The UCLA Master of Fine Arts degree in Production with an emphasis in Cinematography, established in 1997, is a four-year program that trains students in the aesthetic, technical, and organizational aspects of cinematography making them the most versatile and innovative young cinematographers working today.
Currently 2-3 MFA students in Cinematography are admitted each year with 10-15 MFA Cinematography students enrolled at any time. In the first year of admissions to the program, nearly 100 candidates applied for the two positions. The number of applications increases annually as the reputation of the program grows.
The Cinematography Program has a twelve-quarter time-to-degree requirement. The minimum total units required to graduate is 72 units (18 courses). Only 16 units of FTVDM 596ABC may be applied towards the total course requirement and only 8 of these may be applied towards the minimum graduate course requirement. Only 4 units of 596A and 4 units of 596B may be taken prior to advancement. FTVDM 596 D though F may be taken after advancement.
A. Required Courses:To pursue the Cinematography specialization, students are required to:
- complete the FTV 410 course sequence and other general MFA degree requirements
- complete FTV 153, 298A, 416, 417, 418, 419, 420,596A
- photograph a minimum of three advanced projects
- enroll in Directed Individual Research Projects
- exploring various aspects of cinematography
- write a research paper on an area of cinematography
- photograph a short project related to the research paper
- photograph three thesis films
B. Required Cinematography Courses
- 153 MOTION PICTURE LIGHTING
- 454C POST PRODUCTION PATHWAYS
- 416 INTERMEDIATE CINEMATOGRAPHY
- 417 LIGHTING FOR FILM & TELEVISION
- 418 CINEMATOGRAPHY & DIRECTING
- 419 ADVANCED CINEMATOGRAPHY
- 420 DIGITAL CINEMATOGRAPHY
- 596A DIRECTED INDIVIDUAL RESEARCH
C. Required Cinema and Media Studies Courses
Seminar courses that are approved to fulfill the Cinema and Media Studies requirement are (Two of these courses are required):
- 203 FILM AND OTHER ARTS
- 204 VISUAL ANALYSIS
- 206A EUROPEAN FILM HISTORY
- 206B SELECTED TOPICS IN AMERICAN FILM HISTORY
- 206C AMERICAN FILM HISTORY**
- 207 EXPERIMENTAL FILM
- 209A DOCUMENTARY FILM
- 208B CLASSICAL FILM THEORY **
- 208C CONTEMPORARY FILM THEORY
- 209C FICTIONAL FILM
- 209D ANIMATED FILM
- 217 SELECTED TOPICS IN TELEVISION HISTORY **
- 217A AMERICAN TELEVISION HISTORY**
- 218 CULTURE, MEDIA AND SOCIETY
- 219 FILM AND SOCIETY
- 220 TELEVISION AND SOCIETY
- 221 FILM AUTHORS
- 222 FILM GENRES
- 223 VISUAL PERCEPTION
- 224 COMPUTER APPLICATIONS FOR FILM STUDY
- 225 VIDEOGAME THEORY
- 246 ELECTRONIC CULTURE
- 270 FILM CRITICISM
- 271 TELEVISION CRITICISM
- 276 NON WESTERN FILM
- 277 NARRATIVE STUDIES
- 298AB SPECIAL STUDIES (select classes must see Graduate Counselor)
IV. Course Requirements by Year:
A. First Year Course Requirements
- 410A SYMPOSIUM
- 410B CINEMATOGRAPHY
- 410C POST PRODUCTION
- 410D POST PRODUCTION SOUND
- 409 DIRECTING THE ACTOR FOR THE CAMERA
- 433 WRITING FOR THE SHORT FILM
- 401 FILM ANALYSIS
- 410A SYMPOSIUM
- 410B Film Production Workshop
- 410E PRODUCTION
- 410C CINEMATOGRAPHY
- 410A SYMPOSIUM
- 410C POST PRODUCTION
- 410D POST PRODUCTION SOUND
- 298A FINAL CUT PRO
- TBD DOCUMENTARY COURSE
B. Years 2 and 3
Cinematography students take required classes in intermediate cinematography, lighting for film and television, cinematography and directing, advanced cinematography, digital cinematography, among other courses. Students also take diverse electives such as film and television critical and historical studies, screenwriting, directing actors, makeup fundamentals, production design, etc. Directed Individual Research Projects are required. These courses afford the student an opportunity to work one-on-one with individual faculty members, allowing the student to pursue targeted interests in aesthetic or technical subjects.
