Learning Through Affective Experience and Active Participation: from Language to Films

This is a new class format designed to deepen the possibilities of various language capabilities through the creation of film. You will be challenged in various forms of expression ? verbally, physically, visually, etc. ? by analyzing movies and novels, writing screenplays, and participating in video production workshops.
In the preceding “Academic Skills III and IV” classes, we have invited guest lecturers including artists, Shu Matsui (playwright) and Meiro Koizumi (video artist). So far we tackled film adaptations of Haruki Murakami’s “Wherever I’m Likely to Find it” (2011); Natsume Soseki’s “Ten Nights’ Dreams” (2012); Raymond Carver’s “Cathedral” (2013); Kazuo Ishiguro’s “Come Rain or Come Shine” (2014); and Isaac Asimov’s “Liar! (from I, Robot)” (2014). Most attendees have had no video production experience. Nevertheless, all of the completed works have been impressive. In order to create works that appeal to the audience’s mind, you need basic skills such as an understanding of story structure, knowledge of film language, and more importantly, teamwork. As you repeat the various workshops, yours and others’ visual and acting sensibilities will become clear. When you gather a team that can express its individual interests freely, then your works will take on their own forms. In this class, it may take time to progress, but then you will be able to assume forms of expression and communication that expand your own academic boundaries.


The purpose of this class is to learn “new language skills” by creating filmed works. What are new language skills? In order to adapt literary works to film, you will first need to analyze story structure (critique), and then covert the story told in words into action and dialogue (screenplay). Furthermore, in order to offer the audience an engaging experience, you will need to actually express the story with your body (acting), and then integrate it with visual expression using film language (filming, editing). You will take one story, transform it into different forms ? verbal, physical, and visual ? and then compile it through communication with other group members. Through this process, you will sharpen your language skills to grasp complicated matters and inspire the imagination of others.


・Video production experience not required.
 In this program, experience is not necessary. We are exposed to the visual information through TV news and Youtube videos and unconsciously “read” those according to several rules. We will learn those rules, or “the language of visual information” and use it to express ourselves with visual literacy.

・You will be challenged in various forms of expression: Verbal, theatrical, and visual.
  You will have lessons on various forms of expression. This includes not only filming and editing, but analyzing novels and developing screenplays based on short works.

・Emphasis on communication with fellow attendees.
  Video production cannot be done alone. Attendees assume roles suited to their interests and skills, and then jointly proceed with production.

・Leading artists invited as special lecturers.
  Special lessons on filmmaking techniques and story structure are conducted by filmmakers, screenplay writers, and other invited leading artists.