Fall 2023 Film & Electronic Arts Narrative Production Portfolio Requirements & Guidelines

The submissions for Narrative Production are now open and will close Sunday, February 19, 2023, by 11:59 p.m. (PST) No Exceptions!   A link to submit your materials will be added to this webpage closer to the submission window.

The Film & Electronic Arts Option in Narrative Production is an upper-division major with admission limited to no more than 40 students each year.

  • Term of Admission: Fall 2023 (no spring admission for Film & Electronic Arts Option in Narrative Production)
  • Portfolio Due: Sunday, February 19, 2023 by 11:59 p.m. (PST) No Exceptions!


In the Narrative Production Option in Film & Electronic Arts, we put our emphasis on story and developing individual artists’ voices.  We take technical material very seriously and teach a lot of it, but we are much more interested in a student’s point of view and how they choose to visualize it than we are in the technology they have access to.  That is to say, we don’t really care if you originate your project on your cellphone or a more expensive camera.   

As long as you use the camera and lens to help tell your story in a meaningful way, we’re all in.  No videos will be marked up or down because of the equipment they used or the actors they chose.  This is about your ability to make a clear, concise video within the restrictions that you are under.  Keep it simple. 

Here are some guidelines for Production during the COVID-19 pandemic, which your submitted videos must comply with: 

  • Observe the state Covid-19 guidelines (don't gather in groups, wear a mask, observe social distancing, etc.
  • If you use an actor or subject, you must use someone with whom you live.
  • No need for any camera other than your phone
  • No crews or collaborators, other than people with whom you live.   

If you are unable to work with cohabitants, we welcome stories that feature stuffed animals, pets, action figures, etc.  If you choose to use a non-human subject, remember to find a way to photograph your story that will enable your audience to care about and engage with your subject.   

Incoming First-Year Students (Freshman)  

  • Incoming first-year students are considered Pre-Majors, and therefore may not submit a portfolio for any of the Film & Electronic Arts Options. However, if students are interested in majoring in Film & Electronic Arts Narrative Production, they must submit a portfolio in the spring of their sophomore year for admission the following fall – junior year.  During the first two years at CSULB (as Pre-Majors), students complete General Education requirements and lower-division film-specific courses.  Incoming first-year students, please do not submit a portfolio.  


Current CSULB Students (currently enrolled, degree-seeking students at CSULB)  

  • Students currently enrolled in classes at CSULB may not apply to the option before spring semester of their sophomore year (for admission the following fall).   
  • The minimum required cumulative grade point average is 2.75.
  • By the time of entrance in Fall 2023, current students must have completed at least 60 and no more than 90 units of college-level coursework, including all GE Foundation courses and at least 30 units of GE courses.
  • Additionally, current students must complete the following required lower-division courses with a grade of C or better:
    • ART 110 Introduction to the Visual Arts; or AH 111B Foundation Art History II 
    • FEA 205 Film History
    • FEA 206 History of Broadcasting
    • FEA 207 Introduction to Screenwriting 
    • FEA 208 Introduction to Film Production
    • FEA 299 Media Aesthetics
  • If current students do not receive a favorable review of their portfolio, they will be automatically considered for admission into the Film & Electronic Arts Option in Theory and Practice of Cinema.  The decision is final.  


Transfer Students   

  • Before submitting a portfolio, transfer students must first apply to the university by November 30, 2022 declaring the Film & Electronic Arts Option in Narrative Production as their major.
  • Transfer students must have completed at least 60 units of college-level, CSU transferrable coursework, including all GE Foundation courses prior to admission.
  • For admission to the Film & Electronic Arts major, the minimum required grade point average is 2.75.
  • By the time of entrance in Fall 2023, transfer students must have completed the following courses (or equivalent)   with a grade of C or better:
    • ART 110 Introduction to the Visual Arts; or AH 111B Foundation Art History II
    • and a minimum of two of the following required lower-division courses:
      • FEA 205 Film History
      • FEA 206 History of Broadcasting 
      • FEA 207 Introduction to Screenwriting
      • FEA 208 Introduction to Film Production
      • FEA 299 Media Aesthetics
    • Note 1: Any remaining required lower-division Film & Electronic Arts courses must be completed during the first semester at   CSULB.
    • Note 2: Students are encouraged to complete all lower-division Film & Electronic Arts courses before transferring to CSULB.
  • Although a transfer student may apply to the Film & Electronic Arts Narrative Production option prior to learning whether they have been admitted to the University, they cannot be accepted into the Option until they have been officially admitted to the University. The Film and Electronic Arts department is not involved in the university admissions process. If an applicant is admitted to the University but does not receive a favorable review of their portfolio, they will be automatically considered for admission to the Film & Electronic Arts Option in Theory and Practice of Cinema. Students given admission to Film & Electronic Arts Theory and Practice of Cinema and accept admission may not switch to Film & Electronic Arts Narrative Production once at CSULB.  The decision is final.  

