Frequently Asked Questions
How do I get in the major?
All prospective Film Studies majors must first take our gateway course: FST200 - Introduction to Film Studies. If you get a grade of B+ or better, you're a Film Studies major. If you get a grade of B or below, you may apply for one of the remaining admission openings. Film Studies admits 120 new majors each year. As soon as you achieve major status, you're eligible to take any Film Studies class that doesn't require a pre-requisite course first.
So I only get one shot at Film Studies?
Students may not repeat FST200. But students who are not admitted to the major may reapply for admission to Film Studies the following semester. FST200 students who withdraw by the deadline (typically 6-7 weeks into the semester), may register for FST200 the following semester. Students who are struggling with the course are encouraged to seek assistance and advice from the course instructor.
What is FST 200 Introduction to Film Study like?
Our gateway course teaches the expressive language of motion pictures (cinematography, editing, composition, performance, sound, narrative) -- information essential to all filmmakers and cinema scholars. Each week, students watch films drawn from various national cinemas, representing diverse styles, periods, and genres. Students analyze shots and scenes, write papers, and take regular quizzes and exams.
When can I take FST200 Introduction to Film Study?
To enroll in FST200, you must register as a Film Studies pre-major. The minimum requirement to declare a major or pre-major at UNCW is to have earned and passed 24 semester hours with at least a 2.0 GPA. So qualified transfer students may take FST200 in their first semester at UNCW, but incoming freshmen must typically wait until the first semester of their sophomore year to take the gateway course. UNCW established this policy to allow students to make the transition to college and complete some Basic Studies classes before taking on a major. Film Studies will consider requests by qualified freshmen to take FST200 in the second semester of their first year at UNCW. Students with strong academic records may inquire by contacting firstname.lastname@example.org.
So when do I get to start making movies?
As soon as you become a Film Studies major. All new majors take FST201: Introduction to Film Production, an intensive hands-on course in which students complete a series of video exercises and short movies. You shoot on Sony NEX-VG30 cameras, light with Arri light kits, record sound with Zoom h4n recorders and Sennheiser microphones, and edit on Adobe Premiere Pro. Assignments cover motion picture technology, and narrative, documentary, and experimental filmmaking techniques.
Are there other classes that let me make movies?
More than 20 Film Studies courses teach and assign movie production and equipment, covering a wide range of filmmaking modes, techniques, specializations, and styles. Film Studies majors make about 500 motion pictures every year -- from short exercises to polished projects.
What kind of equipment do you have?
You can see a partial list at http://www.uncw.edu/filmstudies/students/facilities.html
Can I use the equipment whenever I want?
Only students in classes with production or post-production assignments requiring equipment can check out equipment and/or access the edit lab.
What kind of a computer will I need for Film Studies courses?
No Film Studies student is required to own his own computer. Our edit lab features 20 quad-core iMac stations loaded with the full Adobe Creative Cloud Suite (and AVID, ProTools, & FCP), and is open 24/7 to students registered in courses that assign editing and other computer-based projects. For those students who wish to purchase or lease software and edit at home, we suggest Mac computers that meet the Mac OS system requirements for Adobe Premiere Pro listed here.
Besides making movies, how can I get a hands-on experience?
Film Studies students edit an internationally distributed film journal, produce and present a film festival and conference, and participate in sponsored internships in Wilmington, New York, Los Angeles, and Bristol, England.
What kind of job can I get with a Film Studies degree?
Check out our alumni page for a list of the many different jobs our graduates hold, ongoing news of alumni accomplishments, and profiles of former Film Studies majors working with motion pictures.
How big are the classes?
Not very. Film Studies courses are designed to provide individual attention, instructor access, hands-on learning, and meaningful class discussion.
- FST200: 25 students per section
- FST 201, 318, and most critical studies courses: 20 students per section
- 300 and 400 level production courses: 16 students per section
- Capstone courses and courses designated as Writing Intensive: 15 students per section
What is your connection to Wilmington's film industry?
Ever since Screen Gems Studios president Frank Capra Jr. initiated our program 14 years ago, Film Studies has maintained an active relationship with Wilmington's film industry. Our students intern on television and feature film productions, and with the many companies that support film production in Wilmington. Industry professionals guest lecture in Film Studies courses, mentor our students, and even serve on our faculty.
Why Wilmington, NC?
Wilmington is a thriving film production center, home to EUE Screen Gems studios, the largest film production lot east of California. 130 feature films and over a dozen television series have been shot in and around Wilmington. For an overview of the Wilmington's studios, services, crew resources, and film and television credits, visit the Wilmington Regional Film Commission.
What if my interest in cinema goes beyond the Wilmington film industry?
The commercial feature film and television industry is only one aspect of the Film Studies experience. The FST major offers a balance of critical studies and film production courses designed to provide all students with essential skills applicable to any career, including: research, analysis, problem solving, persuasive writing, and the creative process. Our students pursue interests that reflect the diversity of the ever evolving motion-picture medium. They write movie reviews, design websites, publish research and commentary, edit a magazine, and produce a film festival and conference. They write screenplays, create video installations, direct documentaries, and make animation.
What else is going on in Wilmington?
Wilmington is home to an acclaimed international film festival, a nationally known non-profit documentary film organization, an excellent art museum, a historic downtown, and a nice slice of the Atlantic Ocean.