Take a look at titles and descriptions for the Film & Video department's courses offered.

FILM 200 Moving Image I

Through workshops, screenings and readings students explore the diverse ways moving images are used in fine arts and the cinema. Students develop basic skills in high definition video field production and editing. Assignments explore the diverse ways moving images are used for individual expression, entertainment and social & intellectual inquiry.

FILM 210 Film I

Students make films that deal with composition, camera movement, editing and time/space manipulation. Topics covered include the use of 16mm camera and film editing. The development of a visual language of film and creative uses of the medium are stressed. All equipment is provided except film and processing. Note: the student is responsible for the cost of the Film I Materials Package from the MICA Bookstore for approximately $600. The kit includes: 5 - 100” roll Eastman Kodak 7266 B+W reversal 16mm Film (EI 200), positive film processing at Cinelab for 500’ of reversal 16mm film, 400’ 16mm full coat magnetic sound film, editing supplies, shipping and transfer costs.

FILM 230 Art of the Story

Japanese director Akira Kurosawa noted, "with a good script, a good director can produce a masterpiece, but with a bad script, even a good director can’t possibly make a good film." This course focuses on the art of storytelling, exploring the building blocks of what makes a strong story. Students study examples in literature, television and cinema, animation, radio and art. Students have a number of short assignments in these areas but will also work on a semester long story in a medium of their choosing.

Prerequisite: FILM 200, or MFA Filmmaking student standing

FILM 250 Sound Design for Moving Image

Explores the significant role sound can play in shaping, placing and defining our connection to film & video, animation, and other moving-image based works. Through the use of practical hands-on activities students are introduced to sound recording techniques, tools, track mixing and sound composition. Technical and creative sound design applications are used for story development and immersive sound construction. In-class workshops include: field and studio recording, Foley and sound effects, automatic dialogue replacement (ADR), and score composition.

FILM 278 Experimental Film

Many artists have utilized both film and video to tell personal stories, explore the formal qualities of the medium, and invent new and unusual methods to express different realities. The course views, discusses, and analyzes the histories, philosophies, and structures of experimental film and video, and students make experimental films and videos.

Prerequisite: FILM 210 or MFA Filmmaking student

FILM 300 Moving Image II

Students learn professional high definition cameras and advanced production techniques while working both individually and in groups. Readings and screenings explore artistic uses of moving images and continues to develop a sophisticated understanding of the language of the cinema. Each student creates a final project that involves shooting with a crew.

Prerequisite: FILM 200, or MFA Filmmaking student standing

FILM 305 Film Marketing & Distribution

This course instructs students on what happens to a film after it is completed. Students devise marketing and distribution plans for one of their own films and work with social media, plan film festival submissions, create a promotional trailer, write loglines, compose synopses, and complete a press kit; they also learn to create their own budgets for marketing and distribution expenses. Students are also introduced to film budgeting for DIY, independent and Hollywood films, and to the growing number of distribution platforms like theatrical, broadcast, DVD/BluRay, and VOD. The semester culminates in a public showcase of the students’ promotional materials and marketing/distributions plans with guest filmmakers.

Prerequisite: FILM 300, or MFA Filmmaking standing

FILM 307 Video Art

Artists have been using video since 1965 when Sony released its first portable video camera. Artists have used video as sculpture, produced single-channel works, and integrated it into their performances. This course explores video as a fine arts medium. Students produce a number of works that explore video's rich possibilities.

Prerequisite: FILM 200, or MFA Filmmaking student standing

FILM 315 Sound Rec: On Location/Studio

In contemporary cinema and video art sound occupies a crucial role both in the development of storytelling and in creating three-dimensional experiences for viewers. This course is geared to cultivate student’s audio skills for field, film set, and studio situation recordings. Students will learn both technical and creative aspects of the recording process, by working with professional audio production equipment and mixing their own final soundtracks and compositions in the JHU MICA Film Centre’s sound studio.

Prerequisite: Earned credit or concurrent enrollment in IA 202.

FILM 317 Documentary Production

Explores a wide variety of documentary styles and genres with an overview of the history of documentary film-making. Topics include pre-production planning, shooting interviews and recording sound in the field. Students produce several short projects.

Prerequisite: FILM 200, or MFA Filmmaking student standing

FILM 320 Special Effects

Personal computers have provided a low-cost method for previously high-cost video post-production. Through invention and with patience one can develop unique visual effects. This course explores 2-D animation, matting, keying and visual effects utilizing Adobe AfterEffects.

Prerequisite: FILM 200, or MFA Filmmaking student standing

FILM 322 Alternative Processes in Video

This course challenges how video pieces are considered, developed, and viewed. Students are asked to abandon preconceived notions of movie-viewing environments and build visually exciting and engaging pieces that can occupy a number of different contexts: projections for live performance, animations that function as moving paintings or sculptures, and more. The practices of contemporary moving-image artists that create innovative bodies of multimedia work for galleries, concerts, and/or for online audiences is examined. Topics address how media has been incorporated into the Internet age, and consider how artists deal with society’s shortened attention span. Through a rigorous schedule of lectures, workshops, and projects, video is taken out of its comfort zone.

Prerequisite: FILM 200, or MFA Filmmaking student standing

FILM 325 Adv. Edit and Post Production

Film editor Walter Murch (The Godfather, Apocalypse Now) says that "editing is now something almost everyone can do, but to take it to a higher level requires the same dedication and persistence that any art form does." Through screenings and seminars students will study the art of editing in experimental, documentary and narrative genres while developing a vocabulary to discuss both the function and art of the cut. Additionally, this course will teach advanced editing and finishing techniques including the basics of high definition media formats, frame rates, color correction techniques and working with Photoshop and After Effects. The entire post production work flow will be covered from input to editing to output. Exercises will be part of the course and students are expected to work throughout the semester on one project. Students will learn and have the opportunity to work on AVID's Media Composer. Other edit platforms will be demonstrated including FCP X and Adobe Premiere.

Prerequisite: FILM 300, or MFA Filmmaking standing

FILM 327 Narrative Filmmaking I

This pre-production course brings together student filmmakers from Maryland Institute College of Art (MICA) and Johns Hopkins University (JHU), providing intensive training in the crucial aspects of preparing to shoot a successful narrative film. Students work with a professional screenwriter, allowing students to hone and improve their existing screenplays, practice the elements of writing for film, and learn how to do a script breakdown. Workshops on working with actors, taught by a professional actor, will teach students the ins and outs of casting and directing. Supplemental workshops will cover elements of pre-production such as budgets, production schedules, call sheets, and legal issues. Film screenings will train students to see films with an eye towards what constitutes exciting, innovative filmmaking. Students who wish to enroll in this course should have a prepared treatment, outline or script for a short film that they wish to develop during the semester.

Prerequisite: FILM 300, or MFA Filmmaking standing

FILM 330 Community Arts & Documentary

Part of being an artist has always been about changing the perspectives held by society and showing different ways of seeing. Baltimore City is a prime example of America in that it holds vast differences in race, class, privilege and culture, and reveals social inequality. Students collaborate to make productions that give a voice to marginalized communities in Baltimore to tell their own stories; collectively make productions which include documentary interviews and storytelling. As well as teaching production structural forms, students teach the community group video skills such as: cameras, mics, lights and editing. Students also video the class to reveal the process of community engagement.

Prerequisite: FILM 200, or MFA Filmmaking student standing

FILM 337 Narrative Filmmaking II

Students participate in the production of a short narrative film. Students are required to present one to two short scripts at the beginning of the course. Two to three of these screenplays will be selected for production. The class divides into production teams focused on one of the chosen scripts. Through a series of workshops on production design, directing, cinematography, and art direction, each group sees their project through to completion. The class also includes a number of screenings and workshops with film-makers. This course is a collaboration between MICA and Johns Hopkins, students from both institutions are eligible to enroll.

Prerequisite: FILM 327

FILM 340 Cinema History for Filmmakers

This course examines the signs and syntax that are the backbone of great narrative films. Mise en scene- the framed image and diachronic shot, use of color and tone, montage, use of sound and iconography is examined. Students produce a cinematic sketchbook of film moments based on the signs and syntax of films screened in class. Films and readings are based on the book, “How to read a film” by James Monaco. Filmmakers will include, Alodavar ,Antonioni, Bergman, Campion, Godard, Jones, Kurosawa, Ramsay, Varda and Von Trier.

