What Is Digital Film Production?
Film production requires a unique blend of creativity and technical expertise. From the early days of silent films to modern digital creations, film has remained a dynamic medium that’s ideal for talented storytellers. You can pursue your passion for the arts and entertainment field with the Bachelor of Arts in Digital Film with an Emphasis in Production degree at Grand Canyon University. Study under experienced faculty members who are experts in their respective fields, and benefit from collaborative interactions with other film students as you work toward realizing your career ambitions.
Offered by the College of Fine Arts and Production, this program in digital production takes students behind the camera for an in-depth look at modern cinematography and narrative storytelling. Explore the business side of cinema, including the essentials of finance, budgets and distribution. Develop foundational knowledge in technical film production that translates to small-scale projects and major motion pictures alike. Examine the aesthetic aspects of narrative story development in multiple genres of film, from music videos to documentaries.
Why Earn Your Digital Film Production BA Degree at GCU?
GCU’s BA in digital film production opens up a world of possibilities for students with a passion for the arts and entertainment field. Students learn how to thrive as members of a film production team. The curriculum encourages students to develop professional communication skills, leadership qualities, critical reasoning abilities and ethical decision-making skills.
This bachelor of arts degree requires a total of 120 credits for completion. Students may elect to take courses on campus or online via our robust, interactive learning platform.
Study Curriculum for the Bachelor of Arts in Digital Film Production
Film production students start with a broad survey of cinema, including its history and aesthetics. Other courses included with this degree program include:
- Audio Production for Cinema and Television
- Film Production Management
- Nonlinear Editing
- Advanced Digital Post-Production
- Professional Success within the Fine Arts
Senior students work on advanced projects to apply their knowledge to hands-on, real-world situations. The digital film production BA degree concludes with the Digital Production Practicum, in which students complete a professional-level, short digital film.
Pursue a Career in Digital Film and Production
Arts and entertainment is a dynamic career field, full of diverse possibilities for qualified job candidates. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the job outlook for film and video editors from 2016 through 2026 is 13 percent, which is faster than average. The job outlook for producers and directors in that same time period is projected to be 12 percent, which is also a faster than average rate of growth. Whether you choose to pursue a career in film production or television, there are several job opportunities that may be related to this film production degree, such as:
- Sound mixer
- Film or TV producer
- Camera operator
- Film editor
In the world of TV and film production, it’s common for new graduates to get their foot in the door by first working as an intern or production assistant. GCU strives to graduate students who are skilled communicators and networkers, which may be beneficial as they work toward their career goals.
General Education Requirements
General Education coursework prepares Grand Canyon University graduates to think critically, communicate clearly, live responsibly in a diverse world, and thoughtfully integrate their faith and ethical convictions into all dimensions of life. These competencies, essential to an effective and satisfying life, are outlined in the General Education Learner Outcomes. General Education courses embody the breadth of human understanding and creativity contained in the liberal arts and sciences tradition. Students take an array of foundational knowledge courses that promote expanded knowledge, insight, and the outcomes identified in the University’s General Education Competencies. The knowledge and skills students acquire through these courses serve as a foundation for successful careers and lifelong journeys of growing understanding and wisdom.
Upon completion of the Grand Canyon University's University Foundation experience, students will be able to demonstrate competency in the areas of academic skills and self-leadership. They will be able to articulate the range of resources available to assist them, explore career options related to their area of study, and have knowledge of Grand Canyon's community. Students will be able to demonstrate foundational academic success skills, explore GCU resources (CLA, Library, Career Center, ADA office, etc), articulate strategies of self-leadership and management and recognize opportunities to engage in the GCU community.
- UNV-103, University Success: 4
- UNV-303, University Success: 4
Graduates of Grand Canyon University will be able to construct rhetorically effective communications appropriate to diverse audiences, purposes, and occasions (English composition, communication, critical reading, foreign language, sign language, etc.). Students are required to take 3 credits of English grammar or composition.
- ENG-105, English Composition I: 4
- UNV-104, 21st Century Skills: Communication and Information Literacy: 4
- ENG-106, English Composition II: 4
- COM-263, Elements of Intercultural Communication: 4
Graduates of Grand Canyon University will be able to express aspects of Christian heritage and worldview. Students are required to take CWV-101/CWV-301.
