- Student production of a full-length feature film within one year’s time
- Student production of 45 half-hour weekly TV programs called “Celebrate Michigan” aired on WYMD-TV 20, Detroit
- Facility equipped with production equipment, a full TV studio and control room, radio studio, computer software and edit suites
- Professors are seasoned experts who have strong relationships with industry pros nationwide
- BCA graduates find success in careers such as commercial television, filmmaking, music videos and radio
- Students visit Hollywood and interact with industry pros
Supporting Broadcast & Cinema Arts at Madonna
Madonna’s Broadcast and Cinema Arts (BCA) program was created for students who dream big and have even bigger stories to tell – those who want a camera in their hands, a microphone to speak into or experience in a television or radio studio right from the moment they start college.
Just as the word ‘action’ puts into motion a powerful whirlwind of activity in studio or on set – action also describes what undergraduate students in Madonna’s BCA program do each day. Our students are fully immersed in daily hands-on activity from the time they begin the first freshman-level production classes, through the senior-year Capstone Film Class’ creation of a full-length feature film.
On a daily basis, Madonna students learn through hands-on experience using the same equipment that professionals in the industry utilize in the development of special effects, camera work, audio, lighting, directing, composition, editing and post production that’s applicable to a wide variety of professions. Additionally, students get experience in on-air talent, casting, writing, and news production.
Madonna’s BCA students graduate with a well-rounded education – but more importantly finish school with a full résumé of work experience in-hand because their ‘homework’ is actual production of TV shows, movies, radio, broadcast journalism, internet broadcast, and advertising. The BCA program allows students to delve deeply into the professional world, while along the way connect with professional mentors in their field and have internship opportunities that set the stage early for a successful career.
Madonna is the premier university in the country offering hands-on learning at the undergraduate level, but studying theory remains vital to student success. The powerful effect of shot angles, studying classic directing styles, and the importance of the film and broadcast industry’s history are some of the types of content thoroughly covered in classroom settings as well.
Madonna University Broadcast and Cinema Arts students, along with the support and guidance from their faculty, have won several dozen awards since the inception of the program. Here is a sampling of just the most recent awards lining two showcases in the BCA hallway:
Five (5) Emmy Awards from the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences, Michigan Chapter (one of only 19 chapters nationwide), Student Awards for Excellence:
- Editor, Married on a Monday Full Teaser
- Writing, Married on a Monday Writing Segment
- Director, Married on a Monday Director’s reel
- Music Video, Blonde in the Ballroom
- Video Essay Single Camera, The Whitney
Four (4) Emmy Awards, Michigan Chapter:
- Director, Madonna University Lip Dub (from 2015)
- Public Affairs/Community Service, We are the Friends of the Dearborn Animal Shleter
- Short Form – Fiction, Annabel Lee-Edgar Allen Poe
- Short Form – Non-Fiction, Eating Disorder
Four (4) Emmy Awards, Michigan Chapter:
- Writing, Gangster Report
- Editor, Wings
- Public Service Announcement, Good Girl Come Back
- Music Video, Wings
Detroit Music Awards Outstanding Video/Independent Budget
Four (4) more Emmy Awards, Michigan Chapter: PSA, Editing, Photography and Writing
Three (3) more Emmy Awards, Michigan Chapter: Music Video, Editing, PSA
One (1) Emmy Award, Michigan Chapter: Writing
Meghan Griesbeck: Summer 2017 intern at Annapurna Pictures in L.A.
For many students entering the Broadcast and Cinema Arts (BCA) degree program, Madonna is the first place they touched a professional camera. The same is true for current Madonna student Meghan Griesbeck, but she was 11-years-old then, attending a summer event at the Livonia campus called PAH-Fest Motown.
It was that moment the younger Meghan knew she wanted to make movies, and she hasn’t stopped since.
“Because Madonna is small we are sometimes overlooked, but the BCA program is a hidden gem of Madonna,” Meghan said. “It brings you a total hands-on experience that you don’t get at any other school. I’m a transfer student, so I know.”
“I think the opportunities that you’re presented at Madonna are incomparable to other universities. We have professors who have 25-plus years in the news industry in Detroit and are great connections to have. Mix with that, we have professors who have over a decade of experience in the film industry and have done L.A. and have done Hollywood.
“We have alumni and connections everywhere and because we’re a small university our alumni are our really good friends. The networking you can do at Madonna is what will help you in the future.”
Meghan is working hard for her future after earning a summer 2017 internship at Annapurna Pictures, one of the top independent film makers in Hollywood – creators of movies such as Detroit, Zero Dark Thirty, Killing Them Softly, American Hustle, Lawless, Her, Joy, Wiener-Dog and Sausage Party.
Meghan said future students thinking about attending Madonna should consider that the small class sizes means students can “get more intricate communications with professors and better feedback on projects, because they know us individually, they know what’s best for students with job opportunities or internships,” she said. “They push us a little more than you’d get at a big university because they know us and know what we’re capable of, what pushes us out of our comfort zone and what experiences and opportunities are perfect for us.”
Narvin Russaw: Class of 2001
Narvin is a long way from the kid who became a Crusaders’ basketball player and student in the Madonna Broadcast and Cinema Arts program. He now calls California home after leaving a great internship set up by Madonna at Ford Motor Company, to begin casting for the show Top Model over a decade ago.
From there Narvin has since filled several roles such as script coordinator and script manager for TV’s Short Circuits. He worked with Chelsea Handler and was a production and segment producer for Gene Simmons Family Jewels, which took him all over the world. Now Narvin is a supervising producer for a new show coming out on E! called Married to Music.
Narvin said Madonna’s small class sizes were a huge advantage because it allowed even more hands-on opportunities to work on additional broadcast programs. He said that Madonna’s radio broadcast center had equipment that was the first of its kind for online radio. “I thought that was the best thing ever, me sitting in the production studio and getting the chance to have the power of a radio broadcast, our own music, and become a radio DJ for a class assignment.
“The software being used here in LA is what Madonna students are using, whether it’s a voice over booth or a live broadcast,” Narvin added.
“I would tell any student searching that at Madonna University, kids will get their most hands-on experience that they’ll ever get from any university, which is very important. Besides learning about theories at other universities with 40-to-50 kids, you get the same level of teaching and experience (at Madonna) but with a smaller group of kids which allows you to learn a lot more and be more hands on."
“Madonna definitely knocked it out of the park for me.”