Female student preps slate board as filming begins
Undergraduate | In-Person

Motion Pictures Production, BA/BS/BFA

You want to bring great stories to life. An entertainment leader, Belmont can help you develop your talent and skills in film.

Why Major in Motion Pictures? 

As a Belmont motion pictures major, you'll be able to take your love for all things film, video and creative storytelling and translate them into an exciting and meaningful career. With the explosion in scripted and unscripted television as well as a skyrocketing demand for streaming content, there's never been a better time to enter the industry.

Plus, you can create your own journey as no two paths are the same for this field. No matter what your personality, there's a place for you. If you thrive on activity and teamwork, work on set in fast-paced roles. If you don't want the pressure of losing the light and not making your day, be a post-production supervisor and work in an air-conditioned room. Guided by your professors, helped by the collaborative creative community in the Curb College and emboldened by a network of connected alumni, you'll quickly find your entry into your dream career.

Student looking through camera lensWhat You'll Learn 

Named one of the Top 20 Film Schools in the US in Variety magazine's Education Impact Report: Top Film Schools in North America, the motion pictures program in Belmont's Curb College offers you instant access to expert faculty, top-of-the-line industry equipment, an inviting creative community and opportunities you won't find elsewhere. Here, you'll hit the ground running, shooting and editing films in your first semester on campus.

You'll learn what makes a compelling story and how to tell it best, investing time surveying storytelling and filmmaking fundamentals before taking deep dives into screenwriting, editing, cinematography and production. 

Career Possibilities

As a Motion Pictures major, you will be prepared for a broad variety of career options, including:

A screenwriter crafts scripts for mass media such as feature films, television productions or video games.

A television, film or video producer oversees a project from concept to completion, and manages the project finances and fundraising. A producer may also be involved in marketing and distributing the final product.

A movie production relies on a director to choose a script, cast and crew, approve designs for costumes, pictures and sets, rehearse and film scenes, ensure that the production stays on schedule and within the budget and oversee post-production activities, such as editing.

Production Assistant
The production assistant role offers a strong entry-level overview of the film and television industry. While responsibilities differ, a production assistant role covers a wide variety of non-technical tasks related to the execution of projects.

Cinematographer/Director of Photography
A cinematographer or director of photography (DP) is responsible for the artistic and technical decisions related to the image and gives direction to the camera and lighting crews working on a film, television production or other live-action piece.

Marketing & Distribution
Numerous opportunities can be found on the business side of the motion pictures industry, including publicists and social media strategists, marketers and professionals involved in the sales and distribution of video and film projects.

And many more!

Program Details


Story is the basis for all narrative filmmaking. Motion Pictures majors will leave Belmont with a deep knowledge of writing, editing, directing, sound, producing and cinematography – the skills to tell stories that matter – to them and to the world. A major in motion pictures requires a total of 128 credit hours of coursework, and can be approached via three different degree paths: Bachelor of Arts, Bachelor of Science or Bachelor of Fine Arts.

  • BELL core requirements: 53 hours (38 hours for BFA)
  • BA/BS/BFA core technical requirement: 1 hour
  • Major area: 45-48 hours
  • Electives and Emphasis/Minor courses: 27-30 hours
  • General electives: All remaining hours

See All Program Requirements, BA and BS

See All Program Requirements, BFA

Courses You'll Take Include:

  • MOT 1110. Film History - Lumiere to Now
    The course will provide a historical survey of American and international film industries, covering such areas as film styles, genres, national cinemas, major directors and film theory from 1895 through 2015. 
  • MOT 1115. Art of Storytelling
    The course is a basic survey course in the fundamentals of effective storytelling. Although the ultimate focus is storytelling in motion pictures, the course examines the principles of storytelling through several perspectives and includes every aspect of storytelling and all elements—sound, music, lighting, editing and performance—used in film.
  • MOT 1010. Cinematic Storytelling
    Introduce basic grammar of Filmmaking - both visual and aural. Short, simple projects will explore how camera, sound, and editing convey story and emotion. 
  • MOT 2110. Screenwriting Fundamentals
    Study construction of short films. Emphasis on character and story structure. Students write and rewrite a short script, which can go into an online “library” for use by other Belmont filmmakers in future semesters.
  • MOT 2230. Editing
    This course provides technical (learning HOW to edit) and esthetic tools (learning WHY and WHEN to edit) to help motion picture artists effectively communicate with their audiences by practicing editing on footage ranging from amateur to professional Hollywood studio footage.
  • MOT 2250. Cinematography
    Explores the creative and technical role of the cinematographer from pre-production to post-production. Basics principles of cinematography are examined including filtration, balancing light and color, lens selection, and metering techniques. We will engage in equipment instruction, review of photographic principles, lighting design exercises, and examine the role of the cinematographer and the camera department in the production process.
  • MOT 2710. Production and Set Management
    Analysis of procedures and problems in preparing a project for film or television production. Emphasis on the role of the producer, production manager and assistant directors in breaking down scripts, setting up shooting schedules, preparing budgets, and planning post-production, including all the roles and functions of the entire production team hierarchy.
  • MOT 2200. Directing
  • MOT 2310. Location and Post-Production Sound
    A hands-on course in recording dialogue, sound effects, ADR, Foley.  Use Pro Tools to manipulate them in a Post Production Audio suite, culminating in the final sound mix of the student’s Production I film.
  • MOT 2520. Production
    In this class you will plan and execute a film of approximately 6 minutes.  You will experience film production from the perspective of a director and storyteller.  You will oversee all elements of the production of your film from start to finish.  You will also serve as a crew member on other students’ films.
  • Senior Film Project. 6 Hours
    In this year-long culminating film project, students can choose from one of four specialty tracks: Producer/Directors, Screenwriters, Cinematographers or Editors.

Motion pictures students enjoy ample opportunities on campus and around the world to deepen their educational experience and expand their perspectives. You can literally learn at locations across the globe through Belmont's extensive Study Abroad opportunities, and Belmont USA provides study away and internships options in New York, Los Angeles, Oregon and more.

Belmont in Hollywood

Motion pictures majors often seek to pursue Belmont in Hollywood, a summer work opportunity where you apply classroom learning to specific career goals in the Motion Pictures industry. The eight-week program serves as a total immersion experience within the motion pictures industry in which you gain practical skills in state-of-the-art technical facilities and are exposed to the expertise of renowned producers, directors, screenwriters, cinematographers and agents.

Head shot of alumna Mary Spaulding

Alumni Testimonial

"Dr. Amy Bertram, motion pictures faculty, had a big impact on me during my time at Belmont. She made an effort to get to know me as a person and showed me so much compassion while also ensuring I was challenged in her courses. Outside of the classroom, she was an active participant in extracurricular activities, hosted talks at the Belcourt Theater and sought out job opportunities for students. Although I graduated over three years ago, she still checks in consistently to provide support where she can."

Mary Spaulding, Class of 2020
Exec. Assistant/Production Coordinator, NBCUniversal


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