Group of students sitting around a table

Film And Screen Studies (FSS)

FSS 130  The Aesthetics and Technology of Motion Picture Production  (4 credits)  

This course will introduce students to the basic technical and aesthetic concepts in motion picture production. By combining lectures, screenings, equipment demonstrations, and hands-on equipment exercise, the course will provide students with a strong grasp of key concepts, skills, and techniques. Areas of study will include mise-en-scene, composition, image design, light and optics, aesthetics and technology of still and motion picture photography, the stages of production, film and video cameras, film stocks and video formats, lenses, lighting, sound recording, basic approaches to editing and postproduction. Through related writing assignments, students will develop a critical vocabulary and an analytical perspective that will provide them with the background necessary to pursue further film studies courses.

Course Rotation: NY: Fall.
FSS 135  Introduction to Production Design  (4 credits)  

A practical study of how to design visual environments for film and television including a critical study of design in motion picture production. Students will learn techniques of research, location scouting, storyboarding, script analysis, and production design.

Course Rotation: NYC; Spring.
FSS 155  Freaks, Queers, and Outsiders: Filmmaking from the Margins  (3 credits)  

This introductory course examines film and video made in contrast and/or direct opposition to the cultural and aesthetic norms of their day. Critical reading on film and queer theory will guide viewing of the selected films and be the basis of class discussion. The course will focus on the ways that technological and social marginalization have been turned into conditions of creative productivity and influence. Small film production assignments will allow students to explore techniques that independent filmmakers have developed out of the necessary ingenuity required when working outside of and often as resistance to traditional filmmaking systems.

Course Rotation: NYC: Fall & Spring
FSS 202  History of Film I  (3 credits)  

The development of film from the silent era through World War II. Emphasis is on American cinema with consideration of other national cinemas, such as French, German, Soviet, and Japanese.

Course Rotation: Fall and Spring
FSS 203  The Art of Film  (3 credits)  

An introduction to cinema study through the viewing and analysis of a variety of films with emphasis on film technique (editing, camera work, composition), directorial style, and genre.

Course Rotation: NYC: Fall, PLV: Fall.
FSS 204  Introduction to Filmmaking  (4 credits)  

This class covers the fundamentals of filmmaking. Students will work with different types of cameras and editing software to develop the technical and aesthetic foundations necessary for more advanced production classes, independent projects, professional internships, and film/media production jobs. The course introduces all elements of the filmmaking process from concept to screening— students will have the opportunity to work on multiple aspects of film production, including concept development, screenwriting, producing, directing, casting, rehearsal, storyboarding, cinematography, editing, and exhibition. Students are introduced to both celluloid film and digital camera technologies and techniques, as well as professional editing software. Each student writes, produces, directs, and edits a short film project which is screened publicly at the end of the term. NYC: Fall & Spring

FSS 205  Film and Screen Studies Practicum  (1-4 credits)  

FSS Production Practicums allows students to hone the skills learned In FSS 204, 230, and/or 301 and other production courses under the close guidance or FSS faculty. Students also have the opportunity to develop administrative end teaching skills as they work with less advanced students In producing individual and collective film projects for these classes. Practicum students contribute substantially to the production facets of the FSS Major and to the FSS Department community. Practicums serve as Internal Internships, providing students with pre-professional experience. FSS 205 can be taken up to three times, but only two semesters (6 credits) can count toward the FSS major. Any additional practicum credits would count as open elective credits.

Course Rotation: NYC: Fall and Spring
Prerequisites: Listed prerequisite requirements and permission of instructor to register.
FSS 206  History of Film II: World War II - Present  (3 credits)  

This course will investigate the main trends in world cinema since World War II. The course will use a number of case studies on national cinemas to explore how new aesthetics, technologies, ideological perspectives, and modes of production and reception have reshaped and enriched storytelling in narrative feature films. Of particular interest will be the ways the new cinemas challenge and alter the paradigm of the classical Hollywood genres as developed and practiced by the American studios in the 1930’s and 1940's.

Course Rotation: NY: Fall.
FSS 210  Film and Television Editing 1  (4 credits)  

This course serves as an introduction to the practice of professional film and television editing and the theory, history, aesthetics, and technology of digital editing. The class provides the fundamentals of professional editing software and professional editing strategies and techniques for both short an d long form productions and will emphasize the role of the professional editor and project workflow in visual media industries. Students will gain necessary skills in editing for use in film and television production classes and independent media projects as well as for internships and professional media work. The course addresses the editing of digital film and video for multiple areas of distribution and exhibition, ranging from theatrical release, broad cast and cable television, online streaming services and independent online forums. Techniques studied in this course will apply to multiple forms and genres, both narrative and non-narrative, and can be used in work ranging from narrative films, documentaries, trailers, television drama and comedy series, reality shows, advertisements, music videos , educational or informational videos, and more. Students will achieve proficiency in the basics of on e or more of these professional software programs, depending on current industry standards : Avid, Adobe Premiere, Final Cut Pro. This introductory course is a preparation for upper level production courses and is designed to help participants enter into the professional media production environment. Students must be available for editing work outside of scheduled class time.

Course Rotation: NYC: Fall and Spring
FSS 215  Writing for the Screen: An Introduction  (3 credits)  

In this workshop class for the novice writer, students will develop the basic skills necessary to help them write stories for the growing variety of visual media: screenplays, sitcoms, one-hour procedurals, limited series, web series, and more. We will examine the storytelling principles that undergird all of them, and the particular demands of each form – the classically structured three-act screenplay; the necessary stasis of the sitcom; the rigorous formal demands and expectations of crime dramas; developing a season arc for streaming seasons. Through a series of writing assignments and exercises, students will learn the basics of screenplay format and elements of scene composition. We will look at specific examples with an eye to noting how they follow or depart from conventional structural elements.

Course Rotation: NYC: Fall & Spring
FSS 220  Directing for Film and Television  (4 credits)  

This course is an introduction to the art of directing. The course concentrates on the theories and application of professional directing techniques for the narrative, performance-based mediums of fiction film, television, and theater. Students will study the development of directing theories and techniques within these media over the last century and how they apply to professional directing today. Through exercises and projects students will apply these theories and techniques to develop the vocabulary and skills for directing short and long subject projects in these media. Students will learn the role and activities of the director in the pre-production, production, and post-production stages of a project. Students will also explore the varying roles and responsibilities of the director in theater, television, classical studio theatrical motion picture, and modern independent theatrical motion picture production.

Course Rotation: NYC: Fall, Spring.
FSS 230  Digital Television Field Production  (4 credits)  

This is an introduction to digital television field production that covers all elements of the video-making process from concept to screening, emphasizing the theory and concepts of production on location. The techniques, aesthetics, and equipment used in this course are focused on the production of digital video products intended for distribution and exhibition on broadcast and cable television.

Course Rotation: NY; Fall
FSS 235  Digital Production Design  (4 credits)  

This course introduces students to designing sets for motion picture and television production or experiment screen-based storytelling projects using computer-aided design tools. The course will focus on 3D modeling and rendering software that build virtual spaces used to create concept art, digital renderings, and virtual experiences. Some prior familiarity with computer-design software is recommended, but not required.

Course Rotation: NYC: Spring.
FSS 237  Topics in Horror  (4 credits)  

This course will provide an in-depth study of the enduring popularity of horror cinema, exploring how horror as a genre has addressed cultural value systems, psychology, gender and sexuality, politics, and technology. The course will both introduce students to how horror film has been discussed within film studies, and provide opportunity for in-depth analysis of a specific range of horror films within larger cultural contexts. The course can be repeated for credit with different topic areas. NYC: Fall

FSS 240  Film Genres  (3 credits)  

Film genres are a way of classifying films that share similar subject matter and/or similar narrative and stylistic patterns. Grounded in viewers’ expectations about characters, narratives, and visual style, a film genre is a set of conventions and formulas repeated and developed in film history. Examples include comedy, western, melodrama, musical, horror, and crime. The three key functions of genre are to provide models for producing other works; to direct viewers’ formal and thematic expectations; to establish a basis for evaluating other works within the genre. The course will focus on the historical development of a single genre or related genres by identifying the characters, narrative structure, and visual style associated with the genre(s); the reflection of social rituals in the genre(s); the creation of hybrids or sub-genres out of the generic model. The course may be taken for credit more than once with focus on a different genre.

Course Rotation: Spring
FSS 250  Cinema Auteurs  (3 credits)  

This course focuses on the films of a selected director or group of directors through the critical concept of the cinematic auteur. Students will discuss and analyze numerous films that represent a filmmaker's body of work, as well as explore what it means for a film director to be considered the "author" of a film. The course provides students with an understanding of how "auteur criticism" developed and functions within cinema studies and cinema history while also offering an in-depth exploration of the stylistic and thematic specificity of a notable director (or directors). The course may focus on the director(s) within frameworks ranging from biographical background and their creative influence on film and culture to the social, professional, or political contexts that help define the director's works. Course may be repeated for credit with focus on a different director.

