|Degrees & Certificates||About SFI||Teen Programs||Admissions|
|Extension Classes||Student Life||Faculty||Films|
MFA in Filmmaking and Producing Program Curriculum
The MFA in Filmmaking and Producing provides a comprehensive education in various aspects of the filmmaking process including both production and producing. In the producing realm, the program focuses on the four major areas of producing:
- Creative elements and the creative team;
- the business of filmmaking (business, financial and legal);
- management (pre-production, production, and post- production);
- and marketing and distribution.
The curriculum and the mission of the M.F.A. is to provide students with the knowledge, tools, and practical skills to define and implement career goals and accomplish their creative, business, and entrepreneurial goals with personal and professional integrity.
Classes required for the Master of Fine Arts (M.F.A.) in Filmmaking and Producing—110- quarter Credits.
MAPR—511: Art of Directing (4)
Art of Directing concentrates on two crucial areas of the directing process—working with actors and the technical aspects of directing. First, students concentrate on the professional and emotional relationship between the actor and director. Next, students focus on set issues including lighting, set design, lens selection, and blocking.
MAPR—521: Production 1 (4)
Production 1 provides an introduction to the basic elements of camera operation and lighting with specific attention to the fundamentals of exposure and control of the image and provides an overview of the entire production process. Students complete two short individual projects and one small group project on Super 8 film.
MAPR—522: Production 2 (4)
Production 2 builds on the principles taught in Production 1 and provides an introduction to collaborative production and the crew experience and introduces skills in the areas of pre-production, blocking, directing, and production planning. Students are introduced to lighting and camera operation at the intermediate level with film and HD cameras. Students assume a specific crew position and complete a 16mm MOS group project that melds the creative use of sound and image. Prerequisite: MAPR-521 or satisfactory completion of MAPR-521 proficiency exam.
MAPR—523: Production 3 (4)
Production 3 builds on the principles taught in Production 2 in the areas of pre-production, directing and production management. The class provides continued instruction in lighting technique and camera operation as well as an introduction to location audio recording. Students complete a collaborative crew project in HD that highlights the creative and effective use of dialog and visual storytelling. Students assume a specific assigned crew position that is different than the crew position held in Production 1. Prerequisite: MAPR-522 or satisfactory completion of MAPR-522 proficiency exam.
MAPR—524: Production 4 (4)
Production 4 builds on the principles taught in Production 3 and provides advanced instruction in audio, lighting, cinematography, and camera operation. Students complete a capstone collaborative project in Super 16mm or HD crewing in their area of specialization. Field trips and guest lectures highlight the role of the entire structure of film/video production ranging from production houses and soundstages to digital and audio post-production and the film lab. Prerequisite: MAPR-523 or satisfactory completion of MAPR-523 proficiency exam.
MAPR—541 Fundamentals of Editing (4)
Fundamentals of Editing provides an introduction to the art, theory, and craft of editing with detailed attention to the entire conceptual process from storyboarding to the final version. Students also gain practical experience and hands-on instruction in editing programs and edit all projects produced in Production 1.
MAPR—542 Principles of Editing and Non-Fiction Filmmaking 1 (4)
Principles of Editing and Non-Fiction Filmmaking 1 builds on the principles taught in Fundamentals of Editing with specific attention to the relation between visual imagery and sound design and provides the foundation to the techniques and aesthetic principles for editing dialog, music, and sound effects. Students complete documentary projects, and sharpen analytical skills with critiques of all projects completed in Production 2. Prerequisite: MAPR-541 or satisfactory completion of MAPR-541 proficiency exam.
MAPR—543 Principles of Editing and Non-Fiction Filmmaking 2 (4)
Principles of Editing and Non-Fiction Filmmaking 2 builds on the principles taught in Principles of Editing and Non-Fiction Filmmaking 1 with advanced instruction in the theory and practice of editing dialog in narrative work and offers both a theoretical and structural overview of the editorial process of both narrative and non-fiction work as material progresses through each successive editorial version. Students complete a promotional video project, an edit and critique all material produced in Production 3. Prerequisite: MAPR-542 or satisfactory completion of MAPR-542 proficiency exam.
