Department of Film Production and Media Studies

Film Production Portfolio Review

Guidelines for the Portfolio Review Process

Students submitting portfolios are required to have successfully completed COMM 150 and COMM 242 with a grade of C or better. It is each student's responsibility to contact and academic adviser or campus representative regarding an early change of assignment to University Park when necessary to meet this requirement.

Deadline for ONLINE Portfolio Submission to the Film Production major
Students must submit their application materials by 11:59 p.m. EST Friday, May 14, 2021.
Any portfolios received after that date will NOT be reviewed.

A student’s portfolio application must include the following items as attachments:

  1. A current Penn State advising transcript.
    You can access your advising transcript through LionPath. You will need to save a copy as a PDF file to submit with your portfolio.  The two prerequisite courses (COMM 150 & COMM 242) should be listed on the transcript either as completed or in-progress. It does not need to be an official transcript. 
  2. The creative writing exercise.
    Write a narrative inspired by a significant moment in your life from the perspective of someone other than yourself who was involved or witnessed the moment (double-spaces, 12-point, Courier font, 250-300 words). Seemingly small moments in our lives often turn out to be significant turning points. The way we see the world, and other people in it, is changed as a result of that particular experience. Use one such moment of realization from your life as a starting point for a short story where a character undergoes a change of awareness as a result of witnessing that moment.
  3. Sample of creative work
    Creative work for the portfolio can come from projects created in COMM 242, projects done for other courses or work created independently. The piece should represent your best work. FOR 2021 ONLY: Creative work submitted can be either a video or film, no more than 5 minutes in length, over which the applicant had primary creative control (acceptable formats listed below) OR a script in proper screenplay format of no more than 6 pages in length. The script must be in pdf format.
  4. A statement (double-spaced, 12-point Courier font) contextualizing the submitted creative work consisting of the following items:
  • A list of the following factual information:
    -- Title
    -- Format and length (i.e; h264 .mov)
    -- When and where made (i.e, date, place, course # if applicable, etc.)
    -- Applicant’s role (i.e., director, author, etc.) 

    -- Other crew members or collaborators and their roles
    -- If applicable: teacher, supervisor or mentor who supervised your project
    -- Name, title or position, phone and email of above
  • A description of ideas you hoped to present through the piece, and a discussion of how you used images, sound, character development and/or editing techniques to convey your concepts. (100 words)
  • Your assessment of the aesthetic and technical strengths and weaknesses of the piece. (100 words)

Acceptable Formats

All attachments to the portfolio application must include your PSU ID in the name of the item (e.g. abc5001film). 

Acceptable file formats for written work  -- .pdf, .doc, .docx

Recommended formats for video creative sample -- .H264 encoded file (.mp4 or .mov)


Additional Portfolio Review Information

The faculty will review all portfolios after the close of the spring semester, reporting their decisions to the applicants via email on or about June 1.

Portfolio Evaluation Criteria

Students are evaluated and admitted to the program based on the quality of their submission materials:

  • Transcript:  Evidence of academic success, particularly in courses relevant to the film production major.  If spring semester grades are not yet available when you submit your application, the review committee will update your transcript when they are posted.
  • Creative writing exercise:  Demonstrate ability to express original ideas and artistic vision in written form.
  • Creative film production work: Demonstrate technical ability and a sense of good visual storytelling.
  • Written statement:  Demonstrate positive personal engagement with the learning process and an ability to contextualize and reflect on your work.