Course Rotation: NY; Spring and Summer
FSS 260  Major Film Movements  (3 credits)  

A critical, historical, and theoretical examination of film movements, such as German Expressionism, French Impressionism and Surrealism, Soviet Cinema (1924-30), Italian Neorealism, French New Wave, New German Cinema, The New Hollywood, Contemporary Hong Kong Cinema. A film movement consists of (1) films that are produced within a particular period/nation that share significant stylistic and formal traits; (2) filmmakers who share certain assumptions about filmmaking and a common production structure. Accordingly, this course explores such factors as the state of the film industry, the socioeconomic context of the movement, the artistic theories embraced by the filmmakers, and relevant technological developments. The course may focus on a particular movement or related movements. The course may be repeated for credit with focus on a different film movement.

Course Rotation: NY; Spring
FSS 268  Film and Revolution: World Cinemas  (3 credits)  

For decades, filmmakers in non-Western countries have wielded the cinema as a source of power, a kind of “weapon” for combating the forces of Western imperialism, racism, and ideology in order to reshape national identities, politics, and cultures. This course explores this struggle by analyzing the cultural and political forces that shaped the “Third Cinema” movement, which called for a revolutionary mode of film-making in the so-called Third World beginning in the 1960s and 1970s. The goal is to offer students a global perspective on a wide range of issues in the Third Cinema movement that stem from the influence of imperial powers—namely, France, England, and the United States—on popular and experimental narrative, animated, and nonfiction films, and the post- and anti-colonial film cultures of Africa, Asia, and Latin America. Part of our analysis of this topic will also touch on Native American and First Nations film-making, as well as the legacy of the Third Cinema movement in perceptions of the media in our contemporary moment.

Course Rotation: NYC: Spring.
FSS 270  Cinematic Spaces  (3 credits)  

Cinema has often been said to provide a "space" of escape and imagination, but it has also been called our most accurate representation of reality. Though spectators are gazing at a two-dimensional screen, the sense they are offered of a three-dimensional world has allowed audiences entrance into spaces ranging from the density of New York City to the expanse of the American southwest and on to the far reaches outer space.

Course Rotation: TBA
FSS 275  Race and Representation  (3 credits)  

"Race" and "representation" are terms that are part of our everyday vernacular; as a result, we often use these terms without considering the complex discourses that shape modern conceptions of race and what it really means to "represent." We will explore the history of racial representation and consider the possibilities for representing race in the future. We will address challenging questions about what race is and how it informs our relationships with photographic/cinematic images. This is particularly helpful for film and screen studies students interested in translating their historical and theoretical knowledge of film into a critical understanding of a wider range of photographic images including advertisements, digital media, and fine art.

Course Rotation: NYC: Fall
FSS 280  Cinematography  (4 credits)  

This course combines theoretical and practical elements of cinematography. Along with techniques of shooting in-studio and and on-location, students will study historical and contemporary traditions and genres of cinematography. Students will learn how to visualize ideas cinematographically working from a script or screenplay and effectively light and film actors/performers. Film emulsions, exposure, filters, camera placement, composition, movement, and continuity are among the topics that may be covered. Emphasis is placed on the use of cinematography and image design in telling a story.

Course Rotation: NYC: Fall & Spring
FSS 296A  Topic: Hitchcock  (3 credits)  

A study of several Hitchcock masterpieces.

FSS 296C  Topic: History of the Documentary  (3 credits)  

The course will explore a wide range of issues specific to the documentary form: the most significant developments in aesthetic, narrative, technological innovations through the study of a variety of national cinemas, as well as the evolution of the production, distribution, and marketing of documentary film and video.

FSS 296H  Topic: Film Auteurs of NYC  (3 credits)  

Ever since the invention of the very first motion picture camera in the United States by New Yorker Thomas Edison in 1893, New York City has remained a center of motion picture production, distribution, and exhibition. This course will chart the journey of cinema in NYC over the past 119 years by focusing on several New York film artists who have made significant contributions to filmmaking in the Big Apple. Through lectures, readings, screenings and discussion the course will highlight the work of NYC auteurs, including Elia Kazan, John Cassavetes, Sydney Lumet, Woody Allen, Martin Scorsese, Spike Lee, Ken and Ric Burns, and Christine Vachon. The class will also explore New York City as one of the world’s most exciting living film studios. We will explore the unique challenges that these auteurs have faced producing films in New York City and what young filmmakers face today. We will chart how NYC has contributed to cinema, not only its unique landscapes and architecture, but also its great energy, electricity, complexity, chaos and magic. The class will visit several famous NYC film production locations and studios including Chelsea Studios (opened in 1914) and Silvercup Studios (location for many films and TV shows shot on film, including The Sopranos, Sex and the City, and 30 Rock). The class will also visit other NYC film shrines including the Anthology Film Archives and the landmark Ziegfeld Theater. Through readings, screenings, discussion, and written assignments, students will develop skills in film analysis and criticism. They will also explore the relationship of art and industry by studying the evolution of production, distribution, exhibition, and marketing of film in NYC.

