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To earn a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Film & Video at SVA, students must complete 120 credits as follows:

  • 72 credits in studio
  • 30 credits in humanities & sciences
  • 15 credits in art history
  • 6 credits in either studio, general humanities and sciences, art history or special courses
First-Year Requirements

AHD-1070 Film History and Criticism
CFD-1020 Introduction to Production I
CFD-1025 Introduction to Production II
CFD-1070 Acting for Film
CVD-1080 Introduction to Editing: Final Cut Pro
CVD-1090 Introduction to Editing: Avid
CFD-1140 Fundamentals of Narrative I
CFD-1145 Fundamentals of Narrative II
HCD-1020 Writing and Literature I
HCD-1025 Writing and Literature II

Second-Year Requirements

Cinematography
CFD-2010 Production Workshop I
CFD-2015 Production Workshop II
CFD-2070 Cinematography I
CFD-2075 Cinematography II
CFD-2080 Production Design

AHD-2068 The Language of Film or AHD-2070 International Cinema


Directing
CFD-2010 Production Workshop I and CFD-2015 Production Workshop II
or 
CFD 2017 Nonfiction and Documentary Workshop I and CFD-2018 Nonfiction and Documentary Workshop II

CFD-2120 Writing and Directing I
CFD-2020 Editing
CFD-2050 Sound Production I

AHD-2068 The Language of Film or AHD-2070 International Cinema

CFD-2125 Writing and Directing II or CFD-2127 The Director's Role or CFD-2131 Directing Actors

Editing
CFD-2010 Production Workshop I
CFD-2015 Production Workshop II
CFD-2230 Advanced Final Cut Pro
CVD-3060 Advanced Avid Editing
CFD-3130 Pro Tools I

AHD-2068  The Language of Film or AHD-2070 International Cinema

Screenwriting
CFD-2140 Writing the Feature-Length Script I
CFD-2145 Writing the Feature-Length Script II
CFD-2170 Media and Society

CFD-2120 Writing and Directing I and CFD-2125 Writing and Directing II
or
CFD-2350 Adaptation for the Short Film and CFD-2262 Creating Character (The Actor/Writer Collaboration)

AHD-2068 The Language of Film or AHD-2070 International Cinema

Third-Year Requirements

Cinematography
CVD-3010 Advanced Production I
CVD-3015 Advanced Production II
CFD-3030 Advanced Lighting/Cinematography I
CFD-3035 Advanced Lighting/Cinematography II
AHD-3060 Masters of Light
CTD-3130 Film and Literature I
CTD-3135 Film and Literature II

Directing
CVD-3010 Advanced Production I and CVD-3015 Advanced Production II
or
CFD-3021 Producing/Directing Episodic Television I and CFD-3022 Producing/Directing Episodic Television II 

CFD-3
060 Advanced Writing and Directing I
CFD-3065 Advanced Writing and Directing II
CTD-3130 Film and Literature I
CTD-3135 Film and Literature II

Editing
CVD-3010 Advanced Production I
CVD-3015 Advanced Production II
CTD-3130 Film and Literature I
CTD-3135 Film and Literature IICFD-3180 Pro Tools II: Sound Design
CFD-3230 The Art of Editing
Screenwriting
CTD-3130 Film and Literature I
CTD-3135 Film and Literature II
CFD-3140 Advanced Feature Screenwriting I
CFD-3145 Advanced Feature Screenwriting II

CFD-3060 Advanced Writing and Directing I and CFD-3065 Advanced Writing and Directing II
or
CFD-3170 Writing for the Television Series I and CFD-3175 Writing for the Television Series II

Fourth-Year Requirements

Cinematography, Directing, Editing
CFD-4010
 Career Strategies 
CFD-4940 Film Thesis I
CFD-4945 Film Thesis II

Screenwriting 
CFD-4040 Master Class in Screenwriting I
CFD-4045 Master Class in Screenwriting II
CFD-4950 Screenwriting Thesis I
CFD-4955 Screenwriting Thesis II

Film & Video General Course Listing

FOUNDATION COURSES 

AHD-1070
Film History and Criticism
One semester: 3 art history credits
Through an interdisciplinary approach to contemporary theoretical discourses of cinema, the goal of this course is to familiarize students with the formal and stylistic features of film history and analysis. We will examine forms of interpretation and subjects of representation via the evolution of the cinema. Beginning with the Lumière brothers, Georges Méliès and the early works of D. W. Griffith, we will trace the historical development of film with an exploration of genres that include American silent comedies, German expressionism, surrealism and Soviet formalism. Classical Hollywood films and the establishment of the studio system will also be examined. The final segment of the course will be devoted to an analysis of postwar European masters such as Rossellini, Truffaut, Godard, Bergman, Fellini and Antonioni.

