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The plan for the David Lynch MA in Film is to support each student in a voyage from ideas to completion of a major collaborative project in one academic year.
The goal is to give aspiring filmmakers the time, equipment and the guidance to follow their own vision and create films that have an impact and transform the world. Students may create films for the Web, television, cable, or theatrical release. In the ever-changing media environment, there are many new opportunities for distribution arising, including Netflix, Amazon, Vimeo, and Hulu, among others.
The program is about having a year to go deeply into a creative experience that will transform both you and your career.
Through a series of collaborative group projects, this course examines the essential role narrative plays in the creation of media. With an eye toward creating works of lasting value, students will have the ability to develop several projects from concept to completion, and work collaboratively with each other, alternating roles during the process.
Students will delve deeper into the craft of screenwriting, with the goal of developing the concepts of their thesis film project. The course will utilize a number of models, including analysis of published screenplays, film screenings, and group discussions. Additionally, guest lecturers who are currently working in the industry will share their experiences with the students in class or via Skype. Students will also learn how to market their script to prospective producers and investors.
The ever changing landscape of modern filmmaking, and in particular low/no budget filmmaking, has created new opportunities for filmmakers to produce works that even a decade ago would not have been possible. The first step in the path to take advantage of these new opportunities begins in pre-production. Topics to be discussed during this course include casting, script breakdown, fundraising/crowdsourcing, distribution methods, marketing with social media, and assembling a crew. Students will begin the process of developing their projects from Advanced Screenwriting at this stage.
While the students continue to develop their thesis projects, this course reinforces skills in acting/directing actors, cinematography, production sound techniques, and on-set production roles/etiquette, to bolster the student’s previous working/academic knowledge. Master classes involving active participation with faculty and visiting guest lecturers will provide advanced techniques invaluable to each student’s upcoming thesis film project.
The thesis film project is a three-month course in advanced filmmaking. Students will work on a major project (or several projects) with continuing advice, mentorship, and guidance from faculty. The course structure will replicate the internal operations of a movie studio, further preparing students for their career after graduation. Thesis film projects can be narrative, documentary or experimental.
The course gives students the opportunity to form creative partnerships with each other and with the wider Fairfield community. The University is at the center of a vibrant arts community, which continues to grow in depth and diversity. Students are encouraged to collaborate with companies and entities outside of the university, allowing them to gain a deeper working knowledge of the process.
After principal photography, students will work on assembly, rough cut, fine cut, music, color grading, sound mixing, special effects, etc. Faculty will continue to advise, mentor and guide students during this process, with an eye toward successful completion of the project before graduation. A showcase screening of thesis film projects will take place in a movie theater at the end of the David Lynch MA in Film Program.
To qualify for the David Lynch MA in Film degree, students must successfully complete the general requirements for a master’s degree. Students enter the program at the beginning of the fall semester and can complete all coursework in two semesters. The following 30 credits of coursework in film are required: