What's "Mass Comm"?

"Mass Comm" stands for Mass Communication and at NNU, that means "Film School."

BUT WAIT!  The Film School has moved from the department of Communication to the Department of Art, Design, and Film!
As part of that move, we'll be changing the name of the major from "Mass Comm" to something much more descriptive and relevant. If you'd like to be part of that process, just email the faculty.

What's "Film School"?

A place to learn the art and craft of making film and television production. But at NNU it means something very specific: storytelling.  The world runs on stories, so as you learn the technical aspects of t/stops, mireds, circles of confusion, and beats, what we're really talking about is how to tell a story, and tell it incredibly well through the medium of visual production.

Can I get a job after graduation?

Yes!  The Film School @ NNU prepares you for work in the many levels of production: local TV, missions fields, national TV networks, major motion picture studios, or even your own independent production company. 

Here's a sampling of where a few of our film school alums are working:

  • ESPN
  • Dreamworks Studios
  • Local TV stations
  • Own production company in Seattle
  • Large independent film company
  • On the mission field in South America and Africa
  • Mission Aviation Fellowship
  • Producing a show for The History Channel
  • As head of video production for another college

What kind of financial aid is offered?

Major financial aid is available through the university. But a key opportunity of The Film School @ NNU is the chance to become a TA (teaching assistant), which provides a significant scholarship each year. TAs at the Film School aren't just paper-graders: they help the faculty with department policies, plans, and teaching.  TAs are chosen for apptitude, attitude, work ethic, and GPA.

Film school? In Nampa, Idaho?

We know, it seems strange. But the fact is that NNU has one of the strongest film programs around. The moment you step on campus as a freshman you're involved in and doing things that rival some Masters programs.  As our students work out in the industry and talk with professionals, more often than not those professionals say, "Wow! I never got to do that in film school!"  As the list of alumni employment above shows, we train professionals, and that means jobs.  Even here in Idaho.

What kinds of classes will I take?

We say it a lot, and we'll say it again: The Film School @ NNU is not about pushing buttons and pointing cameras.  It's about storytelling.  So you'll take a lot of production classes, yes, but you'll also take courses designed to help you tell human stories with impact: film theory, screenwriting, film and telelvision history.  It's all designed to give you a very well rounded education in what it takes to work in film and television.  Oh yeah, you'll be taking those technical classes on button-pushing too: audio production with ADR and Foley, multicam television production, cinematography, film and television directing, and so forth.

What are "Crew Points"?

200 crew points are required for graduation, and students earn 1  pointfor every hour they work on a crew. We do a LOT of production at The Film School, and much of it apart from class.  One year we took 60 people, several large trucks, donkeys, horses, and camels out to the desert to shoot a film.  Another year we built a submarine in our studio.  More recently it was a complete subway station with working subway car.  Every hour you work on those projects -- or on senior films or other production opportunities -- equals another Crew Point.  Most students go above and beyond the minimum and earn hundreds of extra crew points -- and earn a bronze, silver, gold or platinum Slate Award for their efforts. At The Film School @ NNU, crew points mean experience.

What's a "TA"?

A TA is a teacher's aide. At the NNU film school, this means much more than simply grading assignments. TAs form a vital part of the film school leadership and influence the direction of the program. They're also in charge of the department's equipment and facilities.

What do I need to bring with me?

The Film School provides almost everything you need: cameras, mics, editing computers, software, etc. In fact, for most class projects, you may NOT use your own equipment -- you must shoot and edit on Film School gear.  Why?  Several reasons, but in a nutshell, so that you have the greatest chance of receiving high grades on your work.  Of course, you're welcome to use your own equipment for your personal projects if you so choose, but it is NOT required -- you can check out Film School equipment even for your personal projects.

The only thing YOU ARE REQUIRED to bring with you is at least one SD card: Class 6 or better, 150x or better, 8, 16 or 32 gig.  When you check out a camera or recorder, it does NOT come with an SD card to record on.

Do I have to have experience?

No.  In fact, it's almost better if you've never touched a camera.  While we love it when a student comes from a strong high school program, or has learned a lot on their own, sometimes that means you've picked up some bad habits -- "bad" meaning "not professional".  But when you get to The Film School you'll learn the right way to do everything, even if you have no experience.