The program begins with Boot Camp, a five- to six-week intensive which consists of lectures and workshops on visual storytelling and the art of the short film. In addition, all disciplines have discipline-specific workshops designed to immerse the Fellow in the craft of his/her discipline while underlining the importance of story content and collaboration.

Boot Camp culminates in a four-hour practice shoot on the AFI Conservatory Campus using a scene selected by the faculty. Teams cast their scenes from the membership of the SAG Conservatory and located on the AFI Campus.

Boot Camp is designed to prepare Fellows for the Cycle Project exercises.


At the end of the post-production process, all first year 'Cycle' films are reviewed in a class called Narrative Workshop, which meets twice each week. Cycle films are screened for all first year Fellows, key Production faculty members and staff. Each screening is followed by a critical analysis of the project, specifically for team members, led by distinguished faculty. Fellows receive feedback from the entire first year class, allowing them to broaden their perspective beyond their study discipline.