What makes a great storyteller – someone with meaningful ideas and the passion to express them? It’s time to approach screenwriting with consciousness.
At the innovative David Lynch MFA program, you’ll have the opportunity to learn the Transcendental Meditation (TM) technique while acquiring the knowledge you need to become a professional screenwriter. The practice of TM will help you grow personally while you sharpen your writing skills and gain access to deeper levels of your creativity, discovering how – as David Lynch says – to catch the big fish.
Unable to relocate? No problem. Our low-residency program – a combination of on-campus residency retreats and distance learning – is structured so that students can complete the requirements of their MFA over two years while balancing the commitments they have in their home communities.
Each semester begins with an intensive nine-day residency on campus at MUM, in the charming university town of Fairfield, Iowa. The residencies offer the perfect chance to get away from the distractions of home, meditate, dive within and focus on the creative process. You’ll interact with fellow students as you attend lectures, panel discussions, master classes, staged readings and workshops led by faculty members and recognized industry leaders.
Currently scheduled residency guests include Senior Program Advisor Peter Farrelly, writer and director of such hits as Dumb and Dumber, There’s Something About Mary and Shallow Hal; Dara Marks, in-demand script doctor and author of Inside Story; veteran producer Bill Borden, known for End of Days, Get on the Bus, An Officer and a Gentleman, the High School Musical series and more; plus meditation and creativity expert Dr. Fred Travis, Director of the Center for Brain, Consciousness and Cognition.
Students will also meet founder David Lynch and other industry notables during a fifth and final residency in Los Angeles, during which they will hone the skills they need to market their thesis screenplays to agents, producers and studio executives.
At the conclusion of each residency, you will return home to complete your coursework online under the guidance of a dedicated Mentor, an industry professional and educator who will monitor your progress. In addition to providing comments on student writing projects, Mentors will lead group workshops using guided exercises, analysis of published scripts, screenings and group discussions all designed to help students attain the tools they need to develop their ideas into marketable screenplays.
Additional online courses include:
Through the careful study and analysis of award-winning screenplays, students will discover the keys to crafting their own successful scenarios, with an eye to works that tell transformational stories of personal meaning to their authors.
In this unique course, taught by scholar Martha Nochimson (author of The Passion of the David Lynch and David Lynch Swerves), you will work with the releases involved in meditation in order to explore how they lead to freedom of expression. By closely studying selected work by Lynch as inspiration for our own creative processes, we will look deeply into the way Lynch crafts his films once ideas have come to him.
STC delves deeper into the study of consciousness as the unifying basis of all branches of knowledge. Taught with an emphasis on exploring the links between meditation and the creative process, this course is the basis of all study at MUM
This course will take place at the conclusion of the program and will focus on current best industry practices for pitching, publicizing and selling one’s projects. It connects directly to the final residency in Los Angeles, during which students will have the opportunity to put into practice concepts covered in this course.
*Students who don’t already practice TM will learn the technique during the first residency.
In this program you will participate in the creation of an original Web-TV Series, working alongside fellow students and industry professionals. This unique opportunity is being made available to a select number of students who will work together to write, produce, edit, and distribute the series. Every student will work in different capacities throughout the course of the production.
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