School of Media, Culture & Design

Filmmaking

Bachelor of Fine Arts (B.F.A.)

The Filmmaking program is a professional degree that prepares graduates for careers in film and television. Students learn narrative filmmaking through a comprehensive curriculum including film production, screenwriting, cinematography, directing, producing, and film marketing and distribution. Within a few miles of the major entertainment studios, Woodbury’s location provides students with a host of industry resources and connections.

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Design Your Future

The Filmmaking degree provides an intensive experience in both theory and practical filmmaking. Students are exposed to equipment immediately and learn in an active film studio. They study films in our screening room, edit productions in our editing bays, and shoot footage on our soundstage, and surrounding environments. They will learn to bring their storytelling vision to life through professional faculty that nurture each student’s talents. Master’s Classes from industry notables provide insight into what it takes to succeed in this ever-evolving profession. Field trips exploring local production houses and studios expose students to the inner-workings of the industry and connect them with a network of filmmaking professionals. Required internships provide an opportunity for students to find a sense of belonging and purpose working for leading studios such as Technicolor, Warner Brothers, and Disney, as well as broadcast and cable networks, and production and post production companies. Students in the Filmmaking program receive a rigorous education resulting in strong, competitive reels that stand out in the industry.

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Internships & Careers

Internship opportunities:

  • Warner Bros.
  • Paramount Studios
  • The WB Network
  • The Golden Globes
  • MTV Networks
  • NBCUniversal Studios
  • ABC Television Network
  • Birns & Sawyer
  • Independent features
  • 20th Century Fox
  • Walt Disney Company
  • NBC Television Network

Internships are a required component of the BFA degree in Filmmaking.

Career opportunities:

  • producing film/TV
  • producing/directing music videos
  • art direction/production design
  • editing
  • AFI graduate program
  • creating, writing, directing, producing and/or starring in an online series
  • sound recording and design
  • entertainment management
  • casting
  • going on to law school to become entertainment attorney
  • acting
  • cinematography
  • line producing
  • associate producer
  • directing film/TV
  • management, entry level or better
  • talent manager

Student Film Gallery

Detox

Kyle Thor

“It was SUCH a great experience. I’ve really learned a lot about the film process and the industry! I have been offered potential work as an assistant editor and I couldn’t have done any of this without you.”


— Justin Feinman, Alumnus

“I just wanted to say thank you for the great experience I had at Woodbury. As a transfer student, I couldn’t have asked for a more welcoming and friendly film program. You put the students first...”


— Cody Stauffer, Alumnus

Facilities

  • 4,000-sq. ft. soundstage
  • 45-seat (state-of-the-art) screening room
  • Postproduction suites for senior thesis films
  • Postproduction facilities for first- through third-year students
  • Small classrooms
  • 25-acre campus for various locations

Courses

The curriculum is designed in a progressive sequence allowing students to build knowledge and skills as they journey through the degree. They begin with production classes in their first semester, followed by courses in cinematography, screenwriting, sound and editing. The program culminates in courses that address film marketing and distribution, and a senior thesis film project sequence involving the creation of a film project from pre-production through post-production. Through this comprehensive curriculum, students are instilled with a sense of entrepreneurship and collaboration.

FILM 103 Stage Grip and Lighting
This workshop is designed to give students an introduction to basic care and maintenance of the soundstage, grip, and lighting equipment. The importance of this class is to familiarize and create safety guidelines for the uses of the space and equipment. Studio. Prerequisite: None.

FILM 140 Sound for Film
This course is designed to introduce students to the basics of cinematography. In this class, we will cover the basic understanding and operations of camera, grip, and lighting equipment. Terminology, set procedures, aesthetics, and analysis will be a daily part of the class. Students will be required to attend, actively participate, and complete assignments in class as well as outside of class as an individual or in small groups. Studio. Prerequisites: FILM 110, Film Production 1.

