Cinematic Arts

The inclusion of Cinematic Arts within the Department of Art and Art History says much about our approach. We believe that filmmaking is an art that must be mastered by disciplined practice and reflection. We train and mentor filmmakers under the studio art model with a balanced dose of exercise and theoretical appreciation.

The Department of Art and Art History at UTA has an excellent reputation for grooming young filmmakers, preparing them for the creative challenges and emotional rigors of the motion picture industry. The success of our graduates is the result of a well-designed, three-tiered program. An introductory level of technical and aesthetic principles, an intermediate level to widen narrative skills, and an advanced level to produce high-quality portfolio ready work.

This process begins in CINEMA PRODUCTION 1 class. Students acquire foundational skill sets in the craft and technology of filmmaking by planning, shooting, and editing their short films as a group.

We believe that storytelling is the cornerstone of our art; this is why a solid SCREENWRITING 1 class is also a foundational instruction at this level. Students learn industry-standard screenwriting formats and techniques to create vivid descriptions, fresh and authentic dialogue, all within a clear and engaging storyline. SCREENWRITING 2 class furthers every aspect of the craft and incorporates more complex narrative techniques and specific genre approaches. Apart from being a principal part of our curricula, screenwriting is also a process of artistic self-discovery and growth. We are not only interested in training skilled storytellers. We want those stories to display a distinct artistic voice.

At the intermediate level, student filmmakers accelerate through a program of technical and aesthetic exercises exploring and developing specific skill sets and sensibilities they will use throughout their work. Students are introduced to higher levels of image capture in Cinematography through the control and manipulation of light and camera. The Directing classes investigate processes of interpreting screenplays through camera and performance, focusing on the Director -Actors' work. With the skills developed at this level, the students are ready to convey ideas and elicit emotions in profound, powerful, and polished film pieces.

In Advanced Cinema Production (ACP), and other advanced level courses, students generate a complete portfolio per semester while refining their skills and defining their artistic voice. Our program also includes specific genre study courses that explore in detailed the skills and ideas particular to specialized areas in filmmaking. They explore 2D and 3D Animation, Documentary filmmaking, Video Art, Commercial Video, and Narrative Filmmaking. Students are encouraged to explore and follow their interests in the areas most suited to their career aspirations. Special topics courses supplement the regular curriculum to fill specific niche areas. Cinematography, Advanced Editing, Sound, Producing are among these classes.

Our students also learn how to write their stories in the editing room. In theory and practice, they learn that montage is the single aspect that cinema has not borrowed from any other art. Our training in the various aspects of post-production is progressive. By the end of the third level, they have had a comprehensive understanding and practice of visual editing, sound design, color grading, and the fundamental aspects of visual and acoustic effects. So, students are ready to create their Thesis film.

LIGHTS CAMERA ACTION, UTA STYLE

For students interested in Fiction Film, the ACP: FICTION class is the pinnacle of our program that equips students in the planning, managing, and delivering of a film. Students are submerged in an intensive real world motion picture production. Students create a production company as a class, develop a script, and produce a short, fiction film. They comprehend critical aspects of the industry, such as contracts, legal procedures, budgeting, scheduling all under the pressures of an independent film production.

To celebrate all our work and recognize our students’ progress, our entire community gathers at the end of every semester to watch every film produced. This End of Semester Showcase unites us all -from first-year undergraduate students to Master film candidates- in front of one screen. In these extraordinary parties, we also celebrate the contribution and support of our actors, crews, friends, and families. As our mission statement says: We are a community devoted to storytelling through the cinematic art form and to each other's creative self-discovery and growth.

Cinematic Arts Area Mission Statement

The mission of the Cinematic Arts area is to nurture and train filmmakers to become well-rounded artists as well as responsible storytellers.

We are a community devoted to storytelling through the cinematic art form and to each other's creative self-discovery and growth. Our purpose is to train and mentor but also to inspire and challenge.

We believe in a personal and inclusive film instruction that embraces multiple genres, strong ethics, and professional standards within the cinematic tradition.

Maverick Film Productions

The Maverick Film Production company is a team comprised of Film/Video graduate students, faculty and undergraduate students at Art and Art history Department at UTA. The company provides high quality media production service to UTA campus and the local Dallas Fort Worth (DFW) community. Maverick Film Productions is an opportunity for students to gain more professional experience as a crew to work on client-based film productions.

The Maverick Film Production company provides departments, student organizations and individuals with low-cost media production service that assist with promoting UTA services and activities. It’s located in155A in Fine Art Building and has a color-grading/editing room, a visual effects room, and a production office. The editing stations are also used for our advanced film production students and graduate students for their final color-grading and editing.

