Ioana Uricaru, Assistant Professor of Film and Media Culture at Middlebury College, was born in Romania and grew up during the country's communist dictatorship, experiencing the violent anti-government uprising in 1989 and the equally traumatic transition that followed. She initially studied Biology, graduating with a Master of Science in Biochemistry from the University of Bucharest before she decided to become a filmmaker.
She relocated to Los Angeles in 2001 to study at University of Southern California’s School of Cinematic Arts, where she received a Master of Fine Arts in Film and Television Production and a Doctorate in Critical Studies. Her doctoral research focused on the relationship between discourse and experience in cinema, analyzing it through the perspective of the neuroscience of emotion. Her scholarly work on contemporary Romanian cinema has been published in The Velvet Light Trap, Film Quarterly and The Blackwell Companion to Eastern European Cinemas (edited by Aniko Imre), and her film criticism and reviews have been published in several Romanian and international newspapers and journals.
Professor Uricaru is a director and screenwriter whose films have been included in the Official Selections at festivals such as Cannes (2009), Sundance (2011) and AFI (2007). She co-directed the omnibus Tales From the Golden Age (Mobra Films, 2009), distributed commercially in over 30 countries, including the US. Her first feature as a writer-director, After the Wedding, currently in pre-production, has been developed through the Cinefondation Residency of the Cannes Film Festival and at the Sundance Directors’ lab program.
Courses offered in the past four years.
▲ indicates offered in the current term
▹ indicates offered in the upcoming term[s]
FMMC0105 - Sight and Sound I
Sight and Sound I
In this course students will gain a theoretical understanding of the ways moving images and sounds communicate, as well as practical experience creating time-based work. We will study examples of moving images as we use cameras, sound recorders, and non-linear editing software to produce our own series of short works. Emphasis will be placed on understanding the possibilities of the medium through experimentation, analysis, and detailed feedback while exploring different facets of cinematic communication. (FMMC 0101, or FMMC 0102, or approval of instructor) 3 hrs. lect./3 hrs. lab ART
Spring 2013, Fall 2013, Fall 2014
FMMC0106 / CRWR0106 - Writing for the Screen I
Writing for the Screen I
In this course we will examine the fundamental elements of dramatic narrative as they relate to visual storytelling. We will emphasize the process of generating original story material and learning the craft of screenwriting, including topics such as story, outline, scene structure, subtext, character objectives, formatting standards, and narrative strategies. Weekly writing assignments will emphasize visual storytelling techniques, tone and atmosphere, character relationships, and dialogue. Students will be required to complete two short screenplays. Required readings will inform and accompany close study of selected screenplays and films. (FMMC 0101 OR CRWR 0170 or approval of instructor) (Formerly FMMC/ENAM 0106) 3 hrs. sem. ART
Fall 2012, Fall 2013, Fall 2014, Fall 2015
FMMC0252 - Authorship and Cinema
Authorship and Cinema
Topic is determined by the instructor - refer to section for the course description. ART
FMMC0335 - Sight and Sound II
Sight and Sound II
In this course students will work in teams to produce several short films, having the opportunity to take turns at fulfilling all the essential crew positions: director, producer, cinematographer, production sound mixer, editor, and sound designer. We will emphasize thorough pre-production planning, scene design, cinematography, working with actors, and post production —including color correction and sound mixing. The critical dialogue established in FMMC 0105 Sight and Sound I will be extended and augmented with readings and screenings of outstanding independently produced work. Obtain application on FMMC website online and submit prior to the start of registration.(Approval-required; FMMC 0105). Obtain application from the FMMC website and submit prior to the start of registration. Priority given to FMMC majors. 3 hrs. lect./3 hrs. lab. ART
FMMC0341 / CRWR0341 - Writing for the Screen II ▲
Writing for the Screen II
Building on the skills acquired in Writing for the Screen I, students will complete the first drafts of their feature-length screenplay. Class discussion will focus on feature screenplay structure and theme development using feature films and screenplays. Each participant in the class will practice pitching, writing coverage, and outlining, culminating in a draft of a feature length script. (Approval required, obtain application on the FMMC website and submit prior to spring registration) 3 hrs. sem/3 hrs. screen. ART
Spring 2013, Spring 2014, Spring 2015, Spring 2016
FMMC0349 / THEA0349 - Acting/Directing for theCamera ▲
Acting and Directing for the Camera
In this advanced workshop we will focus on the relationship between actors and directors in the context of live action media production (film, television, advertising, web series). Students will gain practical knowledge of actor-director engagement and insight into both facets of this process. Students will also analyze produced screenplays, practice actor-director communication, and direct and perform for the camera. All students will take turns fulfilling the roles of director and performer, culminating in recording and editing workshopped scenes. (FMMC 0105 or THEA 0102) ART
FMMC0507 - Independent Project ▲ ▹
Advanced Independent work in Film and Media Culture
Guidelines for submitting proposals are available on the Film & Media Culture web site along with a list of prerequisites.
Spring 2013, Fall 2013, Spring 2014, Fall 2014, Spring 2015, Fall 2015, Spring 2016, Fall 2016, Spring 2017
FMMC0700 - Senior Tutorial
Film and Media Senior Tutorial
All FMMC majors must complete this course, in which they undertake a critical essay, a screenplay, or a video. The following prerequisite courses are required: for a video project: FMMC 0105, FMMC 0335, FMMC/CRWR 0106; for a screenwriting project: FMMC 0105, FMMC/CRWR 0106, FMMC/CRWR 0341; for a research essay: demonstrated knowledge in the topic of the essay, as determined in consultation with the project advisor, and coursework relevant to the topic as available.
Spring 2014, Fall 2014
FMMC1020 - Collaborative Video Projects
Collaborative Video Projects
In this course groups of students will organize, devise, and produce original video projects concluding with a public screening. Students must request approval from the instructor prior to winter term registration via the application on the FMMC website. Students must do significant preproduction before January. Projects will be self-guided with oversight from the faculty, and subject to peer review. (Pass/Fail; Approval required) non-standard grade WTR
FMMC1135 - Script Development
Script Development Workshop
In this course we will focus on the necessary preparation phase before the screenplay writing can begin. Participants will explore ideation techniques, finding a story that is appropriate for a feature length script, outlining and pitching. We will discuss dramatic structure in depth and explore the high-concept potential of your screenplay ideas, examining their aesthetic as well as their business possibilities. We will assemble a pitching packet for your projects, including synopsis, logline, mood board and fantasy casting. At the conclusion of this class, you will have a solid outline supported by pitching materials and a clear overview of your material. The class makes an excellent preparation for students who want to take FMMC 0341 Writing for the Screen II or who plan to write a screenplay for their senior tutorial. (FMMC 0106) ART WTR