FILM 170 The Art of Production Design

Margaret O'Brien

Office: Meets in Classroom
Spring 2022-2023
Class number: 43475
Section number: 902
Tu 5:45PM - 9:00PM
14EAS 00209 Loop Campus


This introductory course explores production design and art direction as a narrative art form in cinema. It examines the collaborative relationship between the director, production designer, and cinematographer. Using films, readings, screenplays, lectures, research, and discussion, students will study the fundamentals of a production designer’s approach towards visualizing and conceptualizing story. Students will also gain a historical perspective of how the role of production design has evolved and how advances in technology have influenced the various crafts.


"The Filmmaker’s Guide to Production Design" by Vincent LoBrutto

ISBN: 978-158115224

Other reading assignments and screenings will be made available through D2L


Attendance and Participation 10%

Response Papers (2) 20%

Film Analysis Presentation 25%

Photography Project 15%

Final Project/Presentation 30%


School policies:

Changes to Syllabus

This syllabus is subject to change as necessary during the quarter. If a change occurs, it will be thoroughly addressed during class, posted under Announcements in D2L and sent via email.

Online Course Evaluations

Evaluations are a way for students to provide valuable feedback regarding their instructor and the course. Detailed feedback will enable the instructor to continuously tailor teaching methods and course content to meet the learning goals of the course and the academic needs of the students. They are a requirement of the course and are key to continue to provide you with the highest quality of teaching. The evaluations are anonymous; the instructor and administration do not track who entered what responses. A program is used to check if the student completed the evaluations, but the evaluation is completely separate from the student’s identity. Since 100% participation is our goal, students are sent periodic reminders over three weeks. Students do not receive reminders once they complete the evaluation. Students complete the evaluation online in CampusConnect.

Academic Integrity and Plagiarism

This course will be subject to the university's academic integrity policy. More information can be found at If you have any questions be sure to consult with your professor.

All students are expected to abide by the University's Academic Integrity Policy which prohibits cheating and other misconduct in student coursework. Publicly sharing or posting online any prior or current materials from this course (including exam questions or answers), is considered to be providing unauthorized assistance prohibited by the policy. Both students who share/post and students who access or use such materials are considered to be cheating under the Policy and will be subject to sanctions for violations of Academic Integrity.

Academic Policies

All students are required to manage their class schedules each term in accordance with the deadlines for enrolling and withdrawing as indicated in the University Academic Calendar. Information on enrollment, withdrawal, grading and incompletes can be found at

Students with Disabilities

Students who feel they may need an accommodation based on the impact of a disability should contact the instructor privately to discuss their specific needs. All discussions will remain confidential.
To ensure that you receive the most appropriate accommodation based on your needs, contact the instructor as early as possible in the quarter (preferably within the first week of class), and make sure that you have contacted the Center for Students with Disabilities (CSD) at:
Lewis Center 1420, 25 East Jackson Blvd.
Phone number: (312)362-8002
Fax: (312)362-6544
TTY: (773)325.7296