Film and Media Production Focus Area


Since 1975 Michigan State University has been known for launching an impressive array of filmmakers, producers, and executives including:

Sam Raimi (The Evil Dead, Spiderman, Oz the Great and Powerful), Jacob Kornbluth (Inequality for All, Saving Capitalism), Bill Mechanic (Hacksaw Ridge, Coraline, Chairman & CEO Fox Entertainment), Robert Tapert (Xena: Warrior Princess) and Geoff Johns (The Green Lantern, Batman v Superman, President & CEO of DC Comics).

This focus area prepares students for the changing world of media storytelling with the tools, techniques, and creative, entrepreneurial and analytical processes of the cinema.  Our graduates are prepared for a multitude of career paths—film, television, corporate video, advertising, new media—anything that involves using sound and the moving image to entertain, inform, or educate. 

We believe in learning by doing. Our students have immediate opportunities to “make” media in our classes, in our student organizations, in client based projects, and by working with our creative faculty. They work together in hands on classes from the first semester freshman year, learning to collaborate, plan and pitch projects, and use the latest techniques and technology to tell stories. And they learn best practices for successful careers in the business of media—from budgeting to promotion to marketing to distribution. They will leave MSU with a broad range of experience, a professional quality portfolio, and the confidence, skill, and creativity to find a personal pathway to success in the media world.


Our faculty are filmmakers.  Their work airs on HBO, PBS, CNN, Discovery, and the Learning Channel and has been broadcast across Europe (the BBC, the CBC, Channel 4 UK).   With three George Foster Peabody Awards, two National Emmy Award Nominations, Documentary of the Year by the Foreign Press Association, they have won top prize at film festivals across the globe from New York to Mumbai, from San Francisco to London, and closer to home they have have earned over 30 regional Emmy Awards.


Executive Producer, Location Manager, Editor/Videographer, Cinematographer, VFX Artist, Production Assistant, Video Lab Technician, Junior Account Executive, Camera Operator, On-air Personality, Jr. Art Director, Digital Media Specialist , Audio/Video Engineer Technical Writer, Video Marketing Specialist, Audio Lead, VR Project Artist, Graphic Designer, Associate Producer, Web Video Producer, Interactive Designer, Assistant Editor, Broadcast Associate, Final Cut Pro Editor, Operations Technician, Digital Media Consultant, Newsroom Asst./ Producer


Planning and design process

Project idea/goals, appropriate research (content, design, competitive analysis, etc.), determine and describe audience (demographics and psychographics), essence of message, design message based on above, appropriate format, style, structure, best mode of distribution given above analysis

Mastering the creative tools, techniques, processes and technology

Technical understanding (physics of sound and light, electricity, resolution, frame rates, recording formats, signal to noise ratio, sampling rates, etc), camera, lighting, sound, graphics, effects, editing, writing, directing, interactivity, low cost production technique and technology, experimental media, crew structure for film/tv/radio etc, working collaboratively and in teams, pitching the project, distribution (web, festivals, tv, theater screenings, etc).

The Business of Media

Industry structure (tv, film, internet, corporate video, production houses, etc), entrepreneurship, budget and finance, funding the project, project management, marketing and promotion, managing people, the successful small business, convergent media

Preparing for and finding a job

Internships, study abroad/study away, working with clients, media jobs on campus, networking, portfolio / reel / resume

Associated Faculty

Optional Minors

Related Links & Student Groups