It is an exciting time to study moving image arts and sciences, and there is no better way to prepare for whatever new forms, approaches, and technologies the future holds than through study in the Film & Video degree programs at Columbia College Chicago. Our students are encouraged to develop a broad understanding of screen history and theory, to explore how “cinema” has evolved over the last hundred years, and to define what it will be for the next one hundred or more.
We emphasize collaboration from the time students enter the department, first through peer teams in the Foundations Program, then in advanced production units making professional films for exhibition and distribution around the world. Self-discovery is at the heart of learning in Film & Video. Students acquire skills through direct experience within a context of intellectual inquiry, and they are encouraged to be adventurous and to take creative risks. Along the way we provide as many opportunities as possible for students to make films.
Our coursework is rigorous yet flexible enough to support exploration and growth. Students begin in the department with compulsory foundation courses that survey history and aesthetics and focus attention on idea origination and development. Because we believe meaningful learning is experiential, students begin producing for the screen while still within the foundation curriculum by making short but increasingly sophisticated pieces in rotating teams. As they learn more about what they enjoy, Film and Video students have the option to focus on a specific discipline such as tradition or computer animation, screenwriting, producing, directing, cinematography, audio, production design, and editing.
The Film & Video Department serves as a hub for Chicago and Illinois screencraft and through its excellent internship program is playing a key role in the rejuvenation of the local visual media. We are extremely well connected to the full range of moving image arts in Chicago, from the vibrant experimental community to large-scale industry production. In addition, we are the only film school with a permanent teaching unit on a Los Angeles lot, now located at Raleigh Studios in Hollywood. This Semester in LA program involves five intensive weeks during which students maintain full-time Columbia status while acquiring direct experience in what it takes to make a mark in the world’s most competitive film production environment. Our active West Coast Alumni Association helps current students to benefit from the success of Columbia graduates and works closely with the Semester in LA administrators to ensure students have every opportunity to test themselves in a real-world environment and make crucial connections for their future careers.
Chairperson, Film & Video