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 he enjoyed watching, making, and writing about movies more than he liked working in a lab. So he made a major career change and headed to Northwestern, where he earned his M.A. and Ph.D. in Radio/TV/Film. At SMU, he teaches a variety of classes in film production and post-production and is the faculty advisor for the Student Filmmakers Association (SFA).

He has presented papers at numerous national and international conferences. His book Beyond Dolby (Stereo): Cinema in the Digital Sound Age was published in November 2010 by Indiana University Press and won a Godbey Lecture Series Authors Award.

As a filmmaker, he works primarily in editing and sound design but has also directed a number of short films and music videos; his work has played at festivals and on television. Recent projects include the award-winning short How NOT to Quit Your Day Joba comedy about the lengths a desperate man takes to get out of his dead-end job and start his own company; aside from a festival run, the film is being used as an educational tool in university business courses (distributed by

Current creative projects include completing post-production work on The Dread Factory, a short supernatural thriller shot as a collaborative project with a group of SMU Film and Advertising students (trailers here and here) and handling festival submissions / screenings for All the Wrong Friends, a feature-length thriller shot as the first feature-length Summer Film Production and completed in February 2016.  His two current research projects are planned books on (1) the impact of home theater on film and (2) the filmmaking style of director Michael Bay.  

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.


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, production/critical studies intersections, the relationship between technology and aesthetics, and movies, movies, movies!

Professional Experience

SMU 2005-present


In addition to serving as the faculty advisor for SMU's Student Filmmakers Association (SFA) and the SMU Summer Film Production, I teach courses including:

FILM 1304 Production 1
FILM 3304 Production 2
FILM 3308 Editing
FILM 3309 Multi-cam Production
FILM 3316 16mm Production
FILM 3384 Sound 1
FILM 3385 Sound 2
FILM 3391 Topics in Post-Production
FILM 4301 TV Ad Concepting and Production
FILM 5311 Thesis Film 1
FILM 5313 Thesis Film 2
MSA 3310 Fundamentals of Audio and Sound



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 (2017) (director / producer / co-writer) - horror short, in post-production

All the Wrong Friends (2016) (director / producer) - feature suspense film, in post-production

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



Faculty and Staff

Summer Film Production

Student Opportunities



SMU Meadows Licensed Music Rights