The Bachelor of Fine Arts in Film and Television is designed specifically to help students meet the qualification for direct entry into the profession and is built around extensive modeling of professional practice integrated with research and collaborative production of thesis work. Students can earn a BFA in Film and Television with a concentration in Cinematography, Directing, Editing and Post-Production, Sound for Cinema, Cinema Visual Effects, Producing, Production Design or Screenwriting.
PROGRAM REQUIREMENTS - 62-71 credits required
The goal of the cinematography program is to provide students a pre-professional level of knowledge and competence in cameras and lighting necessary to conceive and create images for the screen in relationship to story. As a result of successfully completing program requirements, students should be able to:
- Demonstrate a professional level of knowledge and competence necessary to conceive and create images for the screen.
- Demonstrate the concept, practice, and aesthetics of lighting.
- Demonstrate the ability to link a lighting concept to dramatic material.
- Develop and articulate a film or television story with the emphasis on communicating the message of the piece visually.
- Demonstrate a comprehensive knowledge of all film, television, and digital camera systems as well as the responsibilities of the Cinematographer, Camera Operator, Camera Assistants, Gaffer, and Key Grip.
- Demonstrate the skill to collaborate with all key departments (Directing, Producing, Production Design, Special FX, etc.).
- Demonstrate a comprehensive knowledge of electronic imaging, image optics, special effects, film stocks, laboratory practices, and finishing the film or television project (color correction and final delivery for exhibition).
- Demonstrate the ability to translate a director’s concept into a complete short film or television story that both demonstrates proficiency of craft and creativity, and fulfills the director’s vision.
- Interpret a narrative screenplay and break it down into a visual treatment, shot list, storyboard, floor plan; in collaboration with the director.
- Demonstrate the ability to critically examine their own work and others.
Cinema Visual Effects
This specialized area of study combines analytical and practical application of technical, creative and physiological studies in support of creating effects that support the film’s cinematic vision. As a result of successfully completing program requirements, students should be able to:
- Identify and construct a design preparation and implementation for digital composites.
- Demonstrate the skills to use color grading, format transformation, and element correction tools for dramatic construction.
- Demonstrate the ability to apply basic digital editing and use compositing techniques for creating animated type sequences for film and television titling.
- Utilize the proper methods of creating mattes from Chroma-key extraction methods and for applying motion tracking and stabilization tools to visual elements.
- Demonstrate an ability to plan, pre-visualize, and create visual effects sequences, titles, and graphics in a 3D, node-based composite system environment, working individually and collaboratively as part of a team.
- Utilize cinematography techniques and studies of historical examples of visual effects sequences to effect planning, design, and execution of a series of visual effect assignments.
- Articulate the aesthetic role and history of visual effects in film and television.
- Communicate and collaborate with art department, directors, and/or producers on pre-visualization of VFX elements.
This concentration is designed to provide training and practice in all aspects of fictional directing, with course offerings that allow students to study the craft of directing through the eyes of and in collaboration with screenwriters, casting directors, editors, cinematographers, production designers and others. As a result of successfully completing program requirements, students should be able to:
- Interpret a narrative screenplay visually and aurally to generate a completed short film or television story ready for exhibition and distribution.
- Analyze a narrative screenplay, prepare a director’s breakdown, and visual treatment.
- Prepare a shot list, lined shooting script, floor plan, and storyboards in collaboration with a cinematographer, producer, and assistant director.
- Effectively communicate and collaborate with actors to create psychologically believable cinematic performances.
- Effectively tell a visual screen story through cinematic elements including camera, lighting, production design, editing, and audio.
- Critically examine their own work and that of their peers.
- Develop and articulate a personal vision of cinematic storytelling while effectively collaborating with producers, cinematographers, production designers, and editors in all phases of film and television production from development through to completion.
Editing and Post-Production
This concentration prepares students for careers in editing for picture, sound and other related post-production specializations of cinematic storytelling. As a result of successfully completing program requirements, students should be able to:
- Demonstrate advanced cinema editing skills, concepts and practices in the editing and finishing of an original short film or television story.
- Demonstrate the ability to apply dramatic structure with materials provided including the effective arrangement of time, dramatic arc, dialogue, and character development within the work.
- Identify and articulate effective critical analysis and critique.
- Write a statement of intention for a project that reflects a personal point of view, and apply that statement to their work.
- Demonstrate the ability to control rhythm, emotional content, transitions of sound and picture, and other editing techniques to facilitate audience response.
- Demonstrate the ability to receive and incorporate critical analysis.
