Why Major in Communication—Broadcast & Production at Concordia University Texas

Why study Broadcast & Production?

The calling of the communicator is to articulate truth within the context of our time and place in history. Such a task demands the critical use of human methods of thought conveyed within the finest in artistic expression. These works are not ends in themselves—they serve a higher purpose.

No matter your career, an inability to frame and relate compelling stories can be a barrier to success. Even writer Flannery O’Connor lamented,  “There will always be people who refuse to read the story you have written.”

  •  Film is the new lingua franca of not just American culture but, increasingly, global culture” (James K.A. Smith). Life’s truths are conveyed through stories—and the more engaging the story, the more truthful it feels.
  • Our cultural narratives are “signposts that provide us with instructions and directions, filters that screen out parts of experience and focus on others, mirrors that reflect ourselves back to us, and barriers that block the truth." (Denis McQuail).
  • These stories can present a “vision of how the world is as well as how it might be” (John Lyden).
  • Popular film (and television) “not only express values and identities but can also create them” (Joel Martin and Conrad Ostwalt, Jr.).
  • Students of production and broadcast have a unique opportunity to help shape culture in immediate, direct, and powerful ways.

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    Production Students

The student of Communication is an exemplar for the most well-rounded education in the liberal arts tradition. No student practices the virtuosity of communication itself—the discipline is all about dialectic, the art of discovering truth in all subjects. As such, Communication is involved in everyone’s business, and everyone’s business needs communicators—especially good storytellers.

Why study at Concordia University Texas (and not a prestigious film school)?

The awards given at Sundance and SXSW film festivals reveal that it is not only film school graduates who are telling compelling stories. Much of the best in independent film is made by those who never took a single class in filmmaking. The most important and compelling narratives are made by those who majored in life.

  • First and foremost, the education at Concordia is higher education. The curriculum reflects a liberal arts emphasis in the traditions of the best universities in the world. Students think critically about ideas before they ever pick up a camera.
  • Few film schools still address the proposition that art should be moral. Concordia is a faith-based institution in the Lutheran tradition, where students engage the paradox of living in both God’s kingdom and the secular world at the same time. As such, filmmakers and critics are not afraid to take on difficult and even sensuous topics that are already a part of our world’s conversations.

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Student Broadcaster

The curriculum for Broadcast and Production at Concordia provides a unique 360º perspective. The student critic becomes a better filmmaker at the same time the student filmmaker becomes a more insightful critic. Few other schools set the stage for this convergence in their curriculum.

  • Different from the typical film school, students are challenged to explain and interpret popular culture’s stories we find so prevalent in the mass media. The student begins to understand the sense-making of the viewer and how their schemas are applied to the mediated experience in a search for truth.
  • “[Film] is a powerful ‘incarnational’ medium that can reveal truth about our world, opening up our experience in a way that propositions and textbooks cannot” (James K.A. Smith).

Without a doubt, students at Concordia learn film school techniques of composition, mise-en-scène, audio production, and editing techniques as they would in other schools. Certainly, with those skills the student at Concordia produces art, but more significantly, they are allowed to produce truth.

Features of the Concordia University Texas degree in Communication—Broadcast & Production
  • The curriculum provides opportunities to produce/direct both dramatic film production (shorts and short features) as well as broadcast journalism news packages and documentaries.
  • In addition to a three-sequence experience designed to develop production skills, students enjoy a range of supporting subjects including Media Law & Ethics, Cinema & Religion, and Digital Journalism & New Media Communication.
  • Practicum courses, travel courses, a required internship, and a capstone course help prepare the student for a professional career in a production, broadcast or a related field. Our alumni have enjoyed a wide range of careers within the industry. They are radio and television show hosts, actors, broadcast journalists, independent filmmakers, editors, and producers.
  • Concordia University maintains a digital lab with the latest in editing and graphics workstations. We also provide a radio lab, where students produce programs for Tornado Radio. The Black Box Theater doubles as a film soundstage and broadcast news station. Students also have options to gain experience in sports broadcasting.
  • The University is fortunate to be located in Austin, Texas. Several major directors call Austin home. Oscar-nominated director Richard Linklater started and maintains the Austin Film Society, and three major film festivals call Austin home: The Austin Film Festival, South by Southwest (SXSW), and the Attic Film Festival (faith-based). Likewise, there are ongoing film projects in the area, and students have opportunities to observe the industry at work—and some have even served as crew or extras.

·      Dr. Philip Hohle brings 20+ years of experience in production to the classroom. He is well-connected in industry, not only in Austin but Hollywood as well. One special course is a 10-day trip to Hollywood to study the inner workings of the entertainment industry.

 

For more information, contact Hohle at philip.hohle@concordia.edu.

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