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Film and New Media Studies- FS215/FM102: Introduction to Film Studies/Basic Filmmaking

Block 1 - FS215: Introduction to Film Studies, Scott Krzych

Block 2 - FS212: Basic Filmmaking, Clay Haskell


An in-depth engagement with the art of filmmaking, students will learn the history of cinema and the basic forms and structures behind narrative and documentary film, and will also develop their understanding of cinema practically and creatively by making films of their own.

Block 1: Students will learn the basic terms and concepts necessary to become critical film viewers. Cinema typically seeks to tell stories without drawing attention to how those stories are told; a “good” film, in other words, is one in which we become lost in the cinematic world and overlook the stylistic choices and ideological assumptions responsible for that world. This first block the FYE will help students to develop a critical eye to better notice and analyze the medium behind cinematic messages. Daily screenings will include a variety of classic and contemporary films.

Block 2: Examines the fundamentals of filmmaking - planning, shooting, and editing - via numerous short projects that culminate in a final public screening. Topics include framing and composition; cinematography, lighting, and sound, storyboards and shot diagrams; editing tools and techniques; digital workflow; and the processes of analysis, evaluation, and revision.

A set of linked, one-block courses that must be taken together, with a unique instructor in each block; separate grades will be assigned for each block.


  • This course serves as a gateway to the major in Film and New Media Studies.
  • Major prerequisites are fulfilled in Block 1, by Intro to Film Studies (1 unit), as half of the FM101 two-unit core requirement, and Block 2, by Basic Filmmaking (1 unit).
  • Block 1 will involve afternoon screenings on most days. Students will have the option to watch the films as a group in the Cornerstone Screening Room or view the film on their own in the evening.
  • No prerequisites or preparation required.
  • The class may take a day trip to the Denver area for a film festival.