Spring Quarter

Dept Course No and Title Instructor
The study of digital media, computer-mediated communication, and Internet cultures, from historical and theoretical perspectives.
This course is the second in a three part series in film history. It traces sound film's growth as an art form, an economic entity, and a socio-historical force. We will mainly consider features made before and after 1929-1960, and concentrate on the development of national film schools, period styles, and artistic signatures. We will watch a sampling of films which spans a wide variety of approaches, initiatives, and genres. Assignments, two exams, attendance and participation are graded. 
All screenings are mandatory.You must be enrolled in and attend both the lecture and the studio sections of this class as well as discussion section to receive credit. Attendance for all screenings, lecture, and discussion is mandatory.
In this course, students will learn about the history of genre theory. Specifically, we will explore melodrama and musicals and in the course of this class, we will arrive at a deeper understanding film culture, criticism and marketing and branding.
Students will be introduced to classical and traditional ideas about film genre in updated theoretical, economic and social terms and understand why a purely formal use of the term is insufficient if we want to really understand how films get made, financed and distributed.
This course will provide an overview of different theories and methods employed in studying audience, fan and reception. Students will then put theories into practice by designing a study of their own, thus, putting theory into practice.
This course examines premium cable television outlet Home Box Office (HBO) as a media “author.” We will study the history, corporate brand identity, critical valuations, and characteristic “texts” of HBO. The course will focus on scholarly analysis and criticism from television studies and media industry studies as they intersect with formal, textual analysis and theories of authorship, cultural capital, “quality,” and “taste.” We will also analyze clips and screenings from HBO promotional materials, series programming, original films and documentaries. Through completion of the course, students will be familiar with different methodological approaches and critical trends in media industry studies, television studies, and television criticism from both popular/trade industry press and academic scholarly perspectives.
Students learn about "the world of the screenwriter" by reading and studying screenplays, and writing parts of them-including the beat outline, treatment and character biography. Assignments include reading, viewing and analyzing selected films; and writing short essay responses to prompts that explore facets of the screenplay such as structure, character and theme. The final grade is based on participation/attendance, discussion board posts, collectively outlining a traditional 3-act screenplay in groups and individually writing the opening pages of act one. The prerequisite for this course is FLM&MDA 85A.
This course introduces the fundamentals of film production using digital video.  Assignments provide hands-on learning of the basic elements of filmmaking.  From cinematography, lighting, and sound, to writing a short script and editing with Adobe Premiere Pro, this class takes students through the production process, culminating in the completion a 3 to 5 minute short digital film.  Students enrolled in this class may use University owned equipment and are financially responsible for the University equipment on loan to them.  The prerequisite for this course is FLM&MDA 85A.
This advanced production workshop is designed to develop your creative vision and your ability to apply the technical skills necessary to realizing your vision.  Emphasis is placed on thorough pre-production, organized production shoots and work-in-progress screenings.  Class is structured as a workshop.  It is designed to deepen your experience as a filmmaker, from discussing script ideas, shot lists and storyboards, to work-shopping scenes and work-in-progress screenings.  By the end of the quarter, you will have completed an 8-12 minute polished short digital film with multiple sound tracks and titles.  University owned equipment and are financially responsible for the University equipment on loan to them.  The prerequisite for this course is FLM&MDA 120B.
What makes a filmmaker an international “voice”? It seems that something more than commercial success and technical proficiency is required: there needs to be a strong point of view on a topic or theme of international interest. In this writing-intensive seminar, we will consider new “voices” that have emerged in recent Japanese cinema. Each of the films covered in the course have helped to establish the international reputations of their makers, partly due to their concern over issues like marriage and family, gender and sexuality, class struggle, and fear of technology. At the same time, the films address these issues in a Japanese context, revealing how cinema culture can be both local and global.
The course will provide students with the essential historical, social, and industrial context for the films and filmmakers that will be covered. Students will develop their analytical skills by engaging in close reading and discussion of the films. Course assignments emphasize the writing of thoughtful, persuasive essays, and conducting the research necessary to arrive at informed, evidence-based arguments in writing.
This seminar will examine the history of secret communication. While it may seem paradoxical to combine communication and secrecy, in fact media history can be told as the story of secrecy - from long before the earliest radio transmissions and interceptions to long after the commercial union of military technology and entertainment in television. We will discover the media history of codes and ciphers from ancient cultures to the advent of computing. We will focus on centuries of secret communication (mostly before the proto-computers of Bletchley Park), but also connect historical methods to contemporary questions of secrecy, privacy, and security in the Internet age. Readings will include short stories and selected articles and chapters from the history of encryption and code breaking. Each week will also feature some hands-on exercises (in class as well as homework), and some condensed workshops on 21st century applications of historical models we read and write about, with particular attention to often irreconcilable demands of privacy, security, trust, data integrity, and freedom of speech.
