DEPARTMENT OF FILM AND MEDIA STUDIES
Gateway; (949) 824-3532
Victoria E. Johnson, Department Chair
Faculty / Undergraduate Program / Graduate Program / Courses
We live in a world in which we are surrounded by electronic media in the form of images and sounds. Whether printed on roadside billboards, downloaded to our phones, or broadcast into our homes via television, media greatly influence our sense of who we are and how we live. Yet so much of our exposure to the sights and sounds of film, TV, video, advertising, and new technologies is taken for granted. Those sights and sounds are so pervasive, and in many cases so enjoyable, that we rarely pause to consider how we engage and interact with them. An undergraduate education in Film and Media Studies provides students with the opportunity to explore the appeal and operation of these social, historic, institutional, and textual entities we call cinema, television, and new digital technologies, and to interrogate the inter-relationships of visual media and sound and music as forms of media.
The course work for the B.A. degree program in Film and Media Studies trains students to read and understand the audio-visual languages of modern media and new technologies and to analyze images from socioeconomic, political, aesthetic, and historical perspectives. Learning these critical viewing skills involves learning new ways of seeing. The Film and Media Studies curriculum is systematic and comprehensive; upper-division courses have between 20 and 70 students and are typically taught by regular faculty. There are more than 300 Film and Media Studies majors enrolled at UCI.
The Department of Film and Media Studies familiarizes students with the history, theory, and art of cinema, broadcast media, digital media, and other media. Courses focus on a range of topics, including directors, period styles, genres, national cinemas, the history and criticism of radio, television, sound theory and popular music, and developments in new media and digital technologies. Additional courses offer students hands-on experience in video production and screenwriting. The program provides its majors with a thorough understanding of the modern media's roles in contemporary society. Regular course offerings are complemented by film and video screenings and series. Film and Media Studies, in cooperation with other units at UCI, regularly invites scholars, digital artists, directors, producers, and screenwriters to campus to share their work and perspectives with students.
Film and Media Studies at UCI is unique in its concentration on the history, theory, and criticism of cinema, television, popular music and sound, and new technologies. The faculty has published books and articles on these topics and others including fantastic cinema, avant-garde directors, ethnographic film, media and intellectual property, sound in film and media, hip-hop and cinema, television history, and theory of new technologies.
In order to cover the extra costs generated by the purchase and rental of media demanded by the specialized Film and Media Studies curriculum, the School of Humanities charges a laboratory fee to all students taking Film and Media Studies courses.
Eligible Film and Media Studies students can complete professional internships in the fields of film, television, or digital media production, distribution, writing, and related areas for elective course credit.
Through the University's Education Abroad Program (UCEAP), eligible Film and Media Studies students have the opportunity to study abroad and earn credit toward their degree during the school year. Students also may participate in Travel-Study offered through Summer Session. Information on these programs is available through the Film and Media Studies Office, the Study Abroad Center, and the Summer Sessions office.
A degree in Film and Media Studies will provide students with a variety of opportunities leading to a career choice or to further education at the graduate or professional level. Graduates from the program have gone on to a host of different careers. Some have pursued graduate work in critical studies and/or production at leading institutions such as the University of California, Los Angeles, Columbia University, New York University, University of Texas at Austin, and University of Southern California. Many are now at work in various sectors of the entertainment industry as feature film editors, executives in film and video distribution companies, network television producers, and independent filmmakers.
The UCI Career Center provides services to students and alumni including career counseling, information about job opportunities, a career library, and workshops on resume preparation, job search, and interview techniques. See the Career Center section for additional information.
REQUIREMENTS FOR THE B.A. DEGREE IN FILM AND MEDIA STUDIES
University Requirements: See pages 54-61.
School Requirements: See page 260.
Departmental Requirements for the Major
A. Film and Media Studies 85A-B-C, 101A-B-C, 139 (taken to satisfy upper-division writing).
B. Film and Media Studies 110 or 111.
C. Film and Media Studies 117A or 120A.
D. Four courses from Film and Media Studies 112, 113, 114, 115, 117B*, 117C*, 120B*, 120C*, 130, 143, 144, 145, 146, 150, 151, 160, 161, 162, 185, 190, 191.
