The Cinema Studies Minor at UNH has no plans to grow into a Major at any point in the near future.
The program, directed by Cinema Studies Coordinator Matthias Konzett, is a small Minor based out of the English department, which focuses providing students with the basic understanding of film, and is often viewed as a compliment to other majors such as English and political science.
“It’s meant as a program that gives you competence in the visual media,” Matthias Konzett said.
In order to receive the minor you need to take five courses, only two of which (Introduction to Film Analysis and Film Theory) are required. Cinema Studies offers a wide array of courses, from foreign language film classes to studies of genre-specific courses such as Sci-fi, War Films, and Horror. They are currently four courses being offered next semester: Authorship/Hitchcock, Traditions in World Cinema, Film Genre, and Gender and Race in American Cinema and Popular Culture.
The minor, however successful it may be, has little possibility of ever becoming a full blown major anytime soon. The price of creating such a program would be too expensive and require too much work to be worth it.
“[Making a Cinema Studies major] is just not seen as productive,” Matthias Konzett said. “It would have to be combined with a production program, so it’s almost like we’d have a little film school on campus.”
Making films is expensive, and adding that burden to an already money deprived university is too much to ask from a small program like Cinema Studies.
There is also the issue of the UNH brand name not being associated with Cinema Studies and Production already. It can make it difficult for students who major in film at UNH to find jobs elsewhere when they graduate.
“When a school just has a major that is not known, it makes it tougher on the job market.” Associate Professor of English Cinema Studies Delia Konzett said.
There is, however a workaround to the lack of a formal major. The University system has a Student Designed Major program, where you can petition a committee to allow you to create your own major.
“you can do the self-designed major, we’ve actually had about 5 students, maybe even ten who have self-designed,” Delia Konzett said.
“[Self-designed] is actually what we advocate, if somebody says “I’d like to have a major” then lets make sure you have a basic discipline and then combine it with film,” said Matthias Konzett.
This is often used as a duel major in conjunction with the communications major, a program which is similar enough to allow overlap but already is an established “unh brand” major.
Several students have already taken this path through to reach success past graduation. Tim Daniels was a film minor at UNH, and upon graduation, after some graduate courses in film production, found a job working for ESPN on football related video production.
Thomas Parisi, who double majored in film and law, became an FCC lawyer who works specifically in FCC and entertainment law.
Other students have successfully taken the film studies minor and applied it to working on film crews.
“We have students who are working on film crews, both locally or across the country. They usually just start off on the set helping out, then maybe specializing in lighting and electricity, we have a couple of those. But that’s not what we promise, the students come up with these things on their own,” Matthias Konzett said.