Media Arts Audition Requirements

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Media Arts majors explore their vision within three distinctive modes: as writers, filmmakers or animators. Media Arts applicants should be prepared to discuss their work, either writing, film, or animation, participate in a departmental interview, and discuss their experience in their medium of interest.

Media Arts Writing Requirements:

Part I:

Submit a portfolio containing a selection of your work (typed). Please be prepared to talk about your creative work (fiction, poetry, creative non-fiction).

-AND-

Part II:

Please choose a piece of writing that you have read for personal and artistic inspiration. List elements of the structure, form, and content that relates to your personal practice. What about this work challenges you? What inspires rewarding repeated reading? Use specific examples, but avoid writing overlong synopsis. This should be between 250-500 words. Be prepared to discuss this work and others that you read for pleasure.

Media Arts Film Requirements:

All Parts (I-III) are required responses.

Part I, please choose (a) or (b):

a) A short video (on password-protected Vimeo link, shared Google Drive folder, or a USB Flash Drive) of five minutes or less. Be prepared to discuss your role in the production of this video.
-OR-
b) A screenplay with storyboards (five to ten pages typed script with one or more pages storyboarded).

Part II:

A movie pitch: Write ideas for a future film that a prospective student would make without financial or time restraints. In the pitch for this “dream project” list settings, locations, characters, editing style, and/or any other details that communicate your personal vision.

Part III:

Choose a film that personally inspires you and write a short essay (typed, approximately 500 words) addressing the following:

What are the aesthetic decisions (shot selections, camera angles, composition, color, editing, pacing, character design, backgrounds, sound, and score) made by the director?

How do these choices affect the meaning and mood of the film? Is there a deeper meaning behind these choices?

What is the structure of the story? How does this add to the film’s meaning?

Please include the title of the film and the name of the director in your essay.

Media Arts faculty and students

Media Arts Animation Requirements:

All Parts (I-III) are required responses.

Part I, please choose (a) or (b):

a) A short video or “reel” of work (think GIFs, motion studies, stop motion projects, or any previously animated work edited together)

-OR-

b) A storyboard (three to five pages of multiple panels showing visual thinking with other notation, including shot types, audio cues, etc). Films can be submitted via a password-protected Vimeo link, uploaded to a Google Drive folder, or on a small USB Flash Drive. Storyboards can be scans of hand-drawn images, digitally created (Photoshop, Illustrator, etc), or from a storyboard-specific website or software.

Part II:

Animation “pitch”: written and drawn ideas for a future film that the prospective student would make without financial or time restraints. Include drawings of locations, some character sketches, color schemes, and other details to be included in an ideal project.

Part III:

A series of illustrations and drawings that best represent the applicant's style and technique. Ideal examples include drawings of objects and characters within a space and drawings from life as well as imagination. This can be traditional (scans of paper and physical media), or digital (drawings or renderings from any computer program or tablet app). Please pick your top 3 for The Academy to keep.

Note: For all portfolios, please submit copies digitally 48 hours before your scheduled audition by mailing a USB Flash Drive in advance to The Academy or Google Drive by sharing “editing” access to Director of Enrollment, Kitsana Salyphone, at ksalyphone@chicagoartsacademy.org.