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Student Info

How to Become an ACM Major

Are you interested in becoming an ACM major? It’s easy to apply!

STEP 1
Prospective Students: Freshman, Transfer, and International Students
  1. Visit manoa.hawaii.edu/admissions to begin the application process to UH Mānoa
  2. Click on the appropriate application type for you, i.e. Freshman, Transfer, or International student.
  3. Complete the 3-step UH Mānoa Application process. On Step 2 “Your Academics,” be sure to choose “Creative Media – BA” as your planned course of study. (see image)
Current UH Mānoa Students who wish to change their major to ACM Creative Media
  1. Download and complete the “Declaration/Change of Major” form from Advising at https://manoa.hawaii.edu/advising/forms-index-2/ (see image)
  2. Make an appointment with the Advising Center by emailing advising@hawaii.edu. An advisor will accept your “Declaration/Change of Major” form and create an advising plan with you. 
STEP 2
Once you are an ACM major...

You can decide between 3 tracks as your major concentration: Creative Media, Animation, and Digital Cinema. For more information about each track’s course requirements, please visit the Academic Tracks section

Please note: all ACM majors are automatically placed in the Creative Media track. If you wish to focus your studies in Animation or Digital Cinema, you will need to submit a portfolio before the March 1 or October 1 deadlines. For information on portfolio requirements and to submit your portfolio, please visit the Portfolio Requirements section.

Track Requirements

ACM offers a core curriculum in three tracks: Creative Media, Animation and Digital Cinema.

Creative Media

Creative media is the central track for ACM majors providing a strong foundation in cinema history, culture, storytelling and cinematic production. This track provides students the flexibility to focus on areas such as producing, screenwriting, media studies, as well as the focused study and extended practice in the student’s chosen area of competence. Track requirements are interdisciplinary and allow for a broader understanding of cinema as an art, mode of storytelling, business and cultural product.

Click Here For Creative Media Track Requirements

I. CORE: 18 credits
ACM 255 Introduction to Cinema and Digital Media
ACM 215 Introduction to 3D Computer Animation Or ACM 310 Cinematic Narrative Production
ACM 350 Screenwriting
ACM 360 Indigenous Aesthetics
ACM 385 Topics in Creative Media
ACM 460 Ethics and Film

II. TRACK (REQUIRED COURSES): 12 credits
ACM 330 Independent Producing
ACM 380 Genre and Narrative Theory in Creative Media
ACM 382 Authors in Creative Media
ACM 482 The American Documentary

III. TRACK (ELECTIVE COURSES): 12 credits/4 courses
ACM 314 Experimental Art and Animation
ACM 315 Narrative Game Design
ACM 317 3D Cinematography and Dynamics
ACM 325 Visual Effects
ACM 352 Screening Asian Americans
ACM 355 Oral Tradition to Screenplay
ACM 386 Techniques in Creative Media
ACM 390 Workshop in Creative Media
ACM 399 Independent Group Project
ACM 405 Documentary Production
ACM 450 Advanced Screenwriting
ACM 452C (Alpha) History and Film
ACM 455 Indigenous Filmmaking
ACM 480 Oceanic Media and Culture
ACM 485 Seminar in Creative Media
ACM 486 Capstone Creative Production
ACM 490 Global Media
ACM 495 Creative Media Internship
ACM 499 Directed Study

These additional ACM courses can be substituted for a track elective course w/advisor consent:
ACM 216 Fundamentals of Animation
ACM 312 Cinematography
ACM 316B 3D Character Animation
ACM 316C Intermediate 2D Animation
ACM 320 Animation Production I
ACM 321 Storyboarding and Animatics
ACM 370 Directing the Actor on Screen
ACM 372 Editing for Cinema
ACM 374 Post Production Sound
ACM 410 Advanced Cinematic Production
ACM 412 Advanced Cinematography
ACM 415 Computer Game Production
ACM 420 Animation Production II
ACM 470 Directing the Motion Picture

Course Descriptions

Animation

The ACM Animation track focuses on storytelling through the art of animation. Students explore traditional, experimental, and computer animation techniques to best tell their personal and unique stories from Hawaiʻi, the Pacific, and all corners of the globe. Students gain a well-rounded understanding of the various roles, skills, and techniques used in the animation industry, enabling them to perform each task themselves when making an independent film, or recognizing areas of interest in which they want to specialize. Admission to the animation track is based on the submission of an artist’s portfolio (See portfolio requirements).

