Film at Yale


There are many ways to engage with Yale’s film community.  Our Film and Media Studies Program is the academic hub for film and other moving image at the undergraduate and graduate levels.  The Yale School of Art houses a film concentration where students develop a critical and practical understanding of visual art and design through a studio-based curriculum and learn to embody the knowledge and practice of the artistic discipline of film through active search and research.

Students interested in participating in filmmaking on campus can do so through a registered student organization; movie lovers can enjoy campus screenings and festivals that highlight films of every format and genre made by filmmakers from around the world; and  researchers and archivists can access stacks of reels, videos, and screenplays at the Yale Film Archive.

General Production Roadmap 

*In addition to the steps listed below, please review the Policies page for more technical details/steps necessary for a production.

Step 1: Prepare a script
The first stage in your production process is to prepare a script. You may write one yourself, or seek out a screenwriter.
Step 2: Assemble a key creative team
A key creative team consists of the following members:
  • Producer
  • Director
  • Cinematographer 

The Creative Producer is extremely important in the film industry production, but may not be necessary for student productions. Creative Producers have the same responsibilities as Producers but are also involved in developing the story.

Step 3:  Meet with the Center of Collaborative Arts and Media’s (CCAM) Film Advisor Set up an appointment with the CCAM Film Advisor to discuss the scope and scale of your project and establish a plan for realizing your vision. This appointment should take place as soon as possible with as many of your production team members present as possible.

Step 4: Assemble the rest of your production team
The remaining members of your production team may include, but are not limited to the following:

  • Sound engineer
  • Lighting technician/gaffer 
  • Camera assistants 
  • Production assistants 
  • Art department 

The size of your production team will vary based on your production needs. Visit the Production Roles page for detailed information on production roles. You can recruit production team members by placing announcements on the Tech and Design opportunities page of the Yale College Arts website, and on the Yale Film Alliance Facebook group.

Step 5: Assemble key materials

Your key materials include your budget, a list of production materials and equipment, and a promotional plan or materials. Visit the equipment and materials page for a list of equipment resources on campus.

A note about funding: FilmNet encourages production teams to apply for the Creative and Performing Arts Awards (CPA), look for opportunities on Yale’s Fellowships and Funding page, and consider applying for grants within your major/discipline for which you may be a more desirable candidate to fund your project.

 Step 6: Auditions and rehearsals
The key creative team is responsible for collectively delegating responsibilities regarding auditions and rehearsals. You can post auditions on the Yale College Arts Auditions page and visit the YFA’s casting page for guidelines and information.
Visit Undergraduate Production’s Rehearsal Spaces page for a list of spaces you can use for auditions and rehearsals.
Step 7: Production
You are ready to begin production. Many student productions film over semester breaks, which can impact location access and choices. Be sure you plan accordingly. The Spring and Winter recesses are examples of time blocks that can work. Remember to follow the roadmap you have created and Yale’s safety policies. Have a great time!
Step 8: Post-Production

The production team should begin cleaning and returning locations to their original condition, and returning equipment, props, and any other borrowed or rented items immediately following the final day of filming. While the producer may delegate these tasks, they will be held accountable for their completion.

Once you have completed production it’s time to assemble your film. Make sure you allow enough time for your post production team, including a composer for any musical scoring and any artists providing special effects or graphics you want included to complete their work.

If you received a CPA grant you will also be looking to screen your work once the film has been assembled. Visit the  Screening Venues page for locations