A master’s program in filmmaking is scheduled to begin in fall 2013 at Maharishi University of Management, Fairfield, Iowa, offering an opportunity for students to work on a major film project, develop a strong portfolio, and position themselves for employment in the creative industries such as online education.
“Everything is moving online, and there’s a high demand for media and communications skills,” says filmmaker Stuart Tanner, faculty member in the program. “This is where all the money is going. Every business needs people with these skills.” Professor Tanner said that it is also an area ripe for entrepreneurship and that already about a dozen alumni of the undergraduate program have created their own ventures. “We expect this to happen even more with the graduate program.”
Prospective students will be required to submit a portfolio to gain admission. They will begin in the fall by taking courses in areas such as advanced narrative, screenwriting, sound, and image, taught by Gurdy Leete, whose MFA is in filmmaking. “We are really excited about this program because this will be a chance for students to spend a year developing and completing a very advanced project,” said professor Leete. “Our goal is for them to create something that will really get noticed and to start working on their careers while they are graduate students, and to create something that will help them launch themselves as future leaders in the world of media. In addition, our Consciousness-BasedSM curriculum develops the students’ creativity giving them a competitive edge.”
The second semester will focus on a three-month video media project under the direction of Stuart Tanner, whose background includes award-winning documentaries for the BBC, National Geographic, and other major international media outlets. The curriculum also includes courses on media marketing and fieldwork. MUM’s undergraduate program in media and communications started six years ago and is now the University’s second largest undergraduate program, with 55 students.
“We’re very excited about this new program,” professor Tanner said. “It’s a real leap forward for the department and for the University. Our MA students will be in high demand.”