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The UCLA Animation Workshop has been turning out innovative and accomplished artists for more than half a century, never more so than in the past decade, as the popularity and commercial impact of the genre has exploded. Striking a balance between technology and creativity, the program at the Workshop allows students to learn every phase of the filmmaking process, from scriptwriting to editing, allowing them to become masters of a demanding craft while also becoming master storytellers. The tenet that has guided the program since its inception in 1948 is "one person, one film."

Working in the state-of-the art Walter Lantz Digital Animation Studio, students gain hands-on knowledge about the latest CG innovations that continue to transform the animation field. The Studio is a matchless resource for instruction, research and student film production, made possible by generous gifts amounting to nearly $1 million dollars from the Walter Lantz Foundation.

Our alumni are doing great things with the knowledge they have gained at the Animation Workshop. Erick Oh (M.F.A. ’10) is an animator at Pixar, and has worked on such films as Cars 2 (2011), the Academy Award-winning Brave (2012), Monsters University (2013), Inside Out (2015) and the upcoming Finding Dory (2016), the sequel to the 2003 blockbuster Finding Nemo. Shane Acker (B.A. '04), expanded his visionary Academy Award-nominated short film, 9, into a 2009 feature film of the same name for producer Tim Burton. In 2007, director David Silverman (B.A. '79, M.F.A. '83), brought The Simpsons Movie to the big screen. That same year, Monster House, the directorial debut of Gil Kenan (M.F.A. '02), was nominated for a Best Animated Feature Academy Award.

I. MFA: Film and Television, Area: Animation (See sections I to V for all requirements)

II. Summary:

Minimum 6 quarters graduate residence in the Department; maximum 12 quarters residence. Minimum total of 72 units (18 classes) for the degree. At least 5 Graduate numbered courses (200,400,500 Level). Minimum course load is 12 units per quarter

Maintenance of a B average GPA.

III. Courses:

Required Courses

  • 181A Animation Design
  • 1818 Writing for Animation
  • 181C Animation Workshop
  • 484AB Visual Thinking and Organization for Animation (drawing)
  • 488A Interactive Animation
  • 489AB Computer Animation for Film and Video
  • or
  • 483AB Advanced Computer Animation Maya

FTVDM Required Courses

Two Film and Television Graduate Seminars

  • 209D Seminar in the Animated Film

Plus choose one below:

  • 203 Film and Other Arts
  • 206A European Film History
  • 206C American Film History**
  • 207 Experimental Film
  • 208B Classical Film Theory**
  • 208C Contemporary Film Theory
  • 209D Animated Film
  • 217 Television History**
  • 218 Culture, Media and Society
  • 219 Film and Society
  • 220 Television and Society
  • 221 Film Authors
  • 222 Film Genres
  • 223 Visual Perception
  • 270 Film Criticism
  • 271 Television Criticism
  • 276 Non Western Film
  • 277 Narrative Studies

** courses are sometimes taught as a core course for MA students and may not be available that particular quarter to MFA students. One Live Action Course

  • 150 Cinematography
  • 483AB Intro to Experimental Film

Or another approved course from the Production area (Directing).

Electives

  • 152 Film and Television Sound Recording
  • 188A Real Time Animation: Puppetry Arts
  • 188N History of Animation in America
  • 188J The Disney Feature: Then and Now
  • 480 Animation Timing
  • 482B Advanced Animation (Character Animation)
  • 482B Advanced Animation (Writing for the Animated TV Series)
  • 485 Legal Issues in Animation
  • 488B Advanced Animation (Layout)

This list is subject to change. Availability of courses is not guaranteed. Do not wait until your last quarter to fulfill requirements

To graduate an animation student will need to have finished:

One traditional film (181C)

One computer film (483ABC or 489ABA)

One interactive project (488A or B)

And one thesis film (596) if needed

IV. Courses by Year:

FIRST YEAR Traditional Animation

FALL

  • FT 181A Introduction to Animation
  • FT 181B Writing for Animation
  • FT 484A Visual Thinking and Organization for Animation (Drawing)

Electives if you have the time:

  • FT 488B Advanced Animation (Layout)

If you have completed 181ABC and have finished your first film as an undergraduate you can start as a second year student, but you will need to take the Seminar during the winter quarter.

WINTER

  • FT 181C Animation Workshop
  • FT 484B Visual Thinking and Organization for Animation
  • FT 209D Seminar in the Animated Film

Extra electives if you have the time:

  • FT 482B Advanced Animation (Character Animation)
  • FT 480B Timing (or FTV 485 Legal Issues in Animation)
  • FT 152 Film and Television Sound Recording
  • Falling Lizard Weekend, a traditional event of the workshop, will take place the weekend of the Super Bowl (and The Annie Awards) Feb 5,6,7

    SPRING

    • 181C Animation Workshop

    Extra electives if you have time:

    • 188N History of Animation in America
    Note: This undergraduate course, like all animation courses, is open to every student in the University, but in this case pre enrolls it alternates. Every other year, with FT 188J The Disney Feature Then and Now.

    • FT 152 Film and Television Sound Recording

    SECOND YEAR: Computer Animation

    Note: you can automatically take the computer class only if you have finished your 181C film by the end of summer. If not, admission to the computer courses will be on a case by case basis and you may have to wait until your third year (with a finished 181C film) before you can enroll in the computer courses.

    There are three options for the computer flight (1) 483ABC Maya, (2) 489ABA, or (3) Some combination of 483 and 489 but you must have a completed computer film finished to complete the computer animation requirement. All students must take 489A in the Fall Quarter even if they are taking 483A.

    The required courses outside of animation (one approved directing course and one approved media studies graduate seminar) can be taken any quarter.

    FALL

    • FT 483A Advanced Computer Animation Maya
    • FT 484A Visual Thinking and Organization for Animation
    • FT 489A Computer Animation
    • FT 488B Advanced Animation (Layout)

    Extra electives if you have time:

    • FT 488A: Interactive Animation is required in 3rd year but may take it in 2nd year if you have enough computer experience and are not enrolled in 483A (Maya)
    • FT 152 Film and Television Sound Recording

    WINTER

    • 483AB Advanced Computer Animation Maya
    • 489B Computer Animation Maya
    • 484B Visual Thinking and Organization for Animation (Drawing)

    Electives:

    • FT 482B Advanced Animation (Character Animation)
    • FT 482B Interactive Animation
    • FT 480 Timing

    SPRING

    • FT 483C Advanced Computer Animation Maya (may also take 489A)
    • FT 489A Computer animation (required if you are not taking the Maya class)

    Electives:

    • FT 482B Advanced Animation: Writing for the TV Series
    • FT 182N History of Animation in America
    Note: This undergraduate course, like all animation courses, is open to every student in the University (but in this case pre enrolls) it alternates. Every other year, with FT 188J The Disney Feature Then and Now
    • FT 152 Film and Television Sound Recording

    THIRD YEAR (Thesis)

    FALL

    • FT 488A Interactive Animation
    • FT 484A Visual Thinking and Organization for Animation (Drawing)

    Elective/required course(s)

    • FT 596 Thesis
    • You should be finishing your required animation courses by now. With a completed project in: Traditional Animation, Interactive Animation, and Computer Animation. Your thesis project can be in traditional, animation narrative, experimental, any content or style for any idea, for any purpose. It is your film and purpose and should be good. This is the year of your thesis film.

    You can go on a leave of absence if you like.

    WINTER

    • FT 488B Interactive Animation
    • FT 596 Thesis

    SPRING

    • FT 596 Thesis

    Elective/required course(s)

    • FT 482B Advanced Animation: Writing for the TV Series

    Leave of Absence

    REQUIRED NON ANIMATION COURSES

    One graduate seminar from the approved list of the Cinema Media Studies area

    One approved course from the Production area (Directing)

    SUGGESTED ELECTIVE COURSES

    Drawing: Character animators should be drawing all the time. The Union and others have classes.

    Editing: Especially for those without any film background - the language of film.

    Acting: For those into character animation, remember you are the actor or actress.

    Sound: Designing, mixing and using sound creatively - sound can make your film.

    Camera/Lighting: Especially for the lighting of 3D computer and puppet animation.

    And any of these: Design film, Computer programming, Directing, Movement, Painting,

    Perspective, Design, Color, Mythology, Life, and Love. We have a library of books, tapes, laser disks, DVD's you will need to read, look, analyze and learn from these to be a good filmmaker of animation. Internships are available and are helpful, especially if you know what you want to do also there is freelance work available. Both take time away from your education, a once in a lifetime opportunity.

All MFA programs in Film, Television, & Digital Media are Full-Time programs. The Department admits new students only once each year for the Fall Quarter.

Applicants must submit all required application materials to be considered for admission.

Online Application and Postmark Deadline: February 1, 2016

By the time of entrance, MFA Applicants Must:

  • Have at least a 3.0 GPA.
  • Satisfy the University of California’s Graduate Admission Requirements.
  • Complete equivalent to a 4 year US Bachelor’s Degree.