This course will analyze how fictional media have depicted the American presidency. Analyzing works of satire (such as Veep, Saturday Night Live, In the Loop), mockumentary (like Tanner ’88 and Bullworth), biopics (Kennedy, Nixon, Vice, The Reagans, Millhouse), and film and TV dramas (such as The West Wing, The Best Man, Scandal), this course will explore how the media has presented the office of the presidency, depicted the process of campaigning for elected office, and imagined the import and legacy of past presidents. In so doing, we will consider how films and TV series operate as sites for political critique, assess the impact of political leaders, and offer utopic or dystopic perspectives on American governance and democracy.
Focusing on the digital independent films that began to be robustly produced in the Philippine film industry in the 2000s, this course introduces the rich thematic variety of this body of work: from queer, feminist, and diasporic articulations to notions of nationalism vis-a-vis regionalism and the classed and taste-stratified subcultures of the Philippines’ social landscape. In addition, the course looks at the role of domestic and international film festivals, especially regional vernacular cinemas that have emerged to challenge the dominance of Manila-centric Tagalog-language cinema. The class also considers the complex relationship between so-called “independent cinema” and the mainstream film industry in an era when the annual production of indie films often outnumber commercial mainstream productions, giving rise to the notion of “maindie” filmmaking.
Explore the revolutionary art and ideas of the Russian and Soviet avant-garde from the first decades of the twentieth century, including abstract painting, utopian architecture, modernist photography, fashion, and experimental film. Discover the connections between Russian art of the period and Western avant-gardes, including Dada and Cubism, as well as the presence of the avant-garde in far-flung corners of the Soviet Union. Learn about the influence of politics on the development of art, and the end of radical art-making under Stalinism. Artists studied include Goncharova, Malevich, Lissitzky, Rodchenko, Tatlin, Stepanova, Vesnin, Vertov, Eisenstein, Kandinsky.
This course will examine anime, or Japanese animation, as an expressive medium that has captured a global audience. At the same time, the course will give students an opportunity to explore aspects of Japanese history, society, and culture through various animated works. This course is taught in English.
In Part I of the course, lecture material will cover the history of anime techniques and industry, from the earliest works of individual artists in the silent period, to the development of the studio system, television anime, and the digital-global medium of today. In Part II, we will consider major topics and themes of important works that reflect upon Japan and its connection to a broader transnational cinema culture. Such topics include: tradition vs. modernity, family and gender roles, apocalyptic visions, technology, fan cultures, and the power of myth.
The focus of this class is the contemporary Hollywood film and television industry, with an emphasis on the role of US-based players in what is a highly complex global media system. The course aims to introduce students to key concepts in industry and production studies that help analyze the strengths, problems, and challenges of the prevailing structure of the Hollywood industry and its dominant practices. Armed with such knowledge, students who successfully complete this course and aspire to work for “the industry” after graduating from UCI will (hopefully) have a better sense of what they will be getting into. Accordingly, the course covers the organization of what Schatz calls contemporary “Conglomerate Hollywood”, including the role of major studios, independent subsidiaries, and so-called “true independents”; issues of production, distribution, and exhibition, all of which have been impacted by the turn to digital; issues of labor, race, and gender as they intersect with production cultures; economic considerations, including finance and marketing; and finally, copyright law, media regulation, and broadband policies that affect how we are able to access and interact with film and television.
Attention to and debates about climate change and the conceptualization of the Anthropocene as a geologic era of human impact on the earth have both produced new frameworks for knowledge and criticism. This course draws from conceptual frameworks in eco-criticism and environmental humanities and puts them into conversation with work in documentary and media studies to explore how we imagine the world on a scale--temporal and spatial--that we cannot ourselves experience first-hand or comprehend. Topics in this course will include nature documentaries, media activism, scientific imagining, e-waste, and fossil fuels and cinema production. In addition, we’ll examine the other meanings of environment--as space--to think through film and media exhibition environments, surround sound, 3-D, and ambient media.
Intermediate filmmaking students study scene analysis and shot creation for dramatic emphasis in this directing workshop.  With a keen focus on storytelling to create a compelling narrative, each student will write and workshop a 2 to 3 minute short to be shot all in one “moving master shot”.  Students will explore essential elements of dramatic structure, character development, composition, and movement.  Lectures on directorial choices in casting, working with actors, blocking, rehearsals, shot composition to communicate theme, and changing story arcs; prepare students to take on the Moving Master challenge.  Moving Master projects will be screened at the end of the course.
In 1926 Scottish social critic, film critic, and filmmaker John Grierson coined the term documentary, and described it as the creative treatment of actuality. This course on documentary film and video directing, takes as its primary focus questions of voice, image, and the power to represent others in documentary film and video. Some of the critical themes that we will explore include: the status of the document and the archive; the temporal dimensions in discourses of race, gender, class, nation, and sexuality; trauma and history; the interview; memory and diaspora; image ethics; problems of realism and aesthetics; translation; third cinema; and performance. Weekly writing assignments, three short films, three short papers, attendance and participation are graded.