Film Studies … Outside of Film School


Illustration of a video camera monitor viewing a speeding car scene. Film studies programs can help you learn the moviemaking process.

Movies and television have been—and continue to be—two of the most important art forms of the last century. And they provide a common thread in our culture and history. Most everyone watches movies. And loves to talk about them.

These days, people have more avenues than ever to create and produce films. Improvements to technology have made filmmaking more accessible to all. Meanwhile, film and TV buffs who enjoy dissecting the moviemaking process have huge amounts of material available to critique or put in the spotlight.

Finally, entertainment is distributed in so many different ways—some of which, such as YouTube or Vimeo, don’t cost the viewer anything to watch. Streaming services bring ever more content to the masses. And, most recently, film festivals, including the well-known Sundance Film Festival, have made their screenings available online.

This expansion of moviemaking and movie- and TV-watching has made studying film, both for its technical aspects and for its cultural implications, extremely popular. And not just for future Spielbergs and DuVernays.

Film studies—outside of full-fledged film school—offer a way to move beyond simply being a consumer of films, TV shows, web series, and all the various types of digital media available at our fingertips. Students gain a deliberate, thoughtful appreciation for the complexities and nuances of storytelling for the screen.

If you’re interested in studying film while still obtaining a well-rounded education rather than attending a film school, consider adding it as a college minor. The concepts and theories presented during film studies pair well with a variety of majors, including:

Film studies increase a person’s media literacy, an invaluable skill in our media-saturated society. Its lessons can be applied to jobs as varied as internet marketing, web design, entertainment law, advertising and creative writing.

What Do You Learn in Film Studies?

From the technical to the aesthetic, film studies classes invite you to analyze and critique individual films, entire genres, filmmaking trends over time, groundbreaking directors and screenwriters, and international influences.

Filmmaking is a business in its own right, with commercial and economic implications. You’ll look from a bird’s-eye view at the craft as a whole in addition to diving deep into specific film theory. Most classes will involve discussion, written work and visual or production assignments.

As a film studies minor, you will examine the history of filmmaking and the relationship between film and other arts. You’ll analyze media and how it has impacted and been impacted by advances in technology.

Other film studies topics include:

  • How our society is affected by cinematic storytelling, including social and cultural norms.
  • The role gender, race and class has played in film, and how that has influenced society.
  • How literature, philosophy and history are presented in film.

Film Studies at Elmhurst University

Ready to explore a Film Studies Minor at Elmhurst University? In addition to equipping you with a strong background in film and storytelling, it will complement majors in a number of fast-growing fields, such as Digital Media (where you can study animation and game design as well as filmmaking and screenwriting) and Digital Marketing Communication.

Use the form below to let us know you are interested!

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