We believe this program is as unique as it is revolutionary. It redefines how figurative artists see their work and how that art finds its way into the world of commerce—fine art, illustration and publication. It begins with developing a personal vision. Vision is not style. Whether the work is tightly rendered, loose, more or less expressive or Photoshopped, we help you to achieve personal content in your work—to tell your story as only you can. When your “style” is personal content, the images you make can only be original.
The program is difficult, demanding and highly selective. At the same time, it is an opportunity to be with exceptional artists like yourself exchanging ideas and sharing information, as well as simply hanging out. Each class becomes a community of figurative artists whose interest in storytelling encompasses all 21st-century media: graphic and illustrated novels, children’s books, comic books, and painting series for gallery walls. But, when you tap into your personal vision and find your own stories, the applications for the work flow naturally.
We focus on teaching how to combine words with images, continually refining and re-defining your personal vision. Our faculty is made up of illustrators, fine artists, computer artists, writers, art historians and art directors. The contact with faculty is personal, constant and intense. We accept only 20 students per year in the two-year program. It is a classroom-based curriculum, unlike many graduate programs where students work independently with scheduled faculty oversight. Close interaction between faculty and student, as well as with other classmates, is an essential part of the creative process that is our program.
Each student has a personal workspace with 24-hour access, seven days a week. In addition to required classes, graduate students can audit classes from the various diverse offerings in our undergraduate college, including film, animation, fine arts and humanities. Guest speakers from the outstanding New York professional arts community are regularly scheduled. Being in New York City, the opportunities for access to working artists, gallery shows, museum exhibitions and internships are not inconsequential to laying a foundation for a life as an artist. In the second year, students are encouraged to choose their thesis advisors according to their interests. Our advisors, past and present, are as diverse as they are celebrated in their fields. Yuko Shimizu, Steve Brodner, Gary Panter, Maira Kalman, Sam Weber, Stephen Savage, Paul Buckley, Guy Billout and Pat Cummings are among them.
The process involved in developing a truly personal vision is risky. It demands you be open to thinking in new ways, reassess your drawing and painting skills, put your creativity on the line and free your imagination. We offer you the chance to compete using your own vision.
Independence is the key word in filmmaking. It means having a personal vision. It means having choices in your career – whether that’s working for a company or being on your own – or both. It means being able to do what you love for life.
As an SVA undergrad, you can specialize in Directing, Screenwriting, Cinematography, Editing or Sound. You can create a body of work that rivals most graduate schools. Our immersive program has many special features designed to educate you better and faster – like courses which are taught in collaboration by writers and directors, and an integrated curriculum which means you develop work in writing classes, fine-tune it with professional actors in directing, prepare and shoot it in production, and edit in post-production.
While you get a solid start in your specialty, you also gain knowledge in all aspects of filmmaking. The essential experience of SVA Film is collaborative and your teachers and classmates quickly become your partners in creativity. All of our faculty do what they teach –actively contending in today’s high tech media marketplace. The relationships you form with your mentors now mean you are already connected to the film industry. When our teachers need to fill a slot on the set or in the studio – who better than the people they have trained themselves? Our students intern at the top production and post-production companies, among others, and are often working before they graduate.
Because your education isn’t just academic but hands-on right from the beginning, you learn early what you love and what you’re good at. You share your skills working on your classmates’ films. Bonds are formed during the intense days and nights of shooting that not only contribute to fine work during school but to career opportunities after graduation.
Your four years culminates in a showcase of your work to industry professionals and luminaries at the Dusty Film & Animation Festival.
Film and Television are New York’s fastest growing industries -- a $5 billion business that employs over 100,000 workers. Five commercial studios have committed to the new development at the Brooklyn Navy Yards alone – adding an estimated 2,000 jobs in the next year. * The reason for this explosive growth is the talent pool – New York is the place to find the right people with right skills. SVA has long contributed to the city’s artistic resources.
SVA is the country’s largest independent art school which gives you many advantages as a budding filmmaker. You’re in an atmosphere with a rich tradition of innovation and originality. You’re surrounded by the best image-makers in media. You’re part of the art and idea capital of the world.
At SVA Film and Animation, “independent” is not just a trendy pre-fix for “filmmaker. “ It’s the creative DNA that makes SVA artists different. We’re not just about getting a job, but having a life. A life in which you can keep making the work you love.
*Mayor Michael Bloomberg
Mayor Praises Growth in Film and TV Jobs
New York Times, August 22, 2011
Request information at [email protected] to learn more about the undergraduate film school at SVA.