Film and Television Production Program

Film and Television Students

 

About the Program

At the School of Stage and Screen, we start with the story. Storytelling is the basic skill that ties all the others together. That is what the most successful filmmakers have in common. From screenplay through post-production, fiction or non-fiction, we use technology in service of story as students get hands-on experience on our sets and film stages and in our Avid-equipped editing rooms.

All Film and Television Production program (FTP) faculty have worked extensively in the film and television industries. They teach not only the art and technique of filmmaking but the real world skills and attitudes necessary to succeed as well.

Because the School of Stage and Screen is one of only a few universities to combine film, theatre and musical theatre, FTP students work with acting students and theatre faculty in and out of class, along with faculty from other departments and schools, including Art & Design, Music, and the College of Business. The result is a comprehensive, collaborative and immersive educational experience that enables our graduates to leap into careers in the industry or further their studies at the graduate level. 

Program Requirements

The B.F. A. in Film & Television Production (FTP) requires 63 hours of courses in the major, plus the University requirement of 42 hours of liberal studies. In addition, students must take 15 hours of electives. An internship is required, which most students normally complete in the summer between junior and senior year. 

Eight-Semester Plan for FTP Program

FTP Program Check List

Catalog Course Descriptions

Student Work

FTP majors start hands-on courses in the second year. Students will write, shoot, produce, and edit more than a dozen films over the next three years, culminating in a senior thesis project that involves most of the students in the major as crew and most of the facilities of the School of Stage & Screen. Our students work in all genres and lengths, running from fifteen seconds to senior projects of over 20 minutes, as well as feature length screenplays and scripts for TV pilots and series.

Students also have the opportunity to take part in several industry-related clubs and organizations on campus, including Channel 62 and the WCU Film Club. 

Faculty

Joshua Russell, Program Coordinator

Belk 280
828.227.2624
jdrussell@wcu.edu

Jack Sholder, Directing
With over 20 feature and television directing credits, Sholder is also a screenwriter and Emmy Award winner for editing. 
Belk 279
828.227.2324 
jsholder@email.wcu.edu
Arledge Armenaki, Cinematographer
A director of photographyJo with over 35 feature and television credits and more that 30 years of behind-the-camera experience. He is a producer and director on many national and regional corporate high definition productions.
Belk 281 
828.227.2255 
armenaki@email.wcu.edu
Brenda Lilly, Actor, Director and Screenwriter
As an actor, screenwriter, playwright, and producer Brenda Lilly's credits include comedy, drama and animation. She is the co-creator of the award winning series "State of Grace" and her plays have been produced from Los Angeles to Boston. Brenda served on the Board of Directors for the Writers Guild of America.
Stillwell 269
828.227.2092
bllilly@email.wcu.edu

Computer Requirements

All necessary software for FTP courses is installed on our computers. All the software runs on either Mac or PC, though most of our students own Macs. 
Working with video is very computer intensive and media files are very large, so if you think you might want to edit on your own computer, you should purchase one with a powerful processor, at least 8 GB of RAM memory and a good graphics card. If it's a Mac laptop, it must be a MacBook Pro. MacBook and MacBook Air are not powerful enough to run Avid. We recommend choosing at least a 15” screen. 17” is better but not essential. 
Please note: Production courses don’t start until sophomore year. So don’t buy until you need to.

We require all students to own an external hard drive to store all their media files. It must have USB 3 and a minimum of 1 TB. Students also need their own headphones to work in the lab. Ear buds or IEMs work fine.

Academic pricing for our software is as follows:

  • Avid Media Composer: $299, includes 4 years of free upgrades.
  • Movie Magic Screenwriter: Required screenwriting software. $50
  • EP Scheduling and Budgeting: The industry standard for production. $100/each

Equipment and Facilities

The FTP program shoots everything with Sony HD cameras. Our day-to-day camera is the Sony NX5 and for advanced work we use the Sony F65 8K production camera as well as the F900 Cine Alta. We have a full complement of tripods, Arri kits and sound gear that go out as a package for shooting. In addition, we have an extensive selection of lighting and grip equipment on our stages. We use a teaching stage in the Killian Building and a 1,600 square foot shooting stage in the Ramsey Center.

For post-production we have an editing lab with computers loaded with Avid Media Composer, our primary editing software, as well as Final Cut Pro, Movie Magic Screenwriter and EP Scheduling and Budgeting. In addition, we have a post-production suite with a professional Avid set-up used mainly for cutting and screening senior project films.

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