- CWV-101, Christian Worldview: 4
- CWV-301, Christian Worldview: 4
Graduates of Grand Canyon University will be able to use various analytic and problem-solving skills to examine, evaluate, and/or challenge ideas and arguments. Students are required to take 3 credits of college mathematics or higher.
- MAT-144, College Mathematics: 4
Graduates of Grand Canyon University will be able to demonstrate awareness and appreciation of and empathy for differences in arts and culture, values, experiences, historical perspectives, and other aspects of life (psychology, sociology, government, Christian studies, Bible, geography, anthropology, economics, political science, child and family studies, law, ethics, crosscultural studies, history, art, music, dance, theater, applied arts, literature, health, etc.). If the predefined course is a part of the major, students need to take an additional course.
- PSY-102, General Psychology: 4
- INT-244, World Religions: 4
- SOC-100, Everyday Sociology: 4
Program Core Courses
This course covers multiple eras and movements throughout the age of film.
This course introduces students to the technical and aesthetic aspects of small format digital production as well as the basic principles of motion picture production. Students learn the language of film/digital video and how its manipulation can express one’s individual message or purpose.
This introductory course helps digital film production students to develop skills and gain experience in acting and directing for the camera. Students participate on both sides of the camera. Course sessions include lecture, practical exercises, and preparation for analyzing and blocking a scene and working on a set. Students screen selected film clips to evaluate performances, explore methods to prepare for an audition, discuss the actor/director relationship, and examine the professional requirements of relating to a crew.
Students in this writing intensive course learn storytelling for the screen through a managed regimen of in-class and out-of-class experiences that emphasize the essential mix of imagination and craft in writing. They hone their skills in observation, communication, and visualization, and receive instruction on structure for screenwriting and how to employ written language to articulate dramatic and visual expression.
This course focuses on the elements that make up almost all storytelling. Students are encouraged to discover and develop their unique voices as writers and storytellers, while understanding the critical importance of working as part of a creative team. This course emphasizes the use of traditional storytelling, classic mythology, and the ways in which these devices apply to contemporary media.
This course is an intensive exploration of the craft, technologies, and aesthetic principles of cinematography, lighting, and set design techniques. Lectures and in-class demonstrations cover video formats, cameras, exposure, lenses and optics, lighting units, lighting placement, lighting control, camera support, and camera movement.
This course follows the general chronology of editing from capture and logging, through editing and effects, to final output of a finished program. The first half of the course is devoted entirely to a mastery of the editing software. The second half of the course is devoted to examining how and why editing is important. Different editing theories are explored, including montage, fast cut, long take, jump cut, and others.
This course utilizes techniques of directing, sound editing, lighting, and advanced editing programs. Several practical and written exercises lead to a short digital production. Students spend time working with actors in front of the camera as well as composing shots to convey a story visually. Prerequisites: DFP-111 and DFP-221.
This course will prepare the College of Fine Arts and Production student for professional success in their chosen field. Students will research their industry, gaining critical knowledge and learning the business practices needed for post-graduation success.
In this writing intensive course, students will learn how to take a project from development into pre-production and then, how to effectively market and distribute the project. Although students will not be filming the project, students will utilize their production knowledge in building realistic schedules and budgets for their projects. Prerequisites: DFP-111 and DFP-221.
This course exposes students to every aspect of media production. Students also learn how to work well in a team environment and to adhere to deadlines, time constraints, and medium limitations. Prerequisite: DFP-111.
This course introduces basic audio production skills and encourages students to face the challenges of audio production within the film and television industry. Students will learn how to capture clear sound as well as how to manipulate sound during the post-production stage. Prerequisite: DFP-111.
This course is a survey of music video and documentary productions. Students study, analyze, and implement techniques in both types of productions. Prerequisite: DFP-111.
This class is about developing students’ understanding of the art of cinematic storytelling and montage and exposing them to the cueing, performing, and editing of Foley and Automated Dialogue Replacement. Students work on more advanced projects is integrated into the class as a means of mastering advanced editing tools and techniques.
This practicum allows students to apply digital production principles. The course focuses on the process and completion of a short digital film. Prerequisite: DFP-451.