Film MFA Creative Materials

 

All elements of the application will be examined carefully for talent in narrative filmmaking. All written submissions must be written solely by the applicant.

ALL applicants MUST submit the following in 12-point Courier font:


1. Autobiographical essay: Four to six double-spaced pages. (Tell us something about yourself and your background, artistic experiences, creative influences, and professional objectives.)

2. Film prompt: Read the following openings, choose one and imagine the scene that might follow it. The scene you write must include both dialogue and description. It should be no less than two and no more than three pages long.
 
You may change the gender of any character in these prompts, but do not change ages or relationships.
 
a.    INT. LIBRARY - MORNING
The TWO TEENS burst through the library doors and race to the shelves. Scanning the titles of books, they stop short when they spot the one they’ve been searching for.  One of them grabs for it but then hesitates before opening it up.
 
b.    EXT. BACKYARD – MIDNIGHT
A WOMAN hastily exits the house leaving the noise and chaos of the party behind her.  Finally alone, she allows herself to exhale, laugh and slump down onto a patio chair.  After a moment, she realizes she isn’t the only one out there.

c.    EXT. BEACH – MIDDAY
While his family screams with excitement in the last moments of their volleyball game, the Young Man continues to write feverishly in his notebook.  Wet from the ocean, his SISTER drops down next to him and catches him hiding the book beneath a towel.

3. Dramatic writing sample: No more than 10 pages and must contain dialogue. This can be a complete short screenplay, or the first ten pages of a longer screenplay (please indicate which you've chosen). It must be original; it may not be an adaptation, except of your own work in another form. The submission should be in screenplay format. No theatre plays, please. The story cannot be the same as the one in your feature film treatment or your optional video submission.

4. Feature film treatment: On one double-spaced page for a film you might wish to write, or direct. The treatment must concisely relate a complete dramatic story sufficient to sustain a feature-length film, including major characters and plot developments and a clear statement of the resolution. The story cannot be the same as the one in your dramatic writing sample or your optional video submission. You must state the genre of your treatment and a log line. A log line is one or two sentences that describe the protagonist(s) and the story of the film.


Creative Producing applicants must ALSO submit a current resumé.



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Visual submission (not required, but strongly suggested for Directing applicants)

1. Film/Video Work
All Film MFA applicants may submit up to 30 minutes of film/video work and must include a list of their contribution(s) to each work. This material should be uploaded to an online video service (e.g. YouTube or Vimeo). A link to the video must be included in the application along with any password necessary to view the work. Please be sure no download is required.

As a backup, send us two copies of the material on DVD (Region 1). With the DVDs, you must include a list of the contents and your contributions to each work.  DVDs can be mailed to:

Columbia University School of the Arts
Office of Admissions
2960 Broadway
305 Dodge Hall, MC 1808
New York, NY 10027

It is advisable to put the best work at the beginning of your visual submission. Video submissions cannot be the same work used in the dramatic writing sample.

2. Visual Exercise
Applicants for Directing who have not shot prior visual material are encouraged to shoot and submit the following OPTIONAL VISUAL EXERCISE:

Write and shoot a 2-person SILENT SCENE (no dialogue), between one and two minutes long, which deals with the idea of "COMING TOGETHER".  It could be two strangers who make a connection, a fighting couple who then make amends, or two people who 'come together' in anger, physicality or any other dramatic situation you choose.

You may use subjects of any genders or ages, and any locations and props, etc. that you have available to you.  Elaborate production expense is NOT the goal of this part of the application.  You may shoot on any format.

This Silent Scene should be uploaded to an online video service (e.g. YouTube or Vimeo). A link to the video must be included in the application along with any password necessary to view the work. Please be sure no download is required.

As a backup, send us two copies of the material on DVD (Region 1). With the DVDs, you must include a list of the contents and your contributions to each work.  DVDs can be mailed to:

Columbia University School of the Arts
Office of Admissions
2960 Broadway
305 Dodge Hall, MC 1808
New York, NY 10027


An interview may be scheduled at the discretion of the Program.

The above is only a list of Creative Material requirements.
You must also submit your Application, Undergraduate Transcript, three Letters of Recommendation and Application Fee. Please see the Apply page for all information.
Office of Admissions
& Financial Aid
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School of the Arts
Columbia University
305 Dodge Hall, MC 1808
2960 Broadway
New York, NY 10027
Phone: (212) 854-2134
Fax: (212) 854-1309
E-mail: admissions-arts@columbia.edu

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Download
a Brochure
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Application
Deadlines

Film MFA:
December 1, 2016

Film Studies MA:
February 1, 2017

Theatre MFA (Directing only):
December 1, 2016

Theatre MFA (Stage Management):
Priority Deadline -
December 1, 2016

Theatre MFA (all other concentrations):
January 5, 2017

Writing MFA:
January 5, 2017

Visual Arts MFA:
January 17, 2017

Arts Interdepartmental MFA (Sound Arts):
January 17, 2017
© 2017 Columbia University School of the Arts | 305 Dodge Hall, Mail Code 1808 | 2960 Broadway | New York, NY 10027 | (212) 854-2875 | EMAIL
Columbia University School of the Arts offers MFA degrees in Film, Theatre, Visual Arts, and Writing, an MA degree in Film Studies, a joint JD/MFA degree in Theatre Management & Producing, a PhD degree in Theatre History, Literature, and Theory, and an interdisciplinary program in Sound Arts.