About the Department
Cinema majors dedicate their undergraduate experience to the study of narrative filmmaking. From technical crafts such as camerawork and editing to creative leadership roles in writing, producing, and directing, VCUarts Cinema students learn skills in pre-production, production, and post-production as well as studying the history of cinema. If you dream of working on professional movie productions, completing this major will help you to prepare for a variety of real-world positions.
VCUarts Cinema is a three-year and eight-week undergraduate film program that matches film theory with filmmaking practice to best prepare students to work in the industry immediately upon graduating. Students create narrative films in a collaborative environment using professional equipment while preparing for employment in the professional movie-making industry.
The Cinema major covers the entire scope of narrative filmmaking, from theory and screenwriting all the way through post-production and distribution.
Students shoot on location with auditioned actors, following industry practices and using professional equipment.
The Bachelor of Arts in Cinema is focused on narrative movie production. Consequently, the program is designed to advance conceptual understanding of visual storytelling and to teach and practice the technical methodologies foundational to movie-making.
Graduates have been accepted into MFA programs at NYU, FSU, Columbia, and The New School, and have worked on numerous productions around the region and beyond, including films such as Harriet, Boy Erased and Loving, and television shows such as Insecure, Homeland, The Walking Dead, and High Maintenance.
Too Close to the Sun
Isabella is accepted into her dream ballet company only to injure herself the night before her first day. She must choose whether to take a break and risk losing the identity she has built for herself, or to continue dancing and risk irremediable injury.
Learn more about this production.
The Women of Shady Pines
At Shady Pines Retirement Home, most residents spend their time playing bingo and knitting sweaters, but Claudette Williams deals drugs.
A failed Shakespeare scholar turned high school drama teacher tries to put on a rendition of Macbeth, only to find his own dark ambition manifest in one of his students.
Farewell to Pageantry
After a suspicious couple check into a seedy midwestern motel, a murder plot, a crime scene cleanup, and blood money find desk clerk Jemima far in over her head.
This is for Horses
Two animal control officers are called to help put down an injured horse, but once they arrive they realize how little of control they actually have.
Thicker than Water
Tedd is a loner with a strange hobby. When his estranged daughter Remy is suddenly put in his care, his rough exterior is tested.
The status quo for a ’50s housewife is upset when a new ranch hand comes to town and starts horsing around in ways her husband never could.
Nate Loves Sarah
All Nate wants is for Sarah, his best friend and crush, to see him as he sees her. Unfortunately, she’s moving to New York to pursue her acting career at the behest of her talented, handsome boyfriend. During her last few days in town, Nate desperately tries to convince her that he’s the one for her, ignoring or destroying all the obstacles standing between them.
A detective takes one last case to find out what happened to his lover.
A girl sets off to a party to find a guy who is interested in some of the deeper things in life, like a milkshake.
The Phantasmic Lily King-Williams
A girl waits her whole life for her big break, but no luck. Now that she’s dead, it’s finally her time to shine.
Four Bitches and a Gun
Shannon and Lucretia’s typically boring day working at a gas station is interrupted by the arrival of Sarah and Julia, two wealthy girls with car trouble.
VCUarts, with the support of the Virginia Film Office and Virginia Film Commission, produced a student-crewed feature length 35mm film adaptation of William Shakespeare’s Macbeth.
We seek to replicate the environment of a professional film set in terms of both staffing and protocol. Students work on crews from 25-75 people, while the faculty act as executive producers, working alongside students from pre-production to post. We also employ a casting director as an adjunct professor and hold real casting sessions for every film. Unlike other top film schools, your tuition also covers all of your filmmaking expenses, from equipment rental to film development.
Faculty act as executive producers, working alongside students from pre-production to post. We also employ a casting director as an adjunct professor and hold real casting sessions for every film.
- Cinema Studio at VCUarts Depot: a 4000 sq. ft. multi-use interactive motion picture teaching space with Optoma UHD60 4k and 16mm Projection, Dolby Surround Digital Denon AVR 988P audio amplifier, 16mm flatbed film editing, and 35mm optical printer.
- Digital Cinema Lab: twenty (20) 27-inch Apple iMac desktop computers with Adobe editing suite, and digital projector.
- Smart Screenwriting/Production Conference Room
- Sound Mixing Room
- Cyclorama and motion capture studio
We are conscious of our students’ financial need and do not require any student to purchase their own filmmaking materials.
No additional tuition is charged for filmmaking expenses, and student films use professional equipment and auditioned actors.
Work with Us
If you are interested in hiring VCUarts Cinema students as crew members for a project, please fill out the form with all pertinent information. We will share your listing with students and they will reach out to you if they are interested or available. Filling out the form does not guarantee student participation!