This article is about the things in FIL 2001 (Intro to Cinema Studies: Analysis & Practice) that may be helpful to know before taking it. It should be noted that some of these things may be specific to the instructors Brady Robinson and Michelle Calderon.
1. Attendance is crucial
When it comes to this class, attendance is taken everyday, twice a day. Once is in the beginning and the second is before you leave. They also make attendance a crucial part of your overall grade. Two unexcused absences will be allowed with no penalty. Afterwards, “every additional unexcused absence will lower the final course grade by a third of a letter grade (e.g. A becomes A-). So, make sure you get to class.
2. You have to buy the “Reef” app
This app is used to record your attendance and for you to participate in polls in class. Your participation in polls is recorded in the app and will probably also affect your grade, though they haven’t mentioned if it will. A 6 month subscription to the app costs $14.99.
3. You will watch movies
Wednesdays are designated for watching a full length movie. The syllabus will list what movies you’ll watch each week. Some movies are newer, and others are quite old. After the movie is over, you’ll spend a couple of minutes talking about how it relates to the topic of the week. Topics cover things like audio, cinematography, editing, etc.
4. Assignments and quizzes
You will have an online quiz due every Friday at 11:59 p.m. It can be taken from home and you can also look at the Powerpoint slides as you take it. They’re each worth 20 points and you have 2 attempts to take them. There is no homework. However, you will have a total of 2 film responses to do throughout the year that are only 500 words each. There are no finals or tests. In placement of a final, you have to submit a two page script.
5. Monday is lecture day
This class is almost 3 hours long because it has to account for how long it takes to watch a movie. However, you don’t watch movies on Mondays, so you’re in for a long lecture. It won’t last all class generally, but you can expect to sit through a lecture of anywhere from 1 hour and 20 minutes to 2 hours and 20 minutes. The Powerpoint they use for lectures will all be available on canvas, so you don’t have to worry about missing anything.
This class is pretty demanding when it comes to attendance, but is a breeze in terms of assignments. It’s great for those who want to get into the world of cinema and understand what it’s all about.