Film and Social Justice

Department Affiliation: Sociology

Film is a universal means of communication. Today, with the advancement of digital technologies, production capability has dramatically increased, creating tremendous opportunities for engagement in the filmmaking enterprise, and the ability to address the important social justice issues of our time through film.

Our Mount St. Mary's College Film and Social Justice Program offers a strong liberal arts and social justice education based on principles of social science theory and research, combined with the technical and professional skills necessary to prepare students for careers in the film and television industry.

Our overarching program mission is to educate informed social justice leaders who will be able to contribute to positive social change in our society and in the world. The foundation of this mission is rooted in the legacy of the Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet, founders of Mount St. Mary's College. Beginning in Le Puy, France, over 300 years ago, the sisters have served the world as strong social justice advocates and activists, working to improve the lives of the world's underrepresented populations and the most vulnerable among us.

In consultation with professionals in the field of film and television, our program approach is to focus on documentary film production. With this foundation, a wide array of career options are possible, with the added distinction of expertise in the documentary genre.

Small classes provide students close interaction and association with faculty. Students receive early hands-on filmmaking training and practice. State-of-the-art equipment, including cameras, software, film & sound editing lab, and film studio support the production of student projects. Public screening of student work and the College's annual Human Rights Film Festival, which film students help organize and present, takes place in the Mount's newly renovated William H. Hannon Theater on the Chalon Campus, and on the Doheny Campus ,in the also recently renovated The Rose Hills Auditorium. Multiple opportunities to intern at studios nearby offer crucial networking and filmmaking experience.

The Program Director works closely with each film student, in collaboration with the Career Planning Office, to develop a detailed career plan, an electronic Leadership Portfolio and resume, and to complete graduate school applications if continued film study is desired. This emphasis on ensuring the preparation and success of each individual student is a distinctive hallmark of Mount St. Mary's College and its Film Program.

The Film and Social Justice Major is an excellent second major for students in the social sciences, behavioral sciences, business, or creative fields of study, such as English and Art.

Film and Social Justice B.A.

Required Core Courses:
FLM 131  Film and Social Justice
FLM 132  History of Film
FLM 135  Mass Media
FLM 197A  Internship
or
FLM 176 Independent Video Project

Plus 8 additional courses in any of the areas of emphases or their elective courses, listed below.


Note: An emphasis is not required for the Film major, but is optional. The courses listed from disciplines other than those designated as Film are counted toward the major as part of the 8 additional courses. These courses help to provide an important interdisciplinary strength to the Film major and contribute to an individualized approach to a program of study for each Film student, according to their future career interests.

Total Units Required for B.A. in Film and Social Justice: 36 (all courses listed are 3 units credit)

There are three areas of emphases for Film students, if desired. They are: 

  1. Film Production:  Emphasizes building technical filmmaking skills. 
  2. Social Justice:  Provides a strong social justice education foundation that encourages application in media development and production. 
  3. Film Marketing:  Combines business marketing skills with filmmaking skills. 

Emphasis 1: Film Production

Required Core Courses plus:

FLM 135

Mass Media

(3)

FLM 137A

Writing for Film

(3)

FLM 139A

Digital Film Production

(3)

FLM 143A

Post-Production Audio

(3)

Plus 2 Social Justice courses, listed below

Plus 3 additional elective Film courses, listed below

(15)

Elective Film Courses for Production Emphasis

FLM 133

Music, Culture and Broadcasting

(3)

FLM 137BC

Writing for Film

(3)

FLM 139BCD

Digital Video Production

(3)

FLM 142

Women in Film

(3)

FLM 143BC

Post-Production Audio

(3)

FLM 145ABC

Animation

(3)

FLM 176

Independent Video Project

(3)

FLM 197BCD

Internship

(3)

Emphasis 2: Social Justice

Required Core Courses Plus:

FLM 136

Disney Inc. and Mass Popular Culture

(3)

SOC 162

Human Rights

(3)

SOC 180

Social Stratification

(3)

FLM 197 or FLM 176

Internship or

Independent Video Project

(3)

Plus 3 additional elective Social Justice courses, listed below, or by approval of the Director of the Social Justice Program

(9)

 

 

Elective Courses for Social Justice Emphasis

 

PSY 186

Violence Against Women

(3)

PSY 139

Child Abuse and Family Violence

(3)

PSY 144

Psychology of Prejudice

(3)

POL 147

Women and Development

(3)

POL 148

Refugees and International Migration

(3)

POL 151

Humanitarian Intervention

(3)

SOC 161

Majority-Minority Relations

(3)

