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Film and Media Studies Program

Samantha Cheeseright

Samantha Cheeseright is currently a double major in the Film and Media Studies and Media Arts programs. She is the 2020-21 Film and Media Studies Senior Excellence Award recipient.

What led you to major in Film and Media Stuies (FAMS)?

I've always loved video production, filmmaking, and watching movies. So when I arrived for freshman orientation, I was a FAMS major. However, I found out that FAMS was not video production and filmmaking like I thought, but studyingfilm and media, which caused me to change to Media Arts, where I could learn filmmaking. Then my first semester I took FAMS 240 with Kelly Wolf and I loved it so muchI decided to add FAMS as my other major. I loved the idea of watching, talking, and reading about film and TV all the time. One moment in particular was when we watched a show called Pushing Daisies and talked about the missing scene. Prior to that discussion, I didn't realize how intricate filmmaking could be. It gave me a greater respect for the process and therefore led me to want to study these concepts further.

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

The most rewarding by far has been receiving the FAMS Senior Excellence Award. I have really loved my FAMS classes so it's such an amazing feeling to be recognized for the work I've been doing during my time in the program. The most challenging has been all of the reading that comes with the major I am definitely an auditory learner but I like the readings because I end up learning a lot from them. One of my favorite readings from my courses is "The Medium is the Message" by Marshall McLuhan. It gave me a new perspective on my own personal projects and how the messages I am conveying could change, depending on the medium.

What are your plans for summer 2020 and beyond?

This summer I'm going on a Maymester trip to Munich and Berlin, Germany to work on a video project; the subject of the project is to be determined. Then I'm headed back to my hometown, Summerville, SC, to take some classes and spend time with my family and friends. After that I'll be finishing up my degree at U of SC. After graduation my goal is to have a job in video production. I would love to work on films and television in any way I can. 

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

Don't feel like you have to have seen every major Hollywood movie ever made. Coming into my classes I felt overwhelmed with how many movies my classmates had seen that I hadn't. One of the great things about this major is in these classes you'll be immersed in so many different genres and styles of film and TV that you'll have seen it all by the time you graduate.

Challenge the conventional. Create the exceptional. No Limits.