FMST 002 is an introductory course in the craft of media arts production, building on the technical, conceptual and theoretical skills needed to continue at more advanced levels. In this course we will explore the aesthetics and mechanics of shooting digital video, the role of sound and how to record and mix it, and how to develop a project from concept to fine cut. Course work will include collaborative and individual production projects, readings and written assignments, which will address a range of narrative, documentary and experimental approaches to the moving image.

We will investigate different modes of production, diverse visual strategies and apply those to several camera and sound exercises, short production assignments, and one final project.

A fundamental premise of the course is that we are exploring the moving image as an art form. Questions surrounding issues of conceptualization, process, research and development, form vs. content, and critical analysis will be emphasized to support the evolution of your own creative voice. Successful students will effectively integrate all aspects of the class and participate actively in projects and discussions.
This course focuses on the importance of the relationship between the director and the actor and the use of improvisation in rehearsal and production to create more powerful performances for film and television. Texts and films we will examine in the first half of the course will include THE IMPROVISED PLAY: THE WORK OF MIKE LEIGH by Paul Clements, DIRECTING ACTORS by Judith Weston, THE COOL WORLD by Shirley Clarke, VERA DRAKE by Mike Leigh and OLD CATS by Sebastian Silva. The second half of the semester will include in-class exercises, open rehearsals with professional actors and individual student films that put some of the examined techniques into practice. The course will also include special workshops and Q&A’s with guest filmmakers.
Contextualizing a range of documentary practices within the history of nonfiction film and television and in the landscape of contemporary media culture, this course explores the aesthetic and rhetorical strategies of documentary form. Topics include: activist media; the essay film; critical and sensory ethnographic film; reenactment; television documentary; and witnessing.