COURSE TITLE:  COM 3950-002 Special Topics: Film & Performance


TERM: Fall 2004, MW 1:30-2:45 PM, E-Media Room, Falvey Library.


COURSE DESCRIPTION: This class is 50% film analysis/discussion and 50% hands-on production. Students will screen ten films in class and discuss them in class with the instructor. The focus of the analysis is to identify what constitutes a quality film acting performance and how that integrates with the mis-en-scene of the film itself. Students will also be producing a 8-12 minute short film that incorporates the knowledge gained in class. This work will be completed outside of class meeting times. The short film will be submitted for evaluation. Students will also submit film analysis sheets for evaluation throughout the semester.


INSTRUCTOR: Mark A. Hauck, SAC 235. Contact: (on campus) ext. 9-7888, (off campus) 610.519.7888, cell phone 610.772.0972, or






REQUIRED READING: Weston, Judith (2003). The Film Director’s Intuition: Script Analysis and Rehearsal Techniques. Michael Wiese Productions. ISBN# 0-941188-78-7


ATTENDANCE POLICY:  Attendance is mandatory. Students that miss class will be expected to obtain/rent a copy of the film and view it on their own time. Missing more than 2 classes and repeated tardiness will result in point deduction from the Class Participation/Attendance grade, unless some written proof of an extenuating circumstance can be provided.


ACADEMIC INTEGRITY AND GRADING POLICY: see the VU Student Handbook 2003-2004 pg. 66-70 for a description of what is expected of students.

STUDENTS WITH DISABILITIES NOTICE: It is the policy of the University to make reasonable academic accommodations for qualified individuals with disabilities. If you are a student with a disability please contact the instructor after class or during office hours and make arrangements to register with the Learning Support Office by contacting 610-519-5636 or as soon as possible. Registration is needed in order to receive accommodations.

GRADING PROCEDURE: The students’ grades will be based on the following:


Attendance/class participation   =   50 pts.        12.5%

Performance demo piece                      =   50 pts.        12.5%

Film Analysis sheets                              = 100 pts.        25%

Short Film Project                                = 200 pts.        50%


GRADING SCALE (%): A = 95-100; A- = 90-94; B+ = 87-89; B = 83-86; B- = 80-82;

C+ = 77-79; C = 73-76; C- = 70-72; D+ = 67-69; D = 63-66; D- = 60-62; F = below 60




8/25: Intro to the American Method.  Screening clips of pre-Method Hollywood acting.


8/30-9/1: Screening On the Waterfront. Discussion: “The Brando Revolution.”


9/8:  Screening Billy the Short. Discussion: “Challenges in Student Film Production”


9/13-9/15: Screening Hud. Discussion: “Family Dysfunction”


9/20-9/22: Screening The Producers. Discussion: “American Comedy”


9/27-9/29: Screening In the Heat of the Night. Discussion: “Racial Inequality”


10/4-10/6: Screening Midnight Cowboy. Discussion “An Atypical Love Story”


Performance demo piece due 10/6


10/18: Screening student Performance demo pieces and follow-up discussion


10/21-25-28: Screening The Deer Hunter. Discussion: “Male Bonding”


11/1-11/3: Screening Interiors. Discussion: “Female Bonding”


11/8-11/10: Screening One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest. Discussion: “Society’s Outcasts”


11/15-11/17: Screening Monty Python’s Life of Brian. Discussion: “Brit Comedy”


11/22: Screening Elia Kazan biography. Discussion: “Directors Understanding Actors”


11/29-12/1: Screening “Glengarry Glen Ross” Discussion: “The David Mamet Experience”


12/6: Short Film projects due. Screening/discussion: TBA


12/8-12/13: screening Short Film projects. Film Analysis sheets due.