Film and Social Justice

Department Affiliation: Sociology


Film is a universal means of communication. Today, with the advancement of digital technologies, production capability has dramatically increased, creating tremendous opportunities for engagement in the filmmaking enterprise, and the ability to address the important human rights and social justice issues of our time through film.

Our Mount St. Mary's College Film and Social Justice Program offers a strong liberal arts and social justice education based on the U.N. Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR), accompanied by a social science theory and research perspective, all of which is combined with the technical and professional training necessary to prepare students for careers in the film, television, and media industries.

Our overarching program mission is to educate informed human rights leaders who will be able to contribute to positive social change in our society and in the world. The foundation of this mission is rooted in the legacy of the Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet, founders of Mount St. Mary's College. Beginning in Le Puy, France over 300 years ago, the sisters have served the world as strong social justice advocates and activists, working to improve the lives of the world's underrepresented populations and the most vulnerable among us.

Small classes provide students close interaction and association with faculty. Students receive hands-on filmmaking training and practice, as early as their first semester at the Mount. State-of-the-art equipment, including cameras, software, a dedicated film and sound editing lab where each and every student has access to an editing station, along with a film studio, support the production of student projects. Public screening of student work and the College's annual Human Rights Film Festival, which film students help organize and present, takes place in the William H. Hannon Theater on the Chalon Campus, and in The Rose Hills Auditorium on the Doheny Campus. Multiple opportunities to intern at studios nearby offer crucial networking and filmmaking experience.

The Program Director works closely with each film student, in collaboration with the Career Planning Office, to develop a detailed career plan, an electronic filmography and resume, and to complete graduate school applications, if continued film study is desired. This emphasis on ensuring the preparation and success of each individual student is a distinctive hallmark of Mount St. Mary's College and its Film Program.

The Film and Social Justice Major is an excellent second major for students in the social sciences, behavioral sciences, business, or creative fields of study, such as English and Art.

Film and Social Justice B.A.

Required Core Courses:

SOC 162

Human Rights

(3)

FLM 131

Film and Social Justice

(3)

FLM 132

History of Film

(3)

FLM 135

Mass Media and Human Rights

(3)

FLM 142

Women in Hollywood

(3)

 

 

 

FLM 197A 

or

Internship

(3)

FLM 176

Independent Human Rights/Social Justice Project

(video or community project)

 

See Program Director for further details.


Plus 6 additional Film courses (18 units).

Total units required for B.A. in Film and Social Justice: 36

Film and Social Justice B.S.

Required Courses:

FLM 26/126

Basic News Writing

(3)

FLM 131

Film and Social Justice

(3)

FLM 132

History of Film

(3)

FLM 135

Mass Media and Human Rights

(3)

FLM 137

Writing for Film

(3)

FLM 139A

Digital Video Production

(3)

FLM 142

Women in Hollywood

(3)

FLM 143A

Post-Production Audio

(3)

FLM 146

Film Marketing

(3)

FLM 147A

Newscasting

(3)

FLM 154

Production Management

(3)

FLM 197A

Internship

(3)

SOC 162

Human Rights

(3)

BUS 15A

Accounting Principles I

(3)

Total units required for the B.S. in Film & Social Justice: 42

Film and Social Justice Minor

FLM 42/142

Women in Hollywood

(3)

FLM 131

Film and Social Justice

(3)

FLM 132

History of Film

(3)

FLM 135

Mass Media and Human Rights

(3)

Plus two elective Film courses

(6)

Total units required for Minor in Film and Social Justice: 18

Music Scoring for Media Minor

FLM 139A

Digital Video Production

(3)

FLM 143A

Post-Production Audio

(3)

FLM 152

Digital Music for Media

(3)

MUS 3

Music Fundamentals

(1)

MUS 13/113 or

FLM 138

Instrumental/Vocal for Non-Music Majors or

Audio Production

 

(3)

MUS 134

Orchestration and Arranging

(2)

MUS 135

Composition

(3)

Total units required for Minor in Music Scoring for Media: 18

Broadcast Media Minor

FLM 25

Basic News Writing

(3)

FLM 131

Film and Social Justice

(3)

FLM 135

Mass Media & Human Rights

(3)

FLM 147AB

Newscasting

(6)

FLM 157

Digital Media Production

(3)

Total units required for Minor in Broadcast Media: 18

An optional area of emphasis is available for the B.A. or B.S. in Film and Social Justice, but is not required. An emphasis helps students focus their coursework in an area of special interest to them in preparation for their future careers. The three areas of emphases are:

1) Film Production: Emphasizes building technical filmmaking skills.

