Film and Television ProductionThe Division of Film and Television Production of the School of Cinematic Arts offers programs leading to the Bachelor of Arts and the Master of Fine Arts degrees.
The primary goals of the degree programs in film and television production are to develop the student’s ability to express original ideas on film or video and to instill a thorough understanding of the technical and aesthetic aspects of motion pictures and television. Courses in production provide individual and group filmmaking experiences and the opportunity to learn all aspects of filmmaking in a collaborative environment.
Bachelor of ArtsThe Bachelor of Arts in Cinematic Arts, Film and Television Production is granted through the USC Dornsife College of Letters, Arts and Sciences in conjunction with the School of Cinematic Arts. Students study within a framework which combines a broad liberal arts background with specialization in a profession. Bachelor of Arts students are enrolled in the USC Dornsife College of Letters, Arts and Sciences, where they take their pre-professional courses, including the general education requirements. Major courses are selected from the curriculum of the School of Cinematic Arts. The degree requires 128 units including 20 lower division units and 24 upper division units in Cinematic Arts. A maximum of 40 School of Cinematic Arts upper division units will apply to the B.A. degree.
Applicants must submit a supplemental application and materials to the Undergraduate Production Program. For specific instructions, contact the Cinematic Arts Office of Admission, University Park, Los Angeles, CA 90089-2211, (213) 740-2911 or online at cinema.usc.edu.
General Education RequirementsThe university’s general education program provides a coherent, integrated introduction to the breadth of knowledge you will need to consider yourself (and to be considered by other people) a generally well-educated person. This program requires 6 courses in different categories, plus writing, foreign language and diversity requirements, which together comprise the USC Core. See here and here for more information.
Production SequenceUndergraduates admitted to the Film and Television Production Program are required to take CTPR 241 Fundamentals of Cinema Technique, CTPR 242 Fundamentals of Cinematic Sound and CTPR 290 Cinematic Communication. CTPR 241, CTPR 242 and CTPR 290 are introductory production courses taken either in the second semester of the sophomore year or the first semester of the junior year after a student has completed the minimum required units and requirements toward his or her USC degree. CTWR 413 Writing the Short Script I is taken concurrently with CTPR 241, CTPR 242 and CTPR 290, and these four courses are prerequisites for the next production sequence, CTPR 310 and CTPR 376.
CTPR 241 is an experiential course dealing with the technical and aesthetic principles of producing, directing, cinematography, editing, sound and the development of ideas through a cinematic vocabulary.
CTPR 242 introduces cinematic sound design, recording, editing, mixing and finishing through lectures, demonstrations and exercises.
In CTPR 290 each student makes four digital video movies, executing all the creative roles personally, and takes a crew position on a group project. Exploration of personal expression and diverse genres is encouraged, with emphasis on visual and sound patterns, with limited dialogue. Approximately $1,000 should be budgeted for miscellaneous expenses, lab and insurance fees.
CTPR 310 Intermediate Film Production and CTPR 376 Intermediate Cinematog-raphy is the second required production sequence. These courses are also taken concurrently. In these workshops students work in teams of two, learning to collaborate and explore the expressive potential of sound and image through the production of two 16mm films. Both are non-dialogue projects. Each student directs and prepares the soundtrack for the project he or she has written and is cinematographer and editor for his or her partner’s project. Most equipment and materials are provided by the school. However, approximately $2,000 should be budgeted for miscellaneous expenses, lab and insurance fees.
To qualify for enrollment in CTPR 310 and CTPR 376, students must fulfill all requirements outlined in the CTPR 310/376 guidelines distributed in CTPR 242.
CTPR 310 and CTPR 376 are interrelated courses that cannot be taken separately. Therefore, should a student fail to achieve a minimum grade of C (2.0) in either CTPR 310 or CTPR 376 (see the section on grade requirements) both courses must be retaken the subsequent semester.
Following CTPR 310 and CTPR 376, students must take one of the following courses: CTAN 448; CTPR 480; CTPR 484; CTPR 486.
CTAN 448 Introduction to Film Graphics – Animation is a practical course in concepts, media and techniques related to the graphic film.
In CTPR 480 Production Workshop I (prerequisite: CTPR 310, CTPR 376) production students form crews of eight to 10 persons to produce a synchronous sound project in one semester. Each student is responsible for a specific aspect of the production: director, line producer, assistant director, cinematographer, editor or sound.
Film/video stock, processing, equipment and facilities are provided by the school. There are extra personal expenses associated with all production workshops.
The selection of scripts and directors for the advanced production workshop (CTPR 480) is made by the production faculty. Note: To qualify to direct an advanced production workshop, a student must complete CTPR 480 (non-directing position) and take a specified directing class.
CTPR 484 Advanced Multi-Camera Television Workshop is a class in which students will produce a half-hour situation comedy pilot in one semester.
CTPR 486 Single Camera Television Dramatic Series (recommended preparation: CTPR 479) is a class in which students collaborate on the production and post-production of an original episodic drama, 44 minutes in length, that is shot on original sets.
