A PDF version of your original schedule is here: film critic 2018
August 23 – Topics:Introductions, course outline, expectations, semester project overview. Questions for consideration: How do we view films? What is the purpose of film? What films do you prefer and why? How do you decide which films to see? Beginning your film blog. Assignment due August 28 by 11:59 pm: Create a film review blog with a general introduction of yourself and an essay (350-600 words) on “What Film Means to Me.” Email the link to firstname.lastname@example.org. The GWU Film Critics site will be where you are involved in online engagement, assignments, & readings.
August 28 (11:59 PM)–Online Assignment due: Create and finalize your first blog entries: General introduction and “What film means to me” essay.
August 30 – Topics:What is “story” and why does it matter? Character, inciting incident and ambition. Character conflict, crisis, and resolution. Character vs. Characterization? Story arc and character arc… what is the difference? What is a hero? What is baggage? The film evaluation outline – Assignment: Diagram a select film using the film evaluation outline as a guide (500-800 words) *Due September 5 by 11:59 pm. Load onto your blog & email the link to email@example.com.
September 3 (11:59 pm) – “Film Story” online response assignment due.
September 5 (11:59 PM)– Your first film evaluation is due. This should be written and loaded onto your blog following the guidelines & directions (photos, links & search tags). The link to your finished evaluation should be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org before midnight.
September 6 –Semester Project Notes:Identify possible character study for semester project.
September 6 –Topics: Film genres according to Blake Snyder. The Freytag Formula, Writing reviews –what are the general essentials I need to know? How deep should I get? Assignment:Interview someone over 50-years old and write a 500-700 word report/story capturing his/her movie history, (start-up/sample questions to be provided) and post the final draft to your blog. *Due September 12 by 11:59 pm and email the link to email@example.com.
September 10 – Online assignment due. Respond to online post after listening to interviews from Ami Brown, Emma Thompson or Aaron Sorkin, and read the posted chapter 2 articles.
September 12 (due by 11:59 pm) – Film history interview with someone 50-years or older. Post the final draft to your blog and email the link to firstname.lastname@example.org.
September 13 – Semester Project Notes: Identify (3) three films for review featuring your semester project character study.
September 13 –Topics: Understanding film 101 (lights, camera, action) & the filmmaking process (Development – Marketing/Distribution). Film history overview. Film theories to consider. Writing my first review (with limitations). Online guest speaker – interview with long-time film critic of the Charlotte Observer Lawrence Toppman.Assignment: Write film evaluation (500-700 words) examining the Blake Snyder “genre study”. *Due September 19 by 11:59 pm. Load onto your blog & email the link to email@example.com.
September 17 –Online Assignment due. Listen to Lawrence Toppman interview, explore readings & topics for this chapter, and respond to writing prompt.
September 19 (by 11:45 pm) – Blake Snyder “genre study” review is due (400-500 words), this should be posted onto your blog & the link should be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org.
September 20 (due by 6:00 pm): Semester Project Notes: Identify 4 – 6 (four-six) strong sources for your character biographical sketch/intro (print, online articles, audio, video sources are acceptable). Do not use Wikipedia. If you use IMBD, you should still add 4-6 more sources. If you need guidance, ask me well before this date. These sources should be emailed to email@example.com.
September 20 – Topics: The importance of cinematography & lighting. What is Drama? Exploring biopics, reality-based films,film adaptations, franchise films, remakes and films based on a true story. Online Guest Speaker interview with Film Critic Matt Brunson (formerly of) Creative Loafing (Charlotte, NC) and the Savannah News (Ga.). – Assignment: Write a 500-600 word review on an adaptation, biopic, or based on a true story film (approved list to be provided). You will also have details that require evaluating the cinematography selections of the film.*Due September 26 by 11:59 pm.Load onto your blog & email the link to firstname.lastname@example.org.
September 24 –Online Assignment due: (Story songs, video store visit or Matt Brunson reflection ) Three options. Read chapter 4 materials, and listen to the interview with Matt Brunson and respond to writing prompt.
