Experts on "Cinema"

Gerald R. Fisher

  • Chair, Department of Cinema and Media Arts
  • Professor, Cinema and Media Arts

Professor Fisher has over 35 years of experience in media as a faculty member, interim chair, production company owner and manager of media technology infrastructure.

He pursued a Ph.D. when film was still film, but his program included studies in artificial intelligence, human and technology interface, computer programming, decision making and statistics because he believed some day computers would play a role in media production.

At Biola he has been responsible for the department’s transition from analog to digital and now to cloud based media production. In his classes he has introduced mobile applications, compression and streaming science, digital cinema standards, augmented and virtual reality and many other topics.

As interim chair, Professor Fisher is charged with developing the five year plan to expand enrollment, develop new programs offered by Cinema and Media Arts and turn CMA into one of the top film schools.

Professor Fisher is a member of the Broadcast Educators Association and actively involved in the emerging technologies interest division.

Professor Fisher and his wife, Ellie, live in Irvine, California, have five children and seven treasured grandchildren.

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R. Douglas Geivett

  • Professor of Philosophy

R. Douglas Geivett's interests range over the philosophy of religion, philosophical theology, epistemology and the history of modern philosophy. He is the author of Evil and the Evidence for God and co-editor of Contemporary Perspectives on Religious Epistemology and In Defense of Miracles: A Comprehensive Case for God's Action in History. Geivett has contributed chapters to God Matters: Readings in the Philosophy of Religion; God Under Fire; The Rationality of Theism; and Does God Exist? The Craig-Flew Debate. Geivett is the former president of the Evangelical Philosophical Society. In the past, Geivett has served as minister to college students at churches in the Pacific Northwest and in Southern California and continues to speak in churches and on university campuses on subjects related to apologetics and the Christian life.

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Michael Longinow

  • Professor of Journalism
  • Adviser, Print Journalism
  • Adviser, Chimes

Michael Longinow is the former chair of Biola's Department of Journalism and the advisor of The Chimes newspaper. During his tenure at Biola, he has overseen the rapid expansion of journalism within the university, hiring new faculty members in the fields of photojournalism, broadcast journalism and public relations. He's led the department in a convergent approach to teaching and a cross-cultural approach to career preparation, encouraging students to become fluent in other languages and to participate in study abroad programs.

As a teenager, Longinow attended the same high school Ernest Hemingway attended, working as an editorial cartoonist on the same school newspaper Hemingway once worked for. Longinow attended Wheaton College, earning a B.A. in Political Science, and completed the University Illinois' graduate program in news-editorial journalism.

During his early days as a reporter, Longinow freelanced for the Chicago Tribune and Sun-Times, as well as smaller weeklies in metro Chicago. As a full-time reporter for small dailies in Illinois and Georgia in the mid-1980s, Longinow covered the 1988 Democratic National Convention, the home district of U.S. Rep. Newt Gingrich, environmental issues, police news, the courts, civil rights and urban planning. Longinow's reporting on racial inequities in one Georgia county's voting patterns helped change that government's structure.

Longinow was invited in 1989 to teach news-editorial journalism at Asbury College in Kentucky. At Asbury, he helped build a news component into the journalism program and assisted with the launch of an annual photojournalism workshop and bilingual newspaper for migrant Hispanics. He also helped the Asbury Collegian become a consistent winner in statewide competition against campus weeklies its size from across Kentucky. While at Asbury, Longinow completed a doctorate at the University of Kentucky. His dissertation probed the history of Christian higher education and American journalism between 1888 and 1942. Longinow moved to California in 2005 to join the Biola journalism faculty.

Longinow is active in the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication (AEJMC), where he has served as head of the Religion and Media Interest Group. He also was a founding adviser member of the Association of Christian Collegiate Media (ACCM), and now serves as its national executive director.

Longinow is a frequent workshop presenter and panelist at national conventions of the Associated Collegiate Press and College Media Advisers (CMA/ACP). He has also been a guest faculty member and consultant to the Washington Journalism Center of the Council for Christian Colleges and Universities (CCCU). He has been a guest speaker for the Southern Baptist Convention's student journalism conference, the national convention of the Evangelical Press Association, and the international media conference of the Oxford Centre for Religion and Public Life.

Longinow has served as a fellow with the American Press Institute and has participated in workshops with the Poynter Institute for Media Studies. He has written chapters for five books dealing with journalism history, media and religion, and the popular culture of American evangelicalism. He has also written numerous magazine articles for regional and national publications on social issues, business, politics and religion. In 2005, he served as a newspaper columnist on diversity issues for the Lexington-Herald-Leader.

Longinow lives in Riverside with his wife Robin and their three children, Ben, Matt and Sarah.

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John Schmidt

  • Associate Professor, Cinema and Media Arts

John Schmidt has taught at Biola since 2002, and brings over 35 years of film industry experience into his teaching.

A graduate of the UCLA film school and Fuller Theological Seminary, John was founder and president of Dean River Productions and John Schmidt Productions, and has worked on over 40 films in various capacities: director, writer, producer and editor, having won numerous awards in the process.

“Each of us in the film industry have a limited amount of time on this earth, and a limited number of films on which to work," John says. “At the end of the day, I want the ones on my filmography to have told stories that matter, which are needed messages for our time, and which are a reflection of God's grace in the world.”

"The projects I've worked on which I consider the most significant never made a dime at the box office," he says. "One was a feature documentary about the needs of children living in the slums of Nairobi, another a short on the life of a deaf orphan boy who had surgery to allow him to hear. Projects like these were a privilege to work on."

A feature screenplay Schmidt wrote, Mountain of Fire, is based on a true story and currently in pre-production. John teaches cinematography, editing, documentary production, pre-production, production, post-production. “I love teaching, and finding that balance between theory and practice. I want to see my students excel in every aspect of life, and to work on projects which affect culture. I also desire to see their own lives of character affect others in the industry, or whatever walk of life on which they embark.”

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