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Academics


Cinema Art + Science - Creative Producing MFA

PRE-SEMESTER  

Summer – first three weeks of August (6 credits)

Introduction To Creative Producing
This course is designed to ensure students entering the MFA in Creative Producing degree have broad, basic knowledge about what creative producing is and how they will develop as creative producers as they proceed through the degree program. It is delivered as a three-week full time workshop that covers the key foundational principles and requisite technical information and analytical skills using lectures and hands on demonstrations. The course is led by a team of two Cinema Art + Science faculty members and includes case studies and guest presentations. (6 credits) 24-6601

 

SEMESTER ONE
Fall (12 credits) 

Cinema Studies I
This is the first of three courses designed to investigate key historical moments of cinema and media through close critical analysis.  The goal is to develop a sophisticated approach to the aesthetics of cinema and media as the basis of a professional vocabulary and methodology for creative producing.  Particular attention will be paid to dramatic structure, meaning, subtext and authorship within specified film movements or niche markets. (1 credit) 24-6605A

Acquisition, Development & Presentation
This course explores the development and execution of creative producing in media, including: finding, analyzing, and acquiring intellectual property, collaborating with writers/directors, pitching, packaging material, pre-visualization, casting, financing, and working with a line producer to execute the vision.  In addition it will prepare students to take their creative ideas into the “real world” by tracking current changes in media relating to studios, financiers, web content, television and cable programming, and distributors. (3 credits) 24-6612

Business & Legal 
This course introduces basic legal and financial concepts for media producers including production financing, international co-productions, standard business practices in the entertainment industry, and essential components of entrepreneurial producing.  Additionally it will explore contracts and negotiations associated with delivery items – intellectual property ownership, copyright, rights agreements, licensing, and chain-of-title. (3 credits) 24-6610

Writing for Producers
This course examines all forms of writing associated with professional producing ranging from business writing, creative writing (development), screenwriting, and writing associated with distribution, movie-marketing and exhibition. (3 credits) 24-6721

Line Producing IA
The Line Producer is the day-to-day producer on the front line during production. This intermediate-level course focuses on all aspects of physical production and immerses the students into 10 weeks of learning how to supervise advanced short film productions. The line producer’s role is covered, including decision-making and crisis management; team building and collaboration with other essential production personnel. Additionally, the course explores budgeting and accounting principles in relation to ongoing production changes and adaptations within the Graduate Program. (2 credits) 24-6604A

 

SEMESTER TWO
Spring (11 credits)

Line Producing IB
This intermediate-level course immerses the students into 5 week of learning how to line produce a feature film through case study preproduction. This class is crucial for students to further develop the skills they will implement on their own project(s) in Long-Form Package. (1 credit) 24-6604B

Cinema Studies II
This is the second of three courses designed to investigate key historical moments of cinema and media through close critical analysis.  The goal is to develop a sophisticated approach to the aesthetics of cinema and media as the basis of a professional vocabulary and methodology for creative producing.  Particular attention will be paid to dramatic structure, meaning, subtext and authorship within specified film movements or niche markets. (1 credit) 24-6605B

Story Development
This intensive, semester long workshop explores and develops a variety of ideation strategies subject to group critique resulting in script notes. Participants practice different pitching approaches. Developed ideas are drafted as short scripts and features. Emphasis is on rigorous research. (3 credits) 24-6607

Critical Analysis of Contemporary Film & Media
This seminar critically examines contemporary trends in domestic and international film, television and media ideas, production and distribution and its symbiotic relationship with culture. Select indigenous industries and the role of the Internet in the globalization of entertainment are examined. (3 credits) 24-6609 

Post Production
This workshop gives producers a fundamental overview and practice of the post production phase from workflow development through finishing strategies and across multiple platforms.  The role of the post production supervisor is explored. (3 credits) 24-6606

 

SEMESTER THREE
Fall (9 credits)

Cinema Studies III
This is the third of three courses designed to investigate key historical moments of cinema and media through close critical analysis.  The goal is to develop a sophisticated approach to the aesthetics of cinema and media as the basis of a professional vocabulary and methodology for creative producing.  Particular attention will be paid to dramatic structure, meaning, subtext and authorship within specified film movements or niche markets. (1 credit) 24-6605C


Marketing, Distribution and Exhibition

The Marketing, Distribution and Exhibition seminar is a Los Angeles-based course that explores the roles and professional practices of a producer during the Marketing, Distribution and Exhibition phase of the process.  Participants conduct qualitative and quantitative analyses based on the type of project and expected audience. (3 credits) 24-6613

Long-Form Narrative Development
Building upon their experiences and preliminary work in Acquisitions, Development & Presentation, students will continue to develop a slate of potential projects, specifically finding, developing, and acquiring the rights to material to be developed into a long-form narrative property (such as feature length film or serialized storytelling such as a TV series, extended web series or transmedia project) and work with an accomplished screenwriter to produce a first draft from which a production package can evolve in Long-Form Narrative Packaging.  (3 credits) 24-6614

Thesis F&V

Producers will work with the film’s director and key crew in pre-production to prepare for a professionally executed short film using collaborative filmmaking techniques. (2 credit) 24-6071

J-TERM
January (1 credit)

Thesis F&V

Producers will work with the film’s director and key crew in pre-production to prepare for a professionally executed short film using collaborative filmmaking techniques. (1 credit) 24-6071
 

SEMESTER FOUR
Spring (11 credits)

CHICAGO Weeks 1-6

Applied Postproduction and Delivery

This course focuses on the guiding role of the creative producer during post-production under the leadership of the director and editor. Coursework will include managing various “cuts” during editing, the role of testing films/ market analysis, and working with related post processes such as post-sound, titles and visual effects. Students will further investigate the full range of “deliverables” and associated exhibition strategies for their thesis projects. (3 credits) 24-6618

LOS ANGELES Weeks 8-15
Long-Form Narrative Package
This course is a hands-on approach based on the principles learned and materials developed in Acquisition, Development & Presentation and Long-Form Narrative Development, concentrating on a final pitch and oral presentation with a thesis binder consisting of multiple projects and corresponding selling strategies. Coursework will include professionally-modeled research that identifies project-specific buyers, talent, and financing tactics. Students will package at least one project from their slate developed in Long-Form Narrative Development. (2 credits) 24-6619

Business Affairs

Business Affairs is a Los Angeles-based seminar that introduces students to market trends in financing ranging from entrepreneurial business plan driven investment scenarios to more conventional distributor-driven opportunities that include fundamentals in the roles of agents and managers.  Students develop negotiating skills and examine the art of effective negotiations. (3 credits) 24-6611

The Entrepreneurial Producer

This Los Angeles-based advanced workshop will provide a detailed examination of the producer’s role of “packaging” with a practical emphasis on attaching talent, calibrating trends in international co-productions, soft monies & tax incentives, international sales & pre-sales, and film markets. (3 credits) 24-6616

 

Total Credits: 50