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

  • 72 credits in studio art courses
  • 30 credits in humanities & sciences
  • 15 credits in art history courses
  • 3 elective credits from among the undergraduate offerings
First-Year Requirements

AHD-1070 Film History and Criticism
AHD-1075 Analysis of Genre
CFD-1020 Introduction to Production I
CFD-1025 Introduction to Production II
CVD-1080 Editing I
CVD-1085 Editing II
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

The recommended course load is 15 credits per semester. All students should see their advisor about individual humanities and sciences distribution credit needs.

Second-year students must choose a specialization in one of the following categories and must complete all required courses within that specialization. This concentration must be followed in the third and fourth years of study.

Cinematography
CFD-2010 Production Workshop I CFD-2015 Production Workshop II
or
CFD-2017
Documentary Workshop I & CFD-2018 Documentary Workshop II 

CFD-2070 Cinematography I
CFD-2080 Production Design
AHD-2068 The Language of Film, or AHD-2070 International Cinema 

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

CFD-2128 Writing the Short Film
CFD-2129 Directing for Film 
AHD-2068 The Language of Film, or AHD-2070 International Cinema 

Editing
CFD-2010 Production Workshop I CFD-2015 Production Workshop II
or
CFD-2017
Documentary Workshop I CFD-2018 Documentary Workshop II

CVD-2060 Avid I & CVD-2061 Avid II
CVD-2066 Advanced Final Cut Pro, or CVD-2067 Advanced Premiere Pro 
AHD-2712 The Art of Editing
AHD-2068 The Language of Film, or AHD-2070 International Cinema

Screenwriting
CFD-2128 Writing the Short Film
CFD-2140 The Feature-Length Script I CFD-2145 The Feature-Length Script II 
CFD-2350 Adaptation
AHD-2068 The Language of Film, or AHD-2070 International Cinema 

Sound
CFD-2050 Sound Production I CFD-2051 Sound Production II
CFD-2056 Sound Design I
CFD-2162 Pro Tools I & CFD-2163 Pro Tools II
AHD-2068 The Language of Film, or AHD-2070 International Cinema

Third-Year Requirements

The recommended course load is 15 credits per semester. All students should see their advisor about individual humanities and sciences distribution credit needs.

Cinematography
CVD-3010 Advanced Production I
CVD-3015 Advanced Production II
CFD-3030 Advanced Lighting/Cinematography I
CFD-3428 DaVinci Resolve: Color Correcting Your Film
AHD-3060 Masters of Light fall or spring
HLD-3130 Film and Literature I fall
HLD-3135 Film and Literature II spring

Directing
CVD-3010 Advanced Production I
CVD-3015 Advanced Production II
CFD-3060 Advanced Writing and Directing I
CFD-3065 Advanced Writing and Directing II
HLD-3130 Film and Literature I
HLD-3135 Film and Literature II

Editing
CFD-2162 Pro Tools I 
or CFD-3428 DaVinci Resolve: Color Correcting Your Film 

CFD-3432 Postproduction: Digital Workflow I
CFD-3436 Postproduction: Digital Workflow II
HLD-3130 Film and Literature I
HLD-3135 Film and Literature II 

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

CFD-3140 Advanced Screenwriting I
CFD-3145 Advanced Screenwriting II
HLD-3130 Film and Literature I
HLD-3135 Film and Literature II

Sound
CFD-3054 Advanced Sound Production I
CFD-3055 Advanced Sound Production II
CFD-3112 Introduction to Mixing
HLD-3130 Film and Literature I
HLD-3135 Film and Literature II


Fourth-Year Requirements

The recommended course load is 15 credits each semester. Students should see their advisor early to determine remaining credit needs and requirements. You must be able to complete all 120 credits of the BFA degree, including all course and credit requirements to be eligible to graduate.

