Introduction to Film Studies    

ENGL 1051 / FILM 1051 / GRMN 1051

Fall Semester 2017

Son of Rambow  dir. Garth Jennings, UK, 2007

Son of Rambow

dir. Garth Jennings, UK, 2007

 Class Schedule


Film as Technology and Industry

22 Aug Introduction to Course (see info below)

24 Aug The Birth of Cinema

29 August A History of Film Technology

31 August  How a Film is Made

5 Sept Discussion: The Player

7 Sept  Marketing Movies




Telling Stories on Film   

12 Sept  Assignment #1 Due

14 Sept Film Form 

15 Sept Extra Credit Opportunity: The Pigasus Pictures Story

19 Sept Film Narrative 

21 Sept Discussion: Memento

26 Sept Genre and Classical Hollywood Cinema

28 Sept Discussion: Rango

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




Film Style

5 Oct Assignment #2 Due. No class session today.

10 Oct No Class. Reading Day.

12 Oct Mise-en-scene I

17 Oct Mise-en-scene II

19 Oct Cinematography I

24 Oct Cinematography II

26 Oct  Discussion: In the Mood for Love

31 Oct Editing I

2 Nov  Editing II

7 Nov Sound I

9 Nov Sound II

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

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



Closing Discussions and Final Project

21 Nov Discussion of Assignment #3

23 Nov No Class. Happy Thanksgiving!

28 Nov Film Today and Discussion of Final Projects

30 Nov Time reserved for individual meetings about final projects

5 December Final Project Due





Course Information

Class Meetings

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

Room: Old Chemistry 601


Prof. Todd Herzog (Office: 733 Old Chemistry / E-mail Prof. Herzog)

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

Course Description

Introduction to Film Studies (ENGL 1051 / FILM 1051 / GRMN 1051) is one of two required courses for the Certificate in Film and Media Studies and is a required course for the BIS-DMC.

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 opportunities will be available throughout the semester.


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)

Final Paper: 300 points

Attendance and Participation: 150 points