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Student Info

How to Become an SCA Major

Are you interested in becoming an SCA major? It’s easy to apply!

STEP 1
Prospective Students: Freshman, Transfer, and International Students
  1. Visit manoa.hawaii.edu/admissions to begin the application process to UH Mānoa
  2. Click on the appropriate application type for you, i.e. Freshman, Transfer, or International student.
  3. Complete the 3-step UH Mānoa Application process. On Step 2 “Your Academics,” be sure to choose “Creative Media – BA” as your planned course of study. (see image)
Current UH Mānoa Students who wish to change their major to Cinematic Arts
  1. Download and complete the “Declaration/Change of Major” form from Advising at https://manoa.hawaii.edu/advising/forms/ (see image)
  2. Make an appointment with the Advising Center by emailing advising@hawaii.edu. An advisor will accept your “Major Declaration/Change of Major” form and create an advising plan with you. 
STEP 2
Once you are an SCA major...

You can decide between 3 tracks as your major concentration: Cinematic Arts, Animation, and Digital Cinema. For more information about each track’s course requirements, please visit the Academic Tracks section

Please note: all SCA majors are automatically placed in the Cinematic Arts track. If you wish to focus your studies in Animation or Digital Cinema, you will need to submit a portfolio before the March 1 or October 1 deadlines. For information on portfolio requirements and to submit your portfolio, please visit the Portfolio Requirements section.

Track Requirements

SCA offers a core curriculum in three tracks: Cinematic Arts, Animation, and Digital Cinema.

Cinematic Arts

Cinematic Arts is the central track for SCA majors providing a strong foundation in cinema history, culture, storytelling, and cinematic production. This track provides students the flexibility to focus on areas such as producing, screenwriting, documentary, media studies, as well as the focused study and extended practice in the student’s chosen area of competence. Track requirements are interdisciplinary and allow for a broader understanding of cinema as an art, mode of storytelling, business, and cultural product.

Click Here For Cinematic Arts Track Requirements

I. CORE: 18 credits
CINE / ACM 255 Introduction to Cinema and Digital Media
CINE / ACM 215 Introduction to 3D Computer Animation or CINE / ACM 310 Cinematic Narrative Production
CINE / ACM 350 Screenwriting
CINE / ACM 360 Indigenous Aesthetics
CINE / ACM 385 Topics in Creative Media
CINE / ACM 460 Ethics and Film

II. TRACK (REQUIRED COURSES): 12 credits
CINE / ACM 330 Independent Producing
CINE / ACM 380 Genre and Narrative Theory in Creative Media
CINE / ACM 381 Documentary Studies
CINE / ACM 382 Authors in Creative Media

III. TRACK (ELECTIVE COURSES): 12 credits/4 courses
CINE / ACM 216 Fundamentals of Animation
CINE / ACM 312 Cinematography
CINE / ACM 314 Experimental Art and Animation
CINE / ACM 315 3D Modeling
CINE / ACM 316B Intermediate 3D Animation
CINE / ACM 316C Intermediate 2D Animation
CINE / ACM 317 Lighting, Camera, and Rendering
CINE / ACM 320 Animation Production I
CINE / ACM 321 Storyboarding and Animatics
CINE / ACM 325 Motion Graphics
CINE / ACM 352 Screening Asian Americans
CINE / ACM 355 Oral Tradition to Screenplay
CINE / ACM 370 Directing the Actor on Screen
CINE / ACM 372 Editing for Cinema
CINE / ACM 374 Post-Production Sound
CINE / ACM 375 Directing the Camera for the Screen
CINE / ACM 384 Study Abroad
CINE / ACM 386 Techniques in Creative Media
CINE / ACM 390 Workshop in Creative Media
CINE / ACM 399 Independent Group Project
CINE / ACM 405 Documentary Production
CINE / ACM 410 Advanced Cinematic Production
CINE / ACM 412 Advanced Cinematography
CINE / ACM 415 Computer Game Production
CINE / ACM 419 Virtual and Augmented Reality Programming
CINE / ACM 420 Animation Production II
CINE / ACM 450 Advanced Screenwriting
CINE / ACM 452C/452E History and Film
CINE / ACM 455 Indigenous Filmmaking
CINE / ACM 470 Directing the Motion Picture
CINE / ACM 475 Screenwriting Capstone
CINE / ACM 480 Oceanic Media and Culture
CINE / ACM 484 Data Visualization
CINE / ACM 485 Seminar in Creative Media
CINE / ACM 486 Capstone Creative Production
CINE / ACM 487 Video Game Design and Development
CINE / ACM 490 Global Media
CINE / ACM 495 Creative Media Internship
CINE / ACM 499 Directed Study
THEA / DNCE 353 Scenic I: Beginning Scenic Design
THEA / DNCE 356 Costumes I: Beginning Costume Design

Course Descriptions

Animation

The SCA Animation track focuses on storytelling through the art of animation. Students explore traditional, experimental, and computer animation techniques to best tell their personal and unique stories from Hawaiʻi, the Pacific, and all corners of the globe. Students gain a well-rounded understanding of the various roles, skills, and techniques used in the animation industry, enabling them to perform each task themselves when making an independent film, or recognizing areas of interest in which they want to specialize. Admission to the animation track is based on the submission of an artist’s portfolio (See portfolio requirements).

