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Department of Visual & Media Arts

Film (BA, BFA)

Alex Fierro-Clarke started working in film his first year

Film major Alex Fierro-Clarke works on EVVY Awards and is in the film group Frames Per Second. (Filmed and edited by Emerson students.)

This specialization is designed to explore in depth the use of film as a media production format. Students will be required to develop a comprehensive technical, theoretical, and artistic familiarity with film as a creative endeavor.

Credits: 44 for BA, 60 for BFA (both degrees also include 8 additional upper-level liberal arts credits)


I. Visual and Media Arts Foundations (12 credits)

The Visual and Media Arts Foundations offer students a broad theoretical, historical, and practical introduction to the visual and media arts.

Required Courses

VM 100 History of Media Arts I
VM 101 History of Media Arts II

one of the Following:

VM 102 Dimensions of Creativity
VM 120 Foundations in Visual and Media Arts Production

II. Introduction to Disciplines (16 credits minimum)

At the Introduction to Disciplines level, students explore one or more of the department’s main discipline areas.

Required Courses

VM 200 Media Criticism and Theory
VM 230 Introduction to Film Production
VM 231 Intermediate Film Production

At least one of the following:

VM 220 Writing the Short Subject
VM 221 Writing the Feature Film
VM 222 Writing for Television

III. Specializations

At least two of the following:

VM 220 Writing the Short Subject
VM 221 Writing the Feature Film
VM 324 Topics in Screenplay Genres
VM 332 Production Management
VM 350 Sound Design
VM 360 Film Animation
VM 370 Business Concepts for Modern Media
VM 372 Directing Image and Sound
VM 373 Directing Actors for the Screen
VM 376 Editing for Film and Video
VM 378 Basic Cinematography and Videography
VM 428 Feature Writing Workshop
VM 476 Editing for Advanced Film and Video Projects
VM 478 Advanced Cinematography and Videography

At least one of the following:

VM 402 Seminar in Media Arts Topics
VM 409 Seminar in Western Art
VM 410 Seminar in Non-Western Art

Required Courses

One additional advanced visual and media studies course numbered VM 300-315, 400-418, or 500-519.

In addition to the General Education and major requirements, all students are required to complete at least two courses at the 300 or 400 level from the following Liberal Arts areas:

  • History
  • Interdisciplinary Studies
  • Ethics, Philosophy, or Religion
  • Political Science
  • Psychology
  • Science
  • Sociology
  • TH 304, 313, 315
  • VM 315, 409, 410

Recommended Electives

VM 332 Production Management
VM 450 Advanced Sound Design

Advanced Visual and Media Arts Workshop

Students may apply to take the Advanced Visual and Media Arts Workshop. Two semesters are mandatory for BFA. Optional for BA.

For specific course prerequisites, please consult the Undergraduate Catalogue.

Filmmaking for the BFA

It was the culmination of their college experience. For their BFA film project, Joseph Rechtman (Dec) ’11, Daniel Gamache ’11, and Jared Kowalczyk ’11 created Gem of the West, an atypical Western flick.
Watch their interview »

Short Film

VM 120 Foundations in Visual and Media Arts Production Project

Student Manny Jaquez created a five minute film for class over two weekends around Boston. Watch the video »

Stop Motion

Stop Motion

The Emerson Channel learns about stop motion video from two Visual and Media Arts students in VM 120: Foundations in Visual and Media Arts Production. Watch video »