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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 from the Walter Lantz Foundation.

MFA: Film and Television, Area: Animation

OVERVIEW

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

Maintenance of a B average GPA


COURSES

Required Courses:

  • C481A/181A: Animation Design
  • C181B/481B: Writing for Animation
  • C181C/481C: Animation Workshop
  • C481C Animation Workshop
  • 484A: Visual Thinking and Organization for Animation (drawing)
  • 488A: Interactive Animation
  • 489A: Computer Animation for Film and Video OR
  • 483A: Advanced Computer Animation Maya
  • 298A: Thesis Workshop
  • One live-action course in FTVDM
  • 596 OR Elective

These two classes from the Cinema Media Studies Program (CMS):

  • FT 210: Viewing and Reading Media (to be taken in the Fall of the first year)
  • FT 209D: Animation Seminar

One of these live-action courses:

  • 150: Cinematography
  • 483AB: Intro to Experimental Film
  • OR another approved course from the Production area (Directing)

** 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

Electives:

  • 152: Film and Television Sound Recording
  • 188A: Real Time Animation: Puppetry Arts
  • 122N: History of Animation in America
  • 122J: The Disney Feature: Then and Now
  • 482A: Advanced Animation (Character Animation)
  • 482A: 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 (C481C/181C)
  • One computer film (483ABC or 489ABA)
  • One interactive project (488A or B)
  • One thesis film (596), if needed

COURSES BY YEAR

FIRST YEAR: Traditional Animation

FALL

  • FT C481A/181A: Introduction to Animation
  • FT C481B/181B: Writing for Animation
  • FT 484A: Visual Thinking and Organization for Animation (Drawing)

Elective, if you have the time:

  • FT 488B: Advanced Animation (Layout)

If you have completed C481ABC/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 C481C/181C: Animation Workshop
  • FT 484B: Visual Thinking and Organization for Animation
  • FT 209D: Seminar in the Animated Film

Electives, if you have time:

  • FT 482B: Advanced Animation (Character Animation)
  • FT 480B: Timing (or FTV 485 Legal Issues in Animation)
  • FT 152: Film and Television Sound Recording
  • SPRING

    • C481C/181C: Animation Workshop

    Electives, if you have time:

    • 122N: History of Animation in America
    • 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 C481C/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 C481C/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 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)

    Electives, if you have time:

    • FT 488A: Interactive Animation is required in third year but may take it in second 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 122N: 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 122J: 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

    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.
    • 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 and DVDs you will need to read, look at, analyze and learn from to be a good filmmaker of animation. Internships are available and are helpful, especially if you know what you want to do; there is also freelance work available. But remember that both take time away from your education.

  • All MFA programs in Film, Television and 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 and Mailed Application Deadline: February 1, 2023

    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 four-year U.S. bachelor’s degree.

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    APPLICATION WORKSHEET AND INSTRUCTIONS ON HOW TO APPLY - COMING SOON

    Please complete all of the following steps:

    Step 1: Online

    • Complete the Application for Graduate Admission.
      • MUST be paid and completed online by February 1, 2023.
      • Indicate MFA, Film and Television, Animation as the program.
    • Upload the Statement of Purpose
      • Submit a 1-2 page document
    • Upload a Personal Statement
    • Upload a Portfolio Breakdown
    • Upload a Portfolio Submission
      • Submit an Original Storyboard
      • Submit Other Creative Work
      • For guidelines on portfolio submissions, click here.
    • Upload unofficial copies of all transcripts
    • Submit three letters of recommendation
      • Enter the names and emails of all recommenders into the Application for Graduate Admission

    Step 2: Mail

    • Mail an official copy of all transcripts from each undergraduate and graduate institutions attended.
      • Note: Community college transcripts are not necessary.
    • Request that all test scores be sent directly to UCLA.
    • Only test scores taken by December 31, 2022 will be accepted.
      • The GRE UCLA Code is 4837 and the Department Code is 2409.
      • Note: The GRE is not Required for MFA Applicants.

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    Mailing Address

    Please send all applicable materials to:

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

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    Online and Mailed Application Deadline: February 1, 2023.

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    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, 2022 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 Application for Graduate Admission 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/.

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    FAFSA

    For U.S. Citizens and Permanent Residents interested in receiving financial aid in the 2023-2024 year, note that the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) deadline for UCLA is March 2, 2023. 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, 2023 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

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    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 and Digital Media Counselor: Laura Campbell

    Film, Television & Digital Media Staff

    Film, Television & Digital Media Faculty

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