GCU Digital Film Department

Do you enjoy the art of storytelling? The GCU digital film department in the College of Arts and Media can provide a pathway into the world of visual and technical storytelling. Under the guidance of film industry professionals, the GCU digital film program is focused on narrative storytelling and instilling strong technical skills in both production and screenwriting. You will be given the opportunity to gain hands-on experiences in the first semester of your freshman year. Over the course of your program, you can potentially receive multiple years of learning and training in a variety of skill sets that can be applicable to a wide range of industries.

Film student sits in producer booth

Digital Film Degrees

Whether you have a passion for production or writing, GCU digital film degrees can help you achieve an all-round technical and writing skill set. You have the option to take a digital film degree with an emphasis in production to learn about filmmaking from behind the camera, or an emphasis in screenwriting to learn how to construct the next great character and story.

Digital Film Audio Lab
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GCU Digital Film Faculty Spotlight

The faculty for GCU digital film is made up of award-winning industry professionals who hold years of experience in a variety of areas in digital film. In conjunction with our Faculty Advisory Board, digital film faculty members work to incorporate assignments in each digital film class that teach employable skills for the current film and television industry.

Academic Relationships

The GCU digital film department is proud to have an academic relationship with Blackmagic Design, a world leader in cinema and broadcasting equipment and software (including DaVinci Resolve). GCU is the only Blackmagic Academic Training Partner in Arizona, meaning that we alone are able to certify individuals in DaVinci Resolve nonlinear editing software and Fusion Effects visual effects software.

Guest Speakers

Every semester, students have the opportunity to speak to dozens of industry professionals, ranging from seasoned producers to up-and-coming filmmakers.

  • Phoenix Film Festival
  • NXNW Student Film Festival
  • Canon
  • RED Cameras
  • Adobe
  • Unreal Engines
  • Milwaukee Brewers (Phoenix, AZ operations)
  • Matthew Earl Jones – Director of AZ Film and Digital Media
  • Phil Bradstock – Phoenix Film Commissioner
  • Susan Slonaker – Screenwriter
  • Marty Tanisaki, MBA – Senior Analyst, Theatrical Distribution, Walt Disney Company
  • Justin Sklar – Animator, Disney Animation Studios
  • Clark Spencer – Producer, Pixar
  • Adrian Molina – Director, Disney Animation Studios
  • Rob Thompson – Animator, Pixar
  • Chris Tinard – Filmmaker/Producer, HireStory and Director of AZ Drone Festival
  • Thomas Brodek – Producer, Production Manager
  • Daniel Cunningham – Producer, Busted Buggy Entertainment
  • Emily Best – CEO, Seed & Spark
  • Mike MacLean – Screenwriter
  • Chris Riley – Film Director and CEO, Metashift Gaming (GCU Alumni)
  • Laura Donohue – Producer (GCU Alumni)

Digital Film Facilities

Students have access to on-campus facilities and an array of professional high-tech equipment used in the film industry.

Digital Film Editing Lab

GCU’s film editing lab consists of multiple Mac Studio computer stations where students can study hands-on during DFP-225: Nonlinear Editing; DFP-226: Visual Effects; DFP-351: Audio Production for Film and Television; and DFP-455: Advanced Post-Production courses.

WhisperRoom Audio Booth

Students have access to an audio recording suite that includes a WhisperRoom audio booth and an iMac Pro that runs the Adobe Audition software. In this suite, students have the opportunity to host professional voiceover and ADR sessions.

Digital Film Equipment Rental Cage

Equipment includes Canon C-100 and C-300 cameras, RED Epic, Scarlet and Gemini cameras, Zoom H4N Pro audio recorders, Sennheiser microphones, a variety of lights (HMI, tungsten, LED), a professional pocket jib, a doorway dolly (with tracks) and many other items. Production courses involve and rely on hands-on instruction to ensure that students are comfortable with the tools available to them.

To request more information about becoming a part of GCU digital film, click the button to fill out a form that will connect you with a university counselor.

Digital Film Opportunities

By using the equipment and facilities available, GCU digital film students have the opportunity to bring their visions to life via short and long-form scripts and films. You will be encouraged to participate in as many film festivals and showcases as possible, including those hosted by GCU. At these events, you may have the chance to meet and network with industry professionals and have your work critiqued in order to gain helpful feedback for your next project.

Every fall, GCU hosts an intercollegiate 48-Hour Film Festival. Students have 48 hours in which to conceive a film (after being provided genre, line of dialogue and prop), film it, edit it and then screen it to a panel of judges. Trophies are awarded to students for Best Film, Best Story, Best Cinematography, Best Editing, Best Audio and Best Actor, with the Persistence of Vision traveling trophy being awarded to the school with the most wins.

Held every spring, the GCU Film Festival allows students to showcase their work to a larger audience and potentially gain recognition. An awards ceremony on campus goes as follows: winners, judged by industry professionals, are selected from the Animation, Comedy, Drama, Documentary, Faith, Music Video, Thriller and Alumni categories. Additionally, a Best of Festival award is given to the film which the judges felt exceeded all competitors.

Pitches are a mainstay in the film industry and it is critical for students to master the skill of pitching. At GCU’s PitchFest, students have 90 seconds to pitch their film and television ideas to industry professionals for feedback and guidance on next steps. This opportunity is designed to help students improve their skills and build their industry connections.

Held prior to the PitchFest and the GCU Film Festival awards ceremony and alongside our partners in Career Services, these mixers allow industry professionals to meet students and learn more about the digital film program. Participation in these events has previously led some attendees to internships and job openings.

48 hour film fest

Button to play video: DFP Film Festival

Experience Film Festivals

Embark on an enchanting evening where guests will witness the award ceremony for short films submitted by GCU students. The winners are announced by the unveiling of each category’s individual film poster designed by GCU students.