Latest reviews

Alumni
5.00 star(s)
Campus
5.00 star(s)
Career Assistance
5.00 star(s)
Equipment
5.00 star(s)
Coursework
5.00 star(s)
Professors
5.00 star(s)
Financial Aid & Scholarships
5.00 star(s)
Pros
  • Practical experience
  • Industry members
The summer intensive film program at Sarah Lawrence was fantastic. We were taught by industry professionals, whom had many years of experience. They gave insight that I learned a lot from. The access to equipment allowed me to learn gear I had not been exposed to before. I thought the ability to make our own film, with the guidance of a supervisor, was very important as it opened my eyes to what running a set is like. Overall a great program great for aspiring filmmakers.
Reviewer
Alumni
Alumni
5.00 star(s)
Campus
5.00 star(s)
Career Assistance
5.00 star(s)
Equipment
5.00 star(s)
Coursework
5.00 star(s)
Professors
5.00 star(s)
Financial Aid & Scholarships
5.00 star(s)
Pros
  • Top ten months of my life
I experienced the most incredible summer at IFI, and I wish I could relive it every day! however, since I cannot , I make do by taking what I learned, and using it to fuel my passion for film. Having the IFI teachers as reliable contacts, and my new friends to share this experience with, I am anxious to see where each of us ends up as story tellers and filmmakers.
Reviewer
Alumni
Alumni
5.00 star(s)
Campus
5.00 star(s)
Career Assistance
4.00 star(s)
Equipment
3.00 star(s)
Coursework
4.00 star(s)
Professors
5.00 star(s)
Financial Aid & Scholarships
5.00 star(s)
Pros
  • Great teachers
  • Great campus
  • Superb experience
  • Post production equipment is industry standard
Cons
  • On set equipment can be improved (but not necessary for young inexperienced students)
I have been engaged with filmmaking since the age of 9 and was searching for a course that could further my knoll which is not always easy to find. I feel IFI was a perfect match. The classes were great where you could always pick something new up no matter how much you feel you know. The timetables were devided up very well giving time for you to study a lot while also socializing with your mates. The theory and practical parts of the course were balanced. Equipment used to shoot with were not industry standard or very high end, but for students first introduced to filmmaking it works fine as it is easy to master.
The instructors were very helpful and a joy to work with!
Overall the IFI program is an amazing program for everyone and actually encourages you to study film at college, opening your eyes to the advantages of lessons everyday.
Highly recommend it!
Reviewer
Current Student
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Alumni
5.00 star(s)
Campus
4.00 star(s)
Career Assistance
5.00 star(s)
Equipment
5.00 star(s)
Coursework
5.00 star(s)
Professors
5.00 star(s)
Financial Aid & Scholarships
4.00 star(s)
Pros
  • Extremely helpful instructors, who put in a lot of effort to make the program as interesting as possible.
The Sarah Lawrence Filmmaker's Collective was the top experience I've had at a summer film program. Start to finish, their top priority was that we were making films at a near-professional level. All scripts were written to the industry standard, filming schedules established, casting calls made, and professional equipment was utilized. It certainly didn't hurt that we had an extremely positive crew of instructors guiding us through each early process, but what made the program so helpful was that it left room for things to go wrong. When I had actors dropping for my shoot and planned locations being shut down, they left it mainly in my hands to fix. That is the single most important thing a film school can do for you—give you real field experiences, mistakes and all—cause you'll be better prepared for the real thing on the other end.
Reviewer
Alumni
  • Like
Reactions: Halliepearl
Alumni
5.00 star(s)
Campus
5.00 star(s)
Career Assistance
5.00 star(s)
Equipment
4.00 star(s)
Coursework
4.00 star(s)
Professors
5.00 star(s)
Financial Aid & Scholarships
5.00 star(s)
Pros
  • Dedicated teachers
  • Excellent facilities and availability of recources
  • Real industry experience
  • Good campus
I went into this camp uncertain of what I wanted to do in college. When I finished the five week intensive program, I knew what I wanted to do for the rest of my life. I felt like my instructors really cared about my project and were willing to spend time just to make it perfect. C.C Webster, the screenwriting teacher, was amazing. If you enjoy screenwriting, go to this camp. Beyond screenwriting, the program offers excellent classes in directing, working the camera, and even acting. This gives students the entire film experience. We even went to casting calls in the middle of New York City, which was an experience that you can't get very many other places. Overall, if you like film, this is the place to go.
Reviewer
Alumni
  • Like
Reactions: Halliepearl
Alumni
5.00 star(s)
Campus
5.00 star(s)
Career Assistance
5.00 star(s)
Equipment
5.00 star(s)
Coursework
5.00 star(s)
Professors
5.00 star(s)
Financial Aid & Scholarships
4.00 star(s)
Pros
  • Amazing atmosphere
  • Great professors
Being a part of IFI’s summer film program has truly changed my life. When I first entered, I knew I was interested in writing but I had barely held a camera in my hand and had zero interest in anything other than writing. However, with the help of some wonderful professors, I found a new passion for being a Director of Photography. Not only did they help me develop the skills necessary to begin as a DP, but they have helped me in finding an internship and writing me a letter of recommendation, truly highlighting the supportive environment that follows you outside of the program.
No matter what level of experience you have or what you plan to do in the future, I highly recommend being a part of such a fantastic program.
Reviewer
Alumni
Alumni
1.00 star(s)
Campus
4.00 star(s)
Career Assistance
1.00 star(s)
Equipment
4.00 star(s)
Coursework
2.00 star(s)
Professors
3.00 star(s)
Financial Aid & Scholarships
5.00 star(s)
Pros
  • Friendly staff
  • Nice campus
  • Great amenities
  • On-site script library
  • TA opportunities
Cons
  • Lack of networking opportunities
  • Lack of job opportunities
  • Strictly pedagogic in academic approach (as opposed to practical)
  • Repetitive coursework & lessons
I was accepted to the CSUN MFA program in 2018 and took part in in for a full year; however, I recently decided not to go back and complete the program's second year... for a number of reasons.

