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Motion Pictures & Television

Concentrations: Producing, Directing, Digital Cinematography, Editing, Production Design, Screenwriting

The School of Motion Pictures and Television is one of the top film schools in the nation. We prepare students to enter this competitive industry with the experience necessary to produce artistic and professional moving images. The curriculum cultivates a mastery of form, content, and structure as well as solid fundamentals in the integration of digital media.

The department's faculty of film and television professionals ensures that students graduate with intensive training in keeping with the ever-changing technology and trends in the industry. Filmmakers graduating from this program have studied multiple areas of production before eventually choosing one area of concentration. Their final projects are frequently screened at the Academy's annual Spring Show as well as industry festivals.

Master of Fine Arts (MFA)

The Master of Fine Arts program offers candidates the opportunity to expand on their individual vision as filmmakers. The program encourages creativity and independence while also providing instruction in the commercial aspects of filmmaking. Our approach provides practical, hands-on training in a collaborative framework.

The program culminates in a thesis project designed to launch students' careers in their chosen field: narrative, documentary, experimental filmmaking, music videos, or commercials. Our MFA students develop a full understanding of the fundamentals of form, content, and structure in addition to a complete working knowledge of digital media. The focus of the curriculum is on expanding the graduate candidate's vision, worldview, and skill set as a director, producer, editor, cinematographer, or screenwriter.

The department's notable faculty of professionals ensures that candidates graduate with working knowledge of the industry's latest trends and technologies. Filmmakers graduating from this program have studied all areas of production. Final thesis projects are expected to be strong competitors at industry festivals.

Students who concentrate in Acting will undertake a program of performance courses (e.g., voice, movement, technique, Shakespeare) and will design a final thesis project culminating in a taped portfolio of their work. This portfolio can be used to help launch an acting career.

Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA)

The Bachelor of Fine Arts program prepares students to enter this competitive industry. The School of Motion Picture & Television fosters creativity and independence in filmmaking as an art. We also provide instruction in the commercial aspects of filmmaking as a business. Our approach is dedicated to practical, hands-on training in a collaborative framework. After gaining experience in a broad range of disciplines, students will specialize in one area for the purpose of portfolio development. We train students ultimately to become specialists, since specialists are what the industry requires.

Our program offers state-of-the-art equipment and guidance by top industry professionals. Students who concentrate in acting will take a series of performance courses (e.g., acting, speech, singing, movement, improvisation, Shakespeare). Students in acting classes also collaborate with other classes within the School of Motion Picture & Television. Acting students will graduate with a taped portfolio of their work, which can be used to help launch an acting career. Guest speakers of note in their respective fields are invited during each semester.

Associate of Arts (AA)

The program gives our students hands-on training that prepares them to work in all aspects of the industry. The Academy provides the most technologically advanced facilities and in-house equipment in the nation. Our courses cover cinematography, lighting, sound, producing, directing, production design, editing/special effects, acting, and screenwriting. Our faculty consists of accomplished filmmakers drawn from the Bay Area and Hollywood. Companies such as Lucasfilm, Industrial Light & Magic, and Pixar Animation Studios supply our instructors with the latest developments in the industry.

Career Opportunities


  • Film Producer, Associate Producer
  • Production Management
  • Editor, Assistant Editor
  • Director of Photography, Camera Operator for Video
  • Production Assistant
  • Production Designer
  • Screenwriter
  • Location Manager
  • Actor
  • Director
  • Gaffer
  • Art Director
  • Set Designer
  • and more!

Firms Hiring Our Grads


DreamWorks Animation, Lucasfilm, Industrial Light & Magic, Pixar Animation Studios, Dreamworks, Miramax Films, Lucas Learning, Skywalker Sound, American Zoetrope, Red Sky Films, Young & Rubicam,  Zaentz Media Center, ABS-CBN Global, American Idol, The American Pavilion at Cannes, Artist International, Boxcar Theatre , Canon, Current TV, Electronic Arts, Geffen Records, JWT Specialized Communications, PBS, Discovery Channel, Radium, San Francisco Cinematheque, Spreckels Performing Arts Center, United Airlines, Vivian Weisman Productions, Wieden+Kennedy, Zephyr Films

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