SMU Meadows Division of Film and Media Arts is devoted to training and mentoring students to become artists in film and media. Alumni enjoy careers as directors, screenwriters, producers, cinematographers, media executives and artistic directors, with work ranging from documentaries and shorts and feature-length films to television series and online digital videos. Alumni projects have included work on Lincoln, August Rush, Jurassic Park, Supernatural, King of the Hill, Wishbone, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone and other well-known productions.
Students can gain hands-on access to equipment the very first year and have numerous opportunities to hone their craft in scriptwriting, directing, producing, lighting, audio recording and more, whether it be for class projects, film festivals or for the Division’s biennial full-length feature film project, produced entirely by students with the mentorship of industry-respected faculty.
Offering B.A. and B.F.A. degrees, the Division offers plenty of curriculum choices and guidance about the industry, including hands-on production training and courses covering the historical and theoretical aspects of film and media. Regardless of area of specialty, ambitious and motivated students can pursue internships in Dallas, Los Angeles, New York and other major cities.
Many Film and Media Arts students immediately begin work in the industry after earning their B.A. or B.F.A.; others continue their education in graduate school, with recent alumni gaining acceptance to graduate school programs at USC, UCLA and the American Film Institute, among others. B.A. and B.F.A. students also have the opportunity to apply during their junior year to stay an extra year and also earn an MA in Popular Film and Media Studies.
Alumni awards are many, including the 2012 Oscar for Best Animated Short (William Joyce, ’81); a 2013 Oscar nomination for Best Sound Mixing on the film Lincoln (Ron Judkins, ’75); and numerous Emmy, Telly and Peabody awards.
SMU graduates can be found at Sony, Universal, Playtone Company, HBO, the Dallas Video Festival, the New York International Fringe Festival and the Sundance Film Festival. Their work includes Warm Bodies, Bram Stoker’s Dracula, Jimmy Neutron: Boy Genius, Ant Bully, Barney & Friends, Minority Report, Saving Private Ryan, The Iron Giant, Oz and X-Men.
Unlike many film programs at other universities, Meadows Film and Media Arts has the advantage of being part of the larger Meadows School of the Arts, an award-winning school encompassing 11 areas of study in the visual, performing and communication arts. This interdisciplinary environment facilitates collaboration between filmmakers and artists from other disciplines such as theatre, advertising, music and more, fostering creativity and imagination as students develop practical skills and their own artistic visions and voices.