The television and film arts (TFA) major at Buffalo State—an interdepartmental program encompassing the Communication, English, and Theater departments—prepares students for a variety of careers in the entertainment industry. The goal of the major is to teach the TFA student to hone his/her vision and storytelling skills, thus facilitating pursuits in such dynamic fields as screenwriting, producing, and directing.
The TFA program recognizes that creative content is paramount in today’s age of multi-media and to that end, encourages its students to tell stories across all media. The program is dedicated to excellence in teaching and scholarship, cultural enrichment, and service, providing TFA majors with an appropriate mix of criticism, theory, practical application, and real-life internship opportunities passionately designed to help them succeed.
Required TFA Courses: This series of eight courses provides students with the foundational skills needed for success in the TFA major. The lower-division courses emphasize the history of storytelling, writing fundamentals, film as a vehicle for literature, and basic television production. The upper-division courses emphasize film criticism; collaboration across production roles; working independently as an “auteur”; and writing, producing, directing, and editing professionally produced stories exhibited in a public forum.
In addition to the required courses, the TFA major allows students to pursue two different tracks: (1) writing and storytelling and, (2) directing and producing. Students may satisfy their elective requirements by focusing on a specific track or a combination of both tracks.
Writing and Storytelling Track: This track is designed for the TFA major who wishes to pursue a career as a screenwriter. Students will write a full-length feature screenplay, and immerse themselves in the history of motion pictures and theater.
Directing and Producing Track: This track is designed for the TFA major who wishes to pursue a career as a director or producer. Students will write, produce, direct, and edit advanced video projects, and be introduced to set design and the business of performing arts.
About the Television and Film Arts Program
Bishop Hall 210
1300 Elmwood Ave.
Buffalo, NY 14222
Phone: (716) 878-3180
Contact Faculty and Staff in the Television and Film Arts Program
Admission to the television and film arts program is very competitive (15 students admitted each year) and based upon an application, letter of recommendation, and submission of creative work (including screenplays, short stories, poetry, and/or videos/films). All submitted materials are reviewed by the Television and Film Arts Advisory Committee.
Intellectual Foundations General Education Requirements 33–39 cr
Total Required Credits Hours in TFA 42 cr
A. Required Courses (24 cr)*
COM 312 Basic Media Production
ENG 303 Literature in Film
TFA 201 Introduction to Television and Film Arts
TFA 301 Story I: Analyzing Great Stories
TFA 304 Writing for Television and Film Arts
TFA 401 Story II: Producing Great Stories
TFA 420 Senior Project I
TFA 450 Senior Project II
B. Elective Courses (18 cr)*
The elective requirement can be satisfied by completing 18 credits in any of the courses below.
Writing and Storytelling Track
ENG 205 History of Cinema I
ENG 206 History of Cinema II
ENG 305 Creative Writing: Narrative*
ENG 350 Twentieth-Century Drama I
ENG 351 Twentieth-Century Drama II
ENG 402 Advanced Creative Writing
TFA 460 Adaptation
THA 340 Playwriting
Directing and Producing Track
COM 329 Intermediate Video Production
COM 432 Advanced Postproduction
TFA 480 Advanced Directing/Producing I
TFA 481 Advanced Directing/Producing II
THA 200 Voice and Diction
THA 226 Acting I
THA 325 Business of Performing Arts
THA 337 Set Design**
All College Electives 39-45 cr
Total Required Credits 120 cr