If you’re looking for a university that can give you hands-on experience making movies, complete with amazing facilities, a variety of professional equipment and dedicated faculty, look no further than UNCSA’s Cinematography program. Its faculty and students pride themselves on the fact that UNCSA is truly a place where movies are made, and not just by a handful of students. All students enrolled in the program will be working on films from the beginning, developing essential skills from day one.
Your first year in the School of Filmmaking will consist of learning the fundamentals of filmmaking. You will be required to take courses on production design and animation, screenwriting, directing, producing, picture, editing, sound design and cinematography, while completing a variety of assignments. As part of your degree, you will take liberal arts courses. At the end of this first year, you can then submit your portfolio of work for acceptance into the Cinematography program.
Once accepted into the Cinematography program, you will learn the foundations of cinematography, getting hands-on experience with state-of-the-art equipment and professional-level software. You will choose a workshop concentrated on screenwriting, directing, short films or developing the editor’s eye. A course on visual storytelling will challenge you to develop your individual creative expression while exploring the fundamental components of storytelling. You will be expected to complete a 7-10 minute film project this year, working closely with your peers.
While the first two years in the program are focused on developing the fundamental skills needed to become a cinematographer, your remaining time in the program will require you to think and act in visual terms, while building on your skillset with even more advanced techniques. You will be expected to serve as crew on the camera, grip or lighting teams for at least two video projects of year-four students. You will also work closely with a faculty mentor, and rely on peer collaboration for your own 12-minute film project.
Assignments and workshops will place professional-level demands on each student in the fourth year, and courses will cover the most advanced topics and techniques in cinematography. The culmination of your final year will be the completion of a 12-15 minute film video project. You will work closely with your faculty mentor, as well as your year-three crew members to help you achieve your final vision. You will also work alongside your year-three counterparts crewing at least two of their video projects.
Graduates leave UNCSA with a varied and impressive portfolio and film reel, helping them launch careers in the field of cinematography and filmmaking. Alumni of the Cinematography program have served as cinematographers, production designers and art directors for movies such as “Seeking a Friend for the End of the World,” “The Sitter,” “Your Highness” and “Pineapple Express,” television series such as “Eastbound and Down” and commercials.
For seven months, cinematographer Zoë White effectively lived in Gilead, the country inhabited by many of the characters of Hulu's hit show "The Handmaid's Tale."
A 2018 graduate of the School of Filmmaking at UNCSA is one of four finalists for an American Society of Cinematographers (ASC) award. Simms Wright, from Winston-Salem, was nominated for his work on the 2018 senior thesis film "Sodium Vapor Nights."