Filmmaking BFA

Filmmaking Coordinators: Roberta Friedman and Tony Pemberton

For questions about this program, please contact Roberta Friedman and/or Tony Pemberton.

Filmmaking BFA: The Big Picture

You’ve always been captivated by the moving image: whether it’s Film, Television, Video or Animation. But now you’re ready to do more than just watch: you want to produce your own work for the screen.

The Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA) in Filmmaking encourages and equips students to realize their artistic and career visions through observation, imagination, storytelling, and technical skills. Courses in directing, editing, cinematography, screenwriting and production prepare you to produce imaginative, professional, critically appreciated narrative, documentary, and experimental films.

Filmmaking embraces everything involving the moving image, including documentary and fictional blockbuster hits, cutting edge television, visionary independent films and edgy experimental work. As a Filmmaking BFA major, you will be encouraged to develop your personal vision and creative voice by producing works in various genres, culminating in your industry calling card: the senior year thesis film project. From your first day here, you will learn, practice and develop the skills that will prepare you for success in a rapidly growing industry.

Filmmaking is about telling stories.  And, visual storytelling is at the foundation of the BFA in Filmmaking at MSU. Our intensive conservatory style progression of course work gives our filmmaking majors a powerful foundation in the concepts of story.  We know that everyone involved in the filmmaking process, be it the producer, director, cinematographer, production designer, gaffer, to the editor, must have a solid grasp of how to convey a powerful story.

The Filmmaking BFA at MSU is supported by a liberal arts and humanities curriculum that will develop your critical thinking skills and foster a global perspective for determining filmmaking subject matter. Courses in communication and media arts will prepare you for success in an evolving industry. To enhance career options after graduation, we intentionally correspond our course content to the needs of the filmmaking industry by hiring working professionals to teach courses and by offering practice-oriented seminars, the Film Institute at Montclair State screening and speaker series, and internships throughout the world. Our proximity to New York City – just 12 miles away by train – means students have opportunities to visit working film and television sets, as well as studios and post production houses.

What You Will Study

As a Filmmaking major, you will learn about the art of the moving image through introductory and advanced level courses that teach film history, screenwriting, directing, production, sound recording, cinematography and film editing. Our intensive conservatory style program means that freshman begin making films their very first semester and continue to sharpen and refine their skills by producing original films every year. Senior-year students develop thesis level projects culminating in an ‘industry calling card’ ready film. Coursework on the film business focuses the financing, marketing, and distribution of films so students are equipped to enter the industry. Small classes are taught by a faculty of professional filmmakers and artists who are skilled in up-to-the moment filmmaking practices and provide instruction on cutting edge industry-standard equipment and software. You will also have access to invaluable experiences through internship and cooperative education opportunities.

For complete Filmmaking BFA course requirements and examples of student work, go to:

Faculty and Facilities

Through the Filmmaking program, you will study with full-time faculty, adjuncts and visiting guest artists, including renowned filmmakers and film critics who bring impressive credentials in the production and post-production of documentary, live action and feature-length films. Filmmaking BFA faculty are active filmmakers whose works have been shown in the US and abroad at film festivals like Sundance, Toronto, Berlin, and Venice as well as television stations like HBO, Showtime, Bravo, A&E, PBS and WNET.

The School of Communication and Media houses state-of-the-art, fully equipped production studios including a facility used exclusively for filmmaking. The Filmmaking Studio provides liberal access to industry-standard equipment and software, including Avid Media Composer 8, Adobe Premiere Pro, DaVinci, Logic and Pro-Tools.  Students work with high-end industry forward digital video cameras including the Sony F65, Red Scarlet, Blackmagic Cinema Camera, as well as DSLRs and other digital video equipment.  As industry standards evolve, so does the information, technology and equipment the Filmmaking BFA offers to students.

For more information on School facilities, go to:

Careers in Filmmaking and Professional Resources

One of the best ways to get an idea of the varied jobs and career paths in the film industry is to read the credits at the end of a movie. Students in the Filmmaking BFA program are exposed to a wide variety of career paths through classes, workshops, special guests and internships.  Our graduates successfully obtain the kinds of jobs that are critical to film and television production. The Filmmaking BFA program keeps up with rapidly evolving industry standards and technology. Filmmaking BFA faculty are active in the industry and strive to bring cutting edge practices into the classroom in order to ensure students enter the world ‘up-to-speed’ and ready to succeed as artists, filmmakers, innovators and leaders.

Please visit the links below for additional professional and career-related information:

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