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Film Basic Training

Film Basic Training is the first offering of the Veterans Institute for Film and Media. This three-month, fully sponsored program provides participants with unparalleled access to an innovative curriculum taught by an engaged faculty, staff, and working professionals. Theoretical education is combined with hands-on experience using the same equipment, techniques, and workflows used by industry professionals. Class size is limited to no more than 12 students per session to ensure individualized attention. Film Basic Training comprises three one-month phases.

Phase One: Classroom

  • 4 weeks, 4 nights/week (Monday – Thursday), 4 hours/night (6-10pm)
  • Taught in the Dallas Design District
  • Curriculum developed and taught by internationally recognized scholars; media professionals with backgrounds in film production, news, broadcasting, and social media; and award-winning documentary and narrative filmmakers.
  • Classes focus on production, industry studies and standards, and practices of the media industry.
  • Local partnerships with academic institutions provide additional studies and degree programs when candidates complete the program.
  • At the end of this phase, students will have the knowledge necessary to function effectively during their Phase Two Internships.

Phase Two: Paid Internship

  • 4 Weeks, 40 Hours minimum
  • Internship opportunities are plentiful…the Dallas-Fort Worth region is the nation’s fifth largest media market.
  • Students will spend four weeks interning in at least one of the following market segments:
    • Digital Cinema
    • Broadcast/Television News
    • Corporate & Industrial Film
    • Private/Independent Sector
  • During this phase, students will be exposed to the variety of ways media is used across industries and will gain practical experience applying knowledge learned and equipment used in Phase One.

Phase Three: Job Placement

  • 4 Weeks, 40 Hours minimum
  • Participants select Phase Three placement based on exposure to and interest in further exploration of the industry segments in Phase Two rotations.
  • Mentoring program pairs participants with entertainment professionals, award-winning directors and producers, and experienced production personnel.
  • When students complete this phase of the program, they should feel confident in their ability to function effectively and contribute value to media production endeavors, either as full-time employees or as supplemental income on a freelance basis.
Important Dates
  • The next Film Basic Training class begins May 6, 2019.
  • Online applications will be available from January 2 through March 8.
  • Applicants for this session will be notified of their status the week of April 5.
  • 4Q19 application process runs May 13 through July 12, 2019, with class starting on September 9, 2019, and status notifications occurring the week of August 5.
Year-Round Support
  • VIFM offers participation in year-round DFS programming and extracurricular activity, such as weekly workshops, filmmaking challenges, and guest speaker lectures.
  • DFS provides veterans the opportunity to work on independent productions and television shows.
  • Participants will compete in international and national film festivals and other student competitions.
  • Completed student work will screen at the Dallas International Film Festival and the Oak Cliff Film Festival, among others.
  • Short films created by our veterans will be featured in ShortsTV programming.
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