Phone: (209) 946-2613
Location: Humanities “Hub” (WPC Annex)

John Lessard, Director

Minors Offered

Film Studies

The program deals with film in the context of the liberal arts, with focus on the medium as an art form. It examines film as a “text” which can be studied through diverse critical and theoretical perspectives, including such approaches as Formalism, Neo-Historicism, psychoanalysis, gender theory, auteur theory and genre theory. Film is analyzed both from its technical aspects and its function as a cultural referent. It accommodates both high art and popular culture, both an international discourse and an individual auteurism.

Students can take film courses to enhance their liberal education through cultivation of critical and aesthetic knowledge, or they may use their studies to enter a variety of professions. These include: teaching, film making, writing, work in the film/television industry, advertising, computer software, graphic design, entertainment law, production finance. Graduate programs in film, film and literature, and interdisciplinary studies are available. Also, students may go on to technical training in editing, cinematography, directing and screenwriting.

Minor in Film Studies

Students must complete a minimum of 20 units and 5 courses with a Pacific minor grade point average of 2.0 in order to earn a minor in film studies.

Minor Requirements:

ENGL 031Aesthetics of Film4
Four Film Studies electives16

Film Studies Courses

FILM 195. Independent Capstone. 4 Units.

The Capstone course is a 4 unit course designed to conclude students' experiences as film studies' majors at the University of the Pacific as well as to develop students' research, writing, and/or production skills. In class, students analyze or produce films that pertain to the special topic of their choice. Peer review will occur throughout the writing or film production process. At the end of the course, students present their findings and/or films to the class and faculty members from the Film Studies department in a 15-20 minute presentation. Junior or Senior standing.

Other Film Studies Courses

ARTH 116. Contemporary World Art 1945 to Present. 4 Units.

This course explores major artists, styles, and movements in world art from 1945 to the present. Gestural abstraction, Pop, Photo Realism, Happenings, Video, Performance, Conceptual and Political art as well as film are a few of the trends that are considered. Ever-expanding notions of what constitutes art in this pluralistic era is also examined. This course satisfies a requirement of the Film Studies minor. (FILM, GE2C, GEND)

ARTS 011. Digital Photography. 4 Units.

This course provides an introduction to the theory, process, and aesthetics of digital photography. Through a series of practical and conceptual assignments, students learn to work with digital cameras and a selection of software for image editing and printing. Students must provide their own digital cameras with fully manual exposure controls. Approximately $150 should be budgeted for other photographic materials that are not supplied by the University. Additional lab fees also apply. (FILM, GE2C)

ARTS 095. Video I. 4 Units.

Video I is an introductory level course teaching the construction of time-based visual narratives. Students will develop projects using camera generated images and time-based software applications. Assignments focus on sequential storytelling, animation, video editing, and thematic development. Students must provide their own digital still cameras for this course. Approximately $100 is needed for other materials and equipment that are not supplied by the University. Additional lab fees. (FILM)

ARTS 141. Photography II. 4 Units.

This intermediate course builds upon level one instruction in digital photography. This course introduces students to the photographic studio with practical instruction in studio lighting theory and techniques. The course also includes advanced camera and digital software applications for professional photographers who create photographs for editorial illustration, publication and exhibition. A laptop computer, preferably Mac, is required. Prerequisite: ARTS 011 or 095 or permission of the instructor. (FILM)

ASIA 120. Asian Cinemas. 4 Units.

This is an introductory course on Asian films that focuses on how contemporary films from China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Japan, Korea, Vietnam and India represent their people, re-imagine their cultural identities, and negotiate the local and global, tradition and modernity. Possible topics include the relationship between film and literary/cultural discourses, and traditional aesthetic praxis; different film genres; visual images and cinematic techniques; and various thematic concerns. The course aims to both expand the knowledge of the cinematic and socio-historical contexts of Asian cinemas and to enhance critical thinking. Lectures and readings are in English; all films have English subtitles. (FILM, GE2C)

COMM 131. Media Production. 4 Units.

Practical and theoretical application of audio and video production techniques are covered in this course with an emphasis on aesthetic qualities of sight and sound productions. Some work involves student media facilities. A Lab fee is required. Prerequisite: COMM 031 or permission of instructor. (FILM)

COMM 133. Documentary Film as Persuasive Communication. 4 Units.

This course is a survey of documentary film beginning at the turn of the century and continuing through contemporary productions from a historical and rhetorical perspective. Students explore documentary film's origins and trace out its development in relation to its use and reception as students become familiar with the history of the documentary, the evolution of the genre, its rhetorical construction and its cultural influences. (DVSY, ETHC, FILM)

COMM 134. Documentary Film Production. 4 Units.

