Explore the art of cinematic storytelling.
Film School or Liberal Arts College? Why Not Both?
A Legacy of Filmmaking
Oberlin College alumni—bright, globally minded, innovative, and creatively talented—have a long history as leaders in all aspects of show business, arts, and entertainment. As part of the Arts and Creative Professions career community, the Obiewood Oberlin Entertainment Network helps launch students into these competitive fields.
Where Creative Partnerships Start
Have a conservatory student score your film. Cast actors from theater or dance. Collaborate with students from studio art and creative writing. Pursuing the arts at Oberlin means achieving your best work by crossing disciplinary and technological frontiers.
This course explores the art, craft, business, and ideology of popular screen narratives from Hollywood’s classical period to the present. Topics to be discussed include narrative structure, storyworld, perspective, temporality, agency and emotion. Our discussions will connect significant films to both practical and philosophical texts, with an emphasis on the mechanics of story and the social ritual of genre. Finally, we will consider the challenge presented to traditional film narrative by the rise of on-demand streaming services and interactive entertainment.
- Taught by
- Joshua Sperling
This hands-on course introduces students to the history and practice of animation, an ever-present element in the visual language of news, education, science and media storytelling. As a starting point, we work closely with Oberlin’s Media Archeology Collection to study examples of early sequential art technology, optical toys and magic lanterns. Students then learn a variety of approaches to create their own animations, from hand drawn/painted cell animation, claymation, and collage to the growing toolkit professionally used for digital image manipulation.
- Taught by
- Rian Brown-Orso
This course explores both critical and creative perspectives on documentaries (in terms of structure, purpose, audience) and then gives students the opportunity to practice basic documentary production (camera, lighting, sound, non-linear editing) and to learn nonfiction storytelling. After completing various individual and small group exercises, students spend the balance of the semester working together to produce festival-quality short documentary films.
- Taught by
- Geoff Pingree
This course explores the effect of strangeness in movies. What are the ways in which this effect is created? To what uses do filmmakers put the experience of strangeness? What baseline of familiar do we use to judge strange movies? We will explore strangeness as both a poetics and an aesthetic, and its relation to effects such as the uncanny, the fantastic, the marvelous, and the wonderful.
- Taught by
- William Patrick Day ’71
Tribeca Film Fellow
From a young age, Emily Cohn ’17 has been making films. At Oberlin, she honed her filmmaking skills by integrating her diverse experiences in creative writing, internships, and at the Prague Film School. Her first film, CRSHD, premiered at the 2018 Tribeca Film Festival.
Moving Beyond Colorblind Casting
As an Oberlin College Research Fellow (OCRF), Miyah Byers ’20, a cinema studies major, investigated how directors are developing unique methodologies that move beyond colorblind casting and use race in theater productions as a point of inspiration.
Creating Stories for a Global Community
Olive Nwosu ’13 discovered her creative passion in Cinema Studies and is now completing an MFA in Screenwriting at Columbia, where she’s a BAFTA Scholar, an Alex Sichel Fellow at Columbia University School of the Arts, and one of four African Promises directors in the Institut Français’ Africa-2020 Programme.