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Educational Programs

Cinema: Directing

Program description

The Cinema: Directing curriculum immerses you in the art, craft, business and discipline of directing and explores the structures and conventions of cinematic storytelling. You will collaborate with cast members and crews, interpret scripts, elicit dramatic performances, determine camera coverage strategies, design “look” and emotional tone and supervise the final work in the cutting room.

Program start and location

New students are admitted into the Cinema programs in the fall semester only. Courses are taught on MCTC’s main campus. You will spend considerable time outside the classroom working on productions.

Degree options and requirements

Please select the award below to view the degree options and requirements in the college catalog.

What you will learn

  • You will gain practical skills in the art, craft, business and discipline of directing.
  • You will develop a working knowledge of narrative structures and conventions.
  • You will learn how to build productive collaborations with cast and crew members, especially colleagues in Screenwriting, Cinematography, and Editing and Post-Production
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  • You will develop critical directing proficiencies ranging from interpreting scripts to blocking actors to supervising cast and crew.
  • You will learn best practices for professional standards and expectations.
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Points of pride

  • The MCTC Cinema programs are amongst the very few two-year degree programs offered in cinema production in the U.S. The MCTC Cinema Division is the only comprehensive cinema production institution of its kind in the upper Midwest.
  • MCTC’s cinema programs are some of the most affordable film school programs in the U.S. and tuition covers almost all production costs for students.
  • Thanks to a low student-to-teacher ratio, you will receive personal attention from qualified, passionate faculty members who are working professionals and hold MFA or Ph.D. degrees.
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  • A diverse student base adds to the creative experience. Students come from all over the world, have varied professional backgrounds and range in age from 18 to 65.
  • Cutting-edge technology and facilities strengthen the programs’ practical experience. You will have access to the latest software, cameras and equipment as well as production and Post-Production facilities and studios.
  • Local and nationally recognized industry experts from Hollywood and New York serve as guest speakers.
  • MCTC boasts award-winning alumni. Former student achievements have included: producing a Super Bowl ad that was the most-watched television commercial of all time; writing and producing a short film that qualified for consideration as a 2010 Oscar nomination; earning the McKnight Screenwriting Fellowship Award in 2009; receiving Bush Foundation Artist Fellowships, and winning a 2008 Nicholl Fellowship in Screenwriting from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences, one of the most prestigious screenwriting prizes in the world.
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Where you could work

  • Local and national film studios
  • Local and national independent production companies
  • Independent home video distribution companies
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  • In-house production departments within retail stores, organizations and institutions
  • Local and national television, cable stations and networks
  • National and local advertising agencies
  • As a freelancer
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Potential job titles

  • Production Assistant
  • Assistant Director
  • Production Supervisor
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  • Production Coordinator
  • Assistant to Producer/Director
  • Script Supervisor
  • Line Producer/Unit Production Manager (UPM)
  • Location Manager
  • Casting assistant
  • Casting Director
  • Independent Director/Producer
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Occupational outlook

Increased demand for American films from American and foreign moviegoers should mean more work for producers and directors. Nationally, the number of jobs in the entertainment industry is expected to increase through the year 2016 (according to iseek) as a growing population enjoys movies as entertainment.

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There is strong demand for productions from foreign and domestic television, cable television, pay TV services and feature film markets. In addition, computer and Internet services are providing new outlets for film productions, and there is a demand for home movie rentals, music videos and live performances.

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Beyond-the-classroom opportunities

Strong relationships with the local film industry position you as a sought-after candidate for internships and on-location work. These community collaborations also produce myriad programs, events and guest speakers, most of which are hosted on the MCTC campus.

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The Cinema Division partners with: Minnesota Film and TV Board, IFP Minnesota, Screenwriter’s Workshop of Minnesota, the Jerome Foundation and the Walker Art Center. Local relationships helped establish the Annual Cinema Division Production Excellence Awards, which spotlight student works in Directing, Screenwriting, Cinematography, Editing and Post-Production, Sound Arts and Digital Photography.

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This program is part of the School of Design and the Arts.

Additional resources

2014 Directing Award

2014 Cinema Excellence Awards

Scott Fimon, "A Reader"

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2014 Producing Award

2014 Cinema Excellence Awards

Ryan Franzman, "Friendetta"

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Cinematography and Screenwriting Alumni Make Short Film Together

Panhandler Screenshot

Kevin Horn and John Karsko have worked on ten projects together since graduating from MCTC. Their latest project is a short film titled "Panhandler." Based on true events in Horn's life, the film centers around a man he met while on vacation and how he inspired him.

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2013 Directing Award

2013 Cinema Excellence Awards

Joshua Robertson, "Huske"

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2013 Producing Award

2013 Cinema Excellence Awards

Chelsey Hett, "Huske"

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MCTC's Cinema Program will help teach you to make movies with passionate instructors and some of the best facilities and equipment available. MCTC offers degrees and certificates in all areas of cinema.

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Find out why nearly 14,000 students choose Minneapolis Community and Technical College each year!

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