ThIS course will consist of morning and afternoon sessions scheduled to take place at Stony brook University’s Manhattan facility at 535 Eighth Avenue. - TBD


TUITION : $3,450.00

You know the 30-degree rule and the difference between an establishing shot and a cowboy shot. You can navigate a rainbow-colored Final Cut Pro keyboard with your eyes closed. You can’t switch your brain off while watching other movies. “How did they do that shot?” you wonder. “Why did they use a Dutch tilt for this scene?” You’ve produced and directed a short film before and want to expand on what you learned while sharpening your writing, directing, shooting and editing skills. Most importantly, you have characters in your head a story to tell.

You’re ready for our Advanced Filmmaking Program, a continuing education course designed for current filmmakers, launching this summer at Stony Brook University’s Manhattan campus just steps away from Times Square and a virtual playground of iconic New York City filming locations.


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· Ages 18 and up.

· some Prior Filmmaking experience and an informal interview are required for admission.



the advanced course focuses on developing the screenplay.

On day one, you will hit the ground running with a series of orientation meetings with each faculty member to discuss your project, establish expectations and set a shoot schedule. Consider our instructors as your genius board, a brain trust to help you polish your project at every turn.

The Building Blocks

Throughout the program students will participate in the following classes:

  • Screenwriting

  • Directing

  • Working with Actors

  • Shooting in New York City

  • Camera Tech

  • Lighting Workshop

  • Editing Review

  • Producing Workshop

Each class is designed to build on the information from a previous session, with each day and lesson integrated into the next:

Screenplays developed in the Screenwriting session are broken down and analyzed in the Directing Sessions. 

Once students have an understanding of how to convey the written page by breaking down a scene and composing shots, they will then go into Camera and Lighting to learn how to use the tools that will bring their projects to life.

This is followed by a Working with Actors session, a primer on film shoot regulations in New York City, a Producing Overview, and finally a full Casting Session where students will have the opportunity to cast professional actors in their films.

The schedule

Because of the way the curriculum is structured, attendance and participation are very important to the success of your project.



The first two weeks of the program are filled with screenwriting revision sessions and directing workshops designed to prepare the student for making their project. Once this intensive “cramming” of information is accomplished, the pre-production phase of the program begins.



During this phase, participants should be prepared to discuss and work through the following:

  • Budget

  • Crew

  • Locations needs

  • Prop list

  • Costumes

  • Scheduling

  • Equipment needs

Staff will be available throughout the pre-production process to ensure students have a productive experience. The one-on-one support we provide each student is integral to the success of our program and the success of each film produced. 

The Casting Session is the next phase of the process. As a group, students will manage an all day open-call casting session where actors will audition for each project being produced. Throughout the event, we get between 75-100 talented actors looking to work on our student productions. This is a perfect opportunity to find the talent that will bring your project to life. Once the casting session is over, each student will follow up to book actors they are interested in working with. (Students are responsible for cast transportation costs during their shoot; on average this ranges between $12 and $40 depending on the number of days they will be using each cast member.)

During the scheduling period, students must bring together all of their talent and crew schedules, location limitations, and crew plans. The shoots will be scheduled into a production period and each film will be assigned a staff member who will be available on set throughout the shooting period to help students complete the film to the best of their ability. The Production Staff Coordinator is not there to make the film for the student. Students must take on full responsibility for their project.

The IFI will provide each student with as many resources available as possible to limit expenses. A basic equipment package is included in the program tuition. Expenses that will be incurred by each final film are not. Faculty and staff will work to ensure students understand and limit budget expenses with these exceptions:

Additional equipment: Any fees for equipment used beyond the basic camera, sound, lighting, grip package that are provided will come at the student’s expense.

Transportation: Cast and crew shall be provided transportation reimbursement to and from any location. Exceptions can be made if shooting within the immediate NYC area. 

Meals: If you’ve been on a set before, you know that food is the heart and soul of a successful film shoot. Each student will be responsible for feeding their cast and crew throughout production. This is not as complicated as it sounds: bagels and coffee for breakfast, pizza for lunch and, if it’s a long day, Chinese food for dinner would work, for example. A happy film crew is a productive film crew. 

Props and wardrobe: If there is a special prop or article of clothing that is needed for the shoot it needs to be purchased before the day of the production. If, for instance, a white shirt is needed in a shot where the actor has to spill coffee on it, then several white shirts will be necessary for the shoot.

Dry cleaning: For the most part actors will be able to bring in wardrobe for their parts. If, for any reason, any article of clothing is soiled beyond what might be considered normal, it should be properly cleaned.  Keep in mind that talent will be coming in to work with no compensation. We should do what we can to show our appreciation. 

These are just a few examples of expenses that might arise as each film project comes together. On average we ask that students to not spend more than $250 on their final projects. Most of that expense should go toward transportation and meals.

In addition to their own film, students must collaborate and participate in the production of other projects. Each student will be working on, at minimum, two other films in addition to their own project. Filmmaking is a collaborative effort. 

Between your project and helping on fellow classmates’ films, production week is very intense. So the more organized your production the better overall result. Understanding what you will need and working with your team to execute is crucial to a successful final project. 

Student will need to have Final Cut Pro available on their personal computers.  The editing process will take place over the course of 7 days. Editing stations will be available during office open hours to work and review final projects at the stony brook manhattan campus location.



The Advanced Filmmaking Program will culminate in a celebratory premiere screening of all student work where family and friends may be invited.  final screening venue will be announced during the workshop. 

If you have any further questions or would like to discuss the program please feel free to contact us at  or 718-796-4104.


The Advanced filmmaking course is designed to immerse the student from screenplay through post-production in an intensive course of study. Prepare to work evenings and weekends as necessary.  Filmmaking is a collaborative process that will require all participants to work together throughout the course.

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The International Film Institute of New York is an independent program offering courses at the Stony Brook University campus 


Through Stony Brook Manhattan, the graduate programs in Film, TV Writing and Creative Writing & Literature extend their reach across the New York Metropolitan region. Located centrally at 535 Eighth Avenue within walking distance of Penn Station, Times Square and Grand Central, students can pursue a Master's degree in CWL and FLM. Students enrolled in Manhattan can also take classes at the Stony Brook Southampton campus.

Talented creative writers, filmmakers and TV Writers accepted into Stony Brook Manhattan Track can earn an MFA degree almost exclusively with Manhattan Track courses, but they must take one course in Southampton to fulfill a residency requirement. They typically do this by combining Manhattan courses with credit-bearing workshops during July at the Southampton Writers Conference.

TUITION:  $3,450.00