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Digital FX are everywhere – from low budget independent movies and online digital content, to commercials, television programmes, games and Hollywood blockbusters. Read more
Digital FX are everywhere – from low budget independent movies and online digital content, to commercials, television programmes, games and Hollywood blockbusters.

Quick Facts:

2 Year Course
Full-time
Course runs Jan-Dec each year
Next intake: January 2017
NFTS Scholarships available for UK Students

Visit the website https://nfts.co.uk/our-courses/masters/digital-effects

APPLICATION DEADLINE: 07 JUL 2016

COURSE OVERVIEW

- Extensive, practical training on set, in a vfx and animation studio and in cutting-edge digital post suites.
- Work with the latest software applications and digital camera technology.
- Tutored by artists, technicians and supervisors currently working in the Industry.
- Shared modules during Year 1 across essential 2D and 3D vfx/sfx techniques.
- Specialise in Year 2 in either Compositing - Design and produce digital vfx for multiple projects or Colour - Online and colour grade multiple projects or CG 3D - Design and create 3D cg vfx for multiple projects.
- A unique bridge to the post production and vfx industries.
- A Creative Skillset-supported course.
- Unlike other schools, all production costs are met by the School.

This course commences in January each year. During this extremely practical modular course, you will spend a lot of time learning techniques “on set”, in addition to learning in front of a computer. You will work closely with students from all the other NFTS MA disciplines, creating 2D/3D VFX, CG 3D FX or Colour Grading and Onlining the entire production, on a diverse range of NFTS film and television projects – many of which go on to become international award-winners.

This course shares a common first year, allowing you to specialise in the second year in one of three areas:

COLOUR: For those who aspire to be:
Digital Film Colourists (Baselight/Nucoda/Scratch)
and/or Online Editors (AVID|DS/Symphony/Smoke)

COMPOSITING: For those who aspire to be:
VFX Artists/ 2D/3D Compositors (Nuke/Flame/Adobe CS6)

CG: For those who aspire to be:
CG 3D Artists or CG TDs (Maya modelling/lighting/texturing/rendering)

Ultimately the course will provide the backbone for a career in 2D VFX or 3D VFX or Colour Grading/Online editing.

The NFTS holds a unique position within the film and television industries, whereby it can offer an invaluable “Bridge to Industry” that attempts to help graduates establish themselves in a new career. At the time of writing, all the previous Digital FX graduates are in employment from Soho to São Paulo. Some are 3D CG TDs at Framestore, Double Negative and MPC in London, others SFX producers at Millennium FX, others 2D/3D compositors at The Mill, Cinesite and The Senate, others working in software development and as product specialists at Filmlight, Image Systems, Assimilate and The Foundry, and others as freelance conform editors and colourists.

ALUMNI

Graduate credits include: CG VFX on projects such as The First Avenger, Kick-Ass, Doctor Who, 2012, Harry Potter, Inception, Captain America and Avatar, Compositing VFX on Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, The Tree of Life, John Carter, Paul, Iron Man 2, War Horse, Sherlock Holmes, The Dark Knight Rises, Clash of the Titans 2 and The Pirates! In an Adventure with Scientists, conform/grading on Generation Kill, The Chronicles of Narnia, & Jack and the Giant Killer, as well as SFX on Being Human, Torchwood, Prometheus and Frankenweenie.

CURRICULUM

This unique modular course has been designed to keep pace with changes in technology and Industry practice.

You’ll control many of your own projects from start to finish. You learn by ‘doing’ as well as understanding theory, developing a variety of practical and creative skills from planning, budgeting, storyboarding and pre-visualisation through filming, CGI creation, VFX creation and finally post production and delivery.

Several modules are shared with other departments within the NFTS - such as the popular Take One Painting project - and the Digital FX students participate individually, or as teams, on many of the other NFTS students’ film and TV projects.

You learn what to do and then get a chance to do it for real. Problem solving is paramount.

Year One begins with a series of core modules shared by all three Digital FX disciplines (Compositing, Colour, CG 3D) which the whole cohort of students undertake:
The Common Agenda; The Fundamentals (inc. Motion Graphics);3D CG (Maya); Introduction to Tracking /Match Move; Take One Painting (Maya & Nuke); 2D/3D Compositing (Nuke); Previsualisation; Physical and Practical SFX.

