Cinema  {SF State Bulletin 2013 - 2014}

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Cinema

College of Liberal & Creative Arts

Dean: Paul Sherwin

 

School of the Arts
Department of Cinema

FA 245
Phone: 415-338-1629
Fax: 415-338-0906
E-mail: cinedept@sfsu.edu
Web Site: www.cinema.sfsu.edu
Chair: Daniel Bernardi

 

Graduate Office: FA 243
Phone: 415-338-1724
E-mail: cinegrad@sfsu.edu

 

Faculty

Professors: Bernardi, Clark, Goldner, Kovacs, Lau, Millsapps, Sjogren,

Associate Professors: Gorzycki, Hammett, Jackson, Kerner, McBride, Rutsky, Snider, Zhang

Assistant Professors: Elhaik, Hoxter, Ridgway

Production Coordinator and Lecturer: Boswell

 

Programs

B.A. in Cinema

Minor in Cinema

M.A. in Cinema Studies

M.F.A. in Cinema

 


 

Program Scope

The Cinema Department was founded amid the political activism and artistic experimentation of the 1960s. Today, in an era of new technologies and new opportunities, the department continues to encourage and celebrate cinematic expressions that challenge social and artistic norms. Cinema faculty are committed to providing students with a liberal arts education focused on three intertwined values: creative expression, critical thinking, and social engagement.

 

Students in the B.A. program complete introductory courses in cinema history, theory, and production. They then proceed to advanced classes across the field of cinema, including the option to focus part of their studies through one of our undergraduate emphases: animation, filmmaking (documentary and fiction), media and culture, and screenwriting. Students may also combine courses from several emphases in their major program. All emphases lead to a B.A. in Cinema.

 

The M.A. in Cinema Studies is intended for individuals who wish to pursue research and academic writing in selected areas of film scholarship. Course work emphasizes critical theory, narratology, documentary, and experimental film. Students produce a thesis that allows for focused research on a specific topic under the direction of a thesis advisor.

 

The M.F.A. in Cinema emphasizes knowledge of cinematic tradition and the development of individual creative vision and proficiency in technical crafts. The program integrates new processes, aesthetics, and technologies and encourages the development of original modes of cinematic expression. Course work emphasizes documentary, experimental and fiction filmmaking. Students are encouraged to take courses in animation. Parallel course work in film and media theory, history and criticism are included in years one and two.

 

The department web site offers additional information: www.cinema.sfsu.edu.

 

Facilities

Department facilities include a 150-seat screening theatre, a 2500´ shooting stage, editing and post-production areas for both sprocket and digital media, sound recording and mixing studios with digital editing workstations, including a Foley stage. The department also has an animation studio with film and computer workstations, two computer labs, a media library, the Bill Nichols Reading Room, and the Cinema Studies Center.

 

Career Outlook

Graduates of the program often work as independent film producers or as professionals throughout the film and media industries—as producers, directors, creative executives, cinematographers, editors, sound recordists and mixers, animators, and multimedia artists. Many B.A. graduates continue to advanced studies in animation, filmmaking, media and culture, or screenwriting.

 

The M.A. prepares graduates to pursue doctoral study in cinema and other areas, as well as work in various areas of film and media arts exhibition, management, and research.

 

The M.F.A. prepares graduates to work as independent filmmakers, to assume creative professional roles within the film industry, or to teach at the college or university level.

 

Bachelor of Arts in Cinema

Admission

At the time of admission to the University, no special permission, application or portfolio is required to declare the cinema major. Before advancing to courses in the 300-level or higher, however, all majors must:

  • Complete the core courses with a grade of C or higher (CINE 200, CINE 202, CINE 204, CINE 211, and CINE 212, or equivalent courses).
  • Complete the lower division requirements (including Segment II) of the General Education requirements at SF State or the equivalent at another institution.

 

Description of the Program

The Department of Cinema is committed to a program of cinema studies and production as a common enterprise. For this reason, the 200-level Core courses and the 300-level Foundation courses are necessary prerequisites to advanced work in the major, including the emphases. Graduation Writing Assessment Requirement (GWAR) courses in Cinema are an exception; if the necessary prerequisites have been completed, GWAR courses may be taken concurrently with Core or Foundation courses, provided the student is an upper-division Cinema major.) Completion of the Core and Foundation before enrollment in all other courses is strictly enforced.

 

Students should be aware that filmmaking is time consuming and expensive. Although course requirements seldom demand it, students often spend considerable sums of money on their film projects. Production courses require hands-on practice and experience; this necessarily limits the number of students enrolled in such courses.

 

Advising Process

Students are strongly encouraged to consult with a Cinema advisor on a regular basis as they advance through the program. Consultation with an advisor is required upon completion of the Core courses, at which time the student should obtain a Cinema Undergraduate Advising Form (Blue Sheet) for future use.

