Introduction to Film Studies    

GRMN 1051

Fall Semester 2012

Still from  Sherlock Jr.  (dir. Buster Keaton, USA, 1924)

Still from Sherlock Jr. (dir. Buster Keaton, USA, 1924)

 Class Schedule

Film as Technology and Industry

28 Aug  Introduction to Course

30 Aug  The Birth of Cinema

4 Sept  A History of Film Technology

6 Sept  How a Film is Made

11 Sept  Discussion: The Player

13 Sept  Marketing Movies

Telling Stories on Film

18 Sept  Film Form. Assignment #1 Due.

20 Sept  Film Narrative

25 Sept  Discussion: Memento

27 Sept  Genre and Classical Hollywood Cinema

2 Oct  Discussion: Rango

4 Oct  The Avant-Garde: Alternatives to Classical Hollywood Cinema

Film Style

9 Oct  Mise-en-scene I. Assignment #2 Due.

11 Oct  Mise-en-scene II

16 Oct  Cinematography I

18 Oct  No Class

23 Oct  Cinematography II

25 Oct  Discussion: In the Mood for Love

30 Oct  Editing I

1 Nov  Editing II

6 Nov  Sound I

8 Nov  Sound II

13 Nov  Workshop: How to Do a Sequence Analysis (Discussion: Citizen Kane)

15 Nov  Assignment #3 (in class): Sequence Analysis

Film History

20 Nov  Silent Cinema. Discussion: Metropolis.

22 Nov  No Class. Happy Thanksgiving!

27 Nov  Classical Cinema. Discussion: His Girl Friday.

29 Nov  New Waves Around the World. Discussion: 8 1/2

4 Dec  Film Today: The Blockbuster and Beyond.

6 Dec  Course Wrap-Up and Discussion of Final Projects

11 December  Final Project Due


Course Information

Class Meetings

Tuesdays/Thursdays, 9:30-10:50am

Room: Swift 800


Prof. Todd Herzog (Office: 732 Old Chemistry / E-mail Prof. Herzog)

Course Description

Introduction to Film Studies (GRMN 1051) is one of two required courses for the Certificate in Film and Media Studies

This course offers a broad introduction to the study of film. We will consider such issues as: (1) how films are made and marketed, (2) how films tell stories, (3) the techniques of film art, (4) methods of film theory and criticism, and (5) important movements in film history.

A major emphasis of the course will be learning how to analyze a film. You will be introduced to the vocabulary involved in film analysis and will practice analyzing film sequences, as well as discussing films as a whole. Examples for discussion will range widely, from different countries, time periods, and genres. The idea of this course is that film analysis can apply to all types of films, from self-conscious "arthouse" films to summer blockbusters.

Classes will consist of lectures, workshops, and discussions. There is no textbook for the course. Instead, you will prepare for class sessions with short assignments that ask you to reflect on the topic that we will be focusing on in that session. After the session, you will be asked to do an assignment that uses the skills we developed in the session. Regular attendance is necessary for successful completion of this course. If you must miss a class, please let me know. But try not to.


There are a total of 1,000 points possible in this course.

Assignments: 300 points (3 x 100)

Website Comments: 250 points (25 x 10) Extra credit for additional posts.

Final Paper: 300 points

Attendance and Participation: 150 points