The Peter Stark Producing Program
Master of Fine Arts
The Peter Stark Producing Program is an innovative two-year (four semester) full-time graduate program designed to prepare a select group of highly motivated students for careers as independent film and television producers or as executives in motion picture and television companies.
Approximately 25 Peter Stark Program students are enrolled each fall (there are no spring admissions). The curriculum places equal emphasis on the creative and the managerial, to enhance and develop artistic skills and judgment while providing a sound background in business essentials. Each course is continually updated to ensure that the Stark program remains responsive to the needs of our students and the ever-changing motion picture, television and communications field.
A minimum of 44 units of 400-level and 500-level courses is required for the Peter Stark Producing Program leading to the M.F.A. degree. There are no prerequisites. Students are required to take a production course in their first semester.
CTPR 507 Production I (4 units), which brings together students from other CNTV divisions, introduces the fundamental principles of motion picture production, emphasizing visual and auditory communication. Each student makes several non-dialogue personal projects, serving as writer, producer, director, cinematographer, sound designer and editor, and takes a crew role on a collaborative project. Projects are shot using digital cameras and edited on non-linear systems. Approximately $1,200 should be budgeted for miscellaneous expenses, lab and insurance fees.
In CMPP 541L, second semester students work in teams, making two, 8-minute films. Equipment is provided by the school.
In lieu of a thesis, the completion requirement is a fully-developed film project with an attendant budget and marketing/distribution plan.
An internship period between school years gives students an opportunity to observe actual producing and executive operations with participating independent producers and film companies. The internship period is of eight weeks’ duration during the months of May, June and July. Stark summer internships are paid and subject to availability, academic performance and good standing in the first year of studies.
The completion of a film/television industry internship, or combination of internships, of at least eight weeks, is a requirement for graduation.
During the second year, Peter Stark Producing Program students have an opportunity to initiate and produce a 20-minute synchronous sound film financed by the program. Projects to be produced are selected on a competitive basis.
Films must be produced by a Stark student or team of Stark students. Scripts may be written by a cinematic arts student from the Division of Writing or a Stark student. The director must be a graduate student from the Cinematic Arts Production Program or a Stark student. The Stark student may only perform one major task on the film, i.e., director or writer or producer. Each team has a professional advisor available as needed. Completed films are screened at “First Look.”
Inquiries regarding the program should be addressed to: The Peter Stark Program, USC School of Cinematic Arts, University Park, Los Angeles, CA 90089-2211. Telephone (213) 740-3304, FAX (213) 745-6652 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Two-Year Requirements for the M.F.A. in Motion Picture Producing
|Year One, First Semester||Units|
|CMPP 550||Script Analysis for the Producer||2|
|CMPP 563||Producing Symposium||2|
|CMPP 589a||Graduate Film Business Seminar||4|
|CTPR 507||Production I||4|
|Year One, Second Semester||Units|
|CMPP 541L||Producing Workshop||4|
|CMPP 560||Script Development||2|
|CMPP 568||Producing for Television||2|
|CMPP 589b||Graduate Film Business Seminar||4|
|Year Two, First Semester||Units|
|CMPP 561||Motion Picture Marketing||2|
|CMPP 565||Scheduling and Budgeting||4|
|CMPP 571||Producing the Screenplay||2|
|Year Two, Second Semester||Units|
|CMPP 564||Producing Business Procedures||2|
|CMPP 569||Seminar on Non- Mainstream Producing||2|
|CMPP 570||Advanced Television||2|
|CMPP 592||Individual Project Seminar||4|