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This degree is the highest level of training in digital filmmaking. The MFA in Film & Television Directing program is a highly selective program that culminates in the successful completion of the MFA thesis project, a public presentation of the thesis project, and a defense of the thesis to the student's MFA committee.
|Program Requirements||Quarter Hours|
|Total hours required||96-100|
Students will be able to:
- Write short or feature screenplays in proper format employing standard narrative.
- Demonstrate a mastery of directing and casting actors in a fiction film.
- Express picture editing, visual effects, and sound design preferences to post-production crew members using proper terminology.
- Employ advanced functions of the producing process, including scheduling, budgeting, pitching, packaging, and distribution.
- Communicate short setup and framing preferences using proper cinematographic and visual design terminology.
- Create short filmic works in a variety of genres and processes, such as documentary, experimental, and television.
- Identify major genres, figures, and works in contemporary and historical short and feature films.
No Introductory Course in any other program may be substituted for any other course at any level.
|FILM 401||FUNDAMENTALS OF CINEMA PRODUCTION (FORMERLY DC 414)||4|
Note: Students who are required to take this course must take the course during the Fall quarter of their first year and consult their advisor about their course sequence for their first year in the program.
Introductory courses may be waived for any of the following conditions:
- The student has the appropriate course work to satisfy an Introductory Course.
- The student has appropriate and verified professional experience to satisfy an Introductory Course.
- If an exam is available, the student passes a Graduate Assessment Examination (GAE) in the Introductory Course area.
|CP 420||PRODUCING: PRE-PRODUCTION (FORMERLY DC 423)||4|
|CP 540||PRODUCING FOR DIRECTORS: PITCHING, PACKAGING, AND DISTRIBUTION||4|
|DOC 424||DOCUMENTARY PRODUCTION (FORMERLY DC 471)||4|
|FILM 410||PRODUCTION WORKSHOP (FORMERLY DC 461)||4|
|FILM 425||EXPERIMENTAL FILMMAKING I (FORMERLY DC 447)||4|
|FILM 430||FUNDAMENTALS OF SHORT FILM (FORMERLY DC 460)||4|
|FILM 431||FILM HISTORY FROM THE FILMMAKER'S PERSPECTIVE (FORMERLY DC 520)||4|
|FILM 450||CINEMATOGRAPHY (FORMERLY DC 475)||4|
|FILM 479||VISUAL DESIGN (FORMERLY DC 476)||4|
|FILM 484||DIRECTING ACTORS (FORMERLY DC 462)||4|
|FILM 485||DIRECTING THE PRODUCTION (FORMERLY DC 490)||4|
|FILM 487||DIRECTING THE SHORT MOTION PICTURE (FORMERLY DC 495)||4|
|FILM 499||INTERNSHIPS IN MEDIA AND DESIGN||1-4|
|FILM 501||ADVANCED PRE-PRODUCTION FOR THESIS (FORMERLY DC 571)||4|
|POST 400||EDITING (FORMERLY DC 420)||4|
|POST 420||POST-PRODUCTION SOUND DESIGN (FORMERLY DC 415)||4|
|POST 484||POST-PRODUCTION SEMINAR (FORMERLY DC 491)||4|
|POST 500||ADVANCED EDITING FOR THESIS (FORMERLY DC 572)||4|
|POST 520||ADVANCED SOUND WORKSHOP FOR THESIS (FORMERLY DC 573)||2|
|POST 580||ADVANCED FINISHING WORKSHOP FOR THESIS (FORMERLY DC 574)||2|
|SCWR 400||FOUNDATIONS OF SCREENWRITING (FORMERLY DC 501)||4|
|SCWR 401||WRITING THE FEATURE I (FORMERLY DC 402)||4|
|SCWR 402||WRITING THE FEATURE II (FORMERLY DC 403)||4|
|or FILM 488||DIRECTING ACTORS FOR THE CAMERA (FORMERLY DC 450)|
|or FILM 489||DIRECTING THE WEB SERIES (FORMERLY DC 465)|
|SCWR 408||WRITING THE SHORT MOTION PICTURE (FORMERLY DC 401)||4|
|SCWR 446||FILMMAKERS SEMINAR (FORMERLY DC 488)||4|
Students who are required to take this course must take the course during the Fall quarter of their first year and consult their advisor about their course sequence for their first year in the program.
