Evolution is a curious thing, Dean Robert Bassett will tell you. You can’t always see it coming, but you sure can tell when it’s passed by. To be in the midst of it, trying to influence the outcomes of change is a lot like filmmaking—one incredible, creative, challenging, risky ride. Back in the days when Bassett was taking students on location to Death Valley, the Dodge College of Film and Media Arts wasn’t even a dream. But even then, he was making the changes which would lead, in true evolutionary style, to one of the fastest growing, most complete film and media programs in the last 20 years.
“Today it’s all about digital filmmaking,” says Bassett, “anything else is looked upon as a dinosaur. But in another sense, nothing’s changed. It’s still about story.” Which is why Bassett, a producer/director of educational and industrial films and the school’s technology guru, put Visual Storytelling at the heart of the program. Indeed, Bassett’s career and interests are a prime example of the paths that individual evolution can take—keeping the best of the past and moving forward to adapt to a changing environment.
Today, film has become the literature of this century.
Whether you're telling stories for entertainment — in the form of a feature film or documentary, a TV drama or sitcom -- or for business, creating a :30 spot or web site to tell the story of a product or organization, the principles of storytelling are the same. And they take a lifetime to learn.
As a student here at Dodge College of Film and Media Arts, you'll study under master storytellers who’ve honed their crafts over a lifetime of award-winning work and who have a combined filmography of more than 300 feature films — a record unmatched by any other film school in the country. Our location, just a heartbeat from Hollywood, enables internships with studios and production companies as well as on-campus visits from major Hollywood directors, cinematographers, editors, screenwriters, digital artists, PR and ad execs and others.
But the Hollywood connection goes even further than that: Each year, select student films are screened for industry representatives at the Directors Guild of America (DGA) theaters in Los Angeles and New York City. Summaries of top student scripts are posted online with notifications sent directly to agents, producers, and development executives.
Today Dodge College has more than 1,405 film and media arts students (1,122 undergraduate and 283 graduate students), 40 full-time faculty and 80 adjunct faculty. Our program is small enough to be overwhelmingly hands-on, yet well-equipped enough that our students rarely have to wait for a camera or AVID station.
And yet we continue to look toward the future.
To address the needs of the next generation — the millennial student —the next phase of our growth will provide interactive spaces that tap into real-time global communications. Our goal is to teach our students to be master communicators using the tools of film language — image and sound —on every platform available today and help them be ready to communicate using the channels of tomorrow, whatever they may be.