News and Announcements
“Basic Training” at Florentine Films:
FMS Students Read for the 2013 Baltimore Screenwriters' Competition
For the eighth year, in partnership with students at Morgan State University, Hopkins film students served as first readers for the Baltimore Screenwriters' Competition, sponsored by the Baltimore Film Office at the Baltimore Office for Promotion & The Arts. Under the supervision of Senior LecturerLucy Bucknell, interns evaluated and provided coverage of competition screenplays. Contest winners will be announced at the Maryland Film Festival in May.
Alessandra Bautze, Class of 2014: As a double major in Writing Seminars and Film and Media Studies, writing coverage for the 2013 Baltimore Screenwriters' Competition was educational, enlightening, and fun. Not only did I gain professional experience, but I also received academic feedback on the quality of my work from the professor, allowing me to see how I performed. Through exposure to different genres and writing styles, I was able to improve my screenplay analysis skills. I have written coverage in other academic and professional settings, but this was a wonderful opportunity to represent Johns Hopkins in the professional world. I was able to use the skills that I have learned here at Hopkins to contribute to a meaningful creative initiative, the Baltimore Screenwriters' Competition. I am very grateful to have had this opportunity and would recommend it to any student interested in screenwriting. It is just one of the many unique opportunities offered to students trough the Film and Media Studies Program!
Natasha Hirschfeld, Class of 2013: In this, my second year as a first reader for the Baltimore Screenwriters' Competition, I was once again graced with a collection of truly gripping story lines, beautifully imagined settings and a slew of characters I badly wanted to befriend. It is an honor to write coverage for the scripts that enter the competition, not only because it is so heartening to have my cinematic opinions considered, but because the incredible amount of effort these screenwriters have dedicated to their scripts deserves the careful attention and comprehension required specifically of a coverage writer. As an English major, I am all too accustomed to literary analysis and criticism; but reading and covering these screenplays affords me an entirely new, immensely addictive form of engagement with the written word. Few activities captivate my imagination more than ideas for films, and reading for the Baltimore Screenwriters' Competition gives me a one-month break from having to imagine movies myself.
Sam Johns, Class of 2013: I very much enjoyed writing coverage for the Baltimore Screenwriters' Competition. As a Writing Seminars major, I often analyze much shorter pieces for classes in the department. One problem with that is that flaws, especially in plot, story, and character, are easier to cover up or minimize. On the other hand, in a full-length screenplay, it's easier to identify exactly what's working and what isn't – and more importantly, to understand why. Getting to look at every aspect in such depth was not only refreshing, but a valuable opportunity to hone my own skills and thoughts about storytelling. I also appreciated the opportunity to apply those skills in a helpful way to practicing screenwriters.
The Film & Media Studies program breeds a spirit of collaboration and energy, not isolation and conformity. I think differently then many of my colleagues, and it has afforded me creative opportunity. For that, I am sincerely grateful.
Jason Hoffman, Class of 2010
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.