Cinema

College of Creative Arts
Interim Dean: Ronald J. Compesi

Department of Cinema
FA 245
415-338-1629
Fax: 415-338-0906
E-mail: cinedept@sfsu.edu
Web Site: www.cinema.sfsu.edu
Chair: Stephen Ujlaki

Undergraduate Office: FA 243, 415-338-6510
E-mail: cineprog@sfsu.edu

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

Faculty

Professors—Clark, Ferrero, Goldner, Holmes, Kitses, Kovacs, Millsapps, Nichols, Ujlaki

Associate Professors—Gorzycki, Hammett, Lau, Sjogren

Assistant Professors—Coelho, Jackson, Kerner, McBride, Rutsky, Snider, Zhang

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 sixties. Today, as it was then, the Cinema Department is committed to a curriculum which recognizes cinema as an independent, powerful, and unique medium of expression. Cinema programs combine theory and practice; students are encouraged to engage in scholarship and to pursue all forms of cinema production.

The goal of undergraduate instruction in the Cinema Department is to foster creative, critical, and independent endeavor as part of a liberal arts education. Students in the B.A. program complete core courses, including film history and critical studies, before continuing in advanced theory/criticism, screenwriting and production, or animation. Students are encouraged to combine courses from several areas in their major program. All areas lead to a B.A. in Cinema. A Minor in Cinema is also available.

The M.A. in Cinema Studies is intended for individuals who wish to pursue research and writing in selected areas of film scholarship. Students produce an M.A. thesis which allows for focused research on a specific topic, after gaining a background in narrative and non-narrative cinematic traditions, film criticism, and film theory.

The M.F.A. in Cinema emphasizes a knowledge of cinematic tradition, 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 expression. Course work emphasizes cinema production, with possible specialization in animation. Parallel course work in theory and aesthetics are included in years one and two.

The M.F.A. aims to: (1) provide students with rigorous, professional training in cinema production in conjunction with an understanding of cinema history, theory, and aesthetics; (2) inform students about current and emerging production practices and technologies to prepare them to become leaders and innovators in creating the cinema of the future; (3) prepare filmmakers who wish to teach cinema at the college or university level.

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

General Education Classes in Cinema

The Cinema Department offers the following General Education courses to any San Francisco State University student:

CINE 101 Introduction to Film
CINE 102 Introduction to Contemporary Cinema
CINE 304 Gender and Film
CINE 308 Third Cinema
CINE 325 Focus on Film Topics (topics to be specified)
CINE 342 Documentary Film
CINE 373 Film and Society

Facilities

The Cinema Department facility includes a 150-seat screening theatre, a 2500' shooting stage, editing and post-production areas for both sprocket and electronic media, sound recording and mixing studios with digital audio workstations, an animation studio with film and computer workstations, an on-line computer laboratory, and the Cinema Studies Center.

Career Outlook

Cinema graduates often work as independent film producers or in varying capacities within the film industry—as producers, directors, cinematographers, editors, sound recordists and mixers, animators, and multimedia artists. Many B.A. graduates continue with advanced studies in either production or theory/criticism. The M.A. prepares graduates to work in areas of film distribution, exhibition, and applied film scholarship, and to teach or pursue doctoral study in cinema. The M.F.A. prepares graduates to work as independent producers, to assume creative professional roles within the film industry, or to teach at the college or university level.

BACHELOR OF ARTS IN CINEMA

Admission to the Program

Applications to the Cinema major are accepted only for the fall semester.

Application Filing Periods. Applications for admission to the Cinema Department are accepted by the university's Office of Enrollment Services only during the application filing period of October 1 to November 30 (for admission the following fall semester). Applications received outside of this filing period cannot be considered. This filing period only applies to students entering the university.

