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Florida State University
2013-2014 General Bulletin - Undergraduate Edition

College of Motion Picture Arts

Dean: Frank Patterson

Established in 1989, the College of Motion Picture Arts is one of only seven university-based film conservatories in the country. In the short time the College has been in operation, it has quickly become recognized nationwide as an outstanding motion picture production program. At the undergraduate level, the College offers Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA) degrees with majors in Production and in Animation and Digital Arts. At the graduate level, the College offers Master of Fine Arts (MFA) degrees to those admitted. The College provides state-of-the-art motion picture equipment and studio facilities for production and post-production operations, and it funds all student workshops and projects, including the graduate and undergraduate thesis productions.

The expertise of the College's faculty reflects the direction and range the school will take in the future. Frank Patterson, Dean of the College of Motion Picture Arts, has more than twenty years experience in the film and television industry as a writer, director, producer, editor, and consultant. He is joined by eighteen faculty members, all of whom are specialists in the areas of producing, writing, directing, cinematography, visual effects, editing, sound recording, production design, motion picture history, theory, and aesthetics.

Faculty Distinctions

The College of Motion Picture Arts has a strong commitment to hiring experienced working professionals who have both teaching skills and professional goals. The full-time faculty comprises working filmmakers with various specializations as writers, directors, production designers, and editors in both the theatrical and non-theatrical film and television industries, many of whom have won national and international awards and honors for their work. Some also have strong records as research scholars and fiction writers. The faculty also includes visiting professors in the fields of motion picture law, business distribution, exhibition, and promotion.


The College of Motion Picture Arts operates extensive production facilities for its undergraduate and graduate programs in the University Center Building A on the campus of Florida State University. Considered one of the finest facilities in the world devoted exclusively to film education, these facilities include two sound stages; a recording stage with Foley and ADR capabilities; a 120-seat screening theater and two smaller screening rooms, including a high-definition screening room for dailies and color timing; two digital audio mixing suites; a computer laboratory; a visual effects laboratory; a set-building shop; a 35-mm archive of feature films; a collection of over 5000 film titles on videotape, DVD, and laserdisc; a large production research library; and digital editing suites for picture and sound. Facilities are available for both digital (HD, 2K, 4K, 5K) and film (16mm, 35mm) production.

The College of Motion Picture Arts also operates facilities in West Palm Beach for the delivery of major classes in its Animation and Digital Arts program. Co-located with the Digital Domain Institute, these facilities include: a sound stage; recording stages with Foley and ADR capabilities; a 120-seat theater; two screening rooms for dailies, color timing, and audio mixing; computer labs for non-linear editing, visual effects, and animation; storyboarding and previsualization rooms; and a learning resource center.

Undergraduate Degree Program

The programs of study leading to the Bachelor of Fine Arts degrees are designed to lead students through the complete process of creating short films, while incorporating a well-rounded liberal arts education that includes writing courses. Core courses in the majors include producing, directing, cinematography, screenwriting, sound, editing, production management, motion picture history, theory, and aesthetics. Students may be accepted into the programs at the freshman level or transfer into the programs once seventy-five percent, or twenty-seven semester hours, of the liberal studies requirements have been completed.

The College's world-class facilities aid in meeting the goals of the undergraduate programs—to educate students in the art and craft of motion picture storytelling and to help them become integral members of the academic community of Florida State University. Graduates are trained to be members of the entertainment profession and participants in a creative and professional enterprise.

Admission to the Undergraduate Program

Admission to the College of Motion Picture Arts is limited access, making admission highly selective and competitive. Applicants must apply to Florida State University's Office of Admissions by their fall admission deadline and must submit a separate application to the College of Motion Picture Arts. Each applicant must submit a resumé, three letters of recommendation, copies of high school and college transcripts, and a 500–1000 word essay describing his or her motivation for pursuing an education in motion picture arts. Any application that does not contain all of these items will be considered incomplete and will be denied automatically. Applicants are not permitted to submit portfolio items such as VHS tapes, DVDs, writing samples, or photographs. All application materials must be received online by the College of Motion Picture Arts no later than the University's fall admission deadline for the applicant to be considered for admission the following Fall semester. More information concerning the undergraduate application is available online at http://film.fsu.edu.

Graduate Degree Program

The program leading to a Master of Fine Arts degree has set the following goals: to provide the creative and technical environment for professional specialization; to ground students in the history of each medium's theory and practice; and to prepare students for careers as artists, managers, producers, and craftspersons in the professional film and video production industries. The MFA program is a full-time (Fall, Spring, and Summer), two-year course of study in motion picture screenwriting and production. Writing students will complete sixty-one semester hours, and production students will complete ninety semester hours of coursework. The curriculum focuses on the art, craft and business of storytelling. The graduate program is designed and scheduled as a conservatory. It is meant to create a practicum setting in which individuals can work with accomplished professionals to hone their talents, develop a body of work, and sharpen their capacities to work in teams. Please consult the Graduate Bulletin for additional information regarding the MFA program.

Admission to the Graduate Program

Admission to the College of Motion Picture Arts graduate program is of limited access, with twenty-four production and six writing students admitted each year, making admission selective and competitive. Prospective students must make application to and meet the requirements of Florida State University's Graduate Admissions Office and also must submit supporting application materials as described online at: http://film.fsu.edu/Graduate-Programs/MFA-Application-Information-Requirements. In addition to transcripts, required supporting materials include: a 500-1000 word statement of purpose describing their artistic work, creative influences, personal objectives, relevant background, and career goals; three letters of recommendation; and a professional/creative resumé. As an option, production applicants may submit a sample of their best work (video, creative writing sample, etc.). Writing applicants must submit three samples as specified supporting materials. Detailed information is available online at http://film.fsu.edu. Students applying to the Motion Picture Arts - Production major are not required to take the Graduation Record Examination (GRE) but official GRE scores must be reported for the Motion Picture Arts - Writing major.

Health Insurance

Students seeking degrees in certain majors, including film, assume any exposure to the particular hazards associated with that major. As protection for our students, the College of Motion Picture Arts requires that majors present proof of health and accident insurance (name of insurer and policy number) prior to registration in the Fall semester of each year. Students are expected to maintain this insurance throughout their enrollment in the program.