Southeastern University’s film production degree is all about mastering the art of storytelling. Step by step, our professors will prepare you for a career in the film industry. Whether you aspire to work on television dramas, indie documentaries, or the next Hollywood blockbuster, it may all start with picking up a camera on Southeastern’s campus. Within a few semesters, you could be filming a student production or even directing your own entry for Southeastern’s annual student film festival.
The film production program begins with our Christ-centered liberal arts (general education) core curriculum, through which you will develop an understanding and appreciation of God and His creation, human creativity and reason, and our place of responsibility as stewards in the world God has made.
Our communications department offers a film production major because our professors saw a need for a Christian film program in the Southeast and knew they could fill the void with a top-caliber program. You’ll shoot short films on campus — starring our theatre students and local actors — using high-definition cameras, and you’ll edit your footage in high-tech suites.
Of course, there’s much more to film production than viewing the world through a camera lens. Core classes in the major range from screenwriting and film marketing to lighting and editing. The program also reserves several slots for electives. You may want to round out your film studies degree by taking classes in business, drama, or literary theory. And like all Southeastern students, you’ll be challenged to fuse your future career with your faith through Southeastern’s core religion classes.
From time to time, this question might come up: what does it mean to be a Christian and work in the arts? The answer isn’t in a textbook. Are you comfortable working behind the scenes on R-rated films? Do you feel called to only produce Christian programming? These are questions that film production students need to work out for themselves, guided by our professors who are already committed to balancing their faith and their film careers.
Think of our campus as a lab surrounded by the perfect conditions for nurturing your career. Universal Studios and Walt Disney World® aren’t just tourist attractions; they are anchors of Florida’s vibrant film industry. According to the Florida Governor’s Office of Film and Entertainment, our state has the third busiest film production crews in the nation. Only California and New York host more commercial, television, and movie shoots. Our communications department faculty members can easily plug you into this bustling entertainment scene.
To ease the transition between college life and the real world, all of our film studies majors spend their final semester at the Los Angeles Film Studies Center. You’ll study for five months near the famed corner of Hollywood and Vine, an intersection where movie stars share sidewalks with aspiring filmmakers. You’ll have a chance to learn from Hollywood veterans while staying connected with your Christian professors back in Lakeland. There’s a good possibility your stay in LA will be extended; Hollywood studios often request our students for post-graduation internships, and those internships may lead to full-time jobs. (Note: Attendance at the Los Angeles Film Studies Center is contingent upon acceptance into the film center program.)
Whether in LA, New York, or elsewhere, you’ll most likely start out as a production assistant, or “PA,” a jack-of-all-trades assistant on a set or in a production office. The work may not be glamorous, but if you work hard and make connections in the industry, the groundwork will be laid for you to work as a screenwriter, designer, or cinematographer. You could even end up sitting in the director’s chair, telling your own stories to the world.