News and Announcements
FMS Students Read for the 2014 Baltimore Screenwriters Competition
As they have since its inception nine years ago, Hopkins film students served this winter as first readers for the Baltimore Screenwriters Competition, sponsored by the Baltimore Office for Promotion & The Arts. Under the supervision of Senior Lecturer Lucy Bucknell, interns evaluated and provided coverage of competition screenplays. Winners will be announced at the Maryland Film Festival in May.
Alessandra Bautze, Class of 2014: For the second year I had the privilege of being a First Reader for the Baltimore Screenwriters Competition. Once again I was impressed by the quality of the scripts submitted. They spanned a range of genres and were very entertaining. But most importantly, each project clearly came from the heart; each had a unique, honest voice. This was particularly true in the case of scripts that dealt with difficult issues, and these I found the most compelling. It takes a lot to put your work out there. The competition is great because it offers a forum, and really encourages community participation in the arts. It's an honor to represent the program and Hopkins generally by reading for this competition. As before, I found the experience enriching, educational, and fun! It's one among many opportunities offered Film and Media Studies students to take what they've learned in the classroom one step further.
Caroline DeLuca, Class of 2014: I really appreciated the chance to be a part of the Baltimore Screenwriters Competition. It was exciting to read the scripts of emerging writers, and to gain a new sense of the city through the dramatic lens of residents. As I read and analyzed the strengths and weaknesses of the pieces, I gained a sharper sense of what keeps a full-length screenplay engaging start to finish, and what issues threaten that appeal. This was a great opportunity to involve myself with endeavors of reading and writing outside of Hopkins. I hope that all submitters will continue to learn and write; it was a pleasure to read their work.
Abby Harri, Class of 2014: While reading feature screenplays for my last internship, based in NYC, I found that New York or occasionally rural stories were common. The Baltimore Screenwriters Competition offers a new perspective from a different kind of urban space, one that has its own stories to be told by its own people. I believe a sense of place is necessary for a good story, indeed that the space itself has stories to tell. It’s important for the Competition to foster local talent, to encourage the city's voices and let Baltimore tell itself. It was a pleasure to be a reader and to get a taste of this fresh content!
David Shear, Class of 2014: In my writing classes at Hopkins I've had the opportunity to read a lot of student work, always with an eye toward the little details. I worked from a micro level up to a macro, focusing on how something was said more than what was said. Reading scripts from the Baltimore community has shifted my views. I was struck by the creativity of the stories, the freshness of worlds I was unfamiliar with. And I found myself looking at the story as a whole before looking at its components. It was a delightful experience. I remember in the midst of a bad day sitting down with a script and having it put a smile on my face that lasted for hours. I’ve realized that what is just as important as how, and my memory of the work is of pleasure above all else.
Abby Sussman, Class of 2014: As a Writing Seminars major, I have taken many writing workshop classes here at Hopkins, including a few in screenwriting. While I enjoy reading work from my classmates, it was a nice change to read work from aspiring writers in the greater Baltimore community for the Baltimore Screenwriters Competition. It was interesting to see how and what they wrote and what topics and themes were important to them. I was continually impressed by the quality of the entries I read; I am glad to see that Baltimore has such a thriving screenwriting community. Writing coverage for the competition also differed in how thorough I had to be in my feedback. As a first reader, I needed to analyze all aspects that go into making a successful film, such as characterization, dialogue, action, and setting. This was challenging but also a reminder of how great it can be when all of the moving parts come together to form a powerful narrative.
Calling on Visionary Filmmakers: Hopkins Film Fest 2014
by Abby Harri, Class of 2014
Planning any four-day event is a challenge, but when you’re doing it for nine months the event can truly become your “baby.” With a double dose of snow days on February 13th and 14th, a cancelled opening night screening, and the general homebody mentality that can result from winter weather in Baltimore, the Film Society had to put up a major fight for its blessed event, the 2014 Johns Hopkins Film Festival.
Film Society members posing with 35MM film prints post-festival.
Thomas Dolby to Join FMS Faculty
Musician and producer Thomas Dolby will be the artistic director of the Program in Sound on Film at Station North, and teach the Film and Media Studies Program-Peabody collaborative course Sound on Film.
