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Essential Objectives

Course Syllabus


Revision Date: 14-Jun-24
 

Fall 2024 | FLM-2050-VO01 - Introduction to Film Study


Online Class

Online courses take place 100% online via Canvas, without required in-person or Zoom meetings.

Location: Online
Credits: 3 (45 hours)
Day/Times: Meets online
Semester Dates: 09-03-2024 to 12-16-2024
Last day to drop without a grade: 09-16-2024 - Refund Policy
Last day to withdraw (W grade): 11-04-2024 - Refund Policy
Open Seats: 12 (as of 07-25-24 7:05 AM)
To check live space availability, Search for Courses.

Faculty

John Ryan
View Faculty Credentials
View Faculty Statement
Hiring Coordinator for this course: Dana Lee

General Education Requirements


This section meets the following CCV General Education Requirement(s) for the current catalog year:
VSCS Arts & Aesthetics
    Note
  1. Many degree programs have specific general education recommendations. In order to avoid taking unnecessary classes, please consult with additional resources like your program evaluation, your academic program catalog year page, and your academic advisor.
  2. Courses may only be used to meet one General Education Requirement.

Course Description

This course explores the art and aesthetics of cinema, and the concepts behind good storytelling. Students examine film history and genres, technical and commercial aspects of cinema, and the major contributors of this form to social and cultural trends in the 20th and 21st centuries. Students analyze the elements of effective filmmaking.


Essential Objectives

1. Discuss the analytical tools and techniques used by the viewer to develop an informed perspective through personal engagement with films.
2. Explore film history.
3. Explain how narrative elements are used in film and describe how films depict characters, point of view and theme.
4. Apply significant concepts in film theory to individual films as well as to genres and types.
5. Describe how the cinematic language systems, such as cinematography, mise-en-scene, movement, editing and sound, work to convey meaning in film.
6. Describe important technical innovations and important directors, explaining their contribution to the evolution of film art.
7. Discuss the interplay between creative, economic, historical, and cultural forces as they have impact on the production of films.
8. Critically examine sociocultural biases and influences represented in major and minor trends in film.


Required Technology

More information on general computer and internet recommendations is available on the CCV IT Support page. https://support.ccv.edu/general/computer-recommendations/

Please see CCV's Digital Equity Statement (pg. 45) to learn more about CCV's commitment to supporting all students access the technology they need to successfully finish their courses.


Required Textbooks and Resources

This course uses one or more textbooks/books/simulations, along with free Open Educational Resources (OER) and/or library materials.

Fall 2024 textbook/book details will be available on 2024-05-20. On that date a link will be available below that will take you to eCampus, CCV's bookstore. The information provided there will be specific to this class. Please see this page for more information regarding the purchase of textbooks/books.

FLM-2050-VO01 Link to Textbooks for this course in eCampus.

For Open Educational Resources (OER) and/or library materials details, see the Canvas Site for this class.

The last day to use a Financial Aid Advance to purchase textbooks/books is the 3rd Tuesday of the semester. See your financial aid counselor at your academic center if you have any questions.


Artificial Intelligence(AI) Policy Statement

CCV recognizes that artificial intelligence (AI) and generative AI tools are widely available and becoming embedded in many online writing and creative applications.

Prohibited: The use of generative AI is not allowed in this course, with the exception of spellcheck, grammar check and similar tools. This course rests in the value of students engaging in the learning process without relying on AI-generated content. Students will develop critical thinking and problem-solving skills independently, owning their learning journey from start to finish. If you use these tools, your actions would be considered academically dishonest and a violation of CCV's Academic Integrity Policy.


Methods

SYNOPSIS:

This class provides an introduction to the basic tools of film analysis. We will examine how elements like mise-en-scène, cinematography, editing and sound work together to create meaning in a range of films. We will also examine how these elements are put together in different types of films -narratives, documentaries and experimental cinema – and how films function in society to circulate ideas and ideologies. We will also look at important aspects of film history, and the impact of new technological developments in filmmaking, such as sound, color and other significant developments.


METHODS:

Each week, students will read the text, participate in weekly online discussion forums, and view other instructor-provided materials. The assessment criteria for online postings will be (1) ability to identify key issues, concepts, and arguments (2) ability to explain the student’s major ideas and thoughts (3) the ability to apply the ideas and thoughts to other examples (e.g. examples from films, or writings by other theorists or critics).

The provided materials will include film clips for analysis and study, pertinent to the week’s topic. Also, critical articles and other analytical and informative pieces will sometimes be included, as well.

The criteria for the four papers are discussed in more detail in the assignment instruction in the class.

