Consistently ranked as one of the most renowned film schools in the country, the FSU College of Motion Picture Arts takes a unique approach to teaching students the inspired craft of storytelling through film.
The school’s existing website, while adequate, had not kept pace with its stellar curriculum over time. The site featured a straightforward design packed with relevant, though not especially captivating, information. It communicated facts without inspiring its audience to take the next step in their journey—to become students at the prestigious college.
The Taproot Agency worked with Frame, a production company, to reimagine the FSU Film School’s site from the ground up, including an overhaul of the site architecture and a compelling user interface that incorporated striking student work alongside meaningful content.
We began the project by fully immersing ourselves in the school’s world, spending time with professors, staff and students to gain a greater appreciation and understanding of their approach to learning and creating.
We then worked hand-in-hand with FSU to overhaul the site’s content to make it more engaging and informative. The story-focused nature of the school’s program, as well as its dedication to preparing students for jobs within the industry, was woven into each page, reinforcing the most appealing aspects of the curriculum.
The interface design was then built around this content to direct the audience to relevant information, like overviews of the various programs, highlights from notable alumni (including Academy Award winner Barry Jenkins of Moonlight fame) and the all-important application process.
Video was woven throughout the design, allowing visitors to see work created by the students themselves — and demonstrating what can be accomplished when one is steeped in such a creatively nurturing environment.
With a little movie magic and a lot of diligent work, Taproot transformed the FSU College of Motion Picture Arts site into a visually inviting stage that highlights the school in way that now lives up to its heritage. The words and imagery, working in unison, properly illustrate what the school is able to offer to its students.
The redesigned site has reduced bounce rates by eleven percent, meaning users stay on the site longer and absorb more information. The intuitive navigation allows them to dive deeper, explore more and learn more about the program.
Launching just before the Hollywood Reporter released its new Top 25 Film Schools list, where FSU rose in rank from the previous year, the site is poised to introduce new students into the program and to help educate the next generation of talented filmmakers.
Moonlight’s big Oscar win pushed this small Tallahassee-based program up some spaces on this year’s list. Alumnus Barry Jenkins (’03) staffed the production with fellow students he met during grad school. “People ask why we are so close,” says Moonlight co-editor Joi McMillon (the first African-American female ever to be nominated in the editing category). “We are such a small school, so there is accountability that is placed on you from the very first project that you do.” While FSU emphasizes the basics of storytelling, the school has been adding courses on more forward-looking mediums, such as VR (with new cameras, lab and postproduction facilities, and the hiring of VFX veteran Tom Mikota). All of this comes as a new dean, Reb Braddock, takes over for Frank Patterson, who left last year to run Pinewood Studios in Atlanta.
Tuition Undergrad: $7,545 (in state), $25,239 (out of state); grad: $21,569 (production, in state), $49,982 (production, out of state), $14,859 (writing, in state), $34,432 (writing, out of state)
Notable Alumni: The Maze Runner director Wes Ball, Alan Ball, It Follows director David Robert Mitchell