Overview of MFA
- Type of program: Academic education
- Programs offered: Program in English
- Length of program: 2 years
- Diploma: Master of Fine Arts in Filmmaking
- Direct second year entry: Not permitted
- Prerequisite: Bachelor's degree
The Master of Fine Arts in Filmmaking is a two-year comprehensive degree in the art and craft of filmmaking, with the emphasis on hands-on instruction coupled with practical exercises in all the essentials of film and television production including directing, production, editing, cinematography and screenwriting.
In the second year of study, while taking the required core courses comprising the basis of their degree, the student chooses from five possible options: directing, production, editing, cinematography and screenwriting and prepares an end of year project related to the field of choice. This, in addition to selective workshops offered in the MFA curriculum forms the basis of the program. Consequently, the student is trained to become a well-rounded and polyvalent filmmaker with additional practice in their chosen option.
Option in Directing
The option in Directing gives students in the second year of the program, in addition to pursuing their required core courses, the opportunity to orient their final year project towards the craft of directing. Directing option students will direct a final film project of an assigned length, either based on their own script, a documentary proposal, or an alternative screenplay approved by the green-light committee. They also have priority in all directing workshops during their second year.
Although the student’s final year curriculum allows for the choosing of a final project related to the student’s Screenwriting option, at the same time, the student must continue and complete the required core classes of the Master’s program.
Particulars of MFA
In addition to the required core subjects, the Master’s program includes a choice of approximately 40 intense, high-end specialized workshops given by industry professionals covering a wide range of topics including the latest developments in production and technological advancements in the film, television and new media industries.
Included in the program, is an exclusive membership at the world-renowned French Cinémathèque giving EICAR students free access to both the Cinémathèque library and multimedia library as well as admission to all daily screenings. The EICAR Graduation and Film Awards are held every year in the Cinémathèque’s prestigious Henri Langlois Theatre.
The small class sizes and one-on-one tutoring with personalized feedback on class exercises and film projects are the cornerstones of the EICAR program, allowing students to advance rapidly towards mastering the fundamentals of film and television production.
Validation of credits
After successfully completing all core classes, required workshops, and final year project, amounting to 120 ECTS, the student is awarded a Master of Fine Arts in Filmmaking degree issued by the European Board of Higher Education Schools (EABHES).
Mastering the fundamentals & new horizons of the digital era
The first year consists of courses in the key disciplines of filmmaking and an introduction to the latest digital technology accompanied by hands-on-film exercises and production of short films.
- Directing: fundamental film grammar, shot motivation, point of view, camera movement, narrative visual storytelling, coverage and continuity
- Screenwriting: introduction to basic structure from concept to character, scriptwriting rules and format, story development, character, visual strategies, understanding dramatic structure
- Directing Actors: fundamentals of casting and rehearsal techniques
- Production: budgeting, scheduling, location scouting and permits, running a film set
- Cinematography: theoretical and practical exercises covering the fundamentals – camera movement, lenses and perspective, axes and shooting rules, basic grip and lighting techniques, introduction of new equipment and technology including Sony PMW-F5 et PMW-FS7, Blackmagic URSA 4K
- Editing: fundamentals of picture and sound editing, introduction and mastering of standard editing software including Adobe Premiere Pro, Final Cut Pro, AVID
- Production Design: art direction and production design in relation to directorial choices and cinematography
Additionally, students have the opportunity to broaden their knowledge through a series of specialized intensive workshops covering a wide array of film, television and media topics.
Focus on the final year project
In addition to completing the core curriculum and required workshops, students will devote significant time to the development of their final year project supported by extensive one-on-one tutoring.
- Directing: extensive hands-on directorial exercises, multiple cameras, use of cinemascope, mastering the sequence shot, etc., preparation and execution of final year film
- Screenwriting: pitching story, short film vs feature, structure of the short screenplay, character vs plot and writing of the final year film, the importance of visual language
- Production: line producing skills, demands of the modern creative producer, film distribution, financing and shepherding a project from pre-production to release
- Editing: mastering the art and craft of creative editing and post-production techniques (Avid, advanced techniques of Adobe Premier), extensive hands-on exercises
- Cinematography: advanced lighting, composition and camera techniques, introduction to the high-end digital cameras such as Arri Alexa Plus, RED Weapon Helium 8K
- Production design: establishing the correlation between the various artistic disciplines – music, theatre, dance, art – and the relationship to cinema and the moving image
Master Class Lecture Series
Master Class Lecture Series is a weekly program where guest speakers, internationally renowned film, television and media professionals, all celebrated in their specific fields, give a two–hour lecture on the subject of their expertise.
You will meet directors, producers, actors, editors, authors, musicians, costume designers, directors of photography, sound designers and more. Our guests come to share their work, their stories and their experience. Films and film clips will be shown to illustrate their work.
Guests we have welcomed in the past include:
- Jan Harlan – Kubrick’s producer
- Richard Leacock – Founder of the modern documentary
- Gloria Katz & Willard Huyck – Screenwriters (Star Wars, Indiana Jones, American Graffiti’s)
- Douglas Kennedy – Screenwriter & novelist
- Matthew Robbins – Writer / Producer (Steven Spielberg, George Lucas, Guillermo Del Toro, Walter Murch)
- Charlotte Rampling – Actress (Oscar nominee Best Actress)
- Adrian Smith – Production designer (Full Metal Jacket)
- Stephen M. Katz – Director of Photography (Blues Brothers)
- Agnès Godard – Director of photography (Best Photo César for Claire Denis’s film Beau Travail)
- Olivier Megaton – Director (Transporter 3, Colombiana, Taken 2)
- Randa Haines – Director (Children of a Lesser God nominated for Golden Globes, BAFTA & Academy Awards)
- Hervé Schneid – Editor (Alien: Resurrection, Delicatessen, Amelie, The Selected Works of T.S. Spivet)
To stay on the cutting edge of the industry, every year EICAR, the International School of Film and Television, invests and updates its inventory of equipment and post – production facilities …
For hands-on exercises and film projects, students in our Bachelors’ program have access to a diverse range of cameras, both digital and film:
- RED WEAPON HELIUM 8K
- ARRI ALEXA PLUS
- SONY PMW-F5 et PMW-FS7
- Blackmagic URSA 4K
- Super 16 mm with lenses
- Panasonic DVX200 4K
- Panasonic AF101, HPX 250, P2 HPX 500, P2 HVX 200, HMC 151, HMC 41
- HD playback and monitor
- Numerous prosumer cameras for quick practical work : SONY, JVC, CANON
The sound crews have access to various microphones, mixers and digital recorders.
- Directional mics, lav and shotgun mics (Sennheiser, Røde…)
- Sound mixers (Sound devices)
- Digital recorders (including Tascam, Korg, Zoom)
Lighting gear includes HMI, LED, Tungsten, Fresnel… and are used regularly in all hands-on practical exercises in cinematography and directing classes:
- 575 up to 1,2kWatt HMI lighting units
- 200 W LED lights equipped with fresnel lenses
- LED PANEL lights
- Tungsten units ranging from 750W to 2kW
- 300 watt to 5K Lighting units with Fresnel lenses
- Kino fluos
There are 85 post-production work stations equipped with the latest software available to students including:
- Final Cut Pro
- Avid Media Composer
- Adobe CC, After Effects, Premiere
A variety of grip accessories are available to students for their hands-on exercises and film projects:
- Dolly and tracks
- Flags and nets
- Lightweight grip gear : clamps, arms, stands
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