FILM TV 4

Introduction to Art and Technique of Filmmaking

Description: (Formerly numbered 122B.) Lecture, four hours; discussion, one hour. Students acquire understanding of practical and aesthetic challenges undertaken by artists and professionals in making of motion pictures and television. Examination of film as both art and industry: storytelling, sound and visual design, casting and performance, editing, finance, advertising, and distribution. Exploration of American and world cinema from filmmaker's perspective. Honing of analytical skills and development of critical vocabulary for study of filmmaking as technical, artistic, and cultural phenomenon. P/NP or letter grading.

Units: 5.0
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Overall Rating N/A
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Overall Rating 4.0
Easiness 4.5 / 5
Clarity 3.9 / 5
Workload 3.4 / 5
Helpfulness 3.6 / 5
Most Helpful Review
Spring 2019 - Class Breakdown: Attendance and Participation: 15% -- Attendance is required after the lecture and screening, you sign in with your TA. Attendance is also required in discussion sections, additionally, you should engage (ask questions, answer questions) in sections to get full participation points. Mid-Term Exam: 25% -- One part is multiple choice (it was insanely easy, like I'm pretty sure Professor Paredes said that the majority of the class got 90% and above on this portion). However, as she recognized it was really easy, I'm pretty sure she's going to make it harder in the upcoming years. I only got a question wrong on the multiple choice by studying the slides in class (she uploads them on CCLE). Additionally, she makes midterm review slides which makes studying even easier. I only studied the day before and again only got a question wrong. The HARDER part of the midterm exam is the shot by shot analysis of a film. You have to identify formal elements of the shots, as she puts it on loop on the big screen. (Don't worry, she gives you the portion of the film before hand on CCLE which you can identify the formal elements beforehand and memorize them and bring them to class. I really appreciated that she did this, it would not have been possible to do this in the 1 hour midterm exam.) Take Home Essays: 30% -- You have two take home essays, which are relatively easy. The first one is only 750-800 words, I felt myself wanting to write more but was limited by the word count. The second one is 1000-1100 words, and is a little bit more difficult because you have to recreate a scene with different elements. (It's much more creative than the first one.) Final Paper: 30% -- Final is a paper! You have to present in your discussion section your thesis and your ideas about your paper. Your essay is about 2000-2200 words, and it has to be about a film that you didn't watch in class in where you analyze diversity themes such as sexuality, race, ethnicity, disability, etc... Grading Scale: 90 is an A !!! (80 is a B, and so on.) The Professor: -- Professor Paredes is a super nice, warm, and welcoming person. She's really educated (she got her PhD from USC), and she can some times be funny. But not the most entertaining lecturer, she's very monotone and I would sometime just zone out. HOWEVER, she's super organized and uploads EVERYTHING on CCLE which is super awesome, and I really appreciate that about her. She genuinely cares about your learning, she cares about the TAs, and she cares about her class. Summary: -- This class is really easy if you're a good writer and you can memorize certain stuff. I stopped going to lecture and the screenings after the midterm, and just signed up for attendance after the screening (she might change the way of taking attendance in the future.) I still got an A however.
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Overall Rating 4.0
Easiness 4.0 / 5
Clarity 4.0 / 5
Workload 3.1 / 5
Helpfulness 4.0 / 5
Most Helpful Review
Summer 2022 - I honestly could not recommend this class to anybody. The quizzes are basically trivia about the films and lectures. For example, one of the questions was regarding what item a character was implied to have previously bought in one scene, which is an incredibly insignificant and specific plot detail. I quote from the quiz, "In In the Mood for Love, which object does Mr. Chow ask Mr. Chan to purchase abroad?" Other questions include what specific camera angles were used in specific scenes, which I didn't appreciate opening the movie to find with a time limit. The quizzes also repeatedly ask what specific movie that the professor used as an example to make a small point. TIP: when you're taking notes, and she mentions the name of a movie, write down the name of that movie next to whatever point she was making. She also does Q+As with cinematographers and directors, and the test questions require you to remember what they said. I personally do not care why a cinematographer I have never heard of got interested in filmmaking. One of the questions on a quiz is, and I'm not joking, " George Huang said he grew up in a very traditional Chinese household. What did his parents do for him on his 9th birthday that influenced him toward going into the film business?" The answer is, drum roll please, they took him to see Star Wars. By the way, these Q+As are usually 40+ minutes each. Many of the quizzes also are worded so poorly that they actually have multiple answers that could hypothetically be correct. It doesn't help that Professor Trice is so bad at explaining things that often, when I pull up the lectures and look through the specific portions where she talks about the question (the quizzes are open note), I still have trouble figuring out what the answer is. For example: one of the questions was asking whether Melodrama borrows from realism or not, and what she said about it in the lecture was, "Melodrama appears borrows from realism, but realism serves the melodramatic passion and action." (The answer is yes by the way). And occasionally, she'll just say a sentence that has absolutely no meaning in context. She words things so pretentiously