Film Production Courses

I am a tenured faculty member at the University of Alaska Fairbanks, and began teaching at UAF in 2006. I served as the appointed founding director and developer of the Bachelor’s Film Degree Program, and also created many of the courses offered in conjunction with the interdisciplinary curriculum. In 2017 the Film major expanded to become a Bachelor of Arts degree with a major in Film and Performing Arts. Students can hold a concentration in Film Production or Theatre and minors are available in both disciplines as well.

My students are given experiential opportunities to work on live film sets, develop their ideas, become key department heads on set, and experience Alaska while making films in this beautiful and unique state.

  1. Lights, Camera, Audio!    (FLPA 258)
  2. Film Set Production I (FLPA 271) and Film Set Production II (FLPA 431)
    1. FLPA F271   Film Set Production I
    2. FLPA F431   Film Set Production II
  3. Fundamentals of Film/Video Directing (FLM/FLPA 331)
  4. FRAME – Film Production Services Practicum (FLPA 403)
  5. Cross-Cultural Filmmaking (ANTH/ART/FLM/FLPA 460)
  6. To register for these classes please visit: UAONLINE.ALASKA.EDU

Lights, Camera, Audio!    (FLPA 258)

3 Credits

Offered Spring

Focusing on what actually makes a video, we will explore lighting and sound design techniques to improve the quality of video projects. Idealized and practical tactics will be investigated.

Lecture + Lab + Other: 3 + 0 + 0

Students generate Visual Poems as part of this course, many of which go on to be screened in the festival circuit.


Film Set Production I (FLPA 271) and Film Set Production II (FLPA 431)

These are often stacked courses; offered concurrently with advanced students mentoring more novice ones. Peer leadership and experiential learning is paramount towards the development of our students and program. Students engage on unique projects relevant to the current events, opportunities, and talent of the class. Often, students produce projects which showcase the screenwriting, producing, design, performance, and directing talent of our majors.

The muse of inspiration comes to August (Mallory Smyth). From The Muse a film by Christopher Tucker.
The Muse by Molly Putman. Starring Mallory Smith. Directed by Christopher Tucker. Produced by Maya Salganek.

The Muse was produced in 2014 by FLM 271 and screened at multiple film festivals beginning in 2015.

FLPA F271   Film Set Production I
3 Credits

Offered Fall

Produce a short dramatic film including concept and script development, basic camera and shooting techniques, working with actors/directing fundamentals, location scouting, production schedule development, basic non-linear editing techniques, and post-production workflows. Students do not need previous experience in film making to take this class.

Prerequisites: FLPA F241 or FLPA F258.

Recommended: FLPA F121XFLPA F231FLPA F247.

Lecture + Lab + Other: 0.5 + 1 + 1.5

FLPA F431   Film Set Production II
3 Credits

Offered Fall

In depth practice of film production supported by investigation into the history and theory of cinema. Script preparation, storyboarding and animatics, blocking actors and staging the camera, sound design, special effects, and editing techniques will be explored. Students will produce a capstone film project while serving as a department key.

Prerequisites: FLPA F231 or ART F231FLPA F271FLPA F260 or COJO F290FLPA F331.

Lecture + Lab + Other: 3 + 0 + 0

Below are films produced during FLPA 271/431 – Film Set Production I/II:


Fundamentals of Film/Video Directing (FLM/FLPA 331)

Introduction to the history, theory and basic concepts of film direction. Includes interpretative script analysis, creative visualization, conceptualization, use of space, working with actors and designers, and direction of short scenes and videos.

This course is often stacked with the Acting for the Camera course (instructed by Professor Baker). Students put original and proven material to the test and film scenes and projects with an eye on directing while still operating as a production team in camera, audio, production design, script supervision, and editing.

Sample Syllabus FLM 331


FRAME – Film Production Services Practicum (FLPA 403)

FLPA F403   Practicum in Film Production: FRAME
3-6 Credits

Offered Fall and Spring

The Film Reel Alaska Mentorship Experience (FRAME) manages a film service company for the University of Alaska Fairbanks. Students will work with program mentors, clients and researchers to develop a variety of content for academic, industrial and creative research activities. May be repeated for credit.

Prerequisites: FLPA F271FLPA F231FLPA F260.

Lecture + Lab + Other: 1-2 + 0 + 4-10


Cross-Cultural Filmmaking (ANTH/ART/FLM/FLPA 460)

FLPA F460      Cross-Cultural Filmmaking      (h)
3 Credits

Offered Fall Odd-numbered Years

The use of film as a documentary tool for describing and understanding scientific and cultural phenomenon has led to the education of generations. Understanding the implications of our film work with a theoretical base for cultural understanding, scientific need and educational potentials will strengthen the film’s integrity and production methods in creating video documents useful as a scientific/cultural record. Pre- production will include research of archival visual media, oral histories and print materials; analysis of educational and scientific funding and distribution options and preliminary interviews, location scouting and film treatment. Production will include time on location with small film crews, media logging and record keeping. Post- production will include basic editing of sequences for distribution.Cross-listed:ANTH F460; ART F460.

NelsonKanukRAHI
A documentary for the Rural Alaska Honors Institute was initiated by the Cross Cultural Filmmaking Course in 2012.

For a sample of work completed by students in this course please see the RAHI Portfolio. 


To register for these classes please visit: UAONLINE.ALASKA.EDU