Film/Video Courses

MPFV300 Sound Design for Film

An in-depth look at the use of recorded sound within the context of moving image production. Live sound and expanded cinema experiments will also be encouraged. Students produce 2-3 sound film/video pieces during the course of the semester and are expected to develop their own work under guidance of the course instructor. Time is allocated to technical demonstrations of studio equipment (including various workshops exploring Pro-Tools audio software), recording and mixing experiments, and discussions on the many aesthetic and conceptual frameworks of cinematic sound. Examples from the history of cinematic sound are screened weekly.

Graduate Prerequisite: Permission of instructor

Undergraduate Prerequisite: none

MPFV303X Video Topics: Live Video
This is a workshop based studio that introduces artists to live video processing for a variety of applications including but not limited to, Video Streaming, VJ Culture, live image processing, surveillance systems, cable casting and interactive video. Focusing primarily on artistic experimentation with both analog and digital methods of production, this course will consider the history, theory, technology, aesthetics and techniques of live video as both source and tool. Students are encouraged to collaborate with each other and others outside of the class in projects, and have the opportunity to work on Isadora, an interactive graphic programming environment.

Graduate Prerequisite: Permission of instructor

Undergraduate Prerequisite: none

MPFV313 Digital Media Topics
Varies each semester.

Graduate Prerequisite: Permission of instructor

Undergraduate Prerequisite: none

MPFV314 Advanced Editing
This course explores editing from an aesthetic rather than a technical perspective, to enhance editing skills beyond functional, software-driven techniques. Students examine how an editor creates a sense of time, space, tone, and rhythm in a film or moving image project. Sound/image relationships, including continuity and discontinuity, and professional and non-traditional working procedures are all examined through short editing assignments.

Graduate Prerequisite: Permission of instructor

Undergraduate Prerequisite: MPFV220 or by permission of instructor

MPFV317X Extreme Film Manipulation
Handmade film introduces students to the physicality of film by directly painting, scratching and collaging onto 16mm and 35mm film rolls. Students learn to hand process 16mm and S-8 film. A rigorous, tactile look at both the construction and deconstruction of film making through non-conventional means and manipulation. The class will also examine artists who have broken the rules of format to reconstruct and re-define the language of art. Topics include: non-traditional film projection, film performance and mixed media film installation.  

Graduate Prerequisite: Permission of instructor

Undergraduate Prerequisite: Intro to Film or equivalent

MPFV319X Surround Sound
In the real world we are literally surrounded by sound: sound waves reflect off every surface at every possible angle. In the world of recorded sound speakers recreate the world of sound and are limited in the number and position of speakers. This course looks at using two- and three-dimensional configurations of speakers to create realistic, unusual, enveloping, and/or spatially active sonic images. Topics include "5.1 audio" in video/film, multichannel audio installation, real-time spatialization software, DVD authoring, and experimental music.

Graduate Prerequisite: Permission of instructor

Undergraduate Prerequisite: Sound Design for Film or permission of instructor

MPFV321X Cinematography and Lightning
This is an intermediate level class on how to shoot motion picture film, including the use of Arri SR2 16mm cameras, lenses and filters, lighting and the use of lighting and grip equipment, dollies and all other available equipment. All types of lighting are considered as well as the use of various types of film stock. This course includes equipment demonstrations, in-class shooting and site-visits to rental houses and post production facilities.

Graduate Prerequisite
: Permission of instructor

Undergraduate Prerequisite: MPFV211 or by permission of instructor

MPFV322X Script to Screen
Students write, design, develop and produce a short film from an original script, work in 16mm film and video. All stages of pre-production are examined, including production design, storyboards, shot design, script breakdown, preparing the shot list, casting, scouting locations and production scheduling. Students direct a film and crew for each other's films, culminating in a rough cut at the end of the semester.

Graduate Prerequisite: Permission of instructor

Undergraduate Prerequisite: MPFV211 or by permission of instructor

MPFV332X Advanced Media Topics: Concept to Critique
Students concentrate on producing short, finished work on a weekly basis for substantial in-class critique. Methods for generating complete works speedily are examined and a wide variety of critiquing strategies employed. The course fosters students' ability to create work rapidly and confidently through repeated practice. Students are asked to define manageable ideas and implement them. Through continual critique they advance their ability to suggest changes to their own work as well as that of their colleagues.

Graduate Prerequisite: Permission of instructor

Undergraduate Prerequisite: Video 2 or permission of instructor

MPFV335X Advanced Sound Topics
Advanced Sound Topics is a container course designed for students who have an interest in developing sound projects beyond the introductory level. The content rotates each semester but focuses on the conceptual rather than technological approaches to sound in art. The course emphasizes student's work and their commitment to progress both artistically and technically. Topics include: Surround Sound, Sound Installation, Interactive Sound Design, and Sound for the Moving Image.

Graduate Prerequisite: Permission of instructor

Undergraduate Prerequisite: Sound I or equivalent with instructor's approval

MPFV336X Scriptwriting 2
Scriptwriting 2 builds upon the skills learned in Narrative Scriptwriting. Students will continue their study of narrative scriptwriting through examining a wide variety of genres. Students have the option of producing a feature length script or a series of shorter scripts based upon original ideas.

Graduate Prerequisite: Permission of instructor

Undergraduate Prerequisite: Narrative Scriptwriting or Scriptwriting 1

MPFV412X Contemporary Issues in Film/Video I
Contemporary Issues in Film/Video surveys view film and video works by contemporary artists and media makers in the context of historical works. Students meet with the film and video artists presenting work at Mass Art Film Society as well as the instructor for discussions of the work shown.

Graduate Prerequisite: Permission of instructor

Undergraduate Prerequisite: Junior Major Studio 2 or permission of instructor

MPFV413 Contemporary Issues in Film/Video II
Contemporary Issues in Film/Video surveys view film and video works by contemporary artists and media makers in the context of historical works. Students meet with the film and video artists presenting work at Mass Art Film Society as well as the instructor for discussions of the work shown.

Graduate Prerequisite: Permission of instructor

Undergraduate Prerequisite: Contemporary Issues in Film/Video 1 or permission of instructor

MPFV4X6 Stop Motion Animation II
This course explores and explains underlying common principles through screenings, demonstrations and exercises. Learn effective strategies to make more with less. Assignments require students to isolate production elements and explore multiple paths to solutions with an emphasis on process rather than product. In Part II students work cooperatively on a short animated sequence designed to demonstrate and develop advanced stop motion animation skills. Topics include miniature set construction and detailing, tabletop and practical lighting, motion control cinematography, front light /back light and compositing, casting of foam puppets, armature fabrication, use of surface gauges and frame grabbing, and puppet animation.

Graduate Prerequisite: Permission of instructor

Undergraduate Prerequisite: Stop Motion I

FM501-504 Film/Video Major Studio - Graduate
This Film/Video seminar is a critique course where the graduate student meets weekly with a Film or Video faculty to present and discuss work-in-progress. Visiting artists often participate, including Rebecca Baron, Yann Beauvais, Robert Beaver, Andrew Bujalski, Martha Coburn, Joe Gibbons, Jacqueline Goss, Ed Halter, Julie Heyward, Lewis Klahr, Lynne Sachs, Deborah Stratman, Elisabeth Subrin, Tracy and the Plastics and The Yes Men.