Click Here For Animation Track Requirements

I. PREREQUISITE: 3 credits
ART 113 Introduction to Drawing

II. CORE: 21 credits
CINE / ACM 255 Introduction to Cinema and Digital Media
CINE / ACM 215 Introduction to 3D Computer Animation
CINE / ACM 216 Fundamentals of Animation
CINE / ACM 350 Screenwriting
CINE / ACM 360 Indigenous Aesthetics
CINE / ACM 385 Topics in Creative Media
CINE / ACM 460 Ethics and Film

III. TRACK (REQUIRED COURSES): 9 credits
CINE / ACM 316B Intermediate 3D Animation or CINE / ACM 316C Intermediate 2D Animation
CINE / ACM 320 Animation Production I
CINE / ACM 420 Animation Production II

IV. TRACK (ELECTIVE COURSES): 12 credits/4 courses
CINE / ACM 314 Experimental Art and Animation
CINE / ACM 315 3D Modeling
CINE / ACM 316B Intermediate 3D Animation
CINE / ACM 316C Intermediate 2D Animation
CINE / ACM 317 Lighting, Camera, and Rendering
CINE / ACM 321 Storyboarding and Animatics
CINE / ACM 325 Motion Graphics
CINE / ACM 386 Techniques in Creative Media
CINE / ACM 390 Workshop in Creative Media
CINE / ACM 399 Independent Group Project
CINE / ACM 415 Computer Game Production
CINE / ACM 419 Virtual and Augmented Reality Programming
CINE / ACM 420 Animation Production II
CINE / ACM 484 Data Visualization
CINE / ACM 486 Capstone Creative Production
CINE / ACM 487 Video Game Design and Development
CINE / ACM 495 Creative Media Internship
CINE / ACM 499 Directed Study

Course Descriptions

Digital Cinema

Students in the Digital Cinema track focus on all aspects of filmmaking: screenwriting, directing, producing, cinematography, editing, and post-production sound. The program promotes diverse storytelling through the production of narrative, experimental, documentary, and indigenous short films. Production courses are taught using industry-standard film equipment, which allows students to gain an understanding of the technical aspects of filmmaking while using current technology. This track fosters a collaborative and professional environment for learning. Admission to the digital cinema track is based on the submission of an artist’s portfolio (See portfolio requirements). 

Click Here For Digital Cinema Track Requirements

I. CORE: 18 credits
CINE / ACM 255 Introduction to Cinema and Digital Media
CINE / ACM 310 Cinematic Narrative Production
CINE / ACM 350 Screenwriting
CINE / ACM 360 Indigenous Aesthetics
CINE / ACM 385 Topics in Creative Media
CINE / ACM 460 Ethics and Film

II. TRACK (REQUIRED COURSES): 18 credits
CINE / ACM 312 Cinematography
CINE / ACM 330 Independent Producing
CINE / ACM 370 Directing the Actor on Screen
CINE / ACM 372 Editing for Cinema
CINE / ACM 374 Post-Production Sound
CINE / ACM 410 Advanced Cinematic Production

III. TRACK (ELECTIVE COURSES): 6 credits/2 courses
CINE / ACM 325 Motion Graphics
CINE / ACM 355 Oral Tradition to Screenplay
CINE / ACM 375 Directing the Camera for the Screen
CINE / ACM 380 Genre and Narrative Theory in Creative Media
CINE / ACM 381 Documentary Studies
CINE / ACM 382 Authors in Creative Media
CINE / ACM 386 Techniques in Creative Media
CINE / ACM 390 Workshop in Creative Media
CINE / ACM 399 Independent Group Project
CINE / ACM 405 Documentary Production
CINE / ACM 412 Advanced Cinematography
CINE / ACM 450 Advanced Screenwriting
CINE / ACM 452C/452E History and Film
CINE / ACM 455 Indigenous Filmmaking
CINE / ACM 470 Directing the Motion Picture
CINE / ACM 475 Screenwriting Capstone
CINE / ACM 486 Capstone Creative Production
CINE / ACM 495 Creative Media Internship
CINE / ACM 499 Directed Study

Course Descriptions

For more information about tracks, courses and electives, contact cinema@hawaii.edu.

