Grad School Week 19

03Feb13

Towards the end of last semester, I really fell behind with updating about my grad school experience. But, it’s a new year, and a new semester, I’m going to pick it back up again.

This semester is going to be a doozy. We’ve got 13 credits (5 classes) and each of them is going to have a heavy workload. As busy as the next 16 weeks is going to be, I’ll do my best to stay current with these weekly posts.

So, this is Semester 2, Week 1; or the 19th week overall. And since it’s the first week, I’ll give you an overview of the courses and teachers I’ve got.

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Story Development

8168925196_9ab55803f5_oStory Development is exactly what it sounds like. This class works in conjunction with the directing program and we’re developing short ideas for our thesis films. We’re also working on short films this semester, that we started developing last semester.

The teacher for us producers is Karen Loop. Last semester her class kicked my ass, but I learned a lot and really improved as a writer and story-teller; so I’m happy to have her again. Joe Steiff, who taught our boot camp back in August, is teaching the directing program. Between Joe and Karen there should be enough expertise and creativity to help us come up with some great ideas for our thesis films.

Critical Analysis of Contemporary Film and Media

large_zoran.samardzijaYes, that’s a mouthful. What is it? It’s basically another Cinema Studies class. But, instead of focusing on the aesthetics of filmmaking, it focuses more on the cultural relevance of films. We’re starting in the 50’s and working forward; we’re analyzing films and how they relate to American culture at the time of their release. We’re looking at different genres and styles, and delving into how they shape current media.

The class is being taught by Zoran Samardzija. We haven’t had him yet; but I had a chance to talk to him at a meet and greet before last semester. The easiest way to describe him is… there is no easy way. But, this should be an interesting (and extremely busy) semester with him.

Line Producing

f48f5f7182ede172e641eec2ee61aafdWe should have had this class last semester; it would’ve helped for the last project. But, it’s still super useful. I’ve done a fair amount of LP work, so it shouldn’t be too difficult, just a lot of paperwork to cover. I haven’t used Movie Magic in a while, so at the very least the review will be great.

Julian Grant is teaching this one. Again, we haven’t had him yet, but I had a chance to talk with him. He’s energetic and really knowledgeable, but I get the feeling he’s a bit of a geek too (which means we should get along). Julian’s also had a really extensive career, so I’m glad to be learning from someone with his experience.

Post-Production

6833053504_524553f04c_oMy student adviser is teaching this one, so I feel like I have an in. It’s a class on, you guessed it, post-production. But because this is a producing program, instead of focusing on editing films ourselves, we’re focusing on the whole post process. We’re looking at each step and how to manage, budget, and schedule them appropriately.

Like I said,  my adviser David Tarleton is teaching this course, he’s super passionate about filmmaking. His energy is a bit infectious. I’m sure I will have many a geekversation this semester.

Cinema Studies II

This class doesn’t start for another 6 weeks, so I’ll get into it more then. But, Karla Fuller is teaching it again. We’ll see how having two analysis classes this semester goes.


So, that’s my classes this semester. Week 1 is over, and things are already getting busy. I’ll keep posting as much as possible though. In the meantime, check out the Creative Producing Marginalia blog written by fellow CP Student, Conor O’Farrell: blogs.colum.edu

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