My experience at U/Iowa, Annenberg at Penn, UNC-Chapel Hill, and Temple
lead me to think that students (and likely all of us) read what they
want to read in program descriptions. Even Temple which has an
extensive production track has students who think that we don't give
them enough. Annenberg, UNC and Iowa had/have two courses in
production. The catalogs promised no more. Some of the catalogs went
to great pains at accurate description. Usually to no avail. Each year
I would find myself counseling students that they had made the wrong
choice, if they were expecting to learn enough production to go out and
face the cruel world.
My guess is that many schools and faculties are conflicted on this
point. Despite the real-world-economic-facts, they would like to do
what they can't. We end up with dissatified students and faculty. What
I'm saying is that students are not the only ones who would prefer film
production courses to other things. The problem may be inherent in what
it is we do. One cannot seriously understand film or television without
understanding that they are constructions based on the work of several
(many) people operating within technological and economic limitations.
Film is not literature, despite what the English departments would have
us believe. The easiest (maybe the only) way to learn this point is to
have some experience in actual production.
This is the only justification I know of for the two-course sequence in
production. Yet I have had discussions with faculty colleagues at various
schools who thought that we should expand the course offerings -- because
the students wanted it they said -- when it was clear that some faculty
members, for reasons of their own, preferred teaching production.
Cal Pryluck <[log in to unmask]>
Dept of Radio-Television-Film <PRYLUCK@TEMPLEVM>
Philadelphia, PA 19122 voice (215) 247-9663)