CFD-1020
Introduction to Production I
Two semesters: 3 studio credits per semester
Designed as an introduction to the art of filmmaking, these courses will examine film language and visual storytelling, including structure, psychology of the frame, storyboarding, lensing, work flow, scene coverage and lighting. The importance of collaboration will be emphasized by working on different scenes in production teams and with professional actors. The spring semester will continue to explore in-class productions working with actors in a professional environment, with an emphasis on the actor-director relationship. Crew management will be addressed through in-class scene work. Each student will prepare a storyboard and shot list, as well as cast and budget a short digital or film project.

CFD-1070
Acting for Film
One semester: 3 studio credits
This course is designed as an introduction to the craft of acting. Built on the basis of moment-to-moment reality, sense memory, improvisation and intuitive use of the self, students will learn how to create believable characters for the screen. The vocabulary necessary for communicating with actors will be taught as well as the art of constructive criticism essential to directing films.

CVD-1080
Introduction to Editing: Final Cut Pro
One semester: 3 studio credits
The grammar and aesthetics of editing in the visual storytelling process is the focus of this course. We will examine the theory and process of editing through lectures, applications and screenings. Students will work with Apple Final Cut Pro to edit assignments and exercises. Areas of exploration will include editorial and narrative structure, rhythm and pace. Scene study and editing choices that maximize the actors’ performances will be emphasized.

CVD-1090
Introduction to Editing: Avid
One semester: 3 studio credits
This will explore Avid technology through lectures and exercises, applications and screenings. Areas of exploration will include editorial and narrative structure, rhythm and pace. Scene study and editing choices that maximize the actors’ performances will be emphasized.

CFD-1140 / CFD-1145
Fundamentals of Narrative I and II
Two semesters: 3 studio credits per semester
The forms and aesthetics underlying on-screen storytelling, including web-based media will be explored in these courses. Students will investigate how meaning is constructed with the basic principles of dramatic writing—character, action, conflict, structure and dialogue. Honing critical writing skills and developing short scripts for production courses will be emphasized.

HCD-1020
Writing and Literature I
One semester: 3 humanities and sciences credits
This is the first part of a two-semester course that helps students become capable, critical and independent writers. With its focus on developing an argument, the course offers an introduction to some of the skills necessary for critical analysis of written art. It will include a review of writing basics (grammar, coherence, idea development, sentence and essay structure). Since reading widely is a foundation of good writing, course readings are drawn from a selection of premodern Western works, including drama, poetry, the narrative and the critical essay, which will be used as discussion and writing prompts.

HCD-1025
Writing and Literature II
One semester: 3 humanities and sciences credits
This is the second part of a two-semester course that emphasizes essay development, reading and critical thinking. Students will write essays and a research paper, and continue to work on their grammar and essay development. Readings are drawn from a selection of modern works, including drama, poetry, the narrative and the critical essay.

UPPER-LEVEL COURSES

Film and video majors may register for courses in the BFA Computer Art, Computer Animation and Visual Effects Department with the proper prerequisites and permission from both department chairs.

CFD-2010 / CFD-2015
Production Workshop I and II
Two semesters: 3 studio credits per semester
Using 16mm and digital cameras, students will build on the techniques introduced in the foundation year to explore more complex projects. Through technical demonstration, lectures and assignments, participants will work in production teams, each student taking responsibility for a particular task. Special lenses, stocks, filters, lights, as well as support equipment will be introduced; projects will be assigned and produced. In the second semester, students must complete a film and work on individual projects.

CFD-2017 / CFD-2018
Documentary Workshop I and II
Two semesters: 3 studio credits per semester
These courses will combine the theory and practice of creating a documentary. Students will research, write, plan and execute a video documentary on a subject of their choice. Screenings of work from such documentary filmmakers as D.A. Pennebaker, the Maysles, Barbara Kopple and Errol Morris will be included. Editing theories and techniques for the documentary film will be discussed.

