The Department of Film and Media Arts’ programs are housed in the Dorothea Ilgen Shaffer Art Building and Smith Hall on Main Campus.

Shaffer is also home to illustration and painting programs in the School of Art, jazz studies in the Setnor School of Music, and Syracuse University Art Museum. In addition to studios for M.F.A. students, Smith Hall is home to Random Access, a graduate student-run gallery, and the School of Design’s M.F.A. in design program.

Film and media arts facilities are media-based, interdisciplinary, and not completely divided by major. For example, any film and media arts student needing to edit sound uses the same facilities. This allows students to understand how interdisciplinary and often collaborative media arts can be. The Cage houses all video and photo equipment, which students may check out and use.

Art Photography

Students have access to a wide range of professional photographic equipment, including full-frame DSLRs and medium-format digital cameras, medium- and large-format analog cameras, portable and studio strobes, modifiers, and grip equipment. The Shaffer Art Building houses a fully equipped studio for tethered capture and precise control of light and excellent digital and analog, black-and-white facilities, allowing students to produce museum-quality prints for exhibition. Our students also have full access to the production facilities at Light Work, a world-renowned photography center housed on the Syracuse campus. Light Work houses drum scanners for film as well as large-format inkjet printers that can produce large-scale archival prints up to 60 inches wide.

Art Video

The program is supported by digital video and audio facilities. Production is executed with DSLRs and high-end digital camcorders and necessary peripherals (tripods, mics, lights, etc.). Dedicated lighting and green screen studios are available for production. Post-production is done on state-of-the-art, digital non-linear systems, including a discrete multi-track digital audio studio. HD projectors and flat screens are provided for installations and exhibitions. Analog, linear systems are available for archival research and conservation. We have a comprehensive, international collection of video art available for research and teaching.

Computer Art and Animation

The computer art and animation facilities include an animation production facility with student access to Maya, Houdini, Z-Brush, Substance Painter, TVPaint, Unreal Engine, Unity, and Creative Cloud.

Students explore and pursue all aspects of animation and game production in courses and independently through our local Women in Animation chapter and Orange Shorts animation production studio.

Students have access to Cintiq workstations, VR play spaces, and professional recording studios. Students are able to render their 3D animation projects on our 1000 node render farm. Students have check-out access to VR headsets, field recorders, and a wide variety of camera and grip equipment.


The film production facilities include 4K Hi-end digital film cameras such as Canon C500 and Sony F3 with Odyssey 7Q+ recorders, 4K RAW enabled; Blackmagic Design 4K production cameras; Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Cameras with Metabones Speed booster; Hi quality Zeiss film lenses; and a large array of Canon PL lenses. We also offer students the possibility of shooting 16mm and Super 16mm with our Aaton XTR Production camera as well as Arri SR1, CP16, and Bolex cameras. We have a large range of location lighting and grip gear such as Arri M18 HMI, Arri Compact HMI Fresnel 1.2K, 4×4 Kino-Flo Banks, Kino-Flo Diva Lite, and Joker-Bug 800W HMI among many others. Our non-linear editing facilities are 4K ready, equipped with the Adobe Creative Cloud, Da Vinci Resolve 12, and our color grading station has a Flanders Scientific Professional broadcast monitor. We count with a top-notch sound mixing studio as well as two lighting studios and green screen.