The people you meet and become friends with is by far the greatest part of the program.
Top rate education. You learn how to do everything and leave the program ready to work on professional crews.
Facilities are amazing. Spent nights with talent classmates lighting scenes on an awesome soundstage and then went drinking after. Such a cool experience.
Support after graduating. There is the Purple List and The NYU Production Lab. Both designed to assist students in making their first feature films. This is by far makes the program worth it's weight in gold.
Working professional faculty. Todd Solondz was one of my professors.
The only con for me is the price which really isn't unique to most film schools.
The graduate film program at NYU changed my life. I keep up with most of my classmates and a lot of my professors. I still work with a lot of my classmates on film projects currently.
The City - The bustling energy of the city and the vibrant and diverse arts and foods and cultures all slammed together into this relatively small area, all accessible by just hopping on the subway.
The Talent - This may be a controversial statement to some, but I also feel the talent pool of serious actors and performers in NYC is superior to that of LA. The level of talent (stage and musical actors, dancers, musicians) even among those who are still trying to make it, and their willingness to act for student films, is a serious blessing.
The Resources - The facilities are wonderful and up to date, and just walking around the building you can tell plenty of funds are flowing through that place. It seems like you'll feel well-supported in terms of equipment, sound, editing, ADR, foley, etc.
The Alumni - The proof is in the pudding. A stellar track record of producing great writer/directors who are making meaningful contributions to cinema and television, whether it be commercial or independent.
The Learnin' - It seems that while you do learn a bit about everything, you get to focus on a certain aspect of filmmaking in your second year, and you will be able to direct a significant project your second year if you so desire.
The Intimacy - Since NYU only takes 36 students per year, you'd get to know everyone pretty well and that points to stronger bonds forming for post-graduation relationships.
The Cost - Not just the expensive tuition (60k-70k) but the cost of living in NYC is pretty atrocious.
Local Opportunities vs. LA - While it's not a total con, the opportunities for jobs is pretty good from what I hear but pales in comparison to Los Angeles.
Keep in mind, these are simply my thoughts as a current New York City resident who has applied to the NYU MFA Grad Film program. Some of this is my own personal observation of life in New York City, and some of it is based on research, and some just pure speculation. I didn't submit ratings for certain categories that I simply don't know about yet, such as Career Assistance, Coursework, or Scholarships. I have toured their facilities though (beautiful and well-equipped), and I've managed to make it to the interview round so I'll hope to hear back from them sometime in March for the yay or nay.
Currently in my third year of my MFA at NYU Tisch Grad Film (writing/directing).
I cannot praise this program enough! It exceeded any expectation I had going in, and now I spend most my time trying to make the most of the time I have left until graduation.
NOTE: The tuition range mentioned in this thread is very off. The yearly tuition cost is around $60 K, and with the housing/living costs it's closer to $100 K per year. However, there are lots of scholarships available, both for merit and need.
Most of the faculty split their time between teaching and working in the industry, and some of them have become contacts for life. The curriculum is extremely well put together and I've learned more than I thought was possible within the two years I've been there.
That said -- it's an extremely tough program. People who have done either med school of the millitary say NYU Tisch is harder. Most people in my class agree that film school is some of the hardest things they've ever had to do.
Why? Because it's physically impossible to do all the work they ask with only 24 hours in the day, and every hour of the day forces you to neglect your primary needs -- such as rest, food and hygiene. In return, we get to do what we love ALL THE TIME! AND IT'S THE BEST THING!
The first year is especially hard because there are literally no weekends off; no spring break, no fall break and we have a project over the winter break. We make three films in the first year, on top of homework and 24 hours a week in class + the living in NYC is anything but convenient, so even small things take more time than in other cities.
However, it's the most fun place I can imagine being right now, and I wouldn't have traded it for the world. The class sizes are so small that you become a close-knit family right away.
The equipment and tech support is top notch.
The faculty offers daily revelations that will help you see filmmaking differently.
Every week is a week of growth.
The projects are surprisingly high level for filn school
Well-rounded classes on everything from the technical aspects to the emotional sides of filmmaking -- they cover it all.
I'd give the MFA program at Tisch 5/5 stars -- and more if I could.
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