Department of Cinematic Arts

The Department of Cinematic Arts fosters a learning community dedicated to the creative and scholarly principles of visual storytelling.

Mission Statement

The Department of Cinematic Arts fosters a learning community dedicated to the creative and scholarly principles of visual storytelling. Integrating mastery of craft with spiritual growth and the development of meaningful collaboration, the department encourages transformational art from a culturally engaged Christian worldview.

Department Overview

The Department of Cinematic Arts offers a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Cinematic Arts Production; a Bachelor of Arts in Cinematic Arts with three concentrations: Entertainment Executive, Production and Post, and Screen Studies; a Bachelor of Arts in Screenwriting; a Bachelor of Arts in Animation and Visual Effects; and a Bachelor of Arts in Games and Interactive Media. In addition, students from other majors can earn one of three minors: Screenwriting, Screen Studies, or Games and Interactive Media. The following table can help you decide which of the department’s majors is best for you:

Unit Requirements Areas of Study Which Major is my best fit
BFA in Cinematic Arts Production 74-75 Units Cinematography, Directing, Editing, Producing, Production Design, and Sound Design This major is for students interested in cinematic storytelling and the creative art, personnel, and technical processes involved in creating worlds and the characters and situations that populate them. This immersive four-year program requires a supplemental application as an incoming student or permission from production professors during freshman year.
B.A. in Cinematic Arts 47-50 Units Entertainment Executive, Production and Post, and Screen Studies This major offers three concentrations. Entertainment Executive focuses on creative, logistical, and business (finance/marketing) producing. Production and Post develops basic production skills with a greater emphasis on postproduction. Screen Studies is dedicated to better understanding screen art through a close examination of history, theory, analysis, and criticism. The unit requirement for each concentration is suitable for those wishing to double major or for transfer students.
B.A. in Screenwriting 47 Units Feature Film, Television, and Short-form Screenwriting (includes Episodic Drama, Situation Comedy, and Sketch Comedy for the Writer/Performer) This major is for students whose creative passion is focused on writing for film and/or television. The reasonable unit requirement allows students to double major or minor in another field of interest.
B.A. in Animation and Visual Effects 59 Units 2D and 3D Character Animation, Storyboarding, Character Design, Layout, Visual Development, CG Modeling, Rigging, Visual Effects Animation, and Compositing This major is for students who like to draw cartoon characters, monsters, fantasy creatures, or animals with attitude; or who desire to create fantastic stories or characters for feature animation or television, or visual effects for major motion pictures. This major is a four-year program requiring a supplemental application.
B.A. in Games and Interactive Media 53 Units 2D, 3D, and Tabletop Game Design; Game Theory, Mechanics, Development, and Documentation; 2D and 3D Game Art Design; UV Texturing and Mapping; 3D Modeling and Rigging; 2D and 3D Animation; Game VFX; Game UX/UI Design This major is for students who want to know how to design and develop games. The unit requirement allows students to complement their degree with a minor, such as computer science, art, screenwriting, or creative writing. This major is a four-year program requiring a supplemental application.

The department also offers a Master of Arts in Screenwriting, a low-residency program that prepares writers with literary talent and strong motivation to tell substantive stories that point audiences toward truth and beauty while exploring the dialogue between faith and cinematic arts.

Cinematic arts faculty are working professionals who have collectively accumulated hundreds of industry credits and who are passionate about mentoring students as they hone their craft. Azusa Pacific University’s proximity to Hollywood allows students to benefit from collaborative opportunities and learn from visiting professionals.

Department facilities include an edit lab equipped with 21 work stations, a 70-seat screening room outfitted with DTS-HD 7.1 digital surround sound, a 1,500-square-foot sound stage that includes a green screen and Foley stage, and a 1,450-square-foot equipment distribution center stocked with professional production equipment. The department is an Avid Learning Partner and teaches Avid postproduction workflows exclusively.

Cinematic Arts Program Learning Outcomes

Department faculty train and mentor students in production, writing, criticism, animation, and entertainment management, combining artistic excellence with scholarship. Students learn how to do the following:


Apply principles of cinematic storytelling to creative and analytical works.

Technical Practice

Demonstrate proficiency in the aesthetic, practical, and technical aspects of production, writing, criticism, animation, or entertainment management.


Articulate, critique, and apply the historical, social, and theoretical contexts of the cinematic arts.

Professional Development

Implement the protocol, vocabulary, and work ethic necessary for professional careers.


Serve and participate as a member of a creative team in leadership and/or supporting roles to meet project goals.


Integrate an understanding of Christian faith through critical, creative, and collaborative endeavors.

Department Policies

The following three degree programs require second applications beyond the general APU application: BFA in Cinematic Arts Production, B.A. in Animation and Visual Effects, and B.A. in Games and Interactive Media.

Those interested in the BFA in Cinematic Arts Production can apply as incoming freshmen or during their freshman year, contingent upon the recommendation of their CINE 260 instructor(s). Acceptance to the degree program during one’s freshman year will in no way hinder the successful four-year completion of this degree. All BFA majors must earn no less than a C in every major course. Courses in these majors can be retaken once, but upon any course needing to be repeated, the student will be required to appear before the chair and/or faculty to make an appeal to remain in the major and, upon receiving permission, will be required to receive academic counseling and undergo a periodic review of his/her progress. If more than one course needs to be retaken, the student may be dropped from the BFA program and be required to reapply for admission into that major, if desired.