September 26 – (due by 11:59 pm)– 500-600 word review on an adaptation, biopic, or based on a true story film. Load onto your blog & email the link to email@example.com.
September 27 – Topics:Sound and music – what the mind hears. The musical. Online guest speakers will showcase a feature film composer and blind film critic Jay Forry. How to write the 600-word review.Assignment:Focus on semester project research. On October 10 you will have a review on a musical or an acting-driven film due.
September 30– You should have viewed one of your semester project films by this date.
October 1 –Online reading/posting for chapter assignment due. After reading materials, listen to a select interview with a feature film composer and blind film criticJay Forryand respond to online writing prompt.
October 3 – (due before 11:59 pm) – Semester Project Notes: Turn in draft (for grading) of the introduction/biographical sketch tease section for final project.
October 4 –Topics:Acting –why does it matter? The comedy. Finding the right title for your review. Assignment:Write film review (500-600 words) on the musical (you will be provided a rubric & list) or the actor/actress-driven film. Load onto your blog & email the link to firstname.lastname@example.org. *Due October 10 by 11:59 PM.
October 8 (by 11:59 pm) – Online reading/posting (TBA) assignment due. You should have viewed one of your semester project films by this date.
October 10 (due by 11:59 pm) – Post the evaluation of your selected musical or the actor/actress-driven film onto your blog & email the link to email@example.com.
October 11 –Topics:Special effects, disaster, fantasy, comic book & science fiction films. The ‘Event’ film. What is a blockbuster? The Epic Film.Writing reviews for print, online, radio & television/video. Tone, voice, structure and other pieces of the puzzle. Grading your films with report card or star ratings. Catch up dialogue on semester projects. Assignments:Write 600 word review from the list of science fiction, superhero or epic films. If your semester project has films that fall into these categories, you may also view (and evaluate) one of those. This is due Oct. 17 by 11:59 pm.
October 13-31– Semester Project notes: watch final two films (and make detailed notes).
October 15 (by 11:59 pm) – Online reading/posting (TBA) assignment due.
Extra credit opportunity:
Chairman Jones: An Improbable Leader
Monday, October 15, 2018 – 6:30 PM 8:30 PM – Tucker Student Center, Gardner-Webb
Film and panel discussion of the North Carolina documentary “Chairman Jones: An Improbable Leader.” Join Gardner-Webb University, Wildacres Leadership Initiative, and filmmaker Anna Jones as she shares her inspiring and award-winning film about leadership, faith, untold stories of success in the rural South, and the amazing work of her father — a black farmer with a 7th grade education — who incredibly became the first black North Carolina school board chairman.
October 17 (due by 11:59 pm) – Review – 550-650 word review due on a select film from the list of science fiction, superhero or epic films.
October 18 – Topics: Indie films & the importance of the international box office. Guest speaker Filmmaker -Earl Owensby. Online Guest Speaker–Filmmakers Mageina Tovah. Dialogue on semester project. Assignment: Work on your semester project. On Nov. 1, you should turn in your Next draft of introduction, biographical sketch, and first film evaluation. I will provide you feedback and guidance.
October 25 (due by noon) –Online response post. Topics TBA.
October 25 – Class on-location (film screening): WON’T YOU BE MY NEIGHBOR is amazing look behind the scenes of children’s TV legend, Mr. Rogers. This screening will take place Thursday, October 25 at 7:00 PM at the Joy Performance Theatre in Kings Mountain, NC. This event will also feature a Q&A with subjects of the film and a producer as well.
Topics: Horror,Suspense, Thriller, Mystery. Getting started with a film-reviewing career, freelancing and starting your own website, Youtube channels, podcasts, etc. What not to do when reviewing films & using your blog for opportunities. Assignment: Work on your semester project. On Nov. 1, you should turn in your Next draft of introduction, biographical sketch, and first film evaluation. I will provide you feedback and guidance.
