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MFA - Sound Design & Recording Arts

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The Master of Fine Arts (MA) in Filmmaking & Producing is the only graduate degree program of its kind, combining the hands-on production skills of a filmmaker with the business and project management skills of a producer. In this two-year program, students focus on their chosen concentration in year one and participate in a core curriculum during their second year.

Year One: Sound Design & Recording Arts

Each soundtrack tells a unique story and imparts emotional resonance for the audience. Create all facets of a project’s soundtrack, from dialogue and sound effects to the final mix and master the technical skills and aesthetic awareness needed to set you apart in the field.

Whether working on feature films, television, the web, digital games or live productions, the sound designer is responsible for all aspects of a project’s soundtrack: from the dialogue and sound effects to the final mix. In Seattle Film Institute’s Sound Design & Recording Arts Concentration, students master the skills to effectively record sound on location and in-studio, as well as the technical expertise and aesthetic awareness needed to work as sound designers.

Students receive in-depth training in the use of Pro-Tools and graduate with the skill set, experience and professional portfolio necessary to launch successful careers. Graduating students are eligible to participate in SFI’s professional internship program.

This eight quarter concentration can also be taken as a five quarter certificate or a BA degree in the Film program.


• On-Location Sound

• Recording Devices and Audio Equipment

• Production Audio Techniques

• Field Recording and Mixing

• ADR and Dialog Editing

• Foley Recording

• Backgrounds and Sound Effects

• Studio Recording Techniques

• Mixing Techniques

• Hands-On Project-Based Curriculum

• Career-Focused and Professionally Driven

• Develop a Professional Demo Reel

• Craft a Work-Related Resume

• Professional Internship Program

Other available concentrations:

Filmmaking | ActingMotion Graphics & Visual FX | Interdisciplinary Studies

Year Two: Producing

The core curriculum provides all students with an overview of the filmmaking process and focuses on the four major areas of producing: 

•   Creative elements and the creative team

•   The business of filmmaking (business, financial and legal)

•   Management (pre-production, production, and post-production)

•   Marketing and distribution

The curriculum and the mission of the MFA is to provide students with the knowledge, tools, and practical skills to define and implement career goals and accomplish their creative, business, and entrepreneurial goals with personal and professional integrity.

The MFA in Filmmaking & Producing is ideal for those intending to start their own production companies or work as free-lance filmmakers and provides students the tools and abilities to generate and oversee projects as well as the hands-on production skills needed to implement those projects and see them though to completion.

Program Highlights

• Acquire a wide-ranging skill set that combines the tools and abilities of a filmmaker with those of a producer

• Gain hands-on experience in all aspects of filmmaking including writing, directing, cinematography, and editing

• Work in both film and HD video

• Complete a feature-length screenplay

• Construct a demo-reel of completed projects

• Craft a resume with specific crew positions

• Learn to Initiate, coordinate, supervise all aspects of a film production including creative, business, management, and marketing, distribution and sales

• Learn filmmaking by making films as students work on 10-15 projects during the program

• Obtain a skill-set that is directly applicable to a wide range of career paths involving project development, project management, business planning, financial oversight, and marketing.

• Conceive and develop a feature film proposal from tag line to budget, schedule, business plan and finance and distribution plan.

• Develop your professional network as you stay with the same group of students throughout the cohort based program

• Experience the opportunity and energy of Seattle’s diverse production community as a center for independent filmmaking, software development, web based companies, and hi-tech video gaming

• Gain professional work experience as a participant in the SFI internship program

Filmmaking | Producing | Acting for FilmMotion Graphics & Visual FX | Sound Design & Recording Arts | Film Composition

Life in Seattle

There are lots of waterways, lakes and bays all around Seattle and the Puget Sound region. Take a ferry, go for a ride on a boat or just enjoy the beauty of our sapphire blue water… The options are almost limitless.

Career Services and Coaching

All our students benefit from SFI’s commitment to career services and coaching. SFI helps our students gain valuable professional experience, contacts, and take the critical first steps toward launching their careers. 

Grad Stories

Through the internship program, I was able to work on an independent feature film three days after moving to LA. I not only learned what it is like to work on a real production, but the connections I made from that one internship have now given me eight other job opportunities; and led to my being hired to direct an independent feature film. The internship program has made a world of difference in my life.

Alex Meader

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