The B.A. in Animation and Visual Effects and the B.A. in Games and Interactive Media are four-year majors. Applicants to either of these majors must apply as incoming freshmen or with the understanding that they are committing to a four-year program. Each program is based on a cohort model in which coursework is completed in a progressive, sequential pattern. Students in these degree programs must earn no less than a C in each of their major courses. Falling below this threshold at any time may necessitate the student appearing before their respective program director and receiving academic counseling. If the final grade for any major-required course falls below a C, the student may be dropped from the major. If this is the case, a student may appeal to retake a course and reapply to the major. Upon receiving permission to retake a course and reapply to the major, the student acknowledges that by doing so, they may fall a full year behind in the goal of completing their major requirements. Students choosing to minor in games and interactive media should make their choice prior to, or at the beginning of, their junior year. Any student in the minor program earning below a C in any of their minor courses will need to appear before the program director to make an appeal to remain in the minor.

B.A. in Cinematic Arts majors must retain an overall C average (2.0 grade-point average) to graduate. Counseling is advised any time a student’s GPA falls below this threshold.

BFA in Cinematic Arts Production majors have a least one significant hands-on production course each year. In CINE 462/CINE 494 projects, students are guaranteed a singular or shared (no more than two students sharing) department head role (producer, director, first assistant director, cinematographer, editor, sound designer, production designer, etc.), though no student is guaranteed to be placed in his or her desired role. Some roles (producers/directors) are assigned via a pitching process conducted before a faculty selection panel. Other roles are assigned by mutual agreement between student producers and faculty or are designated by faculty, who reserve the right to assign or deny production roles based on a student’s demonstrated performance on previous productions, skills-related coursework, or exceptional circumstances. Likewise, faculty reserve the right to assign or deny screen credit based upon a student’s demonstrated performance in their assigned roles. Students whose scripts or story ideas are selected for Production Development/Capstone Production Development consideration will be required to enroll in a development course the semester prior to production (either CINE 316 Production Development or CINE 416 Capstone Production Development). In some cases, faculty may opt to replace/assign a writer to a script designated for production. Only those students who have successfully completed CINE 319 Directing for the Camera will be considered for directing an upper-division project. Consideration will also be based on past production-related coursework as well as production professor recommendations. At the Capstone Production Development level, student producers, directors, assistant directors, production designers, etc., may also be required to enroll in CINE 416.

While BFA majors have priority on department head roles on upper-division productions, B.A. in Cinematic Arts majors can apply for department head roles (or shared department head roles) or may be appointed to these roles by the professor of record as long as they have taken the courses that qualify them for the role, or by departmental permission in exceptional cases. Common roles for students in the Production and Post concentration are editor or sound designer; common roles for students in the Entertainment Executive concentration are producer (budgets), producer (marketing/distribution), or first assistant director.

All students enrolled in a set/production-based cinema course must read and agree to adhere to the guidelines articulated in the APU Cinematic Arts Production Bible (in the case of non-cinematic-arts students enrolled in a GE cinematic arts production course, such as CINE 160, each must adhere to guidelines articulated by their professor and/or referred to in their course syllabus.) Prior to production, each student’s project must be vetted and approved by the department’s safety and risk management coordinator. Each student must also sign the required safety, legal, insurance, permitting, permissions, and equipment release agreements; failure to sign one or more of these documents in no way releases a student from their obligation to adhere to the policies contained within them. Consequently, failure to follow the guidelines and policies contained within these documents, as well as those outlined in the Production Bible, will have consequences varying from the denial of equipment privileges to a project grade reduction to academic disciplinary action to withdrawal from the major.

Students enrolling in specific skills level or production courses—including, but not limited to, CINE 216, CINE 323, CINE 338, CINE 415, CINE 462, and CINE 494—may be required to contribute to the semester’s film budget or the course’s supplemental materials fee. Such contributions will not exceed $250 per student per semester for film budgets, or $150 for supplemental materials fees.

While students may own the intellectual property rights (copyright) of material they author, APU retains all ownership and distribution rights to films produced with APU equipment and/or within any APU course and/or under departmental authorization. APU also retains the right to use the produced screenplay for continued educational and/or promotional purposes (course examples, assignments, festival entry, etc.). Students wishing to post, share, or distribute films produced at or through APU must receive prior departmental permission in writing to do so.

When films, projects, assignments, exercises, or games produced by the Department of Cinematic Arts are intended for public presentation, such as Premiere Night, a festival, or a competitive entry, we hold each respectively to the standard of the Motion Picture Association of America’s PG-13 rating, the Entertainment Software Rating Board “T” (Teen) rating, and in conjunction with the conscientious majority view of the Department of Cinematic Arts faculty. We feel this is reasonable and responsible for a Christian academic institution committed to exploring the challenges of flourishing in a fallen world, as well as the joys and sorrows of the human condition without celebrating evil. It also makes our student work accessible to a broad audience. 

Films produced at the 400 level (live action and animation) are not guaranteed to screen at Premiere Night. All upper-division films intended for public exhibition must be submitted to, and approved by, a faculty screening committee. To be considered for public exhibition, each film must adhere to the ratings standards outlined in the preceding paragraph, as well as the department’s technical, aesthetic, and legal requirements stated in the APU Cinematic Arts Production Bible. No film approved for Premiere Night will be permitted to be exhibited, posted, or shared prior to that event.

ANIM 111, Digital Methods, 2 Units

This course is an introduction to digital methods for 2D animating, painting, compositing, and editing.

Prerequisite: Course is for B.A. in Animation and Visual Effects majors only.

ANIM 117, Color and Design, 3 Units

Students in this course explore theory and practice of the fundamentals of strong visual design through color, shape, form, and line, with an emphasis on learning the importance of design in cinematic composition.

Prerequisite: Instructor permission; B.A. in Animation and Visual Effects majors only.