Portfolio Requirements

Portfolios must be received by October 1st or March 1st of any given year for consideration for track acceptance for the following semester. Submissions received after the March 1 or October 1 deadlines will be reviewed in the next review period.
Students are only permitted to apply for the Digital Cinema or Animation Track twice.  If the student is not accepted into the Digital Cinema or Animation track, the student will continue in the Cinematic Arts track.
Students will receive notification within one month of the respective deadlines.

Animation

Part I: Artist Statement
In 400 to 500 words, please explain where your creative inspiration comes from and how you intend to explore these ideas through the medium of animation. Describe why you are applying to the Animation track and how this relates to your professional goals. Animation track students are expected to become well-rounded animators with a wide variety of skills. If there are particular animation roles (storyboarding, character design, modeling, etc.) or animation modes (2D, 3D, stop-motion, video game design, etc.) of interest to you, please describe them in your statement.

Part II: Observational Work

  • 10 to 15 observational drawings, including life drawing and gesture drawings of people and animals in motion.

Part III: Animation Work (any combination of the following):

  • Final coursework from CINE / ACM 215 and CINE / ACM 216 (strongly recommended) *
  • Character animation, experimental animation, motion tests, motion graphics.

Part IV: Other Creative Work (any combination of the following):

  • Traditional: paintings, sculptures, illustrations, character designs, prop designs.
  • Storytelling: storyboards, flipbooks, previous animated films, previous live-action films.
  • Digital (using computer graphics programs like Photoshop, Illustrator, Maya, etc.): 2D digital art, computer-generated (CG) characters, props, environments.

* prospective Animation track students have the opportunity to produce completed work in CINE / ACM 215 (Introduction to 3D Computer Animation) and CINE / ACM 216 (Fundamentals of Animation) before submitting a portfolio application.

Guidelines:
Avoid the use of comic, anime, or preexisting cartoon characters. Original characters and artwork only. Desired qualities include: strong drawing skills, familiarity with graphics programs like Photoshop, and/or the ability to tell a story through a sequence of images. Applicants to the Animation track are not expected to be polished technicians. SCA is looking for storytellers and creative collaborators. Students are encouraged to select submissions that represent their creative sensibility and originality.

Digital Cinema

Part I: Artist Statement
In 400 to 500 words, please describe why you are applying to the Digital Cinema track and how this relates to your professional goals. Additionally, explain where your creative inspiration comes from and how you intend to explore these ideas through the medium of digital cinema. Digital Cinema track students are expected to become well-rounded filmmakers and collaborators. If there are particular production roles (cinematographer, director, editor, etc.) or filmmaking modes (narrative fiction, documentary, indigenous filmmaking, etc.) of interest to you, please identify them in your statement. Finally, briefly describe your crew responsibilities and creative contributions to your submitted work sample.

Part II: Work Sample
Please submit a work sample:

Students must submit either:

  • completed short film (no longer than 5 minutes) *
  • reel (no longer than 5 minutes)

Supplementary (optional) materials might also include:

  • short film screenplay
  • storyboards, paintings, or series of photographs that tell a story

Submissions must be ORIGINAL work only.

prospective Digital Cinema track students have the opportunity to produce a completed short film in CINE / ACM 310 (Cinematic Narrative Production) before submitting a portfolio application.

Guidelines:
Applicants to the Digital Cinema track are not expected to be polished technicians. SCA is looking for storytellers and creative collaborators. Please choose submissions that represent your creative sensibility and originality.

Creative Computational Media (CCM) Certificate

Complement your SCA degree with the Creative Computational Media (CCM) Certificate.

The undergraduate Creative Computational Media (CCM) Certificate Program provides students and industry professionals with training necessary to enter exciting and lucrative immersive media job markets, such as video game and eSports design and development, digital film production and special effects, new media theatre and dance performance, interactive digital media installation development, and exhibit design for museums, theme parks, or marketing/advertising.

CCM is offered in collaboration with the School of Cinematic Arts (SCA), the Department of Theatre & Dance (College of Arts, Languages & Letters), the Department of Electrical Engineering (College of Engineering), and the Department of Information and Computer Sciences (ICS) (College of Natural Sciences).

For more information about the CCM Certificate requirements, please click here

Equipment Requirements

Below is a list of required and recommended equipment for our Cinematic Arts, Animation, and Digital Cinema majors.

Headphones (Required):

  • Sony MDR7506 headphones or similar.

