How to Apply to LMU SFTV's Film and Television Production M.F.A. Program for 2024 Entry

LMU SFTV’s Film and Television Production M.F.A program prepares graduates to hone their artistic skills while developing practical industry knowledge. This comprehensive filmmaking program empowers participants to find or switch their area of specialization while learning how to navigate the film industry.

The first portion of the three-year M.F.A. focuses on core courses. Foundational courses prepare film students to create 3-5 short narrative or documentary film projects. The second portion allows graduates to specialize in one of the following areas:
  1. Directing fiction (narrative)
  2. Directing non-fiction (documentary)
  3. Creative producing
  4. Cinematography
  5. Editing
After choosing a specialization, graduates develop the thesis film. A total of 60 credits is required to graduate. Take a look at the year-over-year program breakdown and creative portfolio requirements.

Year 1​


Fall
  • PROD 500 - Directing the Short Film I: Vision and Exploration
  • PROD 541 - Intro to Cinematography
  • PROD 566 - Intro to Post-Production
  • SCWR 501 - Fundamentals of Cinematic Storytelling
Spring
  • Select between:
    • PROD 530 - Intermediate Documentary Pre-Production
      OR
    • SCWR 530 - Screenwriting for Intermediate Production
  • PROD 550 - Directing the Short Film II: Visual Storytelling
  • PROD 570 - Production Planning
  • RECA 500 - Sound for Production

Year 2 (I)​


Fall Semester

  • PROD 600 - Directing the Short Film III: Directing Actors (6 units)
  • RECA 567 - Seminar in Sound

Year 2 (Declaration of Specialization) and Year 3​

The Spring semester of year 2 and the entirety of year 3 allow graduates to specialize in one of five areas. This overview also includes the final deliverable materials necessary to graduate from the M.F.A. program.

CREATIVE PRODUCING​


Year 2​


Spring
  • PROD 633 - Developing, Selling, & Monetizing Digital Content
  • PROD 639 - Producing Master Class
  • FTVS 513 - Seminar in American Film
  • IFTV 6100 - Intern Practicum (zero units)

Year 3​


Fall
  • SCWR 685 - Entertainment Business Affairs
  • FTVS 514 - Seminar in International Film
  • Advanced Elective - Select from the following:
    • SCWR 551 - Seminar in Feature Writing
    • PROD 635 - Film & TV Development
    • SCWR 554 - Writers Room
    • SCWR 660 - Writing the Spec Drama
    • SCWR 670 - Writing the Spec Comedy
    • Others by permission of Coordinator
Spring
  • PROD 675 - Thesis Portfolio
  • Advanced Elective - See Above
  • FTVS Elective - Any 500 or 600-level FTVS course

Final Deliverables​

  • 25-60 minutes of content from PROD 650, PROD 490/492 and/or WPTV Thesis projects. Other projects (e.g, PROD 600, music videos, films from other graduate institution thesis programs or professional work shot DURING applicant’s second and third year) accepted only at committee’s discretion. Must include a minimum of two projects.
  • A three-page reflection paper on your produced films
  • Complete a project consisting of a Bible, pitching material, business marketing strategy, and pitch presentation for industry and a look book.
  • A web series idea composed of either a written treatment and visual pitch OR a completed digital POC.
  • A rip/tone reel or visual sales tool for the web series, TV show or feature.

DIRECTING FICTION​


Year 2​


Spring
  • FTVS 513 - Seminar in American Film
  • SCRW 620 - Writing the Narrative Production Thesis
  • IFTV 6100 - Intern Practicum (zero units)
  • Advanced Elective - Students choose the first of three advanced elective courses in Directing Fiction:
    • PROD 633 – Developing, Selling & Monetizing Digital Content
    • PROD 635: Film & TV Devel (Spring only)
    • PROD 639: Producing Master Class
    • PROD 642: Intermediate Cinematography (Spring only)
    • PROD 664: Visual Effects (Spring only)
    • PROD 666: Advanced Editing
    • PROD 680: Music Video Production (Fall only)
    • PROD 680: Advanced Directing Seminar
    • PROD 685: Visual Design (Summer only)
    • PROD 685: Editing/Finishing Short (Spring only)
    • PROD 685: DIT Workshop (*note only 1 unit)
    • PROD 685: Post Prod Supervisor Workshop (*note only 2 credits, spring only)
    • PROD 685: Seminar in Directing
    • PROD 687: Working with Actors
    • PROD 688: Directing the Camera (Spring only)
    • SCWR 551: Feature Screenwriting
    • SCWR 554: TV Writers Room
    • SCWR 660: Writing the Spec Drama
    • SCWR 670: Writing the Spec Comedy
    • Any other 3-units of Advanced Electives (AE) that are pre-approved by the coordinator

