Course Descriptions

Course Descriptions

Telling and Selling the Story

Course Credit: RTF 348.

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 18-20 students.

Entertainment Promotion, Press and Public Relations

Course Credit: ADV 378/P R 378. 

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 calling, 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.

How Hollywood Works

Course Credit: RTF 347C. 

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.

Inside The Music Industry

Course Credit: RTF 348. 

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.

New Media & Emerging Entertainment

Course Credit: RTF 348. 

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.

The Working Hollywood Writer

Course Credit: RTF 348. 

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 for this course is limited to 14 students.

UTLA Academic Internship

Course Credit: COM 350L/650L or RTF 350L/650L. 

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.

Registration Information

  • Students will register for UTLA classes through the UT online registration system. 

  • All UTLA students must be full-time students and register for at least 9 hours in the Summer and 12 hours in the Spring/Fall . This includes 3-6 hours of UTLA internship credit.

  • Outside of Telling and Selling the Story (aka Development Process of TV and Film) and The Working Hollywood Writer (offered in the Summer only), there's no competition for seats in UTLA courses, i.e., only UTLA students can register for UTLA courses. For courses with limited enrollments, seats will be available on first come/first serve basis.

  • All UTLA students, regardless of major, are eligible to register for any section of a UTLA course. If a course has multiple sections, students are encouraged to speak with his/her academic advisor to determine which section is most beneficial to their degree.

  • All UTLA students are eligible to register for 3 or 6 hours of internship credit. All UTLA students, regardless of major, will have permission to register for COM 350L/650L or RTF 350L/650L. As an exception, students from departments that offer their own Internship course (ex. ADV/PR, J, etc.) may instead register for their respective major's internship course if desired. In such cases, final internship approval and course grade will come from the department.
  • All UTLA students are required to spend a minimum of 175 hours at their internship(s) to acquire 3 hours of internship credit and 350 hours at their internship(s) to acquire 6 hours of internship credit.

  • Students may use the cumulative total of one or more internships to obtain the course requirement of 175 hours or 350 hours.