Academics

Newhouse LA provides a very robust and challenging academic program taught by media industry professionals.  Students will have an opportunity to learn from our dedicated faculty as well as current industry professionals who are invited in as guest speakers.  Being in Los Angeles also affords our students the unique opportunity to participate in field trips to studios, production companies, post-production houses, and much more.

Fall and Spring Curriculum

Your required 12 credit Los Angeles academic experience is built around registering for an 18-30 hour entertainment industry practicum (1-3 credits); a vast array of LA-based course offerings (3 credits each); 5-week master seminars (1 credit each); and online arts and sciences classes.

This is a sampling of courses that have been offered at Newhouse LA. Check course catalogs for courses specific to your chosen semester.

BAN 403 Entertainment Industry Practicum (Bandier; fall only) [1cr]

This course has three components:

• Student Internship Practical Experience – arranged with help of the Newhouse LA staff
• Newhouse LA Classroom Meetings throughout the semester
• One to One meetings with Newhouse LA staff scheduled twice during the semester

The student will secure an internship that will meet the minimum number of hours required by the number of credits (1, 2 or 3) for which the student has registered.  This practical internship experience in a professional environment, arranged with the help of the Newhouse LA staff, will be at a media company that is line with the student’s learning objectives.

The second component are the class meetings which will serve as a complement to the student’s hands on experience in the professional workplace and will meet six (6) times throughout this semester.  In class, we will offer an opportunity to explore your experiences at your internships, and discuss any challenges or concerns.

We will expose students to entertainment industry decision makers and influencers through panel discussions, round table discussions and screenings, giving students a chance to interact with working professionals in a more intimate setting.  Students are expected to research the background of any guest speakers so as to thoroughly engage in the in-class conversation. Through this and an exploration of current news gathered from the industry trade papers (Variety, Hollywood Reporter, Los Angeles Times, Deadline, etc.) students will sharpen their critical perspective of the business part of show business.

The third component will be one-to-one meetings with the director and/or the assistant director which will take place twice during the semester. The purpose of these meetings is to make sure the student is achieving their learning objectives at their internships and in class.

BAN 454 Music Technology & Emerging Opportunities [3 cr] [fall only]

The class explores how technology has had an impact on the music industry and how the current tech space changes the music industry almost daily. The class explores the opportunity that this creates for entrepreneurial and forward-thinking students in the music and creative spaces.

COM 506 Communications Law for Television, Radio and Film [3 cr]

This course is intended to prepare students for a number of specific legal problems they are likely to encounter in their jobs in the broadcasting and film industries, including those that will emerge as technology and business organizations change.

*COM 506 will not count as a law requirement for BDJ or MND majors.

TRF 415 Acting for Writers, Producers and Directors [3 cr]

This class for non-actors will introduce and explore the process by which actors prepare and execute their performances for film. It will examine the elements of film-making that actors must be aware of like cinematography, lighting, editing, etc. It will also explore the relationship of the director to the actor. This course will require the students to assume the role of an actor and learn and execute the techniques required to excel in the craft.

This course will be comprised of watching and examining great performances by select professional actors, reading highly regarded books on the craft of acting and analyzing performing and/or directing memorized scenes on camera.

TRF 425 The Writer’s Journey [3 cr]

In this class we will journey through the writer’s experience, both your experiences as young, learning writers and the experiences of the seasoned, professional writer. We will explore the fundamentals of writing for the screen, both through lecture and a simulated professional “writers’ room” atmosphere in which students will pitch ideas and have their work read aloud at table reads. We will also examine, with the help of our guest writers, the realities of the professional writing process in the entertainment business today – the joys, the frustrations, the collaborations and connectivity’s. Guest writers may be invited to sit in on table readings of student material to give their notes and thoughts.

We will hear how the professional writer creates a project that comes to life in an existing show business world, not in an idealized vacuum. The writer is the first of three main storytellers in the process, along with the director and the editor. We glimpse through the writer’s eyes how other people and things – producers, casting, timing, etc. – all come into play to affect the final product.

