Student Spotlight: Emily Xu

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Emily Xu
Year: Class of 2024
Majors: Cinema & Media Studies and Marketing
Hometown: Bellevue, Washington
Favorite movie: Love Letter (2019)

Why did you choose CMS as a major?
Growing up, I watched movies with my family. lt was our way of bonding. I have always been fascinated by the creative process of filmmaking. But I never considered pursuing film in school until I took Professor Jennifer Bean’s sci-fi class, where I was exposed to many different concepts and became extremely inspired by her passion for the subject. Since then, CMS has advanced my knowledge of film theory and global cinema, both of which have been crucial to my education.

What do you like most about the program?
I love the sense of community that we have, to see familiar faces in classes and to bond with classmates who have similar goals and interests. We are also able to connect with CMS professors and gain many career opportunities with them, which is very special. The classes themselves are extremely valuable as well. We get to learn about many film concepts that go hand-in-hand with the creative process. And they require you to be creative and analytical, which allows you to express your ideas openly.

What kinds of activities are you involved with outside of your classes?
Currently, I am the Head of Marketing at UW’s LUX Film Production Club and have helped produce student-led short films. LUX has a high concentration of CMS majors that are interested in film production and they are so talented, all of them flowing with creativity. I met so many of my current friends through the club. I have also been CMS’ Digital Content Intern for the past year! Thank you so much to the Head of the Department, Professor Eric Ames, for giving me this opportunity and trusting me to promote the major. I was able to learn so many valuable skills and further connect with my peers and alumnus through this experience.

Advice for prospective majors?
Talk to your peers and professors! CMS is still a growing major, so we have a relatively smaller cohort than other majors which is perfect for building connections with the others around you. Actively seek out opportunities and don’t shy away from them. Before becoming the Digital Content Intern for CMS, I had little experience with managing professional social media accounts and photo editing, so I was a bit worried. But every opportunity is a learning process, and I was able to learn so much from this experience that has greatly benefited my skills and career.

As a double major in CMS and Marketing, how do the two fields relate to you?
I was first exposed to the idea of film and marketing in one of my CMS classes (I don’t remember exactly which one, sorry). The professor made a direct relation between the two and I became intrigued to find out more about how they correlate. Through my marketing classes, I was able to see how marketing is crucial for anything that’s a product or a service. But it is even more important for films to gain public awareness. The best marketing example for a film I can think of is The Blair Witch Project, which changed movie advertising forever. This is also one of the reasons why I chose to major in CMS and Marketing, because I could see the need for and importance of film marketing, especially in an age where digital media is such a huge part of our lives. In the future, I hope to combine both of my degrees and work on marketing within the film industry.