 

A list of departmental advisors and a schedule of their availability can be found on the department website.

 

Students are also advised to consult with the University’s Advising Center for information about General Education and other University requirements.

 

Major Requirements

  • All courses, except those in the Core, must be at the upper-division level (300-699).
  • Students may take CINE 324, CINE 325, and/or CINE 326 in any combination for a total of 4 units for credit, as topics vary.
  • Up to 9 units taken for CR/NC (credit/no credit) grading may count toward the major.
  • No more than 13 lower-division transfer units may be counted toward the major.

 

Cinema B.A. — 45 units

Courses are 3 units unless otherwise indicated.

Core Courses — 13 units

Students must complete the Core courses with a grade of C or better.

Foundation Courses — 4 units

Completion of foundation courses with a grade of C or better is required for enrolling in emphasis courses. Other 300-level courses may be taken concurrently unless specific course prerequisites apply.

Graduation Writing Assessment Requirement (GWAR) — 3 units

Cinema majors must demonstrate upper-division written English proficiency. Students who successfully complete a GWAR-designated Cinema course in spring 2010 or thereafter will have satisfied the GWAR. Visit http://wac.sfsu.edu/content/approved-gwar-courses for an updated list of GWAR-designated courses.

Emphases — 15 units

Upon completion of Core and Foundation requirements, majors will choose a 15-unit area of emphasis that is designed to stimulate and engage students artistically and intellectually. See details on each emphasis below.

Electives — 10 units

Elect additional Cinema courses to complete the total of 45 units required for the Cinema Major:

  • With prior approval of advisor: Up to 12 units of Cinema-related upper division courses outside the department may count toward the major.
  • If the minimum residence requirement of 12 units in the major is satisfied, credit for upper-division courses in the major from another four-year university is possible if syllabi are comparable.
  • A maximum of 13 lower-division transfer units may be counted toward the major.
  • A maximum of 18 units of online course work may be counted toward the major.
  • A maximum of 12 units of independent study/internship courses may be counted toward the major.
  • A maximum of 9 CR/NC units may be counted toward the major, which may include up to a maximum of 4 units of different CINE 324, CINE 325, or CINE 326 courses.

Emphasis in Animation   (15 units)

Animation is a rigorous, cross-disciplinary emphasis encouraging creative storytelling, social issue documentary and artistic experimentation. Using a variety of techniques: including drawing, stop-motion, 2D/3D computer, mixed media and effects animation, students make short films and learn pre-production, production and post-production animation methods. Students gain a strong foundation in animation principles applicable to cinema as well as multimedia, the web, games, etc. Enrollment in all animation courses is open to all students with upper division standing and requires consent of instructor. Cinema majors must complete CINE 200 and CINE 202 (or the equivalent) by the time of the Portfolio Review.

Note: Admission to CINE 360 (Animation I) is limited and requires a Portfolio Review. Another review is required for entry into advanced courses; enrollment in upper division animation courses requires instructor permission.

Animation Portfolio Review Guidelines

The Animation Portfolio Review is held in the fall semester only, the day before classes begin. The review is held in Fine Arts 325 at 10 a.m. (If classes begin on Monday, the review is on the previous Friday.) Students must bring an unofficial transcript and DARS report to the review.

Portfolio Guidelines

It is highly recommended that students take a beginning drawing and a life drawing class before the review. Portfolios should include a student’s strongest work and be limited to 20 pages assembled in one book.

  • Four to six pages of life drawings done from live subjects (not from photographic references).
  • Four to six pages of rough and gesture style sketches of animals and humans in motion (not from photographic or cartoon references).
  • Two to four pages of color and design work that may include drawing, painting, photography, 2D and or 3D design.
  • Two pages of recent personal work in any media.
  • Optional: up to two animation or film samples in DVD format may be submitted.
Animation Emphasis Required Courses

Note: Animation students may substitute CINE 365, History of Animation, for either CINE 211 (CINE 311 before fall 2012; CINE 300 before spring 2011), or CINE 212 (CINE 312 before fall 2012; CINE 302 before spring 2011)

Emphasis in Fiction Filmmaking   (15 units)

The fiction filmmaking pathway provides students with the opportunity to develop the various crafts of filmmaking, including cinematography, directing, editing, and sound. Students apply these skills to the completion of well-executed short narrative film projects. To take upper division production courses, students must qualify for the production pool. See the department’s website for more information on the production pool process.

Electives from among the following: — 8 units

Emphasis in Documentary Filmmaking   (15 units)

The documentary filmmaking pathway provides students with the opportunity to develop the various crafts of filmmaking, including cinematography, directing, editing, and sound. Students apply these skills to the completion of well-executed short documentary film projects. To take upper division production courses, students must qualify for the production pool. See the department’s website for more information on the production pool process.

