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Old Oct 19, 2012, 09:13 AM   #1
zyr123
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best colleges and routes to a good successful career

I am in the process of applying to colleges. My gpa is good and my sats suck, so UCLA, USC, and nyu tisch are out of the question. I live in 15 minutes from manhattan.

So far i am applying to drexel and hofstra. What other colleges should i apply to?

thank you for the help,
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Old Oct 19, 2012, 10:12 AM   #2
daybreak
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Tell me what has that got to do with Digital Video?.
I'm not really interested what career move you wish to make. In a nutshell i think you are in the wrong forum.
But good luck regards your decision.
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Old Oct 19, 2012, 11:28 AM   #3
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Tell me what has that got to do with Digital Video?.
I'm not really interested what career move you wish to make. In a nutshell i think you are in the wrong forum.
But good luck regards your decision.
I'll go out on a limb and say the OP wants to get into production professionally and is looking for schools that have good video/film departments which is why the OP is posting here.

Working under that assumption I'll say that your best education if you want into be in this industry is actually working in this industry. I'd look for a school that has good relationships with area post/production companies, TV stations, etc., so you can get a parttime job/internship working for these places while you are taking classes. I don't see a reason to spend major $$$ on a famous film school. I know plenty of USC and AFI grads that can't get traction and plenty of people that went to state schools in Wisconsin or Montana that gainfully employed out here in LaLaLand.
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Old Oct 19, 2012, 11:32 AM   #4
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I graduated from Middle Tennessee State University...great production program located 30 minutes south of Nashville!
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Old Oct 19, 2012, 01:39 PM   #5
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If you want "hands on" classes and industry connections then look at Southern Illinois University-Carbondale. Check out altnews at SIU. Five time national student EMMY winners against UCLA, USC, NYU and others for a lot less $$$. A lot of working Hollywood and New York alums with a great networking system. (I'm not a graduate just taught there for years) Middle TN State University-Mufreesboro also has a very good program as well. Great facilities.

Last edited by BritenSonny; Oct 19, 2012 at 01:58 PM. Reason: com
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Old Oct 19, 2012, 04:52 PM   #6
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[QUOTE=LethalWolfe;16076938]I'll go out on a limb and say the OP wants to get into production professionally and is looking for schools that have good video/film departments which is why the OP is posting here.

yes this is true.
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Old Oct 19, 2012, 06:01 PM   #7
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Don't worry so much about SATs; they only matter in the absence of other things that make you interesting. Athletes are given a pass on SATs, as are people with exceptionally interesting lives, as are really good writers, musicians, or artists when applying to conservatories. So work hard on improving your SATs (two or three days of half a practice test per day boosted my GREs up like 300 points to 99%; if I had spent more time I'm sure I'd have done better, so just suck it up and study!) but work much harder on your writing and visual portions of your application. That's what really matters, and the further into life you get the more you'll realize how meaningless GPA and SATs are beyond getting you into undergrad (which is also usually totally meaningless, but that's another story).

Just living in NYC is a start. There are tons of ways to network there without even going to school. I have met grips and camera ops who took one class at a camera rental place, worked a few unpaid gigs on craigslist, and are now beginning to actually make a living. I met more people who did go to school, though, admittedly, while on set. NYU is great but insanely expensive and the NYU students I met for whom money was an issue uniformly said that the education isn't worth the insane expense, but it is really exceptional otherwise. Columbia is good, too, but it's not technical, and it might be MFA-only. SVA is very technical and people seem to like it. There are tons of others, some affordable state programs that are well-regarded included. Ask your guidance counselor. There are good schools across the country (I lived in Boston: Emerson and BU are not bad at all), but where you go to school determines where you'll work to a greater extent with the film industry than with other industries so if you like NYC stick with it exclusively or if you're dead set on LA go to school in LA (only if you can afford it!). I think I heard Ithaca had a decent program, too. I forget...

