater environment. To accomplish this, the student will complete basic scuba diving training and achieve scuba diving certification. The student will become familiar with underwater video camera housings and accessories and basic underwater shooting techniques. A facility fee covers all equipment, off campus facility use, texts and insurance. **Fee: There is a lab fee required for this course** (Prerequisites: SOFA-602 or equivalent course.) Lab 3, Lecture 2 (Fall).
SOFA-683
Advanced Editing
This course is designed to teach students the professional workflow of editing digital film and video files. Students learn the technical craft as well as the aesthetic choices that editors make. Students practice the editing of all genres by editing short fiction, documentary, and experimental projects. Students will explore and learn advanced tools in Final Cut Pro editing software while editing short projects and tutorials. Areas of study include learning a cinema file database, media management, color correction, visual and time based effects, sound processing and track building, multi-camera editing, and titling and graphics. In the second half of the semester, students will learn the basic operation system of AVID editing software and complete three short projects using AVID software. (Prerequisites: SOFA-602 or equivalent course.) Lab 4, Lecture 2 (Spring).
SOFA-689
Cinematography and Lighting II
This course will focus on enhancing aesthetic skills through advanced cinematography topics. Students will build on what they learned in Cinematography and Lighting I and continue their cinematography practice using the best available tools in the department. The ultimate goal of this course is to enable students to explore their own personal cinematography aesthetic and style. (Prerequisite: SOFA-678 or equivalent course.) Lec/Lab 4 (Fall Or Spring).

Film and Animation (screenwriting option), MFA degree, typical course sequence

Course Sem. Cr. Hrs.
First Year
SOFA-602
Production Processes
This course is an introduction to various aspects of professional film/video narrative production. Course content focuses on collaborative production techniques with various student levels to reinforce team building needed to produce a film. At the completion of this course, students create short projects while learning basic shooting and crewing procedures, studio protocol, equipment handling and maintenance, and basic sync editing. Lecture 2, Studio 10 (Fall).
6
SOFA-605
Basic Sound Recording
This course will provide specialized knowledge and work in sound to prepare the student to be able 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 will record an audio and prepare a mixed soundtrack to professional quality standards. (his course is restricted to Graduate College of Art and Design students.) Lecture 3 (Fall).
3
SOFA-606
Graduate 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. (This course is restricted to students in the FILMAN-MFA program.) Lecture 3 (Fall).
3
SOFA-610
Graduate Seminar
A forum to establish among a diverse student group a common vocabulary for discussing film language and structure, collaborative relationships, and a sense of community, while exploring issues related to scene analysis, production practice and planning, story boarding, story telling, visual music, School of Film and Animation policies and professional business realities. (This course is restricted to students in the FILMAN-MFA program.) Lecture 2 (Fall).
2
SOFA-613
Graduate Screenwriting
This course focuses on the forms and techniques of writing for visual media, particularly the short film. Throughout the course, students develop resources for finding stories and concepts that can be turned into films. Students are 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 class can be used as the basis for films produced in other classes. (This course is restricted to students in the FILMAN-MFA program.) Lecture 3 (Fall).
3
SOFA-621
Spring Film
In this course students will complete their first full semester production. Students must decide on a concept, develop a treatment, write a script or research a non-fiction subject. Student will produce a film complete with mixed track and finished titles and credits. (Prerequisites: SOFA-602 or equivalent course.) Lecture 3 (Spring).
3
SOFA-626
Writing the Short
This course will explore the short screenplay as its own genre and as a stepping-stone to writing longer forms. Students will improve their ability to develop goals and obstacles and, thereby, create a complete narrative journey. Students will write approximately a 15 minute film or animation scripts. Film scripts will be used in production courses. (Prerequisite: SOFA-613 or equivalent course.) Lecture 3 (Spring).
3
 
