Curriculum and Course Descriptions

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The first semester courses give students an overview of all aspects of filmmaking including: writing, directing, producing, casting, editing, post-production, distribution, sales and marketing, plus how to use a digital camera and the basics of cinematography and lighting. Mac computers and industry specific software used in screenwriting and editing are covered as well as other professional equipment used in filmmaking. In the Film Production course, students learn camera techniques, directing and basic production and make several very short films and/or simple exercises in the digital format. These hands-on courses teach students to work both independently and collaboratively in a high-pressure creative environment that simulates professional filmmaking. Courses cover the basics of producing and how the industry works for independent films and the major studios, TV and cable networks as well as commercials, industrials, Web based productions and other moving image industries. To provide students with a basic understanding of the marketplace realities of distribution, examples including films made to fit a genre and dream projects are explored. Emphasis is placed on the creative process, the study of narrative literature, film analysis and the history of film.

INTROPRO 101 Introduction to Producing and the Business of Film

An introductory course on producing independent, studio, network and cable films as well as commercials, industrials, Web based programs and other moving image industries. Focus is on the basics of producing, the language and business of film, how the industries work with a concentration on the marketplace reality of making dream projects and films made to fit a genre, as well as an introduction to the MacBook Pro computer and some of the industry standard software used throughout the curriculum. 3/30/30

CREAPRO 101 The Creative Process

This course is an investigation into the student’s own creative process. Students will explore the use of visual, literary and performing arts as a means of self-discovery. Film students will further translate this into a filmmaking exercise in the form of individual class presentations. 2/30/00

SCRNWRIT 101 Screenwriting I

This course introduces students to both the craft and art of screenwriting. Emphasis is placed on story, structure, and the elements of screenwriting through lectures, exercises and analyses of films. Students learn the basics of Final Draft screenwriting software through a series of specific writing assignments. 3/30/30

FILMPROD 101 The Basics of Film Production

This class combines hands-on experience with demos, lectures, screenings, readings, and discussions to introduce students to the tools, techniques, and terminology used in filmmaking. By integrating the skills and knowledge developed in Creative Process, Screenwriting and Producing classes, students work both in front of and behind the camera to produce several short films and exercises. Students work both independently and collaboratively in a high-pressure creative environment that simulates professional filmmaking. Also covered are the fundamentals of the equipment used throughout the program: digital HD cameras and accessories, basic audio and lighting equipment, and basic editing with Mac computers using Final Cut Pro. 4/30/60

ENGL 2341 Forms of Literature

The purpose of this course is to facilitate a comprehensive development of students’ textual/interpretive skills through varied written assignments that are closely connected with readings from different literary genres, including the history of drama. 3/45/00

FILM 101 History of Popular American Culture Through Film

This course is a survey of early filmmaking through modern cinematography, focusing primarily on domestically produced films. The impact of film and cinematic literature on historical and current American culture will be discussed in depth. Also discussed will be the influence of the early studios (personalities such as Thalberg, Warner and Goldwyn will be covered) and cinematic developments through history. 3/45/00




Building on the fundamental skill set developed in the first semester, students now broaden and intensify their training by investigating more advanced creative and technical approaches to fiction and non-fiction filmmaking. Assigned exercises progress towards more substantial personal projects and simple ideas are developed as students work independently and collaboratively to produce more complex and sophisticated work. Human Biology class helps students better understand the human body, the primary tool of the actor. The foundation of physical production, scheduling and budgeting, is taught using industry standard software such as Gorilla Scheduling and Budgeting.

SCRNWRIT 201 Screenwriting II

Having learned the fundamentals of screenwriting in semester one, students are guided as they focus on writing short screenplays, learning to take their idea from concept to first draft. Sharing their work in class, students continue to explore the elements of screenwriting in a combination of lectures and workshops for writing and peer critique. 3/30/30

FILMPROD 201 Intermediate Film Production

Intermediate Film Production expands upon the lessons learned in the Basics of Film Production. Lectures, demonstrations, film screenings, textbook readings, handouts, and classroom discussions help prepare students for hands-on exercises designed to develop a more mature, self-confident storytelling style. Topics such as the correct methods for shooting dialog scenes, safe and effective construction of an action sequence, basic approaches to location sound recording, and techniques for shooting interviews, will lay the groundwork for shooting fiction and non-fiction semester film projects. 4/30/60

SKED / BUD 201 Scheduling and Budgeting

The foundation of any moving image production is physical production. In this dynamic course students learn the basics of physical production using time tested methods and the latest industry software. Using Gorilla Scheduling and Budgeting software students learn to break down a film script to create a production plan. The management of the production, transportation requirements, and the production's responsibilities to cast and crew are examined in detail. Students will prepare a production book that includes a shooting script, script breakdown pages, shooting schedule, budget, cast, crew and location breakdown. Particular attention is paid to the structure of the workday, reasonable hours, turn around time, and other safety issues that are the responsibility of the producer, director, unit production manager, first assistant director and department heads. 3/30/30

