ACADEMIC PROGRAMS

< Back to Program List

Graduate: Film

  • Program Overview

    MFA in Film

    The MFA in Film is a two plus year program that includes dedicated Tracks in Directing, , TV Writing, Screenwriting and Producing, with production periods culminating in a feature screenplay, a 20-minute MFA thesis film, a television writer’s portfolio, or a feature producer’s package. Faculty Christine Vachon, Pamela Koffler, Alan Kingsburg, Magdalene Brandeis, Perry Blackshear, Jennie Allen, Simone Pero, David Hinojosa, Lenny Crooks, Karen Offitzer, and Jordan Roberts, along with top industry professionals, guide participants through the essential elements of independent film production and TV Writing. Hands-on, experiential, in-depth, project driven.

    The curriculum requires 45-48 credits.

    Interested students should request information from the department and find application information at http://www.stonybrook.edu/southampton/mfa/film/admissions.html

    Students are encouraged to apply as early as possible, especially if they plan to apply for financial aid.

     

     

     
  • Admissions
     

    Admission to the MFA Program in Film

    This MFA program in Film is intensive and admission to it is highly selective. Upon review, finalists are invited for an interview. For admission, the following, in addition to the minimum Graduate School requirements, are normally required:

    1. A bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university.
    2. Undergraduate grade point average of at least 3.0.
    3. Three letters of recommendation.
    4. A current résumé
    5. A statement of purpose. Describe in a page or two why you are interested in this opportunity, how you would benefit, and what makes you a particularly deserving candidate.

    6.Your specialization: Director, /TV Writer/Screenwriter/Producer

    1. (Urls for all video links may be uploaded in the Qualifications sections)
    2. All candidates: The Video Pitch. This is one of the more important elements to your application. You have probably seen people pitching for donations on a crowdsourcing site. In this case, you can pitch to us anything you want:  yourself as a candidate, a project you want to work on, or something else that is exciting to you. The video pitch should be creative, polished, inventive. We want you to win us over here! SUGGESTED LENGTH: 3 MINUTES
    3. Directing candidates only (not required for Screenwriter, TV Writer, or Producer candidates):Please include a link (or links) to up to 4 video samples of work to which you made a significant contribution. Be clear about what role you played: producer, writer, director, editor, production designer, cinematographer, etc. You may submit links for more than one piece but the total running time should not exceed 15 minutes. If you submit an excerpt, please describe the full work. Unless you are applying as a cinematographer or production designer, the entirety of your video sample should not be in the format of a professional reel but should also show us the substance of your work. (A reel might accompany another sample). In lieu of video, you may submit up to ten photographs, design samples, or photographs of your artwork.
    4. Written materials: (All written materials may be uploaded in the Additional Supplemental Materials section)

    Your written material should include:

    1. A . All Candidates:The Scene. Write a short, 2-3-page scene inspired by and using one of these words that have no English language translation. We prefer a scene with two characters where one character wants something from the other.
      • Glas wen (Welsh) 
        A smile that is insincere or mocking. Literally, a blue smile.
      • Yuputka (Ulwa)
        The phantom sensation of something crawling on your skin.
      • Iktsuarpok (Inuit)
        You know that feeling of anticipation when you’re waiting for someone to show up at your house and you keep going outside to see if they’re there yet? This is the word for it.
    • All Candidates:The Logline. Write an extended log line or a paragraph describing a project you’d like to realize with us.
    1. TV Writer, Screenwriterand Director Candidates: The Writing Sample. Please include a writing sample of up to 10 pages. This can be a complete short film, web episode, play, short story, or an excerpt of a feature screenplay, a TV Script, a webisode, a sketch or series of sketches.  If you choose to submit an excerpt, please include a few lines describing the full work. 
    2. Producing Candidates: The Writing Sample. Please include a writing sample of up to 10 pages, including an excerpt of a feature screenplay critiques, production program notes,and/or literary criticism of a chosen screenplay, or excerpts of a film or screenplay you have acquired or produced; or a brief statement describing your view of the role of Producing in today’s platform agnostic film industry.

    9.Proficiencies. Directing Candidates Only

    Please include a list of technical proficiencies in:  camera, lighting, editing, and any related skills.

    1. Acceptance by both the MFA in Film program and the Graduate School.

    Any deficiencies in these or the Graduate School admission requirements shall not automatically bar admission, but it is understood that inadequacies in undergraduate preparation normally will require the student to take additional work, the amount to be determined by the appropriate graduate advisory committee. Additional work may not be used to fulfill MFA degree requirements.


