Producing School at the New York Film Academy
What Makes Our Producing School Unique?When it comes to film and television, the role of the producer is one of the most important, yet least understood roles. What does a producer do exactly? And how does one become a producer? Simply put, a producer is a creative entrepreneur, responsible for handling both the creative and business sides of filmmaking. A successful producer not only needs to know how to distinguish quality directors, actors, and screenwriters, but how to create and manage the business infrastructure that will fuse all of these elements together.
The New York Film Academy's Film and Television Producing School is structured around the principle of providing students with the fundamentals of producing through hands-on education and experience to achieve success in the entertainment industry. At the heart of the Producing School is the belief that both a creative spirit and a rigor for business are not only intertwined, but one in the same when it comes to becoming a successful producer. Producing requires a genuine passion for visual storytelling alongside a can-do attitude and entrepreneurial spirit.
After all, the film business is exactly that—a business and thus requires individuals who have a deep understanding of the creative aspects of filmmaking in addition to possessing a more strategic, goal oriented mindset. Producers simply get things done and are thus in charge of overseeing that every aspect of a film is completed to satisfaction, be it hiring and working with the best creative talent possible, establishing a realistic budget and schedule, securing financing for a production, and ensuring that craft services, equipment, and more are all in order.
Contrary to popular misconceptions, producers aren’t simply people with deep pockets or a well-connected business network. Rather, they are individuals armed with a unique set of business acumen, creative insight, and a self-starter’s energy who are able to assemble the many parts of a film production into an achievable whole. It is the goal of the Producing School to help students develop these particular skill sets. Students eager to control their own destiny in the business world of film and television flourish in our intensive hands-on programs and workshops. The Producing School is geared to students with little or no experience in producing, but who recognize that an intensive and demanding producing program, much like the job of producing itself, will provide them with the knowledge they seek.
What to ExpectIn aspiring to be a producer, one must learn to develop equally his or her creative and business sides. The Producing School seeks to foster students’ abilities to at once be the creative energy driving a production, develop the requisite business skills to realize a project, form relationships with creative professionals, and find financial success in an increasingly volatile and changing market.
Students enrolled in the Producing School are instructed by faculty with extensive professional backgrounds in producing for film, television, and more. By learning from working professionals, students receive the most up-to-date and pertinent information and education about an ever-changing industry. In addition, faculty assist students in finding potential internship opportunities that students pursue on their own and make business connections that will help them well after they complete a program or workshop.
Located in Los Angeles and New York, students at the Producing School get the chance to study in the country’s principle hubs for studio and independent filmmaking. Students are taught that they are their own best resource; as a producer, it is reliant upon them to decide which idea has the most creative and/or market viability. They then must see that idea through from pre-production through post-production to finding a distribution network and marketing budget to ensure that their project is seen and makes a satisfactory return on investment.
With such an arduous path carved out for the producer, our Producing School’s programs and workshops aim to simulate and mirror the demanding nature of the producer’s job. From our 4-Week Workshop to our Master of Fine Arts program*, students enrolled in the Producing School should expect a rigorous course load in which they not only learn all of the creative aspects of filmmaking, from screenwriting to directing, but also learn how to apply those creative facets to a business environment, from budgeting and scheduling to marketing. As such, producing students will be expected to work directly with students in the Academy’s Film School and Acting School. Students are treated as producers throughout the duration of their time in the Producing School and are challenged at each step of the way. Students learn the real-word strategies for successful producing and have opportunities to make actual contacts within film and television.
Learning GoalsThough it’s easy to forget, the principle role of a producer is that of a storyteller. What differentiates producers from other storytellers in the film and television industry is their knowledge of how to put all of the pieces of a story together. In essence, producing requires a leadership mentality—a creative personality that excels in a structured environment and is able to reconcile the disparate and numerous elements that make up a movie or television show into an effective business model.
Accordingly, students enrolling in the Producing School receive a wide-ranging education that challenges aspiring producers to engage in most creative facets of filmmaking, from writing a script to shooting with a camera to editing a film. In addition to a thorough immersion in the creative disciplines of filmmaking, students will also learn the more technical and everyday challenges of the field, such as those faced by a line producer, which entails ensuring that equipment, location, craft services, transportation, and much more are all in order. Furthermore, students must learn how to set a realistic budget and schedule that will guarantee a film project is completed on-time and on-budget.
Like the other schools at the Film Academy, students in the Producing School do not learn the art and business of producing just by spending time in a classroom. Rather, from day one, students engage directly in filmmaking, gaining experience on a film set and working with students from other NYFA schools to help them complete their film projects. Students enrolling at the Producing School will face the following learning goals:
- Familiarizing oneself with the roles, tasks, and obstacles that film and television producers encounter
- Developing a working understanding of every element involved in film production/li>
- Learning Entertainment Partners (EP) Movie Magic Scheduling and Budgeting software programs along with established scheduling and budgeting tactics
- Mastering the essential concepts of storytelling
- Learning the fundamentals of entertainment law
- Better understanding of the creative side of filmmaking from the points of view of the screenwriter, director, actor, and cinematographer
- Developing of effective pitching skills
- Familiarizing oneself with the essential elements of feature film business plans and television show bibles
- Understanding the nuances and practices of film finance, distribution, and marketing
Programs and WorkshopsThe New York Film Academy’s Producing School offers intensive programs and workshops that vary in length, allowing students multiple avenues through which to learn the producer’s craft. The Producing School attracts students of all types and experience levels, be it filmmakers who wish to learn the business side of cinema or those business-minded storytellers who wish to delve headfirst into the realm of production, but have no background in film producing. The following programs and workshops are currently offered by the Producing School.
- Master of Fine Arts in Producing*: The two-year Master of Fine Arts program focuses on providing students with the technical and creative know-how that form the basis of producing. Students are encouraged, but not required to bring a piece of intellectual property—a book, screenplay, show concept or treatment—at the beginning of the program that they will use as the foundation for their thesis project that will be completed over the course of their second year. Through intensive classes and workshops, students in the Producing School’s MFA program become experts in every aspect of the producer’s craft, immersing themselves in the creative demands of filmmaking in addition to fully understanding the entrepreneurial and managerial skills necessary to successfully produce a film or television series.
- Bachelor of Fine Arts in Producing*: A three-year, eight semester program, the Bachelor of Fine Arts program will introduce students to the skills of creative producing and production management. The creative producing side of the program will focus students’ energies on story and script development, methods of creative collaboration, the various ways to obtain financing, and the many distribution options available to producers. In terms of production management, students will learn physical production management and line producing. Rounding out the BFA degree will be extensive coursework in liberal arts electives.
- Associate of Fine Arts in Producing*: Allowing students to concentrate on their professional and artistic development, this two-year program actively prepares students to immediately pursue a career in film and television producing upon graduation. Students enrolling in the Associate of Fine Arts program learn the skills and craft of producing through a curriculum that includes lectures, seminars, and full-immersion workshops.
- One-Year Conservatory Producing Program: Available at both our New York and Los Angeles campuses, the one-year conservatory producing program focuses students on understanding both the creative and technical demands of film and television producing. Students will be introduced to the roles, tasks, and challenges that confront film and television producers while learning the physical and post production processes and mastering essential concepts of storytelling.
- 4-Week Producing Workshop: For students and filmmakers looking to get a basic understanding of the producer’s craft, the Producing School’s 4-Week Producing Workshop is an ideal way to fully immerse oneself in the producer’s role.
- 12-Week Evening Producing Workshop: Created for students who are unable to make a full-time commitment, the 12-Week Evening Workshop is structured to provide students with the essential training to succeed as a producer.
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