* Only two of the courses marked with an asterisk may be applied toward this requirement.
Residence Requirement for the Major: At least five upper-division courses required for the major must be completed successfully at UCI.
Departmental Requirements for the Minor
Film and Media Studies 85A, 101A-B-C, and three of the following: 85B, 85C, 110, 111, 112, 113, 114, 115, 130, 143, 144, 145, 146, 150, 151, 160, 161, 162, 185, 190, 191.
Residence Requirement for the Minor: Four upper-division courses must be completed successfully at UCI. By petition, two of the four may be taken through the UC Education Abroad Program, providing course content is approved in advance by the appropriate department chair.
In conjunction with the Department of Art History, the Department of Film and Media Studies offers a graduate program in Visual Studies. A description may be found in the Program in Visual Studies section , toward the end of the School of Humanities section.
Courses in Film and Media Studies
(Schedule of Classes designation: Flm&Mda)
85A-B-C Image Culture
85A Introduction to Film and Visual Analysis (4) F. Introduces the language and techniques of visual and film analysis. Teaches students to analyze the moving image, emphasizing the ways framing, camera movement, sound, and editing produce meaning, reproduce historical ideologies, foster or disrupt narrative, and cue spectators. (IV)
85B Broadcast Media History and Analysis (4) W. History of broadcast media from the radio era to the present day, including social, political, institutional, and audience analysis as well as methods of visual and aural analysis of these media. Prerequisite: Film and Media Studies 85A or consent of instructor. (IV)
85C New Media and Digital Technologies (4) S. The study of digital media, computer-mediated communication, and Internet cultures, from historical and theoretical perspectives. Prerequisites: Film and Media Studies 85A-B or consent of instructor. (IV)
101A-B-C History of Film
101A The Silent Era I (4) W. An investigation of the technological, economic, social, and aesthetic determinants of the cinema in its first 30 years. The formal strategies and historical importance of films by Méliès, the Lumières, Porter, Griffith, Murnau, Lang, Eisenstein, Pudovkin, and others. Prerequisites: Film and Media Studies 85A; open to Film and Media Studies majors and minors only.
101B The Sound Era I (4) S. Explores the formal strategies and socio-historical dynamics of films made between 1930 and 1960, concentrating on representative cinemas and works by Lang, Riefenstahl, Renoir, Welles, De Sica, Ophüls, Kurosawa, and others. Prerequisites: Film and Media Studies 101A with a grade of C- or better; open to Film and Media Studies majors and minors only.
101C The Sound Era II (4) F. Studies narrative strategies and formal possibilities in films made since 1960, framing aesthetic questions in political, social, and economic terms, using selected features from Western and non-Western countries. Prerequisites: Film and Media Studies 101B with a grade of C- or better; open to Film and Media Studies majors and minors only.
110 Film and Media Theory (4) F, W, S, Summer. Survey of major directions in film and media theory. Various theories of mass culture, realism, auteurism, semiotics, feminism, cultural studies, and theories of other media. Offered as a seminar, with an emphasis on developing the student's ability to analyze and articulate a theoretical argument. Prerequisites: Film and Media Studies 85A-B-C, 101A-B-C, 139, and satisfactory completion of the upper-division writing requirement.
111 Film and Media Theory and Practice (4) F, W, S. Seminar on theory and practice focusing on issues in film and media production and editing. Reading and exercises to understand aspects of film and media production (montage, sound, film movement, directing, and mise en scène), and how ideology works in tandem with style. Prerequisites: Film and Media Studies 101C, 120A, 139, satisfactory completion of the upper-division writing requirement, and consent of instructor. Open to Film and Media Studies majors only.
112 Genre Study (4) F, W, S. Critical approaches to the serial productions we call "genre" films, the patterns of recognition known as westerns, weepies, musicals, horror films, and others; televisual genres, such as sitcoms, drama, comedy, news, docudrama, police; Internet categories, such as chat-rooms, listservs, Web pages. Prerequisite: Film and Media Studies 85A or consent of instructor. May be repeated for credit as topics vary.
