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 FAQs

Do I need a background in film, video, theatre or other art form to apply?
No, but a strong liberal arts background helps. Filmmaking students must have good verbal and writing skills and a strong visual sense. All prospective students who are interested in professional careers in filmmaking are encouraged to apply, whether they have already made film or video projects or not.

How is my application evaluated?
See Admissions.

I have already completed some college (or already have a college degree), but I still want to attend the School of Filmmaking. What should I do?
Every year, a large percentage of our entering class consists of transfer students and students with degrees from other colleges and universities. The School of Filmmaking, like the other arts schools at the University of the North Carolina School of the Arts, teaches filmmaking from a master-apprentice, complete immersion approach that is similar to many graduate-level programs. Because of this, students with college credits or undergraduate degrees are still able to fully integrate into our programs; however, they must attend all four years of the program. Transfers into the upper level of the program are not accepted.

If I have already taken film or video courses, can I place out of these courses at the School of the Filmmaking?
No. Our approach involves a four-year curriculum that is designed for all entering students. Many students have enrolled with previous film or video experience and have benefited greatly from our conservatory approach to filmmaking.


What kind of faculty attention will I receive at the School of the Arts?
School of Filmmaking faculty members work in a mentor/mentee relationship with students. Much of the work is one-on-one, and usually in classes no larger than 10-12 people after the first year. The faculty-to-student ratio at the School of Filmmaking is currently less than 10-to-1.

Do I have to wait until I'm a junior or senior to get my hands on a camera?
No, the School of Filmmaking at the University of the North Carolina School of the Arts emphasizes hands-on training.

Do you work in film or video at the School?
Both. The first two years utilize a great deal more digital video than film because of the instructional flexibility of shooting and seeing the results immediately. Projects in the third and fourth years are shot on 16mm film.

Do I have to pay for the films I produce in the program?
The total cost of production and post-production of student work required in the program is borne by the School of Filmmaking. The School pays for ALL equipment, film stock and processing for all authorized productions, making it unique among undergraduate programs.

What happens to the films I make at UNCSA?
The School of Filmmaking controls all title and ownership of the films that it finances, and also controls the public exhibition of all projects produced under its auspices. The School enters its students' work in festivals and award competitions, and seeks distribution for fourth-year projects in all media throughout the world.

Do I see real films or just videos and DVDs as part of my education?
Real films! The School of Filmmaking houses the Moving Image Archives, which contains original 35mm motion picture prints and thousands of additional trailers and short subject films. This unique and rare collection provides the basis for multiple screenings that take place almost nightly at the School of Filmmaking. The school also has an extensive VHS, laser disc and DVD collection.

Does the School of Filmmaking help me get connections in the industry?
The School is continually in touch with industry professionals. Our students interface with the industry in a number of ways, including guest artists who come to the campus to share the wealth of their knowledge and experience, as well as internships and summer jobs on productions, shooting on location in the region and around the country. Selected fourth-year productions, along with senior thesis projects, are screened for industry audiences in Los Angeles following the end of the academic year. The School of Filmmaking also takes selected graduating seniors to Los Angeles immediately following commencement for a weeklong series of professional workshops and field trips designed to develop contacts in the profession.

Can I keep an outside job while I'm in school?
The curriculum is very demanding and for that reason outside jobs are not encouraged. If having a job is essential to your staying in school, managing your time well will be very important.


How can I get more detailed information about classes and course descriptions?
See the School of Filmmaking section of the UNCSA Bulletin online.  You can also request an UNCSA Brochure through the Admissions Office at admissions@UNCSA.edu. .