BFA in Cinematic Arts

What you'll learn

  • aesthetic and technical basics of cinematic production
  • contemporary industry practices
  • visual theory, cinema history and seminal films, global trends and platforms of distribution
  • to write, direct, shoot, edit, post-produce and distribute a short film

This is a preferred admission program with a competitive application process. You’ll apply for this program during your sophomore year.

BFA Cinema Thesis: Production and Post-production

To complete this degree, you’ll be required to write, direct, shoot, edit, post-produce and distribute a short film. This capstone project will be completed over the course of two semesters. These films will be publicly screened, and you’ll defend your work before a faculty board. 

Advanced Collaborative Workshop: Double Exposure

During this course, you'll collaborate with music students to create a short film that will be screened with live music at the IU Cinema. Students will work on all stages of production, but working with sound and producing a film that will be publicly screened will be the main focuses. 

Student work

Description of the video:

[Ren, writing on a piece of paper]

Ren: Please don't hate me. I don't want this to change how you — I don't want to feel like this. Please believe me. I started to hope that you would just guess. If you did realize though, I couldn't tell. But if there's any chance, I had to tell you.

[Ren’s mother appears on screen. She walks into Ren's room.]

Ren’s mother: Are you almost ready? You're not even dressed yet.

Ren: I have to pack.

Ren’s mother: You have weeks to pack, get dressed. We're already late.

[Ren and his mother are sitting in the car, parked.]

Ren’s mother: I don't know if you noticed, but the car has stopped.

Ren: I think I'll just sit here for a while.

Ren’s mother: What is going on with you lately? You are going inside, Lawrence, I don't care if I have to drag you. Don't forget his present.

[Ren, his mother and Eli’s parents appear on screen at Eli’s graduation party.]

Eli’s mother: I'm so glad you could make it.

Ren’s mother: Lawrence wouldn't miss Eli's graduation party for the world.

Eli’s mother: Well, I know that Eli will be happy to see you. It's been too long. Speaking of Eli, I think all the kids are inside. Go on. In August already Eli is going to Georgetown.

[Eli appears on screen with two friends.]

Friend 1: Tell me, well, I had, because I don't know. I think psychology, maybe sociology just because I'm interested in it, the way you can get inside the brains of people.

Eli: I think I'm going to go undecided at first. I really don't know exactly what I want to do. I thought about doing maybe like history or —

Friend 1: Nice suit.

[Ren appears on screen in front of Eli and his friends.]

Eli: Ren. I didn't know you were coming.

Ren: Yeah. Right. So, how you —

Eli: I'm not totally sure

Ren:  — been? —

Eli: what I want to do yet. I was thinking about something involving like history or science, but yeah, I don't know. I feel like that would just be the —

[Ren starts to walk away.]

Eli: — hey, wait! Here.

[He hands Ren a graduation card.]

Ren: You got me a card?

Eli: No. I mean, my mom did. She told me to give it to you.

Ren: Yeah, right. I think I had some present I was supposed to give to you too. Probably just some trinket my mom picked out.

Eli: Don't worry about it. I'll see you around.

Ren: Yeah. Yeah, I'll see you.

[Ren opens the envelope Eli has given him, seeing a graduation card with "I'm sorry. Good luck at Dartmouth." written in it. The letter he gave Eli is enclosed as well. Ren leans against his car, reading the letter he gave Eli.]

Ren: I'm sure this is the kind of thing I should be telling you in person. But the thought of having to look you in the eye and see your response stopped me every time I tried. I started to hope that you would guess. I don't know how maybe by the way I looked at you or how we stopped being able to talk the way we could as kids. If you did realize though, I couldn't tell.

[The screen flashes back to Eli and Ren in a library, studying.]

Eli: So, the Huguenots were Protestants in France. Please, if the exam is this easy, it's going to be a walk in the park.

Ren: Okay, smartass. What year was the St. Bartholomew's Day Massacre then?

Eli: 16—? 15—?

[Eli begins to flip through pages in his book and sees a letter Ren has put in his history book. He pulls it out to begin reading.]

Eli: What's this? You put this in here? I guess we'll just have to find out.

Ren: Wait, wait. Just wait til you get home.

[Eli leaves. Screen flashes back to present.]

Ren, reading from the letter: Yeah. I love you. And I don't mean as a friend. Or even as family. I just love you. I'm not really sure where to go from here. Could we talk sometime? - Ren.

Faculty

Your professors will include nationally recognized filmmakers and award-winning producers with expertise in many key areas of the film industry.

Meet Media School faculty

Centers

Black Film Center & Archive

The Black Film Center & Archive is a resource for scholars, students and researchers studying films and related materials by and about Black people. Included are films that have substantial participation by Black writers, actors, producers, directors, musicians and consultants, as well as those that depict some aspect of black experience.

Visit the BFCA’s website

Center for Documentary Research and Practice

The Center for Documentary Research and Practice supports faculty and students who make documentaries; serves as a research hub for historical, theoretical and critical research on nonfiction film and video; and hosts visiting artists and scholars who are working on projects with nonfiction media components. The center provides direct assistance in the form of technological and creative support for projects, and it also serves as a forum for faculty and students to present completed and in-process work.

Visit the CDRP’s website

Careers

This degree will give you the theoretical and aesthetic knowledge to excel in the film industry and allow you to gain valuable hands-on experience. Through production classes and a capstone project, you’ll go through the process of creating your own short film from writing to distributing the final product.

With a vast alumni network and connections with industry professionals and local production companies, you’ll have resources to guide you in finding internships and throughout your career.  

Learn about careers in production

Austin Francalancia

Breaking into the entertainment industry takes patience and persistence. It will take time and a ton of effort, but if you stay hopeful and proactive, it'll be worth it for your own mental well-being and future career.

Austin Francalancia, BA'09, founder and film producer of SERA Films