CFD-2020
Editing
One semester: 3 studio credits
The theory and practice of editing, through overall projects and postproduction collaboration, will be the focus of this course. Specific topics include storytelling, emotion, pacing, openings, intercutting, etc., which will be discussed and demonstrated. Screenings, class exercises and individual projects will be integral parts of this course.

CFD-2050
Sound Production I
One semester: 3 studio credits
A comprehensive course that analyzes the role of sound techniques in film and video—music, effects, voice-overs, sync sound, etc. Instruc­tion in the composing of sound for film will be given and students will compose sound for theoretical situations. Readings that cover the principles of sound theory and application will be assigned. Visiting specialists will give practical instruction with recording machines, microphones and all mechanical elements used by sound recordists.

CVD-2050
Avid Editing
One semester: 3 studio credits
Working with the Avid Media Composers, this course will examine the concepts and principles of random-accessed digital editing. We will discuss various ways of editorial problem solving for postproduction projects that range from documentary to commercial spots, industrials and music videos. Projects will be digitized and edited to a final master.

AHD-2068
The Language of Film
One semester: 3 art history credits
Structured as an introduction to the basic terms and concepts of cinematic language, this course will explore the vocabulary, grammar, sign and syntax of film through screenings, lectures and discussion. Feature-length narratives as well as animated, experimental and documentary shorts will be addressed, with an emphasis on examining the function of the film as a formal construct—the basic principles of film form. We will also pay particular attention to the techniques of the film medium along with the questions of types and genres of films. The course is analytical but with a thoroughly pragmatic bent: to map the extraordinary diversity of contemporary cinematic practice in relation to editing, sound, cinematography, framing, genre, auteur and narration.

AHD-2070
International Cinema
One semester: 3 studio credits
Designed to facilitate an understanding of classic and contemporary international cinema, this course is dedicated to the study of films that have adopted a different aesthetic framework from Hollywood. We will discuss themes, ideologies, forms, the impact of history—both political and social—and the background stories of the filmmakers. Screenings will be drawn from the cinema of Mira Nair (India), Jean-Luc Godard (France), Andrei Tarkovsky (Russia), Federico Fellini (Italy) Carl Dreyer (Denmark), Luis Buñuel (Spain/Mexico) and Peter Weir (Australia), among others.

CFD-2070 / CFD-2075
Cinematography I and II
Two semesters: 3 studio credits per semester
The technical and aesthetic aspect of lighting for film and digital video will be explored in these courses. We will begin with an examination of basic lighting instruments and their characteristics and use in the art of lighting: composition, color, light-and-shadow, three-point lighting, cameras and lenses. The courses will then focus on creating and controlling the cinematic style, and studying the differences between film and digital video. Exposure, latitude, interior, exterior, shooting, high-key and low-key styles, narrative and commercial production will all be covered. The spring semester will concentrate on lens, film stock, and digital video compression. Assignments will vary from 30-second commercials to tabletop and blue-screen productions to recreating scenes from feature films. The close relationship of production and postproduction in a computerized world will be examined.

CFD-2080
Production Design
One semester: 3 studio credits
The purpose of this course is to investigate and understand the role of production design in the filmmaking process. We will begin by tracing the history of art direction in the Hollywood studio system through the work of leading art directors. Particular attention will be given to the work of William Cameron Menzies and how his contributions led to the advent of the production designer. The craft and job of the production designer will be explored in detail. The process and working methods will be defined and explained with particular focus on how directors collaborate with designers to capture their vision on film.

CFD-2088
Makeup for Film and Television
One semester: 3 studio credits
Beginning with an overview of makeup design and application (painting, construction methods and prosthesis), this course will then focus on exploration and experimentation of various materials used in the field of makeup for broadcast media. Students will design and create their own full ‘character’ makeup, which may be used for their film and animation projects.

CFD-2120 / CFD-2125
Writing and Directing I and II
Two semesters: 3 studio credits per semester
These courses fuse writing and directing to help students create their second-year production films. The goal is to develop highly evolved scripts through a combination of writing techniques and directorial strategies. Working with actors on and off camera, students will analyze their artistic choices and refine their scripts. In the second semester, emphasis will be on creating scripts for third-year production courses.

