LMU SFTV’s Writing and Producing for TV M.F.A. Program for 2024 Entry

For filmmakers equally interested in screenwriting and production, LMU SFTV offers a unique production-intensive Writing and Producing for TV M.F.A. program. By mastering storytelling across various story structures and understanding how screenplays are translated into films, graduates learn how to become writer-directors and writer-producers. In workshops of only eight students, graduates learn how to conceive and refine stories and navigate the production and post-production.

In years 1-2, graduates focus on the development of spec scripts, pilots, and long-form teleplays — all of which are written in a writers room environment — and complete hands-on production courses. Award-winning faculty also provide mentorship opportunities. In year 3, graduates receive in-depth portfolio reviews, practice pitching, and network with key industry players.

At the end of the program, graduates have a dynamic portfolio of long- and short-form teleplays. They also participate in LMU SFTV's First Pitch, an annual event that allows graduates to pitch more than 40 casting agents, managers, and other industry professionals. Take a look at the year-over-year program breakdown and required creative portfolio materials.

Year 1​


Fall
  • SCWR 511 - Introduction to Television Production
  • SCWR 550 - Elements of Television Writing
  • FTVS 511 - History of Television
Spring
  • SCWR 660 - Writing Drama TV Series Spec or SCWR 670 Writing Comedy TV Series Spec
  • SCWR 551 - Feature Film Screenwriting
  • SCWR 554 - The TV Writer's Room

Year 2​


Fall
  • SCWR 661 - Writing an Original Drama Pilot
  • SCWR 671 - Writing an Original Comedy Pilot
  • SCWR 685 - The Business of Entertainment
Spring
  • SCWR 611 - Planning Ahead: Producing Fundamentals
  • SCWR 675 - Rewriting the TV Pilot: Drama or Comedy
  • SCWR Elective - Topics very semester to semester, including Playwriting, Video Game Writing, Digital Storytelling, Writing the Short Film

Year 3​


Fall
  • SCWR 680 - Preproduction for Thesis Project
  • SCWR Elective - Topics very semester to semester, including Playwriting, Video Game Writing, Digital Storytelling, Writing the Short Film
  • SCWR Elective - Topics very semester to semester, including Playwriting, Video Game Writing, Digital Storytelling, Writing the Short Film
Spring
  • SCWR 681 - Post-Production for Thesis Project
  • SCWR 692 - Feature Film and Television Portfolio Workshop

How to apply​


1. Personal Statement: Write a creative essay or short story that expresses an understanding of how you became the writer you are today. This piece should reflect your unique perspective on life and the world (fewer than 1000 words).

2. Creative Samples: Applicants to the graduate program in Writing for the Screen and Writing and Producing for Television must complete the Creative Challenge. Please complete the following two components of the Creative Challenge (1) and the two writing samples (2):

Choose one of the following prompts and write a 3 page screenplay (can be any genre; please use proper script formatting):
  • At the beginning or end of the scene, a hand holds a knife.
  • One character has to break bad news to the other.
  • A confrontation scene in an extraordinary location.
  • A ride-sharing driver and their customers.
Two writing samples:
  • One feature-length screenplay or teleplay (half-hour or one-hour; spec or pilot).
  • The second sample should be the first thirty pages of a feature-length screenplay or a complete teleplay (half-hour or one-hour; spec or pilot.) Alternately, you may submit a short story or a one-act play.
3. Video Recording: Create up to a two-minute video telling us who you are and why you want to tell stories. Simply record yourself telling your story on-camera. Do not script it, nor do you need to 'perform' the event. The recording will not be viewed past the two-minute mark.

4. 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 friends. LMU SFTV prefers that you 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 the letters are received.

5. A One-Page Resume.

Ready to apply?


Click here to fill out the graduate online application.
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