Please silence your cell phones, Film History is about to begin – by Eliza-Joy Nesheim

This semester, The Master’s University has opened a new opportunity for students interested in cinema and digital arts, by partnering with Laemmle Theaters, to hold the film history course. This opportunity has opened the potential of actually building a real theater on campus, sometime in the future of TMU.

The Master’s University has continued to make progressive movements towards becoming more professional with the way film is handled. What better way to do so than to hold film class in a theater to view movies the way they were designed to be viewed? Holding class in the theater has been a new experience for the school but also for students. Tate Kiledjian, a senior at TMU and participating in the class, has been pleasantly surprised.

Since we aren’t in a classroom, “Green is much more relaxed, much more personable and in his element. It disarms the teacher because it is not a normal classroom setting and instead, he is teaching in front of a theater. This style of teaching also blends comfort with education, and I really have enjoyed it” Kiledjian said.

There are also rumors of potentially building a theater within the communications department once that building has its makeover. This is strictly because of the film efforts to advance and expose students to the movie industry in the most realistic way possible. The Master’s University campus has been used as a filming ground over the last few years for popular films such as Grey’s Anatomy, as well as the potential remake of “Fresh Prince of Bellair” revamp show that is coming out in the future.

This film history class location has been an adventure for students to be able to take education beyond campus and into reality, to experience the film industry on its own turf. Professor Matt Green was especially thrilled about this and stated that because of the new opportunity to host film history class from the seats of a movie theater, he has had one of his most interactive groups of students he has ever overseen in all his years of teaching this particular class. From a teaching perspective, there were some huge positive differences immediately seen by Green, the head of the cinema and digital arts program at TMU.

“We are actually getting to host this class where these movies were supposed to be seen, which is in a theater.” Green said as he compared between the former style. “It’s not in a classroom, which can often feel sterile, and it instead gives it the environment a movie is supposed to be enjoyed in.”

Students have had the opportunity to view films that have come out in the past, on the big screen to get the full effect of the sounds and effects and watch them develop through black and white film, to color. The class covers all of the film milestones and was focused on how directors convey messages through camera movements, and colors – or lack thereof – and not just the plot. The drama was only increased to a life-size experience through the generous partnership of the newest theater located in downtown Newhall.

The original idea to hold class in this sort of environment was stimulated by the lack of classroom space that the campus was experiencing this semester, and so resulted in a creative idea to host in the theater. The owners of the theater were so accommodating and really enjoyed partnering with the school for this semester. They also allowed for the showing of TMU’s  feature film “The Man from Nowhere” and our recent short western film “Reckoning.”

However, the local theater is not just letting the university use their facility for free.

As a school, TMU is being allowed these opportunities to support a local business and be a good testimony to what our school stands for, while also benefiting from such a unique experience of holding class in a nontraditional manner.

By building our community, supporting this local theater, and being able to have this wonderful opportunity, The Master’s University is expanding its horizons in the world of the film industry and preparing its students to be equipped with the experience they need to thrive in the movie-making industry. Regarding the future of the s film production program, this is bound to progress opportunities, solidifying the fact that there is a legitimate film department that is putting out real content for students while having a passion for the movie industry can be afforded the opportunities to be in the real-life experiences they are craving to dive into.

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