This is the preliminary (or launch) version of the 2020-21 VCU Bulletin. This edition includes all programs and courses approved by the publication deadline; however we may receive notification of additional program approvals after the launch. The final edition and full PDF version will include these updates and will be available in August prior to the beginning of the fall semester.

TyRuben Ellingson
Program director

The Bachelor of Arts in Cinema is focused on narrative movie production. Consequently, the program is designed to advance conceptual understanding of visual storytelling and to teach and practice the technical methodologies foundational to movie-making.

Cinema majors collaborate on student productions under the supervision of faculty with professional production experience. Each summer session, students and faculty work collectively on a series of films funded by the School of the Arts.

CINE 100. Visual Storytelling. 2 Hours.

Semester course; 1 lecture and 2 studio hours. 2 credits. Screenplay and mise en scene course examines the relationship of the performer and narrative to the cinematic frame without the use of an edit to disrupt the time/space relations in the shot. The student will write seven short scripts to explore the classical mise en scene concept and then produce, shoot or direct a final scene as part of a production team.

CINE 101. Visual Storytelling. 2 Hours.

Semester course; 1 lecture and 2 studio hours. 2 credits. Screenplay and mise en scene course examines the relationship of the performer and narrative to the cinematic frame with the use of linkage editing. The student will write a new script based on a classic scene and, working with performers, will block, shoot and edit their scene. The editing will consist of no more than four cuts.

CINE 200. Cinema Form and Concept I. 2 Hours.

Semester course; 2 lecture and 2 studio hours. 2 credits. Open only to B.A. in Cinema majors or with permission of instructor. Concepts, issues and processes involved in feature and short-form narrative filmmaking.

CINE 201. Cinema Form and Concept II. 2 Hours.

Semester course; 2 lecture and 2 studio hours. 2 credits. Open only to B.A. in Cinema majors or with permission of instructor. Concepts, issues and processes involved in feature and short-form narrative screenwriting and filmmaking.

CINE 217. Mechanics of Screenwriting. 3 Hours.

Semester course; 3 lecture hours. 3 credits. Enrollment is restricted to students who have permission of the instructor. Introductory course focused on building an in-depth and logistical understanding of how a screenplay informs and prescribes the movie-making process. The course will cover common story structures, standard script formatting and abbreviations, script analysis for production, and creating shot-by-shot shooting lists.

CINE 300. Cinema Form and Concept III. 2 Hours.

Semester course; 2 lecture and 1 studio hours. 2 credits. Prerequisite: UNIV 200 or HONR 200. Open only to B.A. in Cinema majors or with permission of instructor. Concepts, issues and processes involved in feature and short-form narrative filmmaking including screenplay treatments and storyboards.

CINE 301. Cinema Form and Concept IV. 2 Hours.

Semester course; 2 lecture and 1 studio hours. 2 credits. Open only to B.A. in Cinema majors or with permission of instructor. Concepts, issues and processes involved in feature and short-form narrative filmmaking including the roles of dialogue and light.

CINE 390. Digital Cinema Production Intensive I. 15 Hours.

Semester course; 1 lecture and 28 studio hours (additional evening and weekend hours for location filming and postproduction). 15 credits. Prerequisites: CINE 100 and CINE 101, or permission of instructor. Enrollment is restricted to B.A. in Cinema majors or by permission of instructor. Production and postproduction of narrative short films using digital technology for camera, editing and sound, with an emphasis on the relationships among production crew roles and departments.

CINE 392. Independent Study in Film. 1-3 Hours.

Semester course; variable hours. 1-3 credits. May be repeated for a maximum total of 6 credits. Prerequisites: junior standing as a major in cinema and approval of department chair and instructor. Individual instruction and supervision of a special project.

CINE 401. Advanced Cinema Production. 4 Hours.

Semester course; 2 lecture and 4 studio hours. 4 credits. Prerequisite: CINE 390 or permission of instructor. Open to junior and senior B.A. in Cinema majors. Lecture and workshop in the production, theory, business and historical context of film.

CINE 490. Digital Cinema Production Intensive II. 15 Hours.

Semester course; 1 lecture and 28 studio hours (additional evening and weekend hours for location filming and postproduction). 15 credits. Prerequisites: CINE 200, CINE 201 and CINE 390, or permission of instructor. Enrollment is restricted to B.A. in Cinema majors or by permission of instructor. Advanced production and postproduction of narrative short films using digital technology for camera, editing and sound, with the development of budgets, production schedules and rehearsals with performers.

CINE 491. Special Topics in Cinema. 3 Hours.

Semester course; 3 lecture hours. 3 credits. May be repeated for six credits. An in-depth examination of selected topics. See the Schedule of Classes for specific topics to be offered each semester.

CINE 493. Film Internship. 3 Hours.

Semester course; variable hours. 3 credits. May be repeated up to a maximum of 6 credits. Open only to B.A. in Cinema majors or with permission of instructor. Supervised work experience related to the film industry.

CINE 495. Cinema as Art. 3 Hours.

Semester course; 3 lecture hours. 3 credits. Prerequisites: ARTH 270 and 271 or permission of instructor. An analysis of cinema as art, image, narrative and philosophy.

CINE 496. Advanced Screenwriting Seminar. 3 Hours.

Semester course; 3 lecture hours. 3 credits. Prerequisite: CINE 390. Open to junior and senior B.A. in Cinema majors. A study of the screenwriting process and writers on the subject including Aristotle, Joseph Campbell, David Mamet and Lajos Egri.

CINE 497. Expanded Cinema. 3 Hours.

Semester course; 3 lecture hours. 3 credits. Enrollment is restricted to juniors and seniors in the B.A. in Cinema program or by permission of the instructor. A lecture and workshop exploring film techniques that push the boundaries of conventional narratives through structure, content and ideas. Students examine filmmakers as film theorists and multimedia artists as filmmakers. Films studied range from feature narratives to short experimental films of all styles and genres.