theatre building

Web Series Classes at Texas State

by Jimmy Preston
Blog Content Contributor

photo 3
Photo by Jimmy Preston

The Department of Theater and Dance has some exciting additions to the course offering for Texas State students. Opportunities are available for students to learn marketable skills as they look for, and eventually land, a job in the real world. The class offerings are not just for Theater and Dance students, many Communications, Marketing, or Business majors may find these classes beneficial if they plan to work in the world of media post graduation.

Web Series is still an emerging field in media. As many of the traditional production houses continue to launch their projects online(YouTube), or with streaming video providers (Netflix, Hulu, Amazon), a increase in web focused tv/film festivals has been witnessed. The Austin Film Festival has opened it’s doors recently to web series, and there is also the Austin WebFest to showcase your web series production.

The web series classes offered through the Theater and Dance Department are a 2-part class packaged as Web Series I and Web Series II. The first part is all about getting ready to produce a web series. Students will put together a production plan, a marketing plan, script writing/revisions, website building, and production cost analysis. The aim of the first semester is to cross all the i’s and dot the t’s, before jumping into the actual production.

The goal of the second part of the series, Web Series II, is to have every student shoot 2 to 3 episodes of their series. This is when the fun really happens. Students will be able to test out their ideas and see if they work. Possibly the most valuable part of the Web Series II class is the practical application of all the hard work that took place in Web Series I. A smooth production is often due to that hard work done during the pre-production stage. The other takeaway is the crew you gather to make your production come to life, some of these team members will be with you for life. Students are required to take Web Series I before they take Web Series II. There are currently a few slots left in the Web Series I class that is scheduled for the Spring 2016 semester. If your schedule is already full for the spring, Web Series I is available Fall 2016.

Texas State University Lecturer, Susan Busa, is excited about about the practical skill development that the students acquire during the hands-on learning process.

“This is the opportunity to get something professional-looking done, as a student,” said Busa.

Students are able to use the technology available on campus; cameras, computer labs, editing software to create the projects. The theater department is another amazing resource, with the availability of many theater students that are possible leads in the productions.  Busa leads the web series classes through the creation of their web series as she offers up her experience writing and pitching scripts from her time working with Hollywood and in Austin.

Students that are graduating May 2016 are able to sign up for Web Series II, however they will be a part of an already established production crew from the Fall 2015 semester.

Busa feels that the Web Series classes are a compliment to the current offerings in the Theater and Dance Department. Television and film is a performance based type of writing, and it belongs in a performance based department. The media industry is a multi-billion dollar industry and thousands of jobs are out there. By learning how to produce a web series, build a crew, and getting the project in front of an audience, students will see the many possibilities for real work that are out there.

Here is a screenshot of the class offerings:

course description

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