Seminar in Composition: Film
You will create a comic (minimum 12 to 14 frames) that offers a creative take on one of the issues that we have been critically thinking about in class, whether it has to do with ideology (and any of the large social categories that it positions as normal and natural even though they are cultural constructions), the panopticon, utopias/dystopias (which, indeed, would Pitt be?), how our city/surroundings have an effect on our identity formation, etc .
There are numerous ways that you could do this assignment, including having a conversation take place between multiple characters with shifting background images (either created in the comic, taken as screen grabs from films, or photographs that you have taken or found online), or creating a self-contained fiction or creative non-fiction narrative that highlights concepts (kind of like our films do), or having a character (could be a version of you if you like) move through various spaces and offer commentary for how the reader should understand what is being shown.
Taking what we have learned about comics, you will want to think about transitions between frames and issues of construction in a similar way that we think about structure in our essays. Style and meaning are deeply related. And, just like we talk about with essays, you will want to think about making your comic interesting: how can you best grab your reader’s attention and offer clear yet complex opportunities for interaction with your ideas.
Additionally, you will need to write a 2 page paper in which you 1) discuss what you were trying to do in your comic and what choices you made to achieve your goal, and 2) how working in a creative/visual medium differs (or does not differ) from a more traditional written approach.
You will “grade” your peer group’s comics, and I will tabulate the highest scoring comics for us to look at in class together.
This assignment uses Pixton.com, an online “click-and-drag” comics platform available for educational use with a small fee per student. I prefer Pixton to Bitstrips, as the free Bitstrips offers pre-created frames that the user cannot change in any significant way. Pixton offers the choice to import backgrounds, which can then be altered, as well as the ability to upload photographs or create the milieu from scratch.