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Los Angeles Film Studies Center Courses

Los Angeles Film Studies Center (LAFSC) Courses

Because Vanguard University is a participant in LAFSC, students attending Vanguard can take the following courses during a semester-in-residence in Burbank, CA.

Hollywood Production Workshop (4 credits)
Students work collaboratively in groups to create a festival-ready piece, including all the legal documentation and rights to enable the finished production to qualify for festival submission. The course offers students the opportunity to make a motion picture production using Hollywood locations, resources and protocol. Students participate in a competitive vetting process of scripts, pitches and meetings, much like the process of the professional industry. This course operates as a community-building experience in which all students participate in at least one key role in the production process. The course also offers small group tutorials for each student's production position. The workshop environment is specifically designed to meet the needs of both novice and experienced students. The major emphases of the course are the importance of each contribution to a production, the process of production and effective production management. This course complements the more specialized, skill-focused elective courses and is taught by professional, experienced Christian filmmakers with credits in the Hollywood industry.

Faith and Artistic Development in Film (3 credits)

A class that explores the connection between the eye, the heart and the hand, this course focuses on the integration of faith and learning as well as developing the necessary skills for analysis of the culture of Hollywood. The first section of the class emphasizes the eye: discovering your own identity, looking at film’s historical impact, spiritual impact, audience trends, the auteur movement, and vision in film, as well as providing a basis for heart preparation for production. The second section of the course emphasizes the heart: ethics, relationships and communication, passion and art. The last section of the course emphasizes the hand, exploring the collaborative process in Hollywood Production Workshop and Motion Picture Production: roles and aspects of production, the production process, relationships on set, and communication. All students participate in a team-taught lecture seminar led by the faculty of The Los Angeles Film Studies Center.

Internship: Inside Hollywood (6 credits)

Students participate in an internship experience in some aspect of the Hollywood entertainment industry. These are nonpaying positions primarily in an office setting such as development companies, agencies, management companies, post-production facilities, etc. Students work 20 to 24 hours a week, spread over a three day schedule and accumulate 200-250 hours for the semester. Orientation to the internship includes an overview of the creative and operational aspects of the Hollywood entertainment business, including the Christian's role working therein. The internships do not include positions on actual filmmaking locations. Instead, students work in offices as support personnel to producers, writers, directors, agents, post-production personnel and others involved in the total process of producing and distributing a major motion picture. LAFSC provides interns to many of the major companies within Hollywood.

Narrative Storytelling (3 credits)
Concentrating on the art form of narrative storytelling, the course places special emphasis on the visual aspect of the discipline. Two tracks are offered in the course. The Structural track covers topics ranging from the history of story in culture and film to the mechanics of story creation to the development of story-writing skills. Instruction in the Technical Story track focuses on advanced methods of cinematography and post-production and how those techniques can be used to improve visual storytelling. After the core instructional period in each track, students from both tracks are reunited and will have the opportunity to hone their narrative analysis skills, participate in workshop style labs and make two short films that demonstrate their ability to utilize storytelling theory on screen.

Professional Screenwriting (3 credits)
This is a course in contemporary screenwriting, including an understanding of dramatic structure, character and dialogue development, and the writing process. Students complete a full-length screenplay for a feature film or "movie-of-the-week." Whether novice or advanced, students are expected to develop and improve their skills. Emphasis is given to the role of Christian faith and values as they relate to script content. The course is taught by a working, credited Christian screenwriter.

Independent Study (3 credits)
This course may be elected by special request and arrangement. In order to be considered, students submit a portfolio and a project proposal. Students with approved projects will be appointed a mentor who is a professional in the Hollywood industry. Projects could include further development of a portfolio or reel, critical research or a senior thesis project.

Please Note: The Independent study option is not guaranteed and is intended for students with experience in a specific area of cinema or those needing to complete a senior project for graduation. The number of independent studies offered each semester will be determined by LAFSC faculty, the availability of a suitable mentor and approval from your school's film/communications department head.

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