Introduction to Film Studies    

FILM 1051 / ENGL 1051

Fall Semester 2019

Hugo  dir. Martin Scorsese, USA (2011)


dir. Martin Scorsese, USA (2011)

 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 / Special Guests: Cincinnati Indian Film Festival

10 Sept Discussion: The Player

12 Sept  Marketing Movies

Telling Stories on Film   

17 Sept Assignment #1 Due. Review class presentations here.

19 Sept Film Form

24 Sept Film Narrative 

26 Sept Discussion: Memento

1 Oct Genre and Classical Hollywood Cinema

3 Oct Discussion: What We Do in the Shadows

8 Oct Assignment #2 Due. Review class presentations here. Special Guest: Kristen Schlotman (Executive Director, Film Cincinnati)

10 Oct No Class: Reading Days

15 Oct Special Guest: Independent Filmmaker and Professor Ya’Ke Smith

Film Style

17 Oct Mise-en-scene

22 Oct Cinematography I

24 Oct Cinematography II

29 Oct Discussion: In the Mood for Love

31 Oct Editing I

5 Nov Editing II

7 Nov No Class

12 Nov Sound

14 Nov Workshop: How to Do a Sequence Analysis (Discussion: The Fits)

19 Nov No class during regularly scheduled time. Evening screening of Citizen Kane (Esquire Theatre)

21 Nov No class. Work on Assignment 3 Review class presentations here.

26 Nov Assignment #3 Due. Review class presentations here.

28 Nov No Class. Happy Thanksgiving!

Closing Discussions and Final Project

3 Dec Film Today and Discussion of Final Projects

5 Dec No class. Prof. Herzog is available in his office during class time for independent consultations on Final Projects

10 Dec Final Project Due


Course Information

Class Meetings

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

Room: Lindner Center 450


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 (FILM 1051 / ENGL 1051 ) is a required foundational course for the  BA in Film & Media Studies, the Certificate in Film and Media Studies, and 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. 

Learning Outcomes

Upon completion of this course, students will be able to:

1. Demonstrate an understanding of the basic concepts of film analysis, including formal and stylistic issues such as cinematography, editing, and narrative form. 

2. Utilize the basic critical tools necessary to understand, discuss, and write about cinema as an art form.

3. Describe the key elements of film history, including major film movements and genres.

4. Describe historical and recent development in Film and Media production and distribution technologies.

5. Apply critical analysis skills by discussing and writing analytically about films.

Course Presentations

all presentations will be posted here after each unit is completed


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

Assignments: 450 points (3 x 150)

Website Comments: 200 points (20 x 10)

Final Paper: 250 points

Attendance and Participation: 100 points

There will be several opportunities to earn extra credit by attending and writing about an event sponsored by UC Film. Sign up for our mailing list here!