New film major goes beyond journalism

Taylor Harrison

The School of Journalism and Broadcasting has broadened its horizons this year beyond just journalism and broadcasting.

There are now 40 students majoring in film studies within the school.

For the past 10 years, film has only been offered as a minor, said Ted Hovet, director of the film studies program. But Hovet said while the minor focuses mostly on film studies, the major program delves into hands-on aspects such as film production.

He said the program is growing and expects to increase its enrollment.

Course options are also expanding. Hovet said a world film class will be offered this fall.

“WKU is really trying to get more of an international emphasis, and we definitely want to do that with film too,” Hovet said. “We want students to know not just American Hollywood films and methods of movie making, but have a real international perspective on film.”

Hovet said film majors are usually interested in a variety of careers. While some students want to produce films, others want to critique them or write screenplays.

All film studies students are required to take an acting class to see what it’s like to be on stage rather than behind the scenes.

Hovet said this major can serve anyone with an interest in film. It also makes for an easy double major because it’s only a 35-hour program.

Evansville sophomore Kathryn Katz decided to be a film major as soon as she found it out it was being offered.

“I added it immediately,” Katz said. “I am double majoring right now in creative writing and film, because I want to be a director/screenwriter.”

Bardstown sophomore Hannah Bowman was originally a broadcasting major but has since switched to film studies.

“I think the journalism department added the major because entertainment is a growing industry, and WKU already has most of the equipment necessary for any film production classes,” Bowman said. “In Dr. Hovet’s class we talk about cinematic techniques … and then we watch films that reinforce those techniques.”

One of the films Hovet’s class recently watched was “The Social Network.” Hovet said he likes to start off with a recent film with issues showing where Hollywood is now.

He also tries to pick films that go along with the country or time period as a focus in classes.

Mt. Washington freshman Jeremy Raley said he’s now learning about films with a new perspective.

“The cool thing is that WKU is the only school in the state now with a film major,” Raley said. “So a lot of young, talented people in Kentucky are going to come here for that reason.”