School of Media, Culture & Design

Filmmaking

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

The Filmmaking program offers a professional degree which prepares graduates for careers in film and television. Students learn narrative filmmaking through a comprehensive curriculum including film production, screenwriting, cinematography, directing, production and film marketing and distribution. Woodbury’s location, within just a few miles of many major entertainment studios, 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 film production. Students will also study entertainment business and film history, critical aspects for any career in entertainment. Students will utilize equipment immediately and learn as active filmmakers. They study films in our screening room, edit productions in our editing rooms, and shoot footage on our soundstage. They will learn to bring their storytelling vision to life through professional faculty who nurture each student’s talents. In today’s working world, students need to learn a variety of skills to develop careers. At Woodbury University, they will learn directing, cinematography, writing, editing, producing, entertainment law, and business, gaining knowledge that will prepare them for multiple professional avenues in the rapidly changing industry.

  • Study within a few miles of major entertainment studios, providing a host of industry resources and networking connections with filmmaking professionals
  • Obtain a strong foundation in production with cameras in hand on day one
  • Write, produce, direct, and edit your own thesis film over a 4-course sequence
  • Explore filmmaking through field trips to studios and production houses to learn about the inner-workings of the industry. Recent trips include: Paramount Studios, Warner Brothers, NBCUniversal, IMAX, YouTube, Panavision, and CBS
  • Prepare for the profession through our industry-related internship requirement. Recent internships include: Paramount, Sony, CBS, Warner Brothers, Valhalla (Walking Dead), the Flynn Picture Company, and Awesomeness TV
Off-site Filmmaking Class

Internships & Careers

Recent student internships:

  • 20th Century Fox
  • ABC Television Network
  • Awesomeness TV (co-owned by DreamWorks)
  • Birns & Sawyer
  • CBS
  • Good Universe (makers of Neighbors and Neighbors 2: Sorority Rising)
  • Independent features
  • Mad Change (makers of American Sniper, Mortdecai, Get Smart and 10 Things I Hate About You).
  • Marvel films
  • MTV Networks
  • NBCUniversal Studios
  • Paramount Studios
  • Partos Company
  • Phoenix Pictures (makers of Black Swan, Shutter Island, and Zodiac.)
  • Sony
  • Studio 71
  • Studio productions
  • The Flynn Company
  • The Golden Globes
  • The WB Network
  • Valhalla (Walking Dead)
  • Vice
  • Walt Disney Company
  • Warner Bros.

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

Career opportunities:

  • acting
  • graduate school in filmmaking, business, and law
  • writing for film and television
  • casting
  • cinematography
  • creating, writing, directing, producing and/or starring in an online series
  • directing film/TV
  • editing
  • line producing
  • producing film/TV
  • producing/directing music videos
  • sound recording and design

“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
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Film Program Facilities

  •  4,000 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

Get a 360-degree view of our Sound Stage

Get a 360-degree view of our Screening Room

Filmmaking Courses

The curriculum is designed in a progressive sequence allowing students to build knowledge and skills as they journey through their film major. They begin with production classes in their first semester, followed by courses in cinematography, writing, sound, and editing. The students then create their thesis films in specifically designed courses in writing, pre-production, production and post-production. The program culminates in courses that address the business side of entertainment: law, marketing, producing, and career development. Through this comprehensive curriculum, students are instilled with a sense of entrepreneurship and collaboration.

Course Requirements

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

FILM 110 Film Production 1
3 UNITS
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
3 UNITS
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 140 Sound
3 UNITS
Throughout the semester, students will be required to record sound from the production process and carry it through post-production. Through theory and exercises, students will learn how to capture production sound utilizing different microphones and capture devices, as well as the basic techniques used by sound professionals. In the post-production process, the sound files will be managed, synced, manipulated, and recreated using Adobe Premiere. The basics of sound mixing and sound design will create an understanding of how sound enhances the immersive experience of film. Studio. Prerequisite: FILM 110, Film Production 1.

FILM 200 Screenwriting
3 UNITS
This course explores the process of writing a narrative script through lectures, screenings, readings, in-class writing exercises, in-class workshops, and, of course, a lot of out-of-class writing. Students develop an idea 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 203 Acting
2 UNITS
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 filmed scene work. The student will also process how an actor primarily works as a storyteller, which informs the choices he/she, along with the director, must make. Studio. Prerequisite: None.