Prerequisite: FILM 200, or MFA Filmmaking student standing

FILM 364 Cinematography & Lighting

A comprehensive, hands-on studio course, exploring the technical and theoretical dimensions of motion picture cinematography and lighting, using both 16mm film and mini-DV videotape as creative formats. The course covers the practical aspects of camera and lighting techniques as applied to a variety of genres (documentary, narrative and experimental); also screen and analyze a wide range of film and video material as examples of creative cinematography.

Prerequisite: FILM 200, FILM 210, or FILM 300, or MFA Filmmaking student

FILM 366 Hell on Earth–Allure of Occult

Throughout history, artists have explored and often romanticized demonized subject matter and categories that fall into the strange and inaccessible. Mysticism, magick and the occult have long been attractors to persons working creatively regardless of their spiritual beliefs. This thematic studio course examines various unorthodox traditions and the artists & artworks inspired by them. Lectures, screenings and readings focus on the occult and include topics such as: subliminal design, witches & spells, supernatural frequencies, and a guide to satanic verse. Although the focus of the works examined in this course will be primarily time based, students may complete their projects using a variety of mixed media.

Prerequisite: FILM 200, IA 202, IA 210 or MFA Filmmaking student

FILM 374 Advanced Cinematography

This course is an in-depth exploration of the most advanced HD camera technology available in the industry today. Students are immersed in the highly technical levels of video camera set up and menu adjustment. Hands-on exercises with complex camera shooting situations. Assignments include working with available light and in low light, a collaborative project choreographing an extended shot where light and focal point changes. The goal of the course is to maximize the camera, light and environment to render a beautiful image.

Prerequisite: FILM 200, FILM 210, or FILM 300, or MFA Filmmaking student

FILM 385 Blockbusters and Small Tales

"Heroes in all forms, gendered and non-gendered, expand our sense of possibility. As a result, similar metaphorical storytelling structures show up globally in narrative, documentary, and experimental films. The protagonist, whether human, animal, or of further invention embarks on a journey to seek an answer, goal, or treasure. In this course, storytelling structures will be examined via Hollywood Blockbusters and International Indie films. Filmmakers such as Akira Kurosawa, Niki Caro, Maya Deren, Julie Taymor, Jean-Luc Godard, and even George Lucas are all fair game for metaphorical examination. When truly understood, Metaphor is one of the most powerful tools to connect with one’s audience. This course will enable students interested in genres such as dreamlike-experimental, poetic-documentary, and/or science fiction to gain a deeper understanding of the universal elements that structure these types of storytelling. Additionally, the class will actively engage in expanding the filmic-definition of a worthwhile life and hero. The course focuses on a semester long project in conjunction with a comprehensive Film Treatment and Shot List.

Prerequisite: FILM 200 or MFA Filmmaking student standing

FILM 399 Special Topics in Film

Students have the opportunity to explore topics in film and video that are not typically offered continuously within the department. The topic is chosen by faculty members and varies by semester.

Prerequisite: FILM 200, or MFA Filmmaking student standing

FILM 453 Alternative Narrative

Jean-Luc Godard said he likes "a film to have a beginning, a middle and an end, but not necessarily in that order." This course looks at the ways that contemporary art, including Film has taken Mr. Godard at his word. Students can expect to look at a wide range of video art, installation, sculpture and film which tell a story outside more traditional filmic methods. Students produce projects in a variety of narrative forms.

Prerequisite: FILM 200, or MFA Filmmaking student standing

FILM 498 Film & Video Senior Thesis I

Senior Film & Video majors only

FILM 499 Film & Video Senior Thesis II

Geared as a course to help guide and moderate seniors while they produce their senior thesis projects. Students are expected to focus and cultivate an in-depth final project from beginning to end, beginning with proposal development and ending with a final public exhibition and screening event. Meetings are structured to highlight the benefits of feedback from within a group environment. The group will respond to project proposals and work in progress with a focus on strengthening individual artistic practices and work methods. Various aspects of production, post-production, and professional development will be addressed including the packaging, marketing, and screening of their work. This Seminar also emphasizes professional development skills and explores various options for artists within the film industry, not for profit organizations, and the fine arts market. Lectures, screenings, readings, speakers, trips and other related events will address issues pertaining to lecture topics and student inquiry.

Senior Film & Video majors only