CFD-2127
The Director’s Role
One semester: 3 studio credits
This workshop explores and defines the responsibilities, methods and craft of the director. Through a series of exercises, students will cast, rehearse, block and shape a dramatic scene with professional actors. Students will learn how to break down and prepare a shooting script. How to assemble and motivate a production crew that best suits one’s personal vision and style will be discussed and practiced. This course will essentially take students through every aspect of the director’s role from concept to completed production.

CFD-2131
Directing Actors
One semester: 3 studio credits
This course will cover practical skills for soliciting great performances from actors by focusing on, and demystifying, the actor/director collaboration. By exploring effective directorial techniques and approaches, students will consider various ways to work effectively—with both experienced actors and novices alike—to elicit spontaneous, authentic and nuanced performances. Script analysis, casting, rehearsal techniques and improvisation will be addressed. Each student will have the opportunity to direct with professional actors.

CFD-2140 / CFD-2145
Writing the Feature-Length Script I and II
Two semesters: 3 studio credits per semester
As a foundation for screenwriters, these courses will focus on developing a feature-length work of fiction or nonfiction. Students will take their scripts through each step of the screenwriting process from initial premise to revised full-length draft. Character refinement and analysis of screenplay structures will be emphasized. The courses require creation of synopses, treatments, outlines and a script; critique and editing of screenplays in progress will be included.

CFD-2159
Film Criticism
One semester: 3 studio credits
Designed to offer a structure for critical film analysis, this course will examine a variety of approaches to film criticism, and will provide a means for students to analyze their own creative output as well as that of well-known filmmakers. Students will gain insights into how to formulate objective assessments of a particular film or body of work from the perspective that there is not a single “right” way to review a film—whatever the genre. Does the work have an overriding theme? How do style, form and tone relate? Are there any cultural differences that need to be considered? We will screen and assess films in class; writing assignments will be given.

CFD-2170
Media and Society
One semester: 3 studio credits
This course will provide an introductory understanding of the nature and functions of the communications media and its respective influence on us as individuals and as a society. We will consider the cultural meanings conveyed in media and popular entertainment, the concept of social responsibility, media literacy, censorship, advertising, political satire, global perspectives and their impact. Students will examine serious issues raised by the pervasive role of mass media, including concentration of ownership over public communications and how it affects the process of political persuasion and entertainment content. We will view various social mechanisms that help share the power and role of the media.

CFD-2202
Acting II
One semester: 3 studio credits
This course is for students who want to increase their thespian skills by working on scenes and monologues. Advanced techniques will be taught as well as communication skills for the actor to collaborate with the director, while staying within the actor/director relationship.

CFD-2230
Advanced Final Cut Pro
One semester: 3 studio credits
Students will explore advanced features of Apple Final Cut Pro such as: effect editing, signal measurement and color correction. The integration of Final Cut Pro with other postproduction applications such as Adobe After Effects, Photoshop, Apple Motion, Compressor and Cinema Tools will also be addressed. How to manage media workflow while simultaneously exploring scene construction will be the focus of the course. Students must bring in their own work.

CFD-2262
Creating Character (The Actor/Writer Collaboration)
One semester: 3 studio credits
Great stories rely on great characters. This multidisciplinary course is ideal for aspiring screenwriters and writer/directors who want to write more dynamic character-driven drama. You will work with professional actors and use exciting techniques and exercises to make vivid characters come to life. A unique fusion of directing, writing and acting allows you to create scripts in action and to hone your skills for dialogue, unlocking the mysteries of specific characters. Taught by a screenwriter and an actor/director, the goal of this course is for students to develop exciting new material for film, both short and long form.

CFD-2350
Adaptation for the Short Film
One semester: 3 studio credits
Some of the most memorable movies started as something else. This course will cover the challenges involved in adapting material from another medium into screenplay form. Students will work with novels, short stories, plays, journalism—virtually any good source material—and take their work though all stages of script development, ending with a revised and polished draft of a screenplay. Adaptation for television and the Web will also be explored.

CFD-2442
Comedy Improvisation
One semester: 3 studio credits
Improvisation is the jazz of theater. It’s spontaneous and creative and an essential acting and life skill. This course will focus on short-form comedy improv. Whether you use it to improve your commercial and theatrical auditions, incorporate it into your rehearsal process, become a better writer, or feel more at ease when speaking in public, improv will free you up and “get you out of your head.” In a supportive and energetic group atmosphere, we will examine the basic elements of improvising a scene and developing characters. Discover the secret of making it look easy.

