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Educational Programs

Cinema Production


Program description

MCTC's Cinema Production certificate integrates the language and aesthetics of cinema with film and digital video technology to support you in becoming a filmmaker. The intensive one-year core curriculum is a hands-on introduction to the filmmaking process, fusing cutting-edge technology and affordable professional training with an outstanding liberal arts education to help you become – above all – a compelling visual storyteller.

Program start and location

New students are admitted to the Cinema Production program in the fall. Courses are taught on MCTC’s main campus.

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 develop key professional skills: writing, camera operation, sound recording and editing.
  • You will get hands-on training of the filmmaking process by working on numerous individual and group productions.
  • You will develop an understanding of the specializations and technology used in productions and the roles each plays in the creative process.

Points of pride

  • MCTC’s 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, students 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.
  • Up-to-date technology strengthens the programs’ practical experience. Students have access to the latest software, cameras and equipment as well as production and post-production facilities and studios. Students use film and digital technology in their productions.
  • Local and nationally recognized industry experts from Hollywood and New York serve as guest speakers and work with students every semester.
  • 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

  • Film and movie production companies
  • Film and video production houses
  • Independent home video production companies
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  • In-house production departments within retail stores and corporations
  • Local and national cable access stations
  • Television stations
  • Universities and colleges
  • K-12 and high schools
  • Self employment
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Potential job titles

  • Production Assistant
  • Production Technician
  • Director of Photography
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  • Studio Camera Operator
  • Filmmaker
  • Independent Producer
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Occupational outlook

Nationally, the number of jobs in the entertainment industry is expected to increase through the year 2016 as a growing population enjoys movies as entertainment. 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.

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The job outlook is best for camera operators, computer specialists, multimedia artists, film and video editors, and others who are skilled in digital filming, editing, and computer-generated imaging. Good opportunities are also expected for broadcast and sound engineering technicians and craftspeople such as gaffers and set construction workers.

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Beyond-the-classroom opportunities

Strong relationships with the local film industry position MCTC students as sought-after candidates 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 Cinema Production Award

2014 Cinema Excellence Awards

Miranda Langevin, "These Three Things"

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Dan Huiting

Dan Huiting

Feeling dissatisfied in his pursuit of becoming a professional musician, Dan Huiting enrolled in the cinematography program at MCTC after discovering a passion for film while producing a music video with friends. Now he is living his dream.

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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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Cinema Students Mentor High School Students Making Short Film

The Bag Video

MCTC Cinema students mentored high school students from several Metro Area schools who made a short film on MCTC's campus last spring.

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2013 Cinema Production Award

2013 Cinema Excellence Awards

Cory Deveney, "Pair O' Medics"

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