Year 3​


Fall
  • PROD 650 - Thesis Production
  • FTVS 514 - Seminar in International Film
  • Advanced Elective - Select from the list above
Spring
  • PROD 670 - Thesis Post-Production
  • Advanced Elective - Select from the list above
  • FTVS Elective - Any 500 or 600-level FTVS course

Final Deliverables​

  • Completed fiction film 8-15 minutes in length
  • Festival plan and promotional materials


DIRECTING NON-FICTION​


Year 2​


Spring
  • FTVS 513 - Seminar in American Film
  • PROD 626 - Pre-production for Documentary Thesis
  • IFTV 6100 - Intern Practicum (zero units)
  • Advanced Elective - Students choose the first of three advanced elective courses in Directing Non-Fiction:
    • PROD 633 – Developing, Selling & Monetizing Digital Content
    • PROD 635: Film & TV Devel (Spring only)
    • PROD 639: Producing Master Class
    • PROD 642: Intermediate Cinematography (Spring only)
    • PROD 664: Visual Effects (Spring only)
    • PROD 666: Advanced Editing
    • PROD 680: Music Video Production (Fall only)
    • PROD 680: Advanced Directing Seminar
    • PROD 685: Visual Design (Summer only)
    • PROD 685: Editing/Finishing Short (Spring only)
    • PROD 685: DIT Workshop (*note only 1 unit)
    • PROD 685: Post Prod Supervisor Workshop (*note only 2 credits, spring only)
    • PROD 685: Seminar in Directing
    • PROD 687: Working with Actors
    • PROD 688: Directing the Camera (Spring only)
    • SCWR 554: TV Writers Room
    • SCWR 660: Writing the Spec Drama
    • SCWR 670: Writing the Spec Comedy
    • Any other 3-units of Advanced Electives (AE) that are pre-approved by the coordinator

Year 3​


Fall
  • PROD 650 - Thesis Production
  • FTVS 514 - Seminar in International Film
  • Advanced Elective - Select from the list above

Spring
  • PROD 670 - Thesis Post-Production
  • Advanced Elective - Select from the list above
  • FTVS Elective - Any 500 or 600-level FTVS course

Final Deliverables​

  • Completed documentary film 8-20 minutes in length
  • Festival plan and promotional materials

CINEMATOGRAPHY​


Year 2​


Spring
  • PROD 642 - Intermediate Cinematography
  • PROD 567 - Color Correction
  • FTVS 513 - Seminar in American Film
  • IFTV 6100 - Intern Practicum (zero units)

Year 3​

Fall
  • PROD 649 - Advanced Cinematography
  • FTVS 514 - Seminar in International Film
  • Advanced Elective - Students choose the first of three advanced elective courses in Cinematography:
    • PROD 688 - Directing the Camera (Spring Only)
    • PROD 685 - Music Video Production (Fall Only)
    • PROD 685 - Visual Design (Summer Only)
    • PROD 666 - Advanced Editing
    • PROD 685 - DIT Workshop (*1 unit only)
    • PROD 685 - Post Production Supervisor Workshop (*2 units only)
Spring
  • PROD 675 - Thesis Portfolio
  • Advanced Elective - Select from the list above
  • FTVS Elective - Any 500 or 600-level FTVS course

Final Deliverables​

  • 2- to 4-minute cinematography reel
  • Online portfolio / website (reviewed by thesis committee)
  • A completed personal marketing package
  • 25-60 minutes of content from PROD 650, PROD 490/492 and/or WPTV Thesis projects. Other projects (e.g, music videos, PROD 600, films from other graduate institution Thesis programs or professional work shot DURING applicant’s second and third year) accepted only at committee’s discretion. Must include a minimum of three projects.

