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This is a professional training course for working writers. Most scriptwriters work across several media, and the course reflects this. Read more
This is a professional training course for working writers. Most scriptwriters work across several media, and the course reflects this. All our tutors are award winning writers with an insight into what it takes to make it in the industry. We aim to turn out writers who understand the structure and craft of drama, have a finished script they can use as a calling card, know the industry in all its variety, and can pitch and sell their work.

The MA is taught in seventeen weekends of intensive workshops. It is not, however, ‘low residency’. There are as many hours of teaching as on Bath Spa University’s established MA in Creative Writing.

The course is taught at our beautiful Corsham Court campus where we have state of the art performance, capture and editing facilities. Our students also have opportunities to see their work for the stage performed and to shoot excerpts from their screenplays. We work closely with the School of Music and Performing Arts, and their students will have the opportunity to help act in and produce our work.

Although this is an intellectually challenging postgraduate course, there is no ‘academic’ side detached from the working side. Everything theoretical is geared to help the students as writers.

The MA in Scriptwriting also offers each of its students a free copy of Final Draft scriptwriting software, a must for professional Scriptwriters.

COURSE STRUCTURE AND CONTENT

The course is full-time from October to September, or part-time over two years, and is taught in modules. The first trimester runs from October to January and there are two modules, each delivered in three intensive weekends.

One is the module on Dramatic Structure. This aims to give you an understanding of the full range of ways that plays and scripts can work. You are introduced to dialogue, character, genre, and the different media. But the emphasis is on how to tell a story - a well made plot. Students will read and view widely, but the academic side is not separate from the working side. This module is to help you write.

The other module in the first trimester is a workshop in Writing Theatre and Radio. This is delivered in three intensive weekends. All of the time is devoted to the students’ own work, and much of the time we work on our feet. At the end of the trimester each student finishes a 45 to 60 minute play or radio script, and a 3,000 word essay that explains the structure of that script.

The second trimester, from February to June, also has two modules. One is Professional Skills, again over three intensive weekends. All our experience is that the ability to write alone is not enough to make your way in the various industries of theatre, television, film and radio. You also need to be able to pitch, and to talk intelligently and flexibly about your own work and others’. One of our tutors facilitates this module, and various industry professionals come in for a day each to inform, rehearse and challenge you.

The other module this trimester is Workshop in Screenwriting, also over three weekends. Here you write a script for film or television. We pay particular attention to genre, to the visual and time requirements of the screen, and to writing for particular markets. At the end of this trimester each student finishes 50 to 60 minutes of TV, or a short film script, or a treatment for a full-length film plus at least 45 minutes of polished script.

The third trimester runs from June to the end of September. Here there is only one double module, the Final Script Workshop. The workshops meet over five intensive Saturdays.

In this module each student writes a full length play, a full length film script, or the equivalent in television or radio. This script can be a development and reworking of earlier pieces, but will often be completely new work. At the end of September students submit this script.

The final assessment is based on four things. The most important is this script. The second is a 1,500 word essay explaining exactly where in the market it is aimed and how it is shaped to fit that niche. The third is a cold pitch for this script. When we speak of the market, we are thinking quite broadly. Some students will want to write for Hollywood, British independent films, soap operas, or theatre. Others will want to write radio plays, documentaries, puppet shows, theatre in education, training videos or school plays. The emphasis is, however, always on getting your work to a stage where it is ready to be produced. The fourth is a practical realisation of a short excerpt of an original work stage, screen or radio play. Students are expected to co ordinate this realisation themselves with advice and support from their tutor and using the University’s resources.

TEACHING METHODS AND RESOURCES

All courses will be taught by intensive workshops. Over the years we have found this is far and away the most productive way of teaching writing. It is particularly suited to scriptwriting, which is very much a social and collective art.

Tutors and visiting professionals:
All of our tutors are writers working in the industry. Among those working on the course will be:

• Ursula Rani Sarma (Course Director) writer for theatre, radio and screen
• Steve May who writes radio and novels
• Lucy Catherine who writes theatre, television and film
• Robin Mukherjee who writes theatre, television and film
• Hattie Naylor who writes film, theatre, radio and opera libretti
• Jonathan Neale who writes theatre, radio and novels

In the second semester we have visits from several professionals in the industry. Each conducts a one-day workshop with students, outlining the industry and giving them rigorous practice in pitching their work. Typically, we will have an agent, a TV producer, a radio producer, a theatre director or literary manager, and a film script editor.

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See the department website - http://cias.rit.edu/schools/film-animation/graduate-film-and-animation. The MFA program in film and animation enjoys state-of-the-art facilities. Read more
See the department website - http://cias.rit.edu/schools/film-animation/graduate-film-and-animation

The MFA program in film and animation enjoys state-of-the-art facilities. Students can create live-action production, screens, 2D, 3D or stop motion animation that is unique. The program is housed in a School of Film and Animation with full production facilities, as well as the additional support of highly specialized faculty in photography, imaging science, computer science, information technology, and printing.

Goals

The program provides students with the opportunity to use animation, filmmaking, and other imaging arts as a means to:

- pursue a career and earn a livelihood,
- enrich their personal lives and society as a whole, and
- encourage a sense of community, creativity, scholarship, and purpose.

Plan of study

The MFA in film and animation offers four options:

1. 2D animation concentrates on traditional forms drawn by hand, a mixture of both traditional and digital, or all digital origination. Students may concentrate their studies on stop motion puppet animation.

2. 3D animation courses focus on advanced 3D modeling, lighting, texturing, and animating in a 3D space.

3. Production allows students to develop and refine their creative approach to fictional narrative, documentary, and experimental work.