CFD-4940 Film Thesis I
CFD-4945 Film Thesis II 


 

General Course Listing

CFD-2010 / CFD-2015
Production Workshop I and II
Two semesters: 3 studio credits per semester
Using digital cameras, these courses will build on the techniques introduced in the foundation year to explore more complex projects. Special lenses, filters, lights and support equipment will be introduced through technical demonstrations, lectures and assignments. Working in production teams, students will explore various filmmaking aspects and approaches. 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-2050
Sound Production I
One semester: 3 studio credits
This comprehensive course analyzes the role of sound techniques in film and video—music, effects, voice-overs and sync sound, among other components. 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.

CFD-2051-A
Sound Production II
One semester: 3 studio credits
A continuation of Sound Production I, in this course students will record sound on dialogue scenes, both interior and exterior, using state-of-the-art digital cameras and sound devices, including 744t recorder, CL-12 linear fader mixer, Lectrosonic radio microphones and associated lavalier microphones. Students will also work with “open” microphones and employ them in real-world scenarios.

CFD-2056-A
Sound Design I
One semester: 3 studio credits
This course is an introduction to the elements of sound editing: ADR, Foley, sound effects, dialogue and music. What is ADR? What is Foley? How do the editors in dialogue and music and effects work with the sound designer to create a movie soundtrack? Students will have the opportunity to learn hands-on how movie soundtracks are “built” step by step, practicing all aspects of sound editing and designing the soundtracks of various short films.

CVD-2060
Avid I
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.

CVD-2061
Avid II
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. One semester: 3 studio credits

CVD-2066
Advanced Final Cut Pro
One semester 3 studio credits
The industry standard organizational and editing techniques required to take your film to the big screen will be the focus of this course. Topics include how to use keywords, roles, smart collections, rating for better organization, trimming using the precision editor, advanced masking, color grading, sound design techniques, integrating third-party plug-ins, media management, team collaboration, multi-cam, subtitles and captions, advanced online/offline workflows, versioning, outputting and archiving.

CVD-2067
Advanced Premiere Pro
One semester 3 studio credits
Students will advance their skills in Adobe Premiere Pro, examining the industry standard organizational and editing techniques required to take films to the big screen. Topics will include round tripping with other applications, such as Adobe After Effects, Photoshop and Audition; advanced organizational workflows; media management; advanced trimming; masking; color grading, sound design techniques; advanced online/offline workflows; subtitles and captions; team collaboration; multi-cam; versioning; outputting and archiving.

AHD-2068
The Language of Film
One semester: 3 art history credits
Serving 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 art history 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 use in the art of lighting: composition, color, light-and-shadow, three-point lighting, cameras and lenses. The fall semester 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

CFD-2080
Production Design
One semester: 3 studio credits
Understand the role of production design in the filmmaking process will be explored in this course. It 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 William Cameron Menzies and how his contributions led to the advent of the production designer. The craft, process and working methods of the production designer will be explored in detail. How directors collaborate with designers to capture their vision on film will also be examined.

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-2128
Writing the Short Film
One semester: 3 studio credits
This course is designed to assist students in writing short screenplays for their second-year production courses. Through various exercises students will be exposed to multiple strategies for the development of scripts that are both highly visual and character-driven. Students will explore the elements of visual language to convey key elements of theme and story, and workshop in class with actors to deepen their understanding of characters. Scripts are read and discussed by class members with respect to style, structural elements and visualization

CFD-2129
Directing for Film
One semester: 3 studio credits
This is a practical craft workshop emphasizing the visual realization of film scripts and the relationship between performer and camera. Through the screening of clips as well as shooting assignments in class, students will explore directorial choices including script, character and scene analysis; casting and rehearsal; design and visual style; actor and camera blocking; framing and camera placement and coverage. Through work with actors students will discuss various strategies for director/actor communication. They also gain experience in how to communicate with the crew during preproduction, production and postproduction. Students will be encouraged to work on scenes from their own film projects

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
Writing the Feature-Length Script I
One semester: 3 studio credits
Required for all screenwriting majors, this course will focus on constructing a character-driven screenplay in three-acts. Students are introduced to the Writers Guild Short-Form Contract, and develop their scripts through each stage of professional screenwriting processes, including character research, logline, synopsis, outline and drafts. Students will finish a full outline of their screenplay and a first draft of the first act by the end of the semester.

