Course Descriptions

utla classroom

UTLA Course Descriptions

RTF 348 - Telling and Selling the Story 
Diana Kerew-Shaw  

Before an audience can ever see a film, video, show or production, an idea has to be discovered and developed. Studying the extensive life cycle by which literary material makes it from page to screens both large and small, students will learn how to generate ideas and concepts, understand story logic, story structure, character development, dramatic tone and how to adapt a variety of source material into a script. Through lectures and discussion with guest speakers, students will also learn to identify strengths and weaknesses of literary material as they practice networking and tracking, pitching, coverage and development notes needed to submit to studios, networks, and production companies. Further topics include: agent contacts, working for a producer vs. working for a studio, the creative executive position, readers, studios and network story departments and the script coverage process. 

Note: This course is offered as a writing flag during the Fall and Spring semesters (not Summer) and is limited to 18 students. 

ADV 378/P R 378 - Entertainment Promotion, Press and Public Relations 
Cynthia Lieberman 

Publicity and advertising are the currency of communication in the multi-faceted entertainment industry. In this course, we consider the core disciplines of research, creative, distribution, advertising, publicity, and promotion as they apply to entertainment. The distinctions between and among these disciplines, in addition to how they can work together to support a specific goal, will come together in both a written and oral presentation. Whether entertainment advertising and publicity are your callings, or if you are a savvy creator wanting to understand how your content will be introduced to the world, or if you’re simply a curious consumer interested in the “how and why” of pop culture communication, this course introduces the process of strategic communication in the entertainment industry. We give you an understanding of the power of information, the knowledge of where it can be found and we help develop your basic ability to apply it. 

RTF 347C - How Hollywood Works 
Stuart Pollack 

From the acquisition of original ideas, all the way through the marketing and distribution of completed films and television programming, How Hollywood Works is designed to present a foundational overview of the entertainment industry and to train students how to navigate this exciting and ever-changing industry. Through case studies, readings, class discussions and guest speakers who represent all facets of the entertainment business, students will explore how media industries operate, the commercial challenges facing content producers and distributors, financing and the continual struggle between creativity and the bottom line, and numerous other related topics. 

RTF 348 - Inside the Music Industry 
Drew Ferrante 

The Music Industry, like music itself, is constantly changing and adapting. It’s a $50 billion international industry that creates timeless songs and worldwide superstars. This course is designed to explore all of the aspects that make up this exciting business. Students will be given a complete overview of the music industry, covering everything from creation to consumption, and exploring all potential careers in each facet. It will give each student a better understanding of how the music industry really works, how it relates to other divisions of the entertainment industry, and the effects that changing technologies have on it. Topics include: music creation, the recorded music industry, copyrights and the music publishing industry, the touring industry, streaming and modern music consumption, artist management, the DIY world, modern music marketing, and more! Talented industry professionals will be brought in to talk about their experiences and to help students get a better understanding of how it really is INSIDE the music industry. 

RTF 348 - New Media & Emerging Entertainment 
James Fino 

What is new media and what opportunities does it present? From a technical standpoint, it is the emergence of digital computerized or networked information and communication technologies. From an entertainment point of view, digital interactivity provides creative opportunities in challenging, thought-provoking, and entertaining new ways. Today’s world allows us to view and engage with digital content in a variety of formats and on a variety of devices meaning content producers and distributors need to understand and help define this area for the future. Students will explore the burgeoning areas of digital entertainment including broadband, video-on-demand, interactive advertising and television, mobile entertainment and interactive digital gaming. 

RTF 348 - The Working Hollywood Writer 
Barbara Friend 

Whether a feature, episodic-series, video-game, or even an ad campaign, success rises or falls with the words a writer types across a screen. But to write a successful script, you must know how to tell a story, because a great story is never an accident.  This course, designed for every level of ability with each student learning from the other as well as from the instructor, will explore all aspects of teleplay and screenplay creation: from conception to completion, including the what’s & how’s of a working writer—how to break in, pitch a story, collaborate with studio execs, as well as the secret language of writers-rooms.  The course will be more practical than theoretical. Approaching the craft from the inside-out, we’ll first focus on writing a scene because if you can write a good scene, you can write a good script.  You’ll learn what a story-engine is & how to build them for features & episodic-series (of any medium). Then, you’ll apply these techniques to design & write your own script. Though a first draft is the objective, the priority is to help you master the tools you need to tell your own stories and make money doing it.  

Note: This course is offered during the Summer semester ONLY. Registration is limited to 14 students. 

COM 350L/650L or RTF 350L/650L - UTLA Academic Internship 
Mira-Lippold Johnson 

All program participants will be required to complete a 3- or 6-credit internship. To earn credit for the internship, each participant will have to intern for at least 175 total hours for the 3-hour course or 350 hours for the 6-hour course, maintain a journal of their experience, assemble and present a portfolio of work samples, attend 5 two-hour evening internship classes that will address key information including job-seeking skills, networking skills, industry professions & salaries, and preparing for living and pursuing a career in Los Angeles, and complete final internship evaluations.