*There is no required textbook, however, there will be required reading of articles and scripts. Students will need to bring multiple hard copies of their work when it is to be read in class. Additionally, students will form screening groups, each group being responsible for acquiring a Netflix or Blockbuster account. The expense will be shared among members of the group.

TRF 443 Business of Development, Production & Post Production [3cr]

This class will thoroughly explore the process by which films and television programs evolve…from inception of ideas through the development, production and post–production process. Students will discover how the business environment of the entertainment industry shapes the creative process and they will see what challenges must be met in order to bring about the best art and the most successful bottom line. They will understand how their ability to navigate this landscape will impact their success in the industry. Instructor and Professional guest speakers will provide real world perspectives.

This course will include a mix of lectures, visual presentations, practical hands-on experience, conversation with guest speakers currently working in the entertainment industry, handouts, and vigorous student participation.

TRF 465 Hollywood: Game Changers (TRF Capstone) [3 cr]

The television, radio and film capstone course in Los Angeles will take students on an up-close immersive journey through the ever-changing ecosystem of the Los Angeles media industry, including traditional TV, feature films, cable TV, the syndication business, social media and the new digital guys on the block.

Rapid fire changes brought on by the millennial generation’s use of mobile and social media, combined with the advent of big data, OTT distribution, new video technologies and globalization have caused disruption in entertainment industry.

Through field trips to executive boardrooms, classroom interaction with industry guest speakers and tech demonstrations, students will get an up close and personal look at the “disruption game.” Writers, Producers, Directors, Programmers and Studio Executives will share their battle plans to remain competitive.

As a final project students will have a choice between preparing a White Paper or a Written Creative Proposal in which students will have to defend the conclusions they draw about the future of a segment of the entertainment industry.

Each student will make a 5-10 minute live presentation of his or her work in front of an invited industry panel.

TRF 471 TV Nation [3 cr]

We are truly a nation of TV watchers, whether by way of traditional networks or streaming (OTT) services. TV NATION explores the business and creative process that leads to and includes the pitch for new television shows.  It will explain and demystify how programs are created, developed, and sold, as well as the jobs that are responsible for all of these functions.

Through a combination of teachings, candid discussion, industry experts and hands-on development and pitching workshops in small groups, TV NATION will explore the current TV landscape – the buyers, the sellers, the historical trends, the companies, the people, the successes, the failures, the audience, and the future.

Topics will include writing, casting, business affairs, budgets, legal, research, marketing & promotion, multi-platform capability, ad sales, standards, deals, international, the stress, and the politics of it all.
The course will be structured into two seven-week cycles that will end with each student pitching their original program idea to real television executives who will evaluate and give feedback.

TRF 475 Entertainment Industry Practicum [1cr]

This course has three components:

• Student Internship Practical Experience – arranged with help of the Newhouse LA staff
• Newhouse LA Classroom Meetings throughout the semester
• One to One meetings with Newhouse LA staff scheduled twice during the semester

The student will secure an internship that will meet the minimum number of hours required by the number of credits (1, 2 or 3) for which the student has registered.  This practical internship experience in a professional environment, arranged with the help of the Newhouse LA staff, will be at a media company that is line with the student’s learning objectives.

The second component are the class meetings which will serve as a complement to the student’s hands on experience in the professional workplace and will meet six (6) times throughout this semester.  In class, we will offer an opportunity to explore your experiences at your internships, and discuss any challenges or concerns.

We will expose students to entertainment industry decision makers and influencers through panel discussions, round table discussions and screenings, giving students a chance to interact with working professionals in a more intimate setting.  Students are expected to research the background of any guest speakers so as to thoroughly engage in the in-class conversation. Through this and an exploration of current news gathered from the industry trade papers (Variety, Hollywood Reporter, Los Angeles Times, Deadline, etc.) students will sharpen their critical perspective of the business part of show business.

The third component will be one-to-one meetings with the director and/or the assistant director which will take place twice during the semester. The purpose of these meetings is to make sure the student is achieving their learning objectives at their internships and in class.

