Film at HSU

Our Film major integrates hands-on production work with film studies grounded in a liberal arts education that fosters ethical storytellers who artfully explore the human condition in creative ways.

Steeped within the traditions of independent filmmaking, students learn the fundamentals of fiction and non-fiction film production techniques through a production-based program inspired by independent motion picture production and creative avenues through evolving digital technologies.  Our curriculum integrates hands-on production work with film studies grounded in a liberal arts education that fosters ethical storytellers who artfully explore the human condition in creative ways. 

With an opportunity to focus on the environment, social change, natural history and science filmmaking, students are encouraged to develop fiction, non-fiction and experimental films that will identify and reach underserved audiences that exist outside mainstream media and commercial venues.  All aspects of the program stress professionalism with an emphasis on quality as well as collaborative and creative processes. 

Our foundational Filmmaking I-IV core classes provide students hands-on opportunities to master the fundamentals of 16mm and digital video production, develop the craft and artistry involved in a digital post-production workflow and create effective cinematic stories with strong core values. 

The Film Major provides students with broad based academic training and hands-on professional experience for a wide range of careers in independent film, digital media and entertainment industries, scientific exploration and documentation, social and cultural change, and the emerging digital portal opportunities of the future, including mobile delivery.  In just the last decade, digital media has changed the way audiences consume media and the way filmmakers make and deliver it.  HSU Film trains students as an independent voice that is part of the change advocated by HSU’s mission statement.                               

Our graduates get jobs as Cinematographers, Camera Assistants, Associate Producers, Film Editors, Sound Mixers, Boom Operators, Grant Writers, Grips, Gaffers, Line Producers, Feature Film Producers, Documentary Directors, Media Consultants, Videographers, Script Supervisors, Production Designers, Production Coordinators, Art Directors, and Production Assistants. 

Students are encouraged to have a Minor area of study that complements their film interests, expands their skill set, enhances the depth of their culminating reel (i.e. portfolio), and advances their post-education professional employment opportunities.  Interdisciplinary studies foster better critical thinkers and more active participants in social change.  The combination of a science or social science minor and a film major empowers students to better disseminate their research to new and underserved audiences, which in turn positively impacts society.

Rural Northwestern California offers more than Coastal Redwoods and ocean research for HSU’s strong science programs. This area is also home to the growing back-to-earth organic and sustainable agriculture and enlightened social movements that are engendering social change in our society.  HSU has long been known as one of the most “unique” CSU campuses for its science and art curriculums, as well as for its local culture of expanded human consciousness and work to sustainably preserve the environment.

Students completing this program will:

  • Demonstrate fundamental aesthetically-driven technical skills essential to 16mm filmmaking and digital media production
  • Develop films grounded in ethical storytelling and production processes
  • Apply creative problem solving and collaborative practices in their work
  • Integrate film vocabulary and analyze global film studies 
  • Synthesize knowledge with skills through the creation and completion of short films