EDITING​


Year 2​


Spring
  • FTVS 513 - Seminar in American Film
  • IFTV 6100 - Intern Practicum (zero units)
  • Advanced Elective - Six units selected from the following:
    • RECA 568 - Advanced Post-Production Sound
    • PROD 664 - Visual Effects
    • PROD 642 - Intermediate Cinematography
    • PROD 567 - Color Correction
    • PROD 685 - DIT Workshop (1 unit)
    • PROD 685 - Post-Production Supervisor Workshop (2 units)

Year 3​


Fall
  • PROD 666 - Advanced Editing
  • FTVS 514 - Seminar in International Film
  • Advanced Elective - Select from the list above
Spring
  • PROD 675 - Thesis Portfolio
  • PROD 685 - Editing and Finishing the Short Film
  • FTVS Elective - Any 500 or 600-level FTVS course

Final Deliverables​

  • 2- to 5-minute editing reel
  • Online portfolio / website
  • Trailers for completed films
  • 25-60 minutes of content from PROD 650, PROD 490/492 and/or WPTV Thesis projects. Other projects (e.g. music videos, PROD 400/600, films from other graduate institution thesis programs or professional work completed DURING applicant’s second and third year) accepted only at committee’s discretion. Must include a minimum of two projects
  • Post-production schedules, budgets, and workflows for each project

How to apply​


1. Personal Statement: In 1,200 words or fewer, tell the the Office of Admission your story. How have your life experiences, choices, and values shaped you? Is there an unforgettable moment in your life that has impacted you? What are the unique stories you want to tell as a filmmaker? Discuss artists (filmmakers or otherwise) and creative influences that have inspired you. Why do you want to attend a graduate film program, and why specifically the Film and Television Production program at Loyola Marymount University? What specialization (Creative Producing, Directing Fiction, Directing Non-Fiction, Cinematography, and Editing) are you most interested in, and why?

2. Visual Sample: LMU SFTV considers applicants with a unique voice and vision, storytellers who are in the early stages of their filmmaking careers, as well as more experienced applicants. Submit the following visual sample: A two-to-three-minute film shot with your cell phone and edited with any digital software in response to the following prompt: "An interesting person, place, or thing, I recently discovered."

3. Creative Sample: Submit a half-to-one-page outline of a short-format film project you would like to create. This outline should be in treatment form (not script format). It should give us a sense of the stories you want to tell, and the genres you want to work in.

4. Video Recording: Create a video of two minutes, telling us who you are and what kind of stories you want to tell. Simply record yourself telling your story on camera. Do not script it, and do not 'perform' – be yourself! The recording will not be viewed past the two-minute mark.

5. Portfolio List: The portfolio list is a written record of your creative material, including but not limited to film or television. It should include the title and a logline (if appropriate), the year of completion, and your creative role in its production. The material should give an idea of the range and depth of your creative experiences so far. Formal recognition, such as awards, publications, jobs and exhibitions, should be noted. The name of the institution or publication should be included when listing creative materials prepared for a class or publication. Please do not submit any of these materials — submit only a list of your work. An example of the Portfolio List:
  • July 2014, A Day in the Life, digital video, 12 minutes. Creative role: Writer/director. A documentary on a homeless Iraq vet who has lived on the streets since his return from the military. Created for senior-year multimedia project, Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI.
  • March 2013, Doorways, a series of five black-and-white photographs. Creative role: Photographer. "Second Prize Winner" in the Des Moines Sunday Journal photo contest.
  • February 2011, Cellomorphosis, short story. Creative role: Writer. A variation on the novella by Franz Kafka: published in Writing, vol. IV, 2010, at Amherst College, Amherst, Massachusetts.
5. A One-Page Resume. List your professional and creative achievements, including film industry-related grants and awards.

6. Two Letters of Recommendation: Select your recommenders carefully, as this is a critical portion of your application. Each recommender must have supervised your work. Do NOT send letters from colleagues or friend. Provide one academic letter and one professional letter, or two academic letters. You must submit the recommenders' information through the online graduate application. Recommenders will be required to submit the letters electronically. It is the applicant's responsibility to ensure that the letters are received.

Ready to apply?​


Click here to fill out the online graduate application.