2) Social Justice: Provides a strong social justice foundation for future filmmakers.

3) Film Marketing: Combines media education with business marketing skills.

Emphasis 1: Film Production

Required Courses:

FLM 26/126

Basic News Writing

(3)

FLM 137A

Writing for Film

(3)

FLM 139A

Digital Video Production

(3)

FLM 143A

Post-Production Audio

(3)

Plus 2 additional elective film production courses (6 units) from list directly below.

Elective Film Courses for Production Emphasis

FLM 133

Music, Culture & Broadcasting

(3)

FLM 137BC

Writing for Film

(3)

FLM 138

Audio Production

(3)

FLM 139BCD

Digital Video Production

(3)

FLM 140

Intro Avid Film Editing Software

(3)

FLM 143BC

Post-Production Audio

(3)

FLM 144

Introductory Videography

(3)

FLM 145ABC

Animation

(3)

FLM 147BCD

Newscasting

(3)

FLM 150

History of Television

(3)

FLM 152

Digital Music for Media

(3)

FLM 153

Special Effects in Filmmaking

(3)

FLM 157

Digital Media Production

(3)

FLM 176

Independent Video Project

(3)

FLM 197BCD

Internship

(3)

Emphasis 2: Social Justice

Required courses:

FLM 136

Disney Inc. and Mass Popular Culture

(3)

SOC 1

Introduction to Sociology

(3)

SOC 180

Social Stratification

(3)

Plus 3 additional elective Social Justice courses (9 units), listed directly below, or by approval of the Film Program Director.

Elective Courses for Social Justice Emphasis

FLM 177

Human Rights & Science Fiction

(3)

PSY 186

Violence Against Women

(3)

PSY 139

Child Abuse & Family Violence

(3)

PSY 144

Psychology of Prejudice

(3)

SOC 161

Majority-Minority Relations

(3)

SOC 163

Women and Children's Rights

(3)

SOC 167

U.S. Women of Color & Human Rights

(3)

SOC/FLM 171

Film Noir and the City

(3)

SOC 175

Urban Sociology

(3)

SOC 185

Global Studies and Human Rights

(3)

SOC 186

Immigration and Human Rights

(3)

SOC 187

Environmental Studies and Human Rights

(3)

SOC 190

Social Change and Human Rights

(3)

SOC 191

Social Movements and Human Rights

(3)

SOC 193

Chicana/o Identity in Southern California

(3)

Emphasis 3: Film Marketing

Required courses:

FLM 146

or

BUS 160

 

Film Marketing

 

Principles of Marketing

 

(3)

BUS 161

Principles of Advertising

(3)

BUS 165

New Media (prerequisite BUS 160)

(3)

SOC 117

Quantitative Research Methods

(3)

 

 

Plus 2 additional Film or Business courses.

(6)

Recommended courses to be taken for General Studies credit by Film Majors

ART 2

Design 1

(3)

ENG 108

News Media

(3)

ENG 124

Fiction to Film

(3)

PHI 167

Ethics and Film

(3)

PHI 175

Philosophy of Film

(3)

RST 45/145

Contemporary Issues in Christian Ethics

(3)

RST 146

The Catholic Justice and Peace Tradition

(3)

RST 50

Social Issues

(3)

SOC 1

Introduction to Sociology

(3)

SOC 30

Human Communication

(3)

Film Courses

FLM 125 Media Anthropology (3)

An ethnographic approach to understanding the cultural phenomena of the media as it relates to global media markets, technologies, industrial systems and human rights. The ways in which cultures interact with media technology – social networking, online gaming communities, video sharing – and the impact of the media on these communities will also be explored. GS-VI

FLM 26/126 Basic News Writing (3)

An introduction to writing for news including broadcast, websites and other news formats (online and print). Instruction will include in-class writing assignments on deadline, out-of-class reporting assignments, and writing to video. Students will also learn basic legal guidelines for news gathering and reporting. Contributions to "The Oracle" will be included.

FLM 129 Documentary Filmmaking (3)

A history of the documentary form from the beginnings of film to the present. The course will also include components exploring basic theoretical concepts and ethical considerations relevant to filmmakers working in the documentary form.

FLM 131 Film and Social Justice (3)

Applying social science and social justice principles, an introduction to the significant social issues of our time as examined through film. The historical application of the documentary film as a means of advancing the cause of justice and equality in the human experience is explored. Students help develop, organize, and present the Mount's annual Human Rights Film Festival. A human rights course.