There are two aspects to your grade – your weekly forum grade, which counts for 60 percent of your total grade, and the four papers, which count for 40 percent of the grade. Also, 20 percent of your weekly forum grade is based on your level of participation - 4 posts a week (including your discussion post) is the goal.

Please note, our week runs from Tuesday morning until 11:59 pm of the following Monday.

Students will not be watching a film every week - the instructor will be providing clips from films, as examples of the topic that is studied, that particular week.


GUIDELINES FOR THE FORUMS
In the weekly forum, you will see several questions related to what we’ve learned this week. You should answer one of the questions with a 300-400 word essay, and at the bottom of your post, ask a question of your classmates. You should have this initial post up no later than 11:59 pm of Thursday evening, but I strongly encourage you to get it up earlier, so there is more opportunity for conversation. Points will be taken off for lateness, 5 percent per day.

Ideally, your post will demonstrate that you understand the material and that you can demonstrate critical thinking and analysis in your response. It should also, if possible, explore angles that challenge your own and your classmates' thinking, and perhaps adds to the discussion in addition to what the texts covered. If the question requires you to find some information about something, don't simply paste what you've found - put it in your own words and add some of your insights to it, too. Your best chance of getting an “A” is to be thorough… don’t hesitate to use materials and research outside of our texts, too.

As I mentioned above, at the bottom of your post (in another paragraph), ask a question to your classmates about the material. It could refer to something you discussed in your post, anything covered in the week’s materials, or something that wasn’t but you feel is relevant to the topic. A good question for your classmates is one that, of course, will further the discussion and force them (and the instructor!) to think critically and challenge them. Questions that also ask for a clarification of something you read are okay, too, just be sure that it’s not something simple that you overlooked, but you should post those as a separate post and not as your question to the classmates. Very general questions, or questions that are too broad, (such as “What do you think of horror movies?”) should be avoided, as well as questions that are only tangentially related to the subject at hand, and questions that can be easily answered by looking at the week’s materials. Please DO NOT simply ask the same question that you’ve answered.

If you all follow the above procedure, a good conversation is almost always the result of this.

Having taken many online courses of wildly varying quality throughout the path of my own education, it's been my experience that the best online courses are ones where we challenge each other and meaningfully interact with each other. I'm looking for your answers to not just regurgitate the text, but for you to demonstrate critical thinking and comprehension of the material at hand.

As to my role in the discussions, I will read every post, and I will chime in, several times a week, kind of guiding the conversation along. Sometimes, I may address your individual posts, at other times, I will address the group, after seeing how the conversation is unfolding. I generally will not respond to every individual post, but if you definitely want some feedback from me about a particular thing you’ve written, say so, and I will certainly chime in.

If I respond to one of your posts with “follow up” in the post header, it means that your response has prompted a question from me. Be sure to respond, as you’ll get a better grade than if you didn’t.

I will usually check-in, at the very minimum, at the beginning of the week, before and after the weekend, and at the end of the week, but often, it will be more than that, as time allows.

The discussion questions will, for the most part, be based on the week’s reading, although from time to time, it may involve doing a bit of research outside of the textbook and supplied readings.


Grading Criteria

CCV Letter Grades as outlined in the Evaluation System Policy are assigned according to the following chart:

 HighLow
A+10098
A Less than 9893
A-Less than 9390
B+Less than 9088
B Less than 8883
B-Less than 8380
C+Less than 8078
C Less than 7873
C-Less than 7370
D+Less than 7068
D Less than 6863
D-Less than 6360
FLess than 60 
P10060
NPLess than 600


Weekly Schedule


Week/ModuleTopic  Readings  Assignments
 

1

Looking at Movies

  
  1. Read the syllabus and the Guidelines for Online Discussion under the Important Course Documents heading at the top of the page. Also familiarize yourself with what is in the important course resources/links page, so you know what is available.
  2. Read Chapter 1: Overview, Week 1: Things to keep in mind as you watch
  3. Read Chapter 1: Looking at Movies in your text, and view all of the other provided materials for analysis and study. This includes all of the tutorials at the textbook's supplemental site, as well as anything I may put under the "required" section in the week's section.
  4. If you’d like, view any optional materials.
  5. Familiarize yourself with the criteria for paper #1, which is due in week 4.
  6. Post your introduction to in the discussion forum and your discussion post/question in the discussion forum by 11:59 pm of Thursday. Also, be sure to respond to several of your classmates' questions and posts.
  

