Course descriptions and program timetable


Film History introduces and explores the history of moving pictures from the humble beginnings of film through present day. This course specifically focuses on the birth of film, the innovators, milestones, art, and technology as well as how the social and political environment directly impacted the world of cinema. Upon completion of this course the students will possess an understanding of cinematic history, the various genres and the various aspects of cinematic language. Students will also learn to read, track and predict trends within the current climate. This is a lecture based course, augmented with visual teaching aids.

FPD100 | AUDIO 1

Audio 1 introduces students to the importance of capturing audio and also how it can enhance visual storytelling. There will be both a theoretical and practical approach used in this course. Students will be introduced to the concepts surrounding audio. There will be a focus on equipment usage, capturing location sound vs. studio sound, various microphones and mixers and audio department’s role in preproduction/location scouting, production and post production. Location sound and capture are the forefront of this course as recording and capturing techniques may need to be adjusted according to the various locations. There is also a focus on data management as well as an introduction to the post audio process.


Editing 1 introduces the student to the basic concepts of visual storytelling, technical skills and artistry. Students are introduced to theoretical concepts as well as become familiar with the editing stations, the workflow, and the software and its various tools. Students will be introduced to themes, how to build tension and elicit an emotional response through relevant assignments and various editing techniques.


Cinematography is the art of telling a story through the use of lighting techniques and camera capture. In this course, students are introduced to the various elements of the set and studio etiquette as it pertains to lighting. Students will learn how to safely manipulate, run cable and distribute electricity, handle fixtures and hardware and wrap in a safe and efficient manner. Students will be guided through the process of setting up and tearing down multiple sophisticated lighting set ups. This course combines theory and a hands-on studio approach.


Production 1 is an introduction to the basic concepts of production and basic directing techniques. Students will be introduced to terminology, roles, basic shooting techniques, mastershots, interpreting the written word, as well gain an understanding the three stages involved filmmaking- preproduction, production and post-production. There is also a lab/workshop component where students will put the theory taught in class to use and explore first hand the concepts introduced while rotating weekly through various roles.


The practical component of Production 1, this Studio course allows for hands-on, cooperative learning. Each week, students are challenged to put the theories taught in the classroom into practice in the studio in small crews. Students must complete the short film or exercise by the end of class each week under the guidance of the teacher who facilitates the optimal learning environment.


The Camera and Set Procedure course is designed to introduce and familiarize the student with the basic operations and functionality of various cameras. As well students will be trained with an eye to maintaining proper set etiquette and the proper assembly and packing away of equipment all while demonstrating personnel safety standards. During the course, students will prepare the camera for tests and will be shown how to operate cameras effectively. Once students have demonstrated a solid understanding of how to operate the equipment successfully and safely, they will have the ability to sign out cameras.


The practical component of Production 2, this Studio course builds and expands on the practical skills gained in Term 1. Treated as professionals, students are put into production companies that are tasked to deliver a variety of short form filmed projects related to marketing and promotion. Students are required to take on a different role within their team for each of the four major projects giving them the chance to explore each of the key creative roles: Director, Producer, Cinematographer and Editor.

FPD122 | AUDIO 2

Audio 2 will further introduce and build on the post production skills and theories within the audio process. Students will be introduced to the critical role of dialogue in relation to motion picture. Using past and present examples the differences and various uses of dialogue replacement (ADR), voiceover (v/o) and narration are explored. Students will learn to edit, correct, enhance and effectively place the existing dialogue captured during production. As well students will use the onsite recording booth and learn Pro Tools techniques.


Editing 2 advances the techniques introduced in Editing 1 as well as introduces new concepts.  The course focuses on intermediate editing techniques with a focus on storytelling, style, gloss and presentation. Students experiment and dissect not only their own work but the work of others and receive continuous feedback on how to more effectively edit and create a coherent storyline. Students study the interplay between music and the image and how to produce the desired pacing and rhythm, marrying the two disciplines.