4. Screenwriting is an opportunity for students to complete short films with a concentration in creating feature length screenplays.

All four options require two years of course work and a thesis project. A complete film is required of all the first year students, a complete film or script is required in the second year, and a more ambitious thesis film or feature length script is required in the third year, which is a part-time student status focused only on the thesis film.

A minimum of 63 semester credit hours of graduate work is outlined below.

Electives

SOFA elective courses are available in animation, film, video, multimedia, screenwriting, printmaking, painting, sculpture, communication design, museum studies, crafts, bookmaking, typography, color photography, new media, studio photography, advertising photography, perception, sensitometry, computer graphics, art history, and archival preservation and conservation. There are also opportunities for independent studies, internships, and concentrations.

Thesis

Specific instructions pertaining to the thesis are available in the “MFA Guide for Students and Faculty: Policy Regarding Student Work.” The School of Film and Animation reserves the right to retain copies of student-produced films to be used for educational purposes, to show to prospective students, and as examples of student productions.

Admission requirements

Scores from the Graduate Record Exam (GRE) are not required for admission. International students are required to submit English language test scores such as TOEFL. Applicants who are capable of good academic work as well as artistic visual expression, and who demonstrate an interest in the exploration of new artistic ideas and experiences, will be favored. The graduate faculty makes recommendations based on the above interlocking criteria.

Students who are evaluated to have MFA potential but need additional study in preparation for graduate courses will be advised to take such courses either prior to entrance or during their first year of study.

All correspondence concerning applications or catalogs should be addressed to the Office of Graduate Enrollment Services. Students interested in the program should have their application process completed by January 15. Applications received later than January 15 are considered on a space-available basis.

- Portfolio

The review committee is looking for work that is original in concept and content. It does not need to necessarily be motion media, but should be visual or aural. Examples include films/videos, photos, drawings, paintings, sculpture, stop motion puppets, scripts, storyboards, and original music.

Applicants must present what they consider to be the best of their work, not all of their work. Films or videos should total 12-minutes or less. A short, complete piece of work is preferable to a demo reel. If there are no short works then a 12-minute excerpt of a longer piece is acceptable.

Applicants must place their portfolios on a Web or FTP site, such as Vimeo or YouTube, which can be easily accessed by RIT faculty for review. Your application should include a URL Web or FTP address to your online portfolio. If your portfolio is placed on a shared Web or FTP site that contains other files, be sure the file name contains your full name (which must match the name used on your application materials). When applicable, please include any usernames and/or passwords necessary for access to your portfolio. Please provide an inventory sheet or table of contents with your portfolio, and if it is not obvious, clearly indicate what your combination was to group and collaborative pieces. This can be a separate description or can be included in the portfolio presentation.

Applicants are also required to produce a 2 to 3 minute video self-portrait to accompany the online portfolio. This should include information about the applicant such as why you want to attend the School of Film and Animation, which concentration you wish to pursue, and why. Please include information about one significant accomplishment you have made. Sound and picture quality should be clear. The online portfolio and self-portrait must be mounted on Slideroom.com once a Slideroom account is established.

For more information about portfolio guidelines as well as assistance in uploading an online portfolio, contact Graduate Enrollment Services.

- Transfer credit

Graduate-level course work taken prior to admission should be submitted for approval upon entrance into the program. Up to 8 semester credit hours of graduate work with a grade of B or better is transferable and may be counted toward the MFA degree, with the approval of the graduate faculty.

- Grades

Students must maintain a B (3.0) average GPA to meet graduation requirements for the MFA. Thesis hours are usually completed over several semesters. Acceptance or rejection of the thesis is made by the candidate’s thesis board and the graduate faculty.

- Maximum time limit

University policy requires that graduate programs be completed within seven years of the student's initial registration for courses in the program. Bridge courses are excluded.

- Screenings

Screenings are required for all student-produced films and are coordinated through the professor or the thesis chair.

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The Master in Animation Design aims first of all to consolidate and upgrade skills in animation concept design with a focus on the topics, contents and styles that characterize the current production. Read more
The Master in Animation Design aims first of all to consolidate and upgrade skills in animation concept design with a focus on the topics, contents and styles that characterize the current production. It identifies some points that focuses on the evolution of the production work flow, presented by larger studies that are currently introducing new artistic solutions and techniques (Emerging Tools) for the production of series and feature films: 2D/3D integration, Cut-out (Puppet Animation), Frame-by-Frame Paperless Animation, Post-production, VFX.

On these "nodes" students will find also the search for style, as a synthesis between the premises of the concept - expressive and aesthetic intents - and the choices of realization.

Teaching methodology is divided into three main areas: design, technical and instrumental and production-marketing.

The programme initially provides some useful modules to examine and specialize expertise within the concept design, pre-production (from the subject to the storyboard) and animation, alongside the courses that provide the necessary expertise on the technical instrumental perspective.

The course covers subjects such as Concept Design for animation (at the base of the short film), Ambient Design (study set design applied to the different animation techniques), Character Design (screenplay), pre-visualization techniques (from videoboard to lay out Settings Set 3D), Director, Soundtrack, development of interactive digital content.

Teachers follow personally the formulation and implementation of various projects. The students make a dossier of the project, individual or in team, to be presented to the pitch of the most important festivals worldwide (Appel à Projects in Annecy; Pitch Me! At Cartoons on the Bay).

There will be then a communication project (in simulation purchasing) on social issues or education and the creation of a personal show reel (self-presentation) updated to the latest projects.

The final Project may be a short film, a pilot for a TV series or a cross-media project, done individually or in team.

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