Department of English

O'Dowd Hall, Room 544
586 Pioneer Drive
Rochester, MI 48309-4482
(location map)
(248) 370-2250
fax: (248) 370-4429

A young woman operating a large video camera.

Film Studies and Production

Film Studies and Production offers students unique, intensive opportunities in research and  hands-on film and media production. In the B.A. in Film and the B.A. in Film Production, students work closely with our faculty in small classes, getting individualized attention and excellent mentorship in a strong community atmosphere. Together, we explore the creative and critical investigations of how moving image works are produced, experienced, valued, and assigned meaning in our culture and around the world.

Film Studies and Production majors and minors gain the critical-thinking, communication, and real-world production skills to enter careers within the film industry and a range of other professions. In addition, students are well-prepared to pursue film or other academic disciplines at the graduate level. For more information contact:

Academic Adviser: Bridget Kies
Coordinator of Film Production: Adam Gould
Director of Film Studies and Production: Andrea Eis

Visit us on social media: Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, and also check out issues of the Screen Culture Journal.

Program Overview - FilmMajor Requirements - Film Program Overview - Film Production Major Requirements - Film Production Minor Requirements - Film

Film Studies and Production B.A. Programs

B.A. in Film
The B.A. in Film is a liberal arts-based program in film history, theory and criticism, including coursework in film genres, aesthetics, industry and technology, filmmaking and screenwriting, as well as advanced seminars. It culminates in a capstone course in which students do substantive research and writing on topics ranging from eco-cinema to Hollywood stardom, from Detroit media to audience and reception theory.

B.A. in Film Production
The B.A. in Film Production is a liberal arts-based B.A. with a solid base in film history and theory joined by a specialized sequence of filmmaking courses. The broad-based approach gives students hands-on experience with every aspect of narrative, documentary, essay, short-form and experimental filmmaking, from writing scripts, directing and cinematography to editing and post-production effects work. It culminates in an intensive capstone course that enables students to graduate having produced a substantive thesis film project.

Academic and Career Resources
Academic Resources
  • Film Studies and Production Advising Program
    The OU Film Studies and Production program offers active, one-on-one advising and mentoring. Majors meet periodically with the film Academic Adviser to discuss their academic and professional goals and their progress toward graduation. Students are also encouraged to contact the program Academic Adviser, Professor Bridget Kies or Coordinator of Film Production, Professor Adam Gould with specific questions.
  • Kresge Library Resources
    The OU Library features an extensive collection of books, academic journals, DVDs, and microfilm collections, as well as online access to film and media studies databases of use for Film research projects. Visit Kresge Library Film Subject Page for more information on library resources of relevance to Film Studies and Production students.
Internship and Career Resources:
  • Internships
    Film majors are encouraged to take advantage of internship opportunities. Junior and senior majors can receive credit for certain internships by enrolling in CIN 4930 Field Internship in Film Studies and Production. Contact: Professor Adam Gould.
  • Career Resources
    The job market for graduates of the OU Film program is quite broad due to students’ acquired skills in critical thinking, written and oral communication, and creative practices.

    In addition to the wide array of jobs in film production and distribution, Film Studies and Production graduates pursue careers in film festival programming, media criticism, secondary education and other fields. They are also well-prepared for graduate course work in film studies, library and information science, film archiving and preservation, law and business. Interested students should speak with a Film faculty member, College of Arts & Sciences adviser or an OU Career Services consultant for additional information. The Career Services website is also a valuable source of information on internships and career preparation such as writing resumes and cover letters, as well as interview preparation. The Film Studies and Production Professionalization Workshop is another source for information and networking on professional opportunities.
  • Professional Film Production Partner and Resident Filmmakers
    OU Film Studies and Production has a professional film production partner, Michael Manasseri of Flux Capacitor Studios. Manasseri, a producer, director and actor, works closely with the program and our students to offer professional opportunities on the sets of his feature films, as well as on commercials and short films, commercials, music videos, and book trailer shoots.

    Film Studies and Production has two Resident Filmmakers, the Deka Brothers: Julien Deka and Ben Deka, who are both directors, cinematographers and VFX artists. Manasseri, with our Resident Filmmakers, make classroom visits and supervise workshops to bring additional professional knowledge and experience to students.
Student Engagement

OU Film Studies and Production students are strongly encouraged to participate in a wide variety of extracurricular opportunities to enrich their college experience and to develop valuable technical, interpersonal and professional skills outside of the classroom. Getting involved includes attending on-campus Film Studies and Production events, applying for internship opportunities and becoming a member of one or more of the student organizations listed below.

OU Film Studies and Production offers a number of venues through which students may share their creative work and film criticism with a broader audience. These include the Screen Culture Journal, Film Studies and Production Creative Showcase and the Golden Grizzly 24-Hour Film Challenge.

Student Organizations

Screen Culture Journal Editorial Board
This is a biannual publication showcasing the film criticism of Oakland University undergraduate students. Screen Culture editorial board members review, select and edit the articles that appear in each issue.  Screen Culture Journal. Contact: Professor Bridget Kies.

OU Filmmakers Guild
This group develops, produces, edits and exhibits original films throughout the academic year. All levels of experience are welcome. Contact: Professor Adam Gould.

OU Screenwriters’ Guild
Venue for screenwriters to pitch, develop and workshop short and feature-length screenplays. Contact: Professor David Shaerf.

Annual Events

Toronto International Film Festival Trip
OU Film Studies and Production arranges an annual trip to TIFF, North America’s most important film festival. Students experience the festival at ground level, attending screenings, industry panel discussions and networking events. The trip provides a one-of-a-kind opportunity for students to experience the contemporary world of cinema in an up-close and intimate way. Contacts: Professor Annie Sullivan, and Professor Kyle Edwards.

Film Studies and Production Professionalization Workshop
This fall event offers the opportunity for Film Studies and Production majors and minors to learn about the broad array of professional opportunities available through the Film Studies and Production B.A. degrees, as well as the key skills and training needed to excel in these fields. The evening includes guest speakers and a networking mixer. Contact: Professor Justin Reifert.

Film Production Filmmaking Workshops
These workshops give attendees a chance to gain valuable experience in specialized areas of digital film production and post-production through close interaction with faculty and industry professionals. Participants direct and film a student-written screenplay using RED cameras and professional lighting, sound, track and dolly, and boom equipment. Contact: Professor Andrea Eis.

Film Studies and Production Creative Showcase
This is a celebration at the end of the academic year that showcases the creative work of Film Studies and Production students and honors graduating seniors and recent alumni. Contact: Professor  Justin Reifert .

Golden Grizzly 24-Hour Film Challenge
This showcase of creative skills and test of endurance in an around-the-clock filmmaking project has teams of students and alumni, write, shoot and edit an original short film in 24 hours. The event, timed to coincide with OU homecoming weekend each fall, concludes with film showcase and awards ceremony. Contact: Professor Kyle Edwards.

Search “Film Studies and Production News” for more about Film events and news.

Visiting Scholars and Professionals

OU Film Studies and Production regularly hosts visiting scholars and film professionals for lectures, presentations and film screenings. Among recent visitors to the program are: