Marshall University's Student Newspaper

The Parthenon

Marshall University's Student Newspaper

The Parthenon

Marshall University's Student Newspaper

The Parthenon

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Filmmaking Major Announced

Starting in August, students interested in the film industry can declare a major focused solely on filmmaking.

Until now, students who wanted their major to focus on film had to enroll in the College of Arts and Media video production program. This meant while students could focus on film, there wasn’t a specific major for all the different elements of making a film: including animation, producing and directing.

Tijah Bumgarner, film production professor, said this helps give clarity to students about what their options are in production. This also helps students in assessing if they want to go down the journalism and broadcasting route or be involved in the filmmaking space.

Bumgarner said having so little time to practice filmmaking was a big hindrance before for her students, especially because hands-on experience is essential for this industry.

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“I would fight to have longer classes so students could get that experience,” Bumgarner said. “Because when I was in school, I had to work, sometimes a couple different jobs, and I know that students here at Marshall are dealing with that same thing.”

With the new filmmaking focus, the studio classes that accompany it give students time and space to hone their creativity without losing experience.

Maria Gindhart, the dean of the College of Arts and Media, said every new program at Marshall must go through a company called Hanover, which does market studies to determine if it’s viable at the university. This new major not only has the approval of Hanover, but there are now tax credits available for those wanting to create films in West Virginia.

“It’s all like chicken and egg,” Gindhart said. “There’s a tax credit, which is going to bring people here, but they’re going to need to be able to hire people, so I’m really excited that this is a kind of program where we can train people.”

This major aims not only to draw people into Marshall, but to bring the film industry to West Virginia and give people opportunities that weren’t previously available. Having a filmmaking major allows for internships and after-college options to students.

“We can maybe get them internships while they’re still undergraduates,” Gindhart said. “And that there will be jobs, and that the film office can say, ‘Oh, well, we have this new BFA in filmmaking here.’ People are going to need to be able to hire people to use the equipment and learning all these skills.”

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