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Theory Jam: A New Approach to Music Theory

Description

Theory Jam is a series of online, education videos that teach music theory in a fun, engaging way. Our project is a response to the growing need for successful online education content. It incorporates strategies for creating effective educational video

Theory Jam is a series of online, education videos that teach music theory in a fun, engaging way. Our project is a response to the growing need for successful online education content. It incorporates strategies for creating effective educational video content and engages with contemporary debates in the field of music theory surrounding the purpose of a music theory education.

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Date Created
2018-05

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Cyborg Feminism: Ambiguity and Hybridity of the Female Cyborg

Description

A posthuman figure like the female cyborg challenges traditional humanist feminism in ways that make room for theorizing new subjectivities and feminist epistemologies. Rather than support a traditional feminism that assumes common experiences within patriarchal society and erases differences among

A posthuman figure like the female cyborg challenges traditional humanist feminism in ways that make room for theorizing new subjectivities and feminist epistemologies. Rather than support a traditional feminism that assumes common experiences within patriarchal society and erases differences among women, cyborg feminism moves beyond naturalism and essentialism to acknowledge complex, individual, and ever-changing identity. Three films, Fritz Lang’s Metropolis (1927), Ridley Scott’s Blade Runner (1982), and Alex Garland’s Ex Machina (2015), all offer such a vision of the female cyborg. In these films, the cyborg subject is a composite of machine and human—sometimes physical, dependent on the corporal mixing of flesh and machine, but just as often mental. Human sentiment, human memories, and human emotion merge with mechanical frames and electronic codes/coding to produce cyborgs. Importantly, every main cyborg in these films is coded as female. For each cyborg, a female body hosts preprogrammed sexuality and the emotions each creator thinks a woman should have, whether those are empathy, compassion, or submissiveness.

The cyborgs in these films, however, refuse to let categorizations like female, or even their status as human, alive, or real, restrict them so easily. As human-robot hybrids, cyborgs bridge identities that are assumed to be separate and often oppositional or mutually exclusive. Cyborgs reveal the structures and expectations reified in gender to suggest that something constructed can as easily be deconstructed. In doing so, they create loose ends that leave space for new understandings of both gender and technology. By viewing these films alongside critical theory, we can understand their cyborgs as subversive, hybrid characters. Accordingly, the cyborg as a figure subverts and fragments the coherency of narratives that present gender, technology, and identity in monolithic terms, not only helping us envision new possibilities but giving us the faculties to imagine them at all.

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Date Created
2019-05

Liminality

Description

This thesis outlines the process of creating the concept work behind a television series called Liminality, written by my thesis partner, Elizabeth Hansen. Liminality aims to be an animated series about West Elliot Snow as he navigates his life as

This thesis outlines the process of creating the concept work behind a television series called Liminality, written by my thesis partner, Elizabeth Hansen. Liminality aims to be an animated series about West Elliot Snow as he navigates his life as a spiritual medium and how this talent impacts his daily life. It is a coming of age story centered around West and his recently departed father, Lukas Snow, whose spirit is still tethered to the land of the living. Together, the two must learn how to control their powers while helping other spirits who have unfinished business on the earthly plane. It explores themes of sexuality and gender identity as well as non-nuclear family structures as a means of giving voice to those who have felt a lack of representation in mainstream media. In this paper, I explore the depth of the creative process from conceptualization to realization of character designs, scripting for the series, 3D modeling of characters and sets, and finally, the storyboarding of the pilot episode. I start by asserting why a series like Liminality would positively influence the already burgeoning creative landscape of television. Liminality's relevance in today's television market is explained through examples of series that aim to broaden the amount of representation given to underrepresented peoples and identities in mainstream media. From there, I outline which series influenced the process of writing Liminality and why. After that, I delve into the specifics of how Elizabeth and I designed the characters and what decisions went into the final product.

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2018-05

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Commodifying Asian Aesthetics and Eliminating Asian Bodies: Misrepresentations of Asianness in Science Fiction Film and Television

Description

This work examines three common practices—yellowface in Cloud Atlas (2012), whitewashing in Star Trek Into Darkness (2013), and absence in Firefly (2002)—employed in popular science fiction that represent Asianness and disregard the Asian body. Though the creators purport to have

This work examines three common practices—yellowface in Cloud Atlas (2012), whitewashing in Star Trek Into Darkness (2013), and absence in Firefly (2002)—employed in popular science fiction that represent Asianness and disregard the Asian body. Though the creators purport to have progressive ideals at the center of their production choices, their works call on Techno-Orientalist and Orientalist tropes and divorce them from the Asian body, implicitly continuing the Orientalist argument of Western supremacy even in representing Asianness.