ANIM 190, Introduction to Animation Principles and Techniques, 3 Units

This course introduces students to the basic principles and applied techniques of character animation. Students learn how to make characters and objects seemingly come to life through frame-by-frame manipulation, and also explore the fundamentals of movement, gesture, timing, and weight.

Prerequisite: Instructor permission; B.A. in Animation and Visual Effects majors only.

ANIM 192, 2D Character Animation I, 3 Units

This course introduces students to the concept of performance animation utilizing traditional (2D) animation methods. Fundamentals of movement, gesture, timing, and weight are refined with an eye toward creating character performances with emotion and substance.

Prerequisite: C or better in ANIM 190; B.A. in Animation and Visual Effects majors only.

ANIM 202, Storyboarding for Animation, 3 Units

This 2D drawing course introduces students to storytelling methods using sequential drawings for animation. Staging, camera movement, framing, and cutting theory are discussed, and assignments help students learn screen design and storytelling basics. Course material also covers different types of storyboards-TV, feature, commercial, and VFX, all used to communicate story, performance, and cinematic design.

Prerequisite: C or better in ANIM 117, ANIM 190, and ART 230; B.A. in Animation and Visual Effects majors only.

ANIM 203, Introduction to Computer Animation, 3 Units

This course introduces students to the basic principles and applied techniques of computer animation. Students learn the technical aspects of working in computer animation software, and also create character performances in three-dimensional space using sound for dialogue.

Prerequisite: C or better in ANIM 111 and ANIM 192; B.A. in Animation and Visual Effects majors only.

ANIM 204, Layout Fundamentals, 3 Units

This course offers an in-depth study of the compositional elements that make up strong background design for animation. Through 2D drawing assignments, students learn to utilize camera angles, cinematic storytelling, and techniques in drawing and design to create story locations.

Prerequisite: B.A. in Animation and Visual Effects majors only.

ANIM 205, CG Character Animation I, 3 Units

This course continues the study of 3D animation with an emphasis on performance, lip-syncing, timing, and execution. Course material utilizes premade character rigs so students can concentrate expressly on computer-generated character performance animation tests in industry-standard software. Each student is required to complete a short CG film with sound.

Prerequisite: C or better in ANIM 203; B.A. in Animation and Visual Effects majors only.

ANIM 207, Action Analysis for Animation, 2 Units

Animation is all about understanding how something moves in real life before it can be caricatured. In this course, students learn the mechanics behind human and animal locomotion through close analysis of the form in motion. Live models and film clips are used for reference.

Prerequisite: C or better in ANIM 117, ANIM 190, and ART 230; B.A. in Animation and Visual Effects majors only.

ANIM 212, Character Design I, 3 Units

This course introduces the fundamentals of designing characters for animated television series, features, or corporate mascots. Drawing skills required.

Prerequisite: B.A. in Animation and Visual Effects majors only.

ANIM 305, Visual Development, 3 Units

Students in this 2D drawing and painting course explore the visual possibilities of an animated feature, TV series, and/or video game through 2D digital design. World building and character design are utilized to bring a project's story to life.

ANIM 111, ANIM 212, and ANIM 204; corequisite: ANIM 309

ANIM 307, CG Character Animation II, 3 Units

Students in this intermediate-level animation course gain a deeper understanding of CG animation as they create performance-driven character animation. Premade creature and character models are used to explore movement and acting with dialogue on a scene-by-scene basis.

Prerequisite: ANIM 205 and ANIM 207

ANIM 309, Digital Concept Painting, 3 Units

Digital concept art is the first phase of storytelling in animation, film, and gaming. In this 2D drawing and painting course, students learn digital painting techniques and fundamentals in regard to concept art creation utilizing industry-standard painting applications.

ANIM 111, ANIM 204, and ANIM 212; corequisite: ANIM 305

ANIM 345, Advanced Story Concepts [Proposed], 3 Units

Students will learn advanced story and visual concepts, theme and creative thinking techniques in creating their own story ideas. This course introduces students to what it is to create original serial, feature or short internet concepts of their own and how to pitch them successfully.

ANIM 358, Rigging for Animation, 3 Units

The important bridge between CG modeling and animation is creating the "rig," or bone structure, to move the model. This course introduces CG rigging techniques and fundamentals in Maya software, and students make basic rigs for objects, creatures, and human forms, with an emphasis on how things articulate.

Prerequisite: ANIM 205 and ANIM 207

ANIM 390, CG Production Modeling, 3 Units

This course teaches computer modeling in Maya and 3D sculptural software. Students leverage their design skills learned in previous courses to create high-quality, animation-ready character models.

Prerequisite: ANIM 111 and ART 230

ANIM 392, 2D Character Animation II, 3 Units

Students in this intermediate course develop life-like characters through frame-by-frame manipulation, particularly human and animal locomotion, with special consideration given to weight, timing, and performance. Deeper emphasis is placed on dialogue scenes used to create stronger personalities with emotional substance and appeal.

Prerequisite: ANIM 190 and ANIM 192

ANIM 395, Animation Film Workshop, 3 Units

Each student in this course completes their animated project known as a third-year film. This is an open-lab course for students to produce their own 2D animated short film with sound.

Prerequisite: ANIM 305

ANIM 445, Portfolio Review and Preparation [Proposed], 1 Unit

Through peer and professional review the student will learn presentation skills to show their creative art work in the best possible light for possible review by employers. Creating an online portfolio will be mandatory.

CINE 101, Christianity and the Creative Process, 3 Units

This course is a study of theater, film, and broadcasting vis-a-vis Christianity and the arts. Issues of ethics and social justice in the context of cultural studies are considered. Emphasis is placed on spiritual, artistic, and community development. Meets the General Education Requirement: Humanities: Fine Arts. 

