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Everyone, at some point, dreams of living the high life in Hollywood making a big name for themselves in the glamorous industry of movie-making. Gear yourself up to become the best of the best in a cinematography and film/video production program, and you might do just that.

For starters, you’ll study the technical aspects of film production—lighting, editing, camera techniques, and sound equipment. You’ll learn all the elements that go into making a film and how those elements affect each other—from directing and managing a film project to budgeting and marketing. Eventually you’ll be able to develop an idea from start to finish and make it come alive through screenwriting and production.

A cinematography and film/video production major wouldn’t be complete without an overview of the history of cinema: the advancements and innovations that got us where we are today and a look at the landmark films we hold sacred as “classics.” Film theory and criticism will be studied as well, helping you to begin to develop your own analytical skills. Taking a more sociological perspective, you’ll examine the role film plays in our culture and how it has shaped the world.

Most programs give students the opportunity to learn about cinematography and film/video production first-hand, with assignments to make their own short film or assisting with others’ films. Some programs might ask you to choose a concentration in a specific area of film—such as directing or screenwriting—and produce a final project accordingly. Be sure to research the requirements and find a program that best suits you (and your star-studded goals).


  • American Cinema

  • Digital Audio & Video

  • Digital Technologies

  • Directing for the Screen

  • Documentary Film

  • Film Criticism

  • Film Editing

  • Film History and Theory

  • International Cinema

  • Media Criticism

  • Multimedia Production

  • Narrative Video

  • Production and Direction

  • Script Writing for Cinema and TV

  • The Art of the Cinema


The world is your oyster when it comes to what you might end up filming someday, so the best high school preparation is a wide variety of challenging courses in Math, science, and the humanities. Take courses that will strengthen your reading, writing, and communication skills. Courses in history, psychology, religion, and languages will give you perspectives on the world that might help you become a better filmmaker, and art classes could help hone your creative vision.