Unfortunately, each program has its different strengths and weaknesses and you won't know what really interests you until you're most of the way through, but intuition will get you far in choosing. A lot of people will argue that you should get a liberal arts degree rather than a more professional degree, but I'm not sure. Most BFAs offer a bit of both. I get mixed reviews on NYFA/Full Sail, which are exclusively professional, but most people seem really bullish/enthusiastic about them who've attended, which runs counter to the arguments I read that they're overpriced for-profit degree farms. But I'd try to go for a well-established university with a bit of a traditional as well technical education, even though the technical education is all that matters on the job and a lot of people working in film will tell you school is worthless. And a lot of people with no formal training will get jobs off spec work (youtube videos with high view counts even, now) that USC grads would just salivate over.

Also, writing/directing and working in film are two entirely different things. If you want to write and direct, live an interesting life and network and read. Storytellers need stories. If you want to make money, go to school for post (editing/vfx/etc.).

Visit everywhere you're considering going to and look at what connections you get after the fact. Look at the gear you have access to, the work the students are doing, and most importantly the network that you'll be launched into (internships matter, too). The community (students and professional network) matters most. And you don't have to go to school to work in film (it probably hurts more than helps in some ways), but if you don't know exactly what you want to do (edit, shoot, gaff, produce, act, write, etc.) you should give it all a try.

Also, don't expect to work as a writer or director, but you will get opportunities to direct in school. Take this with a grain of salt, btw, I am in the same camp you are...just much, much older, and by now probably much poorer, too.
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Old Oct 19, 2012, 06:24 PM   #8
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Take some business classes. The vast majority of work in this industry is either as a freelancer or as an independent contractor so you need to know at least the basics of business because you'll need to know more about your financies that someone that works as a staff employee.
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Old Oct 19, 2012, 06:36 PM   #9
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Take some business classes. The vast majority of work in this industry is either as a freelancer or as an independent contractor so you need to know at least the basics of business because you'll need to know more about your financies that someone that works as a staff employee.
Absolutely true. After working quite a while in indie productions, I'm still getting less than minimum wage in the rare instances I do get paid.

Last edited by Policar; Oct 21, 2012 at 03:16 PM.
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Old Oct 19, 2012, 10:03 PM   #10
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Wherever you go, consider college just a supplement to your work. Make stuff in your free time and that's what will set you apart from the rest of your class. It doesn't hurt to be good at post-production stuff too. That's where most of the money is, unless you become a big famous director.

The University of Colorado at Boulder has a pretty good film production program. It's where Trey Parker and Matt Stone, the South Park guys, came from. I'm in said program and they regularly have semi-famous filmmakers and people from production companies come in to speak in class. They make you shoot on film in the first class, but one could argue that it's necessary to know the roots of what you're doing.

It's an extremely beautiful campus too.
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Old Oct 25, 2012, 09:18 AM   #11
zyr123
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[QUOTE=LethalWolfe;16079841]Take some business classes.

What business classes should i take on the side.

Thank you for the tips everyone.
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Old Oct 25, 2012, 09:28 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LethalWolfe View Post
Take some business classes. The vast majority of work in this industry is either as a freelancer or as an independent contractor so you need to know at least the basics of business because you'll need to know more about your financies that someone that works as a staff employee.
+1

...business entrepreneur classes best, but not so much econ, HR, quant

Take all this into account when we are talking about the theory of school making it all happen and best school path (good schools with bus/ent classes tossed in). The two people I know in my town who did well is one lady who does the character rendering of some of the most popular video games and a man who has two CLIO awards and both did not go to school. In the end, it has to be about if you have the talent. So if you do the school route and find that your boss in the industry didn't go to school, or that the majority of the people you see in LA didn't, don't let that discourage you.

The good thing about a degree is if you don't make it in the arts, it's still a bachelor's or master's degree and many other industries honor that far, far more than the arts. What the degree shows, even if not in the same field, is that you stuck something out for four to six years (even just two years in two year programs) and that you probably won't just walk away once you are hired.

Last edited by 63dot; Oct 25, 2012 at 09:44 AM.
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Old Oct 25, 2012, 09:44 AM   #13
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I went to Hofstra and studied communications. I just hit the 20 year mark at the same job in television. What was my route to get here? Good grades? Worked in the business as a freelancers during college? Nope. Drove a friend to Taco Bell one night and stopped off at his friends house. He told me of a part time opening at his job and with his help, I had it three days later. Been with the same company (kind of, many corporate changes) ever since. Moral of the story? Do all the traditional things right but keep your eyes and ears open and network network network. You never know when fourth meal will turn into a career.
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Old Oct 25, 2012, 03:35 PM   #14
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So far i am applying to drexel and hofstra. What other colleges should i apply to?
Drexel's program has come a long way since I went there (it was in its infancy at the time). I taught a class for their digital media program this past Spring and I was pretty impressed with how much the department and the university as a whole has grown.

