Film Studies

Roll the credits. In Western's film studies program, you are part of the production. With easily accessible faculty in small classes and seminar settings, and state-of-the-art media production technology, you will be immersed in theoretical, philosophical and critical studies of media and dramatic works.

Students learn and experience crucial storytelling theory through by creating media.

What Will You Learn? What Skills Will You Acquire?

You'll gain experience and skills in the critical aspects of film:

  • Screenwriting theory and structure.
  • Producing, including media law, ethics, releases, licenses and management.
  • Production, including digital cinematography, cinema aesthetics, cinema theory, lighting and audio production.
  • Post-production, including cinema editing and web content creation.
  • Marketing, publication and distribution strategies.

Beyond the Classroom

Each semester, the program hosts popular public screenings of student work. We promote student research and internships – locally, nationally and internationally. We host visiting professionals and artists, and sponsor student trips to national conferences and film festivals, where they share their research and artistry.

After Graduation

Graduates are prepared for staff positions at television and radio stations, media outlets and communication corporations. They also are well equipped for entrepreneurial and freelance work.

Western graduates also have continued their studies in graduate schools in major media markets.

Next Steps

If you're interested in Western's Film Studies Program, we invite you to take the next steps towards becoming a part of the Mountaineer family. 

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  2. Get more information about the program.
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  4. Start the online application process - apply online now.
  5. Find scholarships, grants, or financial aid that match your interests and situation.

Courses

 COM 119 - INTRODUCTION TO FILM (3 credits)

Students are introduced to the aesthetics of narrative and documentary motion pictures through the study of the basic elements of cinema. Topics may include story structure, cinematography, editing, sound, and lighting.

 COM 231 - TECHNICAL PRODUCTION I (3 credits)

A study of how things are done behind the scenes in theatre and film and why they are done that way, including the basic customs and traditions of production work and the philosophy, aesthetics, and process of production. Intensive hands-on development of skills in the construction of sets, costumes, lights, sound, and props; the operation of rolling units, lights, flies, and sound; and production assistant duties.

 COM 241 - MEDIA WRITING (3 credits)

An analysis and practice of the major forms of media writing, including print, broadcast and web-based publication, with an introduction to the ways that production varies the writing of each. Prerequisite: ENG 102 with a minimum grade of "C-."

 COM 261 - INTRODUCTION TO AUDIO COMMUNICATION (3 credits)

This course introduces the basic concepts, functions and technology of audio production as they relate to the elements of narrative and storytelling. Prerequisite COM 119, COM 121, or COM 151; or instructor permission.

 COM 264 - INTRODUCTION TO PRODUCTION AND THEORY (3 credits)

An introduction to the theory and practice of media production including critical and aesthetic theories. Topics may include scriptwriting, producing, directing, cinematography, sound recording, editing, and standards of operation for production facilities and equipment. Prerequisites: COM 205, COM 261, and sophomore standing; or instructor permission.

 COM 331 - SCENOGRAPHY IN FILM AND THEATRE (3 credits)

A study of designing visually for the stage and screen, with an emphasis on a unified look and a single intense effect. A strong emphasis on script analysis as a basis for design. Additional information on visual research for theatre and film including location scouting and contextual research into the background of the story. Hands-on development of skills in generating graphic communication of design ideas is included. Prerequisite: COM 231 or instructor permission.

 COM 362 - ADVANCED AUDIO PRODUCTION (3 credits)

An in-depth study of audio design and production for film, radio, television and live theatre. Prerequisite COM 261.

 CRWR 661 - FILM HIST ANAL: VISUAL NARRTV (2 credits)

Focus on examination, analysis, and discussion of classic and contemporary films from a screenwriting, story, and character development perspective as well as analyses of theme and motif. Students engage in writing activities and exercises to develop a visual narrative style. All such writing goes towards creating material to fuel the mentoring process in upcoming semesters. The main theme here is: when possible show the story element; Don't have a character say it. Finally the prevailing three- and four-act screenplay structures will be explored. Prerequisite: Admission to the program.

 ENG 248 - FILM AS LITERATURE/LITERATURE AS FILM (3 credits)

A focus on the development of film and its cultural impact, with special emphasis on the relationship between film as a visual medium and literature as a verbal medium. After examining a selection of short stories and novels and the film adaptations based upon them, students are given the opportunity to write some film criticism of their own. Prerequisite: ENG 102 with a minimum grade of "C-."

Faculty & Staff

Faculty

Professor of Communication Arts
A.B., University of California-Santa Cruz; M.F.A., University of Montana.
Phone: (970) 943-2132
Office Location: Taylor Hall 220C
Associate Professor of Communication Arts
B.A., Humboldt State University; , M.F.A., University of North Carolina-Greensboro.
Phone: (970) 943-3052
Office Location: Taylor Hall 212E
Technical Director of Media
Phone: (970) 943-2581
Office Location: Taylor 212C