CFD-2145
Writing the Feature-Length Script II
One semester: 3 studio credits
A continuation of CFD-2140, Writing the Feature-Length Script I, in this course students will revise the first act of their screenplays, and complete the second and third acts. Emphasis is on pacing, knowing what to take out as well as what to put in. Actors may be brought in to explore the dramatic potential in scenes and to help students write natural dialogue. Students will complete a second draft of their screenplay by the end of the semester.

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-2162  
Pro Tools I
One semester: 3 studio credits
This course will focus on the basic skills needed to operate within the Pro Tools interface as well as basic concepts of digital audio. Students will record dialogue, sound effects, and Foley and synchronize these elements to picture. Signal flow, digital effects, MIDI concepts, file management and basic techniques in audio editing and mixing will also be covered. Students will record, create, mix and output sound for several projects throughout the course.

CFD-2163
Pro Tools II
One semester: 3 studio credits
Building on the basic techniques explored in Pro Tools I, in this course students will solve production issues with the use of noise reduction, EQ, reverb and compression in order to match production audio. Students will work on track management, routing and cleaning dialogue. They will use more advanced techniques in recording, editing, MIDI and mixing while working on projects that focus on Foley, sound effects and ADR. Pro Tools workflow will be discussed and examined.

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-2262-A
Creating Character I and II (The Actor/Writer Collaboration)
Two semesters: 3 studio credits per semester
Great stories rely on great characters. These multidisciplinary courses are 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 these courses 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
The challenges in transforming material from other media onto the screen will be the focus of this course. Screenplays may be developed from virtually any source material—fiction, nonfiction, journalism, poetry—and students will investigate how to obtain screen rights for their work, including public domain, options and ownership. Emphasis is on short films that students can produce themselves.

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.

CFD-2456
Script Analysis I: Visual Translation for Production Design
One semester: 3 studio credits
The goal of this course is to introduce methods used to create meaningful imagery from screenplays. The process of previsualizing and how to determine the salient points that establish the visual representation of a film will be addressed, beginning with the initial steps of previsualization—from first impression rough-response drawings to pattern-recognition responses. Each student will complete three projects using a variety of mediums, such as watercolor, acrylics, drawing, photography and digital technologies to express ideas for a given production. Toward the end of the semester various design software programs will be presented.

CFD-2457
Script Analysis II: Visual Translation for Production Design
One semester: 3 studio credits
This course is a continuation CFD-2456, Script Analysis I: Visual Translation for Production Design. Working with Autodesk SketchUp, we will explore how to achieve visual interpretations of scripts and other texts, and how to build a consensual approach to design for a project. Using scripts for film and television, students will take a concept and create physical set solutions from models, drawings, photography and digital technology.

AHD-2712
The Art of Editing
One semester: 3 art history credits
Editing is the creative process by which visual and aural elements are rhythmically integrated to produce meaning in film. This historical survey investigates interrelations of storytelling and story-showing by screening classic and contemporary film scenes and sequences. Students explore cinema’s bonds to painting, photography, theater and literature, as well as its profound links to music and dance, to discover how editing strategies developed—and continue to do so—inspiring one of the world’s most powerful art forms.

CFD-2733
Visually Planning Your Films: Storyboards for Live Action
One semester: 3 studio credits
Students will gain hands-on experience in creating storyboards and storyboard animatics from their own short scripts, both on paper and digitally. We will explore a variety of storyboarding software, though emphasis will be placed on storyboard theory and psychology, thumbnail storyboards, and collaboration, as students work to strategically plan a film through sequential art.

CFD-2743
Pitching and Development
One semester: 3 studio credits
Writers, directors and producers must know how to pitch, and to whom they are pitching. Students will bring their own projects to class, pitch their log lines and refine them, as they workshop synopses in class. Students also write bios branding themselves. Guests from various branches of the film and television industries will share their pitching techniques and students will pitch to them.

