Fall 2017 Cinematic Arts Courses of Interest

Every semester, the School of Cinematic Arts offers a selection of courses available to all students at the University of Southern California. Any USC student with an interest in film, animation, screenwriting, game development, or digital art can explore how cinematic art is made in one of these courses. Courses in Fall 2017 include:

CNTV 375 Breaking Into the Entertainment Industry (2 units)

An overview of the entertainment industry and the tools needed to secure jobs and survive and succeed in the market.

For students interested in the basics of the entertainment industry and the art of landing your first job or internship this class is for you. Over the course of 15 weeks, students cultivate a basic knowledge of how the industry is structured, gain exposure to various jobs in Hollywood, craft a 1-page resume; and build a professional foundation in networking, interviewing and seeking out an industry mentor. This is an opportunity to learn the tools necessary to secure an internship or entry-level position at an entertainment company (note: this class does not cover auditioning, selling your script, or film festivals).

CTAN 451: History of Animation (2.0 units)
Does not require D-clearance
In depth survey of historical developments, styles, techniques, theory and criticism of animation as an art form.

CTCS 464 Film and/or Television Genres (4 units)

Rigorous examination of film and/or television genres: history, aesthetics, cultural context, social significance, and critical methodologies.
Section 18201 1977: The Year in Film.
Professor: J.D. Connor

CTCS-466: Theatrical Film Symposium (4 units)
Section: 18125R - Does not require D-Clearance

Theatrical Film Symposium, taught by world renown film critic Leonard Maltin, brings you face-to-face with leading film directors, writers, producers, and actors working today. Each week, students watch sneak previews of upcoming movies, followed by exclusive Q&As with the creative teams behind the films. 2016/2017 screenings included Ghost in the Shell, I Don't Feel at Home in the World Anymore, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, Moana, La La Land, Dr. Strange, Other People, Zootopia, and The Jungle Book. Recent guests include Damien Chazelle, Adam Scott, Scott Derrickson, Jennifer Lee, JJ Abrams, James Franco, Jeff Nichols, Sylvester Stallone, Ryan Coogler, Bryan Cranston, Patricia Riggen, Charlie Kaufman, Atom Egoyan, Orlando Bloom, Mark Ruffalo, Helen Hunt, Marion Cotillard, Kevin Feige, and Judd Apatow.

CTCS-467: Television Symposium (4 units)
Section: 18126R - Does not require D-Clearance

Taught by Mary McNamara, Pulitzer-prize winning TV Critic and Cultural Editor for the LA Times. Each week, students meet with current TV showrunners for Q&As about writing and producing their shows. Recent guests include: Cheo Coker (Marvel's Luke Cage), Ilene Chaiken (Empire), Noah Hawley (Fargo), Conan O'Brien (Conan), David Simon (The Wire, Show Me a Hero), David Benioff & DB Weiss (Game of Thrones), Dan Goor (Brooklyn Nine-Nine), Bridget Carpenter (11.22.63), Scott Alexander and Larry Karaszewski (The People vs OJ Simpson), Melissa Rosenberg (Jessica Jones), Matthew Weiner, Erin Levy, Vincent Kartheiser & Elizabeth Moss (Mad Men), Ted Sarandos (Netflix), Kenya Barris (black-ish), and Julie Plec (The Vampire Diaries).

CTIN 488 Game Design Workshop (4 units)

Theory and evaluation of interactive game experiences and principles of game design utilizing the leading software approaches and related technologies. Recommended preparation: CTIN 190, CTIN 483.
The purpose of this workshop is to examine models and strategies for creating electronic games that are based in solid play mechanics. Students will experience the fundamentals of game design through the study of classic games, as well as design their own games and playtest/critique the games of others.

CTPR 470 Practicum in On-screen Direction of Actors (4 units)

Concentration on the basic skills in working with actors from a director’s point of view.

CTWR 431 Screenwriters and Their Work

Unique and Compelling Voices: the extraordinary screenwriting of American Independent Cinema.

Over the past few decades, American independent filmmaking has moved from the margins to the center of our culture.  Starting with Steven Soderbergh's Sex, Lies, and Videotape, and ending with Barry Jenkins' Moonlight, this course will explore the ways in which these unique voices have shaped our culture, and transformed the language of screenwriting.

Screenings, guests, discussions.


IML 477: Embodied Storytelling and Immersive Docu-Narratives (4 units)

With the advent of digital media, film, performance art, and theatre have been quick to embrace new "interactive" and "immersive" platforms to enhance the work in their respective fields. In this process, unique aspects of live performance (people in a room, collectively witnessing a story unfold) have often been subsumed by these technological breakthroughs.

This course will introduce students to some of the artists that have been on the avant-garde in incorporating technology into their work and the effect that has had on their audiences. Using tools and techniques explored over the course of the semester, students will collaborate on developing, writing, designing and staging an immersive docu-narrative performance that delves deeply into a topic of their choosing. At the end of the semester there will be a public exhibition of the class project open to the public.

Additional Fall 2017 courses can be found by clicking on the departmental links below:


For schedule information, please see the "Courses of Interest" section in the the Fall 2017 USC Schedule of Classes and click on the course title.

Please note that some of these courses will require D-Clearance. To learn more see http://cinema.usc.edu/studentaffairs/nonMajor.cfm

View our Non-Major Frequently Asked Questions.