McDaniel launches Cinema major

September 15, 2010

With an eye on training students to become “media literate cinematic storytellers,” McDaniel College this semester is launching the Cinema major as part of the newly named Department of Communication and Cinema.

Cinema majors – who study under award-winning faculty members including associate professors Jonathan Slade and Richard Brett – learn more than how to use the latest technology. They learn the fundamental skills that lie at the heart of the liberal arts: strong research and writing, understanding character, narrative development and historical context. All the while, faculty members nurture teamwork, critical thinking and creative problem solving.

“A good story is a good story if it’s smartly told,” said Slade, who is acting chair of the Department of Communication and Cinema. “We’re teaching the liberal arts skills – the creativity, the problem solving, the teamwork, what makes a good story, what is a character arc, what makes a good character – the stuff that doesn’t expire.”

With such a broad perspective, McDaniel Cinema students graduate with many career options – from film and television companies to nonprofit agencies and educational institutions.

“This is the 21st century, as soon as (students) leave our classroom – especially while in our classroom – they are bombarded with media of all sorts, from iPhones, their computers, commercials, movies,” said Brett, who teaches film production. “Part of what Jon and I are trying to do is teach them how to read that media and one day contribute to it.”

Watch this video for more details on this exciting new major:

Video produced and edited by Jonathan Slade, Richard Brett and Department of Communications and Marketing staff.