(Mayor's Office Press Release 12/20/12) Brooklyn College and the Mayor’s Office of Media & Entertainment announced today that the City of New York will make a substantial investment in the Brooklyn College Graduate School of Cinema, which is expected to welcome its first class of students in the fall of 2014. The school will be located at Steiner Studios – the largest soundstage and production facility on the East Coast, making Brooklyn College the only graduate school of cinema in the country to be integrated into a working film lot.
The City of New York through the Mayor’s Office of Media & Entertainment will support the creation of the school and will be involved in various aspects of its development. The announcement will take place at the Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce’s Winter Gala as it recognizes leaders in New York City’s television and film industry.
“We are extremely grateful for the City’s substantial investment in the Brooklyn College Graduate School of Cinema,” said President Karen L. Gould. “The school will create an important pipeline in this diverse borough for talented young people interested in pursuing careers in the rapidly growing film industry.”
“The Mayor’s Office of Media & Entertainment is very proud to be working with Brooklyn College and Steiner Studios as we develop this innovative graduate school of cinema,” said Commissioner Katherine Oliver. “This is a thriving sector of our economy, and our office has been committed to educating New Yorkers about the vast array of career opportunities available in the film, television and digital media fields. Helping to establish this unique educational program right here in Brooklyn will be a lasting testament to our local creative industry.”
“With this announcement, Brooklyn solidifies its place as the world capital for arts, culture and digital media,” said Douglas C. Steiner, Chairman of Steiner Studios. “Students at the Brooklyn College Graduate School of Cinema will have the opposite of the ivory tower educational experience. They will instead be trained for this industry while surrounded by some of the most innovative artists, craftspeople and talent working right here on our lot. We are thrilled to further empower the creative class in Brooklyn.”
“The Bloomberg administration has done a great job making sure that movies and television shows have a home in New York,” said Carlo A. Scissura, President & CEO of the Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce. “This partnership between the City, Brooklyn College and Steiner Studios ensures that the creation of this school will allow young people to learn about the entertainment industry in Brooklyn. The creation of such a program will allow these students to learn the craft of filmmaking and give them the tools to create future careers. The local entertainment industry contributes over $7 billion to the City’s economy each year and ensures that thousands and thousands of New Yorkers are employed. Thank you to my dear friends Commissioner Katherine Oliver, Brooklyn College President Karen Gould and Doug Steiner of Steiner Studios for their efforts in creating this school.”
The Mayor’s Office of Media & Entertainment will be involved in the creation, planning and financing of the digital media component of the graduate school: the Digital Media Center. Once the Digital Media Center opens, the Mayor’s Office of Media & Entertainment will contribute to a scholarship fund established by Brooklyn College for need-based tuition scholarships. It is anticipated that the scholarship fund will grant three full scholarships each year. At its peak, the school will have four hundred enrolled students annually, and tuition is expected to cost less than half of most graduate film programs in the U.S.
In its 82-year history, Brooklyn College has kept pace with the growing needs of the borough, providing quality education in a number of disciplines, including the visual and performing arts. The baccalaureate film program has graduated several distinguished alumni in the film industry, including television and film director Joel Zwick, New Line Cinema co-founder Michael Lynne and director Oren Moverman, a 2010 Oscar finalist for The Messenger.
The curriculum of the new graduate school will focus on the art and craft of cinema, which will prepare students for jobs and provide them with the tools to create future careers. Degree programs will include a Master of Fine Arts with emphases in cinematography, directing, production and post-production, screenwriting and visual effects; a Master of Arts in cinema studies will also be offered. The Brooklyn College Graduate School of Cinema is expected to feature a comprehensive program that will utilize entertainment professionals as part of its curriculum. Fellowships, residencies and mentorship programs will match accomplished filmmakers, directors, animators and other creative production professionals with talented students.
To showcase student work, a film festival will be curated with student-made projects. Additionally, an Urban Fellows Program at Steiner Studios will offer graduate school graduates the opportunity to participate in NYC’s Urban Fellows program with a focus on the media and entertainment industry. Participants will be placed at Steiner Studios for nine months to work closely with Steiner staff.
At its Winter Gala tonight, the Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce will honor Brooklyn College President Karen L. Gould, Media & Entertainment Commissioner Katherine Oliver, David and Douglas C. Steiner of Steiner Studios, and Gina and Tony Argento of Broadway Stages, for their contributions to New York City’s television and film industry. The local entertainment industry contributes $7.1 billion to the City’s economy annually and employs 130,000 New Yorkers. Over the years, the Mayor’s Office of Media & Entertainment has developed various programs and initiatives that encourage the exploration of career opportunities in media and entertainment.
The Blueprint for Teaching and Learning in the Arts: The Moving Image, for example, is an innovative guide that outlines clear expectations for the study of film, television and animation from early elementary school through high school graduation in NYC public schools, and was the result of a collaboration between the Mayor’s Office of Media & Entertainment, the Department of Education and the Tribeca Film Institute. The office also hosts an on-going series of free panel discussions and conversations with industry professionals throughout the five boroughs as part of its “Made in NY” Industry Series.
Steiner Studios now totals 355,000 square feet, including production offices; editing suites; set construction shops; scenic artist, wardrobe and props departments; and dressing rooms. Steiner, which is currently expanding by another 225,000 square feet, sits on 20 acres of the Brooklyn Navy Yard and includes on-site parking, a full commissary, a screening room and lighting & grip services. Steiner Studios first opened for business in November 2004. It has been home to films such as Sex and the City, Inside Man, Enchanted and The Adjustment Bureau as well as television series like Girls, In Treatment and Bored to Death. HBO’s Boardwalk Empire, recently renewed for a fourth season, currently films at Steiner; Damages wrapped its final season there.