As others have said, it all comes down to the experience you have. Film school can offer a lot, but it's not for everyone. There are obviously plenty of different avenues into this industry. However, if you do study film in college take advantage of every opportunity it offers. Network, take some business classes, take advantage of the facilities.

The LA and NYC schools do have their perks of being located in the "hubs" of the business. Drexel's co-op program is definitely nice. It essentially forces you to work in the business before you graduate.
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Old Oct 25, 2012, 05:54 PM   #15
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I've heard real good things about Columbia College Chicago. I've heard its very hands on..that said I have some doubts about film school regardless...I think a good reel is important and I think film schools don't teach allot of simple but important stuff....The fourth meal story by Mac'N'Cheese is very classic of what allot of what I've heard from others and my initial thoughts were "Ok so how do I do that". Luck. But pursue your dream in multiple ways, go to school, get an education, DO take business classes because those will help you in allot of areas but in the film world all the degrees in the world will never make you a real director if you don't have a solid reel...its like going to school and learning about the history of Airplanes and then expecting to become a pilot....oh and really get to know people so you can network...and network and network! You know how much points you get for just knowing someone? The first time you go to a job interview and you say you know so and so and you see the persons face light up and say "Very cool! You'll do fine here" is great...even if its a little job its great and if you do good with say a small job you can milk some connections and start building your reel.
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Old Oct 25, 2012, 07:40 PM   #16
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Old Oct 25, 2012, 08:32 PM   #17
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Detroit has woken up! We have a real pitching battle tonight through 5 and it will probably end this way and be the theme of these two pitching teams.
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Old Oct 25, 2012, 10:30 PM   #18
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Honestly, while some instruction is necessary, in videography experience trumps everything. It's not a massively lucrative career by any means and you will likely incur a lot of equipment costs, insurance, computers, software, etc, so exiting school with a minimum amount of debt is very important. You may want to concentrate on an associates degree rather than a bachelor's -- it's two years instead of four, likely less expensive for each year and likely highly focused, with little to no requirements outside your field of interest. A two year degree can be basically converted into a four year degree if you want, maybe with some catch up credits, and if you do really well can result in scholarships, internships, etc.

Whatever you do, take some small business courses (giving you the option to competently start your own studio if nobody's hiring), learn to fix the equipment when it breaks, volunteer to help others with their projects, film events, whatever. Heck, try to exit school with some IMDB credits, fan films, whatever. Get as much experience as you can behind the lens, because while college on a resume will get you interviews, competence at that interview is what gets you the job. And nobody takes a guy with a 4 year degree and a 4.0 if he can't frame a shot, edit in several styles and get the project built in a short amount of time.
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Old Oct 26, 2012, 06:05 AM   #19
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Well, reading this post is an eye opener. Some very good feedbacks.
Tell me if i go any get the highest decree in film or video and past with top marks at a University etc, Is there a guarantee i will get a job in the media section?????????
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Old Oct 26, 2012, 06:41 AM   #20
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I can't believe so many of you guys suggest not getting a college degree. College is more than just learning a trade. As cliche as it sounds, it is a place to discover interests and grow as an individual. I have worked with some amazingly successful industry professionals and guess what...they all have college degrees...mainly in film or television.

Hard work and honing your craft cannot be replaced by a college degree. A a very successful and well known movie producer once told me, "both will increase your odds of beginning a career not just getting a jobs." How do I know him...through networking at University.

We had an incredible Hollywood internship program at SIU-C that helped many students gain successful employment in the industry. Hard work, education and networking can't guarantee employment but the combination definitely increases your chances.
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Old Oct 26, 2012, 07:59 AM   #21
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The guy didn't ask about learning interests. He asked the best way to succeed in a specific industry.

College is popular in part because statistics show an 8% increase in average income for every year of college.