TRF 500 Marketing for Film and Television [3cr]

Entertainment marketers must always contend with the difference between playability i.e., how well do audiences enjoy a movie, and marketability i.e., what assets does the movie offer that are campaign-able to entice audiences to see it.

Given the rise of streaming (both related and unrelated to the pandemic) another variable has demanded more attention from marketers – theatricality. It’s always been part of the marketing equation but rather than simply solving how we as marketers amplify this variable, we are now faced with the question of whether a movie is considered theater-worthy at all.

Consumers have seemingly unlimited choice but as movies have shifted from their traditional in theater distribution patterns to more hybridized models that include Premium Video on Demand (PVOD) and Subscription Video on Demand (SVOD) the job of the marketer has become more complicated.

Ultimately the goal remains—make audiences choose your movie over something else; convince them that the movie is worth the effort or the money to see it wherever it is being made available.

After taking this course, students will be able to:

• Describe, analyze, and compare the elements of Playability, Marketability and Theatricality for filmed entertainment releases.
Recognize demographic, psychographic, and geographic audience segments and explain viable targeting strategies for reaching them using various marketing disciplines.
• Define in writing diversity, equity, inclusion, and representation and explain why it matters in the filmed entertainment business.
• Identify the impact of business trends in the entertainment industry on content releasing strategies.
• Construct a written marketing campaign strategy that demonstrates an understanding of key marketing disciplines, and practices.
• Describe key marketing terms and describe how they apply to a campaign.

TRF 510 Artist Representation and the Creative Process [1 cr]

This course will explore the significant role agents and managers play in the television, film & digital media creative process. Agents and managers who represent talent like actors, writers, directors, producers, musicians, etc. can have a profound impact on the careers of their clients. They can be involved in the projects their clients choose and the development, packaging and financing of those projects. Managers can also be producers and are frequently involved in the actual production of their client’s films and television shows. This class will help you discover the pivotal contribution agents and managers make to the Hollywood media creative ecosystem.

TRF 510 Master Seminar: Directors on Directing [1 cr]

This immersive and hands-on seminar will explore the role of the director through the study of the art, craft and creative process of visual storytelling.   Students learn visual language, film grammar, rules of on-screen directing, blocking actors, best practices for directing performance, the role of camera movement and other aspects critical to developing skills as a director. Through the study of aesthetics for single-camera scripted projects for film and television and in- class directing exercises, learn how to move a story from script to screen, block actors, direct the camera, compose cinematic shots and develop an aesthetic plan for narrative directing. By the end of the course students will gain knowledge, industry terminology and learn a bit of the business of directing from the opportunities to be funded as an emerging director and to the pathways for developing a careers in Hollywood.

TRF 510 Master Seminar: Line Producing [1 cr]

This class will be a Case Study of a produced film taught by the Producer of that film. Emphasis will be on the practical aspects of the Line Producer’s job and how the Line Producer interfaces with all the other departments throughout the production. The Case Study will spotlight staffing, setting and meeting timelines, production calendars, scheduling, how to evaluate weather conditions, union contracts and production incentives, what happens on a daily basis on the set and how to supervise the various departments during shooting. The curriculum will include a mock location scout.

Summer Curriculum

Summer session students are required to enroll in 6 credits from the following selection:

Entertainment Industry Practicum [1 cr]

Your choice of Communications Law [3 cr] or Topics in Media, Diversity and Inclusion [3 cr]

Two of the following 1-credit TRF 510 electives:

COM 350 Special Topics in Media, Diversity and Inclusion [3 cr]

This course is an introduction to fundamental issues related to diversity and inclusion in the media industries as approached through the lens of topics, industries, and/or media products.

*All majors may petition to have COM 300 count as the diversity requirement.

COM 506 Communications Law for Television, Radio and Film [3 cr]

This course is intended to prepare students for a number of specific legal problems they are likely to encounter in their jobs in the broadcasting and film industries, including those that will emerge as technology and business organizations change.

*COM 506 will not count as a law requirement for BDJ or MND majors.