Click Here For Animation Track Requirements

I. PREREQUISITE: 3 credits
ART 113 Introduction to Drawing

II. CORE: 21 credits
ACM 255 Introduction to Cinema and Digital Media
ACM 215 Introduction to 3D Computer Animation And ACM 216 Fundamentals of Animation
ACM 350 Screenwriting
ACM 360 Indigenous Aesthetics
ACM 385 Topics in Creative Media
ACM 460 Ethics and Film

III. TRACK (REQUIRED COURSES): 9 credits
ACM 316B 3D Character Animation
ACM 320 Animation Production I
ACM 420 Animation Production II

IV. TRACK (ELECTIVE COURSES): 12 credits/4 courses
ACM 314 Experimental Art and Animation
ACM 315 Narrative Game Design
ACM 316C Intermediate 2D Animation
ACM 317 3D Cinematography and Dynamics
ACM 321 Storyboarding and Animatics
ACM 325 Visual Effects
ACM 386 Techniques in Creative Media
ACM 390 Workshop in Creative Media
ACM 399 Independent Group Project
ACM 415 Computer Game Production
ACM 419 Virtual and Augmented Reality Programming
ACM 484 Data Visualization
ACM 486 Capstone Creative Production
ACM 487 Video Game Design and Development
ACM 495 Creative Media Internship
ACM 499 Directed Study

Course Descriptions

Digital Cinema

Students in the Digital Cinema track focus on all aspects of filmmaking: screenwriting, directing, producing, cinematography, editing and post-production sound. The program promotes diverse storytelling through the production of narrative, experimental, documentary and indigenous short films. Production courses are taught using industry-standard film equipment, which allows students to gain an understanding of the technical aspects of filmmaking while using current technology. This track fosters a collaborative and professional environment for learning. Admission to the digital cinema track is based on the submission of an artist’s portfolio (See portfolio requirements). 

Click Here For Digital Cinema Track Requirements

I. CORE: 18 credits
ACM 255 Introduction to Cinema and Digital Media
ACM 310 Cinematic Narrative Production
ACM 350 Screenwriting
ACM 360 Indigenous Aesthetics
ACM 385 Topics in Creative Media
ACM 460 Ethics and Film

II. TRACK (REQUIRED COURSES): 18 credits
ACM 312 Cinematography
ACM 330 Independent Producing
ACM 370 Directing the Actor on Screen
ACM 372 Editing for Cinema
ACM 374 Post Production Sound
ACM 410 Advanced Cinematic Production

III. TRACK (ELECTIVE COURSES): 6 credits/2 courses
ACM 325 Visual Effects
ACM 355 Oral Tradition to Screenplay
ACM 380 Genre and Narrative Theory in Creative Media
ACM 382 Authors in Creative Media
ACM 386 Techniques in Creative Media
ACM 390 Workshop in Creative Media
ACM 399 Independent Group Project
ACM 405 Documentary Production
ACM 412 Advanced Cinematography
ACM 450 Advanced Screenwriting
ACM 452C History and Film
ACM 455 Indigenous Filmmaking
ACM 470 Directing the Motion Picture
ACM 482 The American Documentary
ACM 486 Capstone Creative Production
ACM 495 Creative Media Internship
ACM 499 Directed Study

Course Descriptions

For more information about tracks, courses and electives, contact acm@hawaii.edu.

Portfolio Requirements

Portfolios must be received by October 1st or March 1st of any given year for consideration for track acceptance for the following semester. Submissions received after the March 1 or October 1 deadlines will be reviewed in the next review period.
Students are only permitted to apply for the Digital Cinema or Animation Track twice.  If the student is not accepted into the Digital Cinema or Animation track, the student will continue in the Creative Media track.
Students will receive notification one month after the respective deadlines.

Animation

Part I: Artist Statement
In 500 words or less, please explain what inspires you and how you intend to express that through the animation medium. Describe why you are applying to the ACM Animation track and your long term goals for animation in your career.

Part II: Observational Work
10-15 observational drawings, including life drawing and gesture drawings of people and animals in motion.

Part III: Animation Work (any combination of the following):

  • Final coursework from ACM 215 and ACM 216
  • Character animation, experimental animation, motion tests, motion graphics.

Part IV: Other Creative Work (any combination of the following):

  • Traditional: Paintings, sculptures, illustrations, character designs, prop designs
  • Storytelling: storyboards, flipbooks, previous animated films, previous live-action films
  • Digital (using computer graphics programs like Photoshop, Illustrator, Maya, etc): 2D digital art, computer-generated (CG) characters, props, environments.

Guidelines:
Avoid the use of comic, anime, or cartoon characters. Original characters/artwork only. Some of the qualities we’re looking for include: strong drawing skills, literacy of graphics programs like Photoshop, the ability to tell a story through a sequence of images, originality, and creativity. ACM is looking for storytellers and artists, not just technicians.