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Date Created
2017-05

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Quentin Tarantino's Shared Universe

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My thesis provides an in-depth analysis of the Tarantinoverse, a shared universe in which most of Quentin Tarantino's movies exist. I start by talking about the relationships between characters across different movies and how Tarantino portrays them. I examine how

My thesis provides an in-depth analysis of the Tarantinoverse, a shared universe in which most of Quentin Tarantino's movies exist. I start by talking about the relationships between characters across different movies and how Tarantino portrays them. I examine how he has some characters who are brothers and some characters who have ancestral relationships with other characters. I also observe how two characters in separate movies are the same person and that there is one non-familial relationship within Tarantino's shared universe. Next, I investigate the two distinct universes that make up the Tarantino's cinematic universe, the "realer than real" universe and the "movie" universe. In that section, I explain how he uses crossover characters, who can exist in both the "realer than real" and "movie" universes and how they represent different types of people that exist within both universes. Then I examine fictional products that are exclusive to Tarantino's shared universe. In that segment, I examine how Tarantino critiques the way other filmmakers use product placement in their movies and the way movies are used to market products. After that, I discuss how Tarantino's alteration of history in Inglourious Basterds, namely Adolf Hitler's death, affected the society of Tarantino's movies with respect to popular culture and violence. Regarding pop culture, I examine how Tarantino's characters use pop culture references, how frequently they used them, and what they reference in Tarantino's movies set before Hitler's death and contrast those with the same three aspects in movies set after Hitler's death. Finally, I inspect on how Tarantino uses violence within his movies and contrast how he uses it in movies before Hitler's death and how he uses it in movies set after Hitler's death.

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Created

Date Created
2018-05

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Body Integrity Identity Disorder Screenplay

Description

Body Integrity Identity Disorder Screenplay Abstract
The Body Integrity Identity Disorder Screenplay, tentatively entitled Detach, is a full-­‐length feature film script. Based on a fascinating mental disorder (generally referred to as the acronym BIID) where an individual does not associate

Body Integrity Identity Disorder Screenplay Abstract
The Body Integrity Identity Disorder Screenplay, tentatively entitled Detach, is a full-­‐length feature film script. Based on a fascinating mental disorder (generally referred to as the acronym BIID) where an individual does not associate a limb with the rest of their body, the script follows a sufferer and a reporter attempting to write a story on his struggle.
As my creative sensibilities and skills have developed over the span of my undergraduate career, the most ambitious undertaking imaginable for myself at this moment is the completion of a feature script. This project was a significant test of my storytelling skills and ability to format an unusual tale into a conceivable film.
I am proud of the end result and believe that the final version of my screenplay is an accurate representation of my taste as a filmmaker. I hope to actualize this project one day and help facilitate a transformation of the script into a feature film.

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Date Created
2015-05

Script Supervising

Description

Script supervising is a job on a film set that is often overlooked; however, without the script supervisor there could be countless errors in a movie. Script supervisors keep track of the continuity of the script, including matching actions, eye-lines,

Script supervising is a job on a film set that is often overlooked; however, without the script supervisor there could be countless errors in a movie. Script supervisors keep track of the continuity of the script, including matching actions, eye-lines, and all of the details in the set. The other main task of the script supervisor is to record information; he or she keeps track of the director's favorite takes, general camera information, and what each shot covers. My thesis covers an in-depth look at the practice of script supervising as well as my experiences script supervising two feature films.

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Date Created
2014-12

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A Comparative Analysis of Cold War Films from Britain and America: Perspectives of the Political Atmosphere

Description

Popular culture has a longstanding tendency for being affected by, and reversely affecting, politics. Films, in particular, can exist as either purse “escapism” or heady pathways for political commentary. During the Second World War, governments in both the United States

Popular culture has a longstanding tendency for being affected by, and reversely affecting, politics. Films, in particular, can exist as either purse “escapism” or heady pathways for political commentary. During the Second World War, governments in both the United States and Great Britain used film as a vessel for their own messages, but after the war ended, the two nations allowed their respective film industries more free expression in commenting on wartime and post-war politics. Film also provided particularly vivid political commentary during, and in the years immediately following, the Cold War. Though film has a longstanding history of being a force for political commentary, the medium’s specific engagement with the Cold War holds particular significance because works produced by the two nations’ film industries paralleled the social trend toward political activism at the time. While films produced in the UK and the United States in the 1960s addressed a wide range of contentious political issues, a huge body of work was spurred on by one of the most pressing political tensions of the time: namely, the Cold War.

