Mark Kerins

Film & Media Arts






SMU Box 0113

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.

Teaching awards include being named Meadows Foundation Distinguished Teaching Professor in 2014 and receiving the Excellence in Mentoring Award from SMU's Office of Engaged Learning in 2018.

In addition to his role within Film & Media Arts, when SMU launched its Residential Commons program, Mark was seleced as the inaugural Faculty-in-Residence for Morrison-McGinnis Hall (MoMac) and lived in MoMac from 2014-2020.

Hobbies and activities include running, watching movies, and co-hosting the Deja Reviewed podcast.

Current ongoing projects include a documentary about the development and launch of the Bit Theater in Chicago and a book on the films of Michael Bay.

Work available online:

Echoes (2018) - award-winning sci-fi / drama short
All the Wrong Friends trailer - thriller in which a group of friends start to turn on each other after covering up a murder (full film available on multiple streaming services: TubiTV, Amazon Prime, Vudu, Google Play, iTunes)
Drunken Phone Calls (2013) - short experimental/documentary about the impact of moving on / growing up on old friendships
How NOT to Quit Your Day Job (2012) trailer - comedy about the lengths a desperate man takes to get out of his dead-end job and start his own company (licensing for educational use available through
The Dread Factory trailer - 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

Recent Work

2019 winner, Best Sci-Fi / Fantasy and Best Visual Effects at NOVA International Film & Music Festival for film Echoes
2019 winner, Best Short Film at Grapevine Film Festival for film Echoes
2019 winner, Best Director (Short) at Oklahoma Cine Latino Film Festival for film Echoes
2018 winner, Best Short at AtomaCon for film Echoes
2018 winner, Best Editing (Short) at Other Worlds AustinFilm Festival for film Echoes
2018 winner, Best Sci-Fi Short and Best Editing: Short at The International Indie Gathering for film Echoes
2018 winner, Best Drama at Wildwood Film Festival for film Echoes
2018 winner, SMU Excellence in Mentoring Award
2017 winner, Best Director (Feature) and Best Editing (Feature) at Eyecatcher Film Festival for film All the Wrong Friends
2016 winner, Best in Category Thriller at Hot Springs International Horror Film Festival for film All the Wrong Friends
2015 winner, Residence Life Faculty/Staff of the Month, Southwestern U.S. region (through National Residence Hall Honorary)
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


Beyond Dolby

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


"Hearing Reality in Joker," New Review of Film and Television Studies , vol. 19, no. 1 (March 2021): 89-100.

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.


Transmedia Directors “Michael Bay as Marketer: Selling Across Media.” In Transmedia Directors: Artistry, Industry, and New Audiovisual Aesthetics, eds. Carol Vernallis, Holly Rogers, and Lisa Perrott. Bloomsbury, 2019.
“Home Theater(s): Technology, Culture, and Style.” In The Routledge Companion to Screen Music and Sound, eds. Miguel Mera, Ronald Sadoff, and Ben Winters. Routledge, 2017.
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.


Echoes (2018) (director / producer / DP / production design) – dramatic short, available here

Winner: Best Sci-Fi/Fantasy and Best Visual Effects, NOVA International Film & Music Festival
Winner: Best Short Film, Grapevine Film Festival
Winner: Best Editing (Short), Other Worlds Austin
Winner: Best Drama, Wildwood Film Festival
Winner: Best Short, Atomacon Short Film Festival
Winner: Best Editing (Short), Other Worlds Austin
Winner: Best Sci-Fi Short and Best Editing: Short, International Indie Gathering

Also nominated for dozens of other festival awards

Festival screenings include:
Ojai Film Festival
Berlin Sci-Fi Film Festival
Pasadena International Film Festival
SENE Film, Music, and Arts Festival
New York Latino Film Festival
Vero Beach Wine + Film Festival
San Jose International Short Film Festival
and over forty other festivals

All the Wrong Friends (2016) (director / producer) - feature thriller, available on Tubi, Amazon Prime, iTunes, Vudu, and elsewhere

Winner: Best in Category Thriller, Hot Springs International Horror Film Festival
Winner: Best Director (Feature), Best Editing (Feature), Best Cinematography (Feature), Best Actor (Feature), Eyecatcher Film Festival
Winner: Best Supporting Actress, International Horror Hotel

Also nominated for multiple other festival awards

Festival screenings include :
Beloit International Film Festival
Indy Film Fest
Toronto Indie Horror Film Festival
North by Midwest Micro-budget Film Festival
Unrestricted View Horror Film Festival
Desmond District Demons Film Festival
Motor City Nightmares International Film Festival
and others

Distribution : Terror Films, film was released in summer 2020

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

Winner: Best Comedy Short, Illinois International Film Festival

Other official selections:
Fargo Film Festival
Green Bay Film Festival
Great Lakes Film Festival
Tenerife Film Festival (nominee, Best Screenplay, Best Director of a Short, and Best Producer)
Tupelo Film Festival
The Indie Gathering (2nd place, Short Comedy)

Drunken Phone Calls (2012) (director / co-writer) - dramatic short

Official selections:
Wisconsin Film Festival
Columbia Gorge Film Festival
Hollywood Shorts
The Indie Gathering (3nd place, Short Drama-Comedy)
Wildwood Film Festival

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)


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

Course list

Production 1FILM 1304
Production 2FILM 3304
Production 3FILM 5304
Sound 1FILM 3384
Sound 2FILM 3385
EditingFILM 3308
Advanced Post-ProductionFILM 3391
TV Ad Concepting and ProductionFILM 4301
Mark Kerins