MAPR—544 Principles of Editing and Non-Fiction Filmmaking 3 (4)
Principles of Editing and Non-Fiction Filmmaking 3 builds on the principles taught in Principles of Editing and Non-Fiction Filmmaking 2. The class provides advanced instruction in editing workflow, the relation between film, video, and digital formats and conversion issues, technical and creative aspects of electronic imaging, and offers specific attention to advanced editing problems, visual effects, audio, and color correction. Students complete either a personal essay, experimental project, or project of their choice, and edit and critique all material produced in Production 4. Prerequisite: MAPR-543 or satisfactory completion of MAPR-543 proficiency exam.
MAPR—599 Special Topics (4)
Special Topics focuses on detailed investigations of new or emerging aspects of new media, film/digital production, television, and/or distribution and exhibition with active participation of visiting faculty and specialists.
MACS—509 Language of Film (4)
Language of Film provides an overview of film analysis through a study of basic elements of film structure including cinematography, editing, composition set design, color, and sound and the ways in which each contributes to a film’s meaning.
MACS—515 History of Cinema (4)
History of Cinema provides a survey of the history of cinema with specific attention to the development of the medium from its beginnings and the Hollywood studio system to international cinema.
MASW—521 – Screenwriting 1 (4)
In Screenwriting-1, students learn story concept development and how to create realistic and empathetic characters, screenplay conventions and format, and characteristics of established genres. The course emphasizes telling a story cinematically in terms of action and character portrayal.
MASW-522 – Screenwriting 2 (4)
In Screenwriting-2, students develop the basic storyline for their screenplay. The class focuses on the specific elements of the screenwriting craft including creating story, structuring the plot and subplots, plot points, ingredients to construct effective opening pages, and the structure of dramatic scene.
MASW-523 – Screenwriting 3 (4)
In Screenwriting-3, students begin their screenplays and have individual readings of their pages in class with discussion and analysis. This course deals with the overall structure of screenplays from the individual scene to the rhythms of the complete piece. In addition, the class focuses on effective dialogue, adding “twists” to the story, and the basic techniques of comedy and humor.
MASW-524 – Screenwriting 4 (4)
In Screenwriting-4, students will continue writing a first draft of a feature screenplay, reading and analyzing pages in class. The class will focus on the tools and elements for creating suspense, finding creative titles, entering festivals and contests, registering scripts, pitching, finding an agent, and rewriting for the next draft.
MAFP—531 Fundamentals of Producing (3)
Fundamentals of Producing provides an overview of the entire producing process from development to distribution. This course focuses on the four core areas of the producing process: Creative Elements and the Creative Team; Business of Filmmaking; Management; and Marketing and Distribution.
MAFP—541 Creative Elements and the Creative Team—1 (4)
Creative Elements and the Creative Team—1 focuses on the formative stages of project development with specific attention to: Defining and maintaining a creative vision; Finding and developing stories and screenplays; Putting together the creative team; Putting together the cast; Using the creative aspects of the project to support business goals and solve problems.
MAFP—542 Creative Elements and the Creative Team—2 (3)
Creative Elements and the Creative Team—2 continues the development of producing skills introduced in MAFP—541 with a particular focus on organizational techniques and script analysis and breakdown. Students also focus on the hands-on tools needed to produce a production within the program. Prerequisite: MAFP—541.
MAFP—543 Creative Elements and the Creative Team—3 (2)
Creative Elements and the Creative Team—3 continues the development of producing skills introduced in MAFP—542 with the primary focus of producing a short project within the context of the program. Students select and develop the project, participate in story meetings, choose crew, deal with all elements of pre-production and set the framework for the actual production. Prerequisite: MAFP—542.
MAFP—551 Business of Filmmaking—1 (3)
Business of Filmmaking—1 focuses on the key areas of the business of filmmaking that are on the producer’s radar from the very conception of a project: fundraising, the business plan; and the budget and budgeting.
MAFP—552 Business of Filmmaking—2 (3)
Seattle Film Institute—2015: The Third Decade Begins 68
Business of Filmmaking—2 provides an in-depth analysis of the financial aspects of the film industry and methods of financing films. Specific attention is paid to financial models and cost recoupment mechanisms models (including licensing) for a variety of project types—studio features, independent films, and projects geared to alternative distribution. Prerequisite: MAFP—551.