Cinematography 2 builds on the fundamentals introduced in Cinematography 1, with a focus on understanding and operating various cameras, including the 16 mm film camera. Students will discuss colour temperatures, gain a working knowledge of light meters and various lenses, as well as continue to experiment with complex lighting setups and the safe distribution of power.


Producing and Production Management introduces students to the business and management side of filmmaking. With an emphasis on producing and production management this course offers lecture and hands on demonstrations on various paperwork, permits, location agreements, crew agreements, call sheets and so on. There is an introduction to the various unions and guilds and their roles. With an emphasis on preproduction, there is both a lecture and hands on component.


Scripts 1 introduces students to the basic concepts and formatting of the screenplay – characters are explored, as well as dialogue, scene structure, and sequences. Students create complex, layered characters with an emphasis on dialogue without story exposition. Students write a scene that imparts information and reveals character through subtext – guiding the audience through the use of actions – as subtly and naturally as possible. Story conflict within a scene is stressed, as is the protagonist/antagonist relationship, and culminating in the ultimate scene resolution. Students also write a second scene in sequence, discussing audience expectations, and the possibility of going against these expectations to build interest and create a more compelling narrative.


Production 2 builds on the skills gained in Term 1 and students are treated as professionals and put into production companies therefore are now challenged to deliver quality product on time. They are introduced to the concept of various filmed projects with a marketing or promotional aspect applied. They are introduced to how to work with clients, and accomplish the client’s needs. Working in groups, students will deliver a testimonial video, a broadcast ready television commercial, a broadcast ready public service announcement (PSA) and through a pitching session, pitch and deliver either a music video, corporate video, training video or a live event. This course has a theoretical portion, production meetings and lab/workshop component. By the conclusion of this course students will have expanded their production knowledge and gained the skills and confidence needed to work with clients and meet rigorous deadlines.


Advanced directing techniques builds on the foundations gained in Production 1. Students will delve deeper into the creative process and technical decisions made by the Director. There is a focus on preproduction and production. Student will learn how to work with performers and understand how to effectively communicate their ideas and vision with their crew. They will be exposed to multiple setups, movement, theories and gain a further understanding of the tools required to successfully direct any project.

FPD132 | AUDIO 3

Audio 3 deals with music in relationship to the moving image and score vs. soundtrack. Students will look at historical and present day compositions and composers. They will learn the importance of the law as it pertains to syncing music with film and music licensing. They will gain a working knowledge of audio terminology with a focus on film music terms. Students will learn how to music edit and understand editing techniques like zero crossing, fades and print tracks. Students will understand how to support a movie storyline with the use of music.


Students are introduced to more advanced concepts and editing techniques. Including psychological play and conscious vs. subconscious theories. Students will also be assisted and guided through the process of editing and completing previously shot projects including work on their documentary as well as relevant assignments.


In Cinematography 3 students will continue to gain proficiency with the use of various cameras. Students will also be introduced to the 35mm camera which they will learn to assemble and disassemble. Students will explore new concepts and techniques such as focus pulling, depth of field, latitudes, jib arms and dolly maintenance and movement. Students will learn to work with colour gels and contrast ratios to make colour corrections for sharp and vibrant imagery. Students will be introduced to camera filters and continue to advance their understanding of lighting techniques.


Scripts 2 focuses on the three act structure and story arc; Students learn to create and highlight fundamental plot points. With this structural knowledge students learn to create a “beat sheet” for a short film. Using this beat sheet students are guided through the next process of creating a treatment, which includes detailed information and subtext. Finally students write the first draft of their script with a focus on rising action, tension and creating a compelling story. Students will continue to tweak this script, as this is generally the screenplay submitted in their pitch/package for consideration for the Thesis projects/short films.


Students are provided an introduction to the various documentary techniques and styles and discuss the various approaches to storytelling within the documentary structure. Working in groups, students will be tasked to produce and deliver a short documentary ready for festival inclusion. They will achieve this through relevant assignments and scheduling their own shoot dates. There is a lecture/classroom and lab/studio component.


