Graduate Admissions

Cinema Art + Science - Creative Producing MFA

    PLEASE NOTE: The posted courses are in development; there may be minor changes as the program progresses. Be sure to check the online course catalog and the current class schedule for details about pre-requisites, terms offered, class fees, etc.).

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 Film & Video faculty members and includes case studies and guest presentations. (6 credits) 24-6601

SEMESTER ONE
Fall (10 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

SEMESTER TWO
Spring (12 credits)

Line Producing I
This course provides an introduction to the physical aspects of producing that will include: budgeting, scheduling, production documentation, hiring producation personnel, negotiating and managing vendors, overseeing location scout, accounting and money management. (3 credits) 24-6604

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

Feature Film I: Feature Development
Participants begin development on thesis project culminating in a shooting script, a fully-developed previsualization schema and the hiring of key collaborators (i.e., director, cinematographer, production designer, etc.). Course will also introduce students to longer-form scriptwriting (e.g., feature films, television movies, etc.) (3 credits) 24-6614

Thesis F&V
Producers will focus on finalizing a script and developing the pre-production elements necessary for a successful production of a Thesis Project. (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

Feature Film II: Feature Film Package
This course is a hands-on approach based on the principles of Creative Producing 24-6612, which concentrates on a final oral presentation and 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. (2 credit) 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