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Los Angeles
Semester

Academics

The Los Angeles Semester provides a very robust and challenging academic program taught by media industry professionals.  Students will have an opportunity to learn from our dedicated faculty as well as current industry professionals who are invited in as guest speakers.  Being in Los Angeles also affords our students the unique opportunity to participate in field trips to studios, production companies, post-production houses, and much more.

Fall and Spring Curriculum

All students are required to be fulltime and registered for at least 12 credits.  One to three of those credits are reserved for the required Los Angeles Entertainment Industry Practicum course. Additionally, all students are required to take at least an additional three credits of SULA based courses. Online classes are available however, we encourage students to take as many SULA based courses as possible.

Per the Slutzker Center, international students are limited to one online class if they are registered for a total of 12 credits or two online classes if they register for a total of 15 credits.  All other credits must be earned through SULA based courses.

Courses in the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications

LA Internship Experience (Required for all participants)

Course Number

TRF 300

Credits

1-3 credit(s)

Semester

Fall and spring

This course will serve as a complement to the student’s hands on experience in the professional workplace. In class, we will offer a forum to discuss any challenges, concerns and questions that may arise regarding student’s internships. We will expose students to entertainment industry decision makers and influencers giving students a chance to interact with working professionals in a more intimate setting. Students are expected to research the background of any guest speakers so as to thoroughly engage in the in-class conversation. Through this and an exploration of current news gathered from the industry trade papers (Variety, Hollywood Reporter, Los Angeles Times, Deadline, etc.) , students will sharpen their critical perspective of the business part of show business.

Students will keep a journal of their experiences at their internships. Entries in these journals will serve as the basis for further discussion as each student will meet one to one with the Director and the Assistant Director during the semester. Each student will be required to contribute one blog about their experiences living and/or working in Los Angeles to be posted on the SULA Semester website.

As a final assignment, students will present a cohesive overview of how their internships shaped, shifted or changed their ideas about the industry and what specifically has added to their knowledge base in terms of skills obtained, professional associations, networking groups, leveraging social media for professional gain, etc. Students have the option of writing a paper or creating a short video.

Business of Development, Production, & Post Production

Course Number

TRF 400

Credits

3 credit(s)

Semester

Fall and spring

This class will thoroughly explore the process by which films and television programs evolve…from inception of ideas through the development, production and post–production process. Students will discover how the business environment of the entertainment industry shapes the creative process and they will see what challenges must be met in order to bring about the best art and the most successful bottom line. They will understand how their ability to navigate this landscape will impact their success in the industry. Instructor and Professional guest speakers will provide real world perspectives.

This course will include a mix of lectures, visual presentations, practical hands-on experience, conversation with guest speakers currently working in the entertainment industry, handouts, and vigorous student participation.

The Writers Journey

Course Number

TRF 400

Credits

3 credit(s)

Semester

Fall and spring

In this class we will journey through the writer’s experience, both your experiences as young, learning writers and the experiences of the seasoned, professional writer. We will explore the fundamentals of writing for the screen, both through lecture and a simulated professional “writers’ room” atmosphere in which students will pitch ideas and have their work read aloud at table reads. We will also examine, with the help of our guest writers, the realities of the professional writing process in the entertainment business today – the joys, the frustrations, the collaborations and connectivity’s. Guest writers may be invited to sit in on table readings of student material to give their notes and thoughts.

We will hear how the professional writer creates a project that comes to life in an existing show business world, not in an idealized vacuum. The writer is the first of three main storytellers in the process, along with the director and the editor. We glimpse through the writer’s eyes how other people and things – producers, casting, timing, etc. – all come into play to affect the final product.

*There is no required textbook, however, there will be required reading of articles and scripts. Students will need to bring multiple hard copies of their work when it is to be read in class. Additionally, students will form screening groups, each group being responsible for acquiring a Netflix or Blockbuster account. The expense will be shared among members of the group.

