Degree Spotlight: Film

When students come to Full Sail for the 20-month Film Bachelor of Science degree program, they don’t have to know exactly what they want to do within the industry, which according to Program Director Anne Watters, is what sets the program apart from others.

“We try to concentrate equally on all of the different elements of filmmaking,” says Anne. “We don’t make our students decide, ‘Okay, I want to direct, write, produce … We make them learn the whole process, which makes them a better filmmaker in general no matter what they end up deciding to do.”

Over the course of 20 months, students will learn about film from every angle, which includes taking courses on Digital Photography, Production Design, Lighting, Editing and Special Effects, and more. Students also work collaboratively with their classmates to create several small-scale projects throughout, including a lighting short, a documentary, and a 16mm film.

The hands-on projects culminate with the final project, a 35mm film, which starts pre-production in Month 17. The first two months are spent assembling the crew and shooting, with the final two months being for post-production. The finished product premieres at GradFest in the Full Sail Live Venue during the week of graduation. Films are shot on the school’s soundstages, on the multi-locale backlot, or in various locations around Central Florida. [You can check out many of these student films in our weekly Film Fridays feature on the blog.]

The program has also started working more closely with other Full Sail departments: some scripts for the 35mm films come from Creative Writing students, and in the future, online Music Production students will have the opportunity to score some of the projects.

“When it comes down to it, the greatest thing about the program is our faculty,” says Anne. “We have so many talented people here, and not just craftsmen or women, but artists who are super good at what they do. Their enthusiasm and dedication to the students makes all the difference in the experience.”