Fall 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 Fall 2019 include:

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. 2018/2019 screenings included Captain Marvel, Cold War, Minding the Gap, Us, Long Shot, Black Panther, The Shape of Water, A Quiet Place, Avengers: Infinity War, If Beale Street Could Talk, Green Book, and First Man. Recent guests include Barry Jenkins, Chloe Grace Moretz, Bing Liu, Joe & Anthony Russo, Guillermo del Toro, Vanessa Taylor, Damien Chazelle, Taika Waititi, Lee Unkrich, JJ Abrams, Ryan Coogler, Sylvester Stallone, Patricia Riggen, Kevin Feige, and Judd Apatow.

CTCS-467: Television Symposium (4 units)
Section: 18125R - 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).

CTCS-469 Film and/or Television Style Analysis (4 units)

"The Cinema of Stanley Kubrick and David Lean"

A portrait of Stanley Kubrick and David Lean: Kubrick's blackly comedic take on life, Lean’s vision deep with pathos…their startling, breakthrough techniques…their obsessively painstaking production methods…their widely public and intensely private personas, as seen in such masterpieces as Kubrick’s Lolita, Dr. Strangelove or How I learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb, 2001: A Space Odyssey, A Clockwork Orange, Barry Lyndon, and The Shining, and Lean’s Great Expectations, Brief Encounter, Summertime, The Bridge on the River Kwai, Lawrence of Arabia, Doctor Zhivago, and Passage to India. Professor Drew Casper

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 Flux Capacitors, Groundhogs, and Hot Tub Time Machines: The Mechanics of Writing the Time Travel Film (2 units)
Whether making the leap through time in a slick DeLorean, or a hot tup, or through the sheer will of the writer’s creative impulse, Time Travel films speak to the human curiosity of "what if?" Regardless of genre—from comedies like Back To The Future to action films like Terminator to neo-noir films like 12 Monkeys—time travel films capture the imagination of audiences across the world. Through screenings, guests, and lectures we’ll examine the story mechanics that have made these genre films a lasting part of the movie universe. How do we utilize time as a way to increase tension and suspense? How do we emotionally move audiences in a genre so steeped in science fiction? Why are time travel films such strong vehicles for telling a wide variety of stories? By focusing on certain storytelling elements, the rules of the world, and on the pure imagination of writers, we’ll tackle these questions and ultimately understand why these films have withstood the test of time.

IML 320: Designing and Writing for Transmedia Narratives (4 units)
Creating a story that uses three or more digital platforms (video, social media, games, comics, et cetera) with strategies drawn from entertainment, art and activism. Students will explore various narrative styles for interactive non-linear storytelling. Counts as a requirement for the minors in Digital Studies, Media and Social Change and Future Cinema.

Additional Fall 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 Fall 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.