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Curriculum

General Education Freshman Year Sophomore Year Junior Year Senior Year
Online
Program Specific
Common Core
Course description:

Elective: Professional Life Skills or Externship

Professional Life Skills is an elective course. In lieu of taking Professional Life Skills, students may elect to take the externship elective. Students must complete an application process through the Education Department to determine eligibility for the externship.
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American History

This course presents the experience of the American people from the colonial era to the present, emphasizing themes of immigration, slavery, commerce, personal liberty, culture, warfare and the growth of democratic institutions. Students will develop independent, critical analytical skills to assess political and socioeconomic developments in American History
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Creative Writing

This course presents the principles of writing fiction. Students will write both in prescribed forms and in experimental forms. Style, language and structure in prose and poetry will be examined, and topic and thematic-based writing will be used to assess aesthetic choices and stylistic development. Students will learn best practices in developing and revising…
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Concepts in Science

This course presents essential principles in science, including an overview of systems and practices in physical, chemical, and biological science such as scale, energy, time, and systems of measurement. Related topics include the scientific method, good and bad science, research, and writing in the physical sciences. Students will develop an understanding of the scientific…
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Visual Storytelling

This course teaches students the tools necessary to enhance their visual storytelling skills in preparation for their future careers. This will be achieved through a series of unique exercises, designed to develop skills in the standards of hand drawing and storyboarding. The course focus is twofold: a practical one–learning and improving hand drawing, body…
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Communications & Critical Thinking

This course presents the principles of interpersonal communication and critical thinking. Students will study the processes by which we develop, support and communicate our beliefs and evaluate the strength of arguments made by others in real-life situations. It includes practice in inductive and deductive reasoning, presentation of arguments and analysis of the use of…
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Introduction to Psychology

This course serves as an introduction to psychology, focusing on the examination of historic developments and empirical approaches. Students will explore ideas of perception, cognition, personality and social psychology, and biological aspects of behavior. Topics include the development of personality, achievement motivation, self-understanding and anti-social behavior. The course surveys current theories in psychology, cognitive…
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Critical Studies: Analytical Writing & Literature

This course serves as a constructive introduction to the practice of written analysis; students will classify and categorize literary elements, develop thesis statements, and identify themes. Heavy emphasis is placed on analysis and interpretation of information and texts as well as critical reasoning and strategies. Students will develop a critical voice, and will learn…
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Popular Culture

This course will survey the social mechanisms that shape modern popular culture. High, folk, and mass culture will be covered and related to the historical emergence of popular culture. Topics include mass media, commercialization, ideology and cultural styles. Theories and methods for analyzing cultural expressions in popular music, art, film, television and advertising will…
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Mathematical Concepts

This course presents concepts in polynomials, factoring equations, graphs, logarithms, inequalities, vector analysis, planar and solid geometry, proofs, and coordinate usage. Students will improve their analytical skills, including formulating mathematical solutions to a wide array of real-world problems, and will solidify a foundation in core concepts.
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Media Sound & Visual 1*

The Media Sound and Visual 1 (MSV 1) course is focused on digital media preproduction and production. This gives students the opportunity to work collaboratively while creating a short-form cinema project. From writing an original script and creating storyboards to shooting and directing, students are immersed in the production process while learning to operate…
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Media Sound & Visual 2*

Media Sound & Visual 2 (MSV 2) is an innovative introduction to the fundamental concepts, techniques, equipment and terminology associated with digital media postproduction. In addition to the postproduction process, lectures cover concepts of new media and computing history in order to provide a wider breadth of knowledge and prepare students for an industry…
Course description:

Living in a Media World 1

Living in a Media World 1 (LMW 1) is an introductory course to design and media. Students are taught basic principles of design with a focus on graphic design and how it relates to web-based media production. Topics addressed are design thinking, content development, re-purposing media, graphic design (typography, color, texture, composition, etc.), and…
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Living in a Media World 2

Living in a Media World 2 (LMW 2) is an introductory course to non-fiction storytelling and related media. Students work on a group project to produce a short non-fiction piece. Topics covered are how to build a story, non-fiction production and postproduction techniques, mixing sound, project management, creating motion graphics and music.
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Elective: Current Industry Techniques

The techniques of the animation and visual effects industry change very rapidly, and a new technique can revolutionize the way things are done. In this course, students will be introduced to relevant techniques that are considered to be essential at the time of the class. Guest speakers from inside the school and from the…
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Still Photography and Digital Manipulation

This class combines basic concepts of photography in the field with studio manipulation tools. Each student will be taught basic photography concepts such as composition, lighting, exposure, depth of field, and talent direction. Students will also focus on taking these images and preparing them for various media using digital manipulation software. Concepts such as…
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Art Direction

This class teaches the students the tools necessary to understand how an Art Director on a motion picture set can unify the director’s vision by conveying the overall visual appearance, stimulate the desired mood, and appeal to the target audience. Topics such as research, architecture, clothing, hair, transportation, and décor styles will be explored.…
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Production Sound

The technical emphasis in this class is Production Sound. Students learn basic concepts of sound, micing and recording techniques. Techniques will be put into practice by recording in a variety of incrementally challenging scenarios.
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Project Planning and Management

This course teaches students the tools necessary to plan and manage a production shoot from pre-production forms, staffing, contracts, scheduling, and budgeting, to production and post-production logistics. Students are taught how to work with milestones and tasks, and create scene scheduling, call sheets, daily reports, and financial tracking. This class offers students the fundamental…
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Film History and Storytelling Techniques

