2600 North Stemmons Freeway, Suite 117, Dallas, TX 75207

Class Descriptions

To Producing

INTROPRO 101 – An introductory course on producing independent, studio, network and cable films as well as commercials, industrials, web based programs and other moving image industries. Focus is on the basics of producing, the language and business of film, how the industries work with a concentration on the marketplace reality of making dream projects and films made to fit a genre, as well as an introduction to the MacBook Pro computer and some of the industry standard software used throughout the curriculum.

Credit hours – 3.0

The Creative

CREAPRO 101 – This course is an investigation into the student’s own creative process. Students will explore the use of visual, literary and performing arts as a means of self-discovery. Film students will further translate this into a filmmaking exercise in the form of individual class presentations.

Credit hours – 2.0

Screenwriting I

SCRNWRIT 101 – This course introduces students to both the craft and art of screenwriting. Emphasis is placed on story, structure, and the elements of screenwriting through lectures, exercises and analyses of films. Students learn the basics of Final Draft screenwriting software through a series of specific writing assignments.

Credit hours – 3.0

Basics of
Film Production

FILM PROD 101 – This class combines hands-on experience with demos, lectures, screenings, readings, and discussions to introduce students to the tools, techniques, and terminology used in filmmaking. By integrating the skills and knowledge developed in Creative Process, Screenwriting and Producing classes, students work both in front of and behind the camera to produce several short films and exercises. Students work both independently and collaboratively in a high-pressure creative environment that simulates professional filmmaking. Also covered are the fundamentals of the equipment used throughout the program: digital HD cameras and accessories, basic audio and lighting equipment, and basic editing with Mac computers using Final Cut Pro.

Credit hours – 4.0

Digital Cinematography and Lighting

DIGCINE101 – This course focuses on advanced digital video filmmaking techniques and aesthetics used to create independent shorts and feature length films. Using state-of-the-art High definition cameras, students learn to expressively utilize motion picture images to evoke deep emotional response and provoke intellectual engagement.

Credit hours – 4.0


Social Psychology

PSYC 2319 – An introduction to psychological theories and their application to understanding human behavior. The course covers the psychology of learning, language, developmental personality and altered states of awareness and social psychology.

Credit hours – 3.0

Screenwriting II

SCRNWRIT 201 – Having learned the fundamentals of screenwriting in semester one, students are guided as they focus on writing short screenplays, learning to take their idea from concept to first draft. Sharing their work in class, students continue to explore the elements of screenwriting in a combination of lectures and workshops for writing and peer critique.

Credit hours – 3.0

Intermediate Film Production

FILMPROD 201 – Intermediate Film Production expands upon the lessons learned in the Basics of Film Production. Lectures, demonstrations, film screenings, textbook readings, handouts, and classroom discussions help prepare students for hands-on exercises designed to develop a more mature, self-confident storytelling style. Topics such as the correct methods for shooting dialog scenes, safe and effective construction of an action sequence, basic approaches to location sound recording, and techniques for shooting interviews, will lay the groundwork for shooting fiction and non-fiction semester film projects.

Credit hours – 4.0

Scheduling and Budgeting

SKED/BUD 201 – The foundation of any moving image production is physical production. In this dynamic course students learn the basics of physical production using time tested methods and the latest industry software. Using Gorilla Scheduling and Budgeting software students learn to break down a film script to create a production plan. The management of the production, transportation requirements, and the production’s responsibilities to cast and crew are examined in detail. Students will prepare a production book that includes a shooting script, script breakdown pages, shooting schedule, budget, cast, crew and location breakdown. Particular attention is paid to the structure of the workday, reasonable hours, turn around time, and other safety issues that are the responsibility of the producer, director, unit production manager, first assistant director and department heads.

Credit hours – 3.0

Digital Editing and Post-Production

POSTPROD 201 – This hands-on course teaches the tools and techniques used in visual post-production from media management to advanced editing techniques including editing theory, editing software, and basic engineering for post-production. Students use the non-linear edit system, Final Cut Pro, to study a variety of styles and techniques for cutting dialog scenes, action scenes, comedy, music videos, and documentaries. Professional workflows and practices, engineering, color correction and grading, motion graphics, digital video effects, compositing and edit lists will be explored. Students create both personal projects and projects using pre-existing footage. By working on the same project students see firsthand the difference an editor’s creative choices make.

Credit hours – 3.0

Post-Production Audio and Music

POSTSND 201 – Students explore the practical and aesthetic aspects of digital audio tools and procedures through lectures, demonstrations and hands-on exercises. All areas of audio are explored, including: sync-sound, editing, mixing, sound design, recording, editing dialogue, prepping for automatic dialogue replacement (ADR) and Foley sessions, loop groups, pre-dubs, composed score, source music, print master, music and effects tracks (M&E) and supervising the final sound mix. The impact of sound design on storytelling in films is evaluated by studying composer choices, edits, and sound effects.

Credit hours – 3.0

Forms of Literature

ENGL 2341 – The purpose of this course is to facilitate a comprehensive development of students’ textual/interpretive skills through varied written assignments that are closely connected with readings from different literary genres, including the history of drama.

