The department's motto is, “Everything Serves the Story.” Students learn that every discipline: directing, cinematography, sound, etc., must focus on how to best tell the story through film.
Each course has a connection to at least one other course in some way. The Directing, Producing and Film Seminar courses collaborate to mentor students as they make a film in the first semester of their sophomore year. This is just one example of how the curriculum has been developed to encourage collaboration at every level to enable learning opportunities far beyond the experience possible in a single course.
First Three Years
As a freshman, sophomore and junior, students are educated in all of the major filmmaking disciplines in order to develop a solid understanding of the entire process. It is through this intensive approach that students discover the area of filmmaking they want to pursue as a career.
As seniors, students concentrate their studies in a single discipline and spend the entire year developing their knowledge, skills and experience to generate profession-level material for their portfolio and demo reel. These materials will be vital after graduation.
Film majors throughout their time at Ringling will produce work that will get them noticed. With one film as a writer, director and editor, a thesis film that showcases their work in a specific discipline, and a feature-length screenplay – when they graduate, the students will have ample material to interest potential employers.
Students can gain real-world experience through an internship. Ringling’s Center for Career Services has had great success in helping to place students in positions that will increase their knowledge of the field and provide an opportunity to gain contacts that will be invaluable to their entry into the film industry.
Members of the faculty bring unique backgrounds to the classroom. Their professional experience include independent films, documentaries, commercials, music videos, and Hollywood studio feature films. This depth of knowledge and practice is invaluable in teaching students the best approach to their films and imparting how the industry works.
The faculty of the Film Department is dedicated to the future success of the students in the major. Because each faculty member is a filmmaker and also a committed teacher, the students of the department receive a film education that is based on personal mentoring throughout the entire program.