The United States and Great Britain were major, allied forces during the Cold War. Despite their allied positions, they had unique politico-social perspectives that greatly reflected their immediate involvement in the conflict, in addition to their respective political histories and engagement in previous wars. As the Cold War threat was a large and, in many ways, incomprehensible one, each country took certain elements of the Cold War situation and used those elements to reflect their varied political social positions to a more popular audience and the culture it consumed.

In turn, filmmakers in both countries used their mediums to make overarching political commentaries on the Cold War situation. This analysis looks at five films from those countries during the 1960s, and explores how each representation offered different, often conflicting, perspectives on how to “manage” Cold War tensions, while simultaneously reflecting their conflicted culture and political decisions. The films analyzed reveal that each country focused on contrasting perceptions about the source of the threat posed by Soviet forces, thus becoming tools to further promote their distinct political stances. While the specifics of that commentary changed with each filmmaker, they generally paralleled each country’s perspective on the overall Cold War atmosphere. The British message represented the Cold War as a very internal battle—one that involved the threat within UK borders via the infiltration of spies the tools of espionage. In contrast, the American films suggest that the Cold War threat was largely an internal one, a struggle best combatted by increasing weaponry that would help control the threat before it reached American borders.

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Created

Date Created
2016-05

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Images of Crusaders Portrayed in Film and Their Use as Tools to Serve Contemporary Goals

Description

This paper aims to investigate how the portrayal of the crusaders in twentieth and twenty-first century film has evolved and how they have become tools in serving contemporary goals, including those of individual filmmakers and broad societal ideologies. Through the

This paper aims to investigate how the portrayal of the crusaders in twentieth and twenty-first century film has evolved and how they have become tools in serving contemporary goals, including those of individual filmmakers and broad societal ideologies. Through the analysis of five films, in both narrative and cinematography, spanning from the 1950s until 2011, themes of redemption, maturity, and the dichotomy of "good" and "bad" are discussed, as well as their chronological evolution in regards to the crusading hero. These films, widely ranging in historical subject matter and country of origin, show a greater range of evolution for the holy war hero and the important themes widely associated with them.

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Date Created
2015-05

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The Depiction of Schizophrenia in Film

Description

The depiction of mental illness, schizophrenia in particular, within film is a unique phenomenon that film directors have decided to undertake more so in the last 20 years than ever before in cinematic history (Wedding & Niemic, 2014; Robinson, 2004;

The depiction of mental illness, schizophrenia in particular, within film is a unique phenomenon that film directors have decided to undertake more so in the last 20 years than ever before in cinematic history (Wedding & Niemic, 2014; Robinson, 2004; Gabbard & Gabbard, 1999; Wahl, 1997). Countless filmmakers have taken on the challenge of depicting this complex, yet degenerative condition that entails auditory and visual hallucinations, disorganized thought and speech, and delusions. Its portrayals are usually exaggerated and romanticized, and convey a sense of separate "Otherness" with those who have a mental disorder. And while filmmakers try to encapsulate the schizophrenic experience, it is not without psychiatric error and regarding the person who has schizophrenia as a spectacle. This unfair and ostracizing view of people who have schizophrenia is fueled by films like A Beautiful Mind and The Shining where the film either creates impossibly high standards for schizophrenics to perform at, or the film paints the character as a violent savage. In either case, the end result is the marking and, usually, denouncement of the schizophrenic for their illness. What filmmakers tend to overlook is how much the public learns from the cinematic portrayals of these disorders, and that their films are contributing to an overarching issue of public presumptions of actual schizophrenia and how it is perceived. While the Hollywood approach offers a depiction that is usually more tangible and enjoyable for masses of audiences, spectators should recognize that these are artistic interpretations that take liberties in their depictions of schizophrenia. Viewing these films with an objective mindset to better understand the inner workings of schizophrenia is absolutely crucial in arriving anything close to the truth behind this mental illness that has been demonized long enough.

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Date Created
2015-05