113 Narrative/Image (4) F, W, S. What relations do sound, image, and story assume in film, television, video, and Internet narratives? In what ways do these media interact with and borrow from each other and traditional story-telling media, like print and orality? How have the new media explored non-narrative strategies and to what end? Prerequisite: Film and Media Studies 85A or consent of instructor. May be repeated for credit as topics vary.
114 Film, Media, and the Arts (4) F, W, S. A synthetic entity, film draws on both established and popular arts. Looks at visual media's exchanges with "high" and "low" culture, exploring its relation to areas such as photography, music, painting, and architecture. Prerequisite: Film and Media Studies 85A or consent of instructor. May be repeated for credit as topics vary.
115 Authorship (4) F, W, S. Theoretical and analytical discussions of visual media authorship, focusing on case studies of directors, producers, scriptwriters, and film, video, and digital artists. Prerequisite: Film and Media Studies 85A or consent of instructor. May be repeated for credit as topics vary.
117A Introduction to Screenwriting (4) F, W, S, Summer. Introduction to the technique and format of the screenplay, with a particular focus on its three act structural elements: coverage, treatment, and 60 beat outline. Prerequisite: Film and Media Studies 85A.
117B Intermediate Screenwriting (4) F, W, S. Exercises in the development of screenplays, with emphasis on formal and structural considerations of character development. Students work with the hero structure and other character development methodologies, such as method acting. Prerequisite: Film and Media Studies 117A.
117C Screenwriting Workshop (4) F, W, S. Continuation and intensification of work initiated in 117B. Students complete a full-length screenplay. Concentrates on both practical and technical concerns, addressing pragmatic and aesthetic questions in intensive small-group discussions. Prerequisite: Film and Media Studies 117B.
120A Basic Production (4) F, W, S, Summer. Introduction to the basic apparatus of video/film production. The elementary essentials of production, including the use of camera and lenses, lighting, editing, and sound. Prerequisite: Film and Media Studies 85A or consent of instructor.
120B Intermediate Production (4) W. Students work on individual and group projects, utilizing skills and insights introduced in Film and Media Studies 120A. Prerequisite: Film and Media Studies 120A or consent of instructor.
120C Production Workshop (4) S. As film and video are collaborative media, students form production groups and ultimately produce final 10-15 minute film/video projects. Prerequisite: Film and Media Studies 120B or consent of instructor.
130 Multicultural Topics in the Media (4) F, W, S. An investigation of media representations of gender, race, and sexuality in the United States. Topics include media images of and by one or more minority groups in the United States, including African Americans, Asian Americans, Chicano/Latinos, Native Americans, and gays and lesbians. Prerequisite: Film and Media Studies 85A or consent of instructor. May be repeated for credit as topics vary.
139 Writing on Film and Media (4) F, W, S. Practical exercises in film, TV, and other media criticism as a form of cultural analysis. Requires at least 4,000 words of assigned composition. Prerequisites: Film and Media Studies 85A and 101A; satisfactory completion of the lower-division writing requirement.
143 Critical Theory of Television (4) F, W, S. Introduction to critical, theoretical, scholarly understandings and analyses of television, which offer in-depth analyses of television programming, audience reception practices, and industry strategies of address. Prerequisites: Film and Media Studies 85A-B or consent of instructor.
144 Studies in New Media (4) F, W, S. Advanced analysis of the technologies, texts, theories, and cultures of computers, videogames, networks, or platforms. Prerequisites: Film and Media Studies 85A-B-C or consent of instructor. May be repeated for credit as topics vary.
145 Popular Culture and Media (4) F, W, S. Considers the forms, ideologies, consumption, and marketing of popular entertainment and technologies. May focus on cultural studies methods, transnational approaches, and synergy between media. Prerequisite: Film and Media Studies 85A or consent of instructor. May be repeated for credit as topics vary.