Students apply for admission into the Narrative Production option by submitting a portfolio to the department by no later than 11:59 p.m. (PST) on Sunday, February 19, 2023. Prior media production experience is helpful but not required. The Department of Film and Electronic Arts seeks students with comprehensive liberal arts backgrounds, creative imaginations, and exceptional communication and storytelling skills. For this reason, the portfolio is comprised of the following materials:

  1. Personal Statement  
  2. Screen Storytelling Sample  


1.  Personal Statement  

In 500 words or less, tell us about your motivations to study Narrative Production at CSULB. In your statement, clearly state which specialization track you are interested in pursuing: Production & Directing or Cinematography. In addition, include one of the following three prompts in your statement (please, show us your best writing): 

  • Prompt 1: What experience(s) have shaped your vision as a visual storyteller and why do you seek training in this field?  What makes your vision and voice unique and important?  
  • Prompt 2: Please tell us about a key event in your life that has led you to pursue cinematic storytelling. How has this event shaped your voice as an artist?  
  • Prompt 3: The most profound storytellers have much to say about our role in the world. Storytelling is a dialogue with the audience. If you had one opportunity to create a film at this time in your life with the hope of impacting others, what would it be about and what would you most hope to communicate to the audience and why?  

Personal Statement Submission: Save personal statement as a Microsoft Word (.doc) or PDF (.pdf) document named in this manner: LASTNAME_Firstname_STATEMENT.doc (or .pdf)  

Format:  Double-spaced with 12-point Times New Roman font, 1” margins. Do not use images in this personal statement. The essay should have a title that should reflect the focus of your personal statement. Make sure your name is at the top of the first page.  


2. Screen Storytelling Sample  

Without using dialogue or voiceover, create a video in which a character makes a significant discovery, and then makes a meaningful decision based on that discovery. We should see the discovery on screen, and we should understand why the character makes the decision they make.  Your video cannot exceed two minutes (2:00) in length. We are looking for your ability to convey a story with image and sound, and for evidence of your creativity rather than your technical abilities.  

Upload your video to an easily accessible website such as YouTube or Vimeo and provide the URL (http://...) when you submit your portfolio materials. Please do not put a statement or explanatory text on the webpage; let your video speak for itself. The video must not include copyrighted material and must consist of original work, created by the applicant specifically for this portfolio submission.  

All applicants, without exception, must adhere to the following rules and deadlines:  

One: Only complete portfolios will be accepted. All materials must be included at the time of submission.

  • Attach the Personal Statement document to the online submission site. Make sure the document is named correctly (see instructions above).
  • Make sure the URL (http://) link where we can view your Screen Storytelling Sample is correct and provide a password, if required. The video must not include any copyrighted material and must be original, created by the applicant specifically for this portfolio submission.
  • Late submissions or partial re-submissions are not permitted. Make sure the document is readable and URL is functional. 

Two: To submit your portfolio materials, click on the following submission link:  (Submission link will be available here on Tuesday, February 14, 2023).

  • The submission link will become available on Tuesday, February 14, 2023.
  • Gather all your materials before trying to submit your portfolio. Do not visit the submission site without being prepared to submit portfolio.
  • A summary of responses will automatically appear on your screen once the portfolio is submitted, this serves as confirmation portfolio was submitted successfully. You can print the summary for your own records. A separate email confirmation will not be sent.  

The admissions committee is comprised of faculty members in the Film & Electronic Arts department. In the weeks following the submission deadline, portfolios will be reviewed by at least two committee members. If the committee members disagree about the quality of a particular portfolio, it will be sent to an additional committee member for review. For a portfolio to get a favorable review, a minimum of two committee members must endorse it.   

Current CSULB Students (currently enrolled, degree-seeking continuing students):   

  • All current students whose portfolios receive a favorable review will receive conditional admission to the Film & Electronic Arts Option in Narrative Production until all minimum requirements have been completed. Notification of conditional admission will be made in early April.   

Transfer Students:   

  • All incoming transfer candidates whose portfolios receive a favorable review will be recommended for admission to the Film & Electronic Arts Option in Narrative Production and recommendation will be forwarded to the Office of Undergraduate Admissions, who will complete the final application review and determine admissibility.  All offers of admissions will be sent by the Admissions office beginning early April.  Although the Film & Electronic Arts Department may recommend students for admission into the Film & Electronic Arts Option, the Undergraduate Admissions office may not grant you admission if your University application is not finalized and does not meet the admissions requirements. Transfer students who have not been accepted to the university will not receive offers. Transfer students who have been admitted to the university but do not receive a favorable review of their portfolio will be automatically considered for admission to the Film & Electronic Arts Option in Theory and Practice of Cinema. Students given admission to Film & Electronic Arts Theory and Practice of Cinema and accept admission may not switch to Film & Electronic Arts Narrative Production once at CSULB.   

Admissions decisions are final. There is no appeals process.