MAFP—553 Business of Filmmaking—3 (2)
Business of Filmmaking—3 offers an overview of entertainment law and focuses on the legal aspects of the producer’s world. Topics include deal memos, contracts, union agreements, distribution agreements, music rights, literary rights, intellectual rights, and copyrights. Prerequisite: MAFP—552.
MAFP—561 Production Management—1 (2)
Production Management—1 provides an introduction to management and managerial skills with a specific emphasis on the elements of pre-production including script breakdown, acquiring locations, hiring crew, negotiations, logistical planning, equipment, and scheduling.
MAFP—562 Production Management—2 (2)
Production Management—2 provides an in-depth introduction to the role of the line producer in the key areas of budgets and budget management; management of the day-to-day aspects of the production; set management and craft services; and crew management including conflict resolution and termination. Prerequisite: MAFP—561.
MAFP—563 Production Management—3 (1)
Production Management—3 focuses on the managerial and technical expertise the producer brings to the post-production process. This class deals specifically with editing, sound editing, music, score composition, visual and special effects, and laboratory workflow and relations. Prerequisite: MAFP— 562.
MAFP—571 Marketing and Distribution—1 (2)
Marketing and Distribution—1 provides the groundwork for a detailed analysis of the distribution process by focusing on traditional distribution, exhibition, and marketing models and an analysis of target audiences and demographics.
MAFP—572 Marketing and Distribution—2 (2)
Marketing and Distribution—2 focuses on alternatives to traditional distribution including on demand DVD distribution; internet distribution, video on demand, hybrid models, and platform theatrical release. The class also examines the role of film markets and film festivals as an integral part of alternative distribution. Prerequisite: MAFP—571.
MAFP—573 Marketing and Distribution—3 (2)
Marketing and Distribution—3 concentrates on the specifics of marketing including the development of the overall marketing plan and its individual components. Specific attention is devoted to the press kit (traditional and web-based), social networking, viral buzz, the web site, trailers, and collateral promotional materials. Prerequisite: MAFP—572.
MAFP—601 Integration of Producing Skills (3)
Integration of Producing Skills, through an active involvement of industry participants, delineates the relationship of the skill-set of the film producer to other career paths including new and emerging media, internet and digital media production and distribution, documentary production, video games, commercials, as well as business opportunities and start-up and entrepreneurial ventures.
MAFP—701 Master’s Portfolio Seminar—1 (3)
Master’s Portfolio Seminar—1 provides the foundation for the portfolio project: A fully-developed film project with a strategy plan that includes how to package and finance the project, a detailed budget, and the marketing and distribution plan and all collateral material required for that plan. Students, with faculty approval, may develop an alternate project to fulfill the portfolio project.
MAFP—702 Master’s Portfolio Seminar—2 (3)
Master’s Portfolio Seminar—2 follows MAFP—701 and provides the structure of the completion of the Portfolio Project. In addition to class meetings, students will also meet with faculty for individual consultations, and when appropriate, industry professionals. Prerequisite: MAFP—701.
MAFP—703 Master’s Portfolio Seminar—3 (3)
Master’s Portfolio Seminar—3 provides the foundation for advance projects in production and/or screenwriting. In addition to class meetings, students will also meet with faculty for individual consultations, and when appropriate, industry professionals. Prerequisite: MAFP—702.
MAFP—704 Master’s Portfolio Seminar—4 (3)
Master’s Portfolio Seminar—4 follows MAPF—703 and provides the structure of the completion of advanced projects in production and/or screenwriting. In addition to class meetings, students will also meet with faculty for individual consultations, and when appropriate, industry professionals. Prerequisite: MAFP—703.
The following internship program is an elective for the MFA in Producing for Film:
MAFP—901 Professional Internship Program (1-6)
The Professional Internship Program is open to all students who complete the program requirements. Students are encouraged to use the program as a way of focusing and developing their career in the areas of producing that they are specifically interested in pursuing. The Professional Internship Program is managed through Career Services at Seattle Film Institute. Students with program permission may register for MAPF—901.