Electives from among the following: — 5 units

Emphasis in Media and Culture   (15 units)

Students pursuing the Media and Culture pathway study cinema and media within a broader cultural context, which includes the relation of cinema and media to aesthetics, authorship, genres, social and economic history and theory, industry, and ideology (including ethnicity, race, gender, and sexuality). Critical thinking and writing about these topics are emphasized. All Media and Culture courses may be applied to this area of emphasis, with a minimum of 15 units required for completion of the emphasis.

Electives from among the following: — 12 units

(at least one of which must be taken at the 400/500 level, prior to taking CINE 610):

Emphasis in Screenwriting   (15 units)

The practice of screenwriting shapes entertainment, challenges social convention, and informs global culture. Students on the screenwriting pathway hone the necessary skills to craft compelling narratives that provoke, inspire, and entertain diverse audiences. Students that elect this pathway often graduate with two or more scripts they can use as evidence of their training.

 

Minor in Cinema

This program does not lead to a credential or degree, but is intended to give students an opportunity to further their interests in cinema in an organized manner.

 

Minor in Cinema — minimum 20 units

Courses are 3 units unless otherwise indicated.

Required Courses

Electives — minimum 11 units

All elective units must be upper-division. Only Cinema majors are permitted to enroll in CINE 310 and advanced production courses.

 

Master of Arts in Cinema Studies

Admission to the Program

The department accepts a small number of new M.A. students for the fall semester only.

 

Application for admission requires two distinct processes: (1) application to the graduate admissions office of the University as specified in this Bulletin, and (2) submission of the M.A. application (found on the department website) and materials specifically requested by the Cinema Department. Applicants must have a GPA of 3.0 or better in the last two years of undergraduate study. Applicants with degrees in areas other than film who show exceptional potential will be considered for admission to the program if they have completed at least three advanced courses in film study, including one course in film theory.

 

The admission materials specifically requested by the department include:

  • A one to two page résumé summarizing the applicant’s education, awards or recognition, work experience, languages, and special skills.
  • A personal statement (two pages, 500 words maximum). The applicant should discuss an aspect of film study/work already completed and should address the following: What engaged you about it? What conclusions did you reach? In what ways might you further pursue this or other work? (If a non-film major, applicant should describe an aspect of work done in major area.)
  • An example of academic writing (seven to 12 pages) that illustrates the applicant’s ability to make and support a thesis as well as familiarity with scholarly form and expository style. Papers from the film discipline are most useful, but other academic work is acceptable.
  • A thesis proposal (two pages maximum). Applicant should describe the general area or, if possible, the specific topic, and should address the following: What is the issue? What will your perspective be? What importance does this topic have for film study in general? (This topic need not be binding; it helps the department determine if resources match the applicant’s needs.)
  • Two letters of recommendation from individuals who can attest to the applicant’s scholarship and potential for success in a graduate program. (Note: the department does not provide an official recommendation form.)
  • Official transcripts; send two official transcripts to the Division of Graduate Studies with the CSU application.
  • The GRE is NOT required.

 

All prospective M.A. students may contact the department’s graduate office about specific questions. Write: Graduate Committee, Department of Cinema, San Francisco State University, 1600 Holloway Avenue, San Francisco, CA 94132 or e-mail: cinegrad@sfsu.edu. Additional information and application forms are available on the Cinema Department website: www.cinema.sfsu.edu.

 

Written English Proficiency Requirement

Level One: First level proficiency is assessed by means of written work completed in CINE 700 for an overall grade of B or better.
Level Two: Second level proficiency is assessed by means of the thesis proposal normally prepared in CINE 897.

 

Advancement to Candidacy

Prior to admission, M.A. candidates must have successfully completed three undergraduate film studies courses beyond the introductory level, including one course in film theory (stressing a critical approach or methodology). Deficiencies will be identified on admission to the program and should be completed as soon as possible. All deficiencies must be satisfied prior to advancement to candidacy.

 

Required Courses for M.A. in Cinema Studies

All students must complete at least 30 units, including the following courses. Upper division courses not used to satisfy graduate admission deficiencies are acceptable as electives on approval by a graduate advisor.

 

Cinema Studies (M.A.) — 30 units

Courses are 3 units unless otherwise indicated.

Core Requirements

Electives — minimum 18 units

Chosen from CINE 720 - 749; CINE 820 - 829

Graduate-level Electives — 6 units

Chosen in consultation with MA faculty advisor: or may be chosen from other discipline(s)

 

Master of Fine Arts in Cinema

The 60-unit M.F.A. program is divided into three distinct parts and should be completed in three years, plus time required for creative work production. During the first year, students build a foundation through the study of technical crafts, aesthetics and theory; develop their creative process; and, begin to integrate conceptual frameworks into their creative work.

