thinking about film school...

Discussion in 'Community' started by vniow, Nov 29, 2004.

  1. vniow macrumors G4

    Jul 18, 2002
    I accidentally my whole location.
    Hey all, it looks as I'm finally going to be able to be going to a school I want the only question is which one. I very much want to get into film production, its been somehting that I've been wanting to do for awhile but have not had the materials or even the basic skills to pursue it but now things are looking up. I would like to be in or around (close) to San Francisco since the art community is not only abundant, its somewhere I had originally planned on moving to anyway. There's a few schools I've got in mind, the first is the Academy of Art ( which I've heard mixed things about so I'm a bit weary on that, I also heard that SF State has a good film program and there's another one that I thought of but I can't remember it right now (if someone can refresh me?)

    Hopefully I would start next spring if everything falls into place but I would certainly like to get recommendations from people here before I make a final decision.

    Cheers and thanx in advance,

  2. mashinhead macrumors 68020

    Oct 7, 2003
    hey i was planning on going to academy art as well. i did a lot of research on it. and in the end i heard way too many bad things to take a chance on. Its not even an accredited University. No one in the Art world truly respects it is what i've been told. When you want to learn film you go LA, because thats where most of it happens. I would check out USC and UCLA's film schools. You probably need a portfolio of some kind. So try making on up if haven't already. I personally am going to the Art Center in Pasadena, which maybe worth checking out. But i can personally tell you that where you graduate from makes all the difference. And you don't want to make a mistake by going to the wrong school. So if you're not sure check it out.
  3. dotcomlarry macrumors regular

    Jul 16, 2002
    Akron, PA
    I know this is totally the opposite place that you wanted to move, but Florida State has a (supposedly) good film school. It was recently recognized by the Directors Guild of America for its distinguished contribution to American culture through film and television. It is also the only film school in the country that pays for the production costs of all of its students’ films. You can get more info at
  4. Mike Teezie macrumors 68020

    Mike Teezie

    Nov 20, 2002
    I don't know much about Film School vniow, but I wanted to say kudos to you for doing what you really want to do.

  5. iJon macrumors 604


    Feb 7, 2002
    I can imagine FSU's film school. I remember going to out local film festival last year and they had some movies to be shown from FSU students. Damn they were incredible. The funny movies were funny as hell and the horror movies were scary. Some you could tell was made by a student but some of them looked like a real professional did it. They must have access to some pretty harcore film equipment to make some of those movies.

  6. LethalWolfe macrumors G3


    Jan 11, 2002
    Los Angeles
    To achieve certain things you do need big toys, but tools don't make something good or bad. If you go to a resturant and have a great meal do you say, "Dang, that Chef must have some really nice pots." ;)

    Film school is optional. Especially in LA no one cares where you went to school. Or even if you went to school. If you want to get into film production get into film production. The cost of four years of school can buy a fair amount of budget produciton & post-production gear (or can be used to help cover living expenses while you work low budget gigs). There are advantages that going to film school has over jumping into the workforce but those advantages can dwindle very quickly in a few short years (especially if you are a mature, highly motived person that doesn't need the structure of school to keep you moving forward).

    When I was 18 I was not in a position to venture out on my own (heck I didn't even know what I wanted to do w/my life) so, long story short, I ended up going to college and majoring in radio/tv production. Right now I have a friend who I graduated college with (3 years ago) who is looking at film grad schools and I think it is a royally stupid idea. He would be better off using his "grad school money" to either make his own low budget film or use it to live off of while he's working on someone else's low budget film.

    You can either learn the basics in school or you can learn the basics on the job. Both paths have their ups and downs, and neither path is right for everyone, but, if used properly, they both lead to the same place.

    Of course it's hard for me to really endorse one path over the other because I don't know your situation.

  7. jsalzer macrumors 6502a


    Jan 18, 2004
    General Academic Advising


    While I've not advised Film students before, I've advised a few hundred students in several diverse majors. Here are some general tips:

    1. Any school can say they're "accredited". Some schools who can't get real accreditation get together and form their own accrediting bodies so they can say they're accredited. What you're looking for is REGIONAL ACCREDITATION. There are seven (?) regional accrediting bodies in the country. These are the real thing. National accreditation means nothing.

    2. Balance your resume! You may not be able to get a job immediately in your field, or you may decide you don't like it, or you may decide that it's more of a hobby than a job. My guesses for what would work best for you are:

    a) Balance the "softer" film major with a "harder" minor. Marketing would be an option that goes well with film. Management, Leadership, English, History, etc. might be other good options.

    b) Get a part-time job while you go to school! This does four things for you:
    i) Gets you experience in the field.
    ii) Shows that you're a stable guy/gal (try to hold the same job for 4 years)
    iii) Gets you some good references (hopefully)
    iv) Gets you out of college with less (or no) debt.

    Hope some of that helps! Good luck!
  8. jefhatfield Retired


    Jul 9, 2000
    hey miss v,

    i hope you get into the school of your choice

    maybe you can consider acting, too since i swore i saw you on television recently...but it was just for two or three seconds, i think

    was that you?
  9. iJon macrumors 604


    Feb 7, 2002
    Oh I know. I was stating that some of the movies had that real professional film quality look. Have you have some nice cameras to produce that quality. Although the prices are coming down and the effects of certain filters can closely resemble it.

