Prof. Dickinson shares his love of film

English Professor Marc Dickinson

Even though English Professor Marc Dickinson specializes in film and literature, he said that he was not great at playwrights and acting in college. Because of this experience, it gave him a greater appreciation for film. 

“Playwrights were a requirement for one of my classes. We had to do a three-minute scene and it was so hard. I was so bad at it,” Dickinson said. 

Dickinson teaches Introduction to Film, Literature, Composition, and Creative Writing.  

Dickinson has always had an interest in English and literature, but not particularly with acting and performing plays. That just did not feel natural to him. However, he does have an interest in making movies. 

“I would love to be a director or a screenwriter, but that is a specific skill set,” he said. 

Dickinson said he is always looking at films through a critical lens and he challenges his students to do the same. His main goal with teaching film is to get his students thinking about the different conventions and techniques of filmmaking. 

“I tell my students in my film and creative writing classes that it is irrelevant to say whether they think a film is bad or good. You must analyze why it is not good or is good. If I watch a film that is not working for me, I am interested in why it does not work,” he said. 

Using this approach helps Dickinson to be open to all kinds of films. Broadening his perspective on films also means that critical thinking is necessary when viewing them. A lot of work and editing goes into making a film success. 

“I’ll watch a film and it is hitting on so many levels, but this one element is off. Because of that, a movie can crumble down. When one part of a film is off, it can fall off altogether,” he said.  

Dickinson goes on to say that there are a lot of moving parts and effects that need to take place to make a film almost perfect. One of his favorites that he never gets tired of watching is “The Godfather.” 

“’Godfather’ is one of those films, it may be the film for me. It’s three and a half hours long. So, I’ll sit and watch for a few minutes, and all of a sudden two hours go by and I’ll think it’s still good,” he said. 

Dickinson’s expertise is mainly creative writing, but he wishes he got to teach more film classes. He really does have an admiration and love for film. 

“I don’t always get to teach as many film classes as I’d like. We have a lot of other instructors who want to teach it. So, I’d love to teach that more,” he said.  

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