June 4, 2020

La Sierra University’s Film, TV Production Program Redesigned for Workforce Demand

Darla Martin Tucker, La Sierra University, and Adventist Review

With an eye toward better meeting the skill-sets desired by employers, La Sierra University is rolling out a revised Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA) degree in 2020 for its popular Film and Television Production program.

Students who enroll in the BFA program with Film and Television Production emphasis will learn all of the core skills required to make independent short films and videos that meet the needs of entertainment, corporate, educational, and government entities. They will acquire these skills through advanced courses in film production and in one of two highly employable career tracks — editing or sound.

Those who enroll in the program can also earn professional software and production equipment certificates through vocational skills workshops that are taught in conjunction with traditional courses. The degree program previously was composed of four separate emphases and required electives.

“Students graduating from our La Sierra program will possess a BFA degree that attests to their broad liberal arts education and their skills as storytellers,” noted Rodney Vance, professor and Film and Television Production department chair. “They will also possess a binder full of certificates attesting to their mastery of the tools of the visual storytelling craft. This, along with samples of their work, will enhance their employability with production companies; corporate entities looking for novel ways to communicate their message to millennials and Generation Y; education; and government training centers.”

The professional certificate workshops will train students in such editing and audio software programs such as AVID, Adobe Premiere, DaVinci, ProTools, and other professional software. Workshops will also prepare students to use a high-end digital camera and audio production gear, including such top brands as RED, Arri, Black Magic, and more. These workshops will be offered via Filmmaker Institute (FMI) and will be available to adult returning students as well as La Sierra film students. FMI will also provide qualified students with access to high-end camera and audio gear.

“In recognition of the broadening demand for employees with an education in visual storytelling, La Sierra Film developed a BFA degree that teaches all of the core skills required to complete a corporate video, television series, or independent film,” Vance said. “Learning advanced video editing or audio engineering also helps to ensure student employability upon graduation.”

Students in La Sierra’s Film and Television Production degree programs learn the art of visual storytelling through traditional classes, individual projects that involve opportunities for a film festival and online distribution, and through faculty-produced films where students work and learn alongside industry professionals.

In March 2020, La Sierra University closed its campus to all but essential staff and continued operations online in keeping with state and county orders due to the coronavirus pandemic. Film and Television students keep learning and meeting with instructors in real time through video conferencing and are engaged in specially crafted and creative projects such as a short film competition for movies shot entirely in students’ at-home environments using only the gear and resources at hand.

“Audiovisual literacy is becoming as important as print-based literacy,” noted adjunct professor of Film and Television JordiRos. “However, without mastering language, logic, and a developing appreciation of one’s culture and its ideas, audiovisual literacy is an impossible pipe dream. They are the foundation on which visual literacy rests.”

The original version of this story was posted by La Sierra University.