POSTPROD 201 Digital Editing and Post-Production

This hands-on course teaches the tools and techniques used in visual post-production from media management to advanced editing techniques including editing theory, editing software, and basic engineering for post-production. Students use the non-linear edit system, Final Cut Pro, to study a variety of styles and techniques for cutting dialog scenes, action scenes, comedy, music videos, and documentaries. Professional workflows and practices, engineering, color correction and grading, motion graphics, digital video effects, compositing and edit lists will be explored. Students create both personal projects and projects using pre-existing footage. By working on the same project students see firsthand the difference an editor’s creative choices make. 3/15/60

DIGCINE 201 Digital Cinematography and Lighting

This course focuses on advanced digital video filmmaking techniques and aesthetics used to create independent shorts and feature length films. Using state-of-the-art High Definition cameras, students learn to expressively utilize motion picture images to evoke deep emotional response and provoke intellectual engagement. Historical context and modern practical applications inform an understanding of the power of cinematography to support and enhance a story. Students continue to learn the nuts and bolts of day-to-day camera and lighting as well as the relationship between Cinematographer, Director and Production Designer in creating and exploiting the look of the film. Topics covered include developing a cinematic style or lighting signature, enhancing story through camera placement and movement, complex composition, metering exposure in complicated settings, practical use of lenses and filters, advanced lighting scenarios, film stocks, creating mood and ambiance in motion pictures. 3/30/30

BIOL 2301 Human Biology

This course is designed to provide an introduction to the building blocks and components of human life and how they function together to support the organism. Emphasis is on the function of the human body including anatomy, nutrition and the nervous, circulatory and reproductive systems. 3/45/00




Technique and aesthetic converge in the third semester as the focus centers on production. To this end, filmmakers are pushed to expand their skill set to include tools for more nuanced control over the story telling process. The collaborative process by which Director and Actor bring a performance to life, and the power of a well-crafted soundtrack to influence emotional response are among the topics explored. Student filmmakers will also delve deeper into the Producer’s domain to reveal the wide spectrum of producing possibilities, from creative catalyst to organizational wizard or inventive entrepreneur as well as public speaking. A colloquium course provides a forum to address specific issues that arise and is supplemented with guest speakers on various industry topics such as art direction and costume design. Students will continue to hone their screenwriting craft, generating several short scripts while considering advanced topics in narrative storytelling. By the end of the semester, each student is encouraged to submit a screenplay for production as one of the Motion Picture Production Final Projects.

POSTSND 301 Post-Production Audio and Music

Students explore the practical and aesthetic aspects of digital audio tools and procedures through lectures, demonstrations and hands-on exercises. All areas of audio are explored including: sync-sound, editing, mixing, sound design, recording, editing dialogue, prepping for automatic dialogue replacement (ADR) and Foley sessions, loop groups, pre-dubs, composed score, source music, print master, music and effects tracks (M&E) and supervising the final sound mix. The impact of sound design on storytelling in films is evaluated by studying composer choices, edits, and sound effects. 3/15/60

SCRNWRIT 301 Screenwriting III

Greater attention is paid to elements of character objectives and development, scene beats, conflict, obstacles, premise, tension, emotional through-line, and act structure. Work is read in class and evaluated through peer discussion. Students who want to focus on producing, directing or other film industry disciplines will also have an opportunity to develop their story skills by writing analyses of peer scripts and other screenplays. Each student is encouraged to submit one or more of his or her screenplays for consideration as a 4th Semester Motion Picture Production Final Project. 2/60/00

PRODCOL 301 Prep and Production Colloquium

This open discussion course is a forum for students to address specific advanced topics and issues that arise during their third semester projects. Round table discussion is supplemented with guest speakers on various industry topics including art direction and costume design. Scheduled field trips to local industry businesses, such as equipment rental houses, post-production facilities, and film labs are also used to enhance and expand the student’s exposure to the business. 4/00/120

FILMPROD 301 Advanced Film Production

Grounded in the technical skills honed in the first two semesters, students are now ready to explore the more nuanced facets of filmmaking. Student filmmakers learn how to analyze a script, cast the right actor, block a vibrant, motivated scene, and nurture a compelling performance for the camera. Students experience the rehearsal process as a collaborative tool for working with talent to achieve their storytelling goals. A variety of acting methodologies are considered, as are improvisation and problem solving exercises through scene work before the camera. Each student draws upon the multiple disciplines of development, shooting, and post-production for the creation of a high quality Third Semester Final Project. 4/30/60

SPCH 1315 Fundamentals of Public Speaking

This course provides an introduction to the principles and practice of presentational communication, including personal history, impromptu speaking, humorous and persuasive speeches. Methods of topic analysis, evidence evaluation, organization and delivery are covered. 3/45/00

PROFILM 301 Producing the Independent Film

The various producer roles are examined from developing projects and acquiring financing to production management and distribution. Pre-production tasks from scouting to casting, location permits to required clearances and insurance, all the way through post-production are examined. The importance of having a finished script before shooting as well as the structure and collaborative responsibilities of crewmembers throughout a production is emphasized. Through a series of lectures and exercises, the course explores the creative, organizational, and management roles inherent to producing independent films and short films from prep to post. 2/30/00




The cumulative knowledge and experience garnered throughout this program is the foundation for the Motion Picture Production Final Projects. These projects are approved and selected by the faculty. Students collaborate on these projects, forming all the positions of a complete film crew, pre-production through post-production. These projects then become the centerpieces for a real-world study of the business of film. Courses cover contracts, marketing, distribution and the creative use of cinematography to shape mood and tone. Insight into human behavior, gained through Psychology, will prove useful when dealing with cast and crew in the pressure-filled environment of the working set. The colloquium provides a discussion format, including guest speakers, to address specific issues that arise along the way. The ins and outs of submitting films to festivals (students may qualify for an internship at one of the film festivals in the Dallas/Ft. Worth area) as well as marketing and selling films to studios, networks, independently, and on the Internet, will be covered this semester. A unique Advanced Development course uses the skills learned from previous semesters to create a production plan for projects developed after graduation or to concentrate on furthering their skills in the discipline they prefer, while a companion series of lectures assists students in the transition from academia to the professional world.

FILMBIZ 401 Advanced Business of Film

This course examines the business and legal aspects of film production. The economic structure and history of the film industry, the job of production companies and professional guilds, film festivals, grant writing, as well as a full range of the business and legal practices of film and television production are surveyed, including financing and the roles agents, managers, attorneys and publicists play in representing talent, producers and writers. Students are familiarized with entertainment law topics such as: copyright; option agreements; distribution agreements; music licensing; agreements for actors, directors, producers and writers; protecting the rights of the artist; employment contracts, permits and releases; guilds and union; production and distribution revenues and expenses. 2/30/00

DISTRIB 401 Distribution & Marketing

This course examines the full range of film distribution and marketing for major studio and independent film projects. Market research, advertising strategies, image development, and creative execution are explored while focusing on understanding the interplay of markets, buyers, sellers, consumers, and costs. Major studio distribution topics include: devising a release plan, analyzing grosses, scheduling bookings, creating a marketing and advertising campaign, and independent film acquisition. Independent film distribution covers festival circuits and markets, educational and short film distribution, independent features (domestic and foreign), fundraising, and working with agents. The roles of audience survey techniques, booking, publicity, and advertising as well as the corporations and industries involved in the mass media are explored. Students create and deliver a film festival kit. 2/30/00

PSYCH 2319 Social Psychology

This course is an introduction to psychological theories and their application to understanding human behavior. The course covers the psychology of learning, language, developmental personality and altered states of awareness and social psychology. 3/45/00

ADVDEV 401 Advanced Development

This course is designed to propel forward momentum after graduation, a companion series of lectures assists students in the transition from the classroom to the professional world. With the knowledge and skills learned from previous semesters students can develop and create a realistic production plan, market/distribution plan, and financing strategy for a project after graduation, or concentrate on furthering their skills in the discipline they prefer. Motion Picture Production program teachers and industry professionals will be brought in to work with students. 2/00/60

POSTCOL 401 Production and Post-Production Colloquium

This course is a forum for students to address specific issues that arise during production through delivery on the Motion Picture Production Final Projects in an open discussion format. Supplemented by guest speakers and issue specific instruction, such as cinematography, it is designed to address actual concerns as well as questions engendered during production through delivery of the Motion Picture Production Final Projects. 4/00/120

FILMPROD 401 MPP Final Projects-Pre-Production through Delivery

With instructor guidance students form production teams with each team taking a pre-selected Motion Picture Production Final Project from rewrites to pre-production, production, post-production, completion and delivery in this hands-on course. Graduation ceremonies include the screening of graduates’ Motion Picture Production Final Projects. 4/00/105

What sets KD Studio apart from other acting programs is our faculty – experienced, working professionals who know the business from the inside out. For over 30 years, KD Studio has been helping artists hone their craft so that they can succeed in the entertainment industry. KD Studio has become one of the country’s most successful training grounds for professionals in acting, musical theatre, and movie production.

View our Alumni Success Stories to see how we have helped others achieve their dreams, and get a glimpse of the career path that is waiting for you.

For more information on the Motion Picture Production Degree Program contact a representative at (469) 364-9638. KD Studio offers a variety of Accredited Degree Programs, Short Courses, Summer Camps and Workshops designed to hone your skills, develop your talent, and prepare you for a successful career in entertainment.

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