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Alex M. White

Master's Degree in Cinematography

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I am looking for a school (US or International) that offers a specialized, concentrated Master's Degree in Cinematography.

 

After my own bit of research, I have only been able to find detailed information on the American Film Institute in the US, Australian Film Television and Radio School, and National Film and Television School in the UK.

 

Does anyone have recommendations for schools offering a MA in Cinematography?

 

Just for clarification, I am not interested in a Master's program in Film Production alone.

 

Thank you for your time!

 

Alex M. White

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I haven't looked into master's programs specifically, but I do know that a lot of schools' Bachelor Degree programs offer concentrations in specialties, including cinematography, yet the final degree says Film production.

 

If you have not already, I suggest looking into USC (University of Southern California) and UCLA (University of California, Los Angeles).

Edited by Michele Peterson

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From what I understand you just get a Masters of Fine Arts and then a concentration in "film."

this is akin to a painter who is a surrealist. Well you can't get a degree in surrealism, but you'd get a Masters of Fine Arts (MFA) in "Painting."

 

 

Most schools who offer film as an undergrad have some form of Grad program. Temple University, here in Philadelphia, has a film MFA and I believe they still list concentrations on their degrees. e.g. MFA- Film Concentration-Cinematography and the like.

 

 

Why go for an MFA anyway? It does allow you to teach in colleges (MFA is terminal in film) but take the 60K for the masters and shoot (don't really see the point in a master's degree, only in a B.A/B.S.)

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I already have a BA in Film Production, do you know if these other grad programs such as USC or UCLA require you to have some level of experience to get in? Besides simply having a concentration/track, what reputation do these institutions' graduate cinematography programs hold?

 

And the reason/point for me to get an MFA is so I can teach at the university level later down the line.

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You just need to pass the GREs and get accepted to the college much the same as going to university in the first place, only master's degrees are pretty competitive and each school will have it's own entrance stuff, of course.

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In California, there are several MFA (not MA, that's only for film studies) programs specifically focused on Cinematography. They are conservatory based programs. AFI is one of those programs where you apply for their cinematography program specifically. I went to Grad school at Chapman University in Orange County, California. When I was there it was a general production degree with cinematography as an optional emphasis, but now they have changed their program to a conservatory where you apply specifically to the Cinematography program. UCLA also has a specific cinematography program, but I don't know much about it. I talked to a couple of my colleagues who went there and said it was pretty good.

 

In my opinion, the best way to determine which school you want to go to is to visit them. Take a trip to Southern California for a week and visit ALL of the grad schools. Take the tours and get as much information from the school as possible, but more importantly, make sure you talk to the students (and not just the ones hired to give you the tour). Find out first hand what they think of the school. Since, they're not being paid by the school, they won't sugar coat it for you.

 

A major aspect of Grad school is networking. See what the students are like at these schools. Do they have good attitudes, good work ethic? Are they passionate about what they do? It's kind of hard to determine this when touring a school, but ask around.

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The Academy of Art University in San Francisco offers a MFA degree in film production with focuses in cinematography, directing, etc. You have to decide your concentration almost immediately and the classes focus on your chosen topic from then on. Yes you have to take a screenwriting class and a film aesthetics class and so on, but for the most part your classes will be in your specific field.

 

They have a pretty decent arsenal of equipment... Arri & Aaton 16 and super 16 cameras, Arri 35III's 35 BL2's and BL3's and plenty of sound stages to shoot thesis projects. They also do telecine on campus. It's an older machine, but it's free so you can't really complain that much. Overall it's a pretty good program, expensive as hell and living in San Francisco isn't cheap, but if you are looking to really focus on cinematography, it's not a bad option to look at.

 

cheers

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I am looking for a school (US or International) that offers a specialized, concentrated Master's Degree in Cinematography.

 

After my own bit of research, I have only been able to find detailed information on the American Film Institute in the US, Australian Film Television and Radio School, and National Film and Television School in the UK.

 

 

I did the MA at AFTRS in cinematography (great course). Pretty sure it's only open to Australian citizens, or residents of Australia.

 

jb

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