Course Requirements

No course labeled as Introductory in any other program may be substituted for any other course at any level. 

Foundation and other required course selections are determined by the concentration chosen.  Information regarding the Thesis Phase for MFA Cinema concentrations can be found below.

Thesis Phase

MFA Thesis

The MFA Thesis shall be a major artistic digital project. Although there is no prescribed length for the thesis, the following should be used as guidelines:

  • Live action projects should be 15-35 minutes. (15-20 minute films tend to get the best festival play). Films longer than 35 minutes usually do not qualify for the SAG student film waiver. The Digital Cinema faculty encourages students to produce feature length films.

Student's MFA Advisor Committee

During this phase, the MFA Thesis Committee supervises the student. The student's MFA Advisor Committee shall have a chairperson and a minimum of two other members. The Chairperson and one other committee member must be full-time Digital Cinema Faculty. After assembling an MFA Advisor Committee the student will advise the Chair of the Digital Cinema MFA Committee of the composition of that committee. Students will work closely with the Chair of their committee in planning and completing the MFA thesis.

MFA Thesis Screening

A major component of the MFA degree is the public screening of the MFA thesis. It is the student's responsibility to organize, schedule, promote and publicize this screening.

MFA Thesis Defense

A minimum of thirty days prior to the public screening , the student will schedule a thesis defense with his/her MFA Thesis Committee. At this defense the student's MFA Thesis Committee will discuss, evaluate, and critique the thesis and make a determination on the awarding of the MFA degree.

Degree Requirements

Students in this degree program must meet the following requirements:

  • Complete a minimum of 64 graduate credit hours in the designated degree program.
  • Complete all graduate courses and requirements listed in the designated degree program.
  • Earn a grade of C- or better in all graduate courses of the designated degree program.
  • Maintain a cumulative GPA of 2.5 or higher.
  • Satisfactorily complete the MFA thesis as determined by the student's MFA Advisor Committee.
  • Students cannot count credit earned towards a previously awarded master's or MFA degree toward the completion of this MFA program.

For DePaul's policy on repeat graduate courses and a complete list of academic policies see the DePaul Graduate Handbook.

DC 460

DIGITAL CINEMA PROSEMINAR

In this course, students develop basic proficiency in the areas of cinematography, editing, and sound. This course is intended for all incoming graduate students in cinema.

DC 461

PRODUCTION WORKSHOP

Students work in teams to produce a completed project every two weeks. Each team will be assigned a specific genre or medium of cinema/media production. Students will be exposed to every aspect of media production from live action shooting to visual effects. Students will also learn how to work well in a team environment and be forced to adhere to deadlines, time constraints and medium limitations.
Prerequisites:
CDM graduate students in the Preqrequisite Phase are restricted from registering for this class.

DC 462

DIRECTING WORKSHOP

Emphasis on directing actors, with production skills such as camera, lighting, editing and sound used in service of the performance. Topics convered include objectives, beats, script analysis, casting, rehearsal, and actor/director relationships. Students will cast working actors or actors from the Theatre School, in short films from adapted screenplays, and produce sample reel material for both actors and directors. PREREQUISITE(S): DC 461
Prerequisites:
CDM graduate students in the Preqrequisite Phase are restricted from registering for this class.

DC 502

STORY STRUCTURES

Advanced critical analysis of multiple film structures beginning with a solid understanding of classically structured linear narratives told in three acts and ultimately exploring non-traditional feature film structures including but not limited to: ensemble, multiple protagonist, non-linear and episodic. Films will range from classic Hollywood films to contemporary independent films. Students will learn various theorists' approaches to terminology (which may include Snyder, Field, Campbell, and Howard) in order to develop a language with which to discuss scripts and finished films, both other people's work as well as in developing their own. PREREQUISITE(S): None
Prerequisites:
CDM graduate students in the Preqrequisite Phase are restricted from registering for this class.

DC 476

VISUAL DESIGN

Definition, analysis, and structure of visual components that cinema employs to support and emphasize the story. Theory of visual design will be applied through student still photos, as well as an original, visually-oriented, narrative or documentary short film, animation or game design. PREREQUISITE(S): DC 460 or Permission of Instructor
Prerequisites:
CDM graduate students in the Preqrequisite Phase are restricted from registering for this class.

DC 421

PRODUCTION DESIGN

Analysis of production design and art direction in motion pictures.
Prerequisites:
CDM graduate students in the Preqrequisite Phase are restricted from registering for this class.

DC 422

EDITING STYLES AND TECHNIQUES

This course is designed for editors looking for innovative ways to tell stories, by exploring how editing techniques have been pushed by artists working in the margins. Cutting edge editing techniques are a co-opting of historical and experimental styles, repackaged and used in a narrative context. A series of practical exercises and a freeform final project using found footage allow editors to explore the array of editing techniques adopted from experimental work while discovering their personal style as editors and storytellers. Editors will consider how form affects content and will reinvent techniques in ways to surprise modern audiences. PREREQUISITE(S): DC 220
Prerequisites:
CDM graduate students in the Preqrequisite Phase are restricted from registering for this class.

DC 431

CINEMA MOVEMENTS AND MANIFESTOS

A study of film movements or periods that have articulated their own theoretical origins, and then implemented or investigated these theories through cinema praxis. Movements as diverse as Soviet montage, neo-realism, French New Wave, feminist film, Dogme 95 and punk cinema will be explored. In the same mode of these historical movements, students will make a film or animation rooted in one of these theoretical frameworks.
Prerequisites:
CDM graduate students in the Preqrequisite Phase are restricted from registering for this class.

DC 451

MODES OF DIGITAL DISTRIBUTION

This course deals with the process of creating video for multiple modes of distribution, i.e.: DVD authoring, compression and streaming. It also covers the various outlets available for content distribution. Students will learn content creation, authoring, capture, encoding and serving with an emphasis on video compression and encoding. Students will also come to have a working understanding of codecs, DVD chapters, Easter eggs, region coding, and be able to create a working web page with embedded streaming content. PREREQUISITE(S): DC 320 or DC 420
Prerequisites:
CDM graduate students in the Preqrequisite Phase are restricted from registering for this class.

DC 470

ADVANCED TOPICS IN CINEMA

This class will be an in-depth examination of a filmmaker, film genre, or film movement that has had a significant influence on the development of cinematic storytelling and expression. Through lectures, screenings, readings, discussions, and critical writing assignments, students will analyze the distinctive traits of the selected topic within the broader context of cinema history and culture. Specific topics will be selected by the instructor and will vary with each quarter. PREREQUISITE(S): None
Prerequisites:
CDM graduate students in the Preqrequisite Phase are restricted from registering for this class.

DC 481

DISTRIBUTION AND EXHIBITION

Conventional and emerging modes of motion picture distribution with special emphasis on digital streaming and exhibition.
Prerequisites:
CDM graduate students in the Preqrequisite Phase are restricted from registering for this class.

DC 485

PRODUCING

This course focuses on the role of the contemporary producer from idea origination and script development to financing and physical production and, finally, to distribution and exhibition. Students master the concepts of revenue streams, constructing deals (gross and net point participation), copyright, marketing, and box office analysis. Production management and line producing are also covered. From script breakdown and production preparation to post-production supervision and delivery, the physical production process is defined.
Prerequisites:
CDM graduate students in the Preqrequisite Phase are restricted from registering for this class.

DC 489

THE BIG PICTURE: THE ENTERTAINMENT INDUSTRY

This course introduces students to vital information about the industry in which they will work. Students will learn industrial analysis of production, distribution, and exhibition sectors, including mastering concepts of revenue streams, constructing deals (gross points and net point participation), copyright, marketing, and box office analysis. Students will also study the structure of organizations and groups crucial to the entertainment industry: studios, talent, agents, exhibition (markets: theatrical, virtual and ancillary), professional organizations including guilds like ASC, and media licensing firms like ASCAP and BMI. There will be an emphasis on global industry.
Prerequisites:
CDM graduate students in the Preqrequisite Phase are restricted from registering for this class.

DC 401

WRITING THE SHORT MOTION PICTURE

The essential elements and conventions for writing the short film including, character, plot structure, sub-plots, surprise, inevitability, and resolution. Students will complete a screenplay for a 30-minute film.
Prerequisites:
CDM graduate students in the Preqrequisite Phase are restricted from registering for this class.

DC 415

POST-PRODUCTION SOUND DESIGN

This course expands on topics covered in DC 215. Emphasis will be on mixing and editing techniques for music and sound effects. Coursework also includes the recording of natural sounds and special effects to reinforce images and the story. The course is intended for advanced students who wish to develop their skills and gain more experience in preparing and mixing sound tracks for traditional as well as interactive narratives. PREREQUISITE(S): DC 215
Prerequisites:
CDM graduate students in the Preqrequisite Phase are restricted from registering for this class.

DC 420

EDITING II

This course expands on topics covered in DC 220. Emphasis is on developing the student's understanding of the art of cinematic storytelling and montage. Work on more advanced projects is integrated into the class as a means of mastering advanced editing tools and techniques. PREREQUISITE(S): DC 220
Prerequisites:
CDM graduate students in the Preqrequisite Phase are restricted from registering for this class.

DC 423

PRE-PRODUCTION FOR CINEMA

This course will cover the pre-production phase of short and feature-length flimmaking, including fundraising, breaking down scripts, scheduling, budgeting and pre-visualizing. Professional scheduling, budgeting and pre-visualization software will be utilized. Additionally, the rules of the creative producer, line producer and assistant director will be examined. Prerequisite(s): DC 210
Prerequisites:
CDM graduate students in the Preqrequisite Phase are restricted from registering for this class.

DC 475

ADVANCED CINEMATOGRAPHY

This cOURSE explores the emerging HDTV/HDV technologies along with advanced production techniques of camera movement, lighting, rigging, camera filtration and shot composition. Students will be given hands on training in the use of the latest High Definition Video cameras and then create a short script which they will shoot and edit in High Definition. PREREQUISITE(S): DC 275
Prerequisites:
CDM graduate students in the Preqrequisite Phase are restricted from registering for this class.

DC 495

DIRECTING THE SHORT MOTION PICTURE

Blocking for the camera, the action axis, 180-degree principle, moving the camera, directing actors, working with crew, and delegating responsibilities.
Prerequisites:
CDM graduate students in the Preqrequisite Phase are restricted from registering for this class.