Film Studies

  • Bachelor of Arts in Communication Arts
    • Minor
    • Emphasis

    Get Involved

    A college education is more than just taking courses. Meet new people, apply your skills and stretch beyond your comfort zone. Make your education an experience.

    • KWSB Radio: On air since 1968, KWSB is student driven, student staffed and open to anyone who wants to have their own radio show. 
       
    • Mountaineer Media: A student-run media production group specializing in short films, screenings and storytelling abilities.
       
    • Western Theatre Company: A co-curricular program and student-run producing board that oversee and provide quality live performance to the campus and Gunnison community.
       
    • Taylor Media Center: Houses film production studios, audio production studios and more.
       
    • Top o' the World Newspaper: Monthly paper composed by students offering opportunities in newswriting, photography, editing, designing and advertising sales.

    Scholarships

    Institutional Scholarships

    Common Scholarships

    Western offers approximately 70 common scholarships for which a wide variety of students are eligible (e.g., locals, veterans, transfers). Apply for any number of these common scholarships using Western’s Common Scholarship Application, which is due April 1. For more information, visit western.edu/scholarships.

    Early Action Credit

    If a student is accepted to Western by Nov. 1 and qualifies for a merit scholarship, the student will receive an additional $500 for the first year. Use our Net Price Calculator to determine whether you qualify for a merit scholarship.

    Mountaineer Alumni Recommendation Scholarship

    Western Colorado University alumni can nominate prospective students for a $500 scholarship ($250 per semester) for first year only. Application deadline is typically June 1. For more information, visit western.edu/mars.

    Neighboring States Program

    Students with a permanent address from one of the seven contiguous neighboring states to Colorado who have demonstrated financial need are automatically considered for a special $1,000 per year grant, totaling $4,000 over four years.

    The Western Neighboring States program can be added to WUE, CP or merit scholarships. So, if you are a permanent resident of one of those seven states—and show financial need—you are eligible.

    For more information about the Neighboring States program, visit Western’s Tuition Discount Programs Page.

    Presidential Promise

    The Presidential Promise is guaranteed to students who have received a scholarship through the Denver Scholarship Foundation (DSF) and/or GearUp—and are eligible for a Pell Grant.

    For students who meet these criteria, Western will cover the cost of tuition and fees through the combination of federal, state and institutional aid. For more information on the Presidential promise, visit western.edu/scholarships.

    Tuition Discount Programs

    Western Undergraduate Exchange (WUE) or Central Plains (CP) tuition represents a substantial savings relative to normal, out-of-state tuition. Students eligible for the WUE or CP program will be charged 150% of Western’s total in-state tuition. For 2018-19, total in-state tuition was $8,934. WUE/CP tuition was $13,401. The WUE/CP discount is valued at $4,695.

    For more information about the WUE and CP geography-based programs, visit Western’s Tuition Discount Programs Page.

    Western Merit Scholarship

    Immediately upon acceptance at Western, every student is considered for a merit scholarship worth between $2,500-$4,500 per year for in-state students and $8,000-$10,000 for out-of-state students. The amount is based on the student's GPA and ACT/SAT scores. Visit our Net Price Calculator at western.edu/cost to determine whether you qualify for a merit scholarship. 

    For more information about merit scholarships at Western, visit western.edu/scholarships.

    Faculty & Staff

    Faculty

    Jack Lucido, MFA headshot
    Professor of Communication Arts, Director of Film Studies, Chair of CALL Department
    Phone: 970.943.3052
    Office Location: Taylor Hall 216

    Courses

    FOR REQUIRED COURSES AND DEGREE PLANS, VISIT THE OFFICIAL UNIVERSITY CATALOG. This is a sample of courses offered by Western Colorado University. To ensure the courses you need are offered during the current semester, please visit the university course search.

     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 (4 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 235 - Fundamentals of Acting (3 credits)

    An introduction to the principles, processes, and techniques of acting. The study is designed to balance theory and performance; to explore in detail the psychological, perceptual, and conceptual linkages to the strategies, techniques, and skills of the actor; and to develop a significant sense of self-discipline on the part of the actor. Topics include warm-up and awareness skills, basic body and voice integration techniques, the theories of Stanislavski, character analysis, and performance process

     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 ÒC-.Ó

     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 script writing, 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 274 - Public Relations Communication (3 credits)

    A study of the use of communication to establish credibility, trust, and confidence between and among communities, employees, public agencies, civic organizations and business institutions.

