The Emerging Media MFA – Feature Film Production is a terminal degree, the highest degree awarded to filmmakers or film artists. It is a highly selective and rigorous professional film production program for visual artists and film practitioners who demonstrate exceptional artistic and intellectual prowess, evidence of significant professional promise and a commitment to the expressive potential of digital filmmaking and the exploration of non-traditional modes of distribution. The MFA in Feature Film Production produces graduates with mastery of storytelling through the digital medium as it encourages the candidate to find his or her personal style. Entrepreneurial in spirit, the program emphasizes story, performance, aesthetic choice, business, and creative thinking. When participation is committed and complete, the program develops graduates who can compete in the worlds of national and international independent filmmaking.
Students will pursue a modality - narrative, documentary, or experimental - for their thesis film, or body of work, during their first two semesters in the program. All MFA candidates must take the core required courses but will choose electives that best match their modalities and interests. Upon completion of the degree, each student will have produced a microbudget digital feature film or equivalent body of work that meets standards outlined in the Program Graduate Handbook. Students will also have prepared a marketing strategy for its distribution and exhibition. Graduates in this program are responsible to funding their own their own thesis projects, including fundraising and soliciting investors where needed. Historically, graduates have produced feature films within the budget range of 5-25K. Budgetary needs can vary greatly depending on the scope and modality of the thesis. Consulting with the thesis committee regarding the appropriate budgetary scale is advised for all students. Budgets exceeding 50K are strongly discouraged.
We welcome innovative approaches within the digital cinema paradigm that reimagine how new technologies can create alternative performances to exploit the tension between narrative and experimental storytelling, creating a new agency for actors and new expectations for audiences.
Total Credit Hours Required: 63 Credit Hours Minimum beyond the Bachelor’s Degree
Required Courses—30 Credit Hours
Internal Elective Courses—9 Credit Hours
Students select a minimum of 9 credit hours of internal electives that reflect their mode of filmmaking interest (narrative, documentary, or experimental). More than 9 credit hours of internal electives may be taken to substitute for external electives if approved by the graduate program coordinator. Students in other graduate programs are required to receive instructor consent before enrolling.
External Electives—12 Credit Hours
Students select a minimum of 12 credit hours of external electives that align with their particular interests, outside the MFA in Feature Film Production. Choice of external electives should be made after discussion with the thesis advisor or graduate coordinator. Other electives related to the thesis topic may be approved by the graduate coordinator. Not all of these courses are offered every term, prerequisites and consent of instructor may be required.
Thesis—12 Credit Hours
Before undertaking the thesis project, candidates must meet with the thesis advisory committee to submit and discuss the proposed project and obtain the committee’s approval. The thesis requires intensive applied learning in order to complete a feature-length project and/or body of work. The student cannot enroll in thesis hours until the thesis advisory committee has been selected and approved.
Additionally, the thesis project has a strong research component both in the initial development phase and in the creation of the distribution and marketing plan for the project. In addition to creating the feature film or body of work, the student must write an accompanying thesis paper that meets all university requirements (see ETD Requirements). The final stage of the curriculum serves as a bridge to the professional world and supports the entrepreneurial philosophy of the program. The thesis project must be reviewed by the faculty adviser throughout the production process, and meet agreed upon criteria within a stated time frame. Once the thesis project is completed, candidates must have a screening or exhibition of the work and meet with the thesis advisory committee for final approval and oral defense.
- FIL 6971 - Thesis 12 Credit Hours
Students in the Emerging Media MFA program pay a $90 equipment fee each semester that they are enrolled.
A thesis is required.
For information on general UCF graduate admissions requirements that apply to all prospective students, please visit the Admissions section of the Graduate Catalog. Applicants must apply online. All requested materials must be submitted by the established deadline.
In addition to the Admissions , applicants to this program must provide:
- One official transcript from each college/university attended.
