Introduction to Film Studies    

ENGL 1051 / GRMN 1051

Fall Semester 2013


 Class Schedule

Film as Technology and Industry

27 Aug  Introduction to Course (see info below)

29 Aug  The Birth of Cinema

3 Sept  A History of Film Technology

5 Sept  How a Film is Made

10 Sept  Discussion: The Player

12 Sept  Marketing Movies

Telling Stories on Film

17 Sept  Film Form.        Assignment #1 Due.

19 Sept  Film Narrative

24 Sept  Discussion: Memento 

26 Sept  Genre and Classical Hollywood Cinema

1 Oct  Telling Stories on Film

3 Oct  No Class

8 Oct No Class - Reading Day

10 Oct  Discussion: Rango

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

Film Style

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

22 Oct  Mise-en-scene II

24 Oct  Cinematography I

29 Oct  Cinematography II

31 Oct  Discussion: In the Mood for Love

5 Nov  Editing I

7 Nov  Editing II

12 Nov  Sound I

14 Nov  Sound II

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

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

Film History

26 Nov  Silent Cinema and Classical Cinema Discussion: Metropolis.

28 Nov  No Class. Happy Thanksgiving!

3 Dec  New Waves around the World. Discussion: 8 1/2.

5 Dec  Film Today, Course Wrap-Up, and Discussion of Final Projects

10 December  Final Project Due


Course Information

Class Meetings

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

Room: Swift 500


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

Office Hours: T/TH 11am-12noon and by appointment

Course Description

Introduction to Film Studies (ENGL 1051 / 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.

My goal in this course is to get and keep a discussion about films and film studies going both inside and outside the classroom. In addition to the website and the required comments, extra credit is available for tweets (@toddherzog) and other social media interactions.


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 and tweets.

Final Paper: 300 points

Attendance and Participation: 150 points