Prerequisite Requirements. At the time of admission to the university, no special permission, application or portfolio is required to declare a major in Cinema; before, however, advancing to the 300-level or higher courses in the Cinema Program, all declared Cinema majors must:

Students may be granted an exemption from the prerequisite courses (CINE 200 and CINE 202) by taking and passing proficiency examinations for each course. New and prospective students should consult with the Cinema Department office for more information on proficiency exams.

Change of Major Applicants. Undeclared majors and students enrolled in other disciplines at San Francisco State University who seek to change their major to Cinema must have:

Description of the Program

The Cinema Department is committed to a program of film studies and production as a common enterprise. For this reason, it offers 300-level courses in both studies and production that are necessary prerequisites to advanced work in the major. Students who wish to enroll in advanced (400-level and above) courses must first complete the appropriate Foundation Courses (300-level) as listed below. Prerequisites listed for all courses are 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. Enrollment in 400-level Advanced Production courses requires an application process. Students who wish to enroll in these courses should consult the Cinema Production Coordinator for prerequisites and deadlines. This application process occurs every Fall and Spring semester.

Writing Competence. Good writing skills are necessary for success in the Cinema major. Completion of second year written composition (ENG 214 or equivalent including courses designed for non-native speakers of English) with a grade of C or better is a prerequisite for CINE 340/341, Critical Studies. (This prerequisite may also be fulfilled by passing the Junior English Proficiency Essay Test (JEPET) or ENG 414 with a C or better.) Students who have difficulty writing should improve their skills by taking composition courses or by completing writing tutorials.

Advising Process. Upon enrollment in the program, each Cinema major is assigned a Cinema adviser. The Cinema Department office maintains a list of departmental advisers and a schedule of their availability. It is, however, the student's responsibility to consult with his/her adviser regularly. Consultation with a Cinema Department adviser is required at three different times in the program.

  1. The student is required to have an initial meeting with a Cinema Department adviser, at the latest, upon entry to the Foundation Course level, at which time the student should obtain a Cinema Undergraduate Advising Form (Blue Sheet) for future use. No student may take Advanced Cinema Studies, Advanced Production, Advanced Screenwriting, or Animation Courses without obtaining an adviser’s signature on this form.
  2. Upon completion of the Foundation Courses in Cinema, the student must again obtain the adviser's signature.
  3. Prior to graduation, the student must obtain the adviser’s signature on the completed Undergraduate Application for Baccalaureate Degree.

Students are encouraged to consult with their Cinema Department advisers on a continuing basis as they proceed through the program. In addition to meeting with Cinema Department advisers concerning departmental requirements, students are also advised to consult a University Counselor for advising concerning university requirements.

Major Requirements. All undergraduate majors are required to complete at least 45 upper division units in Cinema or approved electives in related disciplines.

Students may take CINE 325 for a total of 4 units for credit as topics vary; no more than 3 units can count toward the major. Up to 9 units taken as CR/NC (credit/no credit) may count toward the Cinema major. Up to 6 transfer units from two-year institutions, in film/video production and/or screenwriting only, may count toward the Cinema major. Courses in film history and film studies at two-year institutions cannot be counted toward the major.

Courses are 3 units unless otherwise indicated. On-line course descriptions are available.

Prerequisite Courses

All Cinema majors must successfully complete the Prerequisite Core courses – or pass the department's proficiency examinations – with a grade of “C” or better. CINE 202 counts as credit toward the Cinema major.

Prerequisite Courses Units
CINE 200 Introduction to Cinema Studies 3
CINE 202 Introduction to Filmmaking 3
Total for prerequisites 6

Foundation Courses

These courses provide a foundation of skills and knowledge vital to all Cinema majors. Students should complete these courses as soon as possible after they have satisfied the Prerequisite Core requirements. Completion of all Foundation Courses with a C or better is a prerequisite for enrolling in Advanced Production courses. The only exception is when students have taken and successfully passed two of these three courses and are concurrently enrolled in the third. Most 400-level Cinema courses also require at least TWO Foundation Courses as prerequisites. Other 300-level courses may be taken concurrently unless specific course prerequisites apply.