Optional Los Angeles Quarter (See below).
Students must choose any graduate level DC, ANI, TV, or VFX courses or MCS 502.
Optional Los Angeles Quarter
Students may apply to participate in the Los Angeles Quarter Program for the spring of their third year; they will spend 12 weeks in Hollywood doing industry internships, living with their fellow DePaul classmates, and having twice-weekly classes on an industry lot where they will have intimate question and answer sessions with industry professionals in all aspects of the film, TV, and video game world. If selected to participate in the LA program, MFA in Film and Television Directing students would take SCWR 446 and FILM 499 in Los Angeles.
MFA in Film and Television Directing students who are not selected to participate in the LA program, would take FILM 499 in Chicago and one (1) Major Elective.
The MFA Thesis should be a significant work that demonstrates a mastery of cinematic storytelling technique to convey the filmmaker's unique voice and vision. This project may be a short film or television/web series pilot. Feature films may be permitted with approval from the student's thesis committee.
Students will be asked to submit five preferences for full-time faculty members to serve on their thesis committees. Two committee members and one thesis chair will be assigned to each student by the Production-MFA Committee. During the thesis phase, the thesis committee supervises a student's project. Approval to proceed to the thesis classes is at the sole discretion of the thesis committee. If the thesis committee denies approval, students may appeal to the Production-MFA Committee. If appeals are denied, students are dismissed from the MFA program. Students in good academic standing may choose to complete an MS in Film and Television.
There are four crucial milestones a student must pass in order to proceed with thesis classes:
- Script Approval
The thesis committee must approve a student's thesis screenplay before admission will be granted to FILM 501. The thesis committees will notify the instructor of FILM 501 of approved students.
- Principal Photography
MFA students should complete principal photography prior to taking POST 500. Only instructor approval (not thesis committee approval) is necessary to register for this class. If the instructor deems the student not ready to register for POST 500, the student must wait until the class is offered again, and must again seek instructor approval to register.
- Picture Lock
MFA students must edit and picture lock their films prior to taking POST 520 and POST 580. Thesis committees will notify the instructors of POST 520 and POST 580 of approved students, and the instructors will grant approval to register. If the thesis committee deems the student not ready to register for POST 520 and POST 580, the student must wait until the classes are offered again, and must again seek committee approval to register.
- Final Thesis Delivery, Screening and Defense
MFA students will deliver their finished projects their thesis committees for exhibition at a culminating screening of all thesis films. After the screening, students will schedule a formal defense of their thesis films. If the film passes and upon completion of the required 96/100 credits of coursework, the student will be awarded an MFA. If the film does not pass, the student may revise it and re-defend. If the film does not pass again, the student will be dismissed from the MFA program. Students in good academic standing may choose to complete an MS in Film and Television.
FILM 701 THESIS CONTINUATION
This zero-credit course is for students who do not continue with the thesis classes as scheduled. A student's MFA thesis committee chair may enroll a student in FILM 701 a maximum of six times. Failure to enroll in a course for three straight quarters will lead to a student becoming inactive at the university, and will require the student to reapply to the program should they wish to finish their degree. Re-admission cannot be guaranteed, and the student will be subject to follow the curriculum in place when they return.
Time Limit to Finish Degree
Students must complete all required coursework and defend their finished thesis projects in no more than five years from their first enrollment in the program. If the student does not complete the above requirements in the required five years, the student will be dismissed from the MFA program. As per University policy, during their college career, students may be allowed one medical/personal approved administrative withdrawal and one college office administrative withdrawal, each for one or more courses in a single term. Such withdrawals do not count towards the time limit to finish the degree.
Students in this degree program must meet the following requirements:
- Complete a minimum of 96 graduate credit hours in addition to any required introductory courses of the designated degree program.
- Complete all graduate courses and requirements listed in the designated degree program.
- Earn a grade of C- or better in all graduate courses of the designated degree program.
- Maintain a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or higher.
- Satisfactorily complete the MFA thesis as determined by the student's MFA Advisor Committee.
- Students cannot count credit earned towards a previously awarded master's or MFA degree toward the completion of this MFA program.
For DePaul's policy on repeat graduate courses and a complete list of academic policies see the DePaul Graduate Handbook.
The representation of these course requirements on a year-by-year basis is just a suggestion. Students are free to take these courses in any order they choose, provided they have mastered the course-specific prerequisites.