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Digital Film Production Career Training in NC with Degree Info

There are 14 colleges and universities in North Carolina that have digital film production programs. Read an overview of eight of the largest schools' programs, requirements and tuition info and find out which school is the right one for you.

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Essential Information

Since digital technology is typically used in modern filmmaking, most film production programs have classes that train students how to use digital film equipment. Associate's degree programs are usually in film production technology and teach graduates to use the cameras and computer technology employed in the process of digital film production. Bachelor's and master's degree programs in film production generally offer additional training in directing, screenwriting, acting and business. Hands-on training, including the opportunity to produce student films, is common in most programs; some include internships, as well.

Read below about eight schools in North Carolina with digital film production career training.


Blue Ridge Community College

Blue Ridge Community College is located in Flat Rock and has an Associate of Applied Science (A.A.S.) program in film and video production technology. Graduates of this program might work in entry-level roles for feature, short and educational film productions, as well as documentaries and commercials. Some of the courses in this 72-credit program include camera and lighting, production techniques, post-production sound, production management and software for film production. While the first year of the program provides hands-on training, in the second year, students can create short films and videos.

Cape Fear Community College

Cape Fear Community College is in Wilmington, about 12 miles from the Atlantic shore, and offers associate's degree, diploma and certificate programs in film and video production. The programs prepare graduates to work in crew and production assistant positions. Some of the major coursework in the 73-credit A.A.S. program includes production techniques, production specialties, two- and three-dimensional animation and editing. Students also complete a cooperative experience that includes real-life work as a production crewmember.

Many of the classes offered in the 41-credit diploma program are similar to those in the A.A.S. degree program, without the general education coursework or the co-op experience. An 18-credit certificate program includes courses in film and video, camera and lighting, computers, sound operations and editing.

North Carolina State University at Raleigh

Located in Raleigh, North Carolina State University is the largest school in North Carolina and offers a Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) degree program in arts studies with a concentration in film. This interdisciplinary program includes studio classes in electronic media writing or screenwriting, and a course in film production. Some other major requirements include history of film, film theory and film genres. Students may also complete a 150-hour internship that trains students in film production.

Piedmont Community College

Rural Roxboro is about 30 miles north of Durham and home to Piedmont Community College. The college has associate's degree and diploma programs, as well as basic and advanced certificate programs in film and video production technology. The school has feature film HD production equipment for students to use, and professional film and video producers often teach classes.

In addition to general education and a co-op work experience, students in the 74-credit A.A.S. program might take classes in post-production sound and design, production specialties, production techniques and production management. Though the 44-credit diploma program does not involve a co-op work experience, students take courses in editing, sound operations and production techniques.

Courses included in the basic 15-credit certificate program are film and video, grip and electric, camera and lighting, art department operations and editing. Students who take the 17-credit advanced certificate program must complete studies in advanced camera and lighting, advanced art department operations, sound operations and production techniques.

University of North Carolina at Greensboro

The Greensboro campus of the University of North Carolina has film production programs at the undergrad level through the Department of Media Studies. Students in the B.A. program in media studies are able to design a program focus that may include film and digital media production. Program participants might create documentary film, television and video journalism productions. Some of the upper-level production curriculum includes media, animation and documentary production. Students can elect to complete a practicum, an internship and/or senior portfolio coursework.

University of North Carolina School of the Arts

Situated in Winston-Salem, the University of North Carolina School of the Arts is a public school dedicated to the arts that has a Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA) program in filmmaking with a track in producing. Offered through the School of Filmmaking, this program trains graduates to develop and produce feature films, commercials and multimedia projects.

During the 125-credit program, students have the opportunity to perform real-life production activities for digital shorts and 16mm films. Some of the required courses include production design, visual storytelling, budgets and marketing. Students also complete a practicum, which includes being involved in a project from pre- to post-production. The BFA degree program also has an interdisciplinary production track, which involves six more credits than the producing track and is designed for students who are interested in various aspects of filmmaking, including production.

University of North Carolina - Wilmington

The film studies division of the University of North Carolina at Wilmington has a B.A. degree program in film studies. The program curriculum combines the cultural and historical aspects of film with applied cinematic production. Students must take core classes in film study, film production and world cinema and can select electives, such as tools used in filmmaking, animation production, camera work and post-production.

Internship and practicum classes in film production are also available. During a senior capstone course in film production, participants work as a team to produce a narrative or experimental film or a short documentary.

Wake Forest University

Wake Forest University, in Winston-Salem, is a private institution with master's degree programs in documentary film production. Offered through the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, these programs are unique because they focus on giving students the skills needed to write, direct and produce documentary films for the purpose of creating social change. The two-year Master of Arts degree program with a concentration is sports storytelling offers classes in cinematography, editing, directing, and writing. By the time students finish this program, they will have the skills necessary to create documentaries and short films.

Students interested in earning an MFA degree in documentary film production must complete three years of study. Courses include documentary field production, documentary storytelling, non-fiction filmmaking, as well as story editing. During the third year, MFA program participants take pedagogy classes and may also perform a teaching practicum.

School Comparison: At a Glance

School Name School Type & Setting Digital Film Production Programs Offered Tuition & Fees (2015-2016)
Blue Ridge Community College Two-year, public; large suburb Associate in Applied Science in Film and Video Production Technology $2,389 in-state; $8,533 out-of-state (undergrad)*
Cape Fear Community College Two-year, public; midsize city Certificate in Film and Video Production
Diploma in Film and Video Production,
Associate of Applied Science in Film and Video Production
$2,654 in-state; $8,798 out-of-state (undergrad)*
North Carolina State University at Raleigh Four-year, public; large city Bachelor of Arts in Arts Studies: Film $8,581 in-state; $24,932 out-of-state (undergrad)*
Piedmont Community College Two-year, public; fringe rural Certificate in Film and Video Production Technology,
Advanced Certificate in Film and Video Production Technology,
Diploma in Film and Video Production Technology,
Associate in Applied Science in Film and Video Production Technology
$2,419 in-state; $8,563 out-of-state out-of-state (undergrad)*
University of North Carolina at Greensboro Four-year, public; large city Bachelor of Arts in Media Studies $6,745 in-state; $21,607 out-of-state (undergrad)*
University of North Carolina School of the Arts Four-year, public; midsize city Bachelor of Fine Arts in Filmmaking: Producing, Interdisciplinary Production $8,983 in-state; $24,403 out-of-state (undergrad)*
University of North Carolina Wilmington Four-year, public; midsize city Bachelor of Arts in Film Studies $6,691 in-state; $20,557 out-of-state (undergrad)*
Wake Forest University Four-year, private not-for-profit; midsize city Master of Fine Arts in Documentary Film,
Master of Arts in Documentary Film with a concentration in sports storytelling
$36,846 (graduate)*

Source: *NCES College Navigator

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