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Prof Rattner demonstrates 16mm camera use to a group of 4 students

Research Overview

Dive Deep. Students have the opportunity to create their own work both inside and outside the classroom. Our faculty are also highly active in the fields of race and gender studies, environmental humanities, documentary and non-fiction filmmaking, and histories of the moving image.  Our classes, combined with internship opportunities, launch students into their post-graduate careers.

Research Stories

Student: BO BRODER

“Day explores the pure and positive elements of love or infatuation as well as the happiness people find in one another.”

Student: Karina Schechter

“Over and Out is a soundscape/hellscape blend that aims to blur the line between reality as we know it and reality television. The project flows between media outlets covering news regarding COVID-19 and the hosts of iconic reality programs in a way that distorts both concepts, thereby merging separate forms of reality into one and begging the question: where does the script stop and authenticity take over? Coupling the prevalence of “fake news” with the general consensus that reality TV is anything but “reality,” this soundscape embraces the semantic ebbs and flows of the “real” and highlights the malleability of everything around us.”

faculty: Jonathan Rattner

“As an artist, I’m concerned with narrative construction: how we tell our stories and the structure we use to form these stories. I do have a particular shooting and editing practice I designed to achieve a fresh sensual experience in production, postproduction, and in theater. During production, I shoot like an observational photographer. When I see something I want to photograph, my normal practice is to turn on the camera and stay still for a long period of time, waiting until I see something, an action, a color, a sound, that I did not notice when I turned on the camera. Once I’m in the editing room, I work very much like a collage artist. I take visuals and sounds from different times and places and look to create moments that act like those long durational shots by way of editing. Ideally when I screen my films, the audience experiences a glimpse into these worlds, which are real but also truly unfamiliar.” – Full article here

Research Opportunities

  • Students have a great deal of creative freedom in this department. In addition to learning all aspects of filmmaking and media critical studies during the course of the major, our students participate in Senior Seminar in their last semester in which they create independent projects.

  • CMA Honors Thesis is a two-semester independent study for high-achieving students during the senior year that culminates in a significant critical or creative work.

  • We encourage students to read, write, and produce work outside of the classroom. To this end, CMA students may check out equipment during the time of their major for individual and group projects, separate from coursework.

  • CMA students may assist faculty with programming and hosting Vanderbilt University’s campus cinema, International Lens.