CVD-3010 / CFD-3015
Advanced Production I and II
Two semesters: 3 studio credits per semester
These courses will explore sophisticated and developing languages of the moving image. Through exercises, demonstrations and production, we will focus on the craft, aesthetics and content of film and moving-image making, as practiced in emerging and traditional forms. During the spring semester, each student will undertake a major project or series of smaller projects. Alternatively editing and cinematography majors may function as editors or cinematographers on two, third-year projects.

CFD-3021 / CFD-3022
Producing/Directing Episodic Television I and II
Two semesters: 3 studio credits per semester
The skills required for directing television will be the focus of these courses. Students will film scenes that are common to television dramas: an interrogation, a hospital scene, a love scenario, etc. We will begin with preproduction—schedules, auditions and scouting locations. Students will then prepare for filming with shot lists and tech scouts. Props, production design, wardrobe and script meetings will follow. Sessions on production will include rehearsals, camera placement, point of view and close-ups, and how to work with the director of photography, assistant directors, and other members of the crew. Lastly, students will film the same scenes with different styles to understand how to accommodate the specific look of different series. In the spring semester we will address postproduction issues crucial to television, such as pacing, act breaks for commercials, teasers and cliffhangers. We will compare directors’ cuts with producers’ cuts to determine which is better, what changes were made, and why. The challenges of editing will be examined, from close-ups and pre-lapping dialogue to establishing shots and the time considerations for the television format.

CFD-3030 / CFD-3035
Advanced Lighting and Cinematography I and II
Two semesters: 3 studio credits per semester
Three interrelated areas of cinematography that are essential to the realization of the dramatic demands of the script—visualization of the script, communicating with actors, lighting and postproduction processes—are the focus of these courses. Through demonstrations, discussions, screenings, critiques and hands-on projects, students will explore sophisticated lighting techniques for film and digital cinematography. How to translate ideas into images, experiment with varied lighting styles and create specific moods for interiors and exteriors will be examined, as well as the collaboration between the director and director of photography in planning action scenes, structure, coverage and the interpretation of the script. We will discuss emulsions, tonality, contrast, the “quality” of light, exposure, angles, composition, movement, continuity, lenses, depth of field, filters, special effects, lab liaisons (timing lights, printing, digital mastering and transfers) and managing camera and lighting crews. Arriflex 16-SR camera, advanced digital cameras, super speed lenses, dolly, Jib-arm, Gear head, Steadicam, Tungsten, HMI and Kino-Flo lights will be used in class. 

AHD-3060
Masters of Light
One semester: 3 art history credits
Light is more than an aesthetic choice. It is also the electric bulb, x-rays, the beginning of the world (Genesis), photography, the big bang, cinema, Einstein’s Theory of Relativity, photonics; it is the most important tool we currently use in medicine, communications, engineering and art. This course begins with the history of the physics and science of light and shadow. What exactly is light and when did we define it? What are the differences between artificial and natural light and how did the invention of artificial light change the nature of art and culture? In the second part of the course, each student will give a presentation on a master of light—painter, photographer, filmmaker or light artist.

CFD-3060 / CFD-3065
Advanced Writing and Directing I and II
Two semesters: studio credits per semester
These advanced workshops fuse writing and directing to help students create their third-year production and thesis films. The goal is to develop highly evolved scripts through a combination of sophisticated writing techniques and directorial strategies. Working with actors on and off camera, students will analyze their artistic choices, and then refine the scripts before shooting their films. In the spring semester, thesis projects will be developed.

CVD-3060
Advanced Avid Editing
One semester: 3 studio credits
Advanced editing features and techniques of Avid will be examined. Topics will include: media management, effect editing, multiclip editing, color correction, signal measurement, film-to-tape projects, EDLs and professional output methods. Integration with other programs such as Adobe After Effects, Photoshop and DVD Studio Pro, as well as how to upgrade an Apple Final Cut Pro project to Avid for professional finishing will be explored.

