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1. First Light

  • Director: Lumiere Brothers/Edison
  • Films: Early Lumiere and Edison films, short documentary on early films
  • Topic: Introduction to Filmmaking
  • Assignment: Film a single action

2. A Magical Story

  • Director: George Melies
  • Films: Early Melies films, A Trip to the Moon (1902)
  • Topic: Creating a simple story
  • Assignment: Film a basic story

3. Editing Action

  • Director: Edwin S. Porter
  • Films: The Great Train Robbery (1903)
  • Topic: Continuity editing
  • Assignment: Film/Edit story using basic continuity principles

4. The Camera Speaks

  • Director: D.W. Griffith
  • Films: The New York Hat (1912), Adventures of Dollie (1908)
  • Topic: Multi-Shot narrative
  • Assignment: Film/Edit 2-3 minute film using elements discussed

5. Parallel Editing and More

  • Director: D.W. Griffith
  • Films: Corner in Wheat (1908), The Lonedale Operator (1911), The Unchanging Sea (1910)
  • Topic: Parallel Action, Associative Montage, Rhythm
  • Assignment: Film/Edit 2-3 minute film using elements discussed

6. Mise-en-scene: Framing, Depth & Setting

  • Director: D.W. Griffith
  • Films: The Mended Lute (1909), The Muskateers of Pig Alley (1912)
  • Topic: Framing, Depth of Field, and Setting
  • Assignment: Film/Edit 2-3 minute film using elements discussed

7. The First Epics – Introduction to Feature Films

  • Director: Giovanni Pastrone
  • Films: Cabiria (1914)
  • Topic: Structure
  • Addl reading: Selections from Aristotle’s Poetics
    Assignment: Write an outline and treatment for a feature film

8. Feature Films – Genre, Stylization & Auteur Theory

  • Director: Maurice Tourneur
  • Films: Last of the Mohicans
  • Topic: Genre, Styles, Auteur Theory
  • Assignment: Film a 2-3 minute film with specific stylization

9. Laughing Out Loud

  • Director: Charlie Chaplin
  • Films: The Immigrant, A Dog’s Life, The Gold Rush
  • Topic: Nature of Comedy
  • Assignment: Write and film a comedic scene

10. Big Sets and Sequence Shots

  • Director: Buster Keaton
  • Films: Cops, The General, Selections from The Cameraman
  • Topic: Sequence Shots and Setup
  • Assignment: Film a funny stunt scene with slapstick humor

11. Documenting Life

  • Director: Robert Flaherty
  • Film: Nanook of the North, Others
  • Topic: Understanding documentary filmmaking
  • Assignment: Film a short documentary

12. Realism and the Classical Cinema

  • Director, Producer: John Ford, Douglas Fairbanks
  • Films: The Iron Horse, The Black Pirate
  • Topic: Classical Cinema Conventions
  • Assignment: Work on story, elements of main project

13. Formalism and Montage

  • Director: Sergei Eisenstein
  • Film: Battleship Potemkin
  • Topic: Associative Montage
  • Assignment: Continue working on your main project