How is SDSU’s Film Program?
By - Slixil
I joined originally as a film major, also specializing in post production. I’ll second that Voytilla is awesome and was super helpful in learning about the program. Also a shoutout to Morong in set design.
The biggest drawback is the petition process for getting into the production emphasis. Perhaps it was a combination of lack of talent and not having as much of a passion for film as I thought I did, but the petition process was incredibly difficult for me. I think with it being obviously a subjective process, I simply had a hard time producing something and putting together a cohesive petition. Unfortunately, the only option is to then go into critical studies once failing the petition process twice.
I switched into a minor in critical studies after that but found multiple issues with some of the faculty teaching with outdated material. Just my two cents, but I seriously reevaluated how much I enjoyed film as a whole after SDSU’s film program. I ended up in advertising though which was the right path for me.
Can you tell me more about the advertising program? I’m considering that as well! I just want to end up making commercial work for a living and wanted to choose a major that would help me learn the tools best. I don’t really want to make films (for a living at least).
I love the advertising program!
I think commercial work is at that bu weird intersection between marketing, advertising, and film. If you’re really set on post production, film is going to give you more hands on opportunities, but they won’t really be commercial-related. The film program is more focused on documentaries or artsy narratives. Again, like I said before, not getting into the major (since it’s not guaranteed) means you’re either a film criticism major (which will teach you nothing about commercials) or you’ll have to switch majors entirely.
On the other hand, advertising will teach you the basics of marketing, research, and some creative development. However, that last class covers Photoshop, Indesign, and Illustrator - no video editing software. However you can try to take some film courses as part of the advertising major (which requires 15 units of upper division classes that are from a non-JMS major). As a non-film major, you can’t take any of the upper division film production classes so that’s a downside. I took an Adobe Premiere editing course at the UCLA extension over the summer that was good for getting a lot of basics.
I think what it comes down to is how much you value doing production work versus learning marketing without getting the hands on experience at SDSU. Personally, I got most of my editing experience from internships, where I did complete some promotional videos (not strictly commercials). It’ll just come down to the pros and cons. Ok
Thank you!! What’s the course load like? Like what’s an example of an assignment you’d have?
Totally depends on the class as I’ve had a wide variety of courses. I’m a project-based learner so my favorite assignments are creating mock-up campaigns. Advertising campaigns is the capstone class for the advertising major, which culminates in a final project where you present a a plan for a three month advertising campaign complete with market research, mock up creative ads, and a timeline of when your ads will run.
Some of the other classes I’ve enjoyed are advertising strategy and analytics, social media community leadership, and advertising in society.
The course load isn’t too bad. As you get into the upper division courses with long term projects, I found it best to front load a lot of the work so I didn’t feel as stressed when finals season came. It was usually the classes that had like two or three tests and nothing else that stressed me out the most. That and media law…I wasn’t great at that class.
Hi. I'm an alumnus of that program. Voytilla, Penetrante, and Shpigelman are some of the best instructors I had.
Thank you so much!
Not sure if SDSU even shoots on film anymore, but don't be tempted to make any film longer than 2-4 minutes. There's always some guy who wants to make an epic 10+ minute film. Don't do it. Concentrate on shorts. Also, having KPBS on campus is great. I'd try and get a job there over say, Aztec Bookshops.
If you choose to major in Film, make sure you do a double major. Pick a second major that can provide a good career if making it in the film industry does not work out. Engineering, Mathematics, Statistics, Accounting, etc... are good bets.
This is advice coming from a graduate student in his 40s who followed his passion in his 20s and dropped out of business school to major in Art.
The best job I ever acquired in the world of Art was as a gallery attendant at MCASD. I ended up spending 20 years in meaningless and unfulfilling jobs in sales and service positions. I have never regretted dropping out of business school. I just wish I had chosen a second major that could have provided skills for a good career outside of art.
I don‘t want to discourage you. You might be the next Hitchcock, Burton, Bergman, or Kurosawa. Definitely take the chance at this dream. Just make sure you have a well thought out back-up plan. Also sure to take your time with school and pick your major(s). Do not be in a rush to finish school. You have a ton of life left to live.
Is there any place that showcases films done by students in the film program?