FLM 132 History of Film (3)

The purpose of the course is to examine and critically analyze film's history as a communication medium of culture, social trends, values and sentiments. The organizational, political, economic, and strategic dynamics involved in film as a creative expression; and, the production demands and constraints associated with it are also studied.

FLM 133 Music, Culture and Broadcasting (3)

A study of the intersection of mass culture, subculture, personal identity, musical expression, production and distribution. Studio processes, technical aspects, the economics and politics of production, icon development, social networking, opportunity structures, and presentation of self are also addressed. Carries a $25 film lab fee.

FLM 135 Mass Media and Social Justice (3)

An examination of contemporary mass media as a reflection, characterization, and interpretation of culture and society, along with the human rights implications of it in society. In addition, the use of the mass media, with an emphasis on television and film, in politics, economics, and religion will be explored. Critical analysis of ongoing and emerging trends in television and film will also be conducted. A human rights course.

FLM 136 Disney, Inc. and Mass Popular Culture (3)

The course analyzes the near-Orwellian influence that mass media can have on society. Utilizing Disney as an example, students will examine the power and influence of media conglomerates and their role in shaping and reinforcing social norms. Special emphasis is placed on examining how Disney movies not only reflect era specific ideologies and social trends.

FLM 137ABC Writing for Film (3)

An introduction to writing for film, with a focus on documentary films. Development of film documentary proposals, narrative strategies, and preliminary scripts will be created by students as a means of addressing contemporary social issues. FLM 137B and FLM 137C may be taken to continue or develop additional documentary projects and gain further instruction of writing for film in other genres.

FLM 139ABCD Digital Video Production (3,3,3,3)

Both a lab and field work class. This course trains students on all aspects of beginning filmmaking, including screenwriting, shooting, editing, and sound. FLM 139B, FLM 139C, and FLM 139D may be taken to gain additional instruction and experience in digital video production. Advanced students enrolling in FLM 139C/D must have completed FLM 143A. Carries a $25 film lab fee.

FLM 140 Introduction to Avid Editing (3)

Introduction to the Avid non-linear editing system. Used in large film and television productions, Avid is an industry standard, along with Final Cut Pro. Previous editing or production experience is helpful, but not necessary. Carries a $25 film lab fee.

FLM 141 Video Production Lab Assistant (3)

Student must have taken Art 139 with a grade of "B" or higher. The purpose of this course is to give students a chance to hone understandings of production and content with regard to editing and story through helping other students in the editing lab. Assistant will work with an instructor in researching equipment, trouble-shooting, and class preparation.

FLM 42/142 Women in Hollywood (3)

The role of women in film as creative artists and production executives, with a focus on the first half of the 20th Century, will be explored. The current status of women in film and television will also be examined, including the sociopolitical and economic dynamics in play today that influence their participation.

FLM 143ABC Post-Production Audio (3, 3, 3)

Instruction on craft and skills of digital audio editing for film production. Pro Tools software, an industry standard, will be introduced and applied. Carries a $25 film lab fee.

FLM 144 Introductory Videography (3)

An introduction to and focus on the use of digital video cameras to produce broadcast quality footage for professional or personal digital filming. Training includes introduction to camera capabilities, movement, control, and scene composition. Essential lighting, sound, and editing skills are also introduced. This is an ideal course to take prior to FLM 139 to gain a semester's hands-on experience with digital cameras. Carries a $25 film lab fee.

FLM 145ABC Animation (3,3,3)

The basic principles 3D modeling and 3D animation are introduced and practiced in FLM 145A. Continued training and experience are available in 145B and 145C in which students will produce original projects. Carries a $25 film lab fee.

FLM 146 Film Marketing (3)

The methods of film tracking and marketing, understood as a central aspect of film development and production, will be studied. Survey research, analysis of demographic variables in film production, and the role of research across each step of the production process is examined. Practice in the field included.

FLM 146 Film Marketing (3)

The essentials of newscasting are introduced, including research, writing, videotaping, directing, performing in front of the camera, and producing a newscast. The class will create and produce web-based newscasts. Carries a $25 film lab fee.

FLM 148 Writing Professional Grants (3)

An important aspect of documentary film production (and in many other media genres) is developing a well-written, thorough, and professional funding grant to support a project. Learn from professionals how to conceptualize, design and write grants that optimize the acquisition of support for your creative work.