146 Sound Studies (4) F, W, S. Focuses on the production, theories, and meanings of sound recordings, music, and/or audio technologies. Topics may include the cultures of popular music and audio devices, music television, and theories of film sound. Prerequisite: Film and Media Studies 85A or consent of instructor. May be repeated for credit as topics vary.
150 Audiences and Reception (4) F, W, S. Explores the dynamics of address, interpretation, and appropriation between film and media texts and their viewers. Topics may include reception studies, fandom, audience-defined modes of production, demographics, spectatorial pleasure, and historical approaches to audiences. Prerequisite: Film and Media Studies 85A or consent of instructor. May be repeated for credit as topics vary.
151 Documentary and Experimental Film and Media (4) F, W, S. Examines nonfiction and/or experimental cinemas and media, such as documentary, the historical avant-garde, video art, and activist media. Students consider the specific aesthetics and ideologies of forms distinct from narrative feature films. Prerequisite: Film and Media Studies 85A or consent of instructor. May be repeated for credit as topics vary.
160 National/Regional Cinemas and Media (4) F, W, S. National schools, period styles, or cultural movements beyond U.S. cinema, as defined by national borders or by geographic regions, such as Latin America. May be approached from a comparative perspective. May be repeated for credit as topics vary.
161 Global/Transnational Cinemas and Media (4) F, W, S. Analyzes the multinational production, circulation, and reception of film and media texts beyond singular national borders or specific geographic regions. Topics may include transnational co-productions, exports, and diasporic reception. May be repeated for credit as topics vary.
162 U.S. Cinema (4) F, W, S. Explores the modes of production and distribution, aesthetics, and contexts that have shaped cinema in the United States. Topics may include Classical Hollywood, American Independent Cinema, or periods such as 1970s Cinema. Prerequisite: Film and Media Studies 85A or consent of instructor. May be repeated for credit as topics vary.
185 Television and New Media (4) F, W, S. An advanced seminar focusing on special topics in television and new media. Past examples have included courses on Media Marketing and Brand Identity; Television and Sound; Game Theory; and other issues related to popular culture, broadcast media, and new media technologies. May be repeated for credit as topics vary. Prerequisites: Film and Media Studies 85A-B-C or consent of instructor; open only to Film and Media Studies majors.
190 Special Topics in Film and Modern Media (4) F, W, S. Special issues concerned with film and media history, theory, and criticism. Prerequisite: Film and Media Studies 85A or consent of instructor. May be repeated for credit as topics vary.
191 Special Topics in Critical Practice (4) F, W, S. Integrates critical analysis, historical, and theoretical methods with creative projects to illuminate film and media production and industries. May include courses in adaptation, writing television, media activism, writing the short film, performance studies, and movie title sequences. Prerequisite: Film and Media Studies 85A or consent of instructor. May be repeated for credit as topics vary.
197 Professional Internship (2 or 4) F, W, S. Professional internship in the broadcast, film, video, or Internet industries designed to provide students with closely supervised professional experience to enhance their understanding of media from industrial, historical, and critical perspectives. Journal and final report required. Prerequisites: Film and Media Studies 117A-B-C or 120A-B-C or consent of instructor; upper-division standing. Open only to Film and Media Studies majors and minors with a B average or better in Film and Media Studies course work. Pass/Not Pass only. May be taken for credit for a total of four units.
198 Creative Project (2 or 4) F, W, S. Creative project in screenwriting, filmmaking, videomaking, or Web or Internet design intended to provide advanced production and creative writing training beyond the Film and Media Studies 117A-B-C or 120A-B-C series. Final project required. Prerequisites: Film and Media Studies 85A and 117A-B-C or 120A-B-C or consent of instructor; 101A recommended; upper-division standing. May be taken twice for a credit total of eight units.
199 Directed Research (4) F, W, S. Directed reading and research under supervision of a faculty member in topic areas not covered by regular course offerings. Final research paper required. Prerequisites: upper-division standing and consent of instructor.
Graduate courses satisfying the requirements of the program in Visual Studies are listed in the Visual Studies section of the Catalogue.
399 University Teaching (4) F, W, S. Limited to teaching assistants. Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory grading only. May be repeated for credit.