SOC 163

Women and Children's Rights

(3)

SOC 167

U.S. Women of Color

(3)

SOC 175

Urban Sociology

(3)

SOC 185

Global Development

(3)

SOC 186

Political Sociology

(3)

SOC 187

Environmental Studies

(3)

SOC 190

Social Change

(3)

SOC 191

Social Movements

(3)

Emphasis 3: Film Marketing

Required Core Courses Plus:

BUS 160

Principles of Marketing

(3)

BUS 161

Principles of Advertising

(3)

BUS 165

New Media (prerequisite BUS 160)

(3)

BUS 166

Consumer Market Research (prerequisite BUS 160)

(3)

FLM 131

Film and Social Justice

(3)

FLM 197A or Film 176

Internship or

Independent Video Project

(3)

Plus 4 additional elective Film courses

(12)

Additional Elective Film Courses

FLM/SOC 30

Human Communication

(3)

FLM 127

Alternative & Independent Media

(3)

FLM 129

History and Ethics of Documentary Film

(3)

FLM 141

Video Production Lab Assistant

(3)

FLM 144

Introductory Videography

(3)

FLM 148

Writing Professional Grants

(3)

FLM 170

Digital Music Production

(3-9)

FLM 197BCD

Internship (more than one semester of internship is strongly recommended)

(3-9)

FLM 198

Senior Capstone Project

(3)

FLM 199

Special Studies (for interest-specific topics of individual students)

(3)

PHI 167

Ethics and Film

(3)

PHI 175

Philosophy of Film

(3)

Recommended Courses to be taken for General Studies Credit for Film Majors

ART 2

Design 1

(3)

ENG 108

News Media

(3)

ENG 124

Fiction to Film

(3)

HIS 3/103

World History

(3)

HIS 6/106

American Cultural History

(3)

HIS 25

Cultural and Historical Geography

(3)

HIS 191

Major Issues in U.S. Women's History

(3)

PHI 167

Ethics and Film

(3)

PHI 175

Philosophy of Film

(3)

RST 45/145

Contemporary Issues in Christian Ethics

(3)

RST 50

Social Issues

(3)

RST 146

The Catholic Justice and Peace Tradition

(3)

SOC 5

Sociological Perspectives

(3)

SOC 30

Human Communication

(3)

SOC 195

Sociology of Religion

(3)

Additional Recommended Courses

ART 10

Photography

(3)

ART 15/115

Graphic Design

(3)

ART 116

Design for the World Wide Web

(3)

CUL 110

Culture Through Film

(3)

EDU 33

The Visual and Performing Arts for the Young Child

(3)

ENG 107

Professional Writing

(3)

HIS 4/104

History and Film

(3)

JRN 101

Basic News Writing

(3)

JRN 102

Advanced Reporting and News Writing

(3)

PHI 169

Philosophy of Technology

(3)

Film and Social Justice Minor

FLM 131

Film and Social Justice

(3)

FLM 132

History of Film

(3)

FLM 135

Mass Media

(3)

Plus three elective additional Film courses

(9)

Total Units: 18

Film Courses

FLM 30/SOC 30 Human Communication (3)

A study of the wide range of modes and means of human communication as they are expressed at both the micro and macro levels. Students will explore the roles of communication in human interaction, and will practice styles of effective communication, such as public speaking, interviewing, debating, broadcasting, and interpersonal exchange.

FLM 127 Alternative & Independent Media (3)

A practical study of the various forms of alternatives to media, focusing especially on its potential for advocating and effecting social change. As a practical application of principles studied, members of the class will work together to produce internet video content and other programming.

FLM 129 History and Ethics of Documentary Film (3)

A history of the documentary form from the beginnings of film to the present. The course will also include components exploring basic theoretical concepts and ethical considerations relevant to filmmakers working in the documentary form.

FLM 131 Film and Social Justice (3)

Applying social science and social justice principles, an introduction to the significant social issues of our time as examined through film. The historical application of the documentary film as a means of advancing the cause of justice and equality in the human experience is explored. Students help develop, organize, and present the Mount's annual Human Rights Film Festival.

FLM 132 History of Film (3)

The purpose of the course is to examine and critically analyze film's history as a communication medium of culture, social trends, values and sentiments. The organizational, political, economic, and strategic dynamics involved in film as a creative expression; and, the production demands and constraints associated with it are also studied.

FLM 133 Culture, Music and Broadcasting (3)

A study of the intersection of mass culture, subculture, personal identity, musical expression, production and distribution. Studio processes, technical aspects, the economics and politics of production, icon development, social networking, opportunity structures, and presentation of self are also addressed.