History and Aesthetics Elective
3
 
Professional Elective
3
Second Year
SOFA-614
Business and Careers in Film
An introduction to all aspects of the business side of professional film/video narrative and commercial production. Students develop a business plan to create their own production company while learning alternative careers in film, basic financial and legal protocol, and mental preparation needed to enter the film business market. (Prerequisites: SOFA-621 or equivalent course.) Lecture 3 (Fall, Spring).
3
SOFA-663
Writing the Feature
This is course is an exploration of the feature film form. Students propose ideas for a feature length film and in consultation with the instructor and other students, write a detailed step outline and a substantial portion of the first draft. (Prerequisite: SOFA-626 or equivalent course.) Lecture 3 (Fall).
3
SOFA-664
Writing the Series
This course is an introduction to all forms of series writing for television and the Internet. Students will choose to write either a one-hour pilot for a dramatic series, or a half-hour pilot and an additional episode for a single-camera comedy series. All students will develop and write a series “bible,” a thorough description of all the characters and the world in which the series takes place as well as how the series may develop with future plotlines. (Prerequisite: SOFA-626 or equivalent course.) Lecture 3 (Spring).
3
SOFA-721
Fall Film
This course allows 2nd year graduate student in production or screenwriting an opportunity to complete their second major production in the program. They must decide on a concept, develop a treatment, write a script or research a non-fiction subject and produce the film complete with mixed track and finished titles and credits. (Prerequisites: SOFA-602 or equivalent course.) Lecture 3 (Fall).
3
SOFA-733
Hybrid Forms: Theory and Practice
This graduate seminar explores storytelling across a multitude of hybrid forms. It examines an array of fictional and non-fictional strategies as fluid and organic form-content relationships that constitute the shared language between Cinema and New Forms. The creation of a hybrid character in this class is complemented by experimentation in the ways in which we experience characters and stories in contemporary times. Students develop a final semester project, two position papers and an artist statement. The course encourages the use of new media technologies including archival material, prosumer cameras and software. Lecture 4 (Spring).
3
SOFA-780
Thesis Preparation Seminar
The focus of this course is to develop a written proposal for an MFA Film Thesis. The thesis will provide the backbone of a candidate's final film-making production leading to the completion of MFA creative work and the supporting written document. Students must identify a thesis chair and form a committee. The course will prepare students to present and defend their thesis before a faculty committee seeking approval of the proposal. (Prerequisite: SOFA-717 or SOFA-721 or equivalent course.) Seminar 2 (Spring).
1
 