FILM 200 Screenwriting 1
This course explores the process of writing a narrative script through lectures, screenings, readings, Filmmaking 2016-2017 Course Catalog 182 in-class writing exercises, in-class workshops, and, of course, a lot of outside writing. Students take an idea and develop it into both a detailed treatment and a short film script. Class emphasis is on the student’s own work, as well as on the development of the technique and craft necessary to shape that work. Students will learn Final Draft and study the leading screenwriting gurus of the day. Lecture. Prerequisite: WRIT 111, Academic Writing I. Open to all majors.

FILM 201 Screenwriting 2
In this writing workshop, students will develop skills in narrative structure, screenplay format, and story elements, especially character, dialogue, and scene construction. Writing two short film screenplays will develop these skills. Lecture. Prerequisite: FILM 200, Screenwriting 1.

FILM 203 Acting for Film
This studio course introduces the students to the basic principles and skills required for the art of acting. By exploring physical, emotional, and psychological techniques that encourage unique and specific character development, the student will learn how to apply these essential skills to film scene work. The student will also process how an actor primarily works as a storyteller, which always informs the choices he/she along with the director must make. Studio. Prerequisite: None.

FILM 215 Directing 1
The core of this course explores the collaborative process between the director and actors, communication between them, and the shaping of actors’ performances. Students will choose scenes from the class-assigned script, hold auditions, cast, rehearse, and present scenes in class. This is a workshop-style class that will require students to direct assigned scenes, share critiques, and receive direct feedback. 3 units. Studio. Prerequisite: FILM 110, Film Production 1.

FILM 225 Production Design
This course introduces the students to the process of designing a movie through various techniques and different steps. The emphasis is the delivery of a solid concept design that covers the requirements of the storytelling. Studio. Prerequisites: FILM 110, Film Production 1. Open to Architecture and Interior Architecture majors.

FILM 300 Thesis Screenwriting
During this intensive 15-week class, students will discover how premise and character development work together to create compelling drama. The students will pick their story and begin writing their own short scripts, which will be developed, presented, discussed, and rewritten from a director’s point of view, preparing students to direct the script themselves. We will also talk about genre, style, tone, and music, as these are crucial tools for a writer/director. At the end of the semester, the students will have their own short scripts, ready for them to direct. Lecture. Prerequisite: FILM 201, Screenwriting 2.

FILM 304 Thesis Pre-Production
Students learn the fundamentals of film production to create professional-quality portfolio work by utilizing pre-production and marketing skills. In this course, students will work on budgeting, scheduling using industry software, and creating fundraising business plans. This class also involves hands-on production of pitch videos, as well as editing to prepare to shoot senior thesis production projects the following semester. Studio. Prerequisites: FILM 300, Thesis Screenwriting.

FOUN 102 Design and Color Elements 1
A practical and theoretical study of the formal elements and principles of design. Formal and relational properties of line, shape, form, value, and texture are studied. Studio exercises using various media explore concepts of balance, harmony, repetition, rhythm, scale, proportion, time and motion in 2-dimensional and 3-dimensional organizations. Studio.

FOUN 106 Design and Color Interaction
This course investigates the principles, properties, and interactions of color, as well as the cultural and psychological implications of color across disciplines. A variety of media and sources are introduced through weekly exercises. Students will develop a working knowledge of additive and subtractive color systems, color mixing, and approaches to color harmony, as well as an understanding of practical issues such as color matching, correction, and forecasting. Design thinking as it applies to visual communication is also considered in this course as an agent for mindfulness and engagement. Studio. Prerequisite: FOUN 102, Design and Composition, recommended.

FILM 110 Film Production 1
This course is an introductory hands-on media production course that provides solid grounding in the technical and creative aspects of production and post-production. Students will conceptualize and develop solo and group video projects and become familiar with screenwriting and digital non-linear editing techniques. Studio. Prerequisite: None.