COM 509 Communications Law for Communicators [3 cr]

This course is intended to prepare students for a number of specific legal problems they are likely to encounter in their jobs in the broadcasting and film industries, including those that will emerge as technology and business organizations change.

*All majors may petition to have COM 509 count as their law requirement.

TRF 400 Seminar: The Art of Producing [2 cr]

Many students express their desire to become producers.  But who is the producer and what do they do exactly?  How do you become a producer?  This course will provide answers to these questions as it explores the many different facets of the producer’s art.

TRF 475: Entertainment Industry Practicum [1 cr]

This course will serve as a complement to the student’s hands on experience in the professional workplace. In class, we will offer a forum to discuss any challenges, concerns and questions that may arise regarding student’s internships. We will expose students to entertainment industry decision makers and influencers giving students a chance to interact with working professionals in a more intimate setting. Students are expected to research the background of any guest speakers so as to thoroughly engage in the in-class conversation. Through this and an exploration of current news gathered from the industry trade papers (Variety, Hollywood Reporter, Los Angeles Times, Deadline, etc.) , students will sharpen their critical perspective of the business part of show business.

Students will keep a journal of their experiences at their internships. Entries in these journals will serve as the basis for further discussion as each student will meet one to one with the Director and the Assistant Director during the semester. Each student will be required to contribute one blog about their experiences living and/or working in Los Angeles to be posted on the Newhouse LA website.

As a final assignment, students will present a cohesive overview of how their internships shaped, shifted or changed their ideas about the industry and what specifically has added to their knowledge base in terms of skills obtained, professional associations, networking groups, leveraging social media for professional gain, etc. Students have the option of writing a paper or creating a short video.

TRF 510 Artist Representation & the Creative Process [1 cr]

This course will explore the significant role agents and managers play in the television, film & digital media creative process. Agents and managers who represent talent like actors, writers, directors, producers, musicians, etc. can have a profound impact on the careers of their clients. They can be involved in the projects their clients choose and the development, packaging and financing of those projects. Managers can also be producers and are frequently involved in the actual production of their client’s films and television shows. This class will help you discover the pivotal contribution agents and managers make to the Hollywood media creative ecosystem.

TRF 510 Contemporary Cinema [1 cr]

This course will provide an in-depth analysis of the art and craft of contemporary films and filmmakers.  The class will explore these films thematically as well as through the lens of a student’s career interests….writing, directing, editing, cinematography, music, etc.

TRF 510 Hollywood: Navigating the Future [1 cr]

This course will expose students to the ever changing ecosystem of the Los Angeles media industry, including traditional television and movies, cable TV, the syndication business, social media, the digital space and more. Students will gain insights into how these different platforms are now thoroughly interconnected and how they impact each other. Students will study the history of how the media business worked, how business models are being turned on their heads on an almost daily basis, and how the student’s career goals and aspirations might fit in to how the business will evolve in the future.

TRF 510 Riding the Digital Wave [1 cr]

Los Angeles is one of the hottest startup and digital media communities in the country (Q1 2018 saw almost $2 billion in venture investment in the media, entertainment and gaming category alone). It continues to boast success stories like Snapchat, Whisper, MiTu, Oculus Rift, Full Screen, Immortals, Tinder and hundreds of others. Beyond these, all the major studios, as well as YouTube, Buzzfeed, Fandango/Rotten Tomatoes and dozens of other major companies are making LA their primary source for new and creative digital media.

“Riding the Digital Wave” is a five-week course that explores our vibrant digital media scene. Students will be introduced to a variety of companies as well as learn about technologies and innovations that are growing here. They will also be introduced to digital media corporate initiatives at established LA-based media companies. The course will include lectures from and field trips to movers-and-shakers, founders and creators in this highly creative and fast-moving space.

Waitlist

If a class you wish to take is fully enrolled and closed, please fill out this waitlist form and email it to Director Robin Howard at rshoward@syr.edu

Requests will be considered on a first come, first served basis. Preference is given to students who need to fulfill degree requirements for their major.

Online Courses

Online courses are also available each semester.  Please refer to the SU Online Course Catalog for a comprehensive list of online courses.