By Michael Riley
In 2002, Josh Heath, like any other 12-year-old, was watching cartoons and listening to music, but it was not until he saw the film “Punch-Drunk Love” that his life changed.
“It’s one of the first things I ever connected with,” Heath said. “I had never felt anything like it before. Movies allow you to get so invested. They can make you feel for the characters, and it makes you feel less alone. You realize that you are not the only one who feels like that. Movies have the power to make you feel things, and that is wonderful.”
Film remains a vital part of his life, and much to his liking, beginning in spring 2013, a new interdisciplinary film studies minor will be available to UW-Whitewater students.
Students are already able to enroll in the class on WINS, and the classes are targeted toward majors in English, communication, theatre, art, computer science and education.
However, the Film Studies Coordinator Donald Jellerson said the minor is created in such a way that it will be beneficial for any student who has an interest in the film and mass media.
“We noticed many UW universities already had film majors and minor available,” Jellerson said. “It wasn’t represented at Whitewater, and we felt that we needed to make it available to our students.”
Jellerson said he began talking about creating the minor to Professor Linda Robinson, who taught film previously, about a year and half ago.
He said once he began looking for professors who had the training and background to teach, he was surprised that there were so many professors on campus with traditional film training.
Both national and international cinema will be studied while gaining interpretation skills in visual language.
Emily Kolosso is thrilled that the film minor is available before she graduates.
“Film is a huge international way of storytelling,” Kolosso said. “For me, I see it as an art form. There is so much that goes into one scene of a movie. Sound, lights, the set, props, actors and storyline.”
Kolosso is excited to learn the interworkings of film. She said in about 60 seconds of a movie, the work behind it could add up to more than a week.
Students like Kolosso, will also learn how to critically view films and understand how to clearly express their interpretations.
While studying the history and cultrual impact, students will consider questions of ethics and social justice through film. Genres will also play a role and analyzing the differences in narrative conventions and visual styles.
Heath hopes that one day as a professional, with his knowledge from the new minor, he will be able to create something meaningful.
“I want to make a movie for people if they are having a bad day that will make themselves feel better because so many movies and directors have already done that for me,” Heath said.