Film and Television Program Overview
The core value of learning to tell stories with images is that you can speak the common language of the human race and use that ability to be successful in any endeavor you undertake - business, medicine, law, pastoring, teaching, farming - any endeavor you choose.
Every course in the new film major at La Sierra University teaches the value of a particular craft from the point of view of storytelling. How does editing enable you to tell better stories - how about acting - how about scriptwriting - how about cinematography? Every craft you learn improves your ability to tell stories with a universal power to heal.
However, not all of us are as interested in one part of the craft as another. The ideal film degree, then, combines an introduction to all aspects of the craft of storytelling with an opportunity to concentrate in particular aspects that most appeal to you.
That ideal film degree is what we are creating at La Sierra University. Every student enrolled in the film and television production major will take a strong core of required courses. In addition, students have the opportunity to either choose from a list of electives or choose to take a specific, Film Department-designed Concentration. The first Concentration we will offer is Film Studies, an emphasis on a theoretical approach to film that can prepare you for an M.A. or a Ph.D. and prepare you for High School teaching or film criticism. Soon to come, Concentrations in Production and Post-Production Sound, Scoring and Composition, and Editing.
This approach, again, is designed to ensure each graduating senior has a solid grasp of the fundamentals of film and television production while also having the flexibility to focus more fully on a particular aspect that appeals to you.
Here's how you can earn a living with this degree:
- Hollywood Studios/Large Production Companies/Christian Media Production Companies - when you graduate you will have a solid grasp of storytelling skills and the technical crafts necessary to create your stories for film and television production. As a bonus, you can take elective courses that develop advanced skills in an area of your interest such as Film Studies, Editing, Sound Production, and more. These courses, along with a good reel that showcases your work, will go a long way toward getting you employment at a well-established production company when you graduate.
- Independent Filmmaker - when you graduate you will have a solid grasp of the storytelling and technical skills necessary to produce your stories for film, television, and web distribution. This career path requires the skills of a creative artist, a technical wizard, and a strong entrepreneurial spirit. We will teach you the basics of business plans and creating financially successful projects that can form the basis of your filmmaking career.
- Graduate School - the broad approach to storytelling craft provided by the core courses prepares you for entry into a world-class MFA program for further training toward an 'above the line' career in writing, directing, producing, or acting. It also prepares you to function as an independent film or television producer/writer/director, able to wear many 'hats' and produce your own work - narrative and/or documentary. You can produce the stories you are passionate to tell, and/or produce work for 'industrials' including commercial companies and religious insitutions, and/or for any of the myriad other demands for visual content.
- Alternative Content such as Video Games, Commercials/PSA's, and content created specifically for the web are becoming so lucrative they may become the norm, not the alternate, way to earn a living with the skills you learn at La Sierra. Video Games, especially, earn more money than many films. All of these forms of entertainment are built on a foundation of storytelling.
- It's not just about a job, it's about a career. The language of storytelling is universal and foundational to all career choices. Knowledge of this language will enhance your flexibility and in an ever-changing job market by making you 'hire-able' in a variety of job or career pathways. The universal language of international culture and business used to be French. After World War 2, the universal language become English. Today the universal language is film and the ability to communicate a message through images. Who knows what kinds of jobs there will be in twenty years? Storytelling, however, has been around as long as the human race has existed. That isn't going to change. A foundation in storytelling is a foundation you can build a career on.
Welcome to the world of storytelling. Welcome to La Sierra University.