Digital Cinema

Part I: Artist Statement
In 500 words or less, please explain what inspires you and how you intend to express that, through the medium of digital cinema. Describe why you are applying for the Digital Cinema Track along with your interest/area of focus (e.g. narrative, documentary, indigenous, filmmaking, etc.).

Part II: Work Sample
Please submit a work sample, choosing one (1) of the following:
● Reel (no longer than 5 minutes)
● Short Film Screenplay
● Completed short film (no longer than 5 minutes)
● Series of photographs
● Paintings
● Storyboards
● Submissions must be ORIGINAL work only.

Guidelines:
Applicants to the Digital Cinema Track are not expected to be technicians. ACM is looking for storytellers and artists. Please choose submissions that truly represent you, your originality, voice and creativity.

Equipment Requirements

Below is a list of required and recommended equipment for our Creative Media, Animation and Digital Cinema majors.

Headphones (Required):

  • Sony MDR7506 headphones or similar.

Digital Camera (Recommended) :

  • Sony a6500 Mirrorless Digital Camera Kit or similar
  • Optional Sony 55-210mm lens (Recommended) or similar

Digital Storage (Recommended) :

  • Sandisk 64gb or 128gb UHS-I SDSX Memory Card or similar
  • 1TB or 2TB LaCie External Hard Drive (Recommended) or similar

Laptop Computer (Required) MAC or PC:

macOS (Recommended specifications)

  • Processor (CPU) – Intel® 6th Gen or newer
  • Operating system (OS) – macOS v10.13 or later
  • RAM (Memory)
    • 16 GB of RAM for HD media
    • 32 GB for 4K media or higher
  •  GPU (Video Card) – 4 GB of GPU VRAM
  • Hard disk (Storage)
    • Fast internal SSD for app installation and cache
    • Additional high-speed drive(s) for media
  • Display resolution –  1920 x 1080 or greater
  • Network Card – 10 Gigabit ethernet for 4K shared network workflow

Internet Internet connection and registration are necessary for required software activation, validation of subscriptions, and access to online services.*

Microsoft Windows (Recommended specifications)

  • Processor (CPU) – Intel® 7 th Gen or newer CPU – or AMD equivalent
  • Operating system (OS) – Microsoft Windows 10 (64-bit) 1809 or later
  • RAM (Memory)
    • 16 GB of RAM for HD media
    • 32 GB for 4K media or higher
  •  GPU (Video Card) – 4 GB of GPU VRAM
  • Hard disk (Storage)
    • Fast internal SSD for app installation and cache
    • Additional high-speed drive(s) for media
  • Display resolution –  1920 x 1080 or greater
  • Network Card – 10 Gigabit ethernet for 4K shared network workflow

Internet Internet connection and registration are necessary for required software activation, validation of subscriptions, and access to online services.*

More System Requirements

Required Software for Animation students:
Adobe CC
Autodesk Maya
Toon Boom Harmony Premium
Toon Boom Storyboard Pro

Handbooks & Forms

Click here to visit our forms and handbooks page.  Please note you must be an ACM student to access this section.  If you don’t have the password please contact acm@hawaii.edu.

Student Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of a degree in Creative Media, ACM students will have developed mastery of the following departmental objectives:

Critical Thinking

  • Constructively critique their own and others’ intellectual and creative work

Writing

  • Write a creative work that tells a story
  • Write a critical piece that applies theoretical principles

History and Aesthetics

  • Know the intellectual history of cinema and place their work within that history.

Professional Skills & Creativity

  • Create a visual narrative through application of appropriate principles and production skills
  • Understand the essential collaborative nature of creative productions by working as a team member

Ethics and Responsibility

  • Understand and articulate the role and rights of a responsible artist

Get Involved

Join a ACM Student Registered Independent Organizations (RIOs).  See below for information on two current ACM RIOs.

ACM student association is a Registered Independent Organization (RIO) committed to fostering pride, unity, collaboration and professionalism among students enrolled in the ACM program at UHM. ACMSA organizes events of interest, screenings, guest speakers, mixers etc. and also functions as the voice of the ACM student body to the ACM faculty and the UH administration at large.
Mānoa Creative Productions (MCP)
Mānoa Creative Productions is an RIO at the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa committed to providing tools, animation techniques, leadership skills, communication skills, and network necessary to fulfill potential interests and wants of the Academy of Creative Media Animation students. MCP organizes events and opportunities for ACM students to get involved with their community, collaborate on projects, showcase their films, and improve their creative works. For more information, please email mcpc@hawaii.edu or visit their Instagram @manoacreative 

Click here to submit your portfolio!

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