George Mason University’s program in Film and Video Studies (FAVS) is the first multidisciplinary undergraduate degree in Virginia focusing on production, film theory and history and related media forms, with core courses in ethics, business, writing for the moving image, documentary and web media. The degree is housed in the College of Visual and Performing Arts (CVPA) and includes courses taught by faculty and working professionals from disciplines including Theater, Visual Arts, Communication, English, Film and Media Studies, Chinese Studies, History and others. The B.A. in Film and Visual Studies is a 120 credit degree with a 54 credits taken in the FAVS program curriculum. We offer three concentrations: Directing and Producing, Production / Post-Production and Screenwriting. Each concentration includes a capstone experience wherein students are professionalized and mentored by faculty on original projects in their senior year.
Film and Video Studies is driven by an independent film spirit. We work with students who use visual storytelling to increase self-reflexivity and cross-cultural understanding, who are interested in working collaboratively, and who are open to exploring a variety of filmmaking styles and practices historically and internationally. Creative solutions and original thinking are paramount as students practice the craft of film and its related forms (serialized fiction on television and the web, nonfiction / documentary, fiction and experimental cinema).
The Film and Video Studies program has relationships with regional production and post-production houses, equipment rental facilities, film festivals, cable networks, casting agencies, television studios, professional media production organizations, professional sports teams, and companies large and small that we partner with in various capacities. We facilitate student exhibitions at regional film festivals. Our students have completed professionalizing internships at over 120 sites in the DC/ Virginia/ Maryland area. FAVS graduates find employment after graduation - doing work in media production or starting their own film companies using business skills learned in the program.
Film and Video Studies facilities include a Black Box theater space where students can build a film set for a junior or senior level production, a post-production work space with stations that include Final Cut Pro and the Adobe Creative Suite, and a range of cameras, sound and lighting equipment for location and studio-based productions. George Mason University Star Lab in the Johnson Center includes a three-camera studio with lighting grid, green screen, and digital switching system solely for student use. The Star Lab also has equipment checkout, Final Cut Pro, Adobe Creative Suite and Avid editing stations for students.
FAVS students participate in a wide-variety of student organizations including Delta Kappa Alpha Iota Chapter – the Professional Cinematic Arts Fraternity, Mason Cable Network - a student-operated run television network, Fourth Estate – the student run newspaper that includes a video channel with student-produced content, and the Global Film Club among many other organizations. Film and Video Studies faculty are working professionals, award-winning independent filmmakers, award-winning educators, and published scholars. Their films have been exhibited worldwide at juried festivals, on public television and cable networks. As cinematographers, editors, and producers-for-hire, our faculty and adjuncts faculty work with the best in the industry on theatrical films, documentaries for broadcast, commercials, music videos and scripted television. FAVS students learn from professionals making work now, which informs their own development as visual storytellers. By studying film history, theory and ethics from nationally recognized film critics and scholars, students learn to see moving images in new ways while honing their skills in written expression and criticism of film form.
FAVS administrative staff support students through personalized academic advising, program communication, production of our three annual student film events: the three day Mason Film Festival, FAVS Fall Showcase, and Best of FAVS showcases. Our FAVS Advisory Board of film supporters and professionals advise students on their senior projects, mentor graduates on career development, and support the FAVS Scholarship and Pitch Awards – monetary awards recognizing FAVS student achievement.