Directing: The Collective Vision
Fall 2009

Mondays, 2:30 to 5 p.m.
Children’s Center for the Arts

Mr. Bryan Cardinale-Powell
Room 6, Children’s Center for the Arts

Office Hours: Tuesdays through Thursdays, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., or by appointment.
Please be sure to confirm your plans to meet with me via email.

Course Description:
As the saying goes, everybody wants to be a director--but few can marshall the variety of skills and range of knowledge necessary to direct moving images successfully. This course is designed to help students better understand what it takes to be a director and to prepare themselves for their own work on moving image projects. Assigned readings, classroom activities, and collaborative projects will help students explore the variety of roles played by the director which include (but are not limited to) the following: coach, provocateur, administrator, visionary, and fall-guy. Students will demonstrate their skills and knowledge as they complete a variety of assignments, quizzes, and exams. The class will culminate in the production of short scenes, following the process from the beginning: securing a script, casting, rehearsal, production, and post-production.

Course Objectives:
Upon successful completion of this course, students should be able to demonstrate the following:
  • familiarity with the fundamental role and responsibilities of the director
  • the ability to analyze a script and make plans for blocking actor and camera movement and coordinating the efforts of a production crew
  • thoughtful analysis and discussion of situations faced by moving image directors, and the decisions those directors made

Required Texts:
Additional readings may be assigned during the term. Any additional readings either will be distributed in class or electronically via email. More information will be provided as necessary. Readings assigned for this course were selected to complement class activities. Therefore, reading assignments should be completed before attending class.

Course Requirements and Expectations:
Student requirements for this course include the following:
  • Attendance and active participation in classroom activities
  • Classroom Journal
  • Scene Analysis
  • Mid-Term Exam
  • Directing Project
  • Final Exam
Attendance and Participation: Each student is entitled to two unexcused absences, but keep in mind that failure to attend class is the best way to fail class. Your attendance and participation in classroom activities is expected and will be monitored and factored into your final grade for the course.

Classroom Journal: A class reporter rotation will be set up during our first class meeting. For each remaining class session, the assigned class reporter will take notes of the day’s activities and post a written account online no later than two days following class. Online instructions will be handed out in class.

Scene Analysis:
Each student will make an in-depth study of one scene from a movie selected by the instructor. The result will be a one to two page analysis. Further details will be handed out in class. For graduate students, this activity has further requirements: graduate students will choose a film, conduct a second scene analysis as well as a narrative analysis of the entire picture. Finally, graduate students will lead the class in a discussion of the film they choose.

Mid-Term Exam: The exam will likely consist of 30 to 50 multiple-choice and/or matching questions that cover vocabulary and concepts discussed in class.

Directing Project: Each student will work with a partner on the development and production of at least one short scene. Further details will be distributed in class.

Final Exam: The Final Exam will be cumulative, and like the Mid-Term Exam, will test each student’s understanding of material covered in class. This test will likely include short answer questions in addition to multiple choice/matching questions.

IMPORTANT! Throughout the semester, class-related information will be communicated via email. To ensure that this works as smoothly as possible, please be sure you have access to your email account, and that you check that account regularly. If you’d rather use a different email address for class-related correspondence, please let me know by the end of the first week of classes.

Plagiarism, cheating, and/or academic dishonesty in any form will not be tolerated in this course. For further details, please refer to the Policy on Academic Honesty on pages 41-42 of the 2009-10 undergraduate catalog available online here. Sanctions for violations of academic honesty are at the discretion of the instructor and can be severe.

Students will earn final grades based on the following formula:

5% Attendance
5% Classroom Journal
20% Scene Analysis
20% Midterm Exam
30% Directing Project
20% Final Exam

Assignment scores and calculated totals will correspond to letter grades according to the following scale:
94-100 A 75-78 C+
90-93 A- 72-74 C
86-89 B+ 68-71 C-
83-85 B 60-67 D
79-82 B- 0-59 F

Make-up work and late assignments may only be accepted with the advance permission of the instructor, and such permission will be granted only in cases of verifiable hardship.

An incomplete (I) will only be granted according to the university policies published on page 47 of the 2009-2010 undergraduate catalog.

You can find more information regarding classroom assessment practices on the web

If you need an accommodation due to a disability under the Americans with Disabilities Act, please contact the Student Health and Disabilities Service Office immediately at (405) 208-5991 or (405) 208-5090. Advance notice is required for many accommodations.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me at any time during the semester to discuss your classroom performance. However, I will not disclose any grades via email.

They’re your grades. You earn them.