Program Units
CINE 300 Film History I 3
CINE 302 Film History II 3
CINE 340
  and
CINE 341
Critical Studies
 
Critical Studies Discussion Group
3
 
1
Total for foundation 10

Note: Passing ENG 214 or Equivalent Course with a C or better is a prerequisite for taking CINE 340/341. (This prerequisite may also be fulfilled by passing the Junior English Proficiency Essay Test (JEPET) or ENG 414 with a C or better.

Following successful completion of the Foundation Courses, students may pursue their own interests in their coursework, so long as they complete the appropriate course requirements as listed below. Students should note that the number of places available in many courses is limited, and that they may be required to meet additional criteria before enrolling.

Cinema Studies

Students who wish to enroll in Advanced Cinema Studies courses at the CINE 400 level must complete the Prerequisite Core Courses, and at least TWO of the Foundation Courses.

To enroll in Advanced Cinema Studies courses at the CINE 500-600 level, ALL of the Foundations must be completed, as well as any course prerequisites that may apply.

Required Courses Units
CINE 200 Introduction to Cinema Studies
(units do not count toward major)
 
CINE 202 Introduction to Filmmaking 3
Foundation Courses (listed above) 10
Elective Units – selected upon advisement 32
Total for major 45

Production

Students who wish to enroll in advanced production courses must complete, in addition to the Prerequisite Core and Foundation Courses, the following course(s): Units
CINE 310 Film Production I 3
CINE 316 Film Production Laboratory 1

Advanced Production courses have limited enrollment. Students who wish to enroll in Advanced Production courses, including animation courses, must apply to the Advanced Production pool. Students should consult the Cinema Production Coordinator for prerequisites and deadlines. This application process occurs every Fall and Spring semester. Enrollment is on a space available basis.

Required Courses Units
CINE 200 Introduction to Cinema Studies
(units do not count toward major)
 
CINE 202 Introduction to Filmmaking 3
Foundation Courses (listed above) 10
CINE 310 Film Production I 3
CINE 316 Film Production Laboratory 1
Elective Units – selected upon advisement 28
Total for major 45

Screenwriting

Students who wish to enroll in Advanced Screenwriting courses must complete, in addition to the Prerequisite Core and Foundation Courses, the following course(s): CINE 355 Screen Writing I OR CINE 354 Short Format Screenwriting 3.

Required Courses Units
CINE 200 Introduction to Cinema Studies
(units do not count toward major)
 
CINE 202 Introduction to Filmmaking 3
Foundation Courses (listed above) 10
CINE 354
  or
CINE 355
Short Format Screenwriting
 
Screenwriting I
3
Elective Units – selected upon advisement 29
Total for major 45

Animation

The animation curriculum provides students with a foundation in the processes involved in developing animated films from initial planning through shooting and post-production. Students work in a variety of techniques, including cel, model, computer, and effects animation. Advanced animation study may emphasize either film animation or computer animation.

NOTE: Enrollment in all animation courses requires consent of instructor. Admission to CINE 360 is limited and requires a portfolio review. Another review is required for entry into advanced courses; students who wish to enroll in CINE 466 or CINE 660 must submit materials to the Undergraduate Selection Committee.

Required Courses Units
CINE 200 Introduction to Cinema Studies
(units do not count toward major)
 
CINE 202 Introduction to Filmmaking 3
Foundation Courses (listed above) 10
CINE 360 Animation I 3
CINE 362 Animation II 3
CINE 365
  or
CINE 465
History of Animation
 
Contemporary Animation
3
CINE 466 Animation III 3
CINE 468 Advanced Animation Workshop 3
Units from Cinema electives on advisement 17
Total for major 45

NOTE: Animation students may substitute CINE 365 for either CINE 300 or CINE 302.

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. A minimum of 20 units, planned and approved by an undergraduate adviser, is required. 10 of these units must be upper division units.

