About - VCUarts Department of Cinema

Do you love films your friends really hate? Do you know the difference between Bergman and Bertolucci? Do you make notes most days of dialogue, locations and situations for screenplays? Do you like learning about more than just movies? You could be an ideal student for the VCUarts Cinema degree.

Our program emphasizes academic excellence, professionalism, teamwork and performance oriented productions; we are storytellers and artists.  This undergraduate degree introduces students to a broad range of knowledge, teaches students the craft of narrative filmmaking. Our  small class sizes allow students to have a truly hands on experience with state of the art cinema equipment.

Our faculty has won major international awards in directing and screenwriting. Their feature and experimental films have been screened at many festivals including Cannes, Berlin, Rotterdam, Edinburgh, Sundance and New York.

VCU’s program uses 35mm film and also new digital recording and postproduction technologies.  Cinema majors work with Final Cut Pro, which is industry standard for  editing and sound editing. While this is not a screenwriting program, considerable emphasis is placed on understanding and applying the techniques of writing screenplays. All production work is based on screenplays written by students. Working professional filmmakers are also invited to teach workshops and special lectures.

Techniques of production are taught during two freshman workshops and in production classes. Students have access to state of the art equipment and are able to practice with it during class and workshops. Some equipment students have access to include the Arriflex BL4 Camera, a 3 ton 16 ft. grip truck, a 300 amp generator and HMI  and Tungsten lighting packages.

Student films are produced during eight-week summer terms following the second and third year where students work with professional actors. Our seasoned faculty, who are professional filmmakers, teach intensives and students are able to utilize our high-end equipment.

Students are required to pursue a second major, this can be especially helpful for students wishing to continue on to graduate programs, and in the area of international cinema.

We invite you to visit us in person (VCUarts offers daily tours at 1 pm), email Program Director, Rob Trengenza PhD, at cinema@vcu.edu, or call at 804.VCU.ARTS or toll-free at 1.866.534.3201.