Senior Tutorial

The Senior Tutorial:  All FMMC majors must enroll in the Senior Tutorial during their final spring semester.  From the time they declare the major, FMMC majors should begin considering what form of senior project they want to undertake and should take classes in the major (and possibly outside the major) accordingly.  Students should consult regularly with their advisors prior to undertaking the Senior Tutorial and throughout their coursework in the major.

In the Senior Tutorial, each student will undertake an independent senior work project that will take the form of a video, a screenplay, or a critical essay.  Students must have completed the required prerequisite courses to undertake a project in a given form.  To produce a video, a student must have completed: Sight & Sound I; Sight & Sound II or another approved advanced production course; and Writing for the Screen I.  The maximum length for videos is 15 minutes.  To write a screenplay, a student must have completed: Writing for the Screen I; Writing for the Screen II or another approved advanced writing course; and Sight & Sound I.  The student will produce 70-120 pages of original writing on a feature film or television script(s).  To write a critical essay, a student should have completed courses relevant to their topic of research.  The student will produce a 40-70 page essay consisting of original research.

Formal collaboration between two students on both video and writing projects is permitted in the Senior Tutorial, but the nature of the collaboration must be carefully articulated, and the collaboration must be approved by the Senior Tutorial instructor. 

In addition to the Senior Tutorial instructor, students will select a secondary advisor from the faculty (in FMMC or another department) who has some expertise in the area in which the student is working.  This secondary advisor will offer the student additional guidance about the project.

The final project will be due on the Monday of the last regular week of classes.

After completion of their creative work, students producing videos and writing scripts will write a 3-5 page essay reflecting on the process of work that was undertaken to complete their project.

Each student’s project will include a public presentation component.  Videos will be screened publicly and, several days after, the student videomakers will gather with faculty and students to answer questions about their work.  Screenwriters will present and read from their scripts, as well as answer questions, at another public gathering.  Students writing critical essays will have a formal defense with the instructor and two other faculty members. 

Students will receive a grade in the Senior Tutorial based on their overall performance in the class.  Both product (quality of the final project) and process (meeting deadlines, presenting work-in-progress in class, participating in peer critiques) are considered in the final evaluation.

The Senior Tutorial is a one semester, one credit project.  Only under special circumstances will a student be allowed to register for an independent project in the Winter term prior to the Senior Tutorial and complete work for credit that will be used in the senior project.  Those special circumstances are limited to preparatory work, which may be defined as: the need to work through a bibliography and filmography in a certain area of study as preparation for undertaking the senior project; the need to travel outside the area for filming, research, or other work that cannot be conducted during the spring semester; the need to master a particular skill (e.g., animation) in advance of undertaking the senior project.  Prior to making a formal request for a preparatory winter term credit, students should consult with both their advisor and the scheduled Senior Tutorial instructor.   Requests will be approved by the faculty of the FMMC department.  If approved, the student should select a faculty advisor and register with her/him for a 607.  The student will receive an independent grade for work completed during this winter term.

Honors:  Departmental honors will be determined by a student’s overall GPA in the major, and by the quality of the student’s culminating work on the senior project.  Normally, a GPA of 3.7 in the major is required for consideration for Honors.   A designation of Highest Honors will be reserved each year for that graduating senior who has done particularly distinguished work in the major. 

Department of Film and Media Culture

Axinn Center at Starr Library
15 Old Chapel Road
Middlebury College
Middlebury, VT 05753
Fax: 802.443.2805