The Johnny Carson School of Theatre and Film consulted experts from across the country, in Nebraska and within the University. Faculty and administrators visited several universities and are particularly grateful for the guidance they received from the faculty and administration of the School of Cinematic Arts at the University of Southern California. They surveyed our alumni and held targeted discussions with students, faculty and campus and business leaders. This culminated in an interdisciplinary symposium, “Movies and Beyond: Connecting Digital Creativity Across Disciplines,” that drew 128 attendees from more than 40 departments and seven colleges at UNL and a three-hour discussion with more than 70 students from theatre, film and related majors.

What We Learned

A new interdisciplinary focus on emerging media was enthusiastically supported by faculty, students and alumni of the Johnny Carson School of Theatre and Film and those from many other disciplines—physics, music, English, digital humanities, architecture, educational telecommunications, journalism and advertising, to name a few.

Discussions revealed many existing and potential synergies and the strength of interdisciplinarity at UNL. They identified key areas for collaboration in course development and research and showed the genuine interest across campus in emerging media. Interdisciplinary collaboration adds value to the educational experience at the Johnny Carson School of Theatre and Film.

Ideas that received strong support included:

  • Faculty and Student Collaborations across disciplines on campus that apply virtual production, immersive/virtual reality, animation, game design and interactive media to research and creative activity
  • An emphasis on creative coding for emerging media
  • More hands-on learning in real-world, project-based courses
  • Classes focused on business and preparing students to market their skills, and increased opportunities for internships and professional experiences
  • More guest speakers and opportunities to work with people from the industry
  • Developing Collaboration with External partners—in both the university and the private sector
  • Creating a center for emerging media as a space for interdisciplinary collaborations among faculty and students