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EDL356 Theater Cinema Film Production 1b

Theater, Cinema & Film Production 1b: Lights, Camera, Action!

Lights, camera, action … take two! Whether you’re a performer, critic, or fan, you’ll pull back the curtain to dive deeper into the making of movies and theater performances. Explore multiple facets of the production process from both theater and film. Gain insights from industry leaders along the way and learn to think critically about different aspects to develop your unit-by-unit blog. You’ll fully understand how high-quality entertainment and art are crafted for the theater and the silver screen.

Review Course Outline

Units at a Glance

Unit 1: Theatrical Production Process

Knowing the big-picture elements in theater provides an important foundation for understanding theater as a whole. But in order to create a successful production, it is imperative to also learn the more granular concepts in theater. For example, there are many steps required to mount a stage production from the ground up. And it begins with the production process—those steps that, if executed properly, take a stage show from idea through development and production to the final applause.

What will you learn in this unit?

  1. Identify and describe the most important aspects of the development stage of theater
  2. Outline the steps involved in theatrical preproduction
  3. Describe the different phases and purposes of rehearsal
  4. Articulate the final steps involved in putting on a stage show

Unit 2: Film Production Process

How do you make a movie? It takes a team and a lot of attention to detail. It begins in development, when the story itself is honed. What follows next is a series of stages that focus on artistic and logistical planning and execution. It is completed by the final touches and choices that move that film to the screen and in front of audiences. There’s a lot to it, so let’s dig in.

What will you learn in this unit?

  1. Identify the main components of film development
  2. Define the tasks that make up a film’s preproduction stage
  3. Describe the responsibilities involved in a film’s production
  4. Outline the roles and responsibilities for a film’s post-production and distribution processes

Unit 3: The Basic Elements of Camerawork

A movie is not a movie without the camera. There are a lot of elements you can go without: actors, sound, crew, budget. But without a camera, it’s not a film. What goes into filming a movie? Choosing the camera, creating the shots, determining the angle and movement—every decision affects the product and should be made to strengthen the vision of the film.

What will you learn in this unit?

  1. Identify the roles and responsibilities of the members of a film crew
  2. Outline the differences and purposes of different pieces of film equipment
  3. Detail different cinematic lenses, focuses, and filters, including their uses
  4. Discuss a variety of cinematic shots, angles, and movements and how they’re used

Unit 4: Lighting the Scene

Lighting is one of the most overlooked and important elements in theater and film. You can’t enjoy a performance if you can’t see it, right? But lighting can help a director achieve so much more than that. A poorly lit film can be washed out. A poorly lit stage can be too dark to see. But a well-lit production can impact everything from practicality to aesthetics, from mood to meaning.

What will you learn in this unit?

  1. Recognize the primary purposes of stage and film lighting
  2. Detail the specific elements of stage lighting
  3. Describe the purposes and practices in lighting for film
  4. Identify the professionals involved in production lighting

Unit 5: Managing Sound in Theater and Film

Like lighting, sound can be an overlooked element in stage and film production. Audiences enjoy what they hear, but how much of it do they really consider? You’d notice if you could not clearly hear the lyrics in a staged musical, or if the background noise drowned out the dialogue in a film. When sound is designed well, you might not even recognize it, but it influences the way you feel as you watch the show.

What will you learn in this unit?

  1. Describe the specific considerations that go into designing sound for the stage
  2. Identify the creators and equipment required to design and execute sound for the stage
  3. Detail the different choices and considerations required to design sound for film
  4. Outline the roles and equipment needed to execute sound design for film

Unit 6: Makeup and Wardrobe

Transforming the words on a page to an experience on a stage or a movie screen takes more than just actors’ skill. Creating characters an audience can believe means thinking not only about what they say and how they say it. Filmmakers must consider how they look. Are they stylish or disheveled? Are they even human? Costume designers and makeup artists help actors and filmmakers bring characters to life.

What will you learn in this unit?

  1. Describe the purpose and process of costuming for theater
  2. Articulate the purpose and special considerations of makeup in theater
  3. Outline the steps in creating and executing a design for cinematic costumes
  4. Identify the purposes and steps in designing makeup for film

Unit 7: Set Design

The most believable costumes, most authentic makeup—neither will convince an audience if they don’t believe the setting. Great hat and holster, but is that a Volkswagen parked in the distance of your Wild, Wild West? Set designers have to keep an eye on every detail, creating the world in which characters live.

What will you learn in this unit?

  1. Describe production design and the role it plays in theater and film
  2. Detail the different roles and responsibilities involved in creating the visual world of a stage production
  3. Outline the roles and responsibilities for a film’s design team

Unit 8: Audiences and Economics

A performance, a musical, or a film might be an exceptional work of art, but if no one sees it, is it a success? Whether a production makes money or not, many artists want to share their work with the largest audience possible. But how is that done? And what price does it exact from the artist?

What will you learn in this unit?

  1. Outline the historical significance of audiences on theater economics
  2. Describe the historical events that have shaped the popularity of cinema
  3. Discuss the impact potential audience has on film production decisions

Required Materials


  • Word processing software
  • Presentation software
  • Spreadsheet software


  • Access to plays and/or films; could be live, streaming, or physical media
  • Blogger(requires login)
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