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FILM 3380 - Film Authorship Spring 2021

Dr. Adam Cottrel - Course Guide for FILM 3380 - Spring 2021

Course Information

Course Information

Class Details

Course Details: FILM 3380-01, CRN 21697, 3 credit hours

Class Time: MW 3:30 – 4:45PM

Course Location: C-2120 & Online (Blackboard Collaborate web conferencing)

Web Conferencing and Online Tests

This course will use Blackboard Collaborate for online “virtual classroom” video conferencing sessions and collaboration activities. Some or all of the sessions may be recorded. The recordings will only be available to students enrolled in this course.

In addition, this course requires the use of LockDown Browser, Respondus Monitor, and a webcam for online exams. The webcam can be built into your computer or can be the type that plugs in with a USB cable. Watch this short video, Introduction to Respondus LockDown Browser for Students. You can also download the Student Quick Start Guide to LockDown Browser and Respondus Monitor.

Course Description

Film Authorship teaches the study of authorship in cinema and other forms of moving-image media. The course focuses on the concept of authorship throughout the history of film studies by looking at the career of one or more film directors in varying historical, cultural, ideological, theoretical, and aesthetic contexts. Possible topics might be (but are not limited to) the career of a single director (such as Alfred Hitchcock or Spike Lee), “group authorship” in national cinemas (Italy, France, U.S.); or particular groups of film authors (i.e., African-American film authorship.

Course Prerequisites

Film 1005 and English 1102 both with a grade of “C” or higher and Sophomore status, or permission of instructor

Course Resources

Required Texts

Readings listed on the syllabus will be made available to students in advance of their assigned dates.

PLEASE NOTE: Due to social distancing, we will NOT have a designated screening time. It is the student’s responsibility to seek out and watch the assigned films listed on the syllabus. DVD copies of the assigned films are available at the Kaufman Library to check out.

Additional Resources

Additional resources for this course can be found on the D2L course page under the content section.

Course Goals and Objectives

Upon taking this course, students will:

  1. Understand different methodologies, debates, and approaches in the analysis of film authorship
  2. Appreciate how various stylistic techniques, such as cinematography, mise en scene, editing, and sound, come to define the ‘signature’ motifs of the film author(s)
  3. Appreciate of the film authors’ works in varying national and industrial contexts
  4. Understand of what particular film actors, cinematographers, writers, and other collaborators contributed to each director’s authorship
  5. Receive an introduction to online and library resources for advanced film research

Course Outcomes

Upon completion of this course, students will:

  1. Demonstrate, in clear written and oral communication, knowledge of the diversity of theories used in the Film discipline
  2. Demonstrate an understanding of major concepts, terminology, and scholars associated with particular theories
  3. Demonstrate proficiency in synthesizing secondary source research in a thesis-driven critical essay utilizing one or more theories in a specific film, or films
  4. Demonstrate proficiency as a collaborative learner

Course Expectations

Taking notes is an essential skill to develop in this class. It is the students’ sole responsibility to take their own notes. Taking notes is part of the work of this course and it is not the professor’s job to do your work for you. You will need to have paper and a writing utensil for each class day. You may use a laptop, etc. for taking notes.  But, you may not utilize social media (Facebook, Twitter, etc.) during class time. If you miss a class session, you will need to ask a classmate for his/her notes.

Please be prepared to discuss rigorously the assigned readings for each class. This will mean not simply reading the assigned material, but actively engaging the text, including note taking, highlighting, and the capacity to reflect on your personal experience with each text. These readings will provide the foundation for class discussion, which will ultimately determine the direction of each exam. It is not only encouraged but also expected that each student commit to reading as a collective endeavor this semester.

Course Requirements and Grading

You can expect to access the course materials and grades via our course in Brightspace (Desire to Learn). Students should check this Brightspace regularly, as course changes will always be announced and recorded on the course site.

Grading Scale

A (Excellent) 90-100

B (Good) 80-89

C (Fair) 70-79

D (Poor) 60-69

F (Failure) 59 and below

Grading Percentages

Grading Category

Percent Weight

Discussion Posts (x10)


Scene Analysis


Final Paper Outline


Final Paper


Class Participation


Late Work Policy

Late work will not be accepted under any circumstance unless arrangements have been made and agreed to prior to the due date. It is the student’s responsibility to initiate any discussion regarding late work.

Assessment Tools

Discussion Posts: Discussion posts will be due at ten separate times this semester. Each student will be responsible for writing a short summary and response of the assigned reading for the dates listed on the syllabus. These assignments will require students to actively engage with the assigned reading, while also replying to at least two (2) other posts to help facilitate class discussion. Students should plan to write roughly 250 words per post. Additional details will be administered in class and on D2L.  300 points / 30%

Scene Analysis: Students are responsible for finding and presenting to the class a media object, cultural artifact, or film clip that embodies or represents the assigned reading for the day listed on the syllabus. Students will briefly present their clip/object which corresponds to the assigned reading individually. Additional details will be administered in class and on D2L.  100 points / 10%

Final Paper Outline: The Final Paper Outline will be a detailed plan of the Final Paper’s topic, thesis statement, textual examples, research required, and intended outcome. Additional details regarding the outline will be administered in class and on D2L.  200 points / 20%

Final Paper: The Final Paper requires students demonstrate their knowledge of the course and its requisite material. Student’s will pick a topic of their choice and advance an argument that performs a reading through the parameters of one theory discussed this semester. Additional details regarding the paper will be administered in class and on D2L.  250 points / 25%

Class participation: Class participation will be assessed on a holistic basis largely defined by contribution to the classroom discussion, environment, and culture. Attendance is NOT participation. Attendance will be recorded and serve as a prerequisite for participation.  150 points / 15%