FILM 115 Cinematography 1
This course is designed to introduce students to the basics of cinematography. In this class, we will cover the basic understanding and operations of camera, grip, and lighting equipment. Terminology, set procedures, aesthetics, and analysis will be a daily part of the class. Students will be required to attend, actively participate, and complete assignments in class as well as outside of class as an individual or in small groups. Studio. Prerequisites: FILM 110, Film Production 1.

FILM 204 Cinematography
This course focuses on the visual aspects of digital video filmmaking. Students learn important concepts of cinematography including, how to operate and care for cameras and lenses; how to compose the image; lighting techniques; camera operating techniques including panning, tilting, zooming, booming, and dollying; controlling focus; controlling attention of the viewer; shooting to edit; creating camera reports; interfacing with the film labs and post houses; filters for lenses; exposure; and color balance. Prerequisite: FILM 102, Beginning Digital Filmmaking.

FILM 306 Directing Actors for Digital Film Production
The student will produce and direct two scenes in class using competent, well-rehearsed actors cast and rehearsed by the student director for their roles. Students will be able to choose a script, hold auditions, cast it, rehearse the actors, and present a scene in class, along with a production package, including script notes, scene goals, character analysis, storyboard and shot list. Prerequisites: FILM 105, The Actor’s Craft; ANIM 211, Storyboarding, OR permission of instructor. Portfolio: Two videotaped scenes, post-produced and burned to DVD. These will be critiqued and ranked by faculty and students.

FILM 310 Documentary Film Production
This course will focus on the ways documentaries both report on and influence culture, looking at the specific processes of persuasion. A variety of theoretical perspectives will be used to untangle the meanings inherent in texts presented as entertainment so that their complexities and cultural logic becomes visible and subject to critique. Students will consider how such documentaries have influenced their own lives and those of others through the mechanisms of popular culture. They will also conduct a series of projects that culminate with their own short documentary. Studio. Prerequisite: FILM 210, Film Production 2.

FILM 315 Cinematography 2
This advanced camera course stresses that visual communication comes from a variety of styles and mediums. Ranging from traditional cinema to music videos, this class uncovers the sometimes subconscious methods used to tell a story. Studio. Prerequisite: FILM 210, Film Production 2.

FILM 480 Thesis Production
This course explores advanced practical and conceptual low-budget indie filmmaking in physical production. Students shoot scripts written during FILM 300, Thesis Screenwriting and planned in FILM 304, Thesis Pre-Production. Double system production sound will be recorded. This begins the Senior Film, which is meant to serve as a portfolio piece and is a graduation requirement. Studio. Prerequisites: FILM 304, Thesis Pre-production.

FILM 220 Film Editing 1
Editing is an essential part of the filmmaking process and students will gain an understanding of the principles and techniques that an editor uses to tell a story, along with the technical aspects related to the editing process and post-production. Lecture. Prerequisite: FILM 110, Film Production 1.

FILM 342 Sound Design and Mixing
This course is intended to provide students with advanced post production experience. The student will learn industry terminology, crew production skills, and other professional aspects found in the media industry. The students will be encouraged to develop sound design assignments that will enhance their critical thinking skills about the use of sound in cinema. Students will mix Advanced Media Productions. Lecture. Prerequisites: WRIT 112, Academic Writing II, and FILM 104, Introduction to Media Production Filmmaking OR permission of instructor. Portfolio: Complete sound design and mix of digital film project of 10 minute length, burned to DVD. It will be critiqued and ranked by faculty and students.

FILM 481 Thesis Post-Production
This course explores the advanced practical and conceptual low-budget indie filmmaking post-production process from editing, titles, visual effects, mixing, and distribution to festivals. This concludes the Senior Thesis Project, which is meant to serve as a portfolio piece and is a graduation requirement. 3 units. Studio. Prerequisite: FILM 480, Thesis Production.

