Theater, Cinema & Film Production

Course Overview

Units at a glance

In this unit, you will learn several things about film history and film theory: what a film is, what a film’s purpose may be, and why that purpose is important when learning about and using film theory. You’ll be introduced to one particular type of film theory. And you’ll look at your own experiences with films as well as the experiences scholars, critics, and historians have had as you begin your journey into the world of film theory.

Before motion pictures were invented, theater provided entertainment for cultures around the world. Theater has provided structure and inspiration for modern films, and the interplay between film and theater helps us better understand the creation and impact of films. In this unit on theater, you will learn several things: what theater is, what its purposes can be, and a bit of theater’s history. You’ll learn what’s necessary for theater to exist. And you’ll draw on your experiences with performance and theater to make connections with what you learn in this unit as well as with what you learned in the previous unit on film theory.

In this unit on theater and film, you’ll learn about one of the important technical aspects of creating a world on both film and stage—lighting. You’ll learn the purposes of lighting for both film and theater. You’ll discover the different ways that light can be manipulated for these different purposes.

In this unit, you will learn about camera technology and equipment that is used when making a film. You’ll learn how lenses and filters are used to create the types of shots that directors seek. And you’ll learn how the camera’s position and movement can be manipulated to make a movie more engaging and aesthetically

In this unit, you will learn about sound in both film and theater. You’ll learn how sound is created and recorded for films as well as how it is created and managed in theatrical productions. And you’ll learn about some of the equipment that sound professionals use in their jobs.

In this unit, you will learn about wardrobe and makeup in both film and theater. You’ll learn how characters’ appearances are designed and brought to life and about the professionals who do this. And you’ll learn about the unique concerns that must be taken into consideration during the wardrobe and makeup processes.

In this unit, you will learn about scripts in both film and theater as well as dramatic structures that are used in performances. Finally, you’ll learn about what makes some script performances controversial.

In this unit, you will learn about the areas of directing and acting in both film and theater contexts. You’ll learn about the characteristics and skills that good actors and directors possess and cultivate.

In this unit, you will learn how all the different elements of theater and film—lighting, sound, costume and makeup, directing, and acting—all come together to become a production. You’ll learn the sequence of events in the production process of both film and theater. And you’ll apply your technical knowledge from previous units to the production process.

In this unit, you will learn how an audience can affect film and theatrical productions in North America. You’ll look at the role and characteristics of theater audiences at a few specific moments in history. And you’ll consider the impact that film and theatrical productions can have on their local communities and economies.

In this unit, you will learn about a variety of film genres as well as their hallmark characteristics. You’ll see how films can cross genres, and you’ll research a specific genre to learn how filmmakers work within it to tell stories.

Like film, theater also has genres of plays and performances. In this unit, you will learn about several theater genres and their defining characteristics. You’ll also see how the formation of these genres has been affected by social, cultural, and historical contexts.

Course Highlights

Learn the basics of theater, cinema, and film productions.
Travel the Yellow Brick Road with The Wizard of Oz to see how film and theater productions use wardrobe and scenery.
Explore how musicals like Singin’ in the Rain create and use sound.
Investigate how films like Casablanca use lighting, camera work, and plot to create mood and emotion.

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