 

In the second year, this foundation is broadened through advanced courses that lead to the production of short film projects demonstrating original thinking, conceptual clarity, technical skill, and the refinement of a personal aesthetic. Second year work also is geared to prepare each student to successfully complete the thesis proposal.

 

In the third part of the program, students complete a thesis that is a culmination of previous work and a reflection of the development of the student's creative voice. M.F.A. students are also expected to gain teaching experience as teaching assistants or teaching associates in the Cinema Department.

 

Admission to the Program

The department accepts new M.F.A. students for the fall term only.

 

Application for admission requires two distinct processes: (1) application to the graduate admissions office of the University as specified in this Bulletin, and (2) submission of the M.F.A. application (found on the department website) and materials specifically requested by the department. Applicants must have a GPA of 3.0 in the last two years of undergraduate study. Applicants with degrees in areas other than film who show exceptional potential will be considered for admission to the program.

 

Applicants must meet all general university requirements for admission. Prior to admission, all candidates must have completed two courses in cinema studies beyond the introductory level. One of these courses must be in film theory, stressing critical approach or methodology; the other must be in cinema history. One introductory course in 16mm film production and a basic course in Final Cut Pro digital editing, or equivalent experience is required.

 

The admission materials specifically requested by the department include:

  • A one to two page résumé summarizing the applicant’s education, awards or recognition, work experience, travel, languages, and special skills.
  • A personal statement (three pages maximum) discussing aesthetic influences, creative interests, and professional objectives as a filmmaker, including comments on: the areas of film on which the applicant would like to concentrate, how theory informs his/her work as a filmmaker, and the goals he/she intends to pursue upon completion of the M.F.A.
  • An example of academic writing (seven to 12 pages) that illustrates the applicant’s ability to make and support a thesis as well as familiarity with scholarly form and expository style. Papers from the film discipline are most useful, but other academic work is acceptable. No journalistic “review” essays or scripts are accepted as supplementary materials.
  • An example of moving image work is required. In addition to film/video work, examples of other creative work, such as photographs, paintings, or creative writing are also accepted.
  • Two letters of recommendation from individuals who can attest to the applicant’s creativity and aptitude as well as to the quality of past work and potential of future achievements. At least one letter from a former professor is recommended. (Note: the department does not provide an official recommendation form).
  • Official transcripts: Send two official transcripts to the Division of Graduate Studies with the CSU application.

 

For further information about the M.F.A., departmental procedures and activities, production costs, and other advising matters, write: Graduate Assistant, Department of Cinema, San Francisco State University, 1600 Holloway Avenue, San Francisco CA 94132 or e-mail: cinegrad@sfsu.edu. Additional information and application forms are available on the Cinema Department website: www.cinema.sfsu.edu.

 

Completion of the Degree

In addition to successful completion of the course of study, each student must meet departmental requirements that include a formal script review at the end of the first semester, a formal progress review at the end of the first year, a formal presentation and faculty evaluation of the creative work project proposal at the end of the second year (upon which advancement to candidacy is contingent) and a documented public screening of the student’s creative thesis project.

 

Under certain circumstances, up to 24 units of graduate credit from a M.A. program in film production may be applied toward the M.F.A. Before any such request is considered, all admission requirements must be met and all previous course work must be reviewed and approved by the cinema graduate committee and the dean of the University Division.

 

Enrollment in an upper division or graduate-level cinema course is required in the semester of graduation. Registration may be in a regular university course, summer sessions, or College of Extended Learning’s CINE 890. Additionally, all graduate students who have completed CINE 894 must enroll in the University’s required continuous enrollment course until the term of graduation.

 

Written English Proficiency Requirement

Level One: First level proficiency is assessed by means of written work completed in CINE 700 for an overall grade of B or better.
Level Two: Second level proficiency is assessed by means of the creative work proposal normally prepared in CINE 770.

 

Advancement to Candidacy

Students must meet all general University requirements for advancement to candidacy, and receive a B or better in all required courses for the M.F.A. degree, as well as successfully pass all formal reviews (first year script review, first year progress review, thesis proposal review, and thesis committee review).

 

Required Courses

All M.F.A. students must complete 42 units of required classes and 18 units of electives. First and second year required courses must be taken in sequence. Advancement to second and third year of the program is contingent on faculty review and approval by the M.F.A. Coordinator.

 

Cinema (M.F.A.) — 60 units

Courses are 3 units unless otherwise indicated.

First Year — 18 units

Second Year — 18 units

Students must complete two of the following in the second or third year (6 units)
Students must complete one of the following: (3 units)

Or other graduate level theory course pre-approved by MFA Coordinator

Third Year — 6 units

Elective Units — 18 units

Elective units chosen upon consultation with a graduate advisor from upper division production courses, animation courses, graduate film studies seminars, and approved courses from related disciplines. May be taken in any year.

 

 

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