Not the HBO "Newsroom": Interning at The Baltimore Sun
By Andrea Massaro, Class of 2015
On my first day of work on a Tuesday morning, I stepped off the shuttle at Peabody and took the two-minute walk to the 500 block of North Calvert. It's not an ordinary city block; the Baltimore Sun Media Group (BSMG) owns the entire thing, which at the very least made it impossible for me to get lost. Entering a headquarters this size, I'll admit I prepared myself for failure-- a mediocre intern in a well-oiled machine. My only knowledge of the industry was what I'd seen the night before on HBO's The Newsroom, and I was prepared to do the same miserable grunt-work as the fictional interns-- and inevitably somehow mess it up as well. I resolved for the final time: I was here to write, and write I would, mistakes and all. This was why I'd accepted the position of features intern at The Baltimore Sun during an already hectic junior fall.
"I started out at Johns Hopkins as a chemical engineer. It took me a very quick year and a half to realize it wasn't the life for me. In my search for a new major I happened across a Russian Cinema class. It changed my life. The Film and Media Studies Program was so kind in immediately taking me in and making me one of their own. Suddenly I was up to my eyeballs in screenings, experimental film, lost and found film editing, and shooting 16mm film. Hopkins isn't where I fell in love with film, but it IS where I realized that film and I could be in a long-term, loving relationship. There's no sense doing something other than what you love in life. For me, the Johns Hopkins Film and Media Studies Program showed me that. The program cares, the faculty care, and your fellow peer filmmakers care. You can't ask for more than that."
George Telonis, Class of 2007
MFA, Film Production, Florida State University
Independent Film Production
Welcome Film & Media Studies Majors & Minors
Students are strongly encouraged to advance through course levels in rational order: introductory levels, followed by intermediate, followed by advanced. At least one 200-level film studies requirement must be met by the end of sophomore year. Both 200-level requirements must be met by the end of junior year.
Majors are strongly encouraged to complete at least one writing-intensive course emphasizing critical writing in their freshman year, by winter of sophomore year at the latest, regardless of their skill level. Critical writing courses in FMS or in the Expository Writing Program are acceptable.
Production students should take at least one screenwriting course, in either FMS or the Writing Seminars. An acting class in the Theatre Arts & Studies Program is also encouraged for narrative filmmakers.
One 500-level course, either an internship or an independent study, is required for completion of the major.
Internships play an essential role in shaping a professional identity, as well as helping students discover and develop their interests and aptitudes. Resources for identifying and pursuing internship opportunities are available through the Film and Media Studies Program office. Students may undertake multiple internships through their early careers. The internship required for fulfillment of the major should be completed or committed to no later than the end of junior year.
Independent Studies allow students, working with a faculty advisor, to focus closely and at length on individual interests and projects, whether in production, screenwriting, or film studies. Students should have completed or made concrete plans for completion of their required Independent Study no later than the end of junior year.
We encourage students both in and out of the classroom to challenge themselves, broaden their understanding of what film is and can do. All students should extend themselves to silent film, documentary film, experimental film, as well as to films of various national cinemas and reflecting various modes of production. In addition, majors and minors should regularly read and comment on the FMS blog, HopkinsCinemAddicts, and should attend Film Society screenings when possible.
Thinking About Becoming a Film and Media Studies Major?
"The best part of the program is definitely the hands on experience we get but also the people I've met and been able to talk to." - Alexandra Byer, Class of 2011
"Being a Film & Media Studies major introduced me to both the more theoretical study of film as well as real world experience though my internships, and it has completely defined what I want to do with my life after Hopkins." - Clare Richardson, Class of 2012
Check out the Academics blog and see personal stories from our Film and Media Studies majors. These blogs are student-written and give you an up-close look at the experiences that real students have had at Johns Hopkins. You'll read about how students chose their majors and minors and the opportunities they are discovering. Within the blogs, you'll read about students who have changed or added majors, taken classes completely unrelated to their major, fulfilled multiple majors and minors, and otherwise explored their academic curiosities here.