Film and Media Studies
What is Film and Media Studies?
The Department of Film and Media Studies focuses on visual literacy, film theory, film language, analysis, and film history, basic filmmaking strategies, as well as the influence of cinema on society and culture. Courses include: Media Theories, Film History, East Asian Cinema, Hispanic Cinema, Digital Cinema Production, Editing, History of Video Games, The Hollywood Musical, On-Camera Acting, Writing About Film, Screenwriting, as well as several courses on national and area cinemas, notable filmmakers (Guillermo del Toro, Martin Scorsese, the Coen Brothers), and film movements (neorealism, film noir, etc.). In addition to courses offered by FMS, there are also courses offered by various, relevant departments on campus, such as journalism, art, modern languages, English, and history.
The Film and Media Studies Department’s comprehensive curriculum provides students with the knowledge and skills required for careers in academics, media production, media-related fields, or other jobs in the humanities. Students interested in the production side of film can join the Student Film Production Club, which regularly hosts a local student film festival and has sponsored various filmmaking workshops. In the spring, FMS sponsors the Native Crossroads Film Festival and Symposium, a three-day event focusing on American Indian and Indigenous films, which offers several opportunities for students to meet visiting filmmakers and scholars.
Students may also earn credit by participating in internships at film companies in New York, Los Angeles, and London or locally at the Oklahoma Film and Music Office or local television stations, including OETA.
So, what's my degree?
Film and media studies majors graduate with a Bachelor of Arts. Students can also minor in film and media studies.
Do my interests fit?
Film and media studies students typically have interests in:
- Films and film history
- Filmmaking or other media production
- New media, such as video games and short internet content
- Art and photography
How can Film and Media Studies help me?
The Department of Film and Media Studies has developed strong ties with film and media companies and organizations across the United States and beyond. This provides our majors with opportunities to gain hands-on experience in production, film preservation, film festivals, and industry journals. OU FMS alumni work across all these fields and welcome our current students to visit or perform internships. FMS alumni also mentor students one-on-one in Career Planning in FMS via Skype.
OU FMS is home to the Society for Cinema and Media Studies (SCMS), an international organization that mounts a yearly conference for film scholars around the globe, along with an undergraduate conference held at various universities across the U.S. SCMS also features a prize for undergraduate academic papers.
Every spring semester, FMS sponsors a trip for current majors to either Los Angeles or New York City where students meet with FMS alumni, producers, filmmakers, agents, and writers. Students also tour production studios like Warner Brothers, Disney, and Paramount. Networking is crucial to film, and this trip offers an opportunity to expand connections.
Film and Media Studies also invites filmmakers, scholars, and writers to present on campus. This gives FMS majors the opportunity to learn about trends outside the OU environment right on campus. Past guests have included filmmaker Michael Moore, producer Pam Koffler, and actor Ed Harris, among many others.
The Jeanne Hoffman Smith Scholarship provides need-based funding to select FMS majors.
OU FMS awards several annual monetary prizes to FMS majors to help students finish productions, to travel outside OU to study and experience other approaches to film education, and to reward accomplishments in writing while studying at OU.
How can I get involved?
What courses will I take?
Film and media studies courses can include:
- Intro to Film & Media Studies
- Film History to 1960
- Film History: 1960 to Present
- Writing About Film
- Media Theories & Methods
- Narrative Production Basics
- Acting for the Camera
- Digital Cinema Production
- Editing: History, Theory, Practice
- Feature Screenwriting
Wait, I can have a minor?
The Department of Film and Media Studies offers a minor consisting of six courses that includes Introduction to Film and Media Studies, Film History, and four FMS electives in which the student can pursue her or his specific interests in film and media. As an FMS minor, students may participate and earn credit in an internship in the field.
How can I study abroad?
OU has numerous study abroad opportunities for students of all majors. Whether you want to take electives, lower-division courses, or major requirements, be sure to check out what education abroad opportunities are available to you through the College of International Studies.
What kind of career could I pursue?
- Production companies
- Television stations
- Media companies
- Film festivals