Discussion forum

 

2

Principles of Film Form

  
  1. Read Chapter 2: Overview, Week 2: Things to keep in mind as you watch
  2. Read Chapter 2: Principles of Film Form in your text, and view all of the other provided materials for analysis and study. This includes all of the tutorials at the textbook's supplemental site, as well as anything I may put under the "required" section in the week's section.
  3. If you’d like, view any optional materials.
  4. Post your discussion post/question in the discussion forum by 11:59 pm of Thursday. Also, be sure to respond to several of your classmates' questions and posts.
  

discussion forum

 

3

Types of Movies

  
  1. Read Chapter 3: Overview, Week 3: Things to keep in mind as you watch
  2. Read Chapter 3: Types of Movies in your text, and view all of the other provided materials for analysis and study. This includes all of the tutorials at the textbook's supplemental site, as well as anything I may put under the "required" section in the week's section.
  3. If you’d like, view any optional materials.
  4. Post your discussion post/question in the discussion forum by 11:59 pm of Thursday. Also, be sure to respond to several of your classmates' questions and posts.
  5. Familiarize yourself with the criteria for paper #1, which is due in week 4.
  

discussion forum

 

4

Paper #1

  

There is no discussion forum this week, other than the “What did you watch this week”, so that you may work on your first paper. Please read the provided instructions, thoroughly, and get back to me with any questions you may have. Late papers will not be accepted without prior approval/good reason.

  

Essay, discussion forum

 

5

Elements of Narrative

  
  1. Read Chapter 4: Overview, Week 5: Things to keep in mind as you watch
  2. Read Chapter 4: Elements of Narrative in your text, and view all of the other provided materials for analysis and study. This includes all of the tutorials at the textbook's supplemental site, as well as anything I may put under the "required" section in the week's section.
  3. If you’d like, view any optional materials.
  4. Post your discussion post/question in the discussion forum by 11:59 pm on Thursday. Also, be sure to respond to several of your classmates' questions and posts.
  

discussion forum

 

6

Mise-en-scène

  
  1. Read Chapter 5: Overview, Week 6: Things to keep in mind as you watch
  2. Read Chapter 5:Mise-en-scène, in your text, and view all of the other provided materials for analysis and study. This includes all of the tutorials at the textbook's supplemental site, as well as anything I may put under the "required" section in the week's section.
  3. Familiarize yourself with the criteria for paper #2, which is due in week 8.
  4. If you’d like, view any optional materials.
  5. Post your discussion post/question in the discussion forum by 11:59 pm of Thursday. Also, be sure to respond to several of your classmates' questions and posts.
  

discussion forum

 

7

Cinematography

  
  1. Read Chapter 6: Overview, Week 7: Things to keep in mind as you watch
  2. Read Chapter 6: Cinematography, in your text, and view all of the other provided materials for analysis and study. This includes all of the tutorials at the textbook's supplemental site, as well as anything I may put under the "required" section in the week's section. Please note... in the Interactive Tutorials section of the supplemental site, there are two interactive tutorials, one on lighting and one on color. Be sure to do those, too.
  3. If you’d like, view any optional materials.
  4. Post your discussion post/question in the discussion forum by 11:59 pm of Thursday. Also, be sure to respond to several of your classmates' questions and posts.
  

discussion forum

 

8

Paper #2

  

There is no discussion forum this week, other than the “What did you watch this week”, so that you may work on your second paper. Please read the provided instructions, thoroughly, and get back to me with any questions you may have. Late papers will not be accepted without prior approval/good reason.

  

essay, discussion forum

 

9

Acting

  
  1. Read Chapter 7: Overview, Week 9: Things to keep in mind as you watch
  2. Read Chapter 7:Acting, in your text, and view all of the other provided materials for analysis and study. This includes all of the tutorials at the textbook's supplemental site, as well as anything I may put under the "required" section in the week's section.
  3. Familiarize yourself with the criteria for paper #2, which is due in week 8.
  4. If you’d like, view any optional materials.
  5. Post your discussion post/question in the discussion forum by 11:59 pm of Thursday. Also, be sure to respond to several of your classmates' questions and posts.
  

discussion forum

 

10

Editing

  
  1. Read Chapter 8: Overview, Week 10: Things to keep in mind as you watch
  2. Read Chapter 8:Editing, in your text, and view all of the other provided materials for analysis and study. This includes all of the tutorials at the textbook's supplemental site, as well as anything I may put under the "required" section in the week's section.
  3. If you’d like, view any optional materials.
  4. Post your discussion post/question in the discussion forum by 11:59 pm of Thursday. Also, be sure to respond to several of your classmates' questions and posts.
  

discussion forum

 

11

Sound

  
  1. Read Chapter 9: Overview, Week 11: Things to keep in mind as you watch
  2. Read Chapter 9:Sound, in your text, and view all of the other provided materials for analysis and study. This includes all of the tutorials at the textbook's supplemental site, as well as anything I may put under the "required" section in the week's section. Please note... in the Interactive Tutorials section of the supplemental site, there is an interactive tutorial on sound. Be sure to look at that, too.
  3. If you’d like, view any optional materials.
  4. Post your discussion post/question in the discussion forum by 11:59 pm of Thursday. Also, be sure to respond to several of your classmates' questions and posts.
  