FLM 149 Cowboy Cinema (3)

The history of the Western film genre is central to the history of film and television, as well as American identity, culture, and ethics. A survey of seminal works in this genre will be viewed and analyzed. The Mount film program's Robert Harrington Film Collection will be used in this course. (cross-listed with SOC 149)

FLM 150 The History of Television (3)

The course will explore the evolutions of patterns of television content and viewing over time in the United States. This course will also examine how television has impacted society and how society has influenced television.

FLM 151 History and Theory of Comedy (3)

As an important genre of film and television history, the theories, trends and elements of comedy are explored.

FLM 152 Digital Music for Media (3)

Digital music for film and television, web sites, videogames, and other interactive media. Exploration and analysis of music and its function in various forms of media. Coursework will include producing, recording, arranging, and manipulating music for digital distribution using MIDI, loops, digital audio workstations, and virtual instruments. Prior music experience is helpful, though not required. Carries a $25 film lab fee.

FLM 153 Visual Effects (3)

Introduction and application of software used in special effects in film and television production.

FLM 154 Production Management (3)

Management skills, strategies, and practices necessary to bring a media project from conceptualization, through production to the marketplace. Discussion includes issues related to working with creative talent, directors, assistants, artistic teams, crew, and multiple other entities involved in the production process.

FLM 156 On-Screen Acting (3)

Acting before cameras requires a specific performance skills set. These will be introduced and practiced before a camera in studio. Students will contribute to the program online newscast and other public filmed projects.

FLM 157 Digital Media Production (3)

This course introduces the use of the Adobe Suite graphics programs such as Illustrator, Photoshop, and In-Design for support in developing and marketing audio/visual media. Applications range from cinematic text and titling, image manipulation, animated graphics, poster or cover art, and development of advertising materials. Carries a $25 film lab fee.

FLM 158 Heroes, Villains, and Warriors (3)

The central place of the action drama in Hollywood, both historically and contemporarily are explored. In addition, the social and psychological impact of action cinema is analyzed.

FLM 159A Game Design (3)

Exploring the impact of video games on society and market strategies employed to maximize revenue. Hands-on experience provides opportunities to create video games for multiple platforms including Xbox, iPhone, Wii, Mac, and PC. Carries a $25 film lab fee.

FLM 168 People of Color in Film (3)

The historical and contemporary place of people of color in the film industry. This course examines the stereotyping, prejudice and discrimination that has taken place in film and television. A human rights course.

FLM 171 Film Noir and the City (3)

An analysis of the Hollywood crime dramas characteristic of the 1940s and 1950s that featured cops, crimes, gangsters and femme fatales. The social context that reflected darker times of the depression, the tension of the world war, urban sophistication, and the fight against evil will be explored as expressed and symbolized in this film genre.

FLM 172 Crime, Deviance and Violence in Film (3)

An exploration of the intersection of film, the culture of fear, and the social construction and incidence of violence and deviance in society. The course will also examine the relationship between social norms, social change and this film genre. A human rights course. See SOC 172.

FLM 176 Independent Video Project (1-3)

A fieldwork class involving the independent design and production of a student video project, conducted with the mentorship of a film program faculty member. The topic and scope of the project is to be selected and agreed upon by student, mentor, and program director. For majors only. The course may be taken for one unit, 2 units, or 3 units, depending upon the complexity and length of the project. The course may be repeated for an accumulated total of nine units. Carries a $25 film lab fee.

FLM 177 Human Rights & Science Fiction (3)

Both historically and contemporarily, the film genre of science fiction has been utilized to expose and explore significant human rights topics. These will be examined and analyzed for their continued relevancy to human rights issues of our times. The Mount film program's Robert Harrington Film Collection will be used in this course. (see SOC 177)

FLM 178 Suspense, Horror and Mayhem (3)

A comparative exploration and analysis of the culture of fear and sensationalism as expressed and visualized through themes of suspense, horror and Armageddon narratives, and how these genres reflect mass culture and influence individual and social behavior or act as agents of social change. (See SOC 178)

FLM 179 A History of Romance (3)

This course will explore the evolution of romance films from the earliest years of cinema to the present. The changing representation of gender, the ideal types of the male and female romantic, and as the major influence on social roles and expectations are examined. (See SOC 179)

FLM 197ABCD Internship (3,3,3,3)

Hands-on observation and experience at a film or television studio, or media marketing organization. Internship site is to be selected and agreed upon by both student and Program Director. For majors and minors only. Student must be able to provide own transportation to internship site.

FLM 198 Senior Capstone (3)

Student with senior standing completes a feature length documentary. Film instructor individually mentors student's film project.  

FLM 199 Special Studies (3)

Intensive and independent study in a field of special interest at the culmination of one's film studies.