Camera Acting for Writers, Producers and Directors

Course Number

TRF 400

Credits

3 credit(s)

Semester

Fall and spring

This class for non-actors will introduce and explore the process by which actors prepare and execute their performances for film. It will examine the elements of film-making that actors must be aware of like cinematography, lighting, editing, etc. It will also explore the relationship of the director to the actor. This course will require the students to assume the role of an actor and learn and execute the techniques required to excel in the craft.

This course will be comprised of watching and examining great performances by select professional actors, reading highly regarded books on the craft of acting and analyzing performing and/or directing memorized scenes on camera.

TV Nation

Course Number

TRF 400

Credits

3 credit(s)

Semester

Fall and spring

We are truly a nation of TV watchers, whether by way of traditional networks or streaming (OTT) services. TV NATION explores the business and creative process that leads to and includes the pitch for new television shows.  It will explain and demystify how programs are created, developed, and sold, as well as the jobs that are responsible for all of these functions.

Through a combination of teachings, candid discussion, industry experts and hands-on development and pitching workshops in small groups, TV NATION will explore the current TV landscape – the buyers, the sellers, the historical trends, the companies, the people, the successes, the failures, the audience, and the future.

Topics will include writing, casting, business affairs, budgets, legal, research, marketing & promotion, multi-platform capability, ad sales, standards, deals, international, the stress, and the politics of it all.

The course will be structured into two seven-week cycles that will end with each student pitching their original program idea to real television executives who will evaluate and give feedback.

Television/Radio/Film Capstone (Seniors only)

Course Number

TRF 500

Credits

3 credit(s)

Semester

Fall and spring

The Television/Radio/Film Capstone course in Los Angeles will take students on an up-close immersive journey through the ever-changing ecosystem of the Los Angeles media industry, including traditional TV, feature films, cable TV, the syndication business, social media and the new digital guys on the block.

Rapid fire changes brought on by the millennial generation’s use of mobile and social media, combined with the advent of big data, OTT distribution, new video technologies and globalization have caused disruption in entertainment industry.

Through field trips to executive boardrooms, classroom interaction with industry guest speakers and tech demonstrations, students will get an up close and personal look at the “disruption game.” Writers, Producers, Directors, Programmers and Studio Executives will share their battle plans to remain competitive.

As a final project students will have a choice between preparing a White Paper or a Written Creative Proposal in which students will have to defend the conclusions they draw about the future of a segment of the entertainment industry.

Each student will make a 5-10 minute live presentation of his or her work in front of an invited industry panel.

Master Seminar: Directors on Directing

Course Number

TRF 510

Credits

1 credit(s)

Semester

Fall and spring

DIRECTORS ON DIRECTING is a five (5) week Master Class and is an opportunity for SULA Semester students to learn from Directors working in the entertainment industry who can share their unique perspective about their craft and examine their creative process.  Directors working in the world of single camera scripted films for movies or television will discuss how they develop an artistic vision for a piece of material and the challenges of maintaining that vision through the filmmaking process. Using their work and personal experience as reference, directors may discuss topics such as how to choreograph and block a scene, how do they get the best performance from the actors, how do they work effectively with producers, what is their creative collaborative process like, and how have they used sound design and music in post-production to advance the narrative.

 

Master Seminar: Line Producing

Course Number

TRF 510

Credits

1 credit(s)

Semester

Fall and spring

This class will be a Case Study of a produced film taught by the Producer of that film. Emphasis will be on the practical aspects of the Line Producer’s job and how the Line Producer interfaces with all the other departments throughout the production. The Case Study will spotlight staffing, setting and meeting timelines, production calendars, scheduling, how to evaluate weather conditions, union contracts and production incentives, what happens on a daily basis on the set and how to supervise the various departments during shooting. The curriculum will include a mock location scout.

Master Seminar: Cinematography in Practice

Course Number

TRF 510

Credits

1 credit(s)

Semester

Fall and spring

Cinematography in Practice is a course that aims to explore the art and craft of cinematography in practice from the perspective of a working professional based in Los Angeles, California. Students will be allowed the opportunity to gain hands on access to the various stages of a cinematographer’s role in crafting and creating the visuals for a motion picture production. This involves creating the visual design with the director, assembling crew and equipment, planning the logistics of shooting the movie, and supervising the final look of the film.