Discussion forum

 

12

Paper #3

  

There is no discussion forum this week, other than the “What did you watch this week”, so that you may work on your third paper. Please read the provided instructions, thoroughly, and get back to me with any questions you may have. Late papers will not be accepted without prior approval/good reason.

  

essay, discussion forum

 

13

Film History

  
  1. Read Chapter 10: Overview, Week 13: Things to keep in mind as you watch
  2. Read Chapter 10:Film History, in your text, and view all of the other provided materials for analysis and study. This includes all of the tutorials at the textbook's supplemental site, as well as anything I may put under the "required" section in the week's section.
  3. If you’d like, view any optional materials.
  4. Post your discussion post/question in the discussion forum by 11:59 pm of Thursday. Also, be sure to respond to several of your classmates' questions and posts.

5. Please familiarize yourself with the criteria for paper #4, which is due in week 15

  

discussion forum

 

14

How the Movies are Made

  
  1. Read Chapter 11: Overview, Week 14: Things to keep in mind as you watch
  2. Read Chapter 11:How the Movies are Made, in your text, and view all of the other provided materials for analysis and study. This includes all of the tutorials at the textbook's supplemental site, as well as anything I may put under the "required" section in the week's section.
  3. If you’d like, view any optional materials.
  4. Post your discussion post/question in the discussion forum by 11:59 pm of Thursday. Also, be sure to respond to several of your classmates' questions and posts.
  

discussion forum

 

15

Final paper

  

There is no discussion forum this week, so that you may work on your final paper, which is due by 11:59 pm, Monday night. Please read the provided instructions, thoroughly, and get back to me with any questions you may have. Late papers will not be accepted for any reason, so please don’t ask for an exception.

Also, please post something in the “Closing thoughts/farewells” forum.

  

essay, discussion

 

Attendance Policy

Regular attendance and participation in classes are essential for success in and are completion requirements for courses at CCV. A student's failure to meet attendance requirements as specified in course descriptions will normally result in a non-satisfactory grade.

  • In general, missing more than 20% of a course due to absences, lateness or early departures may jeopardize a student's ability to earn a satisfactory final grade.
  • Attending an on-ground or synchronous course means a student appeared in the live classroom for at least a meaningful portion of a given class meeting. Attending an online course means a student posted a discussion forum response, completed a quiz or attempted some other academically required activity. Simply viewing a course item or module does not count as attendance.
  • Meeting the minimum attendance requirement for a course does not mean a student has satisfied the academic requirements for participation, which require students to go above and beyond simply attending a portion of the class. Faculty members will individually determine what constitutes participation in each course they teach and explain in their course descriptions how participation factors into a student's final grade.


Participation Expectations

To get the maximum score for discussions, you should ideally post at least four posts per week - your initial post and three or more responses to your classmates. To be counted as present, you must have your discussion post posted by the end of the week.



Missing & Late Work Policy

Initial discussion posts should be posted by 11:59 pm of Thursday. Five percent will be deducted for each late day up until the end of the week. You should also have your class responses in by Monday night at 11:59 pm at the latest. The earlier, the better, so that we can have more productive conversations. No credit will be given for discussions posted after the week ends.

Late papers will not be accepted, unless it's been discussed with me well in advance and approval is given.

If there are more than three unexcused absences, one cannot pass the class.


Accessibility Services for Students with Disabilities:


CCV strives to mitigate barriers to course access for students with documented disabilities. To request accommodations, please
  1. Provide disability documentation to the Accessibility Coordinator at your academic center. https://ccv.edu/discover-resources/students-with-disabilities/
  2. Request an appointment to meet with accessibility coordinator to discuss your request and create an accommodation plan.
  3. Once created, students will share the accommodation plan with faculty. Please note, faculty cannot make disability accommodations outside of this process.


Academic Integrity


CCV has a commitment to honesty and excellence in academic work and expects the same from all students. Academic dishonesty, or cheating, can occur whenever you present -as your own work- something that you did not do. You can also be guilty of cheating if you help someone else cheat. Being unaware of what constitutes academic dishonesty (such as knowing what plagiarism is) does not absolve a student of the responsibility to be honest in his/her academic work. Academic dishonesty is taken very seriously and may lead to dismissal from the College.