History and Aesthetics Electives
6
 
Open Electives
6
Third Year
SOFA-790
Research and Thesis I
This is the first of two courses designed to advance a student towards completion of their thesis. Students will work independently on their approved plan of work for their thesis while meeting on a regular basis with their committee chair. They are required to meet at least twice with their full committee during the semester. (Prerequisites: SOFA-780 or equivalent course.) Thesis (Fall).
4
SOFA-890
Research and Thesis II
This is the second of two courses designed to advance a student towards completion of their thesis. Students will work independently on their approved plan of work for their thesis while meeting on a regular basis with their committee chair. They are required to meet at least twice with their full committee during the semester as well as present a final screening of their thesis. (Prerequisite: SOFA-790 or equivalent course.) Thesis 4 (Spring).
4
Total Semester Credit Hours
65
History and Aesthetics Electives
Course
ARTH-600+
Any ARTH-600 level course or above
PHGR-701
Histories and Aesthetics of Photography I
This course, the first in a two-semester sequence, will present an overview of the multiple and intersecting aesthetics, applications, perceptions, and philosophies of photography. Readings and discussions will examine the emergence and establishment of fine art photography, documentary and photojournalism, photography in the sciences, commercial and pop-cultural photographic applications, photography in the political arena, and photography as a mode of social interaction and identity formation. The class will also study the evolving technical history of photographic processes and the proliferation of critical theoretical perspectives on the medium during its first 100 years. (This class is restricted to degree-seeking graduate students or those with permission from instructor.) Lecture 3 (Fall).
PHGR-702
Histories and Aesthetics of Photography II
This course, the second in the two-semester sequence, will offer an in-depth study of key historical, critical, and theoretical issues in photographic visual culture in the modern, postmodern, and contemporary periods. The course will explore aesthetic trajectories in modern and contemporary photography from the emergence of the modernist Avant Garde at the beginning of the 20th century to such contemporary phenomena as the deadpan aesthetic, performance documentation, fictive photography, and photographic appropriation. This course will also examine the evolving language of commercial photography, stylistic and ethical approaches to photojournalism, photography and the politics of the museum, vernacular photographies, and the presence of digital technologies and social media networks in the contemporary global media age. (This class is restricted to degree-seeking graduate students or those with permission from instructor.) Lecture 3 (Spring).
SOFA-642
History and Aesthetics: Animation Stories
This course will provide an in-depth study of an animation artist, animated genre, or other specific topic that has had a major impact on the animated film art form. Films will be viewed and discussed in the context of the specific time and places in which they were made. Emphasis will also be place on determining the unique characteristics of the animation medium and how those characteristics are used as a means of interpretation and expression. (his course is restricted to Graduate College of Art and Design students.) Lec/Lab 4 (Fall).
SOFA-660
Documentary Film History
This course will examine the development of documentary film from 1920 to the present. Key activities will explore: 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 student will critically examine how documentary film is constructed in relationship to the film’s content and meaning. (his course is restricted to Graduate College of Art and Design students.) Lec/Lab 5 (Spring).
SOFA-661
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. Graduate students will be required to do additional research on various topics and write extended papers. (This course is available to RIT degree-seeking graduate students.) Lec/Lab 4 (Fall).
SOFA-662
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. (This course is restricted to CAD Graduate students.) Lec/Lab 5 (Fall, Spring).
SOFA-691
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. (This class is restricted to degree-seeking graduate students or those with permission from instructor.) Lec/Lab 6 (Fall, Spring, Summer).
SOFA-692
Film Sound Theory: Effects
This course is one of three in the study of film sound theory. Through readings, focused group discussion, viewing of and 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 include complementarity and the acousmatic. (This class is restricted to degree-seeking graduate students or those with permission from instructor.) Lec/Lab 6 (Fa/sp/su).
SOFA-693
Film Sound Theory:Voice
This course is one of three courses offered in the study of film sound theory. Through readings, focused group discussion, and the viewing/listening of select films, the course promotes critical analysis of the varied and profound uses of music in sound design. 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 like the acousmetre and the mute, vococentric mixing and separation, relativizing, and dialogue theory are also addressed. Each student gives a presentation on a chosen concept within film voice theory. (This class is restricted to degree-seeking graduate students or those with permission from instructor.) Lec/Lab 6 (Fall, Spring, Summer).

 

