Class of 2022: Madison Wiser

A photo of Schieffer College student Madison Wiser holding a film clapperboard.

Photo courtesy: Benji Colegio

Name: Madison Wiser

Degrees: Writing & Film, Television and Digital Media

Why I chose to attend TCU: I had two main reasons for attending TCU. The first was that I was born in Texas and most of my family lives in or near Texas. My parents and I moved all over the U.S. while I was growing up, so it was always our goal to return to Texas and be together as an extended family. By attending TCU, I was finally able to be close to my family in the Southwest, which was an incredible source of love and support during my time at college that I’m very grateful for. The second reason relates to my other major. At many other big Texas colleges, I would’ve been only an English major, not specifically a Writing major. For me, though, writing was my passion, and I wanted to specifically study that as opposed to English more broadly. I didn’t add FTDM until my second semester at TCU, so it was the Writing department that solidified my decision to attend here.

Involvement at TCU: My on-campus involvement that shaped me in a major way was my involvement with TCU’s Student Film Association. I was a member of this club for all four years and I loved every moment. I arrived on my first short film set not knowing anything about filmmaking, and I leave now having written and shot my own short film as the director of photography. I learned so much, not only about the technical and creative sides of filmmaking, but about collaborating with people who share my passion, people who became my close friends during my time here. We always devoted our weekends to creating these short films. This club truly instilled in me the meaning of hard work and devotion, when I would work on-set all weekend, squeeze my homework in at some point, and then go right back to class on Monday morning. I would never trade a single moment of it.

My proudest accomplishment at TCU: My proudest accomplishment is the work that I’m doing right now in Professor Robinson’s Documentary Production class. I’m the documentary’s writer. My class is working on a 20-minute documentary about Project Beloved, a non-profit based here in Fort Worth that advocates for and supports survivors of sexual assault. My professor refers to it as “service learning,” where we’re learning how to produce a documentary while also providing a service to this amazing non-profit. I couldn’t be prouder to fulfill just one job on our entire team, and bring together everyone’s ideas and the words of our interviewees into the script for the film. I believe Project Beloved is doing great work in the community, and if people watch our documentary and learn more about them and feel inspired to be activists afterwards, then I will carry that with me very proudly long after I’ve left TCU.

What I will miss most about TCU: What I’ll miss most about TCU is the many opportunities to combine both my majors, and both of my interests really, for the work that I do. I’m sure there are jobs out there where both writing and filmmaking can serve me, but I truly feel like every single day, especially during my senior year, I use the skills and knowledge I’ve gained from both degrees to do work that I’m proud of. That work ranges from writing a documentary, tutoring my peers in writing at my job, writing a novella, interviewing my fellow SFA seniors to help spotlight them, and writing TV shows alongside my peers. I really appreciate that all of my skills feel useful at TCU for the things I care about, and it’s something that I will miss when I likely have to focus on one area in my professional life.

What’s next after graduation: I’ve spent a lot of my life moving around, and in many ways, adventuring. I’m hoping to pursue writing wherever I go, whether that’s doing more magazine writing or continuing to teach others about writing. I also want to continue pursuing videography, and expand into photography, as a hobby or as an eventual job. My biggest dream is to write a novel and my time at TCU has helped me grow creatively to be able to pursue that. Whatever I’m doing, the same guiding passions that I’ve had here will drive me, and I know they will lead me to my next adventure.