After 9 months of common tuition, students would then choose to specialise further in one of three areas:

Compositing or Colour or CG 3D
To cement students’ choice of specialisation and to prepare them for their second year of MA studies, students would undertake one further common module on ‘Transmedia Storytelling’ and then three units related to their specialisation:

Compositing
Year 1: Motion Capture/Adv. Maya + Nuke; Transmedia storytelling; Green Screen Module (with Prod. Design)
Year 2: Compositing + Prosthetics shoot/post; Compositing + MoCo Workshop/Models/Miniatures

Colour
Year 1: Colour Management on set and in post; Transmedia storytelling; Colour Grading
Year 2: Colour Grading Prosthetics project; Online Editing and deliverables

CG 3D
Year 1: Motion Capture/Adv. Maya + Nuke; Transmedia storytelling; Prosthetics and SFX Make-Up
Year 2: CG + Prosthetics shoot/post; CG + MoCo Workshop/Models/Miniatures

As with all other MA specialisations at the NFTS the Digital FX students would complete a dissertation over the period of the course informing and reflecting on their practice, and work on the 2nd Year Graduate Film and TV Productions.

For the duration of the course, every Digital FX student has a dedicated computer workstation loaded with the latest 2D and 3D software applications including Maya, Nuke, PF Track, After Effects/Photoshop and many other specialist applications.

Working closely with Industry partners, students will also benefit from a wide range of workshops and masterclasses run by Industry professionals. Carefully selected practical work placements may also be available.
Unlike other schools, all production costs are met by the School. In addition you will be given a cash Production Budget. NFTS students are engaged in more productions as part of the curriculum than any of our competitors.

ENTRY REQUIREMENTS

The course covers such a diverse range of subjects that there is no typical candidate. Your background may be in the arts or other media or you may be a recent graduate or Industry professional looking to fast-track or switch your career.

Although not strictly necessary, you are likely to have some Industry experience or training in your chosen field and you must already understand the basic technical and operational use of computers.

An ideal candidate should have a mixture of creative and technical skills. Communication, people and management skills are also desirable.

Your application should be supported by a brief outline of your particular interests in the Compositing, Colour Grading or CG 3D fields including any relevant experience, either academic or practical.

You must indicate in your application which specialism you wish to study during the second year:

either Compositing or CG 3D or Colour.

APPLY WITH

- A critical analysis of the use of visual effects or colour grading in a film or television programme of your choice, no more than two sides A4 typed.

- A brief outline of your particular interests in the Compositing, Colour Grading or CG 3D fields including any relevant experience, either academic or practical. One side A4 maximum.

- A DVD or portfolio containing samples of your work. This need not demonstrate experience in effects. For applicants not from a film or television background, this item is optional.

HOW TO APPLY

You can apply directly to us at the NFTS by clicking on the link below:

APPLY FOR DIGITAL EFFECTS COURSE - https://nfts.co.uk/user/login?destination=node/9%3Fnid%3D5

You can apply online, or download a word document of the application form to submit via email
When selecting your course, please ensure that you have read the entry requirements and details of the supporting materials that should accompany your application.

TIMING YOUR APPLICATION

We are happy to receive applications 24/7 and 365 days a year up until the deadline. That said, there is no particular advantage to submitting your application very early. The important thing is that your application shows us your latest work and tell us about your most recent filmmaking experiences.

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The state-of-the-art facilities at our David Puttnam Media Centre make Sunderland a compelling choice for media production. This course is for people who want a Masters with a focus on practical skills in media production. Read more
The state-of-the-art facilities at our David Puttnam Media Centre make Sunderland a compelling choice for media production.

Course overview

This course is for people who want a Masters with a focus on practical skills in media production. For a stronger emphasis on theory, please see MA Media and Cultural Studies.

If you want to improve your knowledge, build your resume and be involved in high-quality media content, with technical skills that are in demand across the TV and Film industries, then this Masters will give you an edge over people with an honours degree. You will cover areas of 360 commissioning, workflow, moving camera, advanced editing techniques and production management.

If your first degree is not directly related to media production, we may ask you to undertake a short course that covers essential skills and knowledge, before you join the main Masters course. This ensures that everyone on the course can fully participate in group projects.