CFD-3130
Pro Tools I
One semester: 3 studio credits
Audio is now firmly within the digital realm. This course will focus on the skills needed to operate within the Pro Tools interface as well as the basics of digital audio. Students will learn how to record dialogue, sound effects, and Foley and synchronize these elements to picture. Signal flow, digital effects, MIDI concepts, file management, audio editing and basic mixing will also be covered. Students will record, create, mix and output mixes for several projects.

CTD-3130 / CTD-3135
Film and Literature I
Two semesters: 3 humanities and sciences credits per semester
From its inception, film has engaged in a complex relationship with literature, often drawing upon as well as influencing the narrative structures developed in literary works that include novels, drama, epic poetry and folk tales. These courses will explore various aspects of the rich interaction among these forms, and will examine different ways that filmmakers increase the depth and nuance of their work by adopting or reinventing literary strategies and techniques. A substantial portion of the courses is devoted to comparing cinematic and literary treatments of a common theme or to examining film adaptations of specific literary works, such as All Quiet on the Western Front, Lolita, Trainspotting, Heart of Darkness (Apocalypse Now), 1984, The Dead, Of Mice and Men, King Lear (Ran), The Grapes of Wrath and Wise Blood.

CFD-3140 / CFD-3145
Advanced Feature Screenwriting I and II
Two semesters: 3 studio credits per semester
Building upon the core concepts examined in CFD-2140/2145, Writing the Feature-Length Script I and II, these courses will encompass various stages of script development, including character studies, treatments and outlines to produce a fully realized script. Students become familiar with the three-act structure, and we will move beyond convention to create strong, original work. Students will also work with actors to create more complex characters and improve dialogue. These courses are run in a workshop format to facilitate productive and supportive feedback.

CFD-3170 / CFD-3175
Television Writing I and II
Two semesters: 3 studio credits per semester
These intensive courses in writing for television will begin with writing a spec script (hour or half hour) for an existing television show. Treatments, synopsis, story outlines, the pitch, log lines and career strategies will be addressed and explored. Guest lecturers, both producers and writers, will share their experiences and offer strategies on how to break into the television market. In the spring semester, students will create and write original pilot episodes for their own television show.

CFD-3180
Pro Tools II: Sound Design
One semester: 3 studio credits
Preparing audio sessions for output to various presentation formats using groups, sub mixes and advanced plug-in and automation techniques will be emphasized. Students will learn how to troubleshoot technical issues that arise when synchronizing sound and image. The craft of mixing for postproduction will be thoroughly discussed and explored.

CFD-3194
Creative Producing
One semester: 3 studio credits
This course will explore the responsibilities of the creative producer from project inception through distribution. Students will learn how to manage a project and about the principles and tools for creating and controlling their own work, as well as how to collaborate successfully with other film professionals and remain true to their artistic vision. From selecting the material, working with the writer, hiring the director, collaborating on casting choices and selecting a production crew to involvement with distribution and marketing strategies, the focus will be on the creative skill and business acumen necessary to be a successful producer. Guest speakers will share their professional insights into producing for the film and television industries. Both narrative and documentary filmmaking will be examined.

CFD-3230
Art of Editing
One semester: 3 studio credits
This survey into the creative processes of postproduction will explore strategies to assist in recognizing problems in story, scene, sequence and structure, and then uncover the paths to constructive solutions. The course will encompass all film forms, including narrative, documentary, commercial spots, industrials and music videos. What is constant in all good work, and how visual and aural elements can be rhythmically integrated to produce inspired editing will be addressed.

CFD-3241
Advanced Production Design
One semester: 3 studio credits
This course will focus on transforming the physical and psychological environments of a student’s script into the visual reality of their own film. Students will bring in selected scenes from their scripts to explore subtext, analyze character and discuss theme. Through sketches, location scouting, dressing the set, defining construction needs, and research, students will begin the process of constructing an environmental visual palette for their story. Particular focus will be placed on the psychology of the characters in order to study the impact of the characters on their environment and the environment’s effect on the characters.

CFD-3258
Advanced Makeup for Film and Television: Prosthesis
One semester: 3 studio credits
The world of makeup goes beyond color and powder when the artist has the skill to alter the structure of a face using prosthetic appliances. This hands-on course will explore the materials and techniques of prosthetic fabrication and application. Students will have the opportunity to design, sculpt, mold and cast a full-face prosthetic appliance, and use the resulting piece as a building block for other projects in prosthetic/visual effects makeup.

