Production/Directing

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Production with an emphasis in directing is a three- to four-year program designed to develop artists in film, television and digital media. For more than half a century we have trained students in all the arts and crafts of media production while expanding their understanding of the critical, theoretical and historical components of these art forms. Our goal is to infuse the highest standards of craftsmanship with imaginative freedom and a sense of social responsibility. Alumni include Francis Ford Coppola (The Godfather), Alexander Payne (Nebraska, The Descendants), Alex Gibney (Going Clear, Taxi to the Dark Side), Alison Anders (Mi Vida Loca, Gas, Food, Lodging), Julie Dash (Daughters of the Dust), Charles Burnett (To Sleep With Anger, Killer of Sheep), Justin Lin (Better Luck Tomorrow, Fast and Furious 6, Star Trek Beyond), Caveh Zahedi (The Sheik and I, I Am a Sex Addict) and cinematographer Dagmar Weaver-Madsen (10,000 km, Unexpected).

THE ART OF COLLABORATION

The first year of the program is an intensive workshop in the collaborative process of production that culminates in each student completing two short films. The curriculum includes screenwriting, directing narrative and documentary, cinematography, editing, post production and production planning.

WORKING CLOSELY WITH A FACULTY MENTOR ON AN ADVANCED PROJECT

The second year of the program provides for further development of the student-mentor relationship as the student writes, directs and completes an advanced project in narrative, documentary, digital media or experimental film, while taking critical studies and advanced craft courses.

THESIS PRODUCTION LAUNCHED IN THIRD YEAR

The third year, students begin work on their thesis production, which must be completed no later than the end of the fourth year. It is possible to complete the thesis at the end of the third year, based on the scope of the project. Thesis productions can be in documentary or narrative form.

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

II. Summary:

The Directing Program has a 12-quarter time-to-degree requirement. The minimum total units required to graduate is 72 units (18 courses). Only 16 units of FTV 596ABC may be applied towards the total course requirement and only eight of these may be applied towards the minimum graduate course requirement. Only four units of 596A and four units of 596B may be taken prior to advancement. FTV596D though F may be taken after advancement.

III. Courses:

A. Required Courses:

FIRST YEAR CURRICULUM

Fall Quarter

  • 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
  • 408A EDITING IN AVID

Winter Quarter

  • 410A SYMPOSIUM
  • 410B FILM PRODUCTION WORKSHOP
  • 410E PRODUCTION

Spring Quarter

  • 410A SYMPOSIUM
  • 410C POST PRODUCTION
  • 410D POST PRODUCTION SOUND
  • 408B AVID 2
  • 407 DOCUMENTARY
  • 431 INTRO TO FILM AND TELEVISION SCREENWRITING

SECOND YEAR

  • 435 ADVANCED WRITING FOR SHORT FILM
  • 454C PRODUCTION WORKFLOW

SECOND OR THIRD YEAR

  • 423A ADVANCED DIRECTING THE ACTOR (required for students who will make a dramatic fiction thesis)

B. FTVDM Elective Requirement:

TWO CINEMA AND MEDIA STUDIES SEMINARS, one must be completed no later than the quarter you advance to candidacy (list of courses below), and ONE OTHER COURSE in the department that is outside of the Production program (animation, screenwriting or producers program). Seminar courses that are approved to fulfill the Cinema and Media Studies requirement:

Plus choose one course below:

  • 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
  • 209B 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
  • 277 NARRATIVE STUDIES
  • 298AB SPECIAL STUDIES (select classes must see Graduate Counselor)

Please note that not all courses are offered every quarter. Students should consult the registrar's schedule for available courses and class times. For courses in the 298 series, students should consult the graduate advisor first to check whether a course fulfills the CMS requirement.

**These courses are sometimes taught as a core course for M.A. students and may not be available that particular quarter for M.F.A. students.

** courses are sometimes taught as a core course for MA students and may not be available that particular quarter to M.F.A. students.

PROGRAM FOCUS

A. FIRST YEAR: A FOCUS ON PROCESS

The first year is a highly intensive program operating on a six-day schedule with the regularly scheduled courses enhanced by all-day technical craft training on Saturdays. The first quarter provides basic background in video, cinematography, sound, editing, the directing of actors and the camera, the organizing of production, and short fiction screenwriting. The second and third quarters are devoted to intensive production work focusing on process leading to six minute sync sound film with clearly defined parameters that must be completed during the academic year if a student is to continue in the program. Two evaluation sessions with the first year faculty will be required of all students. The first will occur at the end of Fall Quarter. The second, a First Year Review, will take place at the end of the spring quarter with the purposes of determining fitness to continue in the program, advising on curriculum for second year professional training, and the selection of Second Year Advisors.

B. SECOND YEAR: A FOCUS ON PROFESSIONAL TRAINING

Second year training is intended to develop professional skills. Courses are constructed around two pivots: 1. Mentor relationships established by students with their Second Year Advisors involving multi-quarter course sequences in the specialized areas of: Narrative Film, Documentary, Multicamera Television Production, Experimental Media and Cinematography. 2. Advanced training in various areas of the craft enhanced by critical studies courses. All projects begun during the second year associated with any of these courses must be completed no later than the middle of the eighth quarter of residency.

C. THIRD YEAR: A FOCUS ON PRODUCTION EXPERIENCE

Third year training is committed to the planning and production of a Thesis Film (no more than 30 minutes). The Thesis process involves the following elements: 1. Extensive pre-production planning prior to advancing to candidacy. FTV 486 is available for a student to work with a faculty in preparation to advance. 2. Specialized craft courses and critical study courses can continue to be taken based on the needs of the individual student, but should not impede progress on the thesis. 3. * Advancement to candidacy must take place by the winter quarter at latest. 4. *Advancement to candidacy will be based on a signed contract clearly defining the parameters of the project including budget, time line, film length, and advising procedures.

D. FOURTH YEAR: COMPLETION

The fourth year is used for completion of the thesis project. The twelve-quarter limit will be strictly enforced.

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.

We Do Not Accept Films, DVDs, or CDs.

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

Online and Mailed Application Deadline: TBA

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 DATE TBA.
    • Indicate MFA, Film and Television, Production/Directing 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.

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 Short Film Proposal.
    • Submit a 1-2 page document.
    • For more information on writing a short film proposal, 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 31, 2017 will be accepted.
    • The GRE UCLA Code is 4837 and the Department Code is 2409.
    • Note: The GRE is not Required for M.F.A. 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 and Mailed Application Deadline: TBA

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 31, 2017 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/.

Undergraduate 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 2017-2018 year, note that the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) deadline for UCLA is March 2, 2017. 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 the Financial Aid Office for available funding opportunities. www.financialaid.ucla.edu

DREAM Act

For non-US Citizens or non-Permanent Residents who are approved to pay in-state tuition because they graduated from a high school in California; they will need to complete the California DREAM application by the March 2, 2017 deadline. The DREAM application can be accessed at https://dream.csac.ca.gov. If applying after March 2, please check with the Financial Aid Office for available funding opportunities. www.financialaid.ucla.edu

Please visit the FAQ page for additional information, 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: Rich Moushegian

Film, Television & Digital Media Staff

Film, Television & Digital Media Faculty