The master of fine arts in cinema arts is a three-year program that accepts students on a full-time basis only. It offers a highly specialized education in a collaborative hands-on learning environment in six filmmaking specializations:
- Digital Arts (begins in fall 2016)
Students are admitted to the program in one of the above specializations. Although classes are offered across the different filmmaking specializations to provide a rounded education, once accepted into a specific specialization, students are not permitted to switch.
The great Russian director Andrei Tarkovsky is credited with describing cinematography as “painting with light.” Cinematography is also about capturing movement and rhythm, and composing aesthetically pleasing sequences. Developing this level of creativity requires technical knowledge and a mastery of the craft and, most importantly, the ability to translate a screenplay into visually compelling images. As a cinematography student, you will learn all aspects of the art and craft of visual storytelling. The M.F.A. culminates in the collaborative production of a 15- to 20-minute narrative film over the final two semesters.
Directing is part art and part craft but mostly imagination. It requires organizational skills, discipline, leadership, and collaboration. To be an effective director, all these pieces must cohere in service of projecting a compelling story on the screen. As a directing student, you will learn all aspects of filmmaking, from directing actors to directing camera, cinematography, screenwriting, and post-production. But most importantly you will develop the courage and confidence to take risks and express your personal creative vision as a filmmaker. As part of the two-semester thesis sequence, the program will culminate in the collaborative production of a 15- to 20-minute narrative film.
It has been said that a movie is made three times: in the writing, in the shooting and in the cutting. The responsibility of the editor is to give shape and rhythm to the film, bringing the creative process to completion. As a post-production student, you will learn the technical, aesthetic and collaborative process of filmmaking. Apart from picture editing, you will develop an understanding of sound design, the use of Foley, ADR and music editing. In addition, courses will cover digital media integration, workflow management, and post-production supervision. The M.F.A. culminates in the collaborative production of a 15- to 20-minute narrative film over the final two semesters.
At the top of the filmmaking, hierarchy is the producer. He or she develops the screenplay and secures the finance, hires the crew, and manages physical production. In short, the producer takes a movie from script to screen. In the increasingly complex, technologically driven media environment, learning to produce for new and emerging media, in addition to cinema and television, is an essential competency for a producer. As a producing student, you will graduate prepared to lead a team in a creative and collaborative manner. The M.F.A. culminates in the collaborative production of a 15- to 20-minute narrative film over the final two semesters.
Screenwriting requires creativity and discipline. Effective storytelling is built on a solid understanding of the screenwriter’s craft, including story structure, plot, characterization, scene development, and dialogue. But ultimately it is about ideas. Through the study of cinema history and the participation in workshops in production and post-production, screenwriting students will gain an appreciation for the broader concerns of filmmaking. Being closely associated with the M.F.A. students will afford you the opportunity to pitch scripts for production. As part of the two-semester thesis sequence, the program will culminate in the completion of two feature-length screenplays.
Digital technologies have transformed the media and cinematic landscapes. The Digital Arts Program will be at the leading edge of those ongoing changes. With an emphasis on experimentation and imagination and a foundation in narrative structure, the program will bridge the worlds of technology-based innovation and cinematic storytelling. Courses and workshops will be taught by industry professionals culminating in the completion of a portfolio of personal and collaborative work in visual effects and CG animation.
In addition to an intensive engagement in creative production, the program will provide opportunities for professional internships and networking to facilitate the transition into the industry.