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Accepted at SCAD and UNCSA; pros and cons? Thanks in advance

Discussion in 'Undergraduate Film School Discussions' started by lightscamera, Jan 28, 2015.

  1. lightscamera

    lightscamera New Member

    Jan 28, 2015
    My daughter is accepted in both Film programs, now she has to choose:

    Does anyone go to either of these programs?

    Any alums here?

    Savannah College of Art and Design
    University of N Carolina School of the Arts

    We found the SCAD campus tour to be excellent, the facilities look amazing. But do they make great films at the BFA level?

    We found the films to be amazing at UNCSA but the campus seemed lacking.

    Can you please share your views on these two programs? Thank you in advance:

    Pros and Cons?

    Do they both make great films in the BFA programs?

    How is campus life as a student at both of them?

    Do they both have good career planning?

    Plentiful internships?

    Great hiring rates right out of school?

    Where would you be happiest and most satisfied with your film school education?

    All info is appreciated

    Thank you
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  2. Julia L

    Julia L Producer/Screenwriter

    Jan 20, 2017
    I know this post is years old, but just in case someone finds it in the future and still wants these questions answered, ill take a stab at it. I was also accepted to both SCAD and UNCSA and ultimately chose UNCSA; it was the right choice.

    SCAD has a lot to boast with Savannah as its hometown and millions of dollars of new facilities being constructed every year. But ultimately it is a design school. I would absolutely have gone there for graphic design, fashion design, or even animation. But they don't do much as undergraduates in the film program. Everyone there really has to make their own opportunities and fight to get access to equipment. You also don't get to take any real film classes your first year.

    On the other hand, UNCSA's infrastructure hasn't been majorly updated since it was built in the 70's, and the neighborhoods surrounding it are questionable. But you are doing filmmaking and only filmmaking from the moment you step onto the campus. Your classes are hosted in on-campus movie theaters and sound stages from week 1 and by week 4 you have taken your safely test and will be crewing on-location for the 4th year thesis films. Working on these films isn't "an opportunity" like they would be at SCAD or any other film school like NYU or USC, its a requirement. You must get your feet wet working as a PA or a crafty and getting that mentorship from the upperclassmen for a specific number of hours each semester. You also have to work in the art department. And the best thing about it is that the school funds these projects. Our tuition goes partly into the projects we all work together to make. And it is a relatively low tuition especially compared to its competing schools. At SCAD in particular you'd be paying 50k+ every year and then adding on the cost of any project you'd want to fund and create. But UNCSA is under 15k for in state and under 30k out of state and you don't have to raise the extra money to get the "opportunity" to make a short.

    On top of that, its stressed that the faculty doesn't want us raising money for our thesis(4th, 3rd, and 2nd yr projects) because they want to see what we can do with the limited budget they give us. It also puts us all on a level playing field with each other. Some of the children of "important people" here don't get to buy their good grade on their thesis film. And then the school covers the entry fees for national and international film festivals.

    I can't speak for SCAD because I don't know anything about their alumni network but I CAN tell you that UNCSA has a small mafia of established alumni pickles that are dedicated to helping the new alumni find work in LA, New York, and Atlanta. A lot of them even come to visit during the holiday season for our week of "intensive arts" and frequently get coffee with current students. During intensive arts too we have so many established guests visit. This past year Ted Hope from Amazon studios came to screen some of his movies. Zene Baker, an alumni who edited Thor Ragnorok, come to screen it before it was released. Just so many people come to share their work and experiences with us and shake our hands, its impossible not to start creating a network from year 1.

    We also have a huge archive of film reels/prints