FILM 101 Film History
Through lectures, discussions and analyses of screenings of films and film clips, this course will offer a chronology of the development of both the artistic elements in the narrative motion picture—exploring the film story as a natural progression of the storytelling tradition that has shaped scripture, poetry, drama and the novel throughout human history—and as a globe spanning business that has reshaped our perceptions of cultures, ethnic groups, and economic systems. Covers the period from 1890 to 1950. No pre-requisites.

FILM 104 Film History II 
Through lectures, discussions and analyses of screenings of films and film clips, this course will offer a chronology of the development of both the artistic elements in the narrative motion picture—exploring the film story as a natural progression of the storytelling tradition that has shaped scripture, poetry, drama and the novel throughout human history—and as a globe-spanning business that has reshaped our perceptions of cultures, ethnic groups, and economic systems. Covers the period from 1950 to present and examines other media of mass entertainment such as TV, VHS tapes, DVDs, cable TV, satellite TV, and streaming on the internet. No prerequisites.

FILM 302 World Film History
Every week, students will view one foreign classic or contemporary feature and possible supplementary short films or film clips to aid in the understanding of the movie’s legacy, followed by an in-depth discussion of the viewed works. Lecture. Prerequisite: WRIT 112, Academic Writing II or WRIT 212, Rhetoric and Design; and LSCI 105, Information Theory and Practice or LSCI 106, Information Sources in Architecture and Interior Architecture.

FILM 305 History of Film Directing
In this class, students will explore the history of directing and how the position developed in both practice and artistry, starting in the silent era and progressing into the modern era. The class consists of research papers, presentations, and a practical project as students learn of film directing’s past in order to augment their own skills and knowledge in the area. Lecture. Prerequisite: FILM 210, Film Production 2; WRIT 112, Academic Writing II or WRIT 212, Rhetoric and Design; and LSCI 105, Information Theory and Practice or LSCI 106, Information Sources in Architecture and Interior Architecture.

FILM 350 Career Experience Prep
This one-credit course will instruct students on the fundamentals of finding and building a career in entertainment. Subjects will include researching and applying for internships and jobs, cover letters and resumes, company expectations for workers, and networking skills. Lecture. Prerequisite: Filmmaking major.

FILM 400 Business of Entertainment
A comprehensive introduction to the business of entertainment as part of a two-course series intended for fourth-year students. This is an introductory course in the business of entertainment for producers, directors, development personnel, aspiring media executives, and those who are planning, developing and executing media ventures. The class examines the business issues associated with the entertainment industry in the multiple formats of film, television, and video-accessible content. Lecture. Prerequisites: WRIT 112, Academic Writing II or WRIT 212, Rhetoric and Design.

FILM 401 Entertainment Marketing
Open to all majors, this course will examine film and television product acquisition, distribution, and exhibition. This is an introductory course for those interested in pursuing careers as producers, directors, marketing executives, media-planning executives, and filmmakers who are developing marketing for media projects. This class examines the business issues associated with the distribution, marketing, and exhibition in the film and television entertainment industry. Lecture. Prerequisite: Marketing class.

FILM 402 Producer Seminar
This class will explore what it takes to be a producer. The producer is the first one on, and the last one off the project. The course will cover how to find material, how to option it, how to attach talent to your project, how to pitch it, and how to find places to do so. In addition, the class will examine how to get the green light, how to deal with talent, how to deal with the various departments involved producing a film, how to work with the director, and how to eventually produce the film. This class is designed to give the student the confidence needed to move forward into the world of producing. Lecture. Prerequisite: FILM 400, Business of Entertainment (can take concurrently).

FILM 490 Internship Requirement
An on-the-job practicum in commercial settings in media, design, entertainment, and marketing firms. Work experience is complemented by academic requirements specified in a contract with the faculty advisor. Prerequisite: Filmmaking majors only.

University accredited by:

NASAD: National Association of Schools of Art & Design
WSCUC: Senior College and University Commission (formerly WASC)