The College of Motion Picture Arts has one of the finest production facilities in the world devoted exclusively to motion picture education. From writers’ rooms and sound stages to post-production suites, animation labs, and screening rooms, the school functions as an industry-grade production studio. We provide students with 24/7 access to all the resources they need to make their films, allowing them to focus their energy on what’s most important: the creation of compelling stories that will move and entertain audiences.
During the development and pre-production phases of the filmmaking process, students collaborate together in a set of writers’ rooms and pre-production offices. These dedicated spaces for writing and planning are equipped with all of the tools screenwriters and producers need: space to work, office supplies, plenty of whiteboards for mapping out each genius plot twist, and the most valuable thing of all … peace and quiet!
Director's Prep Rooms
Once the script is locked, students move onto our Director’s Prep rooms to work with a faculty committee on how best to bring the script to life. Every aspect of the impending production gets hashed out, from creative choices in storyboards, cinematography, and production design to practical considerations like safety, time management, and what kind of donuts will keep the crew happy.
As principal photography approaches, students work with the staff in the equipment room to check out the gear they need to make their films. The Equipment Room provides students with the full range of motion picture production tools, from big ticket items like fully-loaded grip trucks, sound equipment, and RED Digital Cinema cameras to all of those pesky little expenses like batteries, gels, and C47 clothes pins. Equipment packages are designed to fit the specific needs of each production cycle so that our students never need to beg, borrow, or steal to get the tools they need to make their films.
When production begins and students need a black-box space in which to shoot, they can reserve one of the College’s professional sound stages. These stage spaces accommodate large set constructions and include moveable lighting grids and a green screen stage. The College also has a dedicated stop-motion stage for animation students who prefer to make things move one frame at a time.
Animation and Visual Effects Studio
When our students create animation and visual effects shots, they work in a collaborative, real-world studio setting. Our digital production labs provide students with dedicated workstations that are loaded with industry-standard software packages such as Nuke, Maya, ZBrush, Mari, Adobe Creative Suite, ToonBoom Harmony, and Dragonframe. In our dailies screening rooms, students work closely with faculty to previsualize their animations and refine every pixel of every shot. We also use online production tools like Shotgun and Frame.io, so that students can get feedback from faculty any hour of any day.
When it comes time to edit a film, students cut their projects in individual editing bays running a professional suite of tools. These bays are reserved for each project so that the director and editor have a dedicated, private space to work while they obsess over every frame of every shot in the film. Throughout the editing process, students use our screening rooms to show rough cuts to faculty and peers, in order to get detailed feedback on what works and what needs to be left on the editing room floor.
Color and Sound Suites
As students finish up post-production, they work in calibrated coloring suites to make sure that every shade of cerise and chartreuse in their film is just right. As part of the sound design process, students get creative by stabbing watermelons and stomping in gravel pits to produce sound effects on our Foley stage. And if an actor’s vocal performance needs to be adjusted or a voiceover needs to be recorded, we have ADR booths for that as well. Then, when all the sound elements are in place, each student works with an engineer to mix their film on one of our re-recording stages.
When the students’ films are completed, a big premiere screening happens at the Student Life Cinema or the Ruby Diamond Auditorium — two premium theater venues on Florida State’s main campus. Throughout the year, the College also hosts special motion picture screenings and events at these theaters and other theaters around the country.
Torchlight Learning Center
This is show business, after all, so students also learn how to market and distribute their films. Located 15 minutes west of the main FSU campus, the Torchlight Learning Center is the home of the Torchlight Program — a non-degree granting program within the College that’s devoted to the business side of the industry and provides internship opportunities in the marketing of independent feature films.
Instructional Back Lot
Adjacent to the College's two sound stages is our back lot. The back lot serves as a controlled outdoor shooting location.
Designed to mimic a small urban landscape, it includes two adjacent dwelling facades of both the brownstone and bay area architectural styles with a front sidewalk and curb and a small park area with interchangeable lighting fixtures.