Film and Photography Concentration
As a concentration within the Department of Visual and Dramatic Arts (VADA), the Rice Film Program offers students opportunities in both digital media and celluloid to make motion pictures. Located in the Rice Media Center, the Film Program has been a part of Rice for fifty years. Our program, from the beginning, has combined courses on making film with courses on the history of film. Our aim is to help students make meaningful films by encountering and engaging people, events and issues. Their films should reflect themselves but also seek to engage and develop community. Our program regularly brings filmmakers and artists to campus to help connect students with larger communities both locally and globally. Ultimately, the program seeks students who are interested in creating visual stories that will have a meaningful impact.
Students are expected and encouraged to shape their own work. Courses offered include documentary and fiction filmmaking, video art and installation, experimental sound and video, handmade celluloid techniques and the history of film. Students within the major also take courses within VADA department as a whole, such as: sculpture, printmaking, acting or theatrical lighting; and may use film studies classes offered by other departments to count toward graduation requirements. Every year student films are eligible for exhibition in our student film showcase, Flicks. In the junior year, VADA students participate in a department wide field trip to an art-rich destination. Finally, seniors take a capstone course, Film Studio, which promotes professional development and allows students space to synthesize and apply knowledge gained towards individual film projects showcased in the annual VADA Senior Exhibition.
The photography program of the Department of Visual and Dramatic Arts at Rice traces its roots to 1969, when it was established as the first photography program within an academic art curriculum in Texas. As it approaches its 50th anniversary, photography at Rice continues to evolve, but the overarching goal remains the same: to provide students a combination of technical skills, historical understanding of the medium, and critical insight into their own creative work.
Students who choose to concentrate in photography will find a wide range of courses from which to choose, ranging from introductory to advanced levels of study. Introductory courses require students to acquire basic skills in analog (film-based) photography, including traditional black and white darkroom work, before advancing to digital scanning and inkjet printing. Intermediate courses include Digital Photography, Photography Bookmaking, Visualizing Nature, Road Trip Photography, and Installation Art. Advanced courses include Photography Seminar and Advanced Digital Photography.