Year 1: Explore
Your first year is our Foundations program. Here you engage in learning to read visual languages and explore art practices through the intersection of studio, critical & contextual studies, and humanities & sciences. Through Fall and Spring semesters you will spend six modules discovering our resource labs, learning to situate work “within process,” and finding the value in process itself as “the work.” Here you will focus on building technical, practical, rhetorical, and conceptual skills so that you can broaden your experience, challenge yourself, and work outside your comfort zone. This year is a time in which you expand your awareness, develop experiential knowledge, and start to identify where your life’s work.
Year 2: Discover
Discover Your Voice As a sophomore, you will learn to make narrative and non-fiction films, to develop your own voice in collage-like combinations of image and sound (which is to say, in experimental film), and to get acquainted with tools such as DSLR cameras, prime lenses, light (studio and available), sound, editing, and working with actors. You will begin by working solo and go on to work with small crews. At the end of the first semester you will also make a film as a larger ensemble, with students taking roles from producer to director, art director, writer, and editor. By the end of this first full year of filmmaking you will have a good sense of whether you wish to most fully engage, in your final two years, with fiction, non-fiction or experimentation. Each semester in your Sophomore year you will study ideas and history in a Humanities and Science course, and film history in Critical and Contextual Studies: Film Language in the Fall, World Cinema Since 1960 in the Spring. Some of the films you will examine in these classes will change the way you think about motion pictures and what is possible in making and unmaking traditional narratives. You will also study some of the most important, and frequently ravishing, works of art of the 20 th and 21 st centuries.
Year 3: Writing, Directing, Thinking, Understanding
You will come into your junior year with a solid knowledge of, and skill with, the tools along with an awareness that the combinations that can be made of light, photography, and sound are nearly infinite. In this year you will continue to explore these tools as you imagine, write, direct, and edit your own short films and act as principal crew on 4-5 others, contributing cinematography, producing or art direction to the film. Taking courses in Advanced Narrative Film and Advanced Non-Fiction Film, you will add to it a course in an innovative set of classes in arts and humanities that put old and new ways of making, thinking and understanding the world together. This is Creative Corridor. In Critical and Contextual Studies, finally, you will study Major Directors, which is a semester-long course in one or two important directors, and Major Topics and National Cinemas, a rotation of courses that, in a given year, may be Surreal Film, Japanese Cinema, French Cinema, or Global Film Noir. This is normally the year that students choose to study abroad, compete for participation in the New York Studio Residency Program, or take part in the AICAD Mobility Program.
Year 4: The Complex Story
In this final year, students choose one form of filmmaking – fiction, non-fiction, or experimentation – that they will pursue all year, consolidating their technical skills and imaginative practice into a robust portfolio of completed work. This year you will propose, develop, and realize a body of work, and accompany it with critical writing. You will participate in cross-disciplinary critiques and reviews, too. Professional practice will be embedded in your studies and you will apply these skills throughout the year, via networking, commissions, self-promotion and related writing. Your time at Cornish culminates in the BFA exhibition, a widely attended event for the Seattle community. This is both a point of departure and commencement.
Model Programs are updated at the beginning of each academic year. This PDF contains the current year’s model programs for this program. Students should refer to the model program that was in effect for the year and term of their entrance to Cornish. View archived catalogs and model programs.
Students graduating with a BFA in Film+Media will have the analytical, narrative, research and communication skills that will allow them to write, produce and direct artistically innovative films, make music videos, edit films with elan, create short commercials and PSAs, develop work for theatrical exhibition, television, new platforms, and, among many other possibilities, program for film series, and new platform programming.
Recognize, and reflect on assumptions about, recording, analysis, thinking, research, process, and self-assessment:
- Detail the components and composition of work
- Evaluate the meaning and context of the work
- Communicate work (and show their process)
- Demonstrate self-assessment
- Demonstrate research
Give and receive constructive feedback in response to work:
- Practice professionalism and respond constructively to peer review and critical feedback during process and critique.
Thinking through making/making through thinking, by exploring methodologies and technical ability:
- Create work employing various methods and using both digital and analogue media with increased technical ability across 2D, 3D and 4D
Identify and use learning environments, resources and choices with fundamental technical ability:
- Identify and use resources necessary for individualized learning and practice. Access and use appropriate technical labs safely to create work.
Participate in, and impact, communities of practice
- Describe, from experience, various practices across interdisciplinary areas.
- Evaluate their relevance to your individual practice.
Develop confidence and competence in communication:
- Articulate, verbally and visually, the research, process and content choices that inform the making of your work.