Major Spotlight: Barnard Film

To help undecided students get a sense of what different majors are like, this semester Her Campus Barnard/Columbia is doing a series of major spotlights asking people for their thoughts and experiences with different departments.

This week’s major spotlight focuses on the Barnard film major only and not Columbia’s. Thanks to Mara Dan (Barnard '18) for letting me interview her for this article!

Her Campus: What’s your major?

Mara Dan: Film.

HC: What do you think of the department overall?

MD: Well, it depends on what college you’re a part of. See, I’m a Barnard student, so our “film department” is fairly bare-bones. We only have a handful of professors who are official “Barnard film professors.” Most of us have the same one advisor.

However, since you’ll be taking most of the Columbia film classes, they’re pretty good. Very theory-heavy but it’s clear the people in the department are passionate about it.

HC: What’s something you like about the department?

MD: I like how passionate the people teaching film are. They really do have a plethora of knowledge that they want to share with others.

HC: what’s something the department could do better?

MD: There really needs to be more space for the department. One annoying thing is the lecture classes are now on the Manhattanville campus. Which is just considerably further away than most. Also, having more consistency in assignment length would be good. Some professors give less work than others, though all of it overlaps at the same time anyway.

HC: Any advice for people thinking about the major?

MD: A film major is a lot like an English major here. Only your texts are films. So don’t expect to be making a ton of movies here.

HC: Anything else you think people should know before going into the major?

MD: The work will seem tedious, especially if you want to go into production. But a lot of the foundational material is essential (somewhat) in understanding filmmaking techniques. Plus, everyone in the major is super chill.