  10. leftbanke7 macrumors 6502a


    Feb 4, 2004
    West Valley City, Utah
    I am in the Film Studies program at the University Of Utah and I have, so far, really enjoyed it. They seem to offer a decent amount of classes from different film areas (production, history, writing, etc). You get a great deal of personal attention from the Film Department (only about 250 or so film majors on a campus of 27,000) whereas in a place like USC or UCLA there are a billion of them. You also get a really good all around education as the U is a top 10 research institution. Plus you just can't beat Utah's scenery. Here's the link to the film department ( ) and to a page with a lot of good U information ( ). Either way, good luck in your choice and welcome aboard!
  11. vniow thread starter macrumors G4

    Jul 18, 2002
    I accidentally my whole location.
    Okay, here's my situation in a nutshell:

    I know zilch about film production. I've hardly even touched a camera much less an editing room (where I'd rather be) So why film you ask since I have basically no experience in it whatsoever? Well, its something which has always interested me for whatever reason, I was never a huge film buff but when I would watch ones that interested me, I would always try to pay attention to how they were made as well as the story in the film itself, some of my favourite films are not so because of the story, but because they were produced well. I never took a big interest in it until life slapped me in the face and I actually considered college. The one I went (and still am going) to *did* have a digital media program lined up but none of them transferred over to any UC schools which I would be more likely to transfer over to so they would be sort of redundant.
    That was about a year and a half ago and it looks like I'm finally going to be able to go to a better school since finances are going to be in place, its just a matter of where to go now since I'm stuck! I'm thinking school would probably be the better option since I'm essentially starting from scratch but I'd like to get some more reassurance before I make a final decision.

    So that's basically it, I would really really really like to be in San Francisco right now and I certainly don't feel a real draw to LA. As for a minor, I do plan to get into sexology eventually but I do know that there are quite a few perquitites for that so perhaps I could look into that. I do like to draw on the computer from time to time (and would more if I had the equipment) and a current project I'm working on for that is here if it means anything. What I don't want to get into is graphic design, I almost got into that earlier this year and was glad I didn't since its not a field I would have been very satisfied in.

    I'm also unsure if it would be wise to go to a school which specialises in this sort of thing of a 4-year university (or something) that happens to have a good film program or something else entirely. I just checked SF Stare's requirements for their film program and there are a few prequisites that I'm quite far away from so if I go there, plus the earliesr I can apply is Fall 2005 (ugh) so it'll be a bit before I get into what I want but then again, I may change my mind in the meantime.

    So uhh... yeah. That's where I'm at. And yeah I was on TV recently jef, Harbor High School here in SC was doing a thing and I was invited to come and speak and do an interview on TV. They put my full name on there which bugged me since I hardly ever go by it but ah well.


  12. jsalzer macrumors 6502a


    Jan 18, 2004
    Choice of minor


    I say this with love and respect from one gay person to another: please think carefully about the choice of your minor.

    As a gay person in the work world, you automatically face the assumption that you're "obsessed" with sex (as if it's somehow a much more defining part of who we are than it is for a straight person.) A minor in sexology showing up on your transcript when a person's looking to hire you only amplifies that.

    If the courses interest you, if they can do you some good, or if you feel that you can do others good through them, please take the coursework. But think long and hard about declaring it as a minor. It will be on that transcript for the rest of your life - for every job interview you go on.

    And it may be a very small thing in parts of Cali, but you don't know where the job market will take you. You need to be able to win people over with your intelligence, your creativity, your skill, your work ethic, and your heart. Prospective employers may not get to know those things if they can't get past your orientation.

    Just my thoughts.

    Of course, if you want to do films on sexology issues, my thoughts are completely worthless. ;)

    Good luck on your decision!
  13. vniow thread starter macrumors G4

    Jul 18, 2002
    I accidentally my whole location.

    Okay, maybe not quite that but I do very much plan on pursuing a degree in sexology. Part of the reason is that I've developed an interest in artistic forms of sexuality and sexual expression, one of the reasons why I also want to go into film is so I can get a better sense of viewing things as art, not that I'm going to be making film after film about sexuality but I do think there's a lot of work do be done in that field, especially in the queer arena, and I hope to bring a sense of artistic ability to it somehow. (I guess) I don't even think any current universities offer any specific courses in that, they may have some that lead you there but I don't expect to get a degree in that from any old university. The only school I know of that does deal with that and only that is quite a ways away from me being qualified for it, its a graduate school and I haven't even started the process of declaring a major yet. Plus its in San Fransisco, yay!

    And if any employer is going to obsess too much about my being queer, then they're probably not someone I would like to work with in the first place.
  14. jsalzer macrumors 6502a


    Jan 18, 2004
    Very cool

    Good answer! If that's the case, you're absolutely right - go for it! Sounds like you'll do a lot of growing - and possibly help others to grow in the process.

    I'll skip over my "soapbox exclusively for Californians", because this isn't the place, but if you've never done so, please pull out a dictionary and make sure you (or anyone here who uses the word) understands its original meaning. It's not like "retard" or "n*****", whose origins are non-judgemental descriptors (Latin for "slow" and for the color black) that later developed negative overtones. If you grew up with the definition of "queer" being "gay", it's important that you understand the difference in meaning. :)

    (If I'm out of line, slap me. It's the educator in me. I can't stop it.)

    Many colleges offer special "Topics" courses when they know that there is interest. For example, you could approach the film department and (provided you can convince them that the class will fill), get them to offer "Topics in Film: Sexiological Whatever in Modern Film". It's usually a one-time shot and doesn't require approval from the college's curriculum committee (which would be required if it were offered a second time.)

    While there's some wisdom in there, you also have to keep in mind that an intelligent gay person, such as yourself, may be in a position to take people who have no experience with gays (or negative experience with gays) and get them to realize just how many of their beliefs were skewed or wrong. But, you don't get that opportunity if they don't hire you in the first place because they're uncomfortable and find it easier to hire someone else, or if they do hire you but get to know you first as a gay person before getting to know you as a person.

    Food for thought from the Midwest. Take only what applies. ;)

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