Credit hours – 3.0

History of Popular American Culture Through Film

FILM 401 – This course is a survey of early film making through modern cinematography, focusing primarily on domestically produced films. The impact of film and cinematic literature on historical and current American culture will be discussed in depth. Also discussed will be the influence of the early studios (personalities such as Thalberg, Warner and Goldwyn will be covered) and cinematic developments through history.

Credit hours – 3.0

Screenwriting III

SCRNWRIT 301 – Greater attention is paid to elements of character objectives and development, scene beats, conflict, obstacles, premise, tension, emotional through-line, and act structure. Work is read in class and evaluated through peer discussion. Students who want to focus on producing, directing or other film industry disciplines will also have an opportunity to develop their story skills by writing analyses of peer scripts and other screenplays. Each student is encouraged to submit one or more of his or her screenplays for consideration as a 4th Semester Motion Picture Production Final Project.

Credit hours – 2.0

Prep and Production Colloquium

PRODCOL 301 – This open discussion course is a forum for students to address specific advanced topics and issues that arise during their third semester projects. Round table discussion is supplemented with guest speakers on various industry topics including art direction and costume design. Scheduled field trips to local industry businesses, such as equipment rental houses, post-production facilities, and film labs are also used to enhance and expand the student’s exposure to the business.

Credit hours – 4.0

Advanced Film Production

FILMPROD 301 – Grounded in the technical skills honed in the first two semesters, students are now ready to explore the more nuanced facets of filmmaking. Student filmmakers learn how to analyze a script, cast the right actor, block a vibrant, motivated scene, and nurture a compelling performance for the camera. Students experience the rehearsal process as a collaborative tool for working with talent to achieve their storytelling goals. A variety of acting methodologies are considered, as are improvisation and problem solving exercises through scene work before the camera. Each student draws upon the multiple disciplines of development, shooting, and post-production for the creation of a high quality Third Semester Final Project.

Credit hours – 4.0

Fundamentals of Public Speaking

SPCH 1315 – This course provides an introduction to the principles and practice of presentational communication, including personal history, impromptu speaking, humorous and persuasive speeches. Methods of topic analysis, evidence evaluation, organization and delivery are covered.

Credit hours – 3.0

Producing the Independent Film

PROFILM 301 – The various producer roles are examined from developing projects and acquiring financing to production management and distribution. Pre-production tasks from scouting to casting, location permits to required clearances and insurance, all the way through post-production are examined. The importance of having a finished script before shooting as well as the structure and collaborative responsibilities of crew members throughout a production is emphasized. Through a series of lectures and exercises, the course explores the creative, organizational, and management roles inherent to producing independent films and short films from prep to post.

Credit hours – 2.0

Advanced Business of Film

FILMBIZ 401 – This course examines the business and legal aspects of film production. The economic structure and history of the film industry, the job of production companies and professional guilds, film festivals, grant writing, as well as a full range of the business and legal practices of film and television production are surveyed, including financing and the roles agents, managers, attorneys and publicists play in representing talent, producers and writers. Students are familiarized with entertainment law topics such as: copyright; option agreements; distribution agreements; music licensing; agreements for actors, directors, producers and writers; protecting the rights of the artist; employment contracts, permits and releases; guilds and union; production and distribution revenues and expenses.

Credit hours – 2.0

Distribution & Marketing

DISTRIB 401 – This course examines the full range of film distribution and marketing for major studio and independent film projects. Market research, advertising strategies, image development, and creative execution are explored while focusing on understanding the interplay of markets, buyers, sellers, consumers, and costs. Major studio distribution topics include: devising a release plan, analyzing grosses, scheduling bookings, creating a marketing and advertising campaign, and independent film acquisition. Independent film distribution covers festival circuits and markets, educational and short film distribution, independent features (domestic and foreign), fundraising, and working with agents. The roles of audience survey techniques, booking, publicity, and advertising as well as the corporations and industries involved in the mass media are explored. Students create and deliver a film festival kit.

Credit hours –  2.0

Human Biology

BIOL 2301 – This course is designed to provide an introduction to the building blocks and components of human life and how they function together to support the organism. Emphasis is on the function of the human body including anatomy, nutrition and nervous, circulatory and reproductive systems.

Credit hours – 3.0

Advanced Development

This course is designed to give students momentum after graduation. A companion series of lectures assists students in the transition from the classroom to the professional world. With the knowledge and skills learned from previous semesters students can develop and create a realistic production plan, market/distribution plan, and financing strategy for a project after graduation, or concentrate on furthering their skills in the discipline they prefer. Motion Picture Production program teachers and industry professionals will be brought in to work with students. 2/00/60

Production and Post-Production Colloquium

This course is a forum for students to address specific issues that arise during production through delivery on the Motion Picture Production Final Projects in an open discussion format. Supplemented by guest speakers and issue specific instruction, such as cinematography, it is designed to address actual concerns as well as questions engendered during production through delivery of the Motion Picture Production Final Projects. 4/00/120

Final Projects: Pre-Production through Delivery

With instructor guidance, students form production teams, with each team taking a pre-selected Motion Picture Production final project from rewrites to pre-production, production, post-production, completion and delivery in this hands-on course. Graduation ceremonies include the screening of graduates’ Motion Picture Production Final Projects. 4/00/105