Exploring the Undergraduate Film Curriculum at Full Sail University
Learn more about what this area of study has to offer.
Start with the fundamentals: an overview of the film world and the variety of departments it takes to make a movie. Get your hands on industry equipment, make something, practice, and hone your skills. Then dive deeper into specialized learning and developing career-building experience. Come away with a portfolio of work and a wide network of creators that lets you hit the ground running after graduation. That's what you can expect with Full Sail University's undergraduate film curriculum.
We sat down with Jeff Planck, Full Sail University's Program Director for film, to get the details and learn why it's structured this way. As a program director, he manages the faculty and staff and directs the degree curriculum. "Most importantly," Jeff says, "I'm here to make sure your experience as a student is productive and rewarding."
Part 1 of the Curriculum
"During your learning journey, you'll explore many different aspects of filmmaking," says Jeff. In the first portion of the curriculum, students get firsthand experience across several of the departments that collaborate to make a movie – including producing, directing, cinematography, art direction, make-up, and post-production.
"While you're discovering all that filmmaking has to offer, you will endeavor on a journey of self-discovery," says Jeff. "Where do you fit in best in the filmmaking process? What do you see yourself doing as a career? How can you best leverage the competencies you gained throughout your education?"
Part 2 of the Curriculum
The second portion of the coursework helps students build technical experience across diverse types of production. That includes field production, news gathering, documentaries, and multi-camera broadcast production.
"A variety of resources are accessible to you in assisting with your film career," says Jeff.
That includes mentorship from industry-trained faculty and staff, books, videos, and digital resources from the Full Sail Library, and a collaborative space called the Student Production Office. Throughout their academic journey, students also have a great opportunity to build a professional network and collaborate with other creatives on real-world projects.
Building a Portfolio
Grads leave with more than a diploma when they complete their studies in film at Full Sail. They also walk away with real, career-building examples of their work that they can take into the field. Portfolio projects showcase their creativity, technical abilities, and professionalism. They also help give students an education experience that's much closer to the reality of the industry than any survey course.
"By the time you graduate, you'll have a resume filled with projects to submit to film festivals, an edited reel, a portfolio to showcase your work, and a network of contacts you can leverage in the job market," Jeff says. "Filmmaking is a collaborative experience, so have fun, get involved, and always maintain a professional attitude."
Digital Cinematography vs. Film
While the digital cinematography curriculum at Full Sail is similar to the film coursework, there are some differences to the format and curriculum. For starters, digital cinematography is offered online, and film is strictly offered on campus. Studying digital cinematography is great for students who are more interested in entrepreneurship, or who enjoy being a part of a smaller crew. This coursework also has a stronger focus on independent films and working in a variety of positions instead of a specialized role.
Students who opt for digital cinematography can also expect a curriculum on web content as well as other digitally focused courses. However, in both areas of study, students will create portfolio projects that put their skills and creativity to work.
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