This course is a field video production course in documentary production. Through a series of assignments, lectures and screening students learn the basics of video production for documentary style productions. This includes research, management, pre-production, production and post-production processes. Students work primarily within groups to produce documentary projects using digital production equipment and techniques. There are no prerequisites fo this course. (FILM)

ENGL 031. Aesthetics of Film. 4 Units.

This course introduces the principles of artistic expressiveness of films; lighting, color, camera, composition, space, movement, image, setting and sound. Attention is also given to narrative techniques and editing styles. This course explores such theories as realism, formalism, surrealism, Marxism, psychoanalysis and gender theory. Both American and foreign films are viewed and discussed. (FILM, GE2C)

ENGL 115. Screenwriting. 4 Units.

In this comprehensive course, students study the art and craft of short subject and feature film screenwriting, including, but not limited to: theme, plot, story, structure, characterization, format, and dialogue via writing, lecture, discussion, close analysis, and instructor-peer critique. Time is spent not only on idea generation and visual storytelling, but on how to meaningfully connect with the audience. Students are required to write: two short film treatments (one original and one adaption), a short film script, a detailed film treatment, and the first 10+ pages of a feature film screenplay. (FILM)

ENGL 121. Major Filmmakers. 4 Units.

The focus of this course is on the work of such major directors as Coppola, Fassbinder, Scorsese, Fellini, Kubrick, Bergman, Hitchcock, Antonioni, Losey, Bertolucci and Truffaut. The course also considers major schools of cinema: French New Wave, Italian Neo-Realism, New German Cinema and narrative genres such as the psychological thriller, chamber film and epic. Emphasis is placed on critical analysis and interpretation of the individual director's styles and themes. This course may be taken twice if it is taught with a different theme in each instance. (FILM, GE2C)

ENGL 123. Film, Literature, and the Arts. 4 Units.

This course investigates the theory, practice and critical methods underlying aesthetic form in the arts, including film, literature, painting and sculpture. Corollary illustrations are drawn from music and architecture. This comparative course attempts to examine the underlying styles and structures among the arts. (FILM, GE2C, GEND)

ENGL 124. Film History. 4 Units.

This course is a comprehensive look at the history of cinema, from its beginnings in Europe and America, through the emergence of national cinematic traditions and the classical period tied to the Hollywood studio system, and concluding with current transnational developments. This course includes screening and analysis of significant American and international films. (FILM)

ENGL 131. Shakespeare. 4 Units.

Throughout his extraordinary dramatic career, Shakespeare wore many masks: lover, misogynist, royalist, traitor, poetic genius, racist and, most emphatically, double-agent. Nothing could be more evocative of the many faces of William Shakespeare than his unrelenting afterlives on screen. In this course, we will focus on the ways in which Shakespeare’s characters – specifically, bastards, moors, and whores – instantiate and disturb categories of “difference” that otherwise exist to shore up the boundaries of the “normal”. These profoundly non-normative characters, often deemed secondary or minor, are in many cases the unacknowledged engines of the plot, as well as envoys of the message (particularly in their contemporary cinematic incarnations) that the lechery and treachery afoot in Renaissance England is alive and well in the tribalism of our own times. (DVSY, FILM, GE2A, GEND)

FREN 120. Le Cinema Francais/French Cinema in English. 4 Units.

Students study the development of French cinema from its inception to the present through the analysis of themes, culture, styles, and cinematography. Directors who are studied include Lumiere, Melies, Vigo, Gance, Renoir, Carne, Godard, Truffaut, Resnais, Chabrol, Tavenier, Varda, Cantet, Kassovitz and others. The course is in French. Occassionally offered in English with no prerequisite. (Course is applicable to the French Studies Track in French or English version.) Prerequisite: FREN 025 with a "C-" or better or permission of the instructor. (FILM, GE2C)

HIST 119. History Goes to Hollywood. 4 Units.

This course examines how films shape our understanding of certain historical events. It provides students with the tools to watch films critically and to place them in the context of a broader historical time period. The films selected cover different time periods from the ancient to the modern world and portray a variety of national and cultural contexts. (FILM, GE2C, GEND)

MCOM 019. Music and Computer Technology. 3 Units.

