School of Cinematic Arts

Film and Television Production

The Division of Film and Television Production of the School of Cinematic Arts offers programs leading to the Bachelor of Arts, the Bachelor of Fine 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 Arts

The 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 18 lower-division units and 26 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) 740-8358 or online at cinema.usc.edu.

General Education Requirements

The 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 The USC Core and the General Education Program for more information.

Production Sequence

Candidates for the Bachelor of Arts degree in Cinematic Arts, Film and Television Production are required to take CTPR 294 Directing in Television, Fiction, and Documentary and CTPR 295L Cinematic Arts Laboratory the first semester they are enrolled in the program. These courses are taken in preparation for the next phase of the production sequence, CTPR 310 Intermediate Production.

In CTPR 294, students explore the basic concepts of directing in television, documentary and dramatic narrative by working with actors, documentary production and the creation of short television projects.

In CTPR 295L, students study the aesthetics and tools of the major disciplines of cinematic arts: producing, cinematography, sound and editing.

CTPR 310 Intermediate Production is the second phase of the production sequence. In this workshop, students work in small crews, learning to collaborate and explore the expressive principles of visual and audio communication; idea development and realization using image, movement, pace, the spoken word and other sounds. 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, students must fulfill all requirements outlined in the guidelines distributed in CTPR 294.

Following CTPR 310, students must take CTPR 450 The Production and Post-Production Assistant, and refine their areas of interest by taking advanced-level practicum courses within the major disciplines of production: directing, editing, cinematography, sound, producing and production design. Thereafter students complete the final phase of the production sequence by taking one of the following courses: CTAN 448, CTPR 480, CTPR 484 or 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 Advanced Production Workshop, production students form crews in which directors, producers, cinematographers, editors and sound designers collaborate to produce, shoot, edit and deliver a fictional narrative, documentary or experimental project in one semester.

Equipment and facilities are provided by the school. There are extra personal expenses associated with all production workshops.

To qualify for enrollment in CTPR 480, students must fulfill all requirements outlined in the CTPR 480 guidelines distributed in CTPR 450.

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 310, CTPR 480, CTPR 484 and CTPR 486 cannot be waived or substituted with another course or transfer credit under any circumstances.

Course Requirements units
CNTV 101 Reality Starts Here 2
CTCS 190 Introduction to Cinema 4
CTCS 200 History of the International Cinema I, or
CTCS 201 History of the International Cinema II 4
CTCS 294 Directing in Television, Fiction, and Documentary 4
CTCS 295L Cinematic Arts Laboratory 4
CTPR 310 Intermediate Production 4, 6
CTPR 450 The Production and Post-Production Assistant 2
CTWR 413 Writing the Short Script I 2

and a choice of:
CTWR 411 Television Script Analysis 2
CTWR 414 The Screenplay 2
CTWR 416 Motion Picture Script Analysis 2

One of the following critical studies courses:
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 Latina/o Screen Cultures 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
CTCS 482 Transmedia Entertainment 4

Three of the following production practicum courses:
CTPR 421 Practicum in Editing 2
CTPR 424 Practicum in Cinematography 2
CTPR 438 Practicum in Producing 2
CTPR 440 Practicum in Sound 2, max 4
CTPR 465 Practicum in Production Design 2
CTPR 478 Practicum in Directing 2

One of the following courses:
CTAN 448 Introduction to Film Graphics — Animation 4
CTPR 480 Advanced Production Workshop 4, max 12
CTPR 484 Advanced Multi-Camera Television Workshop 4
CTPR 486 Single Camera Television Dramatic Series 4

Grade Point Average Requirements

A 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 294, CTPR 295L and CTPR 310 after repeating these requirements will be disqualified from the program.

Limitations on Enrollment

No more than 40 upper-division units can be taken in the major without approval of the dean, USC Dornsife College of Letters, Arts and Sciences.

Registration in graduate level courses (numbered 500) for undergraduate credit requires prior approval of the School of Cinematic Arts.

