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College of Arts & Sciences
Film and Media Studies Program


Tate McGillan and Mark Cooper

2017-2018 Ina Rae Hark Award Recipient

Meet the Film and Media Studies 2017-2018 Ina Rae Hark Award Recipient: Tate McGillan

 What led you major in FIlm and Media Studies? 

Originally, I had majored in Accounting and was taking a few film courses primarily for personal enjoyment. However, I soon realized that, for me at least, film was way more fun and something I wanted to focus my career around. Ergo, I switched majors and have never felt any skepticism or regret regarding the decision.

What has been the most rewarding aspect of your Film and Media Studies coursework so far? The most challenging? 

One of the more rewarding aspects of the coursework has been the opportunity to expose myself to a wide variety of media. Examining content from different countries is particularly interesting because it often requires one to consider the industrial and political regimes of the nation in order to comprehend how these attitudes and expectations helped to shape the final product. The major provides enlightening perspectives on media, industries, and cultures by drawing attention to a number of factors you might not initially consider. In contrast, a rather challenging aspect is the need to properly recognize and interpret every aspect of a work: every word in a sentence, every aspect of a film scene, etc.

 What are your plans for summer 2016 and beyond? 

The film aspect of the coursework especially fascinates me, and I hope to pursue the industry further and create my own films one day.

What advice would you give to students considering a major in Film and Media Studies?

The major can initially seem intimidating due to the fact that there can be little certainty in an industry that thrives on constant change and demands new creative ways of thinking, but if you are truly passionate for the field, it can be immensely rewarding. Your concerns, while reasonable, should not interfere with your desire to follow your interests.