CINE 119, Introduction to Directing, 3 Units

Course emphasizes dramatic form and mechanics of story, including the use of editorial, cinematographic, sound and design crafts, to communicate a coherent vision among producers, cast, and crew. Students apply their growing mastery of these subjects in a collaborative environment and explore how the Christian faith informs both story and the processes of practical application.

Corequisite: CINE 260

CINE 160, Introduction to Digital Filmmaking, 3 Units

This course introduces students to the vocation and processes of filmmaking from story conception, creation and development through pre-production, principal photography, post-production, and exhibition. By the end of this course, students will not only have learned the fundamental skills and principles employed by filmmaking professionals - writers, directors, producers, creative artists and technicians - but also how to evaluate their own films in light of the current cultural context. Students must provide their own smartphones equipped with video recording and editing capabilities. Meets the General Education Requirement: Humanities: Fine Arts. 

CINE 186, Action Analysis [Proposed], 2 Units

Students will learn the mechanics behind human and animal locomotion through close analysis of the form in motion.

CINE 200, History of Art and Music for Cinematic Arts, 3 Units

This lecture course introduces cinematic arts students to major works of Western art and music from the prehistoric era to the mid-20th century, to give them visual and musical literacy skills for their work in the cinematic arts.

CINE 216, Performance and Production, 1-3 Units

This course provides credit for students working with instructors as they study, prepare, and perform theater, film, or television productions. Course may be repeated for up to 6 units toward graduation.

CINE 260, Cinema-TV Production I, 5 Units

This course introduces and develops the creative competencies and technical skills for writing, producing, directing, and picture- and sound-editing the narrative short film. Coursework focuses on developing compelling stories and communicating them through dynamic visuals, effective performances, and imaginative sound design.

Special Fee Applies

Corequisite: CINE 119

CINE 274, Story and Character, 3 Units

This course acquaints students with universal principles of storytelling and character development. Students examine short stories, classic myths, and fairy tales in order to identify archetypal stories and characters as part of the adaptation process. By studying classic stories and characters from literature and film, students learn to create their own for use in dramatic writing.

CINE 275, History of Television and Digital Media, 3 Units

An in-depth look at the history and operations of electronic media, including television, cable and the streaming services of the Internet. The technological basis of each medium will be explored as well as the aesthetic opportunities and limitations. Programming and business structures of advertising, pay-per-view, and public broadcasting will be examined. 1st & 14th Amendment considerations-issues surrounding the freedom of expression/press as well as responsibilities-will form topics for debate/discussion. In the light of "narrative theology" both televisual stories and scriptural stories will be examined, not so much for "the rules they give" but rather for what they reveal about the human condition and the possibilities of redemption. Meets the General Education Requirement: Humanities: Fine Arts. 

CINE 280, Writing the Short Screenplay, 3 Units

Students will integrate their knowledge of story and character to develop scripts appropriate for short films. This course stresses the importance of rewriting and meeting deadlines for the screenwriting process. Screenplays written during the class will be considered for production by advanced cinematic arts courses.

CINE 285, History of Film, 3 Units

The changes and developments in film are examined for their relationship to corresponding social and aesthetic contexts. Readings and discussions examine the interdependent relationships between social movements, technological advances, aesthetic trends and business practices. Meets the General Education Requirement: Humanities: Fine Arts. 

CINE 295, Film and Television Business, 3 Units

This class introduces students to the structure and business of the television and motion picture industries. Topics include broadcast, cable and local television, commercial production, advertising, programming, marketing, and ratings. Students learn how movies are made from the business of screenwriting through marketing and DVD release.

CINE 316, Production Development, 3 Units

This collaborative workshop leads writers through the script development process. Students work with the instructor to develop a preapproved script concept (focusing on structure, character, and theme) and write two complete drafts of a short film script.

Prerequisite: CINE 280 and Faculty Pitch Committee approval

CINE 317, Cinematic Design, 3 Units

This course bridges the gap between theory and application of the visual components that make meaning in a visual story. Instruction is achieved through a combination of lecture, demonstration, and multiple student assignments applying course material to practice.

Prerequisite: CINE 260 and BFA Production Majors only

CINE 319, Directing for the Camera, 3 Units

This course gives aspiring cinematic artists a working knowledge of the skills and technique needed to direct actors and create transformational art. It introduces many aspects of this discipline. Students will be evaluated on their ability, expertise, and commitment to implement new techniques.

Prerequisite: CINE 119, CINE 260, and for BFA Production majors only

CINE 320, Cinematography, 3 Units

This comprehensive course covers the fundamentals of lighting, exposure, use of film and motion picture cameras, general use of equipment, safety procedures, and methodology for working on location and in the studio. This course is required for students who desire to fill a cinematography position on an advanced project.

Prerequisite: CINE 260 and BFA Production Majors only

CINE 321, Film and Television Editing, 3 Units

Students learn skills and techniques of cinematic storytelling via the editing and postproduction processes. This course emphasizes proficiency using a nonlinear editing system, the history of significant achievement in editing, and the editor's unique role in the cinematic process. Required for any student who desires to fill an editing position on an advanced production.

Prerequisite: CINE 260; Cinematic Arts Production or Cinematic Arts: Production and Post majors only.

CINE 322, Sound Design, 3 Units

This course focuses on practical and aesthetic considerations relating to recording, editing, and mixing sound for cinematic productions, and is required for students who desire to fill a sound position on an advanced production.

Prerequisite: CINE 260; Cinematic Arts Production or Cinematic Arts: Production and Post majors only.