October 26 (extra credit option) – Nosferatu: A Dark Brew
6:30 PM 8:30 PM
Chapman Cultural Center – Spartanburg, SC
Experience the glory days of silent film with this 1922 horror classic and the excitement and surprise of musical interpretation (with live music).
October 29 (by 11:59 pm) – Online reading/posting (TBA) assignment due.
November 1 – Topics: Political-based and the espionage film.Action/adventure films. The Ten-minute review. Writing reviews for the short-attention-span audience. How to identify the “b-story” for your character. Assignment: Write film review of 300-400 words and a separate 280 character-review for a Twitter audience (approved list to be provided) on an espionage/political film, indie films, horror, suspense, or mystery film. Load onto your blog & email the link to firstname.lastname@example.org. Due Nov. 7 by 11:59 pm.
November 3 – (Saturday – due by noon) – Semester Project Notes: Next draft of introduction, biographical sketch, and first film character exploration should be complete. You do not have to turn this in at this point unless you want feedback.
November 5 (by 11:59 pm) – Online reading/posting (TBA) assignment due.
November 7 (due by 11:59 pm) – film review of 300-400 words and a separate 280 character-review for the Twitter-verse (approved list to be provided) on an espionage or political film. Load onto your blog & email the link to email@example.com.
November 7 Semester Project Notes: Have next draft of introduction, and 2/3 of your biographical sketch/character analysis complete, and begin to formulate your wrap/conclusion.
November 8 – Topics: Film fests & why critics’ groups matter. Guest speaker –Violet Dukes. “The Real to Reel Film Fest”. Guest speaker -film critic Adam Long (Focus Newspaper & Movie Geeks United film critic). Getting access to screenings and interview junkets. Reviewing post-theatrical releases (DVDs/Blu-Rays). The Western film genre. Interview with film director S. Craig Zahler. Assignment: Write review on a Western or a “Year I was Born” film. Load onto your blog & email the link to firstname.lastname@example.org. Due Nov. 14 by 11:59 pm.
November 10 –Extra Credit opportunity –
Heroes & Villains: Music from Hollywood Films
Saturday, November 10, 2018 –
7:00 PM – 9:00 PM
Twichell Auditorium, 580 East Main Street Spartanburg, SC
This musical journey brings your favorite heroes and villains to life through scores of adventure, tragedy, and romance in one unforgettable evening. Featured films/characters include Pirates of the Caribbean, The Incredibles, James Bond, Godzilla, Saving Private Ryan and more.
November 11– Will accept semester projects early for bonus points.
November 12 Semester Project Notes : Have working draft of your final paper complete with intro, bio sketch, character study and wrap/conclusion. Spend next six days editing and rewriting.
November 15–Topics: In-class screening of “The Mercy.” Faith-based films, Family films, Animation, Children’s films, and coming of age films.Long-form limited TV series, the Netflix influence, the Portable screen generation and the impact on film. Online interview with Kelly Fremon Craig (the Edge of 17). Final questions on the semester project. Assignment: Finish semester project & write review (Due. Nov. 28) on tonight’s film, a western, family, animation, faith-based film or a YOB film.
November 18 (by 11:59 pm): – Semester Project due. No late papers accepted. Email projects in word or text document following guidelines.
November 22 – No Class – Enjoy your Thanksgiving Holiday
November 26 (by 11:59 pm): Online reading/posting (Chapter 12) assignment due.
November 28 (due by 11:59 pm) – Review of film we screened in class, a western, family, animation, faith-based film or a YOB film.
November 29 – Semester Project Presentations – Facetime interview with Guest speaker –Gary Wheeler. Online guest speaker Sean O’Connell, BFCA Board of Directors & international film critic from USA Today, the Washington Post & Cinemablend.. Assignment:Prepare for final exam & co-hosting freeform radio show.
December 3 (by 11:59 pm) – Final online reading/posting (TBA) assignment due.
December 6 – Final Class – Finish presentations & final exam.
**Schedule and assignments subject to change