Film and Media Arts

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Mark Kerins

Umphrey Lee 230
SMU Box 0113
Mark Kerins

Mark Kerins

Associate Professor

After completing bachelor's degrees in chemistry and mathematics, Mark Kerins realized watching, making, and writing about movies was more fun than working in a lab. So he went back to film school, and now teaches all areas of filmmaking at SMU. Aside from teaching, he makes his own films, does post-production work, and writes about surround sound, home theater, and Michael Bay (not all at the same time). He also serves as faculty advisor for SMU's Student Filmmakers Association and the Summer Film Production program.

Outside of Film & Media Arts, Mark also works with SMU's Residential Commons program, serving as the Faculty-in-Residence for Morrison-McGinnis Hall (MoMac).

In 2014, Mark was named a Meadows Foundation Distinguished Teaching Professor.

Work available online:
All the Wrong Friends trailer - a thriller in which a group of friends start to turn on each other after covering up a murder
How NOT to Quit Your Day Job trailer - a comedy about the lengths a desperate man takes to get out of his dead-end job and start his own company
The Dread Factory trailer - a supernatural thriller about a fraternity prank that goes terribly wrong
"Happiness Is" - music video for platinum-selling RCA rock group The Verve Pipe



Ph.D. and M.A. in Radio/TV/Film, Northwestern University
B.A. in Mathematics and Humanities and B.S. in Chemistry, Valparaiso University


interests: sound design, surround sound, home theater, the relationship between technology and aesthetics, Michael Bay films, and movies, movies, movies!

Professional Experience



Beyond Dolby

Beyond Dolby: Cinema in the Digital Sound Age, Bloomington, IN: Indiana University Press, 2010.


A Statement on Sound Studies,” Music, Sound and the Moving Image, vol. 2, no. 2 (autumn 2008): 115-119.

Narration in the Cinema of Digital Sound,” The Velvet Light Trap, no. 58 (fall 2006): 41-54.


Behind Silver Screen Sound “The Modern Entertainment Marketplace: 2000-present.”  In Sound: Dialogue, Music, and Effects, ed. Kathryn Kalinak.  Rutgers University Press, 2015.
Handbook New AV Aesthetics “Multi-channel Gaming and the Aesthetics of Interactive Surround.”  In The Oxford Handbook of New Audiovisual Aesthetics, eds. Claudia Gorbman, John Richardson, and Carol Vernallis.  Oxford University Press, 2013.
Psych Music Multimedia “Understanding the Impact of Surround Sound in Multimedia.”  In Psychology of Music in Multimedia, eds. Siu-Lan Tan, Annabel Cohen, Scott Lipscomb, and Roger Kendall.  Oxford University Press, 2013.

"Raising Questions by Lowering the Boom" (book review), Jump Cut, no. 51 (Spring 2009).

"Constructing the Diegesis in a Multi-Channel World," Offscreen, vol. 11, no. 8-9 (October 2007).

“Sound Designing: How Should You Think About Sound?” Student Filmmakers, August 2007: 46-9.

“Editing is Re-editing: From Rough Cut to Picture Lock,” Student Filmmakers, July 2007: 24-6.

“Seven Suggestions for Stellar Soundtracks,” Student Filmmakers, December 2006: 32-5.

“Getting Good Performances,” Student Filmmakers, November 2006: 32-5.


The Dread Factory (2018) (director / producer / co-writer) – horror short, in post-production

Vision (2017) (director / producer / DP / production design) – dramatic short, in post-production

All the Wrong Friends (2016) (director / producer) - feature thriller

Winner:  Best in Category Thriller, Hot Springs International Horror Film Festival

Official selection:  Beloit International Film Festival, Indy Film Fest, Buffalo Dreams Fantastic Film Festival, North by Midwest Micro-budget Film Festival, Fright Night Film Fest, Fantastically Horrifying Cinema, Toronto Indie Horror Film Festival

How NOT to Quit Your Day Job (2012) (director / producer / writer) - comedy short

Official selection: Fargo Film Festival, Green Bay Film Festival, Illinois International Film Festival, Great Lakes Film Festival, Tenerife Film Festival, Tupelo Film Festival, The Indie Gathering (2nd place, Short Comedy)

Drunken Phone Calls (2012) (director / co-writer) - dramatic short, official selection: Columbia Gorge Film Festival, Wisconsin Film Festival, Wildwood Film Festival, The Indie Gathering (3nd place, Short Drama-Comedy)

Happiness Is (2002) (director / producer / editor) – music video for RCA recording artist The Verve Pipe, nominated for Best Visual Effects at HDFest World Tour 2003

Would You Please (2002) (director / producer / editor) – music video for RCA Victor recording artist Rachael Yamagata

SELECTED FILMOGRAPHY (other crew positions)

Watershed (2012, dir. Paula Goldberg) (editor) - dramatic short

Hays County Nights (2011, dir. Tommy Dingwall) (editor / re-recording mixer) - music video for The Clay Wilson Band

There Goes the View (2007, dir. Carolyn Macartney) (voice recordist / re-recording mixer) – 16mm experimental short, won “Best Experimental Film” at 2007 University Film and Video Association Conference

The Big Lull (2005, dir. Adam Marshall) (editor) - narrative short (an MFA thesis film)

First and Last (2004, dir. James Joyce) (editor / production mixer / sound editor) - narrative short (an MFA thesis film)


2015       nominee, HOPE (Honoring Our Professors' Excellence) Award
2014       Meadows Foundation Distinguished Teaching Professorship
2012       winner, Best Comedy Short award at Illinois International Film Festival for film How NOT to Quit Your Day Job
2012       nominee, Best Director (Short), Best Script, and Best Producer at Tenerife International Film Festival for film How NOT to Quit Your Day Job
2011       Godbey Lecture Series Authors Award for book Beyond Dolby (Stereo)
2008       Sam Taylor Fellowship for work on book project Beyond Dolby
2007       Rotunda Outstanding Professor Award


Areas of Study



Art History

Arts Management and Arts Entrepreneurship

Corporate Communication and Public Affairs

Creative Computation


Film and Media Arts

Undergraduate Studies

Graduate Studies

Classes (See Catalog)


Faculty and Staff

Summer Film Production

Student Opportunities



SMU Meadows Licensed Music Rights