Film Production FAQ | Media Studies | The New School


  • General Questions

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  • What is the Film Production Certificate?

    Offered by the Department of Media Studies and Film, the program consists of eight approved courses (six required courses and two electives) that guide the student through the contemporary art and craft of film production, using traditional 16mm film and digital technologies. Students receive an official certificate upon successful completion of all courses, attesting to their expertise in the field. A detailed description and breakdown of the program's courses can be viewed on the Curriculum page .

    How does this program differ from other programs offered at The New School?

    Unlike The New School's undergraduate and graduate degree programs, the Film Production Certificate is an open admission program; no application is required, and students do not matriculate into the program. Students receive an official certificate, not a degree, upon successful completion of the program requirements.

    How long does it take to complete the program?

    It generally takes students between three (3) and four (4) semesters to complete the certificate, depending on the number of courses taken per semester. There is no time limit for completing the program, though five (5) years is a reasonable maximum time. It is recommended that students complete the production sequence Filmmaking Studio 1 through Film 5, but students can complete the certificate in three semesters by taking Digital Editing: Fundamentals in place of Film 5. Students can take Digital Editing concurrently with either Film 3 or Film 4.

    When do courses in the Film Production Certificate program begin?

    Courses follow The New School's fall, spring, and summer term calendars. Students can register for courses in the Film Production curriculum at the start of any semester, as long as courses are taken in the required sequence. The New School's university and divisional calendars provide information about registration deadlines and holidays observed in the current and upcoming semesters. Students wishing to complete the program in one calendar year must begin studies in a summer semester and finish the following summer.

    As a student in the program, do I have access to computer labs and software?

    Noncredit students can use classroom computers during non-class hours. Classroom schedules and availability are posted daily on The New School's website. Information Technology maintains an up-to-date list of all available software. Open the "Software Configurations" document under the "Locations" heading. Filter by Software and choose Avid from pull-down menu. Here is the direct link for your convenience.

    In addition, the School of Media Studies Edit Lab (2 West 13th Street, 10th floor, room 1011) is open during posted scheduled hours for certificate student use. Other campus classrooms are reserved exclusively for Film Production Certificate students. Hours change every semester.

    Noncredit students wishing to purchase or subscribe (monthly) to Avid Media Composer are entitled to an educational price discount.

    How much does the program cost?

    There is no program tuition; students pay on a course-by-course basis. Certificate students pay the noncredit tuition cost per course plus an $80 registration fee per semester. The total cost of completing the program's course requirements varies and does not take into account the cost of film stock, film processing, and other materials needed for student projects. The cost of individual courses varies; it is published along with course descriptions in the New School Continuing Education course bulletin .

    Do I need previous filmmaking experience to be eligible for this program?

    This program is open admission; no application or matriculation is required for registration. International students have separate visa application considerations. Please see information below under Prospective International Students. Committed students at any level of experience are welcome to participate in this program.

    What kind of time commitment do the courses in this program require?

    Your workload and time commitment will depend on how many courses you take during a semester. Classes meet once a week, but you should also set aside time outside of class to complete assigned projects.

    As a student in this program, do I have access to filmmaking equipment?

    Registered students have access to equipment reserved for the class in which they are currently registered. Policies, procedures, and equipment reservations are made available by the Media Studies and Film Production Office at 66 Fifth Avenue, 4th floor.

    Is the staff at the Media Studies and Film Production Office available to train me in the use of filmmaking equipment?

    No, the Film Production Office staff are responsible only for taking equipment reservations and checking equipment. They are not responsible for personal property, telephone calls, or additional instruction. The instructors and teaching assistants of your filmmaking courses are available during class time to teach you how to use the equipment and how to troubleshoot. Instructors are responsible for outlining the technical needs of the class, and students are entitled to the equipment designated specifically for the class.

    How do I register for classes in this program?

    You can register for courses through the continuing education registration site . Payment is due at the time of registration. You must select "Certificate" when prompted to select course status to ensure that your registration as a certificate student is recognized. Certificate students pay the noncredit tuition cost per course, plus a $80 registration fee per semester.

    How will I be graded for the classes I take in this program?

    Students take courses on a pass/fail basis, but the distinctions of AP (approved) and NA (not approved) are used. Students must receive an AP in all the required courses in this program to be granted the Film Production Certificate. Courses taken toward a Film Production Certificate cannot be used toward matriculation or be retroactively granted credit.

    What if I started the program before the requirements changed?

    Anyone who began taking certificate courses before fall 2013 would be eligible for a certificate under the old requirements - Digital Editing: Fundamentals can be taken instead of Film 5: Postproduction Workshop, and Cinematography and Lighting can be taken instead of Film 2: Intermediate Film Lab.

  • Prospective International Student Questions

  • What are the eligibility requirements for pursuing a Film Production Certificate at The New School?

    International students must go through an official admission process first through the Office of Admission and then through the International Student Services office (ISS), because of Homeland Security requirements. Students are required to secure a U.S. visa to enroll in courses in the Film Production Certificate program. The application is available from the Film Production advisor at .

    How long does it take to complete the Film Production Certificate program?

    The program can be completed in four semesters of full-time study. There is no time limit for completing the program, although five years is a reasonable maximum time. The following is the recommended course of study for a student enrolled in the program full-time (9 equivalent credits per semester):

    • Semester 1: The Art of Film, Filmmaking Studio 1, Elective
    • Semester 2: Film 2, Film 3, Elective
    • Semester 3: Film 4, Two Electives
    • Semester 4: Film 5, Two Electives

    Students wishing to complete the program in one calendar year must begin studies in a summer semester and finish during a second summer.

    International students must maintain full-time student status while participating in the program because of U.S. visa requirements. Students must take a minimum of three (3) film production or film studies courses (9 equivalent credits) per semester to maintain full-time student status.

    Where can I get information and advice about the U.S. visa application process?

    The International Student Services office at The New School provides information and support throughout the U.S. visa application process and offers advisement on the maintenance of U.S. legal status, employment, reinstatement, change of status, program changes, and other immigration-related matters. International Student Services is located at 79 Fifth Avenue, 5th floor.

    How long does it take to acquire a U.S. visa?

    The visa application process varies from country to country and can take from one day to many weeks for processing, so please plan ahead.

    For how long will my U.S. visa be valid?

    Your U.S. visa will be valid for one year, beginning at the time that it was issued. To complete the Film Production Certificate, you need to request an extension on your U.S. visa. This request can be made at the ISS Office. You should plan in advance to allow enough time for your extension to be processed before the validation of your U.S. visa expires.

    How long does it take to acquire a student visa?

    This varies from country to country and from person to person. Processing can take one day or many weeks. You can apply for admission at any time, but in thinking about when to start taking courses, you should keep in mind the time it may take for you to receive your visa.