CINE 323, Production Design, 3 Units

Students will learn about the various disciplines involved in becoming a production designer for cinematic arts, Emphasis will be placed on understanding past designers within their historical contexts and postulating forthcoming trends, as well as developing a working knowledge of manual tactile design. Visual expression faculties must be well developed to succeed in this course.

Prerequisite: CINE 260

CINE 335, Cinema-TV Production II, 5 Units

This intermediate-level course in cinema-TV production emphasizes product and process. Students learn the distinct roles of writing, producing, directing, cinematography, editing, and sound through a story-centered, collaborative, and iterative process.

Special Fee Applies

CINE 260, CINE 280, Cinematic Arts Production or Cinematic Arts: Production and Post majors only; corequisite: CINE 361

CINE 338, Documentary and Entrepreneurial Production, 3 Units

Students in this course explore the content and production methods used in nondramatic productions - for example, short documentaries that feature people or nonprofit organizations. Product advertising or other kinds of entrepreneurial filmmaking are also examined. These productions are studied in terms of style and production techniques; style of production considers things such as compression of information and layering of graphics and images, and that knowledge is used in crafting an original advertising spot or other production. These techniques are then practiced in new projects featuring student-selected content or subjects.

Special Fee Applies

Prerequisite: CINE 260 and one of CINE 319, CINE 320, CINE 321, CINE 322, CINE 323.

CINE 341, Media Criticism and Theory, 3 Units

This course examines the origins and development of film criticism and theory through a close analysis of selected writings. Specialized critical approaches such as genre, auteur, feminist, and Marxist will be framed by a cultural studies approach giving an understanding of film as an expression of both art and popular culture.

CINE 351, Film and Social Issues, 3 Units

This course explores the relationship between ethnic, racial, and gender groups that historically have been under-represented, misrepresented, or marginalized in mainstream commercial cinema. Considerable emphasis is placed upon the cinematic treatment of important historical and current events, multicultural phenomena, and sociopsychological issues and movements. Meets the General Education Requirement: Intercultural Competence. 

CINE 360, Studies in Popular Culture, 3 Units

This course carefully examines popular cultural forms, institutions, rituals, artifacts, icons, communication practices, thought patterns, worldviews, value systems, and ideologies possibly created thereby. Topics range from the private and public experiences of popular culture in movies, television, and recordings to fast food, automobiles, and blue jeans, along with their relationship to wider cultural contexts and Christian faith.

CINE 361, Production Management, 3 Units

Focusing on the business and management areas of media production, this course includes modules on business plans, budgets, investors, revenue streams, project procurement, equipment/facilities management, freelance hiring, personnel contracts, and talent/crew management. The creative and ethical components of producing will be examined under the light of industry demands and the church's historic concern with economic justice.

Prerequisite: CINE 260

CINE 362, Entertainment Development, 3 Units

This course teaches the methods creative producers use to find, develop, pitch, package, and manage cinematic arts products. Coursework emphasizes pitching, script coverage, and other responsibilities of a producer during the acquisition process. These skills are essential for producers but highly recommended for students aspiring to create content.

Prerequisite: CINE 295

CINE 363, Entertainment Financing, 3 Units

This course focuses on funding, risk assessment, distribution methods, and recoupment for cinematic arts products. The methodology focuses primarily upon case studies in the contemporary arts and entertainment industry. The course is essential for students pursuing producing and highly recommended for those interested in entertainment business.

Prerequisite: CINE 295 and CINE 361

CINE 364, Entertainment Marketing, 3 Units

This course enables students to create a marketing plan for cinematic arts products and covers marketing issues and techniques from development through distribution. This course is essential for students interested in executive and producing-related careers and highly recommended for those interested in entertainment business.

Prerequisite: CINE 295

CINE 375, Writing 3: Screenwriting, 3 Units

This course emphasizes the analysis and writing of film screenplays and television scripts. It serves as a workshop for story planning and scripting in the genres of drama and comedy, and for learning creative, redemptive approaches to marketable and effective media formats and presentations. Meets the General Education Requirement: Writing 3: Writing in the Disciplines. 

Prerequisite: Writing 2

CINE 385, Intermediate Screenwriting, 3 Units

This course focuses on screenwriting fundamentals: structure, scene development, character, theme, dialogue, and conflict. Using case studies from film and television, students learn to analyze screenplays and teleplays rather than focusing on the integrated experience of the script, directing, editing, and performance elements.

Prerequisite: ENGL 303 or CINE 375

CINE 387, Writing 3: Nonfiction Writing for Visual Media, 3 Units

This course offers exploration of the essentials of good writing for successful nonfiction programs in visual media such as documentary film, documentary television, media ministry, promotional media, and more. Students learn how to research and write proposals, outlines, treatments, and scripts. Study of scripts and screenings of model nonfiction programs enrich the course and serve as practical examples. Meets the General Education Requirement: Writing 3: Writing in the Disciplines. 

Prerequisite: Writing 2

CINE 388, Sketch Comedy for the Writer/Performer, 3 Units

This course covers the writing, performance, and production of original sketch comedy. Building upon basic improvisation and creative skills, students will sharpen their writing and performance techniques to create truthful and original characters and sketches. Topics include constructing a scene, maximizing comedic potential, integrating popular culture and societal conversation, and experimenting with new media platforms. Students will collaborate to produce a show performed before a live audience at semester's end.

Prerequisite: THTR 374 or CINE 375

CINE 391, Visual Effects and Compositing, 3 Units

This course concentrates on visual effects, specifically 1) enhancing shots with CG elements, 2) compositing from multiple sources, and 3) combining CG/miniatures footage with live-action footage. Lessons cover the span of preplanning plates, accomplishing green screen setups, motion tracking, and adding transparent shadows for realism's sake.

