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Theater Cinema Film Production

Theater, Cinema & Film Production

Lights! Camera! Action! Let’s explore the enchanting world of live theater and its fascinating relationship to the silver screen. In Theater, Cinema, and Film Production, you’ll learn the basics of lighting, sound, wardrobe, and camerawork while examining the magic that happens behind all the drama. Delve into the glamorous history of film and theater, and examine the tremendous influence these industries have had on society and culture over the years. During this unit, you’ll discuss and analyze three classic American films “Casablanca, Singing in the Rain, and The Wizard of Oz” to help you learn how to critique and appreciate some of the most famous dramas of all time.

Review Course Outline

Units at a Glance

Unit 1 - Introduction to Film Theory

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.

What will you learn in this unit?

  • Identify what type(s) of films are used in film theory.
  • Explain the differences and similarities between film criticism and film theory.
  • Learn about different purposes for the creation of films.
  • Name one example film for each film purpose.
  • Explain auteur theory.

Unit 2 - The World of Theater

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.

What will you learn in this unit?

  • List and explain theater’s main requirements.
  • List and explain some of theater’s main purposes.
  • Explain the roles of religion, myth, and philosophy in the development of theater.
  • Discuss Aristotle’s view of catharsis.
  • Describe why theater is a form of art.

Unit 3 - Lighting the Scene

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.

What will you learn in this unit?

  • Identify and describe the two main purposes of lighting in film and theater.
  • Identify and describe the three specific elements of lighting that can be changed.
  • Identify and describe various tools and tricks used to manipulate lighting in both film and theater.

Unit 4: The Basic Elements of Camerawork

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 enjoyable.

What will you learn in this unit?

  • Identify and describe the two camera types used in making films.
  • Discuss the purpose of camera equipment.
  • Describe the types of lenses and filters as well as the types of shots they produce.
  • Discuss how a camera can be moved and positioned to create different types of shots.

Unit 5: Managing Sound in Film and Theater

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.

What will you learn in this unit?

  • Compare and contrast the use of sound in film and theater productions.
  • Describe the sound equipment used for film and theater productions.
  • Name the people involved with sound in film and theater productions and describe their responsibilities.

Unit 6: Wardrobe

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.

What will you learn in this unit?

  • Describe the processes of wardrobe and makeup design and creation.
  • Compare and contrast wardrobe and makeup in stage performances and on film screens.
  • Name the people involved with wardrobe and makeup in film and theater productions and describe their responsibilities.

Unit 7 - Plotting the Script

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.

What will you learn in this unit?

  • Define plot and dramatic structure.
  • Discuss how playwrights and screenwriters may be influenced by societal questions and issues.
  • Describe the elements that can raise controversy for some performances.
  • Name and describe two types of dramatic structures and apply them to plays you’ve read and movies you’ve seen.

Unit 8 - Acting and Directing

In this lesson, 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.

What will you learn in this unit?

  • Identify and describe the responsibilities that actors and directors have in film and theater.
  • Describe how directors and actors work together.

Unit 9 - The Film Production Process

In this lesson, 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.

What will you learn in this unit?

  • Describe how different elements are put together to create a production.
  • Discuss the benefits and drawbacks of several different types of theatrical performance spaces.
  • Name and describe the different types of rehearsals in theater.

Unit 10 - Audiences and Economics

In this lesson, 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.

What will you learn in this unit?

  • Discuss the types of audiences present for ancient Greek and Elizabethan England performances.
  • Analyze how an audience affects the type and content of film productions and dramatic performances.
  • Determine the local economic impact of film and theatrical productions.

Unit 11 - Film Genres

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.

What will you learn in this unit?

  • Discuss the concept of genre as it relates to film.
  • Name and describe different film genres.
  • Use research to discuss how filmmakers balance historical accuracy and storytelling.

Unit 12 - Theater Genres

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.

What will you learn in this unit?

  • Apply the concept of genre to theater performances.
  • Name and describe different theater genres.
  • Discuss how different genres have been influenced by historical, social, and cultural factors.

Required Materials

You will be required to own or have access to the standard editions of the three films used in this course:

  • Singin’ in the Rain (1952)
  • Wizard of Oz (1939)
  • Casablanca (1942)

If you do not already have access to these movies, you may consider other sources such as your local library.

Note: Timestamps referenced throughout the course apply to standard editions of the applicable film and may not align with any extended/modified versions.

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