Courses

At Portland State University, The School of Theatre and Film, 2011-Present

“Narrative Film Production I” An introductory level course in digital cinema production, including the study of cinematography, editing, screenwriting, producing and directing.

“Narrative Film Production II” A theory and production course centered on the art and craft of editing, covering psychology, history, technique, rhythm, technology, continuity, pace, style, and structural strategies.

“Narrative Film Production III” An advanced course in digital film production, with an auteurist approach to the production of a short film, and studies of producing, funding, copyright, legal issues, and distribution.

“Screenwriting: Short Format” A ‘theory of screenwriting’ course covering creative concept development, ideation, voice, exposition, plot and story, character development, descriptive writing, format and structure, in service of the writing of a short film screenplay.

“Screenwriting: Feature Workshop” An intensive workshop-centered course focusing on the development of a feature-length fictional narrative screenplay, as well as an in-depth study of the business of screenwriting.

“Music Videos: Theory and Practice” A hybrid production/studies course examining the intersection of music and visual media, including the study of individual artists, directors, and music video texts; industry production models; and the evolution of MTV and its influence on media and youth culture.

“Remakes: Theory and Practice” A hybrid production/studies course that explores the boundaries between art and plagiarism, individual and institutional aesthetics, and homage and critique.

“The Cinema of Michael Mann” A film studies course focusing on the director Michael Mann, whose psyche is always front-and-center in his films, questioning masculinity, professionalism, bureaucracies, authority, corruption, and the roles the modern man is expected to play in society. Mann’s films are simultaneously authentic and dreamlike, deliberate and surreal, realistic and stylized. Mann is a filmmaker of fierce vision and frequent contradiction, an original and influential voice in contemporary cinema.

“The Cinema of Brian De Palma” A film studies course focusing on the work of arguably the most controversial director of recent decades, Brian De Palma. De Palma’s work is full of long, languid, wordless sequences with rich, lush soundtracks, and repeated uses of devices like split-screens, slow-motion and impossibly saturated colors. More than any other established mainstream director, De Palma makes films that feel like dreams. He is a singular filmmaker, a maverick director who has pushed the limits of pulp cinema.

“The Cinema of John Carpenter” A film studies course focusing on the work of John Carpenter, a director who straddles the line between postmodern auteur and classicist contract player. This course examines the contradictory themes in his films – seemingly right-wing points-of-view often come up against anti-corporate, staunchly liberal messages. And the course explores genre film studies as framed by Carpenter’s work – of all the filmmakers to emerge from the late 70s, it is Carpenter who has perhaps stayed most loyal to working within (and sometimes subverting) classic genre conventions.

“The Comedy of Woody Allen” A film studies course focusing on the comedic work of Woody Allen, including examination of Allen’s writing style; the style of his comedy; his debt to his heroes, Bergman and Fellini; his relationship with New York; his feelings about art and filmmaking; the autobiographical aspects of his work; and the recurring philosophies and themes in his films.

“Sports, Myth, and Contemporary Cinema” A film studies course examining the marriage of sports and cinema, including the themes of social class, race, nationalism, politics, religion, fandom, gender, finance, and the American Dream. Among the films studied are The Natural, Rocky, Chariots of Fire, Remember the Titans, and Moneyball.

“John Hughes and the Evolution of Teen Cinema”
A film studies course exploring the impact of Hughes on the Teen Film genre. The course also includes In-depth studies of auteurist theory, the strategies of media content creation for youth audiences, and the politics and culture of the 1980s.

“American Film Criticism 1970-Present” This hybrid writing/history/theory/production course has students writing and studying reviews, and exploring the history of film criticism and the work of important critics like Pauline Kael and Roger Ebert.

“Independent Projects” An independently designed course in which a student completes a major production or writing project over the course of a term or terms. Supervised projects have included narrative short films, a series of video interviews with Film faculty, and a large-scale promotional video for the Portland State Film Program.

 

At Temple University, The School of Communications and Theater, 2004-2011

“Producing and Directing” A graduate/senior-level production course exploring creative approaches to producing, directing, ethics, aesthetics and historical and contemporary approaches to production. The role of the producer/director is examined through major creative work for a large-scale final project. Includes instruction in HD production and digital animation.

“Advanced Techniques in Directing” A graduate/senior-level production course centered on advanced strategies for directing long-form fictional narrative projects, including in-depth studies of the relationships between the director and the producer, production designer, cinematographer, screenwriter, and actors.

“Webisodes: Experimental Media Production” A “new media”-based production course examining alternative structural and aesthetic strategies in short-form audio and video production, digital image manipulation, compression, mobile media, mixed-media live performance and web-based delivery.

“Introduction to Media Technology” An introductory course in digital media technology. Students learn basic image manipulation, graphic design, sound design, editing, web design and interactive multimedia production.

“Introduction to Production” An introductory course in studio and field production, covering production management, scripting, storyboarding, lighting, rehearsing, camera, directing, editing, sound design, and graphics.

“Intermediate Production” A course in producing and directing strategies, covering a variety of formats, including personal documentaries, live performances, music videos, talk shows, panel shows, and video art.

“Advanced Production” The undergraduate capstone course in the production curriculum, featuring the study of budgeting, fundraising, distribution, and advanced techniques in field production, studio lighting, audio recording, and editing and mixing. Includes instruction in HD production.

