USC/Universal Studios Producing and Directing Class

Units: 8
Student Level: Beginner

Sorry, there are currently no sections scheduled for this class

About the Class
From the creators of the original monster movies to the home of Jaws and many iconic filmmakers, Universal Studios has been and continues to be a global pioneer and innovator in today’s Entertainment Industry. Join us this summer as Universal Studios and the USC School of Cinematic Arts team up to host a one of a kind Producing/Directing course.
One day per week, the class will travel to Universal City to spend the day at Universal Studios. Students will visit all major departments (costume design, lighting, set design, post-production, etc.) receiving a first hand, in-depth teaching from those who do this work professionally. Through weekly meeting on the Universal Studios’ lot, you will meet filmmakers and professionals who have contributed to prestigious motion pictures such as Jaws, Back to the Future, Jurassic Park, The Fast and the Furious, Pitch Perfect, Despicable Me, The Theory of Everything, Get Out, and Trolls
The format of the course will be a combination of lectures and screenings. You will learn a number of filmmaking tools – including:
  • How to tell great stories
  • Establish strong characters
  • Acquiring the ability to communicate with the cast and crew
  • Create a mise-en-scene
  • Discover the importance of post-production
  • Use innovative sound design
  • To “pitch” yourselves and your stories understanding how the industry works 
Students will aslo be instructed in basic cinematography skills, including camera menu set-up, tripod use, proper use of lighting and grip gear, composition, exposure, and the creative use of color.
The centerpiece of the class is the opportunity to shoot a short film on location on the backlot of Universal Studios. Students will work in groups and will perform various roles and the films will be carefully developed using a comprehensive process. This process will ensure that you bring a certain discipline to guide your creativity – in this class and throughout your filmmaking career. This process includes:
  • Writers pitch their stories
  • Directors pitch for their choice
  • Casting and Preproduction
  • Shooting on location at the Universal Studios Lot
  • Post-production
  • Class screening
Before arriving, each student is recommended to prepare several story ideas that they wish to make into a short film. Students will be able to choose from all the major genres including drama, comedy, horror, and suspense.
Students will also be able to prepare and shoot two individual projects, on top of the group project at Universal Studios. The student is the AUTHOR of the pieces and can start working on their individual projects from day one, while receiving advice and consultations throughout the program.
All necessary equipment and production resources will be available for student use, including:
  • Digital cameras
  • Tripods
  • Lighting kits
  • Sound kits
  • AVID editing suites
  • Access to free on-campus locations
  • USC SCA Sound Stages
  • Access to our Cinema Film Library (with over 13,000 films)
*All projects are created outside of scheduled class time.*
INSTRUCTOR(S): Rebekah McKendry & Philip Schwartz
*Please note that dates and times of the course are subject to changes. Additional tutorials are taught during outside hours.* 
This 8 unit Summer Program class is comprised of the following two School of Cinematic Arts courses: 
  • CNTV 405: Studio Producing and Directing – 4 units
  • CTPR 460: Film Business Procedures and Distribution – 4 units

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Information for MINORS