Master Seminar: Producing the Music Video

Course Number

TRF 500

Credits

1 credit(s)

Semester

Fall and spring

Have you ever wanted to make a Music Video? Now is your chance! Students in this seminar will work in teams to produce, shoot and edit their own music video. They will be guided by one of the most experienced Producers of music videos in the entertainment industry. The class will take students through the process of completing a treatment, shooting on location and editorial.  Regardless of whether your interests lie in producing, directing, writing or editing you will find this immersive experience will add to your skill set.

Communications Law for Television, Radio Film

Course Number

COM 506

Credits

3 credit(s)

Semester

Fall and spring

This course is intended to prepare students for a number of specific legal problems they are likely to encounter in their jobs in the broadcasting and film industries, including those that will emerge as technology and business organizations change.

Pop Culture: Contemporary Film and Filmmakers

Course Number

TRF

Credits

530 credit(s)

Semester

Fall and spring

 

This course will critically study the art, aesthetics and construction of contemporary theatrical films. The class will focus on narrative structure, contemporary storylines, themes, hybrid genres, aesthetics, editing style, production details, cinematography style/form/techniques, technological influences, and historical and cultural influences on visual storytelling.

Music, Technology & Emerging Opportunities

Course Number

RAE 500

Credits

3 credit(s)

Semester

Fall only

The class explores how technology has had an impact on the music industry and how the current tech space changes the music industry almost daily. The class explores the opportunity that this creates for entrepreneurial and forward-thinking students in the music and creative spaces.

Courses in the College of Arts and Sciences

Classical Hollywood Cinema and the Studio System

Course Number

ETS 464

Semester

Fall and spring

This course will study the aesthetics, historical context, economics, censorship, technological developments of Hollywood studio filmmaking. Students will leave the course with an understanding of the history of studio era Hollywood against the wider backdrop of the cultural history of Los Angeles and the United States. This course will examine Hollywood narrative cinema from the beginning of the sound era in the late 1920s to the demise of the studio system in the late 1950s. Topics will include the emergence of genres, the star system, changing audiences, the innovations of sound and television, and controversies over film content. Students will also acquire some advanced skills for film history research using local archives in the Los Angeles area.

Ethics and Media Professions (ONLINE COURSE)

Course Number

PHI 293

Credits

3 credit(s)

Semester

Fall and spring

Format

Online only

Ethics and the Media Professions is an introduction to the ethical issues raised by the media, including television, radio, film, photography, photojournalism, and graphics. The goal of the course is to provide students with the resources and background required to recognize, navigate, and constructively respond to the ethical challenges faced by media professionals. Toward that end, the course focuses on three interrelated topics:

  1. Ethical concepts and methods, including traditional views about ethical standards and how they should be determined.
  2. Specific areas where ethical issues arise in the mass media, including the portrayal of sex and violence, the use of stereotypes, and the ethical implications of digital media.
  3. Questions concerning personal and professional responsibility, and the ethical challenges of professional life.

This course is restricted to TRF majors since it is required in that major. Other students may waitlist in 318 Newhouse 3.

Courses in the College of Visual and Performing Arts

LA Internship Experience

Course Number

RAE 400

Credits

3 credit(s)

Semester

Fall and spring

This course will serve as a complement to the student’s hands on experience in the professional workplace. In class, we will offer a forum to discuss any challenges, concerns and questions that may arise regarding student’s internships. We will expose students to entertainment industry decision makers and influencers giving students a chance to interact with working professionals in a more intimate setting. Students are expected to research the background of any guest speakers so as to thoroughly engage in the in-class conversation. Through this and an exploration of current news gathered from the industry trade papers (Variety, Hollywood Reporter, Los Angeles Times, Deadline, etc.) , students will sharpen their critical perspective of the business part of show business.

Students will keep a journal of their experiences at their internships. Entries in these journals will serve as the basis for further discussion as each student will meet one to one with the Director and the Assistant Director during the semester. Each student will be required to contribute one blog about their experiences living and/or working in Los Angeles to be posted on the SULA Semester website.

