Film/Animation/Video

Undergraduate

  • BFA | 4-year program

    FAV majors work in live action, animation or a hybrid of the two, and have the option of producing films in a wide variety of genres (such as documentary, experimental, narrative) and for diverse outlets (including installations and interactive media). Students regularly analyze and solve technical and aesthetic problems, and benefit from exposure to critical review, film festivals and visiting artists and specialists.

  • Learning Outcomes

    The program cultivates creative thinking, along with social and cultural awareness. Graduates are prepared to: 

    • demonstrate an understanding of the plasticity of time through techniques such as manipulating sound and visual rhythm to alter the feeling of time passing and convey narrative structure

    • articulate their roles and responsibilities as mediators of information

    • exhibit competence in at least one of the three forms of live action film, animation or open media

    • design and implement individualized creative processes to plan, organize and execute complex projects

    • recognize and assess their assumptions, and the implications and practical consequences of those assumptions

    • understand experimentation as a form of research

    • recognize, develop and refine narratives

    • raise and clearly formulate vital questions and problems

    • communicate effectively and work with others to find solutions to complex problems

  • Inspiring Community

    An in-demand department, FAV is home to approximately 145 undergraduate majors, with students from other disciplines often taking selected classes and offering different perspectives from the vantage point of their major disciplines. Juniors and seniors get the opportunity to screen finished films to a wider audience via popular spring film festivals open to the public. FAV faculty members offer a wide range of expertise in various areas and work closely with students to help them develop as strong, well-informed artists with the conceptual and aesthetic vision to reach well beyond a technical facility with film production.

  • Learning Environment

    RISD’s FAV facilities offer production studios for film, video, 16mm, 35mm and puppet animation; digital editing and sound mixing rooms; and CGI and Macintosh workstations with a full range of professional production and editing software. But unlike many other schools, RISD goes beyond teaching students how to use the latest technology. Instead, the idea is to master the use of tools by focusing on concepts, critical thinking and content development.

  • Curriculum

    Sophomores are introduced to the major through a series of short assignments designed to provide a basic technical foundation in film, video, animation and digital media. Skills are further developed the following year as juniors choose to specialize in live action or animation while tackling more ambitious projects involving cinematography, lighting, sound design, character design, digital editing, compositing, producing, storyboarding and interactive programming.

    Foundation Studies

    • Fall
    • Drawing I
    • Design I
    • Spatial Dynamics I
    • Liberal Arts courses
    • Wintersession
    • Studio elective
    • Spring
    • Drawing II
    • Design II
    • Spatial Dynamics II
    • Liberal Arts courses 

    Sophomore

    • Fall
    • Introductory Film/ Introductory Video/ Animation elective / Digital Foundation
    • Studio elective
    • Time, Light and Sound
    • Liberal Arts elective
    • Wintersession
    • Open elective
    • Spring
    • Introductory Film/ Introductory Video/ Animation elective / Digital Foundation
    • Liberal Arts elective 

    Junior

    • Fall
    • Studio elective
    • Liberal Arts elective
    • Live Action Track
    • Intermediate studio: Film
    • Intermediate studio: Video
    • Animation Track
    • Intermediate studio: Animation
    • Intermediate studio: Film or Intermediate studio: Video
    • Open Media Track
    • Intermediate studio: Video
    • Intermediate studio: Animation
    • Wintersession
    • Open elective
    • Spring
    • Studio elective
    • Liberal Arts elective
    • Live Action Track
    • Intermediate studio: Film
    • Intermediate studio: Video
    • Animation Track
    • Intermediate studio: Animation
    • FAV Studio Elective
    • Open Media Track
    • Intermediate studio: Video
    • Intermediate studio: Animation
     

    Senior

    • Fall
    • Senior studio
    • Studio elective
    • Liberal Arts elective
    • Wintersession
    • Senior studio
    • Spring
    • Senior studio
    • Studio elective
    • Liberal Arts elective
     

  • Degree Project

    In working on individual degree projects guided by faculty mentors, seniors need to meet the formidable challenge of conceiving of and producing a final live action or animated film. All films are screened at a public film festival held in May – and many go on to become award-winners in national and international festivals, helping students to establish their names after graduation.

  • Application Requirements

    All freshman applicants apply to RISD as opposed to a specific department and begin with a required year of Experimental and Foundation Studies. Students select a major midway through the first year but don’t begin those programs until sophomore year.

    For more information or to begin the application process, visit the Apply page.