CFD-3326 / CFD-3327
Advanced Documentary Workshop I and II
Two semesters: 3 studio credits per semester
These courses build on the material explored in CFD-2018, Documentary Workshop II. Students will create documentaries and have the opportunity to pitch a project, develop a treatment, formulate a budget and funding plan, discuss film festivals and distribution strategy for their own productions. Broadcast professionals will lecture and offer critiques of student projects. Students will also work in crew positions and participate in class projects

CFD-3418
Writing the One-Act Play
One semester: 3 studio credits
This course is designed to explore writing for the theater, in both traditional and experimental ways. Students will be given assignments that emphasize structure, character, story and plot. Making use of theater’s unique possibilities in telling a story will also be emphasized: the static and moving images created specifically for their effect on the eye and mind of the audience; the sound and play of language and how speech is connected to character; and, finally, the ways that theater can call attention to itself as play, whether breaking conventions of reality, breaking the fourth wall, or breaking into song. Student will complete a one-act play.

CFD-3426
Recording Foley and Effects
One semester: 3 studio credits
While production and location recordists strive to create the best dialogue from a film shoot, subsequent editing can result in the loss of sound that gives a scene its character. Using a variety of props, shoes, surfaces and fabrics, Foley artists re-create these “lost sounds” for film, video and, increasingly, video games in a controlled studio environment. This intensive workshop will focus on the techniques and practices of Foley artistry. Microphone placement; recording; and the craft of convincingly mimicking footsteps, clothing movements, and scene-specific sounds will be covered. Students will re-create the audio from actual film and television scenes, as well as record and design effects for video games.

CFD-3431
Sound and Music Techniques
One semester: 3 studio credits
You don’t have to be a professional musician to make great sound tracks for your films and videos. With a keyboard and cutting-edge computer software programs such as Reason and Pro Tools, you can create great music to sync with your images. Students will have hands-on experience in a recording studio with live recording equipment and will learn the techniques of digital recording, editing and mixing. How to use prerecorded loops and effects in various musical styles—hip hop, world, jazz, rock, classical, among others—will also be covered. If you are a musician, you can enhance your compositions with these amazing tools.

CFD-3432
Advanced Postproduction
One semester: 3 studio credits
Postproduction professionals must be fluent in the digital language of filmmaking for their creative projects. This course will address the technical side of postproduction and the principles integral to digital cinema workflows. Through lectures, screenings and assignments, students will explore how to problem solve technical hurdles. Subjects will include discussions on computer technology, storage options, resolutions, frame rates, color space, codecs, compression techniques, DCPs, RED RAW workflow, aspect ratios, Pro Tools output and delivery, camera media, color grading, bit depth and bitrate. This is an indispensible course for editors.

CFD-3512
Film and Entertainment Law
One semester: 3 studio credits
This course will focus on the fundamentals of entertainment law by exploring the business and legal relationships within the broadcasting and film industries. How to anticipate and avoid legal problems prior to production will be addressed. Key issues in the areas of copyright law, sources of financing, distribution agreements, insurance and union consideration will be discussed. There will be guest speakers from the field.

CFD-3614
Line Producing and Budgeting for Your Film
One semester: 3 studio credits
This course will address the process of professionally managing a film project from development to distribution. Using EP software, we will cover such topics as script breakdown, creating schedules and a realistic budget, as well as how to access information concerning the most up-to-date union rates, actor agreements and location fees. Students will complete a professional production book relating to short or feature film.

CFD-3619
Producing the Horror Film
One semester: 3 studio credits
What do long-established filmmakers such as Francis Ford Coppola, Steven Spielberg, Peter Bogdanovich, John Sayles and Oliver Stone have in common with directors like Guillermo del Toro, Peter Jackson and Sam Raimi? They all jump-started their careers by making a horror film (or two), and then moved on to other genres once their debut feature had given them a solid reputation to build upon. The horror genre has an acknowledged, broad appeal for adolescents and young adults. It ‘travels’ extraordinarily well worldwide, even given the shifting sands of the marketplace. Horror relies for success not on ‘star value’—the genre itself is its selling point. And, depending as these films do on elements such as lighting, editing and sound design, which don’t inflate budgets sky-high, they are an ideal and relatively safe entry point for neophyte filmmakers. This course will examine how to produce effective horror films, and will include screenings of recent, effective examples and guests from the industry.