As a final assignment, students will present a cohesive overview of how their internships shaped, shifted or changed their ideas about the industry and what specifically has added to their knowledge base in terms of skills obtained, professional associations, networking groups, leveraging social media for professional gain, etc. Students have the option of writing a paper or creating a short video.

Filmmaking Senior Project

Course Number

FIL 420

Credits

3 credit(s)

Semester

Fall only

Year-long production of a film demonstrating technical and artistic skills acquired in the film program. An accepted proposal is required.

Summer Curriculum

Students are required to enroll in all courses for a total of 6 credits over 12 weeks.

LA Internship Experience

Course Number

COM 300

Credits

1 credit(s)

Semester

Summer only

This course will serve as a complement to the student’s hands on experience in the professional workplace. In class, we will offer a forum to discuss any challenges, concerns and questions that may arise regarding student’s internships. We will expose students to entertainment industry decision makers and influencers giving students a chance to interact with working professionals in a more intimate setting. Students are expected to research the background of any guest speakers so as to thoroughly engage in the in-class conversation. Through this and an exploration of current news gathered from the industry trade papers (Variety, Hollywood Reporter, Los Angeles Times, Deadline, etc.) , students will sharpen their critical perspective of the business part of show business.

Students will keep a journal of their experiences at their internships. Entries in these journals will serve as the basis for further discussion as each student will meet one to one with the Director and the Assistant Director during the semester. Each student will be required to contribute one blog about their experiences living and/or working in Los Angeles to be posted on the SULA Semester website.

As a final assignment, students will present a cohesive overview of how their internships shaped, shifted or changed their ideas about the industry and what specifically has added to their knowledge base in terms of skills obtained, professional associations, networking groups, leveraging social media for professional gain, etc. Students have the option of writing a paper or creating a short video.

The Media Ecosystem in Los Angeles

Course Number

TRF 400

Credits

1 credit(s)

Semester

Summer only

This course will expose students to the ever changing ecosystem of the Los Angeles media industry, including traditional television and movies, cable TV, the syndication business, social media, the digital space and more. Students will gain insights into how these different platforms are now thoroughly interconnected and how they impact each other. Students will study the history of how the media business worked, how business models are being turned on their heads on an almost daily basis, and how the student’s career goals and aspirations might fit in to how the business will evolve in the future.

Digital Media & Innovation in Los Angeles

Course Number

ICC 400

Credits

1 credit(s)

Semester

Summer only

Los Angeles is one of the hottest startup and digital media communities in the country (Q1 2018 saw almost $2 billion in venture investment in the media, entertainment and gaming category alone). It continues to boast success stories like Snapchat, Whisper, MiTu, Oculus Rift, Full Screen, Immortals, Tinder and hundreds of others. Beyond these, all the major studios, as well as YouTube, Buzzfeed, Fandango/Rotten Tomatoes and dozens of other major companies are making LA their primary source for new and creative digital media.

“Digital Media & Innovation in LA” is a five (5) week course that explores our vibrant digital media scene. Students will be introduced to a variety of companies as well as learn about technologies and innovations that are growing here. They will also be introduced to digital media corporate initiatives at established LA-based media companies. The course will include lectures from and field trips to movers-and-shakers, founders and creators in this highly creative and fast-moving space.

Communications Law for Television, Radio Film

Course Number

COM 506

Credits

3 credit(s)

Semester

Summer only

This course is intended to prepare students for a number of specific legal problems they are likely to encounter in their jobs in the broadcasting and film industries, including those that will emerge as technology and business organizations change.

Waitlist

If a class you wish to take is fully enrolled and closed, please fill out this waitlist form and email it to Director Robin Howard at rshoward@syr.edu

Requests will be considered on a first come, first served basis. Preference is given to students who need to fulfill degree requirements for their major.

Online Courses

ONLINE courses are also available each semester.  Please refer to the SU Online Course Catalog for a comprehensive list of online courses.