Digital Cinema – Bachelor of Arts / Bachelor of Science
Digital Cinema, BA/BS
Offered as a Bachelor of Arts or Bachelor of Science Major
A degree in Digital Cinema from SOU offers visual storytellers the creative skills, technical immersion, and faculty mentoring they need to turn their ideas into compelling moving images in preparation for a wide array of media-making careers. Experiential classes give students ample on-set opportunities to put their understanding into action in a supportive environment where failure is celebrated as an integral stage of the learning process. We encourage our student filmmakers to chart new territory and create courageously, challenging themselves to push the boundaries of the possible.
Our small class sizes promote camaraderie and community among students, planting the seeds of an essential professional network and sharpening skills in collaboration and communication. Students engage in frequent peer feedback and peer mentoring, learning as much from one another as from their faculty, and develop the advanced group problem-solving skills necessary to a career in professional production.
Key Program Strengths
Audio/Visual Storytelling: Our students learn to utilize the formal elements, principles, and structures of narrative to conceive and plan story ideas and translate those stories into compelling sounds and images, moving beyond technical competency into style, narrative logic, and aesthetic coherence. Story and craft are at the core of our technical instruction.
Technical Production Skills: From day one in the Digital Cinema program, students work with and develop technical fluency in professional pre-production, production, and post-production tools, including camera, lighting, grip, and audio equipment, and software used in story development, pre-production, production management, and post-production. While tool mastery is important, we also know that rapid technology shifts are the norm in the media industries, so our students learn to teach themselves new tools as they progress through their careers.
Context & Inquiry: Digital Cinema students develop critical thinking skills and an understanding of cinema production as an interdisciplinary art and business, informing their creativity through research, situating their work and the work of others within historical and cultural cinematic traditions and genres, and grounding their aesthetic, narrative, and technical aims in film and social theory.
Ethical & Sustainable Practice: The Digital Cinema student code of conduct is the most rigorous at SOU. Our student filmmakers know that character matters and learn to make ethical decisions in difficult situations. Likewise, our program encourages green production practices that respect and preserve our natural world.
Professional Skills & Industry Readiness: Students enjoy frequent opportunities in their coursework to practice professional on-set behaviors in preparation for careers in film and video production. Our student filmmakers learn multiple crew positions, develop a diverse technical skillset, and are provided space to specialize in the areas of production that interest them most and best match their individual strengths. Regional production businesses and local media professionals offer students internships, mentorships, and apprenticeship opportunities where they can further develop their skills, resumé, and portfolio.
Ethical, Equitable, and Sustainable Practice: Digital Cinema students adopt and adhere to ethical, equitable, and sustainable production practices that honor the dignity of individuals, respect public and personal property, and preserve and protect our natural world.
The Digital Cinema program is designed to meet every learner at their incoming level of experience. Students with no media production experience will jump-in with our Production Tools series of courses to get them up-to-speed with camera, audio recording, studio production, and editing software skills, while students entering with more experience in these areas can earn credit for prior learning and immediately move into more advanced production coursework. Any student with curiosity and tenacity has what it takes to succeed in Digital Cinema.
This studio-intensive program is centered on faculty mentorship and collaboration amongst the student cohort. Every Digital Cinema student takes courses in storytelling, film history and analysis, foundational production skills, audio recording, lighting, cinematography, editing, media entrepreneurship or management, and deep professional immersion. Elective pathways include screenwriting, directing for the screen, documentary production, and virtual reality.