Spring 2019 Cinematic Arts Non-Major Courses

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 Spring 2019 include:

CTAN-200g The Rise of Digital Hollywood (4 units)
GE credit in Category A: The Arts -- Does not require d-clearance
This course will be an overview of the birth and evolution of computer graphics. Computer graphic imaging, or CGI, has become central to how we experience media today. In the last twenty-five years we have seen a revolution in media even greater than the advent of sound in 1927.

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. 2018 screenings included Black Panther, The Shape of Water, A Quiet Place, The Death of Stalin, Avengers: Infinity War, Beautiful Boy, The Girl in the Spider's Web, If Beale Street Could Talk, and First Man. Recent guests include Barry Jenkins, Joe & Anthony Russo, Jennifer Lee, Guillermo del Toro, Vanessa Taylor, Jason Isaacs, Damien Chazelle, Taika Waititi, Abby Kohn, Lee Unkrich, JJ Abrams, Ryan Coogler, Sylvester Stallone, Patricia Riggen, 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: Maclain & Chapman Way (Wild Wild Country), Patrick Somerville (Maniac), Aline Brosh McKenna (Crazy Ex-Girlfriend), Marti Noxon (Sharp Objects), David Kajganich (The Terror), Tanya Saracho (Vida), Matt Duffer & Ross Duffer (Stranger Things), Liz Flahive & Carly Mensch (Glow), Hiro Murai (Atlanta), Noah Hawley (Fargo), Ron Moore (Outlander), Cheo Coker (Marvel's Luke Cage), and Kenya Barris (black-ish).

CTIN 488: Game Design Workshop (4 units)
An introduction to the principles of game design through the entirely analog creation of portfolio-quality card, board, and tabletop games, culminating in a professionally printed final product. The purpose of this workshop is to examine models and strategies for creating games 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 431 Developing the Documentary Production (2 units)
The tools and skills necessary to turn an idea into a documentary story, using sample reels, pitches, and writing to develop a professional proposal.
Course is designed to teach students the knowledge, skills, insight and judgment needed to research, develop and create pitch materials for a documentary production.

CTWR 431 Born This Way: Writing the LGBTQ Story for Film & Television (2 units)
This course will explore the storytelling and creation of the wide-ranging genre that is LGBTQ film and television. From award-winning gay short films and early queer cinema, to lesbian film noirs and bisexual heroes, to transgender heroines and those who refuse classification, this course aims to examine what makes creating the LGBTQ story unique and why its power can transcend sexuality or gender. The class will consist of screenings followed by discussions, with an array of well-known guest artists (TBD). Students will dip into the pool of being a screenwriter, getting the chance to begin to tell LGBTQ-themed stories that are uniquely theirs.

CTPR 456 Introduction to Art Direction (2 units)
Introduction to computer drafting, set design, rendering and model-making for students with diverse abilities. Guest lecturers, group discussions and hands-on projects.

IML 477 Embodied Storytelling and Immersive Docu-Narratives (4 units)
Examination of art, media, and theatre, to create an immersive, installation-based intervention utilizing the embodied 360-degree docu-narrative form. Students will collaborate on developing, writing, designing and staging a project that delves deeply into a topic of their choosing.

CTIN 488 Game Design Workshop (4 units)
An introduction to making games. Students will explore the principles of game design through the entirely analog creation of portfolio quality card, board and tabletop games. Game Development at USC starts here; required for all USC Games majors and minors.

Additional Spring 2019 courses can be found by clicking on the departmental links below:


For schedule information, please see the "Courses of Interest" section in the the Spring 2019 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.