The Motion Graphics and Visual FX course introduces the students to the Adobe After Effects software and the concepts and design techniques surrounding motion graphics and visual effects. Motion Graphics centers on animated graphic design, title sequences, lower thirds etc. And the visual effects components combines existing footage with computer generated imagery that is commonly used when creating environmental effects such as adding snow, smoke, lightening, rain or manipulating the sky or used in logo removal. Students learn to create and manipulate after effects and use them accordingly. Students learn how to use the interface and how to create compositions, layer basics and layer transformation properties, as well as create and view masks and use multiple masks. Other properties and techniques of After Effects are explored.


The practical component of Production 3, this class takes place in the Editing Lab as the focus moves to Documentary film. Working in groups, students are tasked to produce and deliver an 8 – 10-minute short documentary film ready for film festival submission. The first half of this hands-on course involves filmed exercises that are due at the end of each class. This allows students to practice and improve upon the skills that will be used to produce an engaging, broadcast-quality documentary film in the second half. At this point in their education, students are responsible for all three major phases of film production: pre-production, principal photography.

FPD202 | AUDIO 4

Audio 4 takes a comprehensive look into the complicated yet important relationship sound effects and foley has with both dialogue and the visual components of storytelling. Students will learn terms associated with sound effects and foley, ambience and recording. Students will use onsite recording and learn how to use stock effects as well as create effects to enhance the overall feel and sound of the motion picture.


Editing 4 continues to build on the techniques, strategies and theories of the previous editing courses. It focuses on the philosophies of storytelling, what it means to tell a story, what it means to manipulate people’s emotions and what it means to be an artist/filmmaker from an editing perspective. Students develop the skills required to adjust their footage and make it look consistent and polished.


Production Design introduces the student to the art, craft and science of professional film and television art direction. The focus is to create the physical look of the story and its environment whether that be a period piece, contemporary, or futuristic sci-fi. Students will learn design concepts and techniques and the various roles involved in the art department. This course provides students with the knowledge to create a cohesive design that will weave through the film and advance the director’s vision in creating a unique look for the film.


The building and presentation of packages is a valuable technique and art form used industry wide to effectively present your proposal. Students learn how to package and present a concise plan detailing their idea, screenplay, look, feel, and course of action that they plan to undertake to complete a compelling and engaging short film. These packages represent their team’s ability to execute and deliver a polished final project. These packages will be submitted to the TFS selection committee for consideration for the 5th term Thesis project. Those considered will then be invited to attend a pitch presentation for further consideration.


In this course students will gain a comprehensive knowledge and learn the skills associated with creating an accurate budget projection and forecast. As well as learning the details involved in budgeting and maintaining a tight schedule. Students will create a realistic shooting budget and shooting schedule. Students will be introduced to various software to assist them in the creation of these tasks. They will learn how to accurately breakdown, create long budgets, stripboards and navigate the variables associated with scheduling. Students will gain an understanding of the process carried out by line producers, unit production managers and directors. Students will be introduced to the concepts of above the line and below the line productioncosts. This course contains a lab component where students will create a project budget and schedule reflective of their projected Thesis project.


In Factual Entertainment students will be introduced to one of television broadcasts strongest markets. Students will be introduced to the concepts and theories behind this form of genre. The students focus on developing and pitching an original Factual Entertainment concept. Students will be guided through the process of creating the story, episode structure, casting the central personalities, how to budget the production and packaging the overall proposal. The central project in this course will be the production of a “sizzle reel” to present to producers and broadcasters.


In Storyboards and Visual Storytelling students will gain a further understanding of the visual storytelling process. Through the use of various techniques students will create storyboards, illustrate the narrative, plan shots that will successfully demonstrate action and continuity. They will understand layout and composition, and learn to effectively communicate the emotion, subtext and storyline.


Canada has had a long and storied, revered and decorated history in the motion picture industry. From its earliest pioneering days all the way to box office dominance and Oscar success, student will learn to recognize and navigate the industry from a Canadian perspective. Students will study the innovations, contributions and the who’s who- the writers, the producers, the directors, the actors, and the distributors. And learn how Canadian films play a dominant role in the international marketplace.