FILM 210 Film Production 2
3 UNITS
This course is designed to assist the student’s growth in visual storytelling. Focusing on the short film, this class will explore characters, story arcs, acts, style, and more. This workshop class will provide students with in-class time to create films. The course will also require that they work outside of class to finish assignments or projects. While discussing the broad terms of storytelling, the class will demand that students collaborate with others to find the best idea to suit the needs of each story that they will craft. This will require time and effort, respect for the process, and strong participation. The course will also demand that students offer suggestions and receive and give criticism of the work. In this class, students will write, produce, direct, edit, and complete 4 to 5 projects. Studio. Prerequisites: FILM 110, Film Production 1 and FILM 115, Cinematography 1.

FILM 215 Directing
3 UNITS
The core of this course explores the collaborative process between the director and actors, the communication between them, and the shaping of actors’ performances. Students will choose scenes from the class-assigned script, hold auditions, cast, rehearse, and present those 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 226 Progress Reel
0 UNITS
Students will assemble their materials created in Film Production 2 into a Progress Reel for presentation to faculty. Students must pass this course in order to being the Thesis Project. Prerequisite or concurrent enrollment: FILM 110, Film Production 1.

FILM 300 Thesis Screenwriting
3 UNITS
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 for their Thesis Project. Lecture. Prerequisite: FILM 210, Film Production 2,

FILM 304 Thesis Pre-Production
3 UNITS
Students learn the fundamentals of film production and 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. Lecture. Prerequisites: FILM 300, Thesis Screenwriting.

FILM 310 Documentary Film Production
3 UNITS
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 culminating in their own short documentary. Studio. Prerequisite: FILM 110, Film Production 1.

FILM 220 Editing
3 UNITS
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 481 Thesis Post-production
4 UNITS
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 480 Thesis Production
5 UNITS
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.

THE BUSINESS

FILM 350 Career Experience Preparation
1 UNIT
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 401 Entertainment Marketing
3 UNITS
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 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.

FILM 402 Producer Seminar
3 UNITS
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. This class is designed to give the student the confidence needed to move forward into the world of producing. Lecture.

FILM 490 Career Experience
3 UNITS
Students participate in 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.

FILM 101 Film History 1
3 UNITS
This course examines the technological, social, cultural, and aesthetic dimensions of the first sixty years of cinema, ranging from the 1890s through the 1940s. Lectures, screenings, readings, and discussion will explore the impact of international cinema. The course will also investigate the impact of the global circulation of films, filmmakers, and film culture. Open to all majors and meets Art History elective requirement. Lecture. Prerequisite: None.

FILM 102 Film History 2
4 UNITS
The course covers the period from 1950 to the present. 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. Students will continue exploring the film story as a natural progression of the storytelling tradition as it continues into the twenty-first century. Open to all majors and meets Art History elective requirement. Lecture. Prerequisite: None.

FILM 302 World Film History
3 UNITS
Students become familiar with different periods in the history of world film industry and study international films whose artistic visions continue to transform filmmaking. Students learn how cinema has shaped and has been shaped by societies and cultures. Through research, essays, discussion, and other assignments, students will critically analyze the formal and thematic elements that create meaning in these films. 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.

 

School of Media Culture & Design Studio Faculty

Faculty Directory

Woodbury’s faculty are accomplished, caring academics and professionals dedicated to supporting the success of students throughout their academic journey, making Woodbury one of the best film schools in Los Angeles. They bring their professional expertise to students and work closely with them to teach the skills and theory required to enter professional practice or pursue advanced study. Through this individual attention, Woodbury fosters close mentoring relationships between faculty and students in a supportive and encouraging environment.

FACULTY DIRECTORY

Filmmaking Board of Advisors

Maria Burton

David Grae

Mark Graziano

Matt Greenberg

Robert Rippberger

Evan Schiff

David Wolthoff

 

Click on name of Board member above to read their imdb information.

 

Writer/Director and co-chair of the Alliance of Women Film Directors

Executive producer on Madame Secretary. Formerly co-executive producer on Castle.

Executive in charge of post-production for DreamWorks

Writer of 1408Reign of Fire, and Halloween: H2O

Writer/director/producer of the documentaries 7 Days in Syria and Alive & Kicking

Editor of Southside With YouJohn Wick: Chapter Two, and John Wick 

Producer of Concussion, manager at the Shuman Company

University accredited by:

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