Wayne State University


About the major: The major in film combines the study of film history and analysis with film/video production and scriptwriting, providing a well-rounded understanding of film as a visual and narrative art form and of the process of filmmaking.

Mission Statement: The major in film prepares students for careers as film/video makers, professionals, and scholars who can create, interpret, and critique film as a visual and narrative art form. Students acquire knowledge of film history and film/media theory as they gain training and experience in the art of storytelling through screenwriting, cinematography, sound recording, editing, producing, and directing. Students develop skills in the planning, acquisition, and management of resources and logistics as they engage in the conceptualization, realization, and exhibition of engaging narratives.

Learning Outcomes:

  1. Demonstrate knowledge of film history.
  2. Apply film and media theory to the analysis and production of cinematic works and other media content.
  3. Tell engaging stories in a variety of genres and modes.
  4. Shoot and edit effective narratives.
  5. Manage the resources and logistics inherent in producing film.

Career opportunities: The prospects for finding a job with a film degree appear to be growing as new media is resulting in an increased call for more "video" materials. We're watching more movies in/on a number of different venues now. Students who major in film may be preparing for careers as film teachers, film librarians and archivists, film critics, script writers, or workers in film production.  Additional study at the graduate level usually is required to achieve these goals. There are a number of great grad schools for studying film, but this also depends on which aspect one is most leaning toward. Wayne State offers a Master of Arts with a major in either media arts or media studies.

Student experience: There are two key ways to approach film studies here at Wayne State. First, is the "arts" portion, which is focused on film and media production. Second is the "studies" approach, which features learning about media and film criticism and theory. No matter which focus a student prefers, Wayne State provides everyone with a well-rounded view of both producing and consuming media.

The reputation of the film program at Wayne is strengthened by our location in the city (ties to local media, including a studio partnership with Detroit's PBS station, WTVS, and a close working relationship with the Detroit Film Theatre at the Detroit Institute of Arts), our access to camera and audio technologies, as well as our more recent role in the Michigan Creative Film Alliance. Each year, the MCFA (a consortium of Wayne State, Michigan State and University of Michigan film students) makes a film -- from writing the script right through production and marketing. In addition, each year Wayne State brings in a well-known professional to work in small classroom settings over a period of six-weeks during a regular semester as the Bob Allison (Allesee) Endowed Chair in Media Arts.

Minor in Film