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About Filmmaking

Theatre and Film


An actor silhouetted in a spotlight

Henry V - Photo Credit: Dylan Hewlett Director: Christopher Brauer Costume Designer: Rachel Burke Lighting Designer: Jason Robbins

The Department of Theatre and Film offers a three-year BA in film production designed to train students in the art of narrative filmmaking. The program combines in-depth technical instruction with an examination of the creative aspects of film as a medium of storytelling and self-expression.

The BA in Film offers a broad curriculum in all aspects of filmmaking, including courses in scriptwriting, directing, producing and editing. Students gain hands-on experience writing and directing films and crewing on each other's projects. Small class sizes allow for one-on-one attention by our faculty of working professionals.

The program complements the technical aspects of film with courses in Cinema Studies, developing our students’ ability to not only create images and cinematic narratives, but also to gain an understanding of the historical, social and theoretical framework in which they are formed.

Also, the Film Program enjoys a close relationship with the Theatre Program – they are housed together in the Asper Centre for Theatre and Film, located in the heart of downtown Winnipeg. With close proximity to the Exchange District, the Forks and Osborne Village, the Film Program offers a stimulating and creative environment for student filmmakers.

There is no Honours concentration available for Filmmaking at this time.

 

Program of study for the General BA

Compulsory:

THFM-1010(6)    Introduction to Film

ONE OF:

         THFM-1001(6)  Intro to Theatre:  Performance (recommended so filmmakers know about acting)

         or THFM-1003(6)  Introduction to Theatre: Indigenous Performance (also a performance course)

         or THFM-1002(6)  Introduction to Theatre:  General

AND:

THFM-2310(6)  Filmmaking I:  Screen Narrative Technique

THFM-2410/HIST-2191(6)  History of Film

AND ONE (OR MORE) OF:

          THFM-3310(6)    Filmmaking II:  Directing the Short Film

          THFM-3312(6)    Sound Editing for Film

          THFM-3313(6)    Advanced Picture Editing

Students must also fulfill the other requirements for the 3-year degree as specified in the University of Winnipeg Academic Calendar.

 

Here are brief descriptions of the courses in the Filmmaking area of study:

THFM-1010(6) INTRODUCTION TO FILM

This course introduces the student to aspects of the art of film through lectures, screenings and some practical involvement in the filmmaking process.

THFM-1001(6) INTRODUCTION TO THEATRE:  PERFORMANCE (recommended)

This course introduces students to the fundamental concepts of theatre and drama and takes them step-by-step through the basic processes of acting.  We recommend Filmmakers take this course because they will work with actors and must therefore understand their process.

OR

THFM-1002(6) INTRODUCTION TO THEATRE:  GENERAL

This course includes the study of a number of plays and detailed coverage of a variety of aspects of the modern theatre.  It involves attending plays produced in Winnipeg and discussing them.

OR

THFM-1003(6) INTRODUCTION TO THEATRE: INDIGENOUS PERFORMANCE

This intro performance course honours Indigenous teachings and ways of knowing, combined with Euro-western approaches to actor training.   All of the plays used for scenework are from Indigenous sources, and students will have the opportunity to create their own stories as well.

THFM-2310(6)  FILMMAKING I:  SCREEN NARRATIVE TECHNIQUE

This course is a practical introduction to storytelling on screen from the director’s perspective, including the basics of storyboarding, camera angles, setups, moves, and editing.  These techniques are explored using the medium of video in both field and studio environments.

THFM-2410 / HIST-2191 (6)  HISTORY OF FILM

This course covers the history of the art of film and the film industry from its beginnings to the present.  The emphasis is on the development of filmmaking techniques and the impact of changing technologies.

THFM-3310(6)  FILMMAKING II:  DIRECTING THE SHORT FILM

This is an advanced filmmaking course synthesizing the various elements of film grammar explored in Filmmaking I towards the creation of longer visual narratives. Emphasis will be on the techniques employed for shooting and sequence-building  of an extended dramatic narrative.  Entrance to this course is by application and permission of the instructor only.

THFM-3312(6) SOUND EDITING FOR FILM

This is a practical course on sound editing, sound theory, and the history of sound in film. Students learn the process and technique of sound editing for film using Pro-Tools software to input sounds, edit dialogue tracks, build effects tracks, process sounds using EQ plug-ins, and mix tracks.

THFM-3313(6) ADVANCED PICTURE EDITING

This course focuses on both continuity-style editing and non-narrative editing techniques and examines standard narrative editing technique from assembly through the various rough-cut stages to a fine cut using digital non-linear editing systems.  Students learn the importance of pacing and rhythm within a scene and sequence, how to cut for dramatic effect, how to cut around continuity problems, techniques for "invisible" cutting, and montage editing.

 

Other popular options (not necessarily offered every year):

THFM-2311(6) FILM COMEDY

We take a look at film comedy from the earliest silent film comedies to the contemporary comedies from the perspective of the cinematic techniques used to achieve a comic action.  Emphasis is on an exploration of the cinematic tools of the comedy filmmaker; this involves some practical filmmaking work.

THFM-2312(6) DOCUMENTARY FILMMAKING

In this course emerging filmmakers are introduced to documentary filmmaking tools and techniques.   Beginning with screenings and lectures, then moving to hands-on experience, students explore and experience non-fiction storytelling through an examination of contemporary filmmaking practices and the opportunity to conceive, develop, and produce their own short non-fiction films.

THFM-2510(3) INTRODUCTION TO PRODUCING FOR FILM

Students learn about the business of Canadian film and television from the perspective of the producer including the several stages of an independent film production:  concept development, financing, production, post-production, and distribution, paying specific attention to building the creative team, script development, research and marketing, finance and funding, legal and insurance issues, as well as business affairs and etiquette.

THFM-2610(3) SCRIPT AND SCREEN

This course examines significant screenplays as examples of the craft of screenwriting, and as illustrations of the screenwriter’s contribution to the filmmaking process.

THFM-2611(3) INTRO TO SCREENWRITING

This is a practical course that introduces the student to the basics of screenwriting.

THFM-2612(3) SCRIPT AND THE SMALL SCREEN

This course focuses on the narrative strategies that teleplay writers in drama series have employed to maintain viewer interest despite frequent interruptions and breaks from episode to episode or season to season.

THFM-3611(6) ADVANCED SCREENWRITING

This advanced workshop course focuses on the development of longer dramatic narratives.  Students develop half-hour to feature-length dramatic scripts, and look at the role of the screenwriter in Canadian Filmmaking.

We have offered Special Studies courses on such topics as Experimental Film, Film Horror, etc.

 

The following Theatre courses are also useful to students of Filmmaking:

THFM-2201(3) PRINCIPLES OF DESIGN

This hands-on course provides an introduction to the principles and practice of theatrical design in sets and costumes.

THFM-2602(3) LIGHTING DESIGN

Another practical course, this is a study of both lighting techniques and the principles of design interpretation.

THFM-2801(6) PRODUCTION I

This course provides a survey of the technical aspects of theatrical and media production, concentrating on facilities, scenery construction, lighting, and an introduction to sound.

Students can combine Filmmaking with Acting, with careful planning.

Students in a 3-year program can take a maximum of 48 credit hours in their major subject (and must take a minimum of 42 in non-major subjects).  Consult the Calendar or WebAdvisor for more detailed course descriptions and regulations. 

We strongly recommend that you arrange an appointment with the Department's Student Advisor early on to discuss your program (204-786-9955).