CTPR 241, CTPR 242, CTPR 290, CTPR 310, CTPR 376, CTPR 480, CTPR 484 and CTPR 486 cannot be waived or substituted with another course or transfer credit under any circumstances.
|CTCS 190||Introduction to Cinema||4|
|CTCS 200||History of the International Cinema I||4|
|CTCS 201||History of the International Cinema II||4|
|CTPR 241||Fundamentals of Cinema Technique (taken concurrently with CTPR 242, CTPR 290, CTWR 413)||2|
|CTPR 242||Fundamentals of Cinematic Sound||2|
|CTPR 290||Cinematic Communication (taken concurrently with CTPR 241, CTPR 242, CTWR 413)||4|
|CTPR 310*||Intermediate Film Production (taken after CTPR 241, CTPR 242, CTPR 290, CTWR 413 and concurrently with CTPR 376)||4|
|CTPR 376*||Intermediate Cinematography (taken after CTPR 241, CTPR 242, CTPR 290, CTWR 413 and concurrently with CTPR 310)||4|
|CTWR 413||Writing the Short Script I (taken concurrently with CTPR 241, CTPR 242, CTPR 290)||2|
|CTWR 414||The Screenplay||2|
|and a choice of:|
|CTPR 371||Directing for Television, or|
|CTPR 475||Directing: Mise-en-Scene (Prerequisite: CTPR 310 and CTPR 376)||4|
|One of the following courses is required:|
|CTCS 367||Global Television and Media||4|
|CTCS 392||History of the American Film, 1925-1950||4|
|CTCS 393||History of the American Film, 1946-1975||4|
|CTCS 394||History of the American Film, 1977-Present||4|
|CTCS 400||Non-Fiction Film and Television||4|
|CTCS 402||Practicum in Film/Television Criticism||4|
|CTCS 403||Studies in National and Regional Media||4|
|CTCS 404||Television Criticism and Theory||4|
|CTCS 406||History of American Television||4|
|CTCS 407||African American Cinema||4|
|CTCS 409||Censorship in Cinema||4|
|CTCS 411||Film, Television and Cultural Studies||4|
|CTCS 412||Gender, Sexuality and Media||4|
|CTCS 414||Chicana/o Cinema||4|
|CTCS 464||Film and/or Television Genres||4|
|CTCS 469||Film and/or Television Style Analysis||4|
|CTCS 478||Culture, Technology and Communications||4|
|One of the following courses is required subsequent to completing CTPR 310/376:|
|CTAN 448||Introduction to Film Graphics – Animation||4|
|CTPR 480||Production Workshop I (narrative or documentary or video)||4|
|CTPR 484||Advanced Multi-Camera Television Workshop||4|
|CTPR 486||Single Camera Television Dramatic Series||4|
Grade Point Average RequirementsA minimum grade of C, 2.0 (A = 4.0), must be earned in all required and prerequisite courses. A grade of C- (1.7) or lower will not fulfill a major requirement.
Students who do not earn the minimum grade of C (2.0) in CTPR 241, CTPR 242, CTPR 290, CTPR 310 and CTPR 376 after repeating these requirements will be disqualified from the program.
Limitations on EnrollmentNo more than 40 upper-division units can be taken in the major without approval of the Dean, USC Dornsife College.
Registration in graduate level courses (numbered 500) for undergraduate credit requires prior approval of the School of Cinematic Arts.
Curriculum ReviewCinematic arts majors are expected to meet with an advisor every semester to review their progress. Contact the Cinematic Arts Student Affairs Office (Carson Television Center, Garden Level G-130), (213) 740-8358, for an appointment.
Master of Fine ArtsThe Master of Fine Arts, Cinematic Arts, Film and Television Production, requires a minimum of 52 units in cinematic arts at the 400 or 500 level. A thesis is not required for the M.F.A. degree.
Applications for the graduate production program are accepted for both fall and spring semesters. See a current Graduate Study Application for deadlines. Applicants must submit supplemental applications and materials to the Graduate Production Program. For specific instructions, contact the Cinematic Arts Office of Admission, University Park, Los Angeles, CA 90089-2211, (213) 740-2911 or online at cinema.usc.edu.
Graduate First Year Production CoursesCTPR 507 Production I (4 units), which brings together students from other School of Cinematic Arts divisions, introduces the fundamental principles of motion picture production, emphasizing visual and auditory communication. Projects are shot using digital cameras and edited on non-linear systems. Approximately $1,200 should be budgeted for miscellaneous expenses, lab and insurance fees. Production students must take CTPR 507 concurrently with CTPR 510 Concepts of Cinematic Production, and CTWR 505 Creating the Short Film in the first semester.
In CTPR 508 Production II (6 units), students produce short films in small crews. The primary goal is to communicate effectively through sound/image relationships. Most equipment and materials are provided by the school, but approximately $2,000 should be budgeted for miscellaneous expenses, lab and insurance fees. CTPR 508 is taken in the second semester with CTPR 509 Concepts of Cinematic Post Production – Editing and Sound and CTWR 529 Intermediate Screenwriting.
