Dixie State University approved to offer degree in digital film

Dixie State University approved to offer Digital Film Degree
Dixie State University students work with instructors while filming on location as part of the university’s digital film production emphasis program. The university received approval Friday from the Utah State Board of Regents to begin offering a Bachelor’s of Science degree in Digital Film this fall. Photo courtesy of Dixie State University

ST. GEORGE, Utah — Dixie State University received approval Friday from the Utah State Board of Regents to begin offering a Bachelor’s of Science degree in Digital Film this fall. Final approval is pending from the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities.

“The addition of the Digital Film degree will be a great benefit to students, as it will provide them with the opportunity to earn a degree in a desirable field under the tutelage of accomplished faculty at Dixie Sate University’s affordable rates, ” President Richard B. Williams said. “As DSU grows from university status to university stature, we will continue to add new degree programs to offer students the degrees they need to secure satisfying and meaningful careers.”

The Digital Film program will provide advanced production training in cinema and the opportunity for students to work on commercial projects and documentary productions in real-world environments. In addition to learning operational aspects of digital film, such as lighting, camera and sound production requirements, students will receive hands-on training in pre- and post-production techniques. The program also will include academic coursework in film theory, history and criticism, screenwriting, editing and documentary production.

“I’m excited about the future of the film program here at Dixie State University because it connects students to industry professionals,” Jeffery Jarvis, dean of the university’s newly renamed College of the Arts, said. “We’re taking a big, big step forward with the DSU film program.”

In accordance with Dixie’s goal to provide students with engaged learning opportunities as part of its “active learning, active life” philosophy, students will be required to fulfill digital film internships and develop an electronic portfolio containing all their production experiences at Dixie State University.

Additionally, the program is connected with DSU Films, a unique entity that allows students to work on commercial production projects alongside industry professionals. The program is also closely affiliated with DOCUTAH, DSU’s international documentary film festival.

“In the future, July 15, 2016, will be looked on as a seminal moment in the growth of the Digital Film Program at Dixie State University,” Phil Tuckett, DSU assistant professor of communication, said. “This degree approval, our burgeoning DSU Films production unit and the continued growth of DOCUTAH give us the tools we need to achieve our goal to benefit our students by bringing the film industry back to southern Utah. At one time, this area was known as Little Hollywood. We believe that with this foundation, it can be again.”

Students in the program will be taught by faculty with extensive experience in the film industry, including Tuckett, an NFL Films veteran who has earned 30 Emmy Awards and has more than 30 years of experience.

DSU currently offers a digital film production program as an emphasis within the Bachelor of Science in Communication Studies degree. As part of expanding the program into a bachelor’s degree, the program will move to the College of the Arts.

“The best filmmakers in the world see themselves as artists and we are at the forefront of pairing the two together,” Jarvis said. “When you make films, you need musicians, you need actors, and you need costumes and sets. Those disciplines are housed in the College of the Arts, so moving the film program makes sense. Additionally, by housing the film program in the College of the Arts, students who are already studying the arts have another venue to explore their artistic expression. The possibility for collaboration between students is very exciting; it’s a synergy that excites me.”

For more information about Dixie State University, visit dixie.edu, and to learn more about DOCUTAH, which is scheduled to take place this year fromSept. 6 to 10 on the Dixie Sate University campus, visit docutah.com.

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