- Demonstrate the ability to incorporate sound elements such as dialogue, sound effects, voice over, and music, throughout the post-production process.
- Demonstrate the ability to collaborate with directors, producers, and post-production personnel to facilitate, implement and integrate the director’s vision for the film or television story, through all phases of production, from development to completion.
- Demonstrate and apply technical proficiency within the responsibilities of an editor, assistant editor and post-production professional on a cinematic work.
- Demonstrate proficiency in one or more of the following areas: sound design and mixing; motion graphics; compositing and vfx; on set data wrangling and workflow; color correction and online.
The curriculum balances creativity with business acumen and production management skills. The learning culminates in a thesis consisting of a finished short film, a slate of feature films ready for the marketplace. As a result of successfully completing program requirements, students should be able to:
- Research and write project-based investment proposals.
- Write story notes, script coverage and edit notes at an industry entry-level. Define the key differences between a Creative Producer and a Line Producer/UPM.
- Use industry-standard software to create professional production budgets and schedules.
- Create producer-driven paperwork and documentation such as Call Sheets and Production Reports.
- Manage a crew in all phases of film and television production from development through to exhibition.
- Negotiate and execute deal memos relating to cast and crew, and define the role of unions and representation in these processes.
- Articulate and pitch projects.
- Research, make offers and secure the involvement of principle actors for film and television projects.
- Develop short and feature-length projects in collaboration with a creative partner, as well as secure the legal rights.
- Articulate trends in distribution and customary acquisition (deal) terms.
- Create a project-based plan including key art, festival and distribution strategies, cast and crew bio’s, press and promotions.
The Production Design concentration offers students the opportunity to develop the creative and problem solving skills necessary for professional level design of sets, props, and special effects as well as the collaborative skills necessary to work with directors, cinematographers, and producers. As a result of successfully completing program requirements, students will be able to:
- Formulate and conceive a visual concept to support the theme of the film or television story as interpreted by the director.
- Demonstrate a body of working knowledge in the history of art-forms relevant to Production Design (e.g., Architecture, Fashion, Interior Design, Industrial Design).
- Communicate a concept visually to collaborators through concept art and storyboards.
- Communicate a concept visually through technical draftings done traditionally and with CAD.
- Assemble and manage an art department, both creatively and logistically, from preproduction through production.
- Develop and manage an art department budget.
- Implement a design through the construction and/or acquisition of the set decoration, props, and costumes.
- Implement a design through the construction and decoration of a set or modified location.
- Collaborate and communicate with directors, producers, and cinematographers in all phases of film and television production from development through production.
The concentration offers students the opportunity to develop the understanding and skills to translate stories into both cinematic and emotional experiences for the audience. As a result of successfully completing program requirements, students should be able to:
- Develop both short scripts and features. Write scripts for either themselves or others to direct.
- Generate, develop, implement and revise story ideas into screenplay format.
- Critique the work of their peers both orally and in writing and apply it to their own revision process.
- Collaborate and communicate effectively.
- Develop short and feature length projects in collaboration with a creative partner.
- Negotiate and execute an option agreement including a writing services component to the agreement.
- Produce “Production Ready” scripts based on creative producer and instructor notes throughout the development process.
Sound for Cinema
The concentration prepares students to handle the various audio steps involved in pre-production, production, post-production and the release of the motion picture. As a result of successfully completing program requirements, students should be able to:
- Define basic audio concepts and terminology that relate to audio pre-production, production, and digital post-production.
- Demonstrate and articulate basic knowledge of the digital post-production process, material preparation, archival processes, and the manipulation of a sound track for a desired effect.
- Define audio principles and terminology as they apply to the motion picture.
- Demonstrate proficiency in the use of location sound packages.
- Demonstrate a proficiency of audio production from pre-planning, communication with crew during production through delivery to Post-production.
- Design an effective soundtrack, which enhances the story of a completed project.
- Demonstrate the ability to edit and mix dialog, music and sound effects.
- Demonstrate the ability to record, edit and mix ADR (replacement audio dialogue) and Foley (replacement audio sound effects)
- Demonstrate the ability to collaborate with a director and/or producer and other postproduction personnel to create a complete soundtrack of dialogue, music and special effects suitable for distribution.
- Utilize advanced audio mixing hardware and software to create mono, stereo and surround mixes for multiple release media.
- Demonstrate advanced knowledge of the digital production process (material preparation for dialogue, sound effects management, delivery and archival processes, the manipulation of a sound track) with an emphasis on professional best practices.