Click Here for an Application Worksheet and More Detailed Instructions on How to Apply

Please complete all of the following steps:

Step 1: Online

  • Complete the UCLA Graduate Division Online Application.
    • MUST be paid and completed Online by February 1, 2016.
    • Indicate MFA, Film and Television, Animation as the program.
  • Upload Unofficial copies of all Transcripts.
  • Submit Three Letters of Recommendation
    • Enter the Names and Emails of all recommenders into the UCLA Graduate Division Online Application.
    • Note: Letters can be submitted by mail.

Step 2: Online & Mail

  • Complete the Online Graduate FTVDM Departmental Application.
    • Print and Mail the generated PDF.
  • Upload and Mail the Statement of Purpose.
    • Submit a 1-2 page document.
  • Upload and Mail an Original Storyboard.
    • For important information on Storyboard submissions, Click Here.
  • Upload and Mail Other Creative Work.
    • For important information on Portfolio submissions, Click Here.

Step 3: Mail

  • Mail an Official copy of all Transcripts from each Undergraduate and Graduate institutions attended.
    • Note: Community College transcripts are not necessary.
    • Please have transcripts sent to the address below or include them in sealed envelopes with the supplemental application packet.
  • Request that all Test Scores be sent directly to UCLA.
    • Only test scores taken by December 2015 will be accepted.
    • The GRE UCLA Code is 4837 and the Department Code is 2409.
    • Note: The GRE is not Required for MFA Applicants.

Mailing Address:

Please Send all applicable materials to:

Graduate Film Admissions
UCLA Department of Film, Television, and Digital Media
103 East Melnitz Hall, Box 951622
Los Angeles, CA 90095-1622

Online Application and Postmark Deadline: February 1, 2016

INTERNATIONAL STUDENTS

For more information on requirements and applying to UCLA as an International Student, visit https://grad.ucla.edu/admissions/international-applicants/.

English Proficiency: Any international applicant whose first language is not English must certify proficiency in English when applying to UCLA, and, if admitted, upon arrival. Such applicants must submit scores received on the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) as part of their application. The UCLA Code is 4837 and the Department Code is 2409. Only test scores taken by December 2015 will be accepted. For more information about this requirement, visit https://grad.ucla.edu/admissions/english-requirements/. International applicants who have received a Bachelor’s degree from an American institution are not required to take the TOEFL.

Academic Records: Although the UCLA Graduate Division Application enables applicants to upload an unofficial copy of their academic records, all applicants are required to submit official records from each academic institution attended. For more information about this requirement, visit https://grad.ucla.edu/admissions/required-academic-records/.

Undergrad Degree Requirement: Applicants must complete equivalent to a 4 year US Bachelor’s Degree. International students who hold three-year ordinary pass degrees, or who hold professional diplomas in accounting, business, librarianship, social work, physical education, health education and so on, or four-year degrees, diplomas or higher certificates from technical, vocational or post-secondary specialized schools are NOT eligible for graduate admission. For Academic Requirements by Country or Educational System, visit: https://grad.ucla.edu/admissions/required-academic-records/.

Proof of Funding for Visa: U.S. immigration law requires that international applicants, if admitted, show documented evidence that sufficient funds to cover all tuition, fees, transportation, and living expenses are available for the first year of their studies at UCLA. This must be proven before a Certificate of Eligibility (I-20 or DS2019) for a visa can be issued. For more information about this requirement, visit https://grad.ucla.edu/admissions/visa-procedures/.

FAFSA

For U.S. Citizens and Permanent Residents interested in receiving financial aid in the 2016-2017 year, note that the Fellowship Application and Financial Aid Application (FAFSA) deadline for UCLA is March 2, 2016. Applicants must complete the FAFSA by this date if they want to be eligible for all awards, work-study, and scholarships that UCLA offers. If applying after March 2, please check with Financial Aid Office for available funding opportunities. www.financialaid.ucla.edu

Please visit the FAQ page for additional questions, call 310-206-8441, or email filmgrad@tft.ucla.edu.

** Please do not contact the department to check on your application, as we cannot update you on your application status or materials.

For Prospective Students:

For Current Students:

Film, Television & Digital Media Counselor: Cheri Smith

Film, Television & Digital Media Staff

Film, Television & Digital Media Faculty

PROGRAM HIGHLIGHTS
Ranked No. 1 Among Public Schools in The CountryTFT's Animation program was ranked first in the nation among public schools by Animation Career Review.
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