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Lights... Camera... interAction!

written by

John David Sottile

Course Description:   Lights... Camera... interAction!
There is nothing more glamorous than the motion picture industry.
There is nothing more difficult than the motion picture industry.
There is nothing more rewarding than creating a box-office success.
There is nothing more difficult than getting people into the seats.
GONE IS THE GOLDEN AGE OF FILM STUDIOS where making a movie was a matter of teaming a studio's acting talent to shoot a studio script and placing the final-cut into a studio owned theater.
The old bark, "Lights... Camera... Action!" has been replaced with Lights… Camera… interAction! as the once oligopolistic film industry has been replaced by an industry of talented fragments.
Today, "dealing" with the temperaments of a few film stars is dwarfed by the requisite nurturing of alliances and managing of independent professionals, all of whose names and functions one sees in the Roll of the Credits at the movie's end.
In this riveting, no-holds-barred, 3-credit course, students will learn the "real deal" about movie-making and, well... about reel deal$$$.  By the course's end, you will know EXACTLY how modern movies are scripted, financed, made, marketed, and distributed, plus of course how the profits, if any, are divvied up... or the losses absorbed.
Modern Moving Making In 3D
Development | Pre-Production | Production | Post Production | Distribution
with Difficulty throughout!
It's safe to say that by the course's end you will determine whether 1) this is an industry which has allure to your career ambitions, or 2) is an industry which you would prefer to "armchair" with your DVD remote.
Professionals, active in the film industry, teach this course; so, interactions, which may be of future value, will be encouraged through course design, industry guest speakers, workshops, and  studio visits.
The final grade will be determined by the creativity, quality, and thoroughness of ONE 5 minute pitch-presentation by the student for his/her proposed film "package," for which s/he seeks theoretical financing...
"Kid, this is your big chance!"
Students will be judged by the course instructors, an industry guest panel, and of course class peers, who after all, are the people whom the student must "sell" to get them into theater seats or at the DVD shelves... either or both of which is THE ULTIMATE REALITY BY WHICH A FILM PRODUCER IS JUDGED.
Students successfully completing this course... "making the Final Cut"... will be awarded, in addition to three credits, a coveted beret, appropriately emblazoned, and a "Oscar-like statue" for their room.
Join us... Tether that creative beast inside your soul to that business savvy inside your head.
And be prepared for
Light... Camera... and interAction!
Intended Learning Outcome:

This course is designed to develop “producers.”
By the course’s end, a student will have the knowledge and the rudimentary (or greater) business skills to actually produce an independent short film.  This is an executive business course, not a technical “how to shoot” workshop.  Student progress will be measured through weekly quizzes, half semester test, and final presentation.
Course Objectives:   At the conclusion of the course, students will be able to:
1.  Understand the elements in producing a movie
2.  Demonstrate business skills in team building and negotiating the production
3.  Have the experience of making a real film pitch and being rewarded or rejected.
Course Grades on Participation, Quizzes, Written Assignments, Test:
1.      Classroom Participation 15%...  Producers may be off-camera, but they are very much “on-their-feet” speaking by phone, sending e-mails, making presentations, meeting the media, and interacting with unions, locations, governments and others.
2.      Quizzes:  15%...  Weekly quizzes will be a combination of multiple choice, short answer, and essay.  The goal of these quizzes will be to immediately test the student’s comprehension of the class.  As such, there will be no make-up.  The student will lose 1% for each missed class unless there is an excused (serious) absence around which the instructor will have to meet with the student.
3.      Mid Term: 20%...  The mid term exam will serve two purposes:  1) To evaluation the students overall comprehension and integration of the material to date. 2) to assure that they are aligned to successfully pass the final exam.  A part of the mid term will be a written assignment... and Logline and Synopsis for the film that they are going to pitch at their final exam.
4.      Final exam:  50%...  The final exam will encompass all skills and knowledge acquired in the course.  These will be demonstrated in a “live” pitch made to a panel of industry people and the class.  Fail this exam... one fails the class, as in essence, as a producer, they would have failed to convince an entity to fund / show / or even support the project.  Life is tough!
Attendance/Class Participation:
1.      Attendance: Mandatory with call in for expected absence.
             No Cell Phones... No Food... No side conversations.
2.      Participation: Producing a film is an interactive business process.  
            Therefore, class participation is a mandatory part of the course and will
            account for 10% of the grade... through actual record
Other Important Information:
1.      Academic Honesty:  All NAMED COLLEGE students are expected to understand the meaning of academic honesty, and to behave in accordance with the College’s policies on academic honesty as published in Directions, the student handbook.
2.      Special Student Needs:  If you have a learning or physical disability or have used support services in high school, please contact the Office of Disability Support Services at XXX-XXX-XXXX to learn more about support services available at NAMED COLLEGE.
3.      Student Athletes:  Please note that student-athletes are responsible for meeting all of their academic obligations in accordance with the guidelines published by the Director of Athletics.
4.      Changes:  Please note that this syllabus is subject to change.
Textbooks and Materials:
Required textbooks: To be discussed and determined.
Required materials:  Copious hand-out will be provided for reading assignments
Other Resources:
Guest Visits, Outside Readings, and Field Trips:  To be determined


       In The Berkshires



Designed  By
John David Sottile