Prerequisite: CINE 321 or ART 301

CINE 415, Advanced Television Production, 4 Units

This course offers advanced instruction in the techniques of television production for multicamera studio and on-location environments. Students learn the skills necessary for preproduction, principal photography, and post-production, as well as the importance of operating under studio deadlines. This workshop class requires significant production time in addition to class time. This course requires a lab fee of at least $30/unit.

Prerequisite: CINE 335 and Instructor consent

CINE 416, Capstone Production Development, 3 Units

This collaborative workshop course leads above-the-line personnel and department heads through the process of preproduction. Students undertake activities including market/audience analysis, script development, and fundraising, and integrate applied preproduction tasks such as budgeting, scheduling, production planning, casting, scouting, and permitting.

Prerequisite: CINE 361 and instructor permission

CINE 420, Topics in Cinema and History, 3 Units

This course explores the relationship between film and history regarding a specific historical era, studying films made at that era and about that era. Students are expected to attend weekly film screenings in addition to scheduled classes. This course may be repeated once for credit as the topic varies.

Prerequisite: WRIT 110

CINE 422, Advanced Post-Production, 3 Units

This course concentrates on advanced post-production techniques including sound mixing (integration of sound effects, Foley, music, and backgrounds) and finalizing picture (color grading, codecs, etc.). Projects are often tied to other advanced production or capstone films.

Prerequisite: CINE 321

CINE 444, Advanced Film Theory, 3 Units

This course provides a deeper look at the medium of motion pictures from the point of view of film theorists ranging from semiotics (film as language), realism, expressionism, auteur theory, cinema as art, montage, film as narrative, literature and adaptations to the screen, documentary and propaganda approaches, genre conventions, psychology, sociology, mythology, and ideology. Discussion of the film audience and the role of the Christian critic is included. Foreign films are a special focus of study, together with unusual examples of cinematic expression, story films, drama as social comment, and the musical.

CINE 451, World Cinema, 3 Units

In our world of new media, multiple technological content exhibition platforms, and the global village, the place of cinema has never been more varied and exciting. The World Cinema course will explore the history, aesthetics, and business of motion pictures outside of the Hollywood and British hegemony. National cinemas to be considered include those of Mexico, India, Russia, China, Latin America, Asia, Africa, and non-English-speaking Europe. Through film screenings, readings, lectures, and engaged discussion, students will gain a diverse, intercultural perspective, enriching their own appreciation of the world of cinema, and broadening their personal perspectives beyond that of the United States. Meets the General Education Requirement: Intercultural Competence. 

Prerequisite: WRIT 110

CINE 462, Advanced Cinema Production, 5 Units

Students in this course work collaboratively as a crew to complete a festival-ready film for screening and distribution. Students serve in specific roles such as producers, directors, cinematographers, editors, and sound designers. The course emphasizes visual storytelling through an iterative production and critique process.

Special Fee Applies

Prerequisite: CINE 335

CINE 475, Civic Engagement Through Media, 3 Units

This service-learning course applies the student's knowledge of media in service to the surrounding community either locally or internationally. Students lend their expertise and energy in partnering with non-profit organizations to create media or provide training in storytelling and technical skills. Meets the General Education Requirement: Civic Knowledge and Engagement. 

Prerequisite: CINE 260

CINE 481, Contemporary Auteurs, 3 Units

This is a seminar course examining a variety of theories and critical approaches, focusing on two-three contemporary contemporary cinema auteurs. This course includes in-depth study of directors such as Scorsese, J. Coen & E. Coen, Kubrick, Schrader, and Eastwood, their connections to film history, theoretical constructs and critical stances, as well as common and divergent themes in their films and what they say about the human condition.

CINE 483, Genre Studies, 3 Units

Students will examine a specific genre in cinematic arts, such as the American film musical, fantasy, romantic comedy, or science fiction. Students will consider the genre with respect to significant changes in the culture as a whole and in relation to other media, such as literature and theater. Numerous related topics will be covered that involve attention to aesthetic, cultural, and political dimensions of film and television, as well as the complex dynamics of societal trends. Consideration will be given to the social and cultural implications of media artifacts in their historical contexts.

CINE 485, Advanced Screenwriting, 3 Units

This screenwriting seminar addresses artistry, excellence, professionalism, and spirituality. Through intense study and assigned readings and films, students learn how to hone the craft of cinematic storytelling and organically integrate faith within their writing to create screenplays with an unusual quality and depth.

Prerequisite: ENGL 303 or CINE 375

CINE 486, Topics in Film Analysis, 3 Units

This course examines the terms, methods, and techniques of film analysis in the context of a special topic that varies each semester depending on the instructor (e.g., Film Noir, Images of Women in Film, Shakespeare on Film, The Western). Emphasis is on formal analysis of film language, with consideration of other critical approaches to film.

CINE 487, Television Writing: Episodic Drama, 3 Units

This course recreates the environment of working on an hour-long television drama. Students gain practical experience in the collaborative process of writing episodic dramas and are prepared for future employment as writers, producers, or directors on a dramatic television series. As part of the course, students complete a 60-page dramatic teleplay.

Prerequisite: CINE 375 or instructor consent

CINE 488, Television Writing: Situation Comedy, 3 Units

This course allows students to experience the process of writing a television sitcom. From the creation of a viable series concept to rewriting a script to meet the needs of the actual production, students work as part of a writing staff rather than as individuals and discover how their specific writing skills contribute to the project's overall success.

Prerequisite: CINE 375 or instructor consent

CINE 490, Internship and Career Preparation for Cinematic Arts, 1-3 Units

This course gives students an opportunity to integrate their cinematic arts coursework with off-campus experiential learning activities in the entertainment industry. In addition to an on-site internship, students participate in course assignments, reflection, and group discussions in order to develop a career plan, hone interviewing and networking skills, and produce personal marketing materials. The course may be repeated for up to 6 units toward graduation.

