Department of English

O'Dowd Hall, Room 544
586 Pioneer Drive
Rochester, MI 48309-4482
(location map)
(248) 370-2250
fax: (248) 370-4429

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Film Studies and Production

Cinema Studies at Oakland University is dedicated to interdisciplinary and creative investigations of how moving image works are produced, experienced and valued in our culture and around the world. Cinema Studies students work closely with OU faculty to gain a thorough understanding of film history, critical approaches to film and filmmaking. Students choose either the B.A. in cinema studies, with its focus on a critical studies perspective, or the B.A. in cinema studies with a specialization in filmmaking, with its focus on hands-on digital film production.

This wide-ranging and intensive program will provide Cinema Studies majors and minors with the critical-thinking, communication and production skills to enter careers within the film industry and a variety of other professions. In addition, students will be well-prepared to pursue cinema studies or other academic disciplines at the graduate level. For more information about OU Cinema Studies, please contact Professor Andrea Eis at

Film Studies and Production
B.A. Programs

B.A. in Cinema Studies
The B.A. in Cinema Studies is a liberal arts-based program in film history, theory and criticism, including coursework in film genres, aesthetics, industry and technology, filmmaking and screenwriting, as well as advanced seminars. It culminates in a capstone course in which students do substantive research and writing on topics ranging from eco-cinema to Hollywood stardom, from Detroit media to audience and reception theory.

B.A. in Cinema Studies with a specialization in filmmaking
The B.A. in Cinema Studies with a specialization in filmmaking is a new offering of the Cinema Studies program, starting in the fall of 2017. It is also a liberal arts-based B.A. with a solid base in film history and theory joined by a specialized sequence of filmmaking courses. The broad-based approach gives students hands-on experience with every aspect of narrative, documentary, essay, short-form and experimental filmmaking, from writing scripts, directing and cinematography to editing and post-production effects work. It culminates in an intensive capstone course that enables students to graduate having produced a substantive thesis film project.

Academic and Career
Academic Resources
  • Cinema Studies Advising Program
    The OU Cinema Studies program offers a unique, one-on-one advising and mentoring program in which majors meet periodically with a Cinema Studies faculty member to discuss their academic and professional goals and their progress toward graduation. Students are also encouraged to contact the Cinema Studies program director, Professor Andrea Eis (, or coordinator of film production, Professor Adam Gould (, with specific questions.
  • Kresge Library Cinema Studies Resources
    The OU Library features an extensive collection of books, academic journals, DVDs, and microfilm collections, as well as online access to film and media studies databases of use for Cinema Studies research projects. Visit this page for more information on library resources of relevance to Cinema Studies students.
Internship and Career Resources:
  • Internships
    Cinema Studies majors are encouraged to take advantage of internship opportunities. Junior and senior majors can receive credit for certain internships by enrolling in CIN 4930 Field Internship in Cinema Studies. Contact: Professor Adam Gould (
  • Career Resources
    The job market for graduates of the OU Cinema Studies program is quite broad due to students’ acquired skills in critical thinking, written and oral communication, and creative practices.

    In addition to the wide array of jobs in film production and distribution, Cinema Studies graduates pursue careers in film festival programming, media criticism, secondary education and other fields. They are also well-prepared for graduate course work in film studies, library and information science, film archiving and preservation, law and business. Interested students should speak with a Cinema Studies faculty member, College of Arts & Sciences adviser or an OU Career Services consultant for additional information. The Career Services website is also a valuable source of information on internships and career preparation such as writing resumes and cover letters, as well as interview preparation. The Cinema Studies Professionalization Workshop is another source for information and networking on professional opportunities.
  • Professional Film Production Partner and Resident Filmmakers
    OU Cinema Studies has a professional film production partner, Michael Manasseri of Flux Capacitor Studies. Manasseri, a producer, director and actor, works closely with the program and our students to offer professional opportunities on the sets of his feature films, as well as on commercials and short films, and music video and book trailer shoots.

    Cinema Studies has two Resident Filmmakers, the Deka Brothers: Julien Deka and Benoit Deka, who are both directors, cinematographers and VFX artists. Manasseri, with our Resident Filmmakers, make classroom visits and supervise workshops to bring additional professional knowledge and experience to students.
OU Cinema Studies students are strongly encouraged to participate in a wide variety of extracurricular opportunities to enrich their college experience and to develop valuable technical, interpersonal and professional skills outside of the classroom. Getting involved includes attending on-campus Cinema Studies events, applying for internship opportunities and becoming a member of one or more of the student organizations listed below.

OU Cinema Studies offers a number of venues through which students may share their creative work and film criticism with a broader audience. These include the Screen Culture Journal, Cinema Studies Creative Showcase and the Golden Grizzly 24-Hour Film Challenge.

Student Organizations
Screen Culture Journal Editorial Board
This is a biannual publication showcasing the film criticism of Oakland University undergraduate students. Screen Culture editorial board members review, select and edit the articles that appear in each issue. Web site: Contact: Professor Brendan Kredell (

OU Filmmakers Guild
This group develops, produces, edits and exhibits original films throughout the academic year. All levels of experience are welcome. Contact: Professor Adam Gould (

OU Screenwriters’ Guild
Venue for screenwriters to pitch, develop and workshop short and feature-length screenplays. Contact: Professor David Shaerf (

Annual Events
Toronto International Film Festival Trip
OU Cinema Studies arranges an annual trip to TIFF, North America’s most important film festival. Students experience the festival at ground level, attending screenings, industry panel discussions and networking events. The trip provides a one-of-a-kind opportunity for students to experience the contemporary world of cinema in an up-close and intimate way. Contacts: Professor Brendan Kredell ( and Professor Courtney Brannon Donoghue (

Cinema Studies Professionalization Workshop
This fall event offers the opportunity for Cinema Studies majors and minors to learn about the broad array of professional opportunities available through the Cinema Studies B.A. degrees, as well as the key skills and training needed to excel in these fields. The evening includes guest speakers and a networking mixer. Contact: Professor Courtney Brannon Donoghue (

Cinema Studies Filmmaking Workshops
These workshops give attendees a chance to gain valuable experience in specialized areas of digital film production and post-production through close interaction with faculty and industry professionals. Participants direct and film a student-written screenplay using RED cameras and professional lighting, sound, track and dolly, and boom equipment. Contact: Professor Andrea Eis (

Cinema Studies Creative Showcase
This is a celebration at the end of the academic year that showcases the creative work of Cinema Studies students and honors graduating seniors and recent alumni. Contact: Professor Adam Gould (

Golden Grizzly 24-Hour Film Challenge
This showcase of creative skills and test of endurance in an around-the-clock filmmaking project has teams of students and alumni, write, shoot and edit an original short film in 24 hours. The event, timed to coincide with OU homecoming weekend each fall, concludes with film showcase and awards ceremony. Contact: Professor Adam Gould (

Search “Cinema Studies News” for more about Cinema Studies events and news.

Visiting Scholars and Professionals
OU Cinema Studies regularly hosts visiting scholars and film professionals for lectures, presentations and film screenings. Among recent visitors to the program are: