The Film – Entrepreneurial Digital Cinema, M.F.A. is a terminal degree, the highest degree awarded to filmmakers or film artists. The MFA in Film/Entrepreneurial Digital Cinema is a highly selective, rigorous, three-year professional film production program for visual artists and film practitioners who demonstrate exceptional artistic and intellectual prowess, evidence of significant professional promise and a commitment to the expressive potential of digital filmmaking and the exploration of non-traditional modes of distribution. The MFA degree produces graduates with mastery of storytelling through the digital medium as it encourages the candidate to find his or her personal style. Entrepreneurial Digital Cinema emphasizes story, performance, aesthetic choice, business, and creative thinking. When participation is committed and complete, the program develops graduates who can compete in the worlds of national and international independent filmmaking. In conjunction with the College of Business Administration, the program requires students to take course work in Entrepreneurship and Business Plan Formation, and they may take other electives from throughout the University. This collaboration gives students access to courses that will enhance the skills needed to finance and market their future projects. The program also offers a series of courses intended to shape the thesis project so that it will best meet the challenges of microbudget planning and digital production.
The Entrepreneurial Digital Cinema Track requires 60 credit hours, including the thesis project. Students must maintain a 3.0 GPA. The program is ideal for students who are committed to the entrepreneurial and artistic demands of independent filmmaking. Upon completion of the degree, each student will have produced a microbudget (<$50,000) digital feature film and prepared a marketing strategy for its distribution. The budgetary limitation is designed to encourage the student to move away from more traditional modes of production toward an approach that minimizes crew size, cast size, shooting time and production costs in favor of more careful planning, more personal filmmaking and more creative use of the means of production.
The thesis film requires intensive applied learning to be completed as a feature length project. Additionally, the thesis project has a strong research component both in the initial development phase and in the creation of the distribution and marketing plan for the project. This final stage of the curriculum serves as a bridge to the professional world and supports the entrepreneurial philosophy of the program.