Prerequisite: CINE 295

CINE 491, Classroom Practicum, 1-3 Units

This course gives students practical experience in classroom teaching and tutoring. Students assist in classroom duties as well as complete assignments related to the development of a communication perspective. Three units must be taken for the communication major; an additional 3 units may be taken for credit toward graduation.

CINE 494, Production Capstone, 3 Units

This course provides opportunity for groups of students to create a culminating television, documentary, or narrative fiction project that integrates the learning from previous production courses in the major and serves as a portfolio for the students involved. With approval, the project may be a creative reel or individual portfolio. All projects must be approved according to department guidelines. Course may be repeated for up to 6 units toward graduation. Meets the General Education Requirement: Integrative and Applied Learning. 

Prerequisite: CINE 415, or CINE 338, or CINE 462 or Instructor's consent.

CINE 495, Special Topics, 3 Units

This course presents topics not covered by regular department courses. Trends in the entertainment industry or special interests of faculty and students may be targeted under this category. Examples have included the American film musical, science fiction film, sound design, post colonial theater, and world theater. Course may be repeated for up to 6 units toward graduation.

CINE 496, Ethics in Cinematic Arts, 3 Units

This seminar in media ethics helps students understand ethical dilemmas encountered by practitioners of film, television, and digital media in a variety of situations. Through the study of mass communication theories and criticism, students learn the powerful ways that entertainment media define, create, maintain, and/or change cultural realities and understand the ethical implications therein.

CINE 498, Directed Research, 1-3 Units

This course provides instruction in research design and technique, and gives students experience in the research process. The 1-unit expectation encompasses no fewer than 30 hours of work with accompanying reading, log, writing, and seminar presentation within the department or in a university research symposium. No more than 1 unit may be used to fulfill preparatory readings requirement. An independent study fee is assessed for each enrollment in this class.

Prerequisite: Junior or Senior Standing

CINE 499, Capstone Project in Cinematic Arts, 3 Units

This course provides an opportunity for students to participate in and/or create a culminating work that integrates learning from previous courses in the major. All projects should be tied to the student's major (or concentration area) and must be approved by their program director or faculty advisor. Such culminating work may include, but is not limited to: creation of a screenplay or teleplay, participation in an animation project, development of an entertainment business plan, or the revision/expansion of an essay suitable for submission to a scholarly journal or academic conference. With faculty approval, Entertainment Executive and Production and Post students may petition for one of the following courses to fulfill this requirement: CINE 338, CINE 415, CINE 462, or CINE 494. Meets the General Education Requirement: Integrative and Applied Learning. 

Prerequisite: Instructor permission

GAME 110, Game Studies Seminar, 3 Units

This course provides a critical understanding of the history of video games, laying a foundation for thinking critically about where games have been and why games matter from a variety of industry, technical, artistic, and social perspectives.

Prerequisite: Instructor permission required.

GAME 115, Game Development Studio I, 3 Units

This introductory course covers game design workflow, fundamental game design and development techniques, and the taxonomy of game design documentation, so students may complete playable digital game levels. Students learn how to design and build modular game assets and incorporate them into their own game levels. Game development best practices and scripting are also introduced.

Prerequisite: Instructor permission

GAME 120, Game Art Design, 3 Units

Students in this course learn advanced techniques for creating 2D and 3D assets for use in game engines, including 2D sprite creation, 3D modeling, UVW mapping, 2D and 3D texturing techniques, character and prop rigging, and animation. Course material emphasizes using industry-standard software, techniques, and workflows.

Prerequisite: DSGN 115

GAME 130, Game Theory and Mechanics, 3 Units

This course gives students a practical foundation in game design with a focus on concept development, design decomposition, and prototyping. Using game design theory, analysis, physical prototyping, playtesting, and iteration, students learn how to translate game ideas, themes, and metaphors into gameplay and player experiences. Students are also exposed to the basics of effective game idea communication.

Prerequisite: GAME 110

GAME 210, Narrative Design for Games, 2 Units

This course gives students an understanding of classic dramaturgy-characterization, motivation, story patterns, structures, styles, genres, etc. Students investigate these storytelling techniques to create emotionally rich characters and worlds through the use of branching narratives, objectives, and rewards.

Prerequisite: GAME 110, GAME 115

GAME 215, Level and Environmental Design for Games, 3 Units

Students in this course investigate the development of compelling environments from the ground up, conceptually and practically. Students explore architecture, perspective, drawing, visual storytelling, art direction, textures, lighting, nature, game cinematography, and creating atmosphere.

Prerequisite: GAME 120

GAME 220, Sound Design for Games, 2 Units

Students in this course develop an understanding of sound design for games and its associated components, such as music, dialogue, voice, ambiance, and effects. Students examine a range of topics, technologies, and techniques, such as the history of sound in games, game sound interaction, asset creation, sonic iconography, game engines, audio engines, middleware, mixing, production, and delivery.

Prerequisite: GAME 215

GAME 230, Game Development Studio II, 3 Units

This course builds on the core principles of GAME 115 Game Development Studio I, and delves into the many systems and mechanics that make up the practice of applied game design, including game AI, multiplayer fundamentals, and basic visual effects.

Prerequisite: GAME 115

GAME 310, Game Prototype Studio, 3 Units

This is an intensive course that builds students' repertoire of fast-prototyping skills and provides them with invaluable experience in starting and finishing games. The course consists almost entirely of the creation of 13 playable prototype games, one per week. Each prototype is confined within a certain genre or conceptual theme, or within unique technical constraints.