MASTER OF ARTS IN CINEMA STUDIES

Admission to the Program

The Cinema 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 M.A. application and materials specifically requested by the Department of Cinema. 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 in film theory.

The admission materials specifically requested by the Department of Cinema include:

All prospective M.A. students may contact the Cinema Department Graduate Office for specific questions and application forms. Write: Graduate Committee, Department of Cinema, San Francisco State University, 1600 Holloway Avenue, San Francisco, CA 94132 or by e-mail at cinegrad@sfsu.edu. This information is also available on the Cinema Department web site: www.cinema.sfsu.edu.

Written English Proficiency Requirement

Level One: first level proficiency is assessed by means of written work completed in CINE 700, Introduction to Graduate Study, not by the university administered Graduate Essay Test (GET). 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 adviser.

Courses are 3 units unless otherwise indicated. On-line course descriptions are available.

Core Requirements Units
CINE 700 Introduction to Graduate Study 3
CINE 721 Non Narrative Film 3
CINE 722 Narrative and the Independent Tradition 3
CINE 740 Seminar in Film Theory 3
CINE 745 Seminar in Film History and Criticism 3
CINE 852 Directed Experience in Film Education 3
CINE 897 Research Projects in Cinema Studies 3
CINE 898 Master's Thesis 3
Elective units – selected on advisement 6
Minimum total 30

MASTER OF FINE ARTS IN CINEMA

The 60-unit M.F.A. program is divided into three distinct parts which 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, and creative conceptualization, enabling them to develop and express themselves in the language of images and sounds.

In the second year, this foundation is broadened through advanced courses that lead to the production of creative work 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 creative project 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 Cinema 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 M.F.A. application and materials specifically requested by the Department of Cinema. 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 of Cinema include:

Four copies of all written materials (including the original) must be submitted to the Cinema Department. If transcripts and letters of recommendation are sent directly to the Cinema Department from previous educational institutions or from the writers of the letters of recommendation, one copy of each document is acceptable. Failure to meet these specifications may result in disqualification of the application.

For further information about the M.F.A., departmental procedures and activities, production costs, and other advising matters, 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 web site: www.cinema.sfsu.edu.

Completion of the Degree

To complete the degree, each student must satisfy the university and Cinema Department requirements as stated in this Bulletin. In addition to successful completion of the course of study, each student must meet departmental requirements that include a 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.

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 Department graduate committee and the dean of the Graduate 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 or Extended Learning's CINE 890.

Written English Proficiency Requirement

Level One: first level proficiency is assessed by means of the Graduate Essay Test (GET). Level Two: second level proficiency is assessed by means of the creative work proposal normally prepared in CINE 770.

Advancement to Candidacy

Applicants must meet all general university requirements for advancement to candidacy. 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.

Required Courses

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

Courses are 3 units unless otherwise indicated. On-line course descriptions are available.

First Year Units
CINE 701 Creative Process I 3
CINE 710 Production Practice I 3
CINE 711 Production Practice II 3
CINE 721 Non Narrative Film 3
CINE 712 Production Practice III 3
CINE 722 Narrative and the Independent Tradition 3
Total 18
Second Year
CINE 702 Creative Process II 3
CINE 724 Cinema Theory I 3
CINE 770 Seminar in Film Production Research 3
CINE 726 Cinema Theory II 3
In addition, students must complete two of the following
CINE 761 Writing and Directing for Cinema 3
CINE 762 Advanced Cinematography and Lighting 3
CINE 763 Cinema Laboratory II and Avid Editing 3
CINE 755 Feature Screenwriting 3
CINE 713 Animation Workshop 3
Total 18
Third Year
CINE 894 Creative Work Project 3
Additional Required Course  
CINE 852 Directed Teaching Experience in Film Education 3
Total 6
Elective units chosen upon consultation with a graduate adviser from upper division production courses, animation courses, graduate film studies seminars, and approved courses from related disciplines. 18
Total for degree 60


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Last modified July 06, 2012 by bulletin@sfsu.edu