Film Contract & Copyright focuses on the contracts associated with and pertaining to copyright infringement and clearances. Students will be guided through the essential provisions of copyright law focusing on its terms, coverages, exclusive rights, ownerships and payments. Canada is continually adjusting its copyright laws with respect to the ever changing Global and technological climate. Students will discuss clearances concerning writing, music, intellectual property and brands. Students will learn when to engage legal counsel and when it is not necessary. With these provisions in mind completed projects would be successfully prepared for distribution.


Students are introduced to the business, techniques and language involved in securing available funding options from various agencies. Students become familiar with the different types of funding applicable, at different levels of the government as well as private institutions including tax incentives, and the various grants. They will also become familiar with the different stipulations and approaches required by each, in order to access these funds. Students explore the different avenues and methods for raising their own capital as well as the different strategies of financing a project.


In Preproduction/Short Film students will be guided and mentored through the various aspects that arise during the preproduction phase of any project. Using the previously selected Thesis projects, the production teams will meet with each other and with their faculty member to discuss the various unique components to their project. Discussions will range in everything from crewing, casting, location scouting, permits and insurances as well as shots lists, equipment needs and all the various other requirements that arise during the preproduction period. Students will target with their faculty member a production date and execute a successful shoot. At the conclusion students will submit a detailed production package. These packages typically are sent along with completed projects to the distributors.


Emerging Media for Filmmakers is designed to focus on all new aspects and forms that relate to the visual storytelling medium. Technology, laws and distribution are rapidly evolving- students will gain a perspective historically and learn the skills required to project trends and successfully navigate relevant media. This course relies heavily on the use of industry professional guest speakers to bring the latest developments to our students.


Post Production and Workflow deals with the requirements involved with the final output and delivery of any project. Students will work on their Thesis projects or other projects as assigned by the post production supervisor, who will schedule various delivery dates such as rough cuts, fine cuts, audio needs, output and delivery dates. Students will combine all the previous knowledge gained in the editing courses, motion graphics and vfx and audio courses.


Expanding on the skillsets learned throughout the program, this course, together with FPD236 Post Production & Workflow “Editing & Colour, guides students through the complete post production workflow for a short film from acquisition to delivery. Students will edit one of the following; a thesis film produced in the 5th term, an extra curricular film with approval from the instructors, or be assigned a pre-existing short film to complete over the duration of the course. Beginning with a look at all current and required delivery formats with respect to sound. This will Include Mono, Stereo, Surround, IMAX, and Dolby Atmos for all destinations. Followed by a complete review of our Post Production Sound Workflow using AVID Pro Tools. After completing a Picture Lock in FPD236, Students will begin the Sound Workflow on their projects in Week 07. Starting with the initial Pro Tools Assembly and continuing to work through the Dialogue, Music, and Effects of their sound design and edit, finishing with a mix of their film’s final soundtrack. By the end of the course, students will have completed post production on their first major project, ready for professional distribution to film festivals, streaming services, and broadcasters.


International Film Studies is designed as an overview of the cinema, outside of North America and western filmmaking sensibilities. Students will be introduced to some of the great masters of World Cinema and their contributions to the cinematic art form abroad as well as their various influences on Global filmmaking.  Students will be exposed to master works and cinematic achievements- imperative with today’s expanding Global marketplace.


Distribution and Marketing will familiarize the student with the business of a film and television distribution and marketing. Students will formulate production and distribution choices dealing with projects and business partners. The student will develop an understanding of the TV sales process and the global marketplace in which they will be entering. Students will learn the language of broadcast and film sales, create effective “one/sell” sheets, develop a sales forecast, and a marketing and promotional plan. Students will learn to identify accessible and profitable markets, gain a greater understanding of the domestic and international film and television landscape, and familiarize themselves with the techniques involved with mobile, web and video on demand as well as other emerging markets.


The Portfolio/ Career Development course will strengthen career seeking strategies, hone students’ pitch skills and introduce interview strategies and industry expectations. Students develop the ability to promote themselves and their work. Further study of the nature of unions, guilds and associations will be presented, as well as agents and what they have to offer. Students learn the steps necessary to form production companies.