     COM 306 - Scriptwriting (3 credits)

    An introduction to the fundamental tools and skills required to craft a script for performance on stage or in film/video. Students are expected to produce play scripts and screenplays of varying lengths; they are also expected to read and respond to one another's writing. Some history of play writing and study of prevailing models of script writing are also included. Prerequisites: COM 205 or ENG 205, with a minimum grade of "C", or instructor permission.

     COM 310 - Introduction to Performance Studies (3 credits)

    An interdisciplinary course exploring the human desire to perform in both aesthetic and everyday settings. It explores the links between the arts and literature, anthropology, communication, sociology, and philosophy. Critical reading, written analysis, and performance of literary texts are essential elements of the course.

     COM 323 - Media/ Arts Management (3 credits)

    An introduction to the basic principles and structure of management as it applies to Communication Arts. Particular focus is given to management of small and mid-size nonprofit media and arts organizations, and to the interrelationship between those two areas. Prerequisite: junior standing or permission of the instructor.

     COM 324 - Advanced Acting (3 credits)

    An advanced-level course that focuses on specific areas of actor training, including methods of voice and movement training; the requirements and techniques of different styles of acting including classical, Elizabethan, Restoration/18th Century, Commedia, and Advanced Contemporary acting styles; and advanced textual analysis required of actors by specific theatrical works. Repeatable for a maximum of six credits among different topic areas. Prerequisite: COM 235 or instructor permission.

     COM 330 - Technical Production II (3 credits)

    An intermediate-level study of lighting and sound production for theatre and film. Instruction is provided in the proper rigging of light and sound equipment, use of control consoles and software, optics, basic electrical theory, the nature of light, and acoustics. The design and aesthetic use of light and sound are also explored. Prerequisite: COM 231 or instructor permission.

     COM 346 - Multimedia Communication (3 credits)

    An exploration of the theory and application of multimedia communication principles through projects that use common interactive multimedia, animation, non-linear editing, web authoring, and desktop-publishing programs. Prerequisites: COM 205, or instructor permission.

     COM 352 - Advanced Cinema Studies (3 credits)

    An in-depth study of the aesthetics and theory of cinema through the examination and critical analysis of the technical and creative elements of selected iconic Hollywood and international motion pictures. Prerequisite: Junior standing.

     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.

     COM 389 - Media Production: Narrative (3 credits)

    An introduction to the theory and practice of the field-based production of narrative films. Topics emphasized may include fictional story, cinematography, lighting, sound, editing, and production management. Prerequisite: COM 264 with a minimum grade of "C."

     COM 390 - Media Production: Documentary (3 credits)

    An introduction to the theory and practice of producing nonfiction works, including conventional documentary forms and autobiographical or experimental works. Topics may include actual story, cinematography, lighting, sound, editing, and production management. Prerequisite: COM 264 with a minimum grade of "C."

     COM 423 - Directing (3 credits)

    A comprehensive introduction to the theory and practice of directing for the stage. Includes an exploration of play selection, character and script analysis, conceptualization of production, actor coaching approaches, staging techniques; as well as the actual direction and presentation of scenes and plays. Prerequisites COM 231, COM 235, COM 310 and junior standing; or instructor permission.

     COM 490 - Advanced Media Production (3 credits)

    Students are immersed in advanced project work. Topics may include cinematography, lighting, grip, electrical, special effects, visual effects, sound effects recording, sound design, and animation. Prerequisite: COM 361, COM 389 or COM 390 with a minimum grade of ÒC.Ó

  • Bachelor of Arts in Communication Arts
    • Minor
    • Emphasis

    The Film Studies program offers state-of-the-art media production facilities, small classes and accessible faculty. The program balances theoretical, philosophical and critical studies of media and dramatic works with hands-on storytelling experience through student-directed projects.  

    Each semester, the Film Studies program organizes popular public screenings of student work and hosts visiting professionals and artists to give students current industry insights. Many students take their experience to the next level through national and even international internships. 

    What Will You Learn? What Skills Will You Acquire?

    You will 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.

    In addition, Western graduates have continued their studies in graduate schools in major media markets.