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Columbia College Chicago
Foundations Sequence Overview
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Foundations Sequence Overview

All incoming Cinema Art + Science students are required to complete the Foundations of Cinema Art + Science sequence.

  • Foundations of Cinema Art + Science is a three course, two semester sequence that surveys history context and aesthetics integrating and focusing attention on idea origination and development in a team-based, active learning community.
  • Foundations of Moving Image Arts and Moving Image Production I must be taken concurrently.
  • Because we believe meaningful learning is experiential, students begin producing for the screen while still within the Foundations sequence by making short but increasingly sophisticated collaborative works.
  • Students entering the program are expected to have a 15-inch MacBook Pro. Animation students are required to have a Dell Laptop XPS 17. This configuration should last throughout the student’s time in Cinema Art + Science. Review the Foundations Computer FAQ page for more information.

Goals & Objectives of the Sequence

Foundations of Cinema Art + Science is a three course, two semester sequence during which you engage in a comprehensive intellectual and academic exploration at the intersection of the history of cinema; story idea conceptualization and development and film and video production; and how these foundational elements interrelate and inform each other.

You will demonstrate successful completion of this sequence through a body of work portfolio which includes the following elements:

1.  At least two short films in which your role was either director, producer, writer, cinematographer or editor; these should be in at least two modes of expression (documentary, fiction or an alternative form) and should:

  • demonstrate proficiency of craft;
  • fulfill your explicit and stated purpose in your role with regard to emotional impact and/or intellectual argument on an intended audience;

2.  At least one production package for a project you developed which demonstrates a creative approach and practical production workflow and includes:

  • a shooting script  or a documentary proposal and all notes, critiques and iterations (including treatments and proposals) leading to preproduction;
    preproduction documents including agreements, visual treatments, look books, casting notes, budgets and schedules;
  • production documents including shot lists, call sheets, daily progress reports, continuity reports, creative notes as producer, director or cinematographer;
  • postproduction documents including editing and sound design strategies;

3.  At least one critical analytical paper which demonstrates:

  • intellectual curiosity and probity;
  • a combination of historical and aesthetic elements to make a coherent and sound argument of a premise or thesis;
  • an ability to present critical material in a standard academic format and style;
  • an ability to orally defend and discuss your argument;

4.  At least one critical analytical essay which links aesthetic and historical elements to your creative work;

5.  Selected critiques of the work of members of your team which demonstrate an ability to:

  • objectively and productively critique peer work;
  • engage in collaborative and group feedback;
  • make use of critiques of others in your own work;

6.  Selected critiques of your work by members of your team and your written reaction to them.

7.  Selected exercises which demonstrate important learning achievements or improving technique or technical skills over a specified period of time;

8.  Examinations and quizzes and your written analysis of how you did and how you can improve your learning;

9.  At least two self-assessment essays, one at the end of the first semester and one at midterm of the second semester, which give a direct an honest appraisal of your work to date analyzing:

  • your approach;
  • your creative process;
  • your evolving goals as a learner and filmmaker;
  • your strengths and weaknesses as an emerging filmmaker;

10.  Instructor Evaluations and Conference Summaries;

11.  Peer evaluations of your level and commitment to collaborate as a team member;

12.  Academic Action Plan which outlines what you intend to do with your remaining education including:

a statement about how Cinema Art + Science as a major is appropriate for you and your commitment to it as an academic major;

your intended concentration and a statement about how and why you came to that decision;

a summary of any conferences with advisors regarding your future academic plan;

a listing of intended courses to be taken over the next three to four semesters and why these are important to you;

13.  Learning Portfolio and Project/Creative  Journal