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 filmmaking at SMU. When not in the classroom, 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).

Current projects include The Michael and Me, a feature documentary about the development and launch of the Bit Theater in Chicago, and Publish or Perish (temporary working title), a board game about academia (follow the game’s development on FB / IG, or check out his ongoing series of game design diaries on YouTube @PublishorPerishGame).

Kerins teaches in the core production sequence (FILM 1304 Intro to Production / FILM 2304 Production Formats / FILM 3304 Intermediate Production / FILM 4304 Advanced Production) as well as specialized courses in post-production (FILM 3308 Editing, FILM 3384 Sound, FILM 3388 Post-Production Visual FX) and other areas. He also created and advises the Summer Film Production program.

In 2024, Kerins was selected as an Altshuler Distinguished Teaching Professor, an SMU-wide award, and as Algur H. Meadows Distinguished Teaching Professor in the Meadows School of the Arts in 2014. He also received the 2018 Excellence in Mentoring Award from SMU’s Office of Engaged Learning.


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


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)

Mark Kerins