Q&A with Rick Negron, Belhaven’s new Film Production Department Head

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Belhaven recently announced the creation of a new Film Production major. This exciting endeavor allows the School of the Arts to expand its offerings into one of the fastest growing career fields. Veteran filmmaker Rick Negron was hired to lead the program, and sat down with Belhaven.NOW to introduce himself to students, parents, faculty, staff and alumni.

Welcome to Belhaven! Tell us a little about yourself.

I’m married with three young daughters, and most of my free time goes to happily chasing them around. Everyone we’ve met has been very warm and inviting, so my family is excited about relocating to the Jackson area.

I’m a fan of good storytelling, whether it be in film, television, novels, comic books, etc. I look forward to exploring the film and the performing arts community in Mississippi.

Film Production is becoming a very popular major at colleges across the nation. What are some career opportunities for majors?

You’re right. Not only is it more popular in colleges, but it’s taking off in high schools as well. The interest has always been there, but I think the main reasons for the current trend are that videos and films are such an integral part of our every day life, and the technology involved with the process is relatively inexpensive.

In terms of career opportunities, students will learn specific technical skills and develop their creative abilities. Therefore, they will be poised to work in film, television, advertising, ministry, and numerous other fields that incorporate film and video. There are so many different paths that students can take, and part of their time at Belhaven will be spent exploring what areas are the best fit for them.

How will a Film Production degree from Belhaven be different?

First, this is one of the few Christian-based film programs in the Southeast United States. Secondly, students at Belhaven will make films; not just study how to make them, but actually make them.

Every semester. As a result, employers will find that our graduates are as comfortable and confident with the filmmaking process as any 22 or 23 year old could be. To achieve this, the curriculum is project-driven and rigorous, but also a lot of fun. Since students work closely with each other and their professors, the process fosters a collaborative, family-like atmosphere.

How will the Christian worldview be integrated into the program?

Filmmaking is basically using a specific medium to tell a story; so storytelling is the foundation of all we do. I believe that our goal as Christian filmmakers is to tell stories that reflect Biblical truth as well as our personal journeys of faith. Every student is different, so Belhaven’s entire discipleship model will inform and influence their work. My role is to challenge and help students wrestle with how to tell their faith-based stories in an original and captivating way.

How can an interested student get started?

Pray and ask questions! Seriously, if this where God wants you to be, he’ll confirm it through seeking information and feeling his peace of assurance. Prospective students can start with the film production program description on the website and then contact me or admissions personnel for more information. For current students, take a class; see if it’s a good fit. For any student, come see me! I’d love to sit down with students and families and talk about the program.