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Center for Media Studies to Offer New Creative Media Course in Fall ’15

Center for Media Studies to Offer New Creative Media Course in Fall ’15

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The cast and crew of the CMS student television show "Dear Emily" take the stage at a January kickoff party in The Cave. (Photo: Center for Media Studies)

Image: The cast and crew of the CMS student television show “Dear Emily” take the stage at a January kickoff party in The Cave. (Photo: Center for Media Studies)

March 31, 2015
By Natalie DeFord ‘16
For PLU Marketing & Communications

TACOMA, Wash. (March 31, 2015)—Pacific Lutheran University students interested in creative media such as film and television no longer will have to wait for “the real world” to start learning about those industries, or how to generate content for their portfolios.

Through the Center for Media Studies (CMS), launched last September and housed within PLU’s School of Arts and Communication, special-topics courses in film, television and creative media will be offered beginning in Fall 2015.

The first new class, Creative Media-COMA 387, will be a 2-credit, full-semester course—open to any major—when registration opens April 13 for Fall classes.

The course, whose primary instructor will be MediaLab faculty advisor and Communication Professor Robert Marshall Wells, will explore subjects including film theory, scriptwriting, video production techniques and beyond.

“This is the first small step in what we hope will be the start of a full-fledged Creative Media Program at PLU,” said Wells, who also serves as director of CMS.

The intent is to provide students with opportunities to learn about visual media and ultimately create their own films and television shows. If the course is successful, it is possible other complementary courses will be approved for future semesters.

Camille Adams ‘16, Rachel Diebel ‘16 and Denae McGaha ’16, who have worked together at PLU to create extracurricular creative media in the form of short television shows, say they hope development of a formal program at PLU could lead to even greater creative opportunities—for CMS, the university and, most of all, PLU students.

“I hope that this becomes a point of pride for PLU and that students learn that they do not have to wait to be hired on to a professional production studio in order to make the stories they want to see,” said McGaha, a Communication major. “I want students to have the confidence that they have every opportunity to make a fun idea into a reality. From scriptwriting and casting, to filming and editing, and to planning a premiere event, students now have all the resources they need to make their stories come to life.”

“PLU students have thoughtful questions and global stories to tell and are currently missing an important outlet to do so,” added Adams, an English major. “Students should be able to experiment with all avenues of interest in college, and this is a major area that is just waiting to be developed at PLU.”

They said such a program also could have extensive community impact for PLU, such as establishment of film festivals, film competitions that could involve local public schools and other universities, and student-produced creative works that would be seen by on- and off-campus audiences.

Adams, Diebel and McGaha are members of a team of PLU students that produced a 2014 web series titled Impressions, which was nominated for a screenwriting College Division Emmy Award by the National Academy of Arts and Sciences Northwest Chapter. They’re now working on their second web series, Dear Emily, which airs on PLU’s MastTV.

“In my experience creating independent web series at PLU, the campus community comes together because of such projects and gets incredibly involved, whether as participants in the cast, or crew, or as viewers,” Adams said.

Said Diebel, an English major: “I think that the student body loves the idea of things made for PLU students by PLU students.”