Location: Los Angeles, California

Monday, September 05, 2005


Two weeks into school and my classes are looking good for the most part. Here's the rundown.

JOUR 201 - History of News in Modern America
Professor is cool and it looks like we'll be covering some interesting parts of journalism history. But the textbook is the most poorly-written thing I've ever seen. It'll use a quote from Thomas Jefferson on one page, and then two pages later will repeat the exact same quote as if it's new information! Grrrr... you would think journalism books would be grammatically flawless, I mean, the profession is about writing.

CTCS 200 - History of International Cinema Part I
Again, professor seems chill, uses PowerPoint (always a plus), and has been showing a ton of wonderful early silent films. The best film has to be "The Cameraman's Revenge," which very briefly is a stop-motion animated sex drama involving bugs. Yeah... trust me, it's great. It looks like we'll be viewing many excellent films; unfortunately, I've seen quite a few of them already. But I don't mind seeing "Grand Illusion" or "The Fall of the House of Usher" again... masterpieces never get old.

CTPR 241/290 - Fundamentals of Cinema Technique & Cinematic Communication
As everyone warned me, these two production classes are going to take up all my time this semester. You make a short film every three weeks. Three weeks may sound like a long time, but it's not -- you have to create a story (the hardest part), write it, plan your shoot, audition and cast actors (real actors in LA, mind you), shoot it, and edit it. I finished my first film, which means I'm now desperately searching for ideas for my second film. Anyone? Anyone?

CTCS 469 - Film Style Analysis: Steven Spielberg
Probably my coolest class, for many reasons. First reason: It's taught by Drew Casper, the celebrity of the Critical Studies department. By now, everyone who's in the class has had Casper before and knows what to expect... we're there for a show, and Casper has yet to give a poor performance. Second reason: Watching all of Spielberg's films on the big screen -- "Raiders of the Lost Ark," "Schindler's List," "A.I. Artificial Intelligence," "Close Encounters of the Third Kind," "E.T.," "Jaws," and so on... it'll be sweet. Third reason: Spielberg is stopping by for a Q&A session. I'm determined to ask him a question... I only need to think of the right one first.


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