FLM 135 Mass Media (3)

An examination of contemporary mass media as a reflection, characterization, and interpretation of culture and society. In addition, the use of the mass media, with an emphasis on television and film, in politics, economics, and religion will be explored. Critical analysis of ongoing and emerging trends in television and film will also be conducted.

FLM 136 Disney, Inc. and Mass Popular Culture (3)

The course analyzes the near-Orwellian influence that mass media can have on society. Utilizing Disney as an example, students will examine the power and influence of media conglomerates and their role in shaping and reinforcing social norms. Special emphasis is placed on examining how Disney movies not only reflect era specific ideologies and social trends.

FLM 137ABC Writing for Film (3)

An introduction to writing for film, with a focus on documentary films. Development of film documentary proposals, narrative strategies, and preliminary scripts will be created by students as a means of addressing contemporary social issues. FLM 137B and FLM 137C may be taken to continue or develop additional documentary projects and gain further instruction of writing for film in other genres.

FLM 139ABCD Digital Video Production (3-12)

Both a lab and field work class. This course trains students on all aspects of beginning filmmaking, including screenwriting, shooting, editing, and sound. FLM 139B, FLM 139C, and FLM 139D may be taken to gain additional instruction and experience in digital video production.

FLM 141 Video Production Lab Assistant (3)

Student must have taken Art 139 with a grade of "B" or higher. The purpose of this course is to give students a chance to hone understandings of production and content with regard to editing and story through helping other students in the editing lab. Assistant will work with an instructor in researching equipment, trouble-shooting, and class preparation.

FLM 142 Women in Film (3)

The role of women in film as creative artists and production executives, with a focus on the first half of the 20th Century, will be explored. The current status of women in film and television will also be examined, including the sociopolitical and economic dynamics in play today that influence their participation.

FLM 143ABC Post-Production Audio (3-9)

Instruction on craft and skills of digital audio editing for film production. Pro Tools software, an industry standard, will be introduced and applied.

FLM 144 Introductory Videography (3)

An introduction to the use of digital cameras to produce professional footage for professional or personal digital filming. Training includes introduction to camera capabilities, movement, control, lighting, sound, and scene composition. Essential editing skills also introduced. Open to majors and non-majors.

FLM 145ABC Animation (3-9)

The basic principles 3D modeling and 3D animation are introduced and practiced in FLM 145A. Continued training and experience are available in 145B and 145C in which students will produce original projects.

FLM 146 Film Marketing (3)

The methods of film tracking and marketing, understood as a central aspect of film development and production, will be studied. Survey research, analysis of demographic variables in film production, and the role of research across each step of the production process is examined. Practice in the field included.

FLM 146 Film Marketing (3)

The essentials of newscasting are introduced, including research, writing, videotaping, directing, performing in front of the camera, and producing a newscast. The class will create and produce web-based newscast.

FLM 148 Writing Professional Grants (3)

An important aspect of documentary film production (and in many other media genres) is developing a well-written, thorough, and professional funding grant to support a project. Learn from professionals how to conceptualize, design and write grants that optimize the acquisition of support for your creative work.

FLM 150 The History of Television (3)

The course will explore the evolutions of patterns of television content and viewing over time in the United States. This course will also examine how television has impacted society and how society has influenced television.

FLM 170ABC Digital Music Production (3-9)

The study of musical creation, recording, mixing, and mastering of digital music for film applications using digital production technologies. Individual projects will be created and produced. FLM 170B and FLM 170C offer additional training and experience in musical production after FLM 170A has been taken.

FLM 176 Independent Video Project (1-9)

A fieldwork class involving the independent design and production of a student video project, conducted with the mentorship of a film program faculty member. The topic and scope of the project is to be selected and agreed upon by student, mentor, and program director. For majors only. The course may be taken for one unit, 2 units, or 3 units, depending upon the complexity and length of the project. The course may be repeated for an accumulated total of nine units.

FLM 197ABCD Internship (3-12)

Hands-on observation and experience at a film or television studio, or media marketing organization. Internship site is to be selected and agreed upon by both student and Program Director. For majors and minors only. Student must be able to provide own transportation to internship site. .

Senior Capstone (3) Student with senior standing completes a feature length documentary. Film instructor individually mentors student's film project.

FLM 198 Senior Capstone (3)

Student with senior standing completes a feature length documentary. Film instructor individually mentors student's film project.  

FLM 199 Special Studies (3)

Intensive and independent study in a field of special interest at the culmination of one's film studies.