“Writing for the Media” An advanced course in writing for the broad range of visual media, covering such topics as structure, dialogue, theme, voice, format, point-of-view, and development and continuity in characterization, action, and setting.

“Music Videos: Theory and Practice” A hybrid production/studies course examining the intersection of music, television, and new media, including the history of music in visual media production; the relationship between a text’s soundtrack and its visual component; the study of individual artists, directors, and music video texts; and the evolution of MTV and its influence on media and youth culture.

“Narrative Modes: Comedy Workshop” A workshop-based course covering narrative production techniques (using the comedy genre as a jumping-off point), including the visualization of plot, character development, competency in the use of camera and lighting, skilled use of the soundtrack, and the creative use of editing for narrative development.

“Editing for the Media” A theory and production course in editing, covering psychology, history, technique, rhythm, technology, continuity, pace, style, and structural strategies.

“Writing Workshop” A workshop-based course covering creative concept development, lateral thinking, ideation, adaptation, observation and its application, dramatic construction and dramatic elements, and basic media writing, in both nonfiction and fiction formats.

“Independent Projects” An independently designed course in which a student completes a major production project over the course of a semester. Supervised projects have included public television documentaries on Philadelphia’s history, music and fashion.

 

At Monmouth College, The Dept. of Communication and Theatre Arts, 2003-2004

“Media Production” A theory and production course based in new media, covering design and interactivity, video production, web design, DVD authoring, encoding, multimedia authoring, and digital animation.

“Radio and Television Production” An introductory-level course in television, radio, and video production, sound design, studio and field shooting, editing, and writing for the media.

“Mass Media and Modern Culture” A large lecture and discussion course covering basic media theory and analysis, as well as in-depth examinations of specific media and specific texts.

“Fundamentals of Communication” An introductory-level communication theory course covering interpersonal and group communication, message creation and organization, audience analysis, writing, and public speaking.

 

At the University of Iowa, The Dept. of Cinematic Arts, 2000-2003

“Modes of Film and Video Production”  An introductory-level cross-media course. Students learn basic production skills through lectures, screenings, workshops, and hands-on assignments. Among the subjects covered are shot composition, directing, sound design, and editing.

“Screenwriting: Long Form” A production-oriented class in which the students learn the art and craft of feature-film screenwriting through a series of assignments, including writing and workshopping their own sixty-page screenplays. Covered are narrative modes, conflict and resolution, characterization, voice, story structure, and the expression of visual ideas on paper.

 

International Course at AHA Cinema Studies Program in Dublin, Ireland, Summer 2015.

“Irish Cinema” A course that approaches the conception of the contemporary Irish cultural identity through an exploration of its national cinema. The course covers the history of film production in Ireland, the ties between the republic and its film output, the clearly defined waves of filmmaking in Irish history, censorship, film economics, and the bodies of work of prominent Irish filmmakers, including Neil Jordan and Jim Sheridan.

 

International Courses at the Temple University Summer Seminar in London, Summer 2009.

“Travel Writing” A course exploring style, structure, and content in the travel writing genre, as well as foundations of intercultural competence and international communication. The course was adapted from the Dublin 2008 curriculum after my successful launch of it in that program.

“British Mass Media” An introductory-level course in Great Britain’s mass media, including in-depth discussions of structure, content, and policy in media institutions as well as analysis of specific media texts.

 

International Course at the Temple University Summer Seminar in Dublin, Summer 2008.

 “Travel Writing” A course exploring style, structure, and content in the travel writing genre, as well as foundations of intercultural competence and international communication. The course was so successful in this first run that it was immediately adopted by the school’s other study-abroad programs.

 

International Course at the Temple University Summer Seminar in Dublin, Summer 2007.

“Irish Media Arts and Irish Identity” Drawing from an analysis of how the media inform and derive from a developing contemporary political and cultural Irish nationalism, this course looks at the intersection between personal and communal identity, the arts and the media.

 

International Course at the Armagh Media Project, The Institute for Education in International Media, Armagh, Northern Ireland, Summer 2007.

“Video Production” Instructed and supervised the documentary video production unit of this summer study abroad program, in which students from a number of American colleges and universities produced an in-depth, multimedia portrait of a small city in a foreign culture. This program was based in Armagh, the oldest city in Ireland, just outside of Belfast. Home to both the Protestant and Catholic seats of Ireland, the city has a rich and controversial religious and political history.

 

Online Courses at Portland State University, The School of Theatre and Film, Summers 2012-Present.

“Screenwriting: Short Format” An online course focusing on the theory and production of short-film screenplays, including exploration of such elements as structure, plot, story, format, character, ideation, and exposition.

“Advanced Editing”
An online film production course examining narrative strategies in editing that move beyond standard Hollywood-style continuity cutting, including montage, parallel action, nonlinear storytelling, soundscapes and pastiche.

Prof. Morrow has also designed iterations of several of his courses to run in a hybrid model that employs a combination of classroom sessions and online learning:
“Music Videos: Theory and Practice”
“The Cinema of John Carpenter”
“Narrative Film Production II”
“American Film Criticism 1970-Present”

 

Online Course at Temple University, The Dept. of Media Studies and Production, Summers 2008-Present.

“Writing Workshop” An online writing course centered on scriptwriting for fictional narrative and nonfiction formats. The course was engineered through the use of blogs, discussion boards, videos, instant messaging, live chat and podcasting.

 

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