Producing Certificate Program

Courses for the non-credit summer film certificates introduce you to all aspects of filmmaking, including: shooting, directing, writing, cinematography, editing, and producing. A certificate is awarded to students who successfully complete the required courses within one year or two successive summers.

Students must take four classes over the course of two consecutive summer sessions or two summers to earn the Producing certificate.

Please note: You must enroll in the non-credit (NCRD-UT) sections of the courses below to earn the non-credit certificate. Credit-bearing courses do not count toward the non-credit certificate.


Required Courses

Your choice of two of the following courses must be completed in order to earn the Producing certificate:

Film Development: The Tools of Creative Movie Producing

NCRD-UT 9510

This course de-mystifies the film development process and teaches students the key tools necessary for a successful career as a film executive or producer. This course will chart the key stages of finding and preparing a good script for production. These steps include how to find, evaluate and shape material from the producer's perspective. Students will learn the practical art of writing script coverage and notes, as well as how to establish a tracking group and develop tracking reports for new material. Other topics include the role of key players in the process, such as agents and studio executives, and how to avoid "development hell."


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Media Moguls in the 20th Century


A study of the origins of the performing arts and entertainment industries in America at the beginning of the 20th Century, and the alchemy that was created when new technologies in film and sound recording were introduced. This course will attempt to track the American entertainment industry from its plebian origins through its rise to becoming the predominant mass entertainment culture in the world. The class will discover the origins of the production practices that are employed in the entertainment industry today by following the legendary characters, movie moguls and media titans of the early 20th Century, and the companies they built. The emphasis will be on the way the visionaries of the time impacted seemingly risk-averse systems to invigorate and sometimes completely revolutionize them. These innovative men and women include Louis B. Mayer, George Lucas, Maya Deren, Shirley Clark, Alan Landsberg, Nam Jun Paik, Lucille Ball, Russell Simmons, Robert Stigwood, Clive Davis, Julie Taymor, Robert Whitehead and Steve Jobs. 

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Producing Essentials

NCRD-UT 1006

There is a need for quality producers in all of today’s major creative fields: film, television, music, theatre, dance and new media. A producer with a firm knowledge of the craft, a discerning eye for material, fundraising ability, a grasp of the law, cash flow, people and ethics, is rare. This is a specialized course designed to provide students with a framework for understanding the dynamics of producing – as an art form and a business profession – and for completing a creative product in the entertainment & media industries. Students are introduced to the basic concepts, terms, and principles that apply to the role of producer in the entertainment & media industries along with the specific job functions that are required to effectively and efficiently complete a production. The course aims to build a body of knowledge and information through understanding the various disciplines that cut across all the competencies required for the producer to effectively function as a key member and in most cases, the leader of the creative and business team, assembled to complete a project.

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To complete the Producing certificate, choose two of the courses listed below.

Fundamentals of Sight and Sound: Filmmaking


Every student will conceive, produce, direct and edit five short projects (3 silent and 2 with sound) with digital filmmaking technology. Working in crews of four, students will be exposed to a variety of specific assignments in visual storytelling that feature a broad spectrum of technical, aesthetic, craft and logistical problems to be solved. Collaborating with other students through rotating crew positions will be a central focus of all production work. Lectures, labs, critiques, technical seminars, screenings and written production books will be an important component of this class. All student work is screened and discussed in class. Students should not schedule any other course on the same days as Sight & Sound: Filmmaking.

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Fundamentals of Sight and Sound: Documentary


The course teaches students to look at their world and to develop the ability to create compelling and dramatic stories in which real people are the characters and real life is the plot. Through close study and analysis of feature length and short documentaries, as well as hands on directing, shooting, sound-recording and editing, students rigorously explore the possibilities and the power of non-fiction storytelling for video. The course is a dynamic combination of individual and group production work in which each student will be expected to complete five projects.

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Producing for TV

NCRD-UT 1028

This course provides fundamental and practical instruction in the step-by-step realization of a television program. While productions will not be implemented through the class, students will individually serve as executive producers on projects of their own choosing, based on assignments by the instructor (based on student submissions which include news and cultural documentaries, performance and variety shows, and dramatic works). Student producers will engage in a detailed pre-production phase, which covers research, concept, format development, securing of rights and permissions, pitching to networks and studios, contracts and agreements, formation of the production plan, budget development, assembling staff and crew, identifying on-air talent, determining locations, photo and film archive research, refining the shooting schedule and budget plan. Analysis of why some projects succeed and others fail, an overview.

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