Passion, creativity and excellence

MFA Cinematography

PARIS

MASTER OF FINE ARTS
CINEMATOGRAPHY

Our MFA in Cinematography is aimed at international students who are fluent in English and hold a Bachelor’s degree, preferably in cinema and audio-visual studies, or in another field but with a keen interest in artistic careers.

It trains students to a high level of competence in all aspects of cinema-related work: directing, writing, image and post-production. It enables them to develop both their creative vision and technical expertise.

At the end of this training, our graduates have the skills to design, present and deliver fictional projects, documentaries, advertisements and musical clips.

From their first year, students are trained in all areas of work (directing, writing, assisting the director, script, image, sound and editing); they each produce an audio-visual project, according to specifications defined by their course director or tutor, and manage a team made up of students from all other sectors.

During their second year, students write and shoot a short fiction film in professional conditions. They also design a documentary for which they write a full production file and produce a 5-minute teaser.

Students have the benefit of personalized, one-to-one instruction from a tutor working in the same field as they intend to work: director, scriptwriter, 1st assistant or camera operator. Individual monitoring of a personal project each year enables them to develop their professional project which forms the core element of their training. Tutors also monitor students’ overall progress.

In order to facilitate and consolidate learning, the MFA cinematography class has a restricted intake of 25 students.

At a glance

NEXT INTAKE 
October 2022

DURATION 
2 academic years 

ELIGIBILITY 
Bachelor’s degree or equivalent 

LANGUAGE 
English 

TUITION FEES
€14,500 per year 

STUDY PROGRAM

  • Producing and directing
  • Cutting
  • Directing actors
  • Managing a team
  • Writing a screenplay
  • Script doctoring
  • Optics, colorimetry, photometry and equipment technology
  • Camera angles
  • Multi-camera fiction recording
  • Photography direction: lighting control
  • Storytelling through editing
  • Calibration
  • Preparing a subject, research, documentation
  • History of the cinema
  • Language discovery and French cultural awareness
  • Production management
  • Professional documentary project
  • Professional fiction project (synopsis, pitch, project note, moodboard)

PROJECTS

This training forms part of the DNA of 3iS, namely learning by project. During their two years of training, MFA cinematography students produce their projects independently (class group) with the support of other English-speaking 3iS programs:

  • Short 15-20 minute film
  • Documentary
  • Multi-camera TV fiction series
  • Advertisement (filmed in a studio)
  • Theater production filming: very short film in a single place
  • Musical clip (in collaboration with a musical group)
  • Reporting and interviewing
  • Personal “ready to shoot” project (production and artistic files)
  • Individual technical or artistic research project, tutored by a trainer

CAREER PATHS

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sound operator

CHIEF SOUND OPERATOR

The assistant producer is the producer’s most important colleague. He or she is responsible for all aspects of planning the film shoot or audio-visual program and ensures that all stages of the project run smoothly. During the preparation phase, the production assistant analyzes the production project or script, writes the technical data sheets and draws up a work plan for the shoot in collaboration with the production manager. During filming, the assistant producer adjusts the work plan, organizes the direction, writes the call sheet and organizes and supervises the recruitment of extras where necessary.

DIRECTOR OF PHOTOGRAPHY

The director of photography is responsible for the lighting and photography in filmmaking. They contribute to shaping the esthetic aspects of a film and the image rendition, showcasing the topic and actors to best effect. They design the visuals based on the script and in discussion with the director. During shooting, their work focuses on lighting the shots to be filmed. At the end of shooting, the director of photography oversees color correction and may be involved in the finishing process.

BOOM OPERATOR

Production sound mixer’s assistant and is in charge of the microphone placement.

SOUND DIRECTOR

The sound director installs, regulates and maintains sound equipment for live use. He or she manages a team of technicians who help install and make changes to the set. As team leader, the sound director writes a technical file (technical data sheet, planning and budget) and is responsible for mixing in real time.

SOUND MIXER

The Sound Mixer is responsible for recording all sound recording on set during the filmmaking or television production using professional audio equipment.

MASTER CONTROL OPERATOR

Master control or playout is the department responsible for broadcasting programs on one or more television channels. Its mission is to ensure program continuity and quality while adhering to the planned schedules.

PHOTOJOURNALIST

A photojournalist is a reporter who specializes in news photography and filming. They are skilled in gathering, assessing and using audiovisual footage. They need the technical ability to take pictures, along with the initiative and judgment of a journalist. They work in the field solo or with a crew.