that I'm pretty sure she often has no clue what she's saying. The workload is insane. I took 2 other courses this summer, which were GEOG 4 and LS30A, and I would estimate that this course took up 80% of my time, even though I outsourced a LOT of the notetaking to other people. The workload includes watching all of the movies (12 total plus short films), watching all of the lectures and taking notes(~20 total), doing all of the readings (I think 10-15 total) and taking notes, doing all of the quizzes (24 total, 30 mins each), doing all of the discussion forums (11 total plus two responses to classmates), and doing the 2 creative exercises. A lot of people dropped the class within the first 3 weeks. The discussion board's implementation was offensively terrible. The grading is basically completely random, and the TAs give no feedback, other than being passive-aggressive. They like to center otherwise flawless answers around a 10/12 or 11/12 grading-wise for basically no reason, which according to a poll, a huge portion of the class also believes. For example, I got marked a 10.5/12 and got marked off for "answer could have been more connected to the prompt". The discussion prompt is this, "Option 1: Briefly explain how the assigned episode of Westworld is an example of a post-classical or “complex” narrative. In your answer, utilize specific examples from the episode and refer to class lecture materials and readings. How does it use narrative satellites and kernels? How does it employ the “operational aesthetic?” Then, describe what you think of this trend in TV storytelling (i.e., the narrative as a complex “puzzle” to be solved/revealed by viewers). Is this a natural step forward in storytelling, given the technologies we have at hand (social media, streaming)? Or, is this technique limiting? Are there types of stories that don’t lend themselves to this kind of approach?" As you can see, there are like 12 questions in here. The word limit is 300-500 words. When I disputed this, the TA told me that even though I answered every question well, my answers could have been more fleshed out, even though my response was over 700 words already. Multiple times, I got marked off in the "evidence" category of the rubric for "lacking in specificity," even though I always provide quotes and even time stamps as evidence. The professor responded to concerns about grading by students by just brushing them off. She "conducted an audit" of the TA's grading by ensuring that the average score is the same across TAs. But as people in the GroupMe have expressed, this is because the TAs are grading equally random. My TA sent an announcement (because she was clearly getting a lot of complaints) basically saying that if you want to score high, you have to make your responses extremely above average and more than answer the prompt. Disregarding the fact that this is a nuts expectation for a lower division class with an already extremely high workload, this is also a complete lie. My discussion posts have varied in quality largely because of time constraints, and how much time I put into a discussion post, as well as how "insightful" it was, has had literally zero correlation with the grade I have received. Literally nobody in the class actually knows how to consistently get an A in the discussion section. Also, one of the movies, called "Never Forever" by Gina Kim, is easily the worst movie I have ever seen in my entire life. Finally, the professor is blatantly neomarxist and incessantly infuses that ideology into the course material. This is very hard to put up with if you don't also follow her personal ideology. Here are some tips if for some reason you want to or need to take this class: -For her lectures, and especially the Q&As, click on "show transcript." Then, you can use ctrl+f to search for specific phrases to get to a part of the lecture that the quiz is asking about. Only use this as a last resort and don't abuse it though, because you have a time limit and it won't always work. Also because you need some of the knowledge from the lectures to be able to write your discussion posts. But it is very helpful as a last resort - for example, when a quiz question is "when making her point which movie did professor Trice reference" or something, you can individually ctrl+f the name of each movie until one comes up. -Divide up the notetaking among several people, at least four but ideally 8 or 10. One person doing all of the notetaking and learning all of the material just isn't realistic, especially not in a six-week-long course. -If you're wise with what you choose to answer in the discussions, you don't actually technically need to watch all of the movies. -The TAs and the discussion prompts ask for you to give your opinion based on the knowledge that you have gathered from learning the course material. Don't think that doing all of that will get you an A. Meaning, spend a maximum of 2 hours on each discussion post. -Make sure that you get 100s on the quizzes. They will balance out the 10-11s out of 12 that you will constantly be getting on your discussion forums, and will give you a good shot at actually getting an A. -Set the speed of the lectures to 2x and pause when you need to take notes so you don't waste your time. For the Q&As, if you're skimming them, set it to 3x using a browser extension such as Video Speed Controller. -The workload each week actually somewhat varies. Don't think that the workload at weeks 1 and 2 are the standard for the course - on the week of Fourth of July, she gave us 4/3 the amount of work as usual (later 5/3), which screwed me up because I made the foolish mistake of thinking that I was allowed to actually have a life outside of this class on Independence Day. So during the weekend, check the workload for the upcoming week before you make plans.
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Easiness N/A / 5
Clarity N/A / 5
Workload N/A / 5
Helpfulness N/A / 5
Overall Rating N/A
Easiness N/A / 5
Clarity N/A / 5
Workload N/A / 5
Helpfulness N/A / 5
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