Recommended & Required Software/Equipment

Avid Media Composer

All incoming students are required to begin learning Avid Media Composer before arriving at Orientation.

There is a lot of editing software available and students may be more familiar with other programs, but NYU requires students to edit their films on Avid for the first years in the program, as Avid is the Film and Television Industry standard as of 2018.

You can download a 30-day trial version of Avid here:

Or you can buy Avid for $19.99 per month here:

All students must complete this Avid Tutorial before beginning classes in the Fall, you can access on the Academics tab of your NYU email, scroll down a bit on the left and you will see a button for Also, you may type in the link and login to NYU Home. Look for:

Avid Media Composer 8.7 Essential Training: 101

This is a 9 hour, 22 minute tutorial so make sure you don't wait till the last minute and have time to complete and practice it before arriving.

If you would like to go farther, you can complete this additional training:

Avid Media Composer 8.7 Essential Training: 110

This is a 6 hour, 22 minute tutorial.

Hard Drives

All students enrolled in Graduate Film are required to purchase two (2) Firewire 800 or USB 3.0 Hard Drives for a) editing and b) archiving their Film & TV media.

Two drives are essential for maintaining Best Practices in today’s digital workflows. Students can expect prices to begin at about $150, increasing with drive capacity and additional features. While there are many brands available, we recommend either G‐TECH OR GLYPH for best results.

HD#1 for editing &

HD#2 for archiving/backup of media


  • Minimum speed 7200 RPM, preferably with an 8 MB buffer
  • At least one USB 3 port plus an additional interface is required (i.e. FireWire 800 or Thunderbolt or eSata)
    USB C Thunderbolt 3 is not supported at this time.
  • A 2TB (terabyte) drive is today's standard storage capacity. We highly discourage using drives larger than 4TB.
  • It must be a full sized drive that has a separate AC power cable; bus powered drives that use USB or Firewire cables to power the drive are NOT recommended as your primary work hard drive. You can get a smaller sized drive like a Gtech Mini or LaCie Rugged Mini but only if you are using it as your 2nd back up hard drive (of particular use to doc crews in the field). Note: bus powered drives can be helpful when downloading files where AC power is unavailable.
  • Formatted as HFS+ Mac OS extended (NOT APFS)
  • Manufacturer’s warranty of at least 1 year
  • We recommend G-Tech or Glyph drives because of their warranties and customer service. Other brands like LaCie or OWC/Other World Computing are acceptable, as long as all of the above requirements are met.
  • DO NOT purchase any RAID type enclosures. These may use proprietary hardware that makes data recovery more difficult.
  • Do be aware that some thunderbolt drives may have compatibility problems with new MacBook Pros (with the touch bar function panel). Always purchase drives with multiple interfaces.

Flash Drives

All students are required to purchase one (1) 8-16GB flash/jump drive.

In naming the drives, it is best practice to include either your name or your NET ID. It is not uncommen for flash drives to get left behind in a computer, and it will enable the staff to properly reach you if there is some form of identity attached to the drive.


All SCRIPTWRITING, PRODUCTION SHOOTING SCHEDULES and PRODUCTION BUDGETS are required to be done using the software listed below. It is highly recommended that students purchase their own copies and become familiar with them over the summer.

The software is also available on computers located in the Graduate Film Department’s Producing Lab. The lab has eight work stations and is open Monday - Friday 9am-11pm and Saturday/Sunday 10am-9:30pm.

  1. Movie Magic Scheduling: All shooting schedules for productions and assignments are required to be delivered in Movie Magic.
  2. Movie Magic Budgeting: All production budgets and budget assignments are required to be delivered in Movie Magic beginning in the Spring Semester. NOTE: A student discount is available for Movie Magic Software.
  3. Final Draft Scriptwriting