Why These Students Will Never Watch Movies the Same Way Again

Published on September 6, 2013 by arothstein

It happens at the end of every movie. The screen fades to black, the music starts, and the credits roll. Hundreds of names glide up the screen, accompanied by just as many different job titles—many of which sound made up. We know movies take a lot of work, but have you ever wanted to know what exactly is involved in film making?
Broadview University

About a year ago, Broadview University–Orem sought to answer this question by offering a Film in Society course, and it has been a blockbuster hit among students and staff members ever since.

The class is taught by John Cheney, whose resume boasts a Master of Fine Arts degree from Chapman University and previous work experience at the New York Film Academy. Described by students as being both exciting and educational, Cheney’s class opens students’ eyes to all the creative processes involved in film making.

“I will warn you now,” Cheney said on the first day of class, “you will never watch movies the same way again.”

By learning the significance of elements such as camera angles, lighting, object placement, movement and plot, students gain a better understanding of what goes on behind the curtain and are then able to identify those techniques as they occur in movies.

Doesn’t it spoil the enjoyment of movie-watching to know all the tricks of the trade?

“Absolutely not,” said Randy Johnson, career services director, who is taking the class with his daughter, Rylee. “Learning about all the different aspects of film making has enhanced my movie-watching experience by increasing my awareness of how they are made.”

Broadview UniversityOne assignment in particular has been extremely popular among Cheney’s students. Toward the end of the quarter, students are required to make a three-minute film with classmates. Each group must write a script, get actors, shoot the movie, and edit it without any professional help.

“It’s a lot of fun but a lot of work!” said Julie Wilbur, Broadview-Orem’s financial aid director, who is taking the course as part of her associate degree in business administration. Julie was the designated videographer for her group—which also included Randy Johnson and his daughter—with members of the staff stepping in for cameo appearances.

The next time you watch a movie and want to know how it’s all done, be sure to check out John Cheney’s Film in Society course.

Broadview University is located at 898 North and 1200 West in Orem. For more information, call 801-822-5800.

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