Project Description

Master of Fine Arts (MFA) in
Filmmaking and Producing

All SFI programs feature a hands-on education and practical experience that provide the groundwork for professional careers.

Overview

Seattle Film Institute’s Master of Fine Arts (MFA) in Filmmaking and Producing is the only graduate program of its kind that blends hands-on creative skills with the innovative business skills of a producer. Over the course of the two-year program these complementary skill-sets are woven together into a seamless and unified whole.  Students graduate with the abilities and versatility to pursue a career in their chosen “hands-on” area of specialty, choose a career-path as a film, television and digital content producer, or to initiate, implement and execute their own projects from inception to completion.

For the first year of the MFA program (4 quarters), students choose one of the following concentrations:

Filmmaking 

Creativity, critical thinking and technical skills all come together as students are immersed all aspects of filmmaking—directing, writing, cinematography, lighting, and editing.

Acting for Film 

Students receive thorough, rigorous training designed to develop their individual talents and give them the tools, experience and discipline necessary for a successful film acting career.

Digital Arts, Animation, & Game Design 

Students gain a comprehensive overview of media arts, animation, and game design principles and graduate with a portfolio reel that showcases command of their craft, their personal artistic voice, and their visual style.

Audio Production & Sound Design

Students develop both the skills to effectively record on-location and in-studio sound as well as the technical expertise and aesthetic awareness needed to work as sound designers.

For the second year of the MFA program (4 quarters), students focus on the core skills needed to be a successful producer, including:

  • Acquiring and developing properties
  • Assembling and working with a creative team
  • Legal Issues
  • Writing a business plan
  • Budgeting
  • Scheduling
  • Fundraising
  • Marketing and distribution
  • Effectively pitching projects

Students develop their producing skills by directly applying them in building a comprehensive presentation portfolio for a specific project they work on throughout the course of the program’s second year.  The presentation portfolio is a creative and business blueprint designed to convey the scale, scope, tone, and tenor of the actual project to potential investors and collaborators.  The portfolio projects usually connect with the student’s chosen concentration as, for example:

Filmmaking:  A student might build their portfolio project around a feature-length script developed in the first year of the program.

Acting for Film:  A student might base their portfolio project on optioning the film rights for a novel or stage play that has a character they’d love to play and developing the property into a film.

Digital Arts, Animation, & Game Design:  A student might use an animated project or original game concept they developed in in the first year of the program as the basis for their portfolio project.

Sound Design & Recording Arts:  A student might base their portfolio project on developing, scripting, recording, and distributing a dramatic narrative podcast.

The second year of the MFA program culminates with students formally presenting their portfolio projects to an invited audience of potential investors and film industry professionals.

Upon completion of this two-year journey of intensive professional development, with its unique dual mission of developing production-oriented skills while unleashing entrepreneurial spirit, graduates have the skills, abilities, and confidence to pursue their creative goals and produce their own successful careers.

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Online Info Session: Saturday, December 12, 2020 at 12:30 noon pacific time. Learn about SFI and all our programs!

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Next SFI Start Dates: March 22, 2021. September 27, 2021.

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