Prerequisite: GAME 230

GAME 315, Advanced Game Studio Apprenticeship, 4 Units

This is a two-semester course in which students observe and assist those enrolled in GAME 494 Advanced Game Studio. Students in this course also brainstorm capstone game projects and pitch the ideas to a selection committee (comprising faculty from across campus, as well as industry veterans) that will choose the games that will advance.

Prerequisite: GAME 230

GAME 320, UX and UI Design for Games [Proposed], 2 Units

Introduction to the aesthetics, terminology, and common trends of interface design for games, utilizing usability assessment methods. Topics include 2D and 3D spaces and user/camera perspectives.

GAME 330, Game Development Studio III [Proposed], 3 Units

This course focuses on VR, real-time rendering, 3D display systems, display optics and electronics, IMUs and sensors, tracking, haptics, rendering pipeline, multimodal human perception and depth perception, stereo rendering, and presence. This course emphasizes VR technology with hands-on programming assignments.

SCW 501, Cinematic Arts and Culture, 3 Units

A study of film and television's roles as culture shapers. Students will consider issues of faith, ethics, and social justice and their relationship to cinematic arts. Particular emphasis will be placed on spiritual, artistic, and community development.

SCW 519, Directing for Screenwriters, 3 Units

An in-depth workshop/lecture demonstration on pre-production, production, and post-production processes and the aesthetics of film and video. The course will emphasize dramatic form and mechanics of story, including use of design, cinematographic, sound, and editorial crafts to communicate a coherent vision among producers, crew, and cast. Students will apply knowledge of these subjects in a collaborative working environment.

SCW 520, Script Analysis for Screenplays and Teleplays, 3 Units

Students in this course analyze feature films and television series from the screenwriter's point of view via an in-depth study of each story's dramaturgical elements. This study deepens the understanding of these principles and techniques for each student's own creative work.

SCW 575, Screenwriting: Story and Character, 3 Units

This course focuses on dramaturgical principles needed to write for film and television. Building on Aristotelian three-act structure, students learn to create dimensional characters and craft narratives suitable for visual storytelling. Particular emphasis is placed on theme, genre, scene, and sequence construction.

SCW 595, Entertainment Production, 3 Units

Students in this seminar course gain a working knowledge base in the key phases of entertainment production: development, financing, production management, and marketing.

SCW 611, Adaptation for Film and Television, 3 Units

Students in this course explore using source material-such as true stories, myths, fairy tales, and classic literature-to create screenplay and teleplay adaptations. Through screenings, readings, lectures, and exercises, students examine the process and efficacy of taking stories that originated in one medium and making them suitable for film or television.

SCW 615, Web Series Development and Production, 3 Units

In this workshop class, students study and practice the essential elements and conventions for developing, writing, and producing an original web series. Topics include concept, structure, character, and target audience, as well as marketing and distribution of the web series. Students create a three-episode web series and shoot, edit, and screen the pilot episode.

Prerequisite: SCW 519

SCW 685, Writing the Feature Screenplay, 3 Units

This seminar course focuses on the integration of dramaturgical principles of story and character development as students write an original, feature-length screenplay. They also examine classic films from the canon of American cinema to gain an enhanced understanding of narrative and learn to implement constructive criticism from peers and the course instructor.

SCW 687, Writing the Drama Pilot, 3 Units

This course focuses on the creation of an original, dramatic television series. Each student will create a series bible that defines the concept, major characters, and brief descriptions for season one episodes. During the semester, the instructor will lead a virtual writers room as student peers provide feedback as each writes a pilot episode. In addition, the course will explore current trends in broadcast, cable, and streaming television services.

SCW 688, Writing the Comedy Pilot, 3 Units

This course focuses on the creation of an original, comedic television series, with each student creating a series bible defining the concept, major characters, and brief descriptions for season-one episodes. During the semester, the instructor leads a virtual writers room with student peers providing feedback as each writes a pilot episode. The course also explores current trends in broadcast, cable/satellite, and streaming television services.

SCW 699, Screenplay/Teleplay Portfolio Workshop, 3 Units

This course prepares second-year students to submit a portfolio of screenplays and/or teleplays to agents, managers, or producers for representation and/or employment opportunities. The course instructor matches each student with a professional screenwriter who helps ensure that work in the portfolio is commercially viable. In addition, students explore marketing strategies-such as blogs, social media, and building a brand-and their usefulness in starting a career in the entertainment industry.

Prerequisite: SCW 685, SCW 687 or SCW 688, and instructor permission.


Department Chair

Gregory J. Michael, MFA

Professor and Director, M.A. in Screenwriting

Thomas D. Parham, Ph.D.

Assistant Professors

Gregory J. Michael, MFA

Jesse A. Negron, MFA

Laurie Leinonen, B.A.

Tony Bancroft

Jay New, MFA

Adjunct Faculty

Nathaniel Bell, M.A.

Vickie Bronaugh, M.A.

Andrew Cole, MFA

Lauri Deason, B.A.

Adam Hall, MFA

Susan Isaacs, MFA

Ryan Izay, M.A.

Edward Kim, MFA

Christine Krebsbach, M.A.

James Lincoln, M.A.

Philip Lollar, MFA

Martina Nagel, MFA

Cheryl McKay Price, M.A.

Nathan Scoggins, B.A.

Avril Speaks, MFA

Jonathan Vermeer, MPW


Sheryl J. Anderson, B.A.

Joseph W. Calloway, A.A.

Brian L. Davidson, B.S.

Leilani Downer, B.A.

Anthony Epling, M.A.

Denise Di Novi, B.A.

Jeremy Howe, B.S.