    Eligibility

    Applicants to the Master of Fine Arts program must have a bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university and, except in special circumstances, have earned a cumulative grade point average of at least 3.0 on a 4-point scale. It’s fine to have an undergraduate degree in an area outside of the arts and humanities. A candidate with outstanding promise in film but a less-than-stellar academic transcript may be admitted on a conditional basis.

    Transfer Credit

    The program permits the transfer of up to 12 hours of credit in suitable graduate work done elsewhere that resulted in a grade of B or better. To obtain transfer credit, the student must make special application to the program, submit official transcripts and provide course descriptions or syllabi. Transfer credits are only approved at the discretion of the academic department and the Graduate School. Courses older than five years will be accepted only in rare circumstances. No courses that have been credited toward another degree, such as an MA or an MFA in a different field, can be transferred. Transfer credit request forms are available on the Graduate School website.

     

     
  • Degree Requirements
     

    Degree Requirements

    The MFA in Film requires a minimum of 45 credits.  In addition to the minimum Graduate School requirements, the following are required:

    Program requirements: 45 – 49 credits

     

    Required Core Courses:  19 credits

    FLM 500 Introduction to Graduate Studies, 4 cr.

    FLM 501 Film Tools, 3 cr.

    FLM 537 Production I, 3 cr.

    FLM 638 Directing I, 3 cr.

    FLM 650 Screenwriting Workshop, 3 cr.

    FLM 660 Acting Workshop, 3 cr. (SOUTHAMPTON)

     

    Experiential Option: 3 credits

    One or more of the following Experiential options:

    FLM 591 Independent Project

    FLM 690 Professional Internship; or

    FLM 550 Teaching Practicum, 3 cr.

     

    Required MFA Project & Thesis: 6 credits

    FLM 691 MFA Project, 3 cr. (SOUTHAMPTON)

    FLM 692 Thesis, 3 cr. (SOUTHAMPTON)

     

    Select one Track from the following: 17 – 21 credits

     

    Directing Track

    Select six or more of the following (17-21 credits):

    FLM 505 Film Management I

    FLM 508 Editing I

    FLM 509 Cinematography I

    FLM 510 Film History

    FLM 525 Topics in Film (1-3 cr.)

    FLM 576 Film Workshop

    FLM 639 Directing II

    FLM 670 Directing III

    FLM 637 Production II

    FLM 669 Advanced Tools

    FLM 680 Art Direction Workshop

     

     

    Producing Track

    Select six or more of the following (17-21 credits):

    FLM 505 Film Management I

    FLM 506 Film Management II

    FLM 510 Film History

    FLM 530 Directed Readings in Film

    FLM 575 Adaptation

    FLM 525 Topics in Film

    FLM 576 Film Workshop

    FLM 637 Production II

    FLM 680 Art Direction Workshop

    CWL 530 Forms of Scriptwriting

     

    Screenwriting Track

    Select six or more of the following (17-21 credits):

    FLM 505 Film Management I

    FLM 510 Film History

    FLM 520 Film History II

    FLM 530 Directed Readings in Film

    FLM 575 Adaptation

    FLM 525 Topics in Film

    FLM 576 Film Workshop

    FLM 651 Screenwriting Workshop II

    FLM 652 Screenwriting Workshop III

    CWL 530 Forms of Scriptwriting

    With permission of MFA Director, one additional course from Creative Writing and Literature (CWL 510 or above).

     

    Television Writing Track

    Select six or more of the following (17-21 credits):

    FLM 505 Film Management I

    FLM 510 Film History

    FLM 526 Topics in TV Writing

    FLM 536 Forms of TV Writing

    FLM 575 Adaptation

    FLM 525 Topics in Film

    FLM 576 Film Workshop

    FLM 651 Screenwriting Workshop II

    FLM 652 Screenwriting Workshop III

    CWL 530 Forms of Scriptwriting

    With permission of MFA Director, one additional course from Creative Writing and Literature (CWL 510 or above).

     

    Individualized Track

    Select six or more of the following (17-21 credits):

    FLM 505 Film Management I

    FLM 506 Film Management II

    FLM 508 Editing I

    FLM 509 Cinematography I

    FLM 510 Film History I

    FLM 520 Film History II

    FLM 525 Topics in Film (1-3 cr.)

    FLM 526 Topics in TV Writing (1-4cr)

    FLM 530 Directed Readings in Film (1-4 cr.)

    CWL 530 Forms of Scriptwriting (4 cr.)

    FLM 536 Forms of TV Writing (1-3 cr.)

    FLM 575 Adaptation

    FLM 576 Film Workshop (1-6 cr.)