A minimum grade of C (2.0) in CTPR 508 is required in order to continue in the Master of Fine Arts program. Students earning No Credit in CTPR 507 or lower than a C (2.0) in a core production course may repeat the requirement on a one time only basis upon approval of the division chair.
Students who do not earn a grade of credit (CR) in CTPR 507 or the minimum grade of C (2.0) in CTPR 508 or satisfy the degree requirements after repeating a required course will be disqualified from the program.
Our program is distinguished by the understanding and hands-on practice our graduates achieve in all media-making disciplines; at the same time, each student pursues specialized interests in years two and three. To qualify for the M.F.A., each must demonstrate mastery of at least one of six disciplines: writing, producing, directing, cinematography, editing or sound. In the discipline chosen, the candidate must register for and complete an advanced project, as well as the defined prerequisites.
CTPR 507, CTPR 508, CTPR 509, CTPR 510, CTPR 546L, CTPR 547L, CTPR 581abcz, CTPR 582abz, CTPR 583, CTPR 585abz, CTPR 586ab and CTPR 587abcz cannot be waived or substituted with transfer credit under any circumstances.
Three-Year Requirements for the M.F.A. in Production
|Year One, First Semester||Units|
|CTPR 507||Production I||4|
|CTPR 510||Concepts of Cinematic Production||2|
|CTWR 505||Creating the Short Film||2|
|Year One, Second Semester||Units|
|CTPR 508||Production II||6|
|CTPR 509||Concepts of Cinematic Post Production – Editing and Sound||2|
|CTWR 529||Intermediate Screenwriting||2|
|Year Two, First and Second Semesters||Units|
|CTPR 506||Visual Expression||2|
|CTWR 516||Advanced Motion Picture Script Analysis||2|
|Choose from the following:|
|CTPR 479||Single Camera Television Dramatic Pilot, and||2|
|CTPR 486||Single Camera Television Dramatic Series||4|
|CTPR 546L||Production III, Fiction, or|
|CTPR 547L||Production III, Documentary||6, max 12|
|One of the following:|
|CTPR 479*||Single Camera Television Dramatic Pilot||2|
|CTPR 497||Music Video Production||2|
|CTPR 522||Reality Television Survey||2|
|CTPR 523||Introduction to Multiple-Camera Production||2|
|CTPR 572||The World of Television: From Concept to Air and Everything in Between||2|
|CTIN 501||Interactive Cinema||2|
|Six units from the required Cinematic Arts emphasis courses:|
|CTPR 484, CTPR 486, CTPR 531, CTPR 532, CTPR 533, CTPR 535, CTPR 537, CTPR 538, CTPR 540, CTPR 552, CTPR 553, CTPR 554, CTPR 556, CTPR 557, CTPR 558, CTPR 568, CTPR 573, CTWR 533a, CTWR 553|
|Year Three, First and Second Semesters||Units|
|One of the following courses**:|
|CTIN 584abcz||Individual Interactive Workshop||4-2-2-0|
|CTPR 546L||Production III, Fiction (taken for a second time in a different crew position or in addition to CTPR 547 or CTPR 479 and CTPR 486)||6, max 12|
|CTPR 547L||Production III, Documentary (taken for a second time in a different crew position or in addition to CTPR 546 or CTPR 479 and CTPR 486)||6, max 12|
|CTPR 581abcz||Individual Production Workshop||4-2-2-0|
|CTPR 582abz||Advanced Production Seminar||2-2-0|
|CTPR 583||Graduate Television Production||6|
|CTPR 585abz||Advanced Producing Project||2-2-0|
|CTPR 587abcz||Group Production Workshop||4-2-2-0|
|CTWR 533b||Writing the Feature Script||4|
|One of the following production courses:|
|CTPR 458||Organizing Creativity: Entertainment Industry Decision Making||2|
|CTPR 495||Internship in Cinema/Television||2|
|CTPR 496||The Film Industry: Career Challenges and Choices for Women||2|
|CTPR 566||Developing and Selling Your Film and TV Projects||2|
|At least 6 units from the following critical studies courses:|
|CTCS 464||Film and/or Television Genres||4|
|CTCS 469||Film and/or Television Style Analysis||4|
|CTCS 501||History of Global Cinema Before World War II||2|
|CTCS 502||History of Global Cinema After World War II||2|
|CTCS 503||Survey History of the United States Sound Film||2|
|CTCS 504||Survey of Television History||2|
|CTCS 505||Survey of Interactive Media||2|
|CTCS 510||Case Studies in National Media and/or Regional Media||4, max 12|
|CTCS 511||Seminar: Non-Fiction Film/Video||4|
|CTCS 518||Seminar: Avant-Garde Film/Video||4|
|CTCS 564||Seminar in Film and Television Genres||4|
|CTCS 567||Seminar in Film/Television and a Related Art||4|
|CTCS 569||Seminar in Film and Television Authors||4|
|CTCS 585||Seminar in Film/Television Critical Theory and Production||4|
|CTCS 587||Seminar in Television Theory||4|