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Directing for the Screen

For student filmmakers aiming at careers directing episodic television and theatrical features, practice at projects of scale and ambition analogous to typical work in the field can be difficult to attain. For that reason, the centerpiece of the Directing for Screen Module is an intensive two-quarter sequence in which students focus on the making of a single 5-15 minute short film partially funded by the University. Filmmakers in the module will demonstrate knowledge of the various crafts — cinematography, editing, acting, art direction, sound — and aptitude for collaborating with craftspeople so as to have greatest command over the language of the whole film and assert a strong directorial voice. Students will study the working methods, careers and funding sources of well-known directors. They will learn to present work samples and pitches, as well as prepare professional documents for fundraising, press, and job hunting. Industry professionals on our advisory board and invited guest artists will advise on these short films while in progress and offer counsel from their own experience on career development and professional best practices.​

Sponsoring Department: Radio/Television/Film

Module Coordinator (main student contact): Spencer Parsons

Committee of Instruction: Spencer Parsons, Kyle Henry, Clayton Brown, Mimi White

Module Advisor: Kalisha Cornett

The Directing for the Screen module is for focused study and practice of narrative motion picture directing. It allows you to work through a sequence of classes that introduce you to specific needs and practices of directing for the screen. In addition to required core classes in directing (RTVF 397 sequence), you’ll choose to take two courses from a menu of production classes in order to focus on mastery of at least one key filmmaking crafts as an area of traditional aesthetic focus and directorial control in cinematic storytelling: cinematography; editing and post-production work; or directing performance. As a capstone, you will then present a portfolio with completed short films and a written evaluation of filmmaking practice while a student, encompassing aesthetic concerns, working methods, filmmaking goals, and filmmaking experiences, including curricular and extracurricular work (including internships and jobs).

Learning Objectives:

  • Thorough understanding of various modes of production involved in directing for the screen.
  • Understand the context of your own work within screen history.
  • Acquire a mastery of at least one chosen skill among several required to produce high quality works for the screen.
  • Attain a self awareness about the trajectory of your own body of work.
  • Complete at least one significant work and multiple minor works for screen and/or stage as part of a portfolio.
  • Understand the processes necessary for continuing your work in a self-directed fashion after graduation.