1) LACK OF NETWORKING OPPORTUNITIES. This was my main peeve with the program. Networking opportunities were non-existent, unfortunately. I asked a few of the professors and the head of the program about this aspect of the MFA many times - as it is crucial to a career in screenwriting - and I was never given a solid answer. I happen to know a few people/execs in the industry as well, who asked me to reach out to CSUN on their behalf because they had internship/job opportunities that they wanted to share with the school. When I gave them the dept. head's contact info, two of them told me they reached out to him and never received a response whatsoever. I followed up with the dept. head and he simply said, "Oh, yes, I do remember seeing that name... Please have them email me again." But by that time, the opportunities were long gone. This is key because not only are you required to find an internship and take an internship course during your last semester of the MFA, but it's also a very important part of the job and working in Hollywood. I know the UCLA and USC have amazing opportunities in this regard; but, alas, I applied to each of those schools and couldn't get in.

2) STRICTLY PEDAGOGIC. The program is much more tailored to those who want to teach screenwriting at the college level than it does for those who actually want to be screenwriters. I say this not only because of my previous reason - lack of networking - but also because I spoke to one of the profs who's been there since the inception of the program who told me as much outright. Additionally, there was a lot of repetition in many of the lessons we learned.

3) VERY STRUCTURE-BASED COURSEWORK. I'm all for studying structure and form, but I also think that people entering a screenwriting Master's program should have a fairly good handle on that before joining. One of the professors who taught two of our courses over the first year taught his very-specific, step-by-step breakdown of how to break a story using his unique concept. It was very specific and odd, and we spent a LOT of time focusing on only his method, when there are dozens out there, many of which have proven to be great! I actually really liked this prof on a personal level, but I do not like that 2 of the 7 course I paid for dealt entirely with his methods and didn't allow for exploration of the many other forms.

4) LOOSE SYLLABI. Unfortunately, about 2 of the 7 courses that were taught didn't have syllabi at all, or really seem to have much of a purpose. In our teaching for screenwriting course, there were 14 of us. Basically, two of us came in each class and gave a lesson each week, and the prof provided very minimal feedback at the end of each lesson. It was like we weren't being taught anything at all. The lessons were all lead by other students in my peer group, and while some of them were great, I didn't expect to have to pay for and take valuable time (driving and attending) out of my nights to listen to other students speculate on what the best way to do _____ might be.

TAKE AWAY: If you don't know anything about screenwriting at all at this point in your life, OR if you're set on teaching screenwriting someday, this might be a good program for you. But if you're looking for industry connections and opportunities, save your money and look elsewhere (unless they revamp the program sometime in the next few years). The best part of the first year of the program, in my opinion, happened to be the two courses we took with adjunct professors who had real-life experience working in writers rooms. They were able to provide excellent feedback and guidance while we were working on our one-hour spec and half-hour original comedy pilots, and I feel that I can take those samples away and actually put them to use.

When I joined this program, I'd already studied screenwriting as an undergrad a bit, and worked some in the industry. I'd written a few episodes for an Emmy-nominated show and sold three concepts to a streaming network as well. I got a tip from a working writer that CSUN's film dept. had just gotten some kind of $8m influx via donations or something, but that wasn't evident in any part of the program, which was fine. That said, I was really hoping that the CSUN program would provide the networking opportunities and the chances to collaborate with other talented student directors, actors, producers, etc.--and it did not.
Reviewer
Current Student
Alumni
1.00 star(s)
Campus
2.00 star(s)
Career Assistance
3.00 star(s)
Equipment
5.00 star(s)
Coursework
2.00 star(s)
Professors
1.00 star(s)
Financial Aid & Scholarships
3.00 star(s)
Pros
  • Cheaper than some other big name film school with a good scholarship
  • Good access to equipment
  • Town is cheap to live
Cons
  • Horrible, uneducated and inexperienced faculty
  • Poorly managed equipment
  • Way too many student not from a film background
  • Poorly designed course, duplicated from undergraduate
  • Very limited talent resource
  • Bad reputation
The school is a complete honeypot, department head Donald.W Moffett has limited film production experience and has not idea how to properly guide the department. Chaos course design. Mediocre student body, most graduate student don’t have any film background experience and knowledge.
Faculties are mainly leftover from the industry who hardly been on any professional productions. Stay away, don’t wast you money and dream.
Reviewer
Alumni
  • Wow
Reactions: nwyrkrj
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