Digital Storage (Recommended) :

  • Sandisk 64gb or 128gb UHS-I SDSX Memory Card or similar
  • 1TB or 2TB LaCie External Hard Drive (Recommended) or similar

Laptop Computer (Required) MAC or PC:

macOS (Recommended specifications)

  • Processor (CPU) – Intel® i7 or newer
  • Operating system (OS) – macOS v10.15 or later
  • RAM (Memory)
    • 32 GB for 4K media or higher
  • Graphics Card: Only Apple option graphics cards: AMD Radeon Pro or FirePro, NVIDIA GeForce family, Intel on chip graphics
    • Graphics and driver must be supported by Apple
  • Hard disk (Storage)
    • Fast internal SSD for app installation and cache
    • Additional high-speed drive(s) for media
    • Minimum 256 GB M.2 PCIe SSD or SATA SSD or slower 500 GB 7200 rpm SATA HDD
  • Display resolution – 1920 x 1080 or greater
  • Network Card – 10 Gigabit ethernet for 4K shared network workflow

Internet connection and registration are necessary for required software activation, validation of subscriptions, and access to online services.*

Microsoft Windows (Recommended specifications)

  • Processor (CPU) – Intel® 7 th Gen or newer CPU – or AMD equivalent
  • Operating system (OS) – Microsoft Windows 10 (64-bit) 1809 or later
  • RAM (Memory)
    • 16 GB of RAM for HD media
    • 32 GB for 4K media or higher
  •  GPU (Video Card) – 4 GB of GPU VRAM
  • Hard disk (Storage)
    • Fast internal SSD for app installation and cache
    • Additional high-speed drive(s) for media
  • Display resolution –  1920 x 1080 or greater
  • Network Card – 10 Gigabit ethernet for 4K shared network workflow

Internet connection and registration are necessary for required software activation, validation of subscriptions, and access to online services.*

More System Requirements

Required Software for Animation students:
Adobe CC
Autodesk Maya
Toon Boom Harmony Premium
Toon Boom Storyboard Pro

Handbooks & Forms

Click here to visit our Forms & Handbooks page. Please note you must be an SCA student to access this section. If you don’t have the password please contact cinema@hawaii.edu.

Advising

Inquiries about the SCA program, the curriculum tracks, the portfolio application process, or course planning can be directed to SCA Academic Advisor, Brett Service (service@hawaii.edu).

Current SCA majors or prospective SCA students can schedule an advising appointment with the SCA Academic Advisor through STAR Balance or at the following link.

Current SCA majors should meet once per semester with their assigned SCA major advisor. Students should also be meeting once per semester with a college advisor from the College of Arts, Languages & Letters Advising Center.

Registration

The SCA course schedule is available to view in Class Availability.

Course registration inquiries for the upcoming semester should be directed to SCA Academic Advisor, Brett Service (service@hawaii.edu).

For department approvals or registration overrides for the upcoming semester, please submit your information to the SCA Department Approval & Override Request Form.

Student Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of a degree in Cinematic Arts, SCA students will have developed mastery of the following departmental objectives:

Critical Thinking

  • Constructively critique their own and others’ intellectual and creative work

Writing

  • Write a creative work that tells a story
  • Write a critical piece that applies theoretical principles

History and Aesthetics

  • Know the intellectual history of cinema and place their work within that history

Professional Skills & Creativity

  • Create a visual narrative through application of appropriate principles and production skills
  • Understand the essential collaborative nature of creative productions by working as a team member

Ethics and Responsibility

  • Understand and articulate the role and rights of a responsible artist

Get Involved

Join an SCA Student Registered Independent Organizations (RIOs).  See below for information on two current SCA RIOs.

The School of Cinematic Arts Student Association (SCASA) is a Registered Independent Organization (RIO) committed to fostering pride, unity, collaboration, and professionalism among students enrolled in the SCA program at the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa. SCASA organizes events of interest, screenings, guest speakers, mixers, etc., and also functions as the voice of the SCA student body to the SCA faculty and the UH administration at large. For more information about how to get involved, please visit the organization on Instagram (@uhmscasa), join its Discord server, or register by filling out the membership form.
Mānoa Creative Productions (MCP)
Mānoa Creative Productions (MCP) is a Registered Independent Organization (RIO) at the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa committed to providing tools, animation techniques, leadership skills, communication skills, and networking opportunities for Animation students in the School of Cinematic Arts. MCP organizes events and opportunities for SCA students to get involved with their community, collaborate on projects, showcase their films, and improve their creative works. For more information, please email mcpc@hawaii.edu or visit the organization’s Instagram page (@manoacreative).

Click here to submit your portfolio!

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