Harold Ramis Film School

The world's first school dedicated to comedy filmmaking.
Degrees Offered
  1. 1 Year Conservatory
  1. Directing
  2. Film & Television Production
  3. Writing for Screen & Television
  4. Screenwriting
  5. Film Studies
  6. Television
Yearly Tuition
$10k to $20k
Application Deadline Details
For fall admission, May 15
For spring admission, September 15

Film School details

School Website
Is a portfolio required for admission? No
Who owns the copyrights of the films made at the school? The Student
How many Letters of Reference are required? 2
I'm currently attending this year-long intensive program and I'm honestly very impressed with the teachers and their vast knowledge on comedy filmmaking. Several, if not all, of them are also professors at Colombia or DePaul, and each of them bring their expertise on different aspects of filmmaking. If you love comedy, I can't recommend this program enough. Don't second guess it, just do it! Everything I learned at a 4-year university was taught to us in essentially the first two weeks here at HRFS. Actually, I learned even more because at a regular film school you don't get much information about comedy, or sometimes anything at all.

During this program you will create multiple short films and short story projects. At the end of the year, you will have one "big" short film that you can submit to festivals, as well as at least one completed feature or pilot script.

All I will say is that if you are unfamiliar with filmmaking in general (maybe you've never used a DSLR or lighting kit) then the program will feel overwhelming at first. Especially because the focus is 90% on writing/storytelling and the actual gear is not as important (technique is focused on though). More than half of my classmates have no filmmaking experience, but students are hand-picked by the admissions team so people from all levels are placed together and can help each other out. If you are unfamiliar with screenplay format or 3-act structure but know you love telling funny stories, this program would fit your needs quite well. You'll learn everything from how to construct a logline to how to pitch your completed screenplay.

Every few weeks there's a panel with a professional writer, director, or producer. Sometimes these are more like Q&As, and other times the person is just looking to give information to us. It varies depending on the person, but either way it's very helpful. Former students also will sometimes host networking events where you can meet other filmmakers in the area. Connections are everywhere!

And of course, this is at the famous Second City Chicago! How could anyone interested in comedy NOT want to come here?! Even just being in the building is inspiring. Pictures of some of the most famous alum are on display, insightful quotes about filmmaking are on the walls, and up and coming comedians are everywhere you look.

If anyone has questions, I'd be more than happy to answer them!

Application Requirements

You will make a portfolio while here. :)

Class Size

15 - 20

Internship Opportunities

Possible. Depends on if the people who come in to do panels are looking for interns. Sometimes they are, sometimes they're not.
We also have a student success manager who works directly with each student to ensure they're on the right track to finding a job in the industry. She works with students even after graduation.

What scholarship opportunities does the school have?

It was recently announced there's an NBC Emerging Voices Scholarship that gives up to 4 diverse students the chance to attend the school for free.
There's also opportunity to be a teacher's assistant and earn around $13 per hour that's directly reduced from your tuition.

DISCLAIMER: The information on this page is correct to the best of our knowledge at the time it was last updated. PLEASE verify with the school ALL due dates and requirements as they may have changed since our last update. If any info on this page is incorrect please let us know and we will update it. We are not responsible for missed deadlines or rejected applications due to out of date information on this page. Please do your due diligence.
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