“The best education starts in the classroom and continues outside of it.”
For Colleen Glenn, the classroom is just the starting place for a discussion about film. And because Lexington has a vibrant, active film community, it’s easy for students to explore both the development and production stages of filmmaking as well as the final art form.
“By watching films at local venues, taking in movies made by regional filmmakers, and participating in film productions, students gain a deeper and more nuanced appreciation for the art form and industry of film than by simply sitting in the classroom. They also return to class with new knowledge to share, creating a lively exchange of information and opinions.”
This dynamic interaction among the students and the teacher is what Glenn finds most rewarding. It’s also what can lead to the most profound learning. Each student brings to class personal experiences with films that introduce varied perspectives and broaden the discussion. “One of the great advantages of teaching film is that students arrive the first day of class with an intimate knowledge of the medium.”
Transylvania students bring another advantage to the classroom: a liberal arts education. “Students educated in the liberal arts bring an astute understanding to film studies because they are deeply attuned to many of film’s basic elements—narrative, character, plot, setting, genre. Because liberal arts students already possess a solid understanding of how stories are told, we can focus on the visual and aural aesthetics of movies, paying close attention to how the cinematography or soundtrack, for example, drive the narrative and focus viewers’ attention.”
This, in turn, means students leave Transylvania with a solid understanding of film history, film genre, and film aesthetics as well as a practiced critical eye. “Whether they decide to pursue film studies or filmmaking after graduation, students who take film courses at Transylvania will be well-positioned to continue their study of film at the graduate level.”