Frequently Asked Questions

For prospective students and families interested in the Film & Digital Media major at UCSC

What makes the FDM major at UCSC different from other film programs? 
The film and digital media major at UCSC offers an integrated curriculum involving theory, criticism, and cultural analysis, as well as a production program in the aesthetics and techniques of film and digital media.  Students in the general major develop an understanding of major movements in world cinema and different aesthetic approaches to the medium, while studying the cultural impact of television and the rise of video and digital art in recent decades. Students who pursue the general major are allowed and encouraged to take up to two production-related courses, offering all FDM majors the opportunity to gain basic screenwriting, digital media, and/or film production skills. Declared FDM majors who have met certain requirements have the opportunity to apply to one of FDM’s three concentrations in production, critical studies, or integrated critical practice. Please refer to the FDM website for further information http://film.ucsc.edu/program/concentrations.

FDM majors who have an interest in filmmaking, screenwriting, and digital media production will often pursue the production concentration.  Our program offers undergraduate students access to hands-on filmmaking and digital media courses whereas many other programs offer only critical studies or primarily restrict production courses to graduate students.

Do students who intend to pursue the Film and Digital Media major need to submit a portfolio of their work when applying for admission to UCSC?
No portfolio is required when applying for admission to UCSC. Students interested in pursuing the FDM major can “propose” it on their application or during their first year at UCSC. Students become eligible to declare the major after they have completed two lower-division FDM courses. Students interested in pursuing the production concentration will be advised to apply to FILM 170B: Introduction to Film and Video Production and apply to the portfolio review with work completed in 170B.  

For more information on the declaration process - http://film.ucsc.edu/program/major_requirements
For more information on the portfolio review - http://film.ucsc.edu/program/concentrations.

What type of equipment does the department have available for students?  What are our facilities like? 
Please refer to the facilities page on the FDM website for a complete listing of production equipment, as well as projection equipment used in the history/critical studies classes http://film.ucsc.edu/program/facilities

Slugfilm is FDM’s production website and has resources for production, equipment and facilities information and links to student work.  http://slugfilm.ucsc.edu.

Do we offer any courses in animation?
Yes!  Our curriculum currently includes a small number of animation courses and will continue to grow in that area.  Students who pursue the digital media pathway within the production concentration may also augment their academic plan with animation courses offered through the UCSC Digital Arts and New Media program and/or the Art Department on campus. Some of these courses serve as substitutions and will satisfy FDM major requirements. 

Does the department have an internship program?  How do students obtain internships?
Many FDM students complete internships during the academic year or over the summer while enrolled at UCSC.  Internship opportunities for students are available on the UCSC Career Center website (http://careers.ucsc.edu/) where students may access a database of available internships and job opportunities.  Additionally, opportunities are posted on department bulletin boards. Many FDM students proactively research companies and organizations and contact them directly to inquire about internship opportunities. The department organizes an annual Internship Panel where FDM students talk about their past internship experiences and FDM faculty internship sponsors provide information on how to prepare for and pursue successful internship positions. FDM students have interned at companies and organizations, such as, Universal Pictures, Warner Brothers Records, Lionsgate, KQED/PBS, Dreamworks, KSCW, Producer Brannon Braga, Santa Cruz Film Festival, Rich/Tint Productions, Rhino Films, Digital Media Factory, MTV newsroom, Dakota Pictures, Kuumbwa, CTV, SCTV, Prelinger Archives, Bunim/Murray Productions, and the Santa Cruz Homeless Garden Project.

If a student would like to receive academic credit for an internship, the department provides guidelines that explain the policy and procedure for an independent field study.  For more information, please see http://film.ucsc.edu/program/internships.

How do students utilize their degree in Film and Digital Media? Do they find work in their field?
Graduates of the film and digital media program have established careers as professionals in the fields of film, video, television, and digital media, working as filmmakers, editors, digital media artists, film archivists, media educators, film festival curators, script analysts, cinematographers, television producers, computer programmers, and studio executives. All FDM graduates gain valuable critical analysis/thinking, research and writing skills that provide a solid foundation for a variety of careers and graduate programs. FDM graduates have a strong track record of gaining admission to the top graduate programs for M.A., M.F.A., and Ph.D. degrees, including USC, UCLA, NYU, Columbia, Chapman, the American Film Institute, Cal Arts, and the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Resource Information

UCSC Home Page: http://www.ucsc.edu where you can link directly to the Admissions page for a wealth of information.

Film and Digital Media Website: http://film.ucsc.edu for more information about all aspects of the program.

Campus Tours (reservations made online): http://admissions.ucsc.edu/visit/campus-tours.html