This Area of Study is designed to give students insight into the duties and responsibilities of the producer. Both creative producing and production management will be introduced and discussed. Students will analyze each phase of a project, including development, production, post-production and marketing and distribution. Student will learn and experience firsthand a rigorous film project ‘green light’ process.
Effective producers must have a basic understanding and familiarization with the elements of storytelling, and how those elements are translated into a script worth producing. Producers must also know enough about screenwriting to work with writers in making passable scripts good and good scripts even better. Students will learn dramatic story structure and how theme, tension, conflict and character development are essential to effective storytelling. They will be introduced to: pitching a story, writing a logline and treatment, character arcs, dialogue and screenplay formatting.
Directing for Producers
The director’s vision shapes the look and feel of a film. The student is responsible for turning the words of a script into images on the screen. Through directing exercises, this class will allow producers to understand how directors organize their vision. Students are introduced to storyboards, overheads and shot lists, as well as working with actors and key crew-members. In crews, students develop, prep, shoot and edit one 3-minute silent short film. In addition, each student will shoot a script developed in Screenwriting Fundamentals or will participate in the shoot of a classmate’s short film.
Entertainment Law explores the legal and business issues related to film and television for creative producers and it surveys the many legal doctrines that shape the entertainment industry and explores how those various doctrines interact. Topics will include free speech, defamation, invasion of privacy, publicity rights, copyright and fair use. Particular attention is paid to intellectual property. Students will be introduced to standard contract formats. Fair Use and contractual relations in the entertainment industry. Students will explore the clearances and releases needed for the depiction of people or their works in films, including likeness, crowd notice, locations, names and artwork. The Area of Study is designed to enable non-lawyers to understand how various relevant areas of law, including copyright, trademark, defamation and privacy/publicity rights, impact their projects.
Branding & Marketing
In Branding & Marketing, students will learn necessary creative and conceptual skills to develop a brand. Students will be introduced to and will analyze mission statements and will develop their own. Each producer will discern the type of projects they want to develop and where in the entertainment industry this work will fit creatively and fiscally.
Hands-On Camera & Lighting
In Hands-On Camera & Lighting, producing students learn fundamental skills in the art of cinematography. They will be introduced to cameras and supporting equipment and how to handle them, including how to assemble, disassemble and pack the gear. Students will shoot screen tests for focus, exposure, lens perspective, slow/fast motion, contrast and lighting in preparation for the 3-minute short film and the individual short films.
Editing presents students with multiple aesthetic approaches to editing film and video. Students will learn to operate a digital editing software. Students will learn how to apply concepts such as temporal continuity and spatial continuity, as well as less traditional discontinuous editing techniques. The Area of Study will also discuss the psychological and emotional effects of editing on the overall story. Lectures are supplemented with individual consultations at the computer.
In Sound Design, producing students are introduced to and discuss voiceover, sound effects and music as viable and common means to enhance story. This Area of Study is designed to afford students the knowledge and skills to execute professional-grade, single-system, production sound recording sessions, as well as instruct the student on how production sound relates to the overall structure of film sound. Students practice a series of hands-on exercises with professional recording equipment under the guidance of the instructor. All exercises are recorded and played back during class time. In addition, students will “listen to” film clips without images and will practice the identification and classification of film sound.