FSS 296S  Topic: Special Effects and the Cinema  (3 credits)  

From the “magic” of early trick films to the wonders of science fiction films, and CGI illusions, special effects have shaped the cinematic experience in fundamental ways. Drawing on histories and theories of illusions and related experiences like wonder and the sublime, this course considers how and why individual films have used special effects to blur the boundaries between the real and the fake, the animate and the inanimate, life and death. Our goal is to see special effects differently, not simply as spectacular forms of entertainment, but as profound and illuminating spectacles that teach audiences about what the cinema is, how moving images work, and how the nature of technological innovation bears on enduring concerns about what it means to be human.

Course Rotation: NY; Fall
FSS 301  Filmmaking: Image and Sound  (4 credits)  

This course builds upon the concepts and skills of narrative filmmaking process mastered in the 16 mm film production course. The objective of the class is to go through the production of a simple sync sound film/video, step by step. Topics covered include concept development, screenwriting, script breakdown, producing, directing, casting, acting, rehearsal, storyboarding, film and digital cinematography, sound recording and mixing. All projects will be financed by the student. Estimated total costs: $150.00- 200.00.

Course Rotation: Spring
FSS 302  History of Digital Cinema  (3 credits)  

This course introduces students to the history of digital cinema. In the shift from the camera to the computer, the big screen to multiple screening platforms, and the viewer to the user, the production, distribution, and exhibition of the cinematic medium has rapidly transformed in its convergence with emerging technologies. We will trace the contours of this change as it gives rise to new storytelling and filmmaking techniques, exploring topics such as gamic vision, perceptual realism, animation, interactivity, network aesthetics, computer-generated images, and post-cinema.

Course Rotation: NYC: Fall
FSS 310  Editing for Film and Television 2  (4 credits)  

This course focuses on film and television post-production workflows from ingest to delivery, including both intermediate and advanced techniques for visual effects, color correction, and audio mixing and the analysis of sophisticated editing practices and traditions. Advanced storytelling theory and techniques will focus on the following: point of view, character development, and sound design. Techniques studied in this course will apply to multiple genres and forms ranging from narrative projects, documentaries, movie trailers, webisodes, reality television, commercials, music videos, education, and industrial videos. Students will work with industry-standard post-production software, building on skills developed in FSS 210: Editing for Film and Television I. They will gain necessary skills in editing for use in film and television production classes and independent media projects as well as for internships and professional media work. Students must be available for editing work outside of scheduled class time.

Course Rotation: NYC: Fall and Spring
FSS 317  Fundamentals of Screenwriting  (3 credits)  

This course for the beginning screenwriter introduces the tools, vocabulary, and techniques used to tell a screen story and put an original idea into outline form. Assignments illustrate basic three-act structure, economical use of dialogue, visual storytelling elements, development of complex characters, revelation of background information, and effective use of dramatic tension. Students become familiar with screenwriting terminology as scenes from well-known films are analyzed on video to reveal structural elements in the writing. By the end of the course, each student will have developed an original idea into a detailed step outline for a feature-length screenplay and written the opening scene.

Course Rotation: NYC: Fall & Spring
FSS 323  Advanced Screenwriting  (3 credits)  

In this workshop class, each student will focus on moving from a very general pitch and story outline, to a more substantial treatment, to at least the first full act of a feature-length screenplay (approximately 30 pages). Weekly writing assignments will sharpen students’ skills on screenwriting elements including: visual storytelling; incorporation of backstory; establishing opportunities for growth and gain for your characters; foreshadowing, plant and payoff; the integration of main plot and subplot; and making dialogue distinct and actor-friendly. We will also look at examples from screenplays and films of successful (and less successful) instances of screenwriting strategy and execution.

Course Rotation: Spring
FSS 330  Writing for Television  (3 credits)  

In this workshop class, students will learn the structure of, pitch ideas for, write spec episodes for, and develop season arcs for episodic television. Emphasis will be on capturing the voice of a show; what the formal demands of television writing are; what makes for a good pitch; how best to function in the writers room; the relationship between the writing staff, show runner, network and cast. Each semester will focus on a different genre of the form, which will include (but may not be limited to) the sitcom; the procedural; and the one-hour serial drama.

