Academics Film Program Pre-Fall 2013

Five Year Course Rotation Plan

The Film program at HSU could be the best-kept secret in the world!

Students completing this program will have demonstrated:

  • a foundation of knowledge, vocabulary, and skills in the arts of theatre, film, and dance through hands-on practice
  • understanding and appreciation of the common ground among, as well as the boundaries between, the disciplines of theatre, film, and dance with a concentration in one of them
  • valuing, understanding, and applying the interrelationship between social, cultural, and community forces and the arts of theatre, film, and dance
  • respect for and practice of the skills of healthy collaboration in the creation of theatre, film, and dance.

The combination of theatre, film, and dance in one department offers synergies and easy access to interdisciplinary projects. The Department’s philosophy is to provide a solid foundation of knowledge, skills, and hands-on practice in the arts of theatre, film, and dance.  Our programs and productions are interdisciplinary, multicultural, and highlight social and community concerns. Currently, the department houses an integrated Theatre and Film major with options in either Theatre or Film and a separate Dance major. 

Our annual production season involves students at all levels from across campus and includes films, dance performances and theatre works.

Humboldt’s production facilities include a 750-seat proscenium theatre, two smaller studio theatres, and an intimate thrust theatre. The filmmaking program utilizes a combination of traditional 16mm film and digital technologies.

Our graduates work in theatre, film, dance, television, education, management, and a variety of other professions where the creativity, commitment and collaborative skills they gained from their education serve them well.


Steeped within the traditions of independent filmmaking, students learn the fundamentals of fiction and non-fiction film production techniques through a production-based program inspired by independent motion picture production and creative avenues through evolving digital technologies.  Our curriculum integrates hands-on production work with film studies grounded in a liberal arts education that fosters ethical storytellers who artfully explore the human condition in creative ways. 

With an opportunity to focus on the environment, social change, natural history and science filmmaking, students are encouraged to develop fiction, non-fiction and experimental films that will identify and reach underserved audiences that exist outside mainstream media and commercial venues.  All aspects of the program stress professionalism with an emphasis on quality as well as collaborative and creative processes. 

Our foundational Filmmaking I-IV core classes provide students hands-on opportunities to master the fundamentals of 16mm and digital video production, develop the craft and artistry involved in a digital post-production workflow and create effective cinematic stories with strong core values.Learners have access to digital post-production studios 24/7 during the academic year.

Requirements for the BA with a

Film Emphasis

Total unit requirement: 48 units for Film Emphasis

A minimum grade of C- is required for all courses in the major.
F=offered fall only;  S=spring only;  A=offered alternate years as funding permits

Core Curriculum Requirements

TA 104 Story through Word and Image (Satisfies lower division GE) [F]
TA 230 Theatre and Film Aesthetics [S]
TA 448 Critical Analysis for Stage & Film [S]
TA 494 Senior Seminar [F]

Film Emphasis Requirements

FILM 315 Filmmaking I [FS]
FILM 375 Filmmaking II [S]
FILM 415 Filmmaking III [F]
FILM 475 Filmmaking IV [S]
FILM 305 Art of Film: Beginning to 1950s (Must take concurrently with FILM 317) (Satisfies upper division GE) [F]
FILM 306 Art of Film: 1950s to Present (Must take concurrently with FILM 318) (Satisfies upper division GE) [S]
Approved Film Electives: 10 units required
FILM 350 Writing for Film [FA]
FILM 360 Science, Environment & Natural History Digital Production [SA]
FILM 362 Social Change Digital Production [SA]
FILM 425 Film Directing & Production Processes [SA]
FILM 455S Grant Writing [FA]
FILM 465 Film Seminar [FA]
FILM 477 Film/Digital Production Workshop [FSA]


Ann Alter                                              David Scheerer             
707-826-5465                                         707-826-4602

Course Descriptions

Film Courses

FILM 305 Art of Film: Beginning to 1950s (3)

Motion picture as popular art. Contributions of individual artists in historical contexts. (GE) [Co-requisite for Film Majors and Film Minors only: 317]

FILM 306 Art of Film:  1950s to Present (3)

Motion picture as popular art. Contributions of individual artists in historical contexts. (GE) [Co-requisite for Film Majors and Film Minors only: 318]

FILM 315 Filmmaking I (4)

Introduction to fundamentals of filmmaking using the basic tools of 16mm and digital media.

FILM 317 Art of Film Discussion (1)

Motion picture as popular art. Contributions of individual artists in their historical contexts. Film majors and minors must take concurrently with FILM 305.  [Co-requisite Film Majors and Film Minors: 305]

FILM 318 Art of Film Discussion (1)

Motion picture as popular art. Contributions of individual artists in their historical contexts. Film majors and minors must take concurrently with FILM 306.  [Co-requisite Film Majors and Film Minors:  306]

FILM 325 Science, Environment & Natural History Digital Media Production (4)

Examines how science, environment and natural history films are used as a tool of scientific inquiry, discovery, and social change.

FILM 326 Social Change Digital Media Production (4)

Examines how social change digital media is a tool that increases awareness and modifies behavior. Develop and produce short digital media social change productions.

FILM 350 Writing For Film (4)

Writing short scripts and treatments for indie experimental, documentary, and narrative films using 3-Act structure and story-craft.  Developed scripts and treatments are offered to production courses.

FILM 375 Filmmaking II (4)

Intermediate course introducing fundamentals of sync-sound 16mm filmmaking, lighting, digital editing and audio field production.  [Prerequisite FILM 315]

FILM 380 Film Studies (1-4)

Topic fit needs/interests of class

FILM 415 Filmmaking III (4)

Advanced course in film completion processes in which students produce a short film that includes sound mixing, color correction, DVD mastering and graphics.  [Prerequisite FILM 375]

FILM 425 Film Directing & Production Processes (4)

Students examine professional directing practices for the moving image, including production processes every director must master.  [Prerequisite FILM 315]

FILM 455 Grant Writing (4)

Fundamental practices of proposal development and grant writing; applicable to all professions. Hands-on activities as grantee and grantor. Emphasis on post-graduation grant writing.  Includes working with a fiscal agent.

FILM 465 Film Seminar (4)

Seminar on film related topics

FILM 477 Film/Digital Production Workshop (1-4)

Special topics in film and/or digital production. Structure and curriculum varies. Appropriate skill level or knowledge required depending on curriculum.  [Prerequisites varies if any]

FILM 475 Filmmaking IV (4)

Capstone course. Students pitch, develop, shoot and complete a short film. Basic distribution materials developed.  [Prerequisite FILM 415]

FILM 480 Special Topics in Film (1-4)

Variable topics. Check with Department for upcoming topics.

FILM 499 Directed Study (1-6)

Individual work on selected problems in Film. Hours TBA.

Theatre Arts Courses:  Required courses for

Film Emphasis

TA 104  Story Through Word and Image (4)

Universal and archetypal principles of story with an emphasis on using images and words for creating stories for theatre and film. (GE)

TA 230  Theatre and Film Aesthetics (4)

Introduction to aesthetic principles of visual design and storytelling as applied to theatre and film as well as dance.

TA 448  Critical Analysis for Stage and Film (4)

Exploration of the varied historical and contemporary critical and theoretical perspectives in theatre and film.  [Prerequisite: Junior or Senior status]

TA 494  Senior Seminar (2)

Exploration and discussion of current trends and topics in the cinematic and performing arts. Examination of creativity and the life of the artist in contemporary society. Resume/portfolio preparation and presentation techniques.  [Prerequisite: at least 20 units of Theatre Arts or Film classes]