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Audience in the cinema. Silhouette.

Film Studies Minor

The film industry in the U.S. is a multibillion dollar business. We are increasingly a visual culture, but not necessarily a visually literate culture. The purpose of a film studies minor at ASU is to build essential literacy skills, such as interpretive, visual, verbal, critical, audio-visual and narrative, to survive in today’s competitive marketplace. 

Students will learn:

  • Filmmaking techniques
  • How to read visual and cultural cues
  • How to analyze persuasive and rhetorical messages

This minor in film studies emphasizes how film is both a record of social culture and a force for cultural change.

Requirements for Minor

ASU’s film studies minor requires 18 interdisciplinary hours that include both Communication/Mass Media 2362 and English 4355. These courses will expose students to the basic technological, theoretical and artistic terminology and knowledge necessary to successfully interpret this art form.

Students will take an additional 12 hours from the following selected courses*:

  • Art 1305
  • Communication 2362, 3366, 4352, 4365
  • Theatre 3311, 4314, 4351
  • English 4355
  • French 4328
  • Spanish 3334

Occasionally, university studies and special topics courses will be offered in various departments which are appropriate for this minor. Students must receive permission to count such special topics courses in their film minor from the dean of the College of Arts and Sciences.

*Courses taken to fulfill requirements for this minor may not also be counted toward your major.

  • Timothy Bonenfant

    Dr. Timothy Bonenfant
    Associate Professor

    325-486-6029
    Carr Education-Fine Arts Building, 217

    Dr. Timothy Bonenfant teaches classes in the Music Department that touch on many of the types of music used in contemporary film (classical, jazz, rock ‘n‘roll, etc.). He is intrigued by the way music can support a director’s message, e.g., the symphonic music used in the battle scenes of Steven Spielberg’s Saving Private Ryan, or the big band era recordings used in Woody Allen’s films.

  • Michael Burnett

    Mr. Michael J. Burnett
    Assistant Professor/Assistant Director of University Theatre

    325-486-6190
    Carr Education-Fine Arts Building, 165

    Prof. Mike Burnett teaches courses in Theatre Design and Technology and directs for the University Theatre and other area theatre companies. His main view of theatre and film is “the play is the thing, without it it’s a light show with scenery.”  Everything should service the STORY and the message the writer is trying to express. 

  • Ewa Davis

    Mrs. Ewa G. Davis
    Adjunct Faculty

    325-486-6161
    Academic Building, 110F

    Ewa G. Davis teaches Russian language and culture classes.  She is a member of the Film Studies Committee.

    Related Study Abroad Programs:

    • Pushkin Language Institute, Moscow, USSR
    • Tomasz Zan Lyceum, Swiadectwo Dojrzalosci Liceum Ogólnoksztalcacego, Wschowa, Poland
  • Jon Ellery

    Dr. Jon C. Ellery
    Professor

    325-486-6142
    Academic Building, 021B

    Dr. Chris Ellery teaches courses in creative writing, American literature, and film studies. He is interested in the relationship between culture and identity and enjoys exploring the “spirituality” of literature and film, particularly through archetypal analysis.

  • Dr. Teresa Elizabeth Hack, Ph.D.
    Associate Professor

    325-486-6121
    Academic Building, 204F

    Dr. (Tay) Hack teaches classes in psychology, including social psychology, cultural psychology, and the psychology of stereotypes, prejudice, and discrimination.  She is a member of the Film Studies Committee and has a special interest in how film can powerfully affect our perceptions, and influence how we view the world around us. In her course of stereotypes, prejudice, and discrimination she explores how films in contemporary society reflect social psychological theories and perspectives.

  • Rob LeGrand

    Dr. Rob LeGrand III
    Assistant Professor
    Faculty Senator

    325-486-5422
    Mathematics-Computer Science Building, 205I

    Dr. Rob LeGrand is an Assistant Professor of Computer Science who enjoys teaching courses such as Artificial Intelligence and Handheld Game Development.  His film preferences tend toward the dark and unusual; favorite directors include Richard Linklater, Wes Anderson, Christopher Nolan, Steven Soderbergh, Alexander Payne, Mike Judge, Paul Thomas Anderson, Stanley Kubrick and Shane Carruth.

  • Leah Mangrum

    Ms. Leah Bell Mangrum
    Assistant Professor

    325-486-6084
    Porter Henderson Library, B335

    Professor Mangrum teaches Film & New Media: Video Production, Communication Technology and CONNECT! courses. She is a member of the Film Studies Committee. Professor Mangrum has an interest in documentary production, teaching her students to create compelling visual stories through the process of filmmaking. COMM/MM 4365 and COMM/MM 2362 provide applied learning experiences in film composition. Students demonstrate research, scriptwriting, story development, lighting, audio and editing techniques during the production of their own short films.  

  • June Smith

    Dr. June H. Smith
    Professor/Interim Department Chair

    325-486-6088
    Porter Henderson Library, 308

    Dr. Smith teaches the critical analysis of messages in film in COMM 3366. The gestalt principle (the whole is greater than the sum of the parts) is explored in the costuming, sets, lighting, camera techniques, gestures, tone, language choice, color and shape decisions made by film makers.

  • John Vinklarek

    Mr. John G. Vinklarek
    Professor

    325-486-6023
    Carr Education-Fine Arts Building, 233

    Many of the elements and methods of film are derived from the processes of visual art.  In order to understand the language of film one must study the evolution of painting and photography.   The Art and Film class will cover the great features of film history as well as experimental and alternative approaches.