Facilities

  • Cinema Production classrooms
  • Screenwriting Conference room
  • Production Studio with 2 story ceilings and per-lit green screen
  • Cinema Editing and Animation Lab
  • Equipment Checkout Room with online/remote reservation system
  • Color grading station and VFX editing station (Maverick Film Productions)
  • Stop-Motion classroom
  • VR and AR gears including 360-degree camera equipment
  • VR/AR Lab
  • 150 seat screening room with 4K projection system
  • Software: Adobe Creative Suites, Final Cut Pro, DaVinci Resolve, Pro Tools, Logic Pro, Drangonframe, Maya etc.
  • Major Portable Equipment: Blackmagic Pocket 6K camera kit, Blackmagic Ursa Mini 4K camera kit, DSLR cameras, major field lighting and sound equipment etc.

Courses

Introduction to the video and filmmaking production process, techniques, history and aesthetics through the use of digital video, basic film, and basic digital (computer) video and audio editing. Students will write, produce, and edit a number of short original works.

Film Aesthetics and Analysis and is a course in which students experience the critical screening of selected significant films and learn concepts and approaches to film analysis and criticism. The course will examine the emergence of the film form, the elements of film language, formal approaches and principles of film analysis, and the workings of motion pictures as a means of narrative expression.

The history and aesthetics of the motion picture from 1895 to the present day. Screening and analysis of film as an artistic medium, focusing on various technical innovations, filmmakers, and landmarks of film history. Prerequisite: Any two of the three courses ART 1309, ART 1310, and ART 1317; or permission from the instructor.
Students will be introduced to the principles of storytelling and will applying these principles to the craft of screenwriting. As part of this process students will learn to evaluate and improve their own and other’s original stories, characters, dramatic conflict, dialogue and descriptions. All exercises and assignments will be required to use of proper screenwriting formatting, a content that will be introduced as part of the class. Prerequisite: ENGL 1301 and ENGL 1302.; or permission from the instructor. repeated for credit.
Continuation of ART 2358 with emphasis on more advanced concepts, production techniques, film/video history, aesthetics, basic 16mm film production, digital video post-production and studio editing. Students will propose, write, produce and edit a number of short, original works. Prerequisite: ART 2358 (Intro to Cinema) and ART 2350 Intro screenwriting.

Advances the principles and elements of design to the world of time-based media and the principles of animation. Focuses on advanced compositing and animation techniques including kinetic typography, motion tracking, and image replacement and compositing. Topics may also include film titles, and industrial and commercial film. May be repeated once for credit. ART 2304 and ART 2358; or permission from the instructor.