Professional Electives
Course
SOFA-607
Advanced Directing
Students will deepen their skills in analyzing scripts and directing actors while adding the breakdown of scenes into shots and the choreography of the camera with actors. Students will stage scenes from professional productions in class, and then shoot and edit them outside of class with a focus on creative rather than technical accomplishment. (Prerequisites: SOFA-606 or equivalent course.) Lecture 3 (Spring).
SOFA-635
Acting for Film
A course in basic acting technique with an emphasis on the requirements of film production. Students are introduced to various approaches to acting through exercises and by performing in scenes from professional productions. Scenes are rehearsed outside of class, and then staged and critiqued during class time. (This class is restricted to degree-seeking graduate students or those with permission from instructor.) Lecture 3 (Fall, Spring).
SOFA-641
Advanced Sound Recording
This course continues the work from Basic Sound Recording to include audio synchronized or locked to picture and the use of Foley and ADR production techniques. Students will develop workflow approaches for complex multi-track mixing and signal manipulation. Each student will prepare a mixed track to professional quality standards and manages sound and video files between various hardware and software platforms. (Prerequisite: SOFA-605 or equivalent course.) Lecture 3 (Spring).
SOFA-644
Cinematic Compositing
Students will learn digital compositing using rotoscoping, image tracking, alpha channels and transparency. Composites may be accomplished through green screen shooting, transfer modes, masks, and/or traveling mattes. Students will shoot their own footage to combine with their effects to create the final image. Node based compositing will be addressed as well. (Prerequisite: (SOFA-602 or SOFA-624) or equivalent courses.) Lab 3, Lecture 2 (Spring).
SOFA-652
Alternative Frame by Frame
This course will give all students a chance to explore three different approaches to stop-motion animation. The class will study and experiment with pixilation, time-lapse and relief animation with a “down-shooter.” These techniques will expand the student’s knowledge of traditional and experimental animation and present an alternative means of expression. The class 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. There will be a final project in the technique of the student’s choice. (This class is restricted to degree-seeking graduate students or those with permission from instructor.) Lecture 3 (Fall).
SOFA-655
Film Practice
In this course students and faculty collaboratively produce a film project determined prior to the start of class. Students attend class and work on the production in specific job functions. This course can be taken twice with different topics. Topic is determined by the instructor. (Prerequisites: SOFA-621 or equivalent course.) Studio 4 (Fall Or Spring).
SOFA-657
Digital Color Correction
This course offers hands-on projects to develop the skills needed to understand and communicate the process of digital color correction and grading. Course content will cover technical workflow planning and calibration from simple primary color correction to advanced secondary and color separation methods. At the completion of this course, students will be able to use tone and color to augment theatrical storytelling and add a dimension of professional finish to their films. Lab 3, Lecture 2 (Spring).
SOFA-665
Creative Research Workshop
A research and/or production opportunity for advanced students with extensive prior experience in the field of animation or live action filmmaking to work on a special project independently or collaboratively under the supervision of a faculty adviser. Enrollment in this course is by application only and with permission of a faculty adviser. (This course is restricted to students in the FILMAN-MFA program.) Lecture (Fall, Spring).
SOFA-670
30 Second Commercial Production
An introduction to the world of producing television commercials. Students learn the workflow between advertising agencies, their clients and production companies. They also execute the production of a television commercial from conception to editorial. (Prerequisites: SOFA-602 or equivalent course.) Lecture 3 (Spring).
SOFA-671
Advanced Production Immersion
This workshop provides students with the opportunity to learn more about a particular area of production—editing, cinematography, lighting, sound, etc.—with an industry professional. Different topics may be taken in the same semester. Topics may only be taken once. (Prerequisites: SOFA-602 or equivalent course.) Lecture 3 (Fall, Spring).
SOFA-672
Mixing and Sound Design
This course will continues the work completed Advanced Sound Recording by mixing multi-track sessions with video to post-produce several different projects to professional standards. Students will learn how to listen and develop a trained ear while understanding proper equalization and use of effects and digital signal routing. Sessions can include documentaries, dialog and musical productions. Students will also create templates and develop editing/mixing techniques to balance creativity and time constraints of a typical project. (Prerequisite: SOFA-641 or equivalent course.) Lecture 3 (Spring).
SOFA-678
Cinematography and Lighting I
This advanced level course will enable students to develop an appreciation for the multi-dimensional nature of the craft of cinematography and provide them with theoretical, technical and practical knowledge. Students will explore visual aesthetics and engage in conceptual and critical thinking. They will also learn about industry standards, best practices, and workflows and channel their learning into class projects. (Prerequisites: SOFA-602 or equivalent course.) Lecture 4 (Fall Or Spring).
SOFA-682
Underwater Cinematography
This course is designed to prepare students to professionally complete cinematography assignments in an underwater environment. To accomplish this, the student will complete basic scuba diving training and achieve scuba diving certification. The student will become familiar with underwater video camera housings and accessories and basic underwater shooting techniques. A facility fee covers all equipment, off campus facility use, texts and insurance. **Fee: There is a lab fee required for this course** (Prerequisites: SOFA-602 or equivalent course.) Lab 3, Lecture 2 (Fall).
SOFA-683
Advanced Editing
This course is designed to teach students the professional workflow of editing digital film and video files. Students learn the technical craft as well as the aesthetic choices that editors make. Students practice the editing of all genres by editing short fiction, documentary, and experimental projects. Students will explore and learn advanced tools in Final Cut Pro editing software while editing short projects and tutorials. Areas of study include learning a cinema file database, media management, color correction, visual and time based effects, sound processing and track building, multi-camera editing, and titling and graphics. In the second half of the semester, students will learn the basic operation system of AVID editing software and complete three short projects using AVID software. (Prerequisites: SOFA-602 or equivalent course.) Lab 4, Lecture 2 (Spring).
SOFA-689
Cinematography and Lighting II
This course will focus on enhancing aesthetic skills through advanced cinematography topics. Students will build on what they learned in Cinematography and Lighting I and continue their cinematography practice using the best available tools in the department. The ultimate goal of this course is to enable students to explore their own personal cinematography aesthetic and style. (Prerequisite: SOFA-678 or equivalent course.) Lec/Lab 4 (Fall Or Spring).