Course Rotation: NYC: Spring.
FSS 380  Special Topics in Filmmaking  (3 credits)  

This upper-level course offers an in-depth focus on a selected thematic and/or technical topic, allowing students to take the skills they have acquired in both theory and practice and apply them in a specific context. The creative and thematic focus will vary from semester to semester, and the course will be taught by instructors with varying areas of expertise. The course topic may focus on such practical skills as design, directing, editing, cinematography, writing, or web content production, and/or a thematic focus on a specific genre, storytelling tradition, or movement. The course can be repeated for credit with a different topic. See section notes for the specific topic offered.

Course Rotation: NYC: Spring
FSS 383  Theories of Film  (3 credits)  

This course focuses on the different ways that cinema has been accounted for philosophically, psychoanalytically, socially, and politically since the 20th century. Texts by film theorists and filmmakers will be read to gain an understanding of some of the stakes involved in cinematic representation as well as the influence that film has had on modern thought.

Course Rotation: NYC: Spring, PLV: Spring.
Prerequisites: FSS 202 and FSS 203 or permission of instructor.
FSS 386  Advanced Topics in Film and Screen Studies  (3 credits)  

This advanced seminar offers in-depth exploration of a specific topic in Film and Screen Studies. Topics may be historical, theoretical, and/or creatively oriented and focus on any aspect of screen-based or related audiovisual forms, from film to television to emerging media. Building on the foundation provided by introductory courses in the major, the seminar will address the stakes and methods specific to its topic. Topics will vary: students must look at the semester Class Schedule for detailed information about the topic to be covered. This class can be repeated for credit with a different topic.

Course Rotation: NYC: Fall & Spring
FSS 393  Internship in Film and Screen Studies  (0-4 credits)  

This course provides credit and guidance for internships in film and and screen media outside of Pace University. An Internship is an assignment, paid or volunteer, to a business, corporation, public agenct, school, or other organization that provides on-the-job and pre-professional experience. In this case, internships can range from work in film, televisions, or digital media production, to work in film festivals and other distribution outlets, to writing and research internships in cultural journalism or other areas related to the field of study. Internships are arranged by the University's Career Services Office, by the FSS Department, by individual faculty members, or by the individual student. The internship will be supervised by a professor who will serve as the university contact for the internship provider and will assess the student's participation in the internship. Internships are either full-time or part-time and generally last for one semester. The course gives students employment experience in film and media; encourages them to make industry contacts for post-collegiate opportunities, and provides them with an opportunity to analyze the relationship between academic studies in film to professional work in their field. .

Course Rotation: NYC; Spring And Fall
Prerequisites: Permission of Director of Film and Screen Studies required.
FSS 395  Independent Study in Film & Screen Studies  (1-3 credits)  

This course allows students to work on independent research and writing projects under the guidance of Film and Screen Studies professors.

FSS 395A  Independent Study in Film & Screen Studies (A)  (2-3 credits)  

This course allows students to work on independent research and writing projects under the guidance of Film and Screen Studies professors.

FSS 396A  Creative Projects in Film History  (3 credits)  
Course Rotation: NYC: Spring
FSS 396B  Topic: Rewriting for Film and Television  (3 credits)  

This is a workshop which asks students to explore the rigorous process of making their existing material the best it can be. A successful second draft of a script is the one that makes it look like everything you’ve written is not only intentional, but in fact, inevitable. In addition to exploring deep revision elements (structural changes from the roots up), we’ll discuss how to identify which parts of your script need attention and ways to address them. Punch ups, character arcs, moment-to-moment dialogue, and what it means to ‘polish’ a script are just a few of the tools covered during our journey between your first draft and your second. We’ll delve into how working writers assess their work, and get you started on that path. Students must already have a complete draft of a script to work with. INSTRUCTOR PERMISSION REQUIRED FOR ENROLLMENT.

Course Rotation: NYC: Spring
FSS 405  Film and Screen Studies Advanced Production Practicum  (1-4 credits)  

The Film and Screen Studies Advanced Production Practicum allows students who have completed at least three FSS production courses and at least one semester of FSS 205 (Practicum), to produce an advanced motion picture project and to mentor other students by assisting in production courses. The Advanced Practicum allows students to hone skills learned in other FSS courses and electives under the close guidance of FSS faculty and provides students with pre-professional experience in motion picture production and instruction within Pace.

Course Rotation: NYC: Fall, Spring.
Prerequisites: Open only to students who have completed three FSS production courses.