But I took statistics (in college), and learned why a stat like this is so dangerous. Looking only at these two variables you miss out on some essential details, most importantly that not all industries offer the same rewards for education, and that the spread of individual rewards does leave some college grads with nothing to show for it. You're also including advanced science and medical degrees (which often don't pay at all unless you get a phd, and then pay very well) with similar degrees for arts and humanities, where the effect is much smaller or even flat. In my wife's field, a Master's is required for a leadership position, but they only promote people who are also leadership material. So there are an awful lot of entry level employees with Masters degrees, some from private schools, working alongside BAs at the same pay.

There are no guarantees, at all, in any industry. But if you look at the numbers, in a skilled trade you're going to need some proof of skill to even get in the door. Beyond that, further certification of your greatness may improve your desirability but by nowhere near the same level. In fact, too much schooling may make you look overqualified (I.e. expensive or risky) for some jobs and its damned expensive. If you want life experience, you should travel. Bring your camera and kill two birds!
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Old Oct 26, 2012, 08:26 AM   #22
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When I left school i wanted to go into the film industry in the 60s. We did not have media colleges etc, i started with a broom in a projection room in a cinema. Ended up making films and editing movies. How with a camera and making my own films like Steven Spielberg and being at the right place at the right time. Plus many other factors.
By all means learn and also learn making your own material.
The media is a hard place to get into today. As so many want to be are at it.With modern technology it has open the doors. One question will always pop up? :What Have You Done????????
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Old Oct 26, 2012, 09:06 AM   #23
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Well, reading this post is an eye opener. Some very good feedbacks.
Tell me if i go any get the highest decree in film or video and past with top marks at a University etc, Is there a guarantee i will get a job in the media section?????????
Of course not.


Quote:
Originally Posted by BritenSonny View Post
I can't believe so many of you guys suggest not getting a college degree. College is more than just learning a trade. As cliche as it sounds, it is a place to discover interests and grow as an individual. I have worked with some amazingly successful industry professionals and guess what...they all have college degrees...mainly in film or television.

Hard work and honing your craft cannot be replaced by a college degree. A a very successful and well known movie producer once told me, "both will increase your odds of beginning a career not just getting a jobs." How do I know him...through networking at University.

We had an incredible Hollywood internship program at SIU-C that helped many students gain successful employment in the industry. Hard work, education and networking can't guarantee employment but the combination definitely increases your chances.
College does offer many experiences and opportunities beyond the classroom, but it is prohibitively expensive. You can't ignore that. Consider the access and affordability of equipment and software that was completely out of reach just years ago. Consider the robust online community of peer feedback and cheap or even free learning materials. So it is well within reason to suggest the other avenues to getting into the industry. I'm a big proponent of the college experience, but it's not for everyone. When it comes down to it, experience matters most.
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Old Oct 26, 2012, 11:03 AM   #24
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feed back please

My high schools open house video-
directed and edited by me and my co head.


http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature...&v=BcsFl6jURdI
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Old Oct 26, 2012, 01:09 PM   #25
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My high schools open house video-
directed and edited by me and my co head.


http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature...&v=BcsFl6jURdI
i watched the whole video and don't really have much criticism. The only thing I would haved changed for the interviews was not have used the the green screen as much. Also not huge but i'm nit-picking. I know in FCP 7 there is a pan to center option for audio; on the interviews the audio only comes out on the left channel. This will make it come out of the left and right speakers. I saw FCP X in the video so i'm assuming you mostly use that, i'm not familiar with X but i'm sure it has a similar feature.

As far as schools, I graduated college in 2008 and it took me over a year to find my current part time job. From what I've heard at Hofstra is that your not going to touch any of the equipment until Junior year. I think more importantly in school is doing internship. Do as many as possible and don't just go after the big stations, NBC, CBS, look at the smaller stations as they will likely allow you to do more such as edit a story, work with a photographer for the day and shoot some stuff where as NBC your going to be logging tapes for the day. It still is good to have it on your resume as it's a big name but don't rule out smaller stations or smaller production companies.

Also look at CW Post, I think they have a media program but the campus is dead on weekends as most of the students are from LI.
Are you only interested in 4 year schools? If not, you could also check out five towns college. I haven't heard much about the program only seen commercials
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