‌‌‌‌Media Production (Film and Television) MA has been awarded the Creative Skillset Tick, the industry kitemark of quality, following a rigorous assessment process by experts working in the Creative Industries. The Creative Skillset Tick is awarded to practice-based courses which best prepare students for a career in the industry.‌

‌Sunderland’s Media Department has been recognised for producing some world-leading and internationally excellent research. The University hosts the Centre for Research in Media and Cultural Studies (CRMCS). Our research expertise includes multi-platform production, music and moving image collaborations, independent production, and television aesthetics.

‌‌‌‌Students on this course are elgible to apply for a BAFTA scholarship. Find out more on the BAFTA website.

Sunderland is an accredited training provider for AVID software, which is the industry-leading editing system. We are also part of Avid’s worldwide network of Learning Partners, and as an MA student you will have an option to take an AVID certification that boosts your employability. ‌

For more information on the part time version of this course, please view this web-page: http://www.sunderland.ac.uk/courses/artsdesignandmedia/postgraduate/media-production-television-video-part-time/

Course content

The content of the course is shaped by your personal interests with guidance and inspiration from Sunderland's supportive tutors. Modules on this course include:
Media Production 1 (60 Credits)
-Media Craft Skills – these include elements of scriptwriting, editing, camera and lighting and sound techniques
-Deconstruction and reconstruction of advertisements and music videos

Media Production 2 (60 Credits)
-Production Management
-Video for New Media
-Mini Practical Project

Media Production 3 (60 Credits)
-Major Media Project

Teaching and assessment

Compared to an undergraduate course, you will find that this Masters requires a higher level of independent working. The course aims to stretch your creativity and maximise your sense of personal fulfilment.

You will work on group production projects which will be supported by workshops, studio sessions, tutorials and seminars, as well as master classes led by industry professionals.

Facilities & location

Our David Puttnam Media Centre is a centre for excellence in training students, with continual investment in industry-standard equipment.

TV studios
We have two TV studios complete with green rooms and control rooms. Equipment includes multiple Steadicam rigs plus dolly, track and mini crane. We also have over 40 full HD tapeless field camera systems, comprising Blackmagic, Sony EX1 and EX3, with associated location DIT kits, lighting, field monitors and audio mixers.

Digital editing
There are 70 workstations Edit systems, including Avid Media Composer, Protools, Adobe Master Collection, four Colour Grading rooms running DaVinci Resolve. There is also a digital audio postproduction area running the Avid S6 desk with four voiceover booths.

Radio studios
We have five radio studios including a transmission suite for Spark FM, our student-run community radio station. It broadcasts 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, with a target audience of 15-24 year olds.

Other media facilities
There is a 203-seat cinema with full HD projection, 7.1 surround sound facility. We have a live Sky feed and off-air recording facility, including DVD and Blu-ray recording, plus extensive footage archive/library.

University Library Services
We’ve got a wide range of books, journals and e-books on relevant topics, with many more available through the inter-library loan service. Useful resources for your studies include:
-Archival Sound Recordings with over 12,000 hours of recordings
-British Universities Film and Video Council (BUFVC), which provides resources for the production, study and use of film and related media in higher education and research

Employment & careers

Postgraduates are highly employable and, on average, earn more than individuals whose highest qualification is an undergraduate degree. On completing this course, you will be equipped for roles in production, media management, marketing, legal and media business.

A Masters degree will also enhance career opportunities within Higher Education and prepare you for further postgraduate studies.

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The MA in Editing and Post-Production (EPP) offers the opportunity to study part-time in the evenings and several weekends using our purpose built, outstanding media facilities within Elephant Studios at LSBU. Read more
The MA in Editing and Post-Production (EPP) offers the opportunity to study part-time in the evenings and several weekends using our purpose built, outstanding media facilities within Elephant Studios at LSBU.

The teaching is delivered by industry professionals and it emphasises professional collaborative workflows and the roles of all personnel in the Editing Department in the context of digital film production. Subjects covered include: working with digital cinema camera recording formats (e.g. Arri’s Log C format), colour grading, audio post production and delivery platforms.

The course offers deep exposure to the skills, knowledge and creativity required to get a secure foothold in the competitive world of Editing and Post Production (EPP). We aim to produce job-ready postgraduates who have the know-how and insight required to embark on careers in the challenging context of the creative industries, delivering professional practice skills around freelance work, enterprise, and new economic models for the creative industries.

The MA is designed for students who wish to further their skills, enhance their experience and establish new contacts while developing their professional career in the industry.

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