This in-depth course of study examines the use of the digital audio workstation Logic Studio Pro as a tool for creative composition. Topics include basic sequencing and MIDI recording, the manipulation of MIDI using the Environment Window, use of digital audio in a MIDI environment, MIDI controller manipulation, sampling and digital synthesis, and plug-in effects and instruments. This project oriented study requires that students complete several compositions during the process of the course. Prerequisite: MCOM 009. (FILM)

MCOM 127. Music, Sound, and Film. 2 Units.

In any visual experience from real-life to commercial cinema to sound/image installation, sound plays a significant role in defining the expressive and relational content of the experience. This course explores the use of sound/music in film and experimental art with an emphasis on understanding the complex role sound plays in our experience. Through readings, film viewing, discussion, and analysis, students delve into the thinking of current sound designers, sound artists, and composers. Prerequisite: MCOM 029. (FILM)

MEDX 117. Film Production. 4 Units.

Students are introduced to the fundamental principles of motion picture production. Emphasis is on visual storytelling and auditory communication through demonstration, hands-on production and critical analysis. Students produce short films in small crews. Some equipment and materials are provided by the school, but approximately $300 should be budgeted for miscellaneous expenses and lab fees. (FILM, GE2C)

MMGT 106. Sound Recording Fundamentals. 3 Units.

This course introduces students to basic audio techniques applicable to recording sound. This course is a combination of lecture, lab sessions and independent studio projects which provides a basic understanding of how audio is captured, stored and manipulated in the recording industry. (FILM)

RELI 171. Religion and Cinema. 4 Units.

Students study the way religious ideas, institutions and figures are presented on film. The course involves screening and analyzing various films. The scope of the course is international and intercultural, but the majority of the images are Western. The course intends to demonstrate the power of cinematic images to define, illustrate, enrich and sometimes pervert religious sensibility. (FILM, GE2C)

SPAN 114. Cine hispano/Hispanic Film. 4 Units.

A study of the development of Latin American or Peninsular cinema through the analysis of themes, styles, and cinematic techniques. Themes include Latin American women film directors or films of Pedro Almodovar, among others. The course is taught in Spanish. Films in Spanish have English subtitles. The course is occasionally offered in English. (FILM, GE2C, GEND)

THEA 031. Stage Makeup Fundamentals. 2 Units.

Students study essentials of makeup for stage, including basics of makeup application, color theory, etc. Class projects include two-dimensional and three-dimensional techniques, cross-gender and stylized makeup designs. Students learn to apply makeup on themselves and, through service hours to Theatre Arts productions, on others. (FILM)

THEA 037A. Costume Construction and Technology. 2 Units.

This class covers all aspects of costume construction, including pattern making, pattern alterations, fitting adjustments, hand and machine sewing, and other related methods and materials for costume construction. Classwork includes participation in current Theatre Department productions. This course is intended for majors and minors, but is suitable for interested general students. Prerequisite: THEA 033 with a "C-" or better or permission of instructor. (FILM)

THEA 071. Fundamentals of Acting. 3 Units.

This course introduces students to the theories and techniques of acting. Fundamental skills of acting are explored through exercises, character analysis, scene study, and improvisation, based on the theories of Constantine Stanislavsky. This course satisfies a G.E. II-C requirement, and an elective within the Media X major and Film Studies minor. (FILM, GE2C)

THEA 137. Lighting Technology. 2 Units.

Students study and practice the principals of Theatrical Lighting while working with equipment and technology in both classroom and lab environments. Course includes the controllable properties of lighting, including, color, texture and fixture choice, as well as experience with programming cues through the computer light board. Study includes basic understanding of electricity and electronics and as well as practical participation in current Theatre Department productions. This course is intended for majors, but is suitable for interested general students. Prerequisite: THEA 033 with a "C-" or better or permission of instructor. (FILM)

THEA 171. Intermediate Acting. 3 Units.

This course is an in-depth characterization and scene-study class that explores acting theory. Student actors critique acting assignments, prepare scene analyses, define character objectives and intentions and perform a series of scenes and audition pieces. Contemporary and some classical dramatic literature are explored. Final projects include formal written analyses, solo and ensemble presentations. Prerequisites: THEA 071 with a "B" or better and permission of instructor. (FILM)

Learning Outcomes

1. Identify and apply a variety of critical theoretical approaches and film aesthetics in writing on filmic texts.
2. Create films using the skills acquired in the production courses.
3. Operate a variety of film technology including: camera, editing equipment, lighting, and audio equipment.
4. Assemble groups of students to collaborate on developing and producing scripts and films.
5. Select an appropriate film format or genre for their productions.
6. Identify the aesthetic and persuasive messages in their productions as well as in classic and contemporary films.