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New York, NY, USA

Program Description

This program is a six-credit, four-week intensive film boot camp in New York City. The program provides SMAD students the opportunity to spend three weeks in New York City and one week of online prep coursework prior to leaving for NYC.

Each student will work in a group to write, direct, shoot and edit a short narrative film. Prior to leaving for New York City there is a required masterclass with a professional cinematographer on lighting and cinematography. Scripts chosen have mostly been workshopped in SMAD 251: Introduction to Screenwriting class.

The lighting and cinematography masterclass is separate from the one week of online coursework.

This program is intensive and while it is open to students who are non-SMAD, be mindful that making a film is a lot of work. Additionally, this is award-winning program; student's work have won awards at film festivals from this program.

See previous student work: 

See course itinerary below:

WEEK ONE - PRE-PREPRODUCTION - Assignment of groups, selection of screenplays, shoot a test scene, cast and schedule for production.

WEEK TWO - PRODUCTION - Each group will shoot their films guided by Directors and they will also have a TEACHING ASSISTANT work with them within their group.

WEEK THREE - POST-PRODUCTION - Each group will edit their films or shoot final pick-ups. Film will be screened on the FRIDAY of that week and you can invited friends and family to the screenings.

Location Description

The program will be located at St. Francis College in Brooklyn, New York. The dorms are located near where the film Moonstruck was filmed and has amazing views of the Manhattan skyline.

The dorms are a 15-minute walk from the campus where the program will be hosted.


Imelda O'Reilly | | School of Media Arts and Design


Students will be housed in dorms at St. Francis College in Brooklyn. They are apartments and there is a kitchen in the community room.

Students will be given a meal card for breakfast and there is an opening and closing dinner provided for the students. Lunch will be provided once a week. The remainder of the time each person is responsible for their meals.

Each group receives a small budget for their films during the production week. We also pay the actors a small stipend for their time.

Additional Items to Consider

One week of online instruction is required prior to departure, in addition to a required lighting and camera workshop at JMU.

Students are responsible for their own travel to NYC. In the past students have traveled to NYC together either by train or bus.

If students are not in SMAD, but iterested in film, please apply. This is an intensive filmmaking program, and an attractive program for actors.

Applicant Criteria

Applicants must have a GPA minimum of 2.0

Prerequisites: SMAD 202 or talk with co-director

Application Process

This list serves as an application preview. To apply, students will need to complete the following:

  • Study Abroad Online Application ($40 fee)
  • Short Essay 
  • Resume
  • Academic References
  • Interview with Program Director
  • Attendance at program info session required
  • Official transcript required for non-JMU students

Further details and instructions about these application requirements will be available upon log-in. 

Application Deadline


All dates are tentative and subject to change


SMAD 305: Fundamentals of Film Production (3 credits)

SMAD 253: The Shooting Script - The Process of Script to Screen (3 credits)

Courses listed here are to be used as a general guideline for program curriculum. *All courses are considered pending until approved by the Academic Department, Program, and/or College.


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