Course Descriptions

utla classroom

UTLA Course Descriptions

RTF 348 - Telling and Selling the Story 
Taught by a working Hollywood producer

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 - TV Publicity (Entertainment Promotion, Press and Public Relations)
Joy Phillips

Explores the roles of the news, entertainment press, publicity, promotion and public relations in the entertainment industry. Open to both PR/ADV majors and those without any prior knowledge, this course provides hands on skills and a deep understanding of how to get an audience to know about, talk about, and watch a TV show.

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 - Animation Pipeline
James Fino 

For the animation producer to succeed at their job, this requires a thorough understanding of the constantly evolving animation pipelines (production blueprints) to help plan and produce every style and approach of animation we and our creators can imagine. 

The goal of this class is to expose you to the fundamentals of the Animation Production Pipeline planning with experiences such as:

Pitching, learning all production positions and roles, learning how budgets and production schedules are created for various animation formats, exploring international animation studios AI tools, specific software packages, and online resources that are essential in assembling the optimal crew and efficient pipeline. This class will feature in-class activities, special guest speakers who are experienced producers in various areas of animation production, and tutorials in specific areas of budgeting and scheduling. Learning this vital backbone of production is how you will make yourselves highly valued and employable producers in the animation industry and beyond.

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 18 students. 

COM 350L/650L or RTF 350L/650L - UTLA Academic Internship 
Amy Lasser

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 150 total hours for the 3-hour course or 300 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.