Portfolio + Tools + Network

You will leave this program with a powerful set of of tools.

A portfolio of work, including

  • one short doc and one short narrative pre-thesis film
  • one interactive pre-thesis project
  • one 12-20 minute film or interactive thesis project
  • a business plan for getting completed thesis distributed/exhibited, engaging targeted communities, and "getting to the next level" professionally as a media artist

Tools for navigating the professional world of media making

  • how to adapt observation and research into engaging projects
  • technical training on production and postproduction equipment and software
  • how to "pitch" ideas to funders
  • plus knowledge gained from your internship at a Los Angeles, New York, or Chicago production company

A network of new colleagues, including

  • the artists in the program with whom you have tracked closely together through the six core courses
  • the program’s faculty, visiting artists, and alumnae with whom you have had deep contact, people who include the leading voices and rising stars in documentary media production, as well as media executives, agents, and producers
  • directing, acting, and design students from other MFA programs as well radio/television/film undergraduates who have been your collaborators in your other courses and extracurricular activities

Moreover, you’ll be able to join the Northwestern University Entertainment Alliance, a recognized force in film, stage, and television that is devoted to promoting the careers of recent Northwestern grads.

You will have acquired a broad and deep understanding of the current and expansive field of documentary media making, familiarity with production concepts, equipment, and techniques, and an understanding of the universals of storytelling that connect all media, whether traditional or emerging.

Based on our experiences with the highly regarded MFA in Writing for the Screen and Stage program, on which this program is modeled: Some of you will become documentary partners. Some of you will form production companies together. Some of you will produce one another’s films, television shows, or interactive exhibitions. All of you will be part of a tight community: the artists and media visionaries of tomorrow.

"Chicago has a vibrant and supportive documentary film community. With the presence of great organizations like Kartemquin Films, Kindling Group, and Chicago Filmmakers, there is no shortage of talent and opportunities for anyone interested in developing their skills as a documentary filmmaker. The Chicago filmmaking community is also very collaborative, and is one where people are willing to teach and share."

Shuling Yong (C09), founder of Media for Social Change and associate producer for In the Game, a documentary-in-progress by Kartemquin Films



Follow on Twitter Logo
Like on Facebook Logo