On-set Filmmaking Techniques
On-set Filmmaking Techniques
The School of Film/Video is one of the world’s foremost places for the study and practice of the art of the moving image as a personal, evolving and innovative artform.

The School supports a full array of moving image/sound approaches with the overall goal of fostering “total film/videomaker artists.” The richness of the experience is predicated upon a body of motivated, intellectually curious students ready to find new forms and expressions coupled with an outstanding faculty of professional artists and technicians who share their artistry and knowledge with passion and generosity. The stimulating curriculum allows every student to expand his or her cultural experience and, in the process, develop into a better artist, with a well-informed, highly articulated personal vision.

Students in the School of Film/Video work in all modes of moving image and sound based artwork, including story- and character-based work in live-action and animated cinema; essayistic, socio-political and observational documentary projects in live-action, animation, installation and hybrid forms; and poetic, lyrical, structural and other modes of experimentation with the materials and forms of the moving image.

Video Introduction to the School of Film/Video

School Gallery

Calendar of Events

Student Story

Daron Nefcy
Daron Nefcy Character Animation BFA 09 Creator of Disney Channel’s Star vs. The Forces of Evil

I was pitching ideas for shows while I was still a student at CalArts. My first job out was on Warner Bros.’ MAD. It ran on Cartoon Network for many seasons and was cool because I got to make my own mini films. Then, I worked at Nickelodeon as a storyboard revisionist on Robot and Monster. I pitched Star to Disney and, eventually, it went into development. It took a year to make the pilot, and when that was done, I took a job on Wander Over Yonder at Disney, a Craig McCracken show. Now, I’m full-time on Star, which is in its second season.

I think the reason so many alumni are running shows, is that all animation students at CalArts have to make their own films every year. Producing a TV show is like making a bunch of mini CalArts films—except that you have a whole team helping you—and you have to make them extremely quickly. But the experience of learning every part of the process is so important. While you’re learning to write and storyboard, you’re also animating, finding actors, getting music, and editing. You graduate with four films, and, of course, your final film is much better than the first. It’s inspiring to be at CalArts. Everyone’s artistic style is different. You’re pretty much living with these people; working in cubicles that are open all night. It’s like being in the trenches with all these wonderful artists with whom you form close relationships. It’s really a special, special place.