Specific Goals of This Course - Film 101: Introduction to Film and Media Studies

Film 101 is meant to be a broad introduction into the field of film and media studies. For this reason alone this course fulfills nearly every learning goal specific to the program listed above, although it is hardly as in-depth in specific areas compared to other courses (i.e. Film 250, 251 & 252 and all 300-level seminars). The only exception is #6, since there will be no actual production in this course as that requires a course on its own (Film 220). Film 101 certainly will help you achieve the long-term goals listed (#9-12), that you can take with you after you graduate. (This does apply to your actual every day life in the future.)

Film 101 is not a film and media appreciation course, even though I sincerely hope it deepens your appreciation for film, television and other media forms. Instead, the purpose of this course is to teach you how to critically analyze visual media.  

  • You’ll be exposed to, and learn to distinguish, a wide variety of films, TV shows, and other visual media.
  • You’ll learn to isolate, describe and analyze the formal elements of film and television, video, etc. which include mise-en-scène, cinematography, editing, and sound.  
  • Additionally, you’ll learn about some deeper issues in film studies, followed by an introduction to key issues in media and cultural studies.

I hope the course will intensify the passion and interest you already have by teaching you to watch visual media with a new level of attention and expertise. But I hope that this will help you even if you never take another film or media class in your life. How so?

  • By developing your awareness of visual media – how and why they are actually constructed and as opposed to how they seem to the average consumer.
  • By sharpening both your visual memory and your visual skills, something you will need in almost every walk of life, especially in this media-saturated era.
  • By improving on your writing skills, which will be of the utmost important in your future no matter what you do.
  • By improving your critical thinking skills, not only in how to detect deeper patterns that usually go unnoticed, but also how to formulate arguments around which you can organize your writing.
  • By improving your time management skills. Your future success may depend on mastering this skill.

In short, this course is relevant even to those of you who will only have a casual interest in films, televisions and other visual media per se.