August 30, 2010

New program blends business, filmmaking

A cadre of student filmmakers has emerged in the past four years, carving a niche with student-produced movies and several Campus MovieFest films that have garnered local and national attention. And the heightened student interest in film production is bringing about some new developments at Emory, particularly in the classroom.

Faculty in the Department of Film Studies and Goizueta Business School have been working to make their programs more targeted and comprehensive for aspiring filmmakers.

A new film and media management concentration, effective this fall for BBA students and film studies students, is the first collaboration between Goizueta and Emory College of Arts and Sciences. It consists of two core film studies courses, two electives and a capstone course, through which students will develop a concept for television, film or new media and then create the content. By next year, the program will include a trip to Los Angeles for the students to meet with agents and Hollywood executives.

Hollywood is increasingly bridging the gap between the creatives and the “suits,” according to Andrea Hershatter, BBA program director, and this concentration mirrors that shift. In the past, Hershatter and film studies lecturer Eddy Von Mueller ’07PhD taught courses on the entertainment industry and film production, respectively, but there was no cohesive curriculum for students to learn both the creative and practical sides of the business.

“I think it’s just this wonderful culmination of student passions matching intellectual resources at Emory,” Hershatter says.
She points to a desire among business students to embrace the arts as a viable business. For example, Stephen Beehler ’10B created his own media company, and Chris Knific ’10B almost singlehandedly raised $24,000 for “The Misadventure” and “Do Us Part,” two recent independent student-made films at Emory.

“It’s about celebrating the complete talents of our students and encouraging and embracing the fact that they want to pursue their passions—assisting them in figuring out a way to do it that is consistent with a career,” Hershatter says.

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