Arts & Life, Film & Television

New FEA curriculum for a new year at The Beach

As another semester at The Beach rolls in, incoming film students have a lot to look forward to with a revamped film program.

“There’s a new 33-unit foundation curriculum, focusing on five critical studies courses,” Moore said. “Regardless of what you’re going to study one day, everyone is going to get to have a shot to work on and make a short film”

There will be 21 unit specializations in different areas including creative nonfiction, directing, cinematography, screenwriting, post-production, critical studies and producing.

With the previous curriculum for film students, only 28% of students were taking the same courses within the film major, where the curriculum required 51% as per the CSU chancellor’s office. Changes were necessary for students to not only meet this executive order, but to be more well rounded in their studies. In addition, many classes in the old film program were also locked and reserved for specific tracks like creative nonfiction and narrative production.

This shift in curriculum is meant to address equitability for film students at The Beach who previously encountered many roadblocks with the narrative production track.

“We felt for a while there was this sort of elitism that was happening in the department,” Moore said. “There was the elite narrative production students who could study directing and cinematography and then everyone else.”

Moore worked extensively with other film professors in the department to address this for incoming first-years.

“That’s not what Cal State Long Beach is all about,” Moore said.

Another big change for this semester is that the film minor will no longer be available for the time being. Current film minor students will be the last cohort to go through the film minor track due to the massive overhaul of courses that is on the way.

“One thing that I’m personally committed to is I want to create a screenwriting minor,” Moore said. “There’s so many students from all around the campus, creative writing majors, journalism majors, they come and they want to take screenwriting courses.”

Moore will be working to make this a reality by fall of 2024 to address these changes and better reintroduce the different aspects of the film minor.

First-year film students at The Beach for fall 2023 will get to experience the new curriculum and some of the brand new spaces that have been developed for productions. The brand new 2,400 sq. ft. soundstage is currently accessible for film students when the semester begins, where directing and production courses will be held. Accompanying the new soundstage in 2024, there will be a fully renovated UTC for film students to experience and work with.

Resources have been challenging for the film department to source at the Beach, but the adaptability and creativity of our film students is what really has motivated Moore to push for these rapid changes.

“We think that it’s not the technology that makes a good filmmaker, it’s the craft,” Moore said. “Our students can run circles around USC students because they’ve learned how to light something with one LED light, a bounce board and a decent camera.”

Renovations are slated to complete at the start of spring 2024 for the UTC. This means construction will stretch through the fall semester. These renovations will bring new classrooms along with more faculty offices, a spacious computer lab, new foley stage and audio mixing suites for students.

Moore wants to empower film students to be prepared for when the WGA and SAG-AFTRA strikes come to a close. The film industry will rapidly need more screenwriters, PA’s, set coordinators and production crews to meet the needs of whatever conclusion is reached during labor negotiations.

“How can I strike while the iron’s hot, when the strike is over, because when these strikes end, productions are starting immediately,” said Moore. “Are you ready to go? As soon as these strikes are over are you ready to hit the ground running and start that hussle?”

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