2019-2020 Academic Catalog 
    Feb 06, 2023  
2019-2020 Academic Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

SCRN 123 - Factual Film and Television

FALL 2016 - Focusing on the recent found-footage craze in film and television, this seminar theorizes the various tactics through which contemporary media deceive audiences precisely by telling the truth-delivering content that seduces by appearing actual, or “really real.”  Beginning with a close reading of four notable found-footage films-The Blair Witch Project (1999), Paranormal Activity (2007), Cloverfield (2008) and Chronicle (2012)-we will go on to establish the historical, aesthetic, and generic contexts that have made such films possible.  Special attention will be paid to media texts that are notorious for having taken liberties with the truth, such as Nanook of the North (1922), “The War of the Worlds” radio drama (1938), David Holzman’s Diary (1967), F for Fake (1973), The Thin Blue Line (1988), and Ghostwatch (1992, TV).  During the last five weeks of the course, the seminar will shift into a hands-on workshop phase, in which students will conceive, write, shoot, and edit their own short found-footage pseudo-documentary-a film that is wholly fictional yet purports to be real.  Students wishing to enroll should note that this is not in any sense a “film appreciation” course, but instead a serious, rigorous course in Film and Media Studies.  The major workload of the seminar will comprise a series of written analyses based on weekly screenings, in which students will grapple not only with narrative (i.e. scripted plots), but also with the intricacies of film form (i.e., editing, sound, cinematography, lighting, production design, and so on).

Course Designation/Attribute: AP

Anticipated Terms Offered: Offered periodically