After exploring the history of film and television, this class moves onto exploring the theory of story structure in fiction and non-fiction films (from the classic Hollywood 3-act structure to more unconventional non-fiction structures), editing techniques (analyzing how different scenes, edited differently, can reveal different portion of the story and provoke different audience reactions),…
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Camera, Grip, and Lighting

A proper and motivated use of lights and cameras is a key to the success of a motion picture image. This class lays out the basic fundamental topics of working with cameras (framing, angle, etc.) and lights (classic 3-point lighting, etc.) and quickly moves onto more intermediate and advanced skills such as camera movement,…
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Screenwriting

This class explores the fundamentals of screenwriting and exposes students to short form films and screenplays. The class focuses on both fiction and non-fiction storytelling. Using various software and online tools the students will be taught proper formatting as well as develop strong writing skills. Students will be taught techniques to develop well-formed dialogue,…
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Directing

This class explores the fundamentals of directing. Topics include the director’s role before the shoot (working with scripts, scene breakdowns, casting, auditioning, and rehearsals) as well as directing actors and crew on the set. The course outlines the complex relationship that exists between actor and director by exploring what they need from each other…
Course description:

Production 1: Narrative

In this class each student will direct and shoot a short-form fiction film. Each student will apply the final touches to the script developed in their Screenwriting class and further develop it by creating storyboards, generating all necessary pre-production materials, and finally directing their short film. In addition to work on their personal project,…
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Shooting for Visual Effects

This class explores the fundamental knowledge required to create media that will be used in a visual effects pipeline in postproduction. Students learn about advanced green screen techniques, and after shooting their footage students will learn about the general process of 2D and 3D motion tracking and matchmoving (the art of creating a virtual…
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Post Production 1: Narrative Editing

This class explores the artistic and aesthetic principles and practices of narrative editing. Lectures offer examples and analysis of both successful and unsuccessful scenes and movies, and help the students understand those editing decisions that affect the narrative clarity, dramatic emphasis and subtext of motion pictures.
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Title Design

Students learn how to use motion graphic design software to create animated type designs that integrate sound effects, music and motion graphics for digital cinema. Students work on simple animated words and build upon their knowledge to create opening and closing titles for their fiction and non-fiction films.
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Production 2: Non-fiction

In this class students direct and shoot their short-form non-fiction film. Students will apply the final touches to the script and outline, which was developed in their Screenwriting class and further develop it by creating storyboards, generating all necessary pre-production materials, and finally directing their short film. In addition to work on their personal…
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Music and Video: Short Form Cinema

Students are introduced to the history of the music video genre and discuss the evolution of the format. Students interface with real clients to brainstorm the concepts that will then be integrated into dynamic music videos. Students take the client’s project from concept and storyboarding, to pre-production and live video shoots, to post-production and…
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Post Production 2: Non-fiction Editing

In this class students learn about editing techniques used in documentary filmmaking while they edit and complete their non-fiction film. Lectures focus on a variety of practical editing techniques as well as theoretical topics for non-fiction editing, such as character-driven documentaries, challenges to applying a fictional structure into a documentary, maintaining the project’s vision,…
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Music & Post Production Sound for Film

Students learn basic concepts of music composition, mixing, and bedding, as well as how to polish their production sound through noise removal, equalization, and general mixing. In this course they will create the soundtrack for both their short-fiction and non-fiction films and plan out musical ideas for their final project.
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Screenwriting for Final Project

This class is designed to allow students to develop, revise, polish, and complete their final project screenplay in preparation for their Production 3 class. In this class the lectures expand upon the principles outlined in the “Screenwriting” class, and are aimed to help students in creating a compelling screenplay that is properly formatted, realistically…
Course description:

Commercial Production

Students are introduced to the history of commercials and discuss the evolution of the format. Students interface with real clients and the Creative Direction class in the Motion Graphic Design program to brainstorm the concepts that will then be integrated into a dynamic commercial. Students will take the client’s project from concept and storyboarding…
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Production 3: Final Project

In this class students direct and shoot their motion picture film as a group project. Initially the class uses the synopsis, screenplay, and other elements created in the “Screen­writing for Final Project” class to create their pre-production materials (such as scene breakdown, locations, casting, art direction, etc.) The second part of this class is…
Course description:

Mastering

Students learn about the science and technical aspects of video and apply it to processing video as well as output considerations. The first half of the class is spent on topics such as color correction, video formats, codecs, and new technology. In the second half of the class students will work on their first…
Course description:

Post Production 3: Editing

In this class students edit and complete their motion picture film. Having at their disposal a range of high-quality raw footage, students work on all stages of postproduction: from rough cut, to fine cut, and locked picture. Students are expected to contribute to the completion of their film using the skills acquired throughout the…
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Funding and Distribution

This class offers business strategies and marketing knowledge to students on film distribution and fundraising. Students will also learn how to create project proposals and business plans.
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Final Project

In Final Project, students plan, develop, and produce their online portfolio and demo reel, highlighting the work produced while attending Ex’pression and fully incorporate the tools and software skills from all prior courses. At the end of class students will have their own reel and online portfolio.

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120 total semester credit units are required for a Bachelor of Applied Science Degree in Digital Filmmaking. Ex’pression College reserves the right to modify or change the school calendar, curriculum, class schedules, and/or course sequences as it deems necessary.