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Why Screen Arts and Cultures?

The undergraduate major in Screen Arts & Cultures is an integrated major in screen studies and production.

The primary goal of the Department of Screen Arts & Cultures is to provide students with first-rate instruction in the history, theory, aesthetics, and techniques of moving image media in their historical and emergent forms. A significant element of creative practice in the field, broadly-conceived, is also extremely important both to students' understanding of media and to making their knowledge marketable post-graduation.

The Screen Arts & Cultures (SAC) major intertwines studies and production, with studies occupying approximately two-thirds of a student's coursework and creative, hands-on practice the other one-third. Our department is uniquely situated to help SAC students explore the intersection of intellectual study and creative practice in the media arts. In contrast to a film school or art school model, the SAC major offers a well-conceived integration of critical studies and creative production in moving image media within a large world-class university.

Undergraduate Resources

SAC 401 Visits Stadium to Prep for Documentary

SAC 401: "The Big House Project," taught by Markus Nornes, Terri Sarris, and visiting filmmaker Kazuhiro Soda, made a scouting visit to Michigan Stadium during the Colorado-Michigan game on September 17, 2016, in preparation for a direct-cinema style documentary the class is making on The Big House.  With the gracious hosting of Associate Athletic Director Kurt Svoboda, students visited the press box, control room, early morning locker room, the field, and many other spaces before, during, and after the game.  

photo credit (for photos below), Markus Nornes and Terri Sarris

Student Testimonials

Emily Browning

Emily Browning is a senior majoring in Screen Arts and Cultures. She is a member of M-agination films, the women’s varsity water polo team, and the Ross School of Business sales track program. Emily is from Orange County, California, and has been involved with film production since high school.

Emily did not start her college career certain that filmmaking would be something that she would want to pursue as a career. After taking the art of film course, she decided to declare as a SAC major. Since then she has produced a number of films through U of M, and outside as well. Her short “You Can’t Sit With Us,” produced through the new media practices course in the Fall of 2014, received runner-up for best comedy at the Lightworks Student Film Festival. She currently is completing her dramatic narrative II film, while also writing her first draft of a feature screenplay. Emily aspires to become a TV or film producer and has made steps in getting there by getting the opportunity to intern at production companies in LA over summer.

“The faculty in the Screen Arts and cultures department has provided a path to making my dreams a reality. The University has been instrumental in integrating me to the business community getting and providing crucial advice on next steps.  The SAC department is an awesome secret “pearl” at University of Michigan. I am proud to be a Screens Arts major and hope that I leave my mark in this growing department. “

Jason Mondry

"I can’t imagine my college experience without the Screen Arts program. SAC is at the center of a rich but otherwise hidden film community here at Michigan. Screen Arts students are passionate, driven, and talented. I’m fortunate to have met some wonderful friends with similar interests and a shared penchant for creative, collaborative storytelling. The SAC faculty is composed of really intelligent and devoted professors. Their thought-provoking classes have taught me so much about the chronicle and craft of film.

One of the best parts of the Screen Arts program is that you don’t have to select a predetermined path. At schools like NYU and USC, you are limited to learning about either history/theory or production, but Screen Arts allows you to mold your own path. There’s a lot of curricular variety, from history and theory to production and writing. You gain a more holistic understanding of film and television."

Jason Mondry completed two internships over the summer of 2016, one at the Late Show with James Corden and the other at Marc Platt Productions (pictured above). Jason recently interviewed for the United Talent Agency agent training program, and they offered him a position in the agency trainee class of next year (2017), after graduation.