CFD-3921
Finance and Distribution
One semester: 3 studio credits
This course will explore sources of financing and distribution and the resources, materials and methods to attain them. We will begin with the budgeting process and production costs to publicity, marketing, delivery, legal costs, and other—often overlooked—areas that can come back to haunt you. The tried-and-true sources of financing will be reviewed, and students will investigate other financing techniques. We will practice the art of sales—from creating a prospectus to marketing and publicity, prospecting for investors and pitching the project.

CFD-4010
Career Strategies
One semester: 3 studio credits
The goal of this course is to facilitate the successful transition from college to the professional world. Experts from key areas in the entertainment industry will provide insight in all areas of film specialization, covering such subjects as intellectual property rights, marketing and promotion, finance, agents, producer reps and distributors: the tactical information necessary to move your career to the next level. Emphasis will be given to each student’s work, and on creating a market identity through social media and other strategies.

CFD-4040 / 4045
Master Class in Screenwriting I and II
Two semesters: 3 studio credits per semester
These advanced courses are geared toward building a supportive community of working screenwriters. Students will develop a feature-length screenplay based on an original idea, and polish it to a professional-quality writing sample. All common contractual steps of writing will be observed, including treatments, outlines and revisions. Guest lecturers, including writers and agents, will discuss making the transition from school to working professionally. The courses are conducted in a workshop format.

CFD-4101
Master Class in Cinematography
One semester: 3 studio credits
This course is designed to challenge thesis cinematography students to refine their lighting skills by reproducing scenes from paintings by masters. Recent theorists and artists such as David Hockney contend that painters like Vermeer used optics in the form of lenses and mirrors to create distortions and soft focus effects that could not be seen by the naked eye. Included will be Georges de la Tour’s paintings with stunning candlelight scenes, the heightened naturalism and strong lighting in Caravaggio’s work, and John Singer Sargent’s use of precise patina to reveal mood and psychological nuance. Lectures by a distinguished group of guest cinematographers will complement course work.

CFD-4116 / CFD-4117
Master Class in Documentary I and II
Two semesters: 3 studio credits per semester
In these advanced theory, documentary and production courses students will produce a documentary of up to 50 minutes in length. Scripts, rushes and editing stages will be critiqued in class. Films from a variety of genres will be discussed and subjects will run the gamut of documentary techniques. Guest directors will lecture on their professional work.

CFD-4151 / CFD-4152
The Business and Craft of TV Writing I and II
Two semesters: 3 studio credits per semester
These courses will focus on writing scripts for episodic television and will cover developing ideas, preparing a proposal, pitching the project, writing and rewriting, dealing with studios and networks, and collaborating with directors and actors. Students will focus on developing a TV pilot.

CFD-4940 / CFD-4945
Film Thesis I and II
Two semesters: 6 studio credits per semester
Students are required to complete a thesis project that demonstrates an advanced level of craft and technique. All candidates will meet with the Thesis Committee at the end of their third year for instructions and deadlines. The College may reproduce work in matters pertaining to accreditation and promotion.

CFD-4950-A / CFD-4955
Screenwriting Thesis I and II
Two semesters: 6 studio credits per semester
Students are required to complete a thesis project that demonstrates an advanced level of craft and technique. All candidates will meet with the Thesis Committee at the end of their third year for instructions and deadlines. The College may reproduce work in matters pertaining to accreditation and promotion.

Independent Study
One semester: 3 studio credits
Junior or senior students who wish to pursue a special project not covered by the parameters of their department’s curriculum are eligible to apply for an independent study course. Students must have earned a grade point average above 3.00 at SVA, and must submit their study goals as a detailed proposal for approval by the department chair. Proposals for an independent study must be made prior to the course adjustment period for that semester.

Internship
One semester: 3 studio credits
Students can gain valuable experience and broaden their professional network through an internship with a sponsor/employer. Internships for credit are available to juniors and seniors who have earned a cumulative grade point average of 3.25 or better. To receive credit, students must get approval in advance from their department chair, academic advisor and the internship manager. Students must work a minimum of 150 hours (10 hours per week), participate in a weekly online discussion board with other SVA interns, complete self-evaluations and a final project. Elective studio credit is awarded for the successful completion of an internship. 

 

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