EDITOR

In the post-production phase, editing consists in making artistic choices in compiling, selecting and assembling the frames and sounds to make sequences, then synchronizing the image sequences with the soundtrack.

ASSISTANT DIRECTOR

The assistant director is the director’s closest collaborator, responsible for planning film or TV program shoots and ensuring they run smoothly at every stage. During the preparation phase, the assistant director breaks down the production plan or script, writing the technical sheets and drawing up a shooting schedule alongside the production manager. During shooting, they adjust scheduling, organize the staging, draw up the call sheet, and oversee the hiring of extras where necessary.

SOUND EDITOR

The Sound Editor selects and assembles sound recordings in preparation for the final sound mixing or mastering of a television program, motion picture, video game, or any production involving recorded or synthetic sound).

CAMERA OPERATOR

The camera operator is responsible for framing the shots and coordinating the camera’s movements, taking instruction from the director on the artistic side and from the director of photography on the technical side. They ensure that images are sharp, well composed and stable. There are also various camera operator roles in the production of one-off TV broadcasts, which are not covered here

HEAD CAMERA OPERATOR

Works solo or with a crew, and/or under a director’s leadership to ensure perfect framing and image quality, and to capture and record sequences of images on video or other digital media.
script supervisor

SCRIPT SUPERVISOR

Working alongside the director, the script supervisor oversees the continuity of the motion picture during all stages of filming and production. They seek to maintain coherence between the scenes and ensure that what’s being filmed matches the written script. They are also responsible for keeping track of the film production unit’s daily progress.

MOVIE/TV/VIDEO/CORPORATE
FILM DIRECTOR

The director gives a film or audiovisual program its shape. They are involved in setting up the project, direct the filming, and steer editing and mixing choices in post-production.

SCRIPTWRITER

Cinema, series, clip or advertisement, the scriptwriter creates stories to arouse viewers’ curiosity. Whether creating or adapting a story, the scriptwriter is a fully-fledged author who draws on multiple references, either literary or from everyday life. Working alone or as part of a team, the scriptwriter starts by drafting a synopsis (summary of the story) which develops into an increasingly detailed plot. The dialog continuity is therefore a very precise document indicating the plans for a scene, their duration, the positioning of the camera, and so on. In order to set the pace, the scriptwriter cuts the narrative into sequences that often correspond to a change of scenery, time or action. The scriptwriter may also write the dialogs for a film and is sometimes its director.

Assistant-director

ASSISTANT DIRECTOR

The first assistant director (AD) is the director’s right hand. They handle the logistics of running the set during production and are the liaison between the director and the rest of the crew. They create and manage the shooting schedule and shot lists, coordinating with all department heads.

POST-PRODUCTION TECHNICIAN

The post-production technician coordinates and liaises between the production team, the director and the technical team responsible for post-production. They plan and monitor the various stages of post-production. On completion, they draw up the accounts, invoicing the client and paying personnel. Depending on how the company is organized, the post-production manager may be responsible for drawing up estimates. They may also perform catalog management tasks for rights holders who have entrusted this to a third-party company. They may work on movies, standalone or serial TV dramas, documentaries, and even throwaway programs such as magazine shows and news reports.
sound operator

SOUND OPERATOR

The Sound operator assembles, operates and maintains the technical equipment used to record, amplify, enhance, mix or reproduce sound. Identify the sound requirements for a given task or situation and perform the appropriate actions to produce this sound.

CHIEF SOUND ENGINEER

The Chief Sound Engineer assembles, operates and maintains the technical equipment used to record, amplify, enhance, mix or reproduce sound).
assistant producer

ASSISTANT PRODUCER

The assistant producer is the producer’s most important colleague. He or she is responsible for all aspects of planning the film shoot or audio-visual program and ensures that all stages of the project run smoothly. During the preparation phase, the production assistant analyzes the production project or script, writes the technical data sheets and draws up a work plan for the shoot in collaboration with the production manager. During filming, the assistant producer adjusts the work plan, organizes the direction, writes the call sheet and organizes and supervises the recruitment of extras where necessary.
Gaffer

GAFFER

boomer

BOOMER

The boomer is also known as the sound assistant and works with the chief sound operator during filming. He or she is responsible for placing the main microphone and works in all types of structure: studios, auditoriums, mobile units, sound trucks, film sets, concert halls, radio, television, etc.