Curriculum Review

Cinematic arts majors are expected to meet with an adviser every semester to review their progress. Contact the Cinematic Arts Student Services Office (SCB 105), (213) 740-8358, for an appointment.

Bachelor of Fine Arts

The Bachelor of Fine Arts in Cinematic Arts, Film and Television Production is a unique four-year program, offered by the School of Cinematic Arts, that combines a liberal arts background with comprehensive specialization in a profession. Students are provided an intensive production experience combined with requirements and electives from other School of Cinematic Arts programs including Critical Studies, Writing, Animation and Interactive Media. The degree requires 128 units, including 64 units in Cinematic Arts, many of which are taken in a sequential order.

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) 740-8358 or online at cinema.usc.edu.

General Education Requirements

The 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 six courses in different categories, plus writing and diversity requirements, which together comprise the USC Core. See The USC Core and the General Education Program for more information.

Production Sequence

Candidates for the Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Film and Television Production are required to take CTPR 285 Lateral Thinking for Filmmaking Practice, CTPR 290 Cinematic Communication, CTPR 294 Directing in Television, Fiction, and Documentary and CTPR 295L Cinematic Arts Laboratory. These courses are taken in the first two years of the program in preparation for the next phase of the production sequence, CTPR 310 Intermediate Production.

CTPR 285 introduces contemporary concepts of production, emphasizing the variety of contemporary media and significant related concepts. Students will create mini-projects using laptops, phones and networks.

CTPR 290 introduces the interrelationship of visuals, sound and editing in cinematic communication. Students participate in directing and producing workshops as well as individual and group projects. Approximately $1,000 should be budgeted for miscellaneous expenses, lab and insurance fees.

In CTPR 294, students explore the basic concepts of directing in television, documentary and dramatic narrative by working with actors, documentary production and the creation of short television projects.

In CTPR 295L, students study the aesthetics and tools of the major disciplines of cinematic arts: producing, cinematography, sound and editing.

CTPR 310 Intermediate Production is the second phase of the production sequence. In this workshop students work in small crews, learning to collaborate and explore the expressive principles of visual and audio communication; idea development and realization using image, movement, pace, the spoken word and other sounds. 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, students must fulfill all requirements outlined in the CTPR 310 guidelines distributed in CTPR 294.

Following CTPR 310, students must take CTPR 450 The Production and Post-Production Assistant, and refine their areas of interest by taking advanced-level practicum courses within the major disciplines of production: directing, editing, cinematography, sound, producing and production design. Thereafter students complete the final phase of the production sequence by taking one of the following courses: CTPR 480, CTPR 484 or CTPR 486.

In CTPR 480 Advanced Production Workshop, production students form crews in which directors, producers, cinematographers, editors and sound designers collaborate to produce, shoot, edit and deliver a fictional narrative, documentary or experimental project in one semester.

Equipment and facilities are provided by the school. There are extra personal expenses associated with all production workshops.

To qualify for enrollment in CTPR 480, students must fulfill all requirements outlined in the CTPR 480 guidelines distributed in CTPR 450.

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 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 285, CTPR 290, CTPR 294, CTPR 295L, CTPR 310, CTPR 480, CTPR 484 and CTPR 486 cannot be waived or substituted with another course or transfer credit under any circumstances.

Course Requirements units
CNTV 101 Reality Starts Here 2
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 285 Lateral Thinking for Filmmaking Practice 2
CTPR 290 Cinematic Communication 6
CTPR 294 Directing in Television, Fiction, and Documentary 4
CTPR 295L Cinematic Arts Laboratory 4
CTPR 310 Intermediate Production 6
CTPR 450 The Production and Post-Production Assistant 2
CTWR 413 Writing the Short Script I 2
CTWR 414 The Screenplay 2

and a choice of:
CTWR 411 Television Script Analysis 2
CTWR 416 Motion Picture Script Analysis 2

One of the following critical studies courses:
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 Latina/o Screen Cultures 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
CTCS 482 Transmedia Entertainment 4

