Course Descriptions

HCTM 235 Introduction to Film introduces film studies, offering an overview of film history, and introducing the components of a film narrative (characters, dialogue, camera shots, etc.), film analysis (how cinema develops an idea into a story via sound and visual means), genres, and terminology. Prerequisite ENG 102 or ENG 103.

HCTM 237 Intro to Television – This course offers a survey of TV culture - its beginnings, including theoretical approaches to television studies, technical developments, key historical periods and genres and the socio-political implications of television culture. Prerequisite ENG 102 or ENG 103.

HCTM 255 Classic African-American Cinema will offer intensive concentration on early African-American films from its inception through 1940. It will highlight the central aesthetic tendencies, the political context, and the emergence of early African-American cinema, filmmakers such as Oscar Micheaux, and genres such as the race movies. Students must take either HCTM 255 or HCTM 258. Prerequisites ENG 102 or ENG 103, HCTM 235. 

HCTM 258 Introduction to African-American Cinema emphasizes pivotal historical periods in African-American film - particularly those post-1940, major African-American filmmakers, major film genres and films, and the politics of race in Hollywood as well as that of gender, class, and sexuality that have helped to shape the aesthetic and thematic emphases and developments of African-American cinema. Prerequisites ENG 102 or ENG 103, HCTM 235. 

HCTM 300 Screenplay I – The emphasis in the class will be on learning varied theories of storytelling and approaches to screenwriting (three-act structure, for example). Students will conceive, construct and begin writing their own original works (first fifty pages). This course focuses on the dramatic formula for creating a successful film script. Prerequisites ENG 102 or ENG 103, HCTM 235, HCTM 237. 

HCTM 302 Screenplay II – The primary aim for this class is for the student to complete the full- length screenplay initiated during Screenplay I then begin the rewriting process while continuing to engage theories of screenwriting introduced in Screenplay I. A good deal of emphasis in the class will be on identifying common problematic elements in first draft screenplays. Prerequisites ENG 102 or ENG 103, HCTM 235, HCTM 237, HCTM 300. 

HCTM 303 “Writing for TV & Short Film” – This course focuses on writing for "short" narrative films and television; television structure is analyzed and a script for a 1-hour or 30-minute comedy show is generated by the student. Students may take this course instead of Screenplay II. Prerequisites ENG 102 or ENG 103, HCTM 235, HCTM 237, HCTM 300.

HCTM 320 Film Criticism & Theory – Students will be introduced to film criticism, and they will learn to apply theoretical models to frame considerations of the formal, political, and social implications of cinema. These include psychoanalysis, feminism, apparatus theory, cultural studies, queer theory, spectatorship theories, auteur theory, genre analysis, etc. Prerequisites ENG 102 or ENG 103, HCTM 235. 

HCTM 325 “The Great Films” (Domestic and International) introduces groundbreaking, culturally impactful films generally regarded to be classic works in American and foreign film. At the same time, the class will also analyze the problematic implications of the canonical ordering of 'great films' lists. Prerequisites ENG 102 or ENG 103, and Grade of "C" or higher in HCTM 235, HCTM 237, and HCTM 320.

HCTM 348 Hollywood, Politics, Power – Students examine the politics of race and gender within Hollywood's business infrastructure and learn the economics of working in Hollywood (presenting work professionally and getting work sold and produced) in order to understand the fundamentals of navigating profitable careers in television and film. Its prerequisite is completion of ENG 102 or 103 and a grade of "C" or higher in HCTM 235 and HCTM 237.

HCTM 425 Senior Seminar/Capstone Project (Film Production) – Senior Seminar exposes students to some of the key roles and elements involved in the making of films as they also engage formalist theory to address the aesthetic and socio-political implications of production decisions and responsibilities. Students create short (5 - 10 minute) films in collaboration with each other. Senior CTEMS majors. Students must pass all required prerequisites before Senior Capstone.