Independent Film Production Career Training in Nashville, TN

Jan 29, 2019

There are seven schools within 10 miles of Nashville, TN, that have independent film production or similar training programs. Read an overview of two schools' programs, and get statistical information about the schools to find out which one is right for you.

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Nashville, TN, Schools with Independent Film Production Training

Those who want to pursue an education in film production can find both certificate and degree programs at a few Nashville colleges and universities. Degrees are typically awarded at the bachelor's level. These types of programs tend to combine instruction with hands-on learning opportunities and provide studies in all areas of filmmaking, including screenwriting, editing and directing.

Two postsecondary institutions within Nashville's city limits are detailed here. Find information about levels of study and common courses for each program. Learn helpful facts about each school in the table provided in the following section.

  • Watkins College of Art, Design and Film, located about three miles from the downtown area, offers a certificate as well as a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Film with concentrations available in production, directing, screenwriting, editing and cinematography.
  • Vanderbilt University includes film production courses in its cinema and media arts program. The university is located about two miles from downtown Nashville.

Comparison of Schools

When searching for an independent film production program, it is helpful to examine all factors about the schools offering such programs. Below are facts pertaining to student population, tuition, acceptance rates, financial aid availability and retention and graduation rates for each school discussed here.

Watkins College of Art, Design and Film Vanderbilt University
School Type 4-year, private not-for-profit 4-year, private not-for-profit
Total Enrollment (2017) 210* 12,592*
Campus Setting Large city Large city
Undergraduate Tuition & Fees (2017-2018) $23,700* $47,664*
% of First-Year Students Receiving Some Form of Financial Aid (2016-2017) 100%* 70%*
Acceptance Rate (2017) 42%* 11%*
Retention Rate (2016-2017) 65% for full-time students* 97% for full-time students*
Undergraduate Graduation Rate (for those who began their studies in 2011) 38%* 92%*

Source: *NCES College Navigator

Watkins College of Art, Design and Film

Watkins College is a 4-year, private school. This visual arts college was founded approximately 130 years ago and awards certificates as well as Associate of Fine Arts and Bachelor of Fine Arts degrees.

Bachelor of Fine Arts

The goal of this program is to provide hands-on, career-focused education to build independent and well-rounded filmmakers; by the time students have finished their degree program, they have completed up to four films. Film courses start in the freshman year and production courses begin in the second year. Students are also required to take core general education and visual arts courses for degree completion.

Master of Fine Arts in Film

This two-year program allows students to complete coursework at night and on weekends. Students will explore film studies on topics like screenwriting, the editing process, directing, producing and documentaries. A portfolio of video reels and screenplays will also be developed.

Vanderbilt University

Vanderbilt University has received international recognition for its research and partnerships. The school offers undergraduate and graduate programs in a number of fields, and has received recognition by U.S. News and World Report.

Bachelor's Degree in Cinema and Media Arts

The bachelor's degree in film studies is designed to teach students how to use film as an aesthetic medium; the cultural influence of film in different countries is also covered.

The program covers topics in film that include the history, theory and production of film. In addition to general education requirements, courses include digital imaging, screenwriting, Japanese animation, feminism and film and the rhetoric of mass media. Graduates are prepared to work in jobs found in communications, the media and film, among others.

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