This course explores every aspect of the Producing process. From identifying ideas through the development of scripts, assembling commercially viable packages, as well as financing, production, marketing, and distribution, Producer’s Craft lays the groundwork for students to develop their passion. Through lectures, discussions of industry developments, handouts, and individual research assignments, students get hands-on experience.
Students learn about the physical aspects of production: scheduling and budgeting, crew descriptions, paperwork and reporting mechanisms (permits, call sheets, production reports), pay rates, working with unions, insurance guidelines, and more. Students are instructed in the use of Movie Magic Scheduling and Budgeting software.
Pitching is an essential producing skill. In this class, students learn the appropriate pitching techniques for a variety of meetings and settings. Each student will practice and gain critical and fundamental pitching skills, including writing effective loglines, identifying the audience, and perfecting the pitch.
Producing students will study legal issues regarding television, films, recordings, live performances, and other aspects of the entertainment industry, including copyright, intellectual property, talent representation, and financing/distribution arrangements.
Story and Screenwriting
Producers play a key role in the development of scripts. Students will gain firsthand knowledge of fundamental screenwriting elements such as structure, conflict, character, premise, plot, and thematic point of view. They will gain insight into working with writers, story analysis, and overall management of the development process.
This course focuses on successful strategies employed in the finance of studio and independent films. Topics include equity investment, sales agents, foreign territories, pre–sales, gap financing, production incentives, subsidies, and government funds, as well as the revenue waterfall, for instance, how investors get their money back.
TV Industry Overview
An introduction to the way television is developed, produced, and sold. Covering diverse topics such as the roles of various TV producers, Reality TV, Licensing and Syndication, deficit financing, TV packaging, TV Studios, Pilot season, The Upfront, Nielson ratings, Product integration, the foreign TV market, and Old vs. New TV business models, including streaming services such as Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon.
Film Festival Strategies
With the proliferation of film festivals around the world, this course will offer an opportunity at a “low cost” option for the submission of their films and a means to develop a film community of their own. Film Festivals are expanding as technology explodes in the digital universe. Topics include festival selection, social media campaigns, and the case study of a specific film to examine the process of working the festival circuit and achieving potential distribution deals.
This course will use specific in-depth examples of an already produced project to introduce students to the specific issues, problems, and solutions of the development, financing, pre-production, production, post-production, distribution, and exhibition of studio and independent films.
Producers must have a fundamental understanding of the various crafts involved in the filmmaking process:
- Intro to Camera/Lighting: Students learn the basic fundamentals of using a camera and light for film capture utilizing the latest digital technology. This course will provide the student with enough knowledge to deal with basic production cameras and lighting issues.
- Intro to Sound: An overview of sound production recording to understand the importance of sound, to learn to record sound in different environments, and to assemble and troubleshoot the sound recording equipment.
- Intro to Editing: Students will learn the fundamentals of editing. This course will provide the student with enough knowledge to deal with simple editorial production issues. Topics include Introduction to Editing Theory, Interface, and Workflow, components of FCP and terminology, how to “log and transfer” HD footage and organize media, and introduction to basic editing tools.
- Directing for Producers
Understanding the role of the Director helps a Producer run a set. This overview of directing will introduce the student to the language of directing and the basic elements of the director’s craft, including working with actors, composition and blocking, shots and shot lists, continuity, text vs. subtext, crew positions, and the budgetary restraints of the creative process.