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Film: Frequently Asked Questions

What is the size of the program?

The School of Film is relatively small. In a given academic year, we probably average around fifty graduate and ten undergraduate students in our three degree programs. Unlike students in larger schools, our students receive far more personal attention and routinely interact with our supportive faculty. We are committed to maintaining an intimate learning environment.

What sort of funding is offered?

The vast majority of graduate students in the School of Film receive some level of funding. Funding comes in two forms - tuition waivers and graduate stipends. Students generally receive a combination of both for each year they are in the program. Compared with the cost of graduate schools elsewhere, we most definitely are a very good financial value. In return for funding, students are asked to complete a service assignment in the school.

Our Honor Tutorial College undergraduates either receive 100% tuition waiver (Ohio residents) or 80% tuition waiver (non-Ohio residents).

Can you tell me more about the M.A. in Film Studies?

The M.A. in Film Studies prepares students for further study at the doctoral level and/or careers in film criticism, art administration, or archive and preservation work. Completion of the M.A. in Film Studies requires fifty hours of coursework, a successful first-year review and either an approved and defended written thesis or passing of a comprehensive exam. The School of Film encourages M.A. candidates to become actively involved in their field by making public, scholarly presentations and contributing to professional publications.

Can you tell me more about the M.F.A. in Film?

The three-year M.F.A. sequence moves from foundation building in the 1st year, to growing levels of specialization in the 2nd year, and culminating in the thesis work of the 3rd year. In the 3rd year, students may opt to direct his/her own thesis film or commit to a non-directing track. The track options are Cinematography, Post-Production, and Screenwriting, each requiring specific coursework and portfolios.The M.F.A. requires 90 credit hours and students are required to maintain a 3.0 grade point average in all coursework.

Can you tell me more about the MFA 1st year "boot camp"?

The 1st year of study is viewed as core curriculum and is required of all M.F.A. students. A unified yearlong course of study has been established to serve as the foundation for the developing filmmaker. A logical progression of interlocking courses in production, screenwriting, sound, directing, editing and film studies has been designed. Unlike other film schools where students are pigeonholed, our first year MFA courses enable a student to gain an understanding of all aspects of filmmaking. This breadth of knowledge has proven invaluable to many of our alumni, who state that they were able to find jobs after graduation precisely because of their ability to understand so many aspects of filmmaking.

What happens in the 2nd and 3rd years of the MFA program?

From the structured design of the 1st year boot camp, in the 2nd and 3rd years, the program moves to a period of greater freedom of choice, personal responsibility and creative achievement. Specialization classes in the various film crafts (cinematography, directing, screenwriting, sound design, and editing) are offered.

Where the 1st Year Portfolio was created under defined guidelines as part of a core curriculum, the 2nd Year Portfolio and the thesis film assumes that the student now has the training and the craft to move in artistic directions of his/her own choosing. A system where students in the 2nd and 3rd year discuss and consult on their creative work with the faculty is firmly in place.

What MFA track options are offered?

As an alternative to directing a narrative or documentary thesis film, a student may select one of the three non-directing tracks - Cinematography, Post-Production, Screenwriting - and meet the requirements for the M.F.A. degree.

What sort of equipment is available?

Despite our small size, we have state-of-the-art technology to support cutting edge production and post-production. Currently, we have RED Scarlet and Canon C100 cameras. Our post-production facilities have 24/7 access.

What is the CREATE_space?

The CREATE_space in the College of Fine Arts offers additional technological and digital options. The CREATE_space is Ohio University’s premiere interdisciplinary resource for creative research exploring arts, technology, and entrepreneurship.

Do I own rights to my own creative work?

Unlike many film schools, students attending the School of Film retain the rights to their own creative work.

What teaching opportunities are available?

Our graduate students teach a wide range of classes where they are given full responsibility. These range from classes in 16mm filmmaking, screenwriting, and film studies topics classes. Students submit course proposals, and a faculty committee chooses which courses will be offered, including during the summer. Additionally, our graduate students are teaching numerous courses in the School of Media Arts and Studies. These are invaluable experiences, particularly for those planning careers in academia.

Can you tell me more about the Athens International Film & Video Festival?

Our students have the opportunity for hands-on practicum training by taking independent study classes or internships with the acclaimed annual Athens International Film & Video Festival. The Athens International Film & Video Festival is an IMDB and Oscar nominee qualifying festival with diverse programming. Many guest filmmakers come every year.