Three of the following production practicum courses:
CTPR 421 Practicum in Editing 2
CTPR 424 Practicum in Cinematography 2
CTPR 438 Practicum in Producing 2
CTPR 440 Practicum in Sound 2
CTPR 465 Practicum in Production Design 2
CTPR 478 Practicum in Directing 2

One of the following production courses:
CTPR 480 Advanced Production Workshop 4
CTPR 484 Advanced Multi-Camera Television Workshop 4
CTPR 486 Single Camera Television Dramatic Series 4

One course from the following:
CTPR 458 Organizing Creativity: Entertainment Industry Decision Making 2
CTPR 466 The Art of the Pitch 2
CNTV 495 Internship in Cinematic Arts 2
CTPR 496 The Film Industry: Career Challenges and Choices for Women 2

Four units from the following:
CTAN 436 Writing for Animation 2
CTAN 448 Introduction to Film Graphics — Animation 4
CTAN 452 Introduction to 3-D Computer Animation 2, max 4
CTAN 462 Visual Effects 2
CTAN 495 Visual Music 2
CTIN 401L Interface Design for Games 2
CTIN 463 Anatomy of a Game 4
CTIN 464 Game Studies Seminar 2, max 4
CTIN 482 Designing Online Multiplayer Game Environments 2
CTIN 483 Introduction to Game Development 4
IML 340 The Praxis of New Media: Digital Argument 2, max 4
IML 400 Creative Coding for the Web 4
IML 420 New Media for Social Change 4
IML 466 Digital Studies Symposium 4

Grade Point Average Requirements

A 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 285, CTPR 290, CTPR 294, CTPR 295L and CTPR 310 after repeating these requirements will be disqualified from the program.

Limitations on Enrollment

Registration in graduate-level courses (numbered 500) for undergraduate credit requires prior approval from the School of Cinematic Arts.

Curriculum Review

Cinematic Arts majors are expected to meet with an adviser every semester to review their progress. Contact the Cinematic Arts Student Services Office (SCB 105), (213) 740-8358, for an appointment.

Master of Fine Arts

The 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 MFA 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) 740-8358 or online at cinema.usc.edu.

Graduate First Year Production Courses

CTPR 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 507 and CTPR 508 is required in order to continue in the Master of Fine Arts program. Students earning 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 the minimum grade of C (2.0) in CTPR 507 or 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 MFA, 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 MFA in Production

Year One, First Semester Units
CNTV 501* Cinematic Arts Seminar 1
CTPR 507 Production I 4
CTPR 510 Concepts of Cinematic Production 1
CTWR 505 Creating the Short Film 2
8

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
10

*Students entering the program in the spring will take this course during their second semester.

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

*Students who choose CTPR 479/CTPR 486 in lieu of CTPR 546L or CTPR 547L cannot use CTPR 479 to satisfy this requirement.

Six units from the required Cinematic Arts emphasis courses:
CTPR 484, CTPR 486, CTPR 531, CTPR 532, CTPR 533, CTPR 534, CTPR 535, CTPR 537, CTPR 538, CTPR 540, CTPR 551, CTPR 552, CTPR 553, CTPR 554, CTPR 556, CTPR 557, CTPR 558, CTPR 565, 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

**Students must complete the prerequisites and follow the guidelines for these courses.

One of the following production courses:
CNTV 495 Internship in Cinematic Arts 2
CTPR 458 Organizing Creativity: Entertainment Industry Decision Making 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

Grade Point Average Requirements

A grade point average of at least 3.0 (A = 4.0) must be maintained in all USC course work toward the master’s degree. Courses in which a grade of C- (1.7) or lower is earned will not apply toward a graduate degree.

Time Limit

Students must maintain satisfactory progress toward their master’s degree at all times. The time limit to complete all requirements is three years from the first course at USC applied toward the Master of Fine Arts degree. Course work more than seven years old is invalidated and will not be applied toward the degree. Students are expected to meet with a faculty adviser every semester.

Graduate Review

One year prior to graduation, students must see their academic advisers for a curriculum and graduation review. Contact the Production Faculty Office for forms (213) 740-3317.