Coronavirus Updates: USC  |  SCA

Horror Film Production

Units: 4
Student Level: All

Jun 28 - Aug 6 Add to cart
Schedule: Tues / Thurs 9:00am - 1:20pm
Orientation: Jun 27, 2021 at 2:00 PM
Max. Seats: 18
Faculty: Rebekah McKendry


About the Class

Are you a horror movie fan? Then this is the film class for you!

This course will teach you the fundamentals of horror filmmaking and working within the horror genre portion of the industry. You will learn not only how to create films, but also how to craft and focus your skills to create compelling and effective horror content. The course will also give you the opportunity to work with and learn from some of the top minds in the horror industry through panel discussions, lectures, and field trips. Each student will create two horror short films during the 6-week course. 

Additionally, the course is a historical exploration of horror films and their relation to society, with both a national and international perspective. The course will look at horror markets within the US, examining historical and social contexts, as well as looking at the affects and effects of international markets such as Japan, Germany, France and others. The class will trace how present day horror movies have been a product of a vast and plentiful history of cinema and how social and global forces have changed the path of the genre (such as wars, social movements, trends and other factors). The course will be a forum for ample discussion on the meanings, business and social aspects of horror film.

This class is designed for both beginning filmmakers as well as seasoned production veterans looking to hone their skill set. It is a combination of lecture, film screenings, production, and class discussions. Students 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 scène
  • Discover the importance of post production
  • Use innovative sound design

Class sessions will also include tutorials on such topic as:

  • Discussions of what a "horror film" is
  • Directing
  • The history of genre films
  • Creating a visual palette
  • Creating a scare sequence
  • Determining horror trends
  • Discussions of genres and sub-genres
  • Editing
  • Production sound
  • Production lighting
  • Cinematography
  • Global horror markets and how to sell overseas
  • Examining the concept of "formula" and how to utilize or avoid it
  • Discussions on FX and creating monsters and creatures
  • Pre-production (storyboarding, casting, permits, and more)

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.

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.                                                                                                                  *Please note that dates and times of the course are subject to changes. Additional tutorials are taught during outside hours. *There is a strict ban on the use of prop weapons during the Summer Program.

INSTRUCTOR(S): Rebekah McKendry

Should the SCA Summer Program move to an online format for Summer 2021, this course will be CONVERTED to an online class.