An intense study of the visual language/style of film imagery through cinematography, lighting, gaffing, gripping, and extensive camerawork. Students will use digital equipment to shoot exercises, light sets and locations, and learn to accurately expose, color correct, and manipulate motion picture film. Students will also learn the proper use of advanced lighting equipment, professional production standards, camera crew responsibilities, and how to interpret a scene through visuals. Students will work in digital video and/or 16mm film format. May be repeated once for credit. Prerequisite: ART 2358 (Intro to film); or permission from the instructor.
Directing I: Actor Lab is a course dedicated to helping student directors understand how actors approach their craft, the language of acting, and various techniques and approaches for casting as well as collaborating with actors in rehearsal and on set to craft a performance for film. In conjunction with the Theater Department Acting for Camera Class, the course will integrate directors and actors to practice these concepts and develop confidence in the skills necessary for collaboration. Prerequisite: ART 2358 (Intro to film); or permission from the instructor.
Directing II: Visual Storytelling will cover the relationship of actor performance to the placement and/or movement of the camera and other cinematic techniques. Approaches to visual style and distinctly cinematic expression will also be explored. Students will explore specific shot compositions, camera movement and blocking dynamics. Prerequisite: ART 3358; or permission from the instructor.
Application of professional practices for graduating BFA art majors. Primary concentration is preparation for BFA exhibition/presentation.
Professional practices for upcoming graduating BFA art majors in studio and media concentration, excluding graphics. This exploration of professional capabilities provides strategies for students to continue in their chosen creative fields after graduation by raising awareness of opportunities and the preparation necessary to achieve those goals. Prerequisite: Permission from the instructor.
A screenwriting course for Film/Video area majors. This course is a high energy merger of a production class and a short film writing class to both write and produce a film per week during the Summer sessions. The students in this class will have a realistic view of the production consequences of writing for the screen. May be repeated once for credit. Prerequisite: ART 3350 (Intro to screenwriting); or permission from the instructor.
Advanced work involving production, postproduction, and distribution with a special emphasis on experimental and innovative applications. Instruction may include video integrated with performance, installation, audio/sound art, and computer graphics appropriate to the medium. Lectures, readings, and screenings will frame video art within an historical and critical survey of new genres. May be repeated for up to six hours credit. May be repeated once for credit. Prerequisite: ART 3358 (Intermediate Film); or permission from the instructor.
Using film and video as a tool for creative research, students will produce, write, direct and edit original documentaries or nonfiction films/videos under supervision of the instructor. May be repeated once for credit. Prerequisite: ART 3358 (Intermediate Film); or permission from the instructor.
Commercial and corporate applications of video. Students produce original individual projects integrating concepts and technical skills under supervision of the instructor. May be repeated once for credit. Prerequisite: ART 3358 (Intermediate Film); or permission from the instructor.
Narrative storytelling film/video techniques. Students write, produce, direct and edit original, short narrative film/video projects under supervision of the instructor. May be repeated once for credit. Prerequisite: ART 2358 (Intro film) or ART 3350. (Intro screenwriting) or permission from the instructor.
A continuation of ART 2350 focusing on writing an original (no adaptations), narrative, full-length screenplay through all stages to final draft status primarily focusing on the development of a polished first act. Students study screenplays, view films, conduct actor readings, and complete various other assignments. May be repeated up to two times for credit. Prerequisite: ART 2350 (Intro to screenwriting); or permission from the instructor.
An advanced workshop in video editing and post production. Emphasis will be placed on long form editing, the aesthetics of editing, and editing work flow. May be repeated once for credit. Prerequisite: ART 3358 (Intermediate Film); or permission from the instructor.
Intensive study of digital computer animation and 3-D digital animation tools and techniques. Students will produce a number of short, original works under the supervision of the instructor. May be repeated once for credit. Prerequisite: ART 2304 (Digital Media) and ART 2358 (Intro Film); or permission from the instructor.
This capstone course is designed to bring together ideas, processes, practices, and theories in the service of the production of a substantial work of cinema. Students will pursue an entire project from conception to completion, combining intensive preproduction, production, and post-production with in-depth instruction on lab work, distribution, and exhibition. Throughout the course, emphasis is placed on instructor, peer, and self-critique. Prerequisite: ART 3358 (Intermediate Film); or permission from the instructor.
This course introduces techniques for two-dimensional animation presented in an historical and aesthetic context. Students will produce short animated films utilizing basic animation principles and developing the conceptual skills necessary for creating motion designs. May be repeated once for credit. Prerequisite: ART 2304 (Digital Media) and ART 2358 (Intro Film); or permission from the instructor.
An advanced workshop in sound recording, sound design, and editing. Through lectures, lab, class demonstrations, and projects, the student develops skill and knowledge in the technical and artistic aspects of sound techniques for film. May be repeated once for credit. Prerequisite: ART 3358; or permission from the instructor.
Students will produce a major film or video in the genre of their choosing (narrative, documentary, commercial, or animation). Students may elect to work in a variety of media (including 16 mm film, digital video or installation) to produce original works. Students will be individually mentored as their productions move through preparation, shooting and post-production. Prerequisite: permission from the instructor.
Analysis of the shooting requirements, set and location considerations, and software choices and techniques used for various visual effects treatments. Includes digital compositing and techniques such as matte generation, camera tracking, color correction, roto-scoping, chromakey, set extension, and3D integration. May be repeated once for credit. ART 2304 and ART 2358; or permission from the instructor.
An opportunity to apply academic training as participant/observer in a professional organization relevant to a major area of concentration. With permission of advisor, internships may be repeated for up to a maximum of nine hours credit. Internships must be arranged with the internship supervisor in the semester prior to enrolling for this course. Prerequisite: permission from the instructor.

Special studies in film/video that respond to emerging technologies, immediate needs, and specialized topics. May be repeated for credit. Prerequisite: ART 3358 (Intermediate Film); or permission from the instructor.

EXAMPLE: Producing Takes a holistic approach to assist the student in learning the art of Producing for Film. Spearheading development, managing production/post-production and securing distribution. Students acquire a comprehensive understanding of the three major components necessary to make a film - Time, Money and Labor.

Historical surveys of nonfiction film, experimental cinema, and genres (e.g., the western, the gangster film, science-fiction films), as well as geographical or national movements (e.g., German expressionism, Italian neo-realism, French new wave) and film theory and criticism. The particular subject will change from year to year. Prerequisite: Any two of the three courses ART 1309, ART 1310, and ART 1317; or permission from the instructor.

An opportunity to apply academic training as participant/observer in a professional organization relevant to a major area of concentration. With permission of advisor, internships may be repeated for up to a maximum of nine hours credit. Internships must be arranged with the internship supervisor in the semester prior to enrolling for this course. Prerequisite: permission from the instructor.

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