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University of Texas at Austin - Department of Radio-Television-Film

4.00 star(s) 4 Stars (1 Member Reviews)

Reviews summary

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Overall rating
4.00 star(s) 1 ratings
Affordability
5.00 star(s)
Alumni Network
4.00 star(s)
Campus
4.00 star(s)
Career Assistance
4.00 star(s)
Coursework
4.00 star(s)
Facilities
4.00 star(s)
Professors
5.00 star(s)
Scholarships
3.00 star(s)
100% are recommending this film school.
Great film school outside of LA/NYC
Reviewed by
Alumni
Pros
  • Great instructors who actually care about you and your work!
  • As an undergrad, you can work closely with MFA students and MFA projects.
  • No tracks, so choose classes as you wish/interest
  • Plenty of opportunities to get on set (student sets, MFA sets, TSTV, Women in Film, DKA, etc.)
  • SXSW and Austin Film Festival (the Screenwriter's festival) are home to Austin, TX!
  • You own your projects
  • Some notable alumni but nothing compared to the numbers of USC/AFI/NYU
  • Good facilities
  • Matthew McConaughey's Script to Screen class
  • Very affordable compared to other top film schools
Cons
  • Although equipment is good, during peak shooting times it's difficult to get the best equipment. (Plan ahead!)
  • Good internships are lacking. You should probably spend your summer interning in LA/NY, if you can.
  • Sometimes it's hard to get into the classes you want/need.
I would say overall UT's film school is a great choice! It is rated #11 on THR's Top Film School List in the U.S. Sure it's nowhere near LA or NY but it's a great place to be. Some perks include Austin being home to SXSW, Austin Film Festival, and ATX Television Festival. These festivals are great to have in your backyard. The first two are probably the better internships to land in Austin that are film-related (I don't know about ATX).

As an undergrad, your first four (Lower Level) classes in the major are media studies based. The last of these four allows you to get your hands on equipment for the first time. So keep in mind: just because you're in a Lower Level course doesn't mean you can't go find opportunities to hop on set --> upperclassmen sets, TSTV, etc. The experience you have is what you make of it.
After completing your Lower Level courses, you are free to take almost any Upper Level or production courses (some have pre-reqs). UT has no specific tracks, so you can take classes in whatever you're interested in.

I was not a grad student but I worked on many grad sets and many of the students are your TA's. Grad cohorts are usually 12 students. For grad students, in your first year you make a short documentary (KA) your first semester, and a short narrative (KB) in your second semester. Your second year is devoted to your pre-thesis. Your third year is spent working on your thesis. Many grad films are selected for regional film festivals and even some more highly regarded film fests.

Facilities-wise: UT has five large soundstages, a few editing labs, good but sometimes older equipment to checkout, nice looking classrooms and lecture halls.

In terms of finding talent/actors, you might be a bit limited compared to LA or NYC. However, you can still find good talent from Austin, Dallas, and Houston area. UT has a great reputation in Austin for upholding professional sets. We are taught to run our sets like the unions but without actually being union-sanctioned.

UT has opportunities to study "abroad" in LA and NY with their UTLA and UTNYC programs!

The only issues I find with UT are lack of equipment during peak shooting times. You really need to plan ahead. Spring semester is usually hectic because it's when undergrad thesis films shoot. Also, some of the equipment might seem a bit outdated, specifically some of the cameras available. The higher end cameras are typically reserved for grad students. There are a couple rental houses in Austin if you want to pay for other equipment. Also, the editing labs are always full in the last two months of the semester. Everyone is trying to finish up their final projects. But you can also edit on your own laptop if you wish.

Okay now that you've read to the end: I'll spill on Matthew McConaughey's class. It is a highly competitive class, seniors and juniors (if they're lucky) usually. It is primarily taught by a UT instructor with an occasional appearance from Matthew himself (if his schedule allows). You sign multiple NDAs because the materials you study are actual materials from the films that Matthew has been in. Usually the films are current. This is a class that bridges the stuff you learn in class to practical, real world filmmaking. It's really cool! Usually it's marketed to students who want to be producers but I think it's helpful for any student who's interested.
Affordability
5.00 star(s)
Alumni Network
4.00 star(s)
Campus
4.00 star(s)
Career Assistance
4.00 star(s)
Coursework
4.00 star(s)
Facilities
4.00 star(s)
Professors
5.00 star(s)
Scholarships
3.00 star(s)
Would recommend this film school?
Yes
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