    FLM 608 Editing II

    FLM 609 Cinematography II

    FLM 637 Production II

    FLM 639 Directing II

    FLM 640 Film Design Workshop

    FLM 651 Screenwriting Workshop II

    FLM 652 Screenwriting Workshop III

    FLM 669 Advanced Tools

    FLM 670 Directing III

    FLM 680 Art Direction Workshop

    With permission of MFA Director, one additional course from Creative Writing and Literature (CWL 510 or above, 4 cr.).

    G. Residence Requirement 

    This program is normally completed in three years of full-time residency. Three credits must include Southampton residency, FLM 660 Acting for Directors, (or course substitution, pending approval from Director).

    University Requirements

    The granting of master’s degree is based upon the completion of any special departmental requirements in addition to the items listed below:

    A. Courses and Grade Point Average 

    A student must maintain a 3.0 overall grade point average 

    B. Registration 

    Degree candidates must be registered in the program granting their degree. Students must be registered for the semester in which they intend to graduate. Spring (May) and Fall (December) candidates must register for at least one graduate credit; Summer (August) candidates may register for zero credits in either summer session, but it still must be graduate level. 

    C. Time Limits

    The time limit for the MFA is three years for full-time study and five years for part-time study. A student’s full- or part-time status is based on registration, and the time-limit may be modified if enrollment switches between part- and full-time. The student may petition for an extension of time limit for the degree. Such requests must be filed before the limit is exceeded and must contain a significant justification.

     
  • Facilities

    Facilities 

    The MFA in Film is located primarily at the Stony Brook Manhattan Center for Creative Writing and Film at 535 8th Avenue, and also in the Carriage House on the Stony Brook Southampton campus, which includes the Avram Theater and Gallery, a 429-seat theater that was substantially renovated in 2007. The program features an impressive range of industry standard camera, light, grip and sound equipment. Highlights include include the RED Epic-W, Canon C100 MKII, Canon XC10, Canon 5D and 7D, Go Pro Hero 4, Canon Cine Prime Lenses, Zooms, Kino Flos, ARRI 4 and 3 Light Kits, Lite Panels, Dedos, Tascam Field Recorders, RODE, AT and Sennheiser Shotguns, Countryman Lavs, Kessler Slider, and several one ton grip packages. Our post-production offerings include 27" iMacs equipped with Adobe Creative Cloud, AVID Media Composer and Pro Tools. The University Library holds in excess of 15,000 items comprised of books, eBooks, videos, periodicals, music scores, dissertations, and audio files related to the study of film, which are easily accessible through interlibrary document delivery. Our book collection contains over 7,500 volumes.

     
  • Faculty

    Faculty of the MFA in Film Program

    Associate Professor

    Reeves, Robert, Associate Provost. M.A., 1977, Harvard University

    Kingsberg, Alan. Head of TV Writing, M.F.A. 1984, New York University.

    Visiting Professor

    Vachon, Christine, Artistic Director.  B.A., 1983, Brown University

    Gabler, Neal. A.M., 1974, University of Michigan

    Handley Chandler, Annette. 1969 C.W. Post College

    Visiting Assistant Professor

    Brandeis, Magdalene, Director.  M.F.A., 2008, Stony Brook University

    Koffler, Pamela. B.A., 1987, Yale University

    Allen, Jennie. M.F.A., 2013, Columbia University

    Crooks, Leonard. M.B.A., 1981, Strathclyde University, Scotland. Former head of the UK Film Council’s New Cinema Fund.

    Pero, Simone.  M.P.P., 1994, University at Albany

    Hinojosa, David. B.A. 2009, Boston University.

    Russo, Kathleen. B.F.A., 1986, Rochester Institute of Technology

    Lecturer

    Blackshear, Perry. M.F.A., 2012, New York University

    Burkhardt, Scott. M.F.A., 2008. Columbia School of the Arts

    Offitzer, Karen. M.F.A. University of Arizona, M.A. NYU.

    Roberts, Jordan. M.F.A., 2009.  New York Film Academy

  • Contact

    MFA in Film

    Stony Brook Manhattan Center for Creative Writing & Film

    Associate Provost   Robert Reeves, (631) 632-5028 

    Artistic Director :  Christine Vachon, 646) 472-2025

    Director :  Magdalene Brandeis, 646) 472-2025

    Director of the Manhattan Center: Scott Sullivan 646) 472-2025

    Degree Awarded    :    M.F.A. in Film

    Web Sites  :    https://www.stonybrook.edu/film    |   https://www.stonybrook.edu/TV

    Application 
    https://app.applyyourself.com/AYApplicantLogin/fl_ApplicantLogin.asp?id=sunysb-gs

top
©