- A BA or BFA in film production is preferred, however, degrees in the following areas are acceptable if accompanied by a strong video portfolio:
- Cinema Studies
- English/Creative Writing
- Game Design
- Graphic Design
- Personal Statement: In 750-words or less, provide an Artist’s Statement that reflects your vision for a feature film, or equivalent body of cinematic work, that explains your preliminary plans for raising funds to support your microbudget production. Please describe how the critical thinking and technical expertise acquired in our program will support the successful execution of your vision.
- Portfolio: Submit 1 - 3 complete short films (each being 15 minutes or less) that the applicant has participated in as a principle creative collaborator (i.e. as writer, director, producer, director of photography, production designer, and/or editor).
- Provide a document with links to YouTube, Vimeo, or similar platform.
- All submitted online links to film samples must include:
- The film’s title
- The applicant’s role in the making of the film
- The date the film was completed
- Other materials in the portfolio may include, but are not limited to:
- screenwriting samples, photography, documentation of work in other media, critical media analysis, and any other materials which reflect the applicant’s experience with moving image scholarship and practice
- Writing Sample: Please submit one of the following writing samples for the film modality you wish to complete. Admitted students may change modalities ONLY during their first two semesters of the program.
- Narrative Feature Film:
- Provide a treatment for a proposed feature film.
- Provide a script sample of another work that he/she has written.
- The applicant does not have to be the author of the script that he/she plans to direct as the thesis film if accepted into the program. Students may use a script that is in the public domain and direct his/her interpretation of it, or someone else may write a script that the student will direct.
- Documentary Feature Film:
- Provide a written treatment for a proposed feature documentary.
- The treatment should define the subject of the film and how it addresses the following items and your professional goals:
- Experimental Feature Film, Series of Short Films, or Body of Work:
- The treatment/proposal should describe the subject of the film and express the filmmaker’s intentions regarding approach and style. The length of the treatment/proposal should reflect the scope of the project.
Address why this topic was selected and why this film should be made. This portion of the treatment/proposal should demonstrate the filmmaker’s knowledge and sense of context for the significance of the work. It can also state a “challenge” or question - one the project will address, explore, or attempt to answer.
The filmmaker should express the style in which the film(s) or project will be made and how this style will enhance and express the nature of the subject and the meanings, thoughts, or impressions the filmmaker intends to reveal. The filmmaker may choose to describe specific techniques with shooting on film or video, or experimenting with other forms of cinematic digital media, that will form the basis of inquiry or aesthetic and technical exploration within the thesis project.
- Provide two letters of recommendation, with at least one from an industry professional or college/university professor.
- Applicants applying to this program who have attended a college/university outside the United States must provide a course-by-course credential evaluation with GPA calculation. Credential evaluations are accepted from World Education Services (WES) or Josef Silny and Associates, Inc. only.
Please submit all materials, with the exception of official transcripts, electronically as part of the online application. Applicants may be asked to participate in an admissions interview.
Meeting minimum UCF admission criteria does not guarantee program admission. Final admission is based on the evaluation of the applicant’s abilities, past performance, recommendations, match of this program, and faculty expertise to the applicant’s career/academic goals, the applicant’s potential for completing the degree, and the current applicant pool. Applicants are encouraged to apply as early as possible due to limited cohort size. There is no guarantee qualified applicants will be admitted after the cohort has been filled.
|Feature Film Production
|*Applicants who plan to enroll full time in a degree program and who wish to be considered for university fellowships or assistantships should apply by the Fall Priority date.
Graduate students may receive financial assistance through fellowships, assistantships, tuition support, or loans. For more information, see the College of Graduate Studies Funding website, which describes the types of financial assistance available at UCF and provides general guidance in planning your graduate finances. The Financial Information section of the Graduate Catalog is another key resource.
Fellowships are awarded based on academic merit to highly qualified students. They are paid to students through the Office of Student Financial Assistance, based on instructions provided by the College of Graduate Studies. Fellowships are given to support a student’s graduate study and do not have a work obligation. For more information, see UCF Graduate Fellowships, which includes descriptions of university fellowships and what you should do to be considered for a fellowship.