Digital Cinema and Television Advising Guide

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What is Digital Cinema and Television?

This track focuses on the practical aspects of digital television and film production. Students will gain a broad theoretical understanding of media while participating in hands-on field and high definition studio production. Students will also gain an understanding of the historical, aesthetic, and management side of media production. Students in Digital Cinema and Television produce their own short films and television programs using high-definition equipment. Digital Cinema and Television can be used as a springboard to any career in the movie or television industry. For anyone interested in the magic of film and television, this major is for you. 

 

Career Opportunities in Digital Cinema and Television

A concentration in digital cinema and television is good preparation for careers in such diverse areas as directing, producing, and screenwriting. It is useful for any career in the film or television industry. Whether creating a new world in a film, making a music video, or maintaining order on a set, most people in the film and television industry have skills in digital cinema and television. Career titles include:

  • Editor
  • Videographer 
  • Producer
  • Scriptwriter
  • Technical Director
  • Locations Director
  • Art Director
  • Cinematographer
  • Casting Director
  • Special Effects Editor
  • Production Worker

 

Salary Trends in Digital Cinema and Television

The median compensation for digital cinema and television graduates is $64,000 per year under union wages.  Production workers, though, can earn well over $100,000 a year, with some making as much as $600,000. As in many other fields, years of experience and location impact pay for digital cinema and television graduates.

Unlike more vocationally-oriented majors, such as majors in business, engineering, or the health professions, A&S majors tend to study a greater range of topics outside of their immediate major area. This greater breadth provides an interdisciplinary perspective that complements the more linear education in the student’s major area. 

As a result, A&S majors are compatible with a wide-range of career options. A large 2012 survey of employers found that 81% of employers will consider any degree, so most employers do not require a specific degree. So A&S majors typically find post-graduate employment at rates comparable to more vocationally-specific degrees, Furthermore, longitudinal studies which have followed college graduates over time have shown that Arts and Sciences graduates' rates of salary growth often exceed those of more vocationally-specific majors. For example, a 2010 longitudinal survey of college majors after graduation found that:

“Occupationally specific degrees are beneficial at the point of entry into the labor market but have the lowest growth in occupational status over time. Students earning credentials focusing on general skills, in contrast, begin in jobs with low occupational status but subsequently report the greatest growth.

Another longitudinal study concluded that:

"Employment across educational fields is almost identical for individuals aged 35-44, and beyond age 45, humanities graduates actually have higher rates of employment than those in other fields. After age 45, humanities and social science majors’ salaries overtake those of counterparts in other fields."

Finally, A&S majors have on average the highest rates of increase from starting to mid-career salary.

 

High School Preparation

Exel in English.  Take advantage of any opportunity to work in broadcast or film making.  If a film company is shooting in town, volunteer to be an intern.  Make amateur movies or TV shows using a cell phone or an inexpensive video camera and post them to the web.

 

Digital Cinema and Television Highlights

Students have the opportunity to take several courses to learn video production and editing and film-making and editing. Moreover, students are encouraged to get involved with Jag-TV and the student radio station, The Prowl, to learn real-world production skills.

 

Study Abroad Opportunities

Students have the opportunity to take courses in London and other international cities that can be applied to their Digital Cinema and Television program.

Studying abroad is an exciting and meaningful experience that will contribute to your academic and personal development.  Participating on a study abroad program can be one of the most profound decisions of your college life, and can lead to many new and interesting opportunities.  It can help develop your critical thinking skills, sense of independence, and confidence.  When you depart on your study abroad program, you will go with excitement, trepidation, and uncertainty about the world and your place in it.  When you return home, your deep connection and affection for your host culture will be overwhelming, and will only be matched by a newfound respect and appreciation for your home.

Study abroad is the opportunity for USA students to spend time in a different country while earning credit towards your degree through taking classes, interning, volunteering, and more.  There are many different types of study abroad available to you at USA. They include faculty-led programs, international exchange programs, and direct-enroll and affiliate programs. 

Students on faculty-led programs will travel as a group led by USA professors and take classes in various locations. All courses taken on these programs are USA courses and offer USA credits that will apply to your degree. International Exchange programs are partnerships with specific universities around the world with which USA has a special, reciprocal relationship. Students enroll directly at the host university, and students from the host university attend USA. USA affiliate programs allow students to enroll at a partner university or program through a third-party provider. GPA requirements vary by program.

You should think of the Study Abroad Office as a one-stop shop for information related to your study abroad experience. The Study Abroad (http://www.southalabama.edu/studyabroad/) team is excited to assist you as you navigate through the process of choosing a program, and will help you from the advising stage until you return from your program.  You can get started by coming to meet with an advisor during Walk-In Advising hours. During an advising session, you can gain general information about the many programs available, how the application process works at USA and general guidance on where to begin.

Be sure to visit the OIE Study Abroad website at http://www.southalabama.edu/studyabroad/ to begin your research.  The website contains information on how to get started, financing your program, and a comprehensive list of pre-approved study abroad programs and partners. While researching a passport or visa programs, consider the following: eligibility requirements, location, course offerings, and costs.  You should also meet with your faculty advisor for assistance in selecting a program based on courses related to your degree.

Studying abroad can be one of the highlights of your university career, giving you wonderful and challenging experiences that will allow you to grow both academically and professionally. Where will you study abroad?

 

Academic Plan

Academic plans are in place to help you stay on track to graduate in four years.

To view our academic plans for Digital Cinema and Television, please see below. Degree plans provide only a suggested schedule; make sure to meet with your academic advisor to find the actual schedule that is right for you.

Broadcast Journalism

Digital Cinema and Television

For additional degree information, visit the undergraduate bulletin.

 

For More Information

Please contact Dr. Richard Ward at rward@southalabama.edu or Dr. Steven Rockwell at srockwel@southalabama.edu with questions about our digital cinema and television program.

You can find us on campus at:

Communication Building Rm. 108
6021 USA Drive South
Mobile, AL 36688
(251) 380-2800

Website: www.southalabama.edu/colleges/artsandsci/communication

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/USACommDept?ref=bookmarks