Figuring out Film Studies

Stephanie Cen ‘20, New York University

I think everyone assumes a lot about what a film major does, but there’s a big variety in what people do with a Film and TV Production major. I personally focus on learning more about filmmaking and creating my own films. 

Deciding on film

It was back in high school during my senior year when I had to make a documentary for my film class. It was a group project, but I really wanted to do a documentary about Autism since people were using it as a derogatory term and unaware of what it really is. This was also a very personal project since I focused this documentary on my brother who is diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder. After making this documentary, I realized that I enjoyed making a film that I was so passionate about and wanted to tell more stories like this to the world.

Favorite project

Definitely this “music video” project that I did about culture clash. The entire process when making it was super surreal. I unfortunately didn’t have a well-written script, but someone came on board to write a song for it. Actors were helping me cast the right actors. People were willing to work on this project because they supported the story and wanted to see it happen. I think that was the biggest moment I’ve ever experienced; if I didn’t have the support to do it, I don’t know how else I could’ve done it. 

Some classes I’ve taken

  • Sight and Sound: Filmmaking 
  • Fundamentals of Visual and Dramatic Writing
  • Intro to TV Writing

Career paths

There are so MANY paths that it’s more about what you want to do. People in my major can go on to editors, cinematographers, animators, actors, writers, directors, producers, and more. It’s really all up to you. I want to become a writer-director that tells stories that bring awareness to issues that are going on today. I want to tell heart-warming stories that make an impact, and more importantly, make someone think. 

Tips for future majors

I’ve actually done this many times, and all I can say is if you really want to be a filmmaker or animator, then this is for you. And I wish someone had told me this, but it’s really what you make of it and you just have to be proactive.