Department of Cinematic Arts

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 Bachelor of Fine Arts degrees in cinematic arts production and screenwriting, and a Bachelor of Arts in Cinematic Arts degree with four concentrations: production and post, entertainment executive, animation, and film and television studies. In addition, students from other majors can earn one of two minors: film and television studies or screenwriting.

B.A. in Cinematic Arts BFA in Cinematic Arts Production BFA in Screenwriting
Unit Requirements46 Units75 Units76 Units
Areas of StudyProduction/Post, Animation, Entertainment Executive, Film and Television StudiesCinematography, Directing, Editing, Producing, Production Design, Sound DesignScreenwriting
Which major is my best fit? The unit requirement is suitable for transfer students and double majors.This degree requires eight semesters to meet graduation requirements. A supplemental application either as incoming student or during freshman year is required.This major is for students whose passion is focused on writing for film and/or television.

Cinematic Arts Program Learning Outcomes

Department faculty train and mentor students in writing, production, postproduction, criticism, animation, and entertainment management/marketing, with the aim of combining artistic excellence with academic rigor in scholarship.


Describe an understanding of the integral structures of cinematic storytelling and implement these in criticism, scripts, and productions.

Technical Practice

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


Articulate, critique, and apply the historic, 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 BFA in Cinematic Arts Production requires a second application/acceptance beyond the general APU application. Prospective majors can apply as incoming freshmen, or before spring registration in their freshmen year. Since all freshmen courses—no matter the degree or track—are the same, acceptance going into one’s sophomore year will NOT result in a BFA major “being behind,” as long as they have selected a major before their sophomore year.

All BFA majors are required to attain at least a C in every major course. Courses can be repeated, but upon any third course needing to be repeated, the student will be required to appear before the faculty to make an appeal to remain in the major and to receive academic counseling.

BFA in Cinematic Arts Production majors have a least one significant hands-on production course each year. In the CINE 462/CINE 494 projects, students are guaranteed a singular or shared (no more than two students sharing) “department head role” (producer, director, 1st assistant director, cinematographer, editor, sound designer, production designer). No student is guaranteed to be placed in his or her desired role. Some roles (producers/directors) are selected via a pitching process conducted in front of all available faculty members. Other roles are assigned by mutual agreement with producers or are simply designated by faculty.

All cinema majors must complete safety training and agree to abide by guidelines laid out in the safety manual. Failure to follow these guidelines will have consequences varying from a project grade reduction up to being required to drop the major.

While students “own the copyright” (intellectual material/story), APU retains all distribution rights to films made with APU equipment within any APU course.

B.A. majors must retain an overall C average (2.0 GPA) to graduate. Counseling is advised anytime a student’s GPA falls below this threshold.

B.A. majors can apply for department head roles for junior- and senior-level projects and may be appointed to these roles by the professor as long as they have taken the courses that qualify them for the role. Common roles for B.A.s in the production and post concentration are editor or sound designer. Common roles for B.A.s in the entertainment executive concentration are producer (budgets) or producer (marketing/distribution). Some directing slots in CINE 415 are available for B.A. directors.

CINE 101, Christianity and the Creative Process, 3 Units

This 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, 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 201, Computer Animation Fundamentals, 3 Units

This course introduces students to the concepts and methods of Motion Graphics. Starting with graphic design concepts students create and set into motion projects such as film titles and advertising graphics. Students are introduced to compositing moving objects with tracking mattes and begin experimenting with camera moves.

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, 4 Units

The course introduces and develops the creative competencies and technical skills to write, produce, direct, picture and sound edit the narrative short film. The focus of the coursework will be developing compelling stories and communicating them through dynamic visuals, affective performances and imaginative sound design.

Special Fee Applies

Corequisite: CINE 119

CINE 263, Broadcast Performance, 3 Units

This course trains students in the basic components of acting and performance for nonfiction television and radio. Special attention is given to the unique demands of these media and the preparation needed for clear, compelling communication within them. While not primarily focused on general acting and performance techniques, these are addressed and enhanced.

Special Fee Applies

Prerequisite: CINE 260

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 290, Introduction to 3D Animation, 3 Units

This course introduces students to the world of 3d-animation using standard computer software used throughout the entertainment and games industries. Topics range from primitive shapes, through the concepts of modeling, rigging and animation and also touches on material editing & textures, as well as staging the camera & lighting effects.

Prerequisite: CINE 201

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 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.

Prerequisites: 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: Pre-Requisites: 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.

Prerequisites: CINE 260 and BFA Production Majors only

CINE 321, Film/Video Editing, 3 Units

Students learn skills and techniques of cinematic storytelling via the editing and postproduction processes. The 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. This course is required for any student who desires to fill a editing position on an advanced production.

Prerequisites: CINE 260 and BFA Production 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.

Prerequisites: CINE 260 and BFA Production 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, 4 Units

This is an intermediate-level course in cinema-TV production emphasizing both 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

Prerequisites: CINE 260 and BFA Production Majors only

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 fictional 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 & Compositing, 3 Units

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

Prerequisite: CINE 321 OR ART 301

CINE 414, Student Broadcast Workshop, 1-3 Units

This course offers advanced instruction in the techniques and practice of broadcast production. Goals for the course include increasing skills and aptitudes in research, interviewing, writing, and performing for on-air and production environments. Students learn the importance of operation under broadcast deadlines and using time management skills. As a workshop class, the course requires significant production time in addition to class time. Course may be repeated for up to 6 units towards graduation.

Special Fee Applies

Prerequisites: CINE 260 or JOUR 261

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

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 438, Advanced Documentary Film, 4 Units

Students study the history and theory of documentary filmmaking from earliest times to the present, including American, English, Russian, and others. Functions of nonfiction film and television in society for education, persuasion, social change, and propaganda are explored. This course is excellent for students of media, communication, and history. Students create a documentary project from inception to final edited videotape.

Special Fee Applies

Prerequisite: CINE 335

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, 4 Units

Students 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's 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's consent

CINE 490, Internship, 1-3 Units

This course provides an opportunity for field experiences in the cinematic or theater arts. Internships are approved and supervised directly by the instructor in conjunction with a workplace supervisor. Some scheduled course meetings are also required. Course may be repeated for up to 6 units toward graduation.

Prerequisite: CINE 295 or THTR 224

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 438, 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, Senior Seminar: 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.

Prerequisite: Senior Standing

CINE 497, Career Preparation for Cinematic Arts, 3 Units

This course enables students to create a career plan in fields related to cinematic arts. Topics and practices include informational interviewing, networking, mentors, and the development of personal marketing materials.

Prerequisite: CINE 494 or CINE 499

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 create a culminating work that integrates learning from previous courses in the major. All projects must be approved by the department. Such projects could include but are not limited to: creation of a screenplay or teleplay, development of an entertainment business plan, production of an animated short, or writing of a major research paper. The project must encompass at least 100 hours of work. Meets the General Education Requirement: Integrative and Applied Learning. 

Prerequisite: Instructor Consent


Interim Department Chair

Gregory J. Michael, MFA


John R. Hamilton, Ph.D.

Thomas D. Parham, Ph.D.

Associate Professor

Warren G. Koch, Ph.D.

Assistant Professors

Gregory J. Michael, MFA

Jesse A. Negron, 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

Jared New, MFA

Nathan Scoggins, B.A.

Avril Speaks, MFA

Jonathan Vermeer, MPW


Joseph W. Calloway, A.A.

Denise Di Novi, B.A.

Jeremy Howe, B.S.