CFD-2752
Marketing and Publicity
One semester: 3 studio credits
Students will research the tools and techniques necessary to find an audience in the digital age. Topics include premarketing, social media profiles, sentiment analysis and other data-driven methods, how AI is transforming content marketing and the many-faceted roles of publicists. Students will meet guests from the industry as they create a marketing strategy for a film from packaging to distribution.

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-3030
Advanced Lighting and Cinematography I
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—will be 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.

CFD-3054 / CFD-3055
Advanced Sound Production I and II
Two semesters: 3 studio credits per semester
Designed for those who want to pursue sound on a professional level, these courses will explore various techniques through individual projects based upon student interest. Projects may include music recording for movies, production and/or postproduction mixing, sound editing, ADR, sound design, or Foley.

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 and 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
Advanced Writing and Directing I
One semester: 3 studio credits
Building on the fused writing and directing approach introduced in second year, students will refine their scripts for third-year production courses, and begin their thesis films. Students will be exposed to innovative, professional techniques in screenwriting and storytelling, and encouraged to find their own styles. Working with actors, students will employ sophisticated directorial strategies, analyze their artistic choices and find their own strengths before going on set.

CFD-3065
Advanced Writing and Directing II
One semester: 3 studio credits
This is the second part of a two-semester course. It is intended to support the development of the thesis script. Students will have the opportunity to take creative risks and collaborate with actors. Scripts will be rehearsed, discussed and revised every week. As the scripts produced in the previous semester go into postproduction, films are screened with feedback to help students polish their final cuts.

CFD-3112
Introduction to Mixing
One semester: 3 studio credits
Mixing is the art of making a coherent whole of the various parts of sound for film. The mix influences the audience’s perception of a film and helps express underlying emotional content. In this course students will explore notable examples to see how superlative mixes are accomplished, and will also examine the use of music and effects, including when one is more appropriate than the other. Students will work on project through hands-on mixing.

CFD-3114
Mixing II
One semester: 3 studio credits
Students will engage in sophisticated mixes, both in our facilities and in professional studios where commercial films are being readied for release. We will explore various techniques used to fine-tune a mix, the use of plug-ins and automation as well as the layering of sounds to create air and space.

CFD-3116-A
Sound Design II
One semester: 3 studio credits
Students will expand their understanding of how sound design functions by observing and working in different genres: documentary, action, science fiction, horror, etc., and investigate the tools used to create genre-specific sound designs. Students can apply sound design from this course to their own work, third-year films and thesis projects.

HLD-3130 / HLD-3135
Film and Literature I and II
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 course is devoted to comparing cinematic and literary treatments of a common theme or to examining film adaptations of specific literary works.

CFD-3140 / CFD-3145
Advanced Screenwriting I and II
Two semesters: 6 studio credits per semester
These courses are designed to encourage the development of the writer’s own style by exploring advanced strategies of character development and approaches. In the first semester students will write a proposal, outline and revised outline, and complete a first draft in accordance with the expectations of the Writers Guild short-form contract. The spring semester begins with the first rewrite of the first draft and goes on through the second rewrite, in accordance with the Writers Guild contract. Students are expected to have a complete second draft by the end of the course.

CFD-3170 / CFD-3175
Writing for Television 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 all 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-3190
The Business and Craft of Writing for Television
One semester: 3 studio credits
This course 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-3194-A
Creative Producing
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 insights into producing for the film and television industries. Both narrative and documentary filmmaking will be examined.

CFD-3241
Advanced Production Design
One semester: 3 studio credits
Transforming the physical and psychological environments of a student’s script into the visual reality of his or her own film will be explored in this course. Students will bring in 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 building an environmental visual palette for their story. Attention will be given to 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-3247
After Effects
One semester: 3 studio credits
In this course students will explore advanced techniques needed in creating seamless motion picture effects. Keying, tracking, particle systems and practical effects will be addressed in detail. Examples of each technique will be shown to nurture an understanding of what’s possible and to help in choosing the most efficient path to the desired results. Students will ultimately apply these techniques to live-action sequences.

