Our Students

The Certificate in Film Studies will be of interest to various individuals:

  • those working in the film industry who want to improve their qualifications
  • those new to the industry, or others such as actors, who want to understand more fully all aspects of production
  • those working in other fields who want to make a career change
  • those working in related fields who seek a better understanding of film production
  • elementary and secondary school teachers who will apply their new theoretical and practical knowledge to their own teaching

You may enrol in individual courses in the areas that will be most useful to you personally or professionally, or you may choose to register for the Certificate in Film Studies.

Skill Meets Mastery – Joanna Tsanis, Graduate, Certificate in Film Studies (Summer Film School)

Joanna TsanisJoanna Tsanis admits that her first film won’t stand out as her best: as a 10-year-old, she made a crude imitation of the “Scream” horror series, with her brother playing the killer. “My parents bought me a VHS camcorder, and I would write a little script and we would make these ridiculous horror films,” she says.

Sadly, the films (it was a trilogy) later went missing, but Joanna was bitten by the film bug. Through high school, she honed her writing.

The trick was then finding a way to break into the industry. A month-long film workshop in New York gave her some grounding, but she lacked the technical skills to make a go of it in an industry famous for chewing up and spitting out ambitious youngsters.

“I guess I just wanted more hands-on experience,” she says. “But I also wanted more of a holistic comprehension of filmmaking.”

“I guess I just wanted more hands-on experience…But I also wanted more of a holistic comprehension of filmmaking.”

Joanna Tsanis,
Graduate, Certificate in Film Studies (Summer Film School)

A Google search led her to the 12-week Summer Film School program at The Chang School, where she found what she was looking for: a course focused on the basics of film production.

“It was very intensive, it was five days a week of classes, and most weekends were spent filming the class assignments,” she says.

The program gave Joanna access to up-to-date technology, and gave her a sense of the different roles needed to produce a film.

Since taking the course, doors have begun opening for her.

“I’m producing a World War II era short film that I wrote and I’m writing a feature length psychological thriller,” she says. She’s also produced two documentary shorts and numerous branded content videos, which helps pay the bills.

She’s opened her own production company called Ideamaker Films, and her long-term goal is simple: “To produce a feature film.”

She may not use a camcorder this time.

Story by Cameron French, Learner, Writing Workshops / Photo by Yiqing Wang, Graduate, Certificate in Photography Studies