Getting Into Film School Without A Portfolio

So you want to go to Film School and you don't have a portfolio? First off... this is not a bad thing! Don't get turned off and think that film school isn't for you because you don't have a portfolio.

Not having a portfolio may even be more common than you think. Many people go for their undergraduate degree in a completely unrelated profession and this can be a good thing for many reasons.

First, it gives you life experience unrelated to filmmaking which helps you discover stories and aspects of life that interest you. Filmmaking is all about storytelling and the more that you have learned and experienced the better. You know the expression "Write what you know"?... well if you haven't experienced much then you don't.... I think you get the gist. :)

Second, it gives you a degree to fall back on if filmmaking turns out to not be the thing for you. This may sound pessimistic but it's unfortunately the reality as I know of many film school graduates who are no longer working in the film business. It's good to have options.

So getting back to the original point... how do you go to Film School without a portfilio? Here are two options:

1. Apply to a Film School that doesn't have any Portfolio requirements.

There aren't many for graduate film programs that don't require portfolios. Using our site's Film School search system however it's easy to find the schools that don't have any portfolio requirements: (simply choose the options on the right side of that page to search)

One option that doesn't show up on that list however is...
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About author
Chris W
BU COM 1999 Graduate. Currently working as a Film & TV editor in Los Angeles. Founded in 1998 (from which the film school forums were spun off into in 2014).


Great article! To add to that list, UCLA's film production program also does not require a portfolio, only an original treatment.

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