Production assistant

PRODUCTION ASSISTANT

There are a wide variety of sections of the entertainment industry that a Production Assistant may decide to work in. Film Production Assistants may serve on the set of a motion picture, running errands for Directors and Producers and informing Actors and Crew Members of their call times. They are integral to a shoot whether it’s for a film, TV show, music video, or commercial.

special-effect-supervisor

SPECIAL EFFECTS SUPERVISOR

EDITOR

The editor plays a vital role in creating a documentary, a work of cinematic fiction or a report, guaranteeing the narrative coherence of the film while respecting its production style. The editor’s aim is to hold the spectator’s attention by selecting the best images from the film rushes. He or she organizes the elements, both images and sounds, which will create meaning and provides them with a dramatic narrative and construction. The editor works closely with the producer after filming. Editors increasingly use virtual audio-visual editing software such as AVID Media Composer and Premiere Pro.

sound recordist

SOUND RECORDIST

Grip

GRIP

camera operator

CAMERA OPERATOR

The camera operator plays a vital role in cinema direction and is responsible for shot composition and camera movement. Also referred to as the cameraman or camerawoman, this image professional must have a rigorous sense of composition, attention to detail (actor movement, depth of field, lighting, etc.) as well as a thorough knowledge of the equipment and the ability to work with the stagehand. The camera operator is supported by assistants who prepare the camera and accessories required for filming the shots in addition to focusing the image.

CHIEF EDITOR

The chief editor directs the post-production team (assistant, editor, calibrator). They guarantee the film’s narrative consistency and ensures its style and final pace, in close collaboration with the director. The editor selects the best images from the shooting rushes in order to keep spectators in suspense. They organize the elements that give the film its meaning: images and sounds, by ensuring drama in the writing and structure.

CHIEF CAMERA OPERATOR

The chief camera operator is the director’s second-in-command and is responsible for the artistic quality of the image (framing, lighting). From the start of preparations for the film, they check the consistency of the director’s wishes with the audio-visual means available. During filming, the chief camera operator directs the image team (assistant operator, camera operator) in collaboration with the chief stage-hand for lighting, framing and image composition.

PRODUCTION DIRECTOR

The production director organizes and monitors the project, from preparation to delivery. They recruit a team, negotiate with each member and set up contracts. The production director collaborates directly with the executive producer and is assisted in this by the general studio manager, the production administrator and the first assistant director.

DIRECTOR

The director is often the originator of a film project and orchestrates its shooting and creation. They cast an artistic eye over it at all stages, providing direction for the actors, the chief camera operator and the chief sound operator, and coordinating their work with the help of one or more assistants. In auteur cinema, the director generally writes the screenplay and is sometimes involved in production. On a television set, they manage a technical team and decide on the positioning of cameras filming simultaneously. In the control room, the director sets the pace and selects the images to be used (live or recorded).

SCRIPTWRITER

Cinema, series, clip or advertisement, the scriptwriter creates stories to arouse viewers’ curiosity. Whether creating or adapting a story, the scriptwriter is a fully-fledged author who draws on multiple references, either literary or from everyday life. Working alone or as part of a team, the scriptwriter starts by drafting a synopsis (summary of the story) which develops into an increasingly detailed plot. The dialog continuity is therefore a very precise document indicating the plans for a scene, their duration, the positioning of the camera, and so on. In order to set the pace, the scriptwriter cuts the narrative into sequences that often correspond to a change of scenery, time or action. The scriptwriter may also write the dialogs for a film and is sometimes its director.

SOUND DESIGNER

The sound designer is a combination of composer, acoustician and sound engineer and produces background noise, sound effects and music on demand according to precise specifications.

VIDEO OPERATIONS TECHNICIAN

The video operations technician may work in a variety of environments: on set, in a natural outdoor setting, or in a television studio control room. The video operations technician installs the shooting equipment, adjusts the projectors and spotlights, and ensures that a live TV program is appearing on screen. They also videorecord sequences, manage equipment maintenance and take part in technical installation and investment projects.

STUDIO TECHNICIAN

In the studio, the sound technician is the engineer’s assistant. Their role involves preparing for the session: setting up instruments, greeting the artistes, installing the microphone kit, cabling and testing. In the booth, they configure the console and recording software.