LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) — Students interested in pursuing a Hollywood filmmaking career now have another alternative to big-name film schools at USC and UCLA.
Mount St. Mary’s College announced Wednesday it will broaden its array of film degrees by launching a new master of fine arts degree in film and television. The two-year program will be held on weekends to accommodate both working professionals and aspiring filmmakers, and include actors’ workshops and lectures from industry professionals.
KNX 1070’s Karen Harlow reports the college’s film degree programs had previously been concentrated on the undergraduate level, but will now include MFA coursework tailored to a student’s specific interests, from directing, producing and screenwriting to cinematography, editing, special effects and sound.
The MFA’s primary headquarters will be based on The Lot, a studio that was built in 1919 and through the years served as home to United Artists, Warner Bros. and the Samuel Goldwyn Studio.
Mount St. Mary’s has also inked a deal for its own 4,400-square-foot sound stage – complete with a three-wall green screen – at Hollywood Center Studios, which will be home to both instruction and filming for students in the program.
Phillip Jordan with Mount St. Mary’s said they’re confident the investment will make for a one-of-a-kind film school experience.
“We are very proud of the fact that our undergraduate programs have a big focus on human interest storytelling and social justice,” Jordan said. “The grad program is unique in the sense that it expands on that focus on the graduate level.”
Each student in the MFA program will be issued a high-resolution, production-quality camera, which they will be encouraged to use outside of class in projects of their own, according to school officials.
Ron Fernandez, a writer, director and member of the Writers Guild of America and the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences, will serve as the MFA program director.
Fernandez will oversee a team of instructors that includes producer Chris Wyatt (“Napoleon Dynamite”), director Tommy O’Haver (“Ella Enchanted”), and screenwriters like Don Whitehead (TV’s “Smallville” and “Beauty and the Beast”) and Becca Topol (Nickelodeon Movies, Fox Television Studios and Disney).
(©2014 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. Wire services contributed to this report.)