Francesca Dumitrescu

Get to know some of our College of Media students! Francesca Dumitrescu is a Class of 2025 media and cinema studies major.

What made you want to major in media and cinema studies? What's your favorite thing about the major?
Coming from a STEM high school, I realized STEM was not particularly my career interest. I joined a media production club in high school that included photography and video production, where I eventually became the president! This club fostered my decision to continue in a media and cinema industry at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. My favorite part of MACS and the College of Media is that you learn new skills in the classroom and from your peers. I’ve been able to have internship experiences as well and I am only just a sophomore!

What is your favorite film of all time and why? Who is your film inspiration?
The 2019 film Midsommar, featuring Florence Pugh and directed by Ari Aster! Midsommar is a psychological horror and drama movie that includes conventional concepts and executions of colorful, unexpected, and bright scenes. The movie is a play on European folklore and I recommend everyone watch it. My film inspiration actually comes from the Pixar movies. I remember crying to the cartoons and realizing how much of an impact their creativity had on me. Pixar makes the impossible possible and that's my goal to accomplish as well!

What class has been your favorite so far?
MACS 203: Contemporary Movies is a class where you watch movies and talk about the point of the movie, what ideas are spread through film, and how film is an art. I loved the new movies I was introduced to and the different perspectives I was able to identify throughout the course. Another one of my favorite classes is MACS 320: Popular Culture, where you dive into the historical theory of media. We analyze why people react to movies the way they do, how communities may revolve around media, and how media is evolving in our century. 

How do you develop your ideas for films? What gives you motivation?
My favorite part of my creative process and the way I develop most of my ideas is through trial and error. I love to experiment with different styles and shy away from sticking to one thing. I challenge myself often and like to play around with my strengths. I try things that may not work and may not look good, but knowing I at least tried fulfills my motivation. 

What are you involved in? 
I am currently the photographer and video director of The Fashion Network RSO on campus. We do themed photoshoots and combine all our efforts into a final magazine at the end of each semester. My favorite theme was our cottage core photoshoot. With each shoot we also get to explore new buildings and parts of campus! I am also in the American Advertising Federation, the Control V side where we focus on videography. One of the projects I worked on was a Nike promo video. I am also in a Ministry Club for my religion and get to make an impact with my peers through events, studies, and retreats. I am currently employed by the Spurlock Museum where I focus on artifact photography. Last but not least, I have previously been a multimedia director for The Collective RSO, which supports local artists and creates a magazine with student and local art.

Who has been an inspiration/role model to you in college so far, whether a professor, upperclassman, classmate, etc.?
William Hohe, my friend and dear peer within The Fashion Network. He is incredible. He not only is pursuing a dual degree but also a double minor. He is the most creative person I know and insanely passionate with all aspects he is pursuing. He operates without boundaries, he is organized, and expands himself to anything of his interest. 

What are the three most important qualities you think a filmmaker must have?
First, perseverance. In media and cinema studies things can go wrong fast and easily, but having the perseverance to get the job done to the best of our ability will empower your willingness and confidence working in film production. Secondly, creativity, which is one of my core values. Bringing something new to the world is what everyone strives and wants in MACS. Last but not least, being a team player. Projects in film are all about working with people and their skill sets; having the ability to be patient and assertive at the same time as a team player makes magic. 

—Interview by Emily Campos, New Voices Intern

Francesca Dumitrescu