Cinematography students also serve as the director of photography on the advanced projects written and directed by Directing students.
C. Years 3 and 4
Each Cinematography student is required to photograph three thesis films written and directed by MFA Directing students.
D. Year 4
Completion of the thesis research project. Students focus their academic research on an aspect of cinematography of interest to them. Combining a written document with original photography, each student creates a research project that contributes to the greater knowledge of the field. Currently, students are authoring their research projects on interactive DVDs, allowing for greater correlation of the research to the images created in support of that research. Recent examples: The Narrative Impact of Hand-Held Camera Work, Color Theory and Cinematography, and Cinematography in a Multi-Monitor Environment.
All Theater, Film and Television degree programs are full-time only. We only accept students for the Fall Quarter. This admissions information is for Fall Quarter 2013.
THE GRE IS NOT REQUIRED FOR MFA APPLICANTS
Notice for applicants affected by Hurricane Sandy: If the storm and its resulting closures affected your ability to submit your application by the November 1st, 2012 deadline, please email firstname.lastname@example.org an explanation of your situation, including where you live. Deadline extensions will be provided based on your current situation.
- Apply online to UCLA Graduate Division by November 1, 2012.
- Departmental application instructions. Print and complete the Departmental application. Choose MFA – Production/Cinematography. Please submit by mail.
- Complete and submit the following supplemental information. All written Supporting Material must be typed and on 8-1/2 by 11 paper with at least a 12-point font. The lengths indicated are the maximum allowed. Make sure your name is on each page and that all pages of each section are stapled together.
- An original treatment that is no longer than 2 pages in length, 12 point font, describing a short film that might be produced during graduate residence at UCLA. No adaptations or feature script treatments will be accepted. Material that is longer than the above guidelines may not be read. Please do not combine the statement of purpose and film proposal; they are two separate documents. Due to the high volume of applications, submitted material will not be returned. Please do not send scripts, DVD's, or tapes. Please submit a hard copy of the uploaded document by mail.
- Two official transcripts from all undergraduate and graduate work are required. NOTE: Community college transcripts are not necessary, as the coursework will be reflected on your undergraduate transcript. Please have transcripts sent to address below or include sealed envelope in application packet.
- Statement of Purpose. A 1-2 page document giving the faculty a sense of who you are. What do you hope to achieve by participating in the program? What are your professional goals? How do you plan to achieve them? Please submit a hard copy of the uploaded document by mail.
- Three Letters of Recommendation. Please enter the names and other information about your recommenders in the online Graduate Division Application. Letters may be submitted electronically or by mail.
- Whose first language is not English, official test results from the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) IS REQUIRED unless,
- the applicant who holds a bachelor's or higher degree from a university located in the United States or in another country in which English is both the primary spoken language and the medium of instruction, or who have completed at least two years of full-time study at such an institution, are exempted from both the TOEFL/IELTS requirement and the ESLPE. Please be sure to include such information in your application.
- TOEFL UCLA institution code – 4837 / Department code – 83. The overall minimum TOTAL score required is 87. For more information about UCLA TOEFL requirements, click here.
- Required Academic Records – Please click the link for UCLA Graduate Division requirements.http://www.gdnet.ucla.edu/gasaa/admissions/ACADRECS.HTM. ORIGINAL or CERTIFIED COPIES OF ALL ACADEMIC RECORDS IN ENGLISH AND NATIVE LANGUAGE ARE REQUIRED. This includes transcripts, diploma, and degree certificate. The degree conferral dates must be noted on the documents
Please send all items designated by mail to:
Graduate Film Counselor
UCLA Department of Film, Television and Digital Media
103 E. Melnitz, Box 951622
Los Angeles, CA 90095-1622
Application postmark deadline: November 1, 2012
For U.S. Citizens and Permanent Residents interested in receiving financial aid, note that the Fellowship Application and Financial Aid Application (FAFSA) deadline for UCLA is March 2, 2013. Applicants must complete the FAFSA by this date if they want to be eligible for all awards, work-study, and fellowships that UCLA offers.