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 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-3261
Advanced Directing
One semester: 3 studio credits
Students in this course will be given an in-depth and hands-on opportunity to develop their own approaches to mise-en-scène: blocking actors, visualizing action, establishing character, POV, motion, composition and creating a sequence. Different directing styles will be explored, such as the pursuit of authenticity in realism and the narrative conventions of Hollywood. Students will gain practice in effective communication with various on-set departments and key crew members. Critique of student work will be provided. ARRI film and digital cameras will be used, and students have access to state-of-the-art sound facilities.

CFD-3273
Experimental Cinematography
One semester: 3 studio credits
Cinematography does not just serve storytelling; it also expands our perception of what the story experience can be. Film inherently uses elements of photography, music, painting, dance, etc.; however, narrative and documentary films do not always use all of these artistic elements to their full potential. In this course we will mix and manipulate these elements as tools for the cinematographer’s eye. We will study analog techniques including dry for wet to pinhole to contemporary approaches (including virtual reality), while balancing both technical and expressive awareness, drawing on influence not just from experimental cinema, but also from contemporary light artists who can expand how we experience emotion and narrative in exciting new ways and learn to craft one’s own language of experimentation.

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 recreate 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 create the audio from actual film and television scenes, as well as record and design effects for video games.

CFD-3428
DaVinci Resolve: Color Correcting Your Film
One semester: 3 studio credits
The fundamentals of color grading and finishing with DaVinci Resolve software will be covered in this course. Students will explore the process of color grading from picture lock to final delivery. Topics include: creating a look for a project, enhancing storytelling by drawing the eye, scene matching and project management. The course will focus on both the technical and aesthetic requirements of finishing projects for broadcast, commercial and theatrical release.

CFD-3431
Music and Sound 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 and will learn 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
Postproduction: Digital Workflow I
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 indispensable course for editors.

CFD-3436
Postproduction: Digital Workflow II
One semester: 3 studio credits
This course will examine digital language—from media acquisition to digital exhibition. Students will work on their own projects to tackle real-world workflow hurdles and explore how to quickly get past them and get back to the creative process. We will focus on proxy and offline/online options, transcoding, remote editing, compression techniques, color grading, ARRI and RED RAW workflows, Pro Tools output and delivery and DCPs. Students will complete the course with a heightened knowledge of postproduction.

CFD-3434-A
Postproduction: Structures in Storytelling
One semester: 3 studio credits
Inspired by the teachings of Sergei Eisenstein, Stefan Sharff, Karel Reisz, Andrei Tarkovsky, Alexander Mackendrick, Ingmar Bergman and Akira Kurosawa, this course will offer an advanced study into aesthetic solutions to shape image and sound compositions. An emphasis will be placed on the applications and significance of European montage. With a concentration on crafting a visual story via elements that are concurrently cohesive and divergent, we will screen student projects, theatrical releases and trailers, as well as discuss assigned readings in film criticism. The goal of the course is to master the elusive properties of moving-image editing.

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 breaking down a script, 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-3921-A
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 / CFD-4045
Master Class in Screenwriting I and II
Two semesters: 6 studio credits per semester
These courses will provide the opportunity to work in a professional team milieu, working with more advanced techniques. Students will begin by assessing their finished script, and the move on to create a new work with the same commitment and professionalism as on-staff writers. The focus is on internalizing structure, fine-tuning dialogue, writing and rewriting at a professional pace. Emphasis will also be placed on developing the business acumen writers need, such as negotiating with directors, actors, and studio and network heads. In the spring semester, students will polish their thesis scripts as well as their third-year scripts. The goal is complete the course with two saleable scripts.

CFD-4101 / CFD-4102
Master Class in Cinematography I and II
Two semesters: 3 studio credits per semester
These courses are 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-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 / 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.

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. Please contact the department advisor for specifics.

Internship
One semester: 3 studio credits
Students can gain valuable experience and broaden their professional network through an internship with an 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 apply online during the designated application period, be approved by the Career Development Office, and registered for the internship by their academic advisor. Students need to work 150 hours during the semester (usually 10 to 15 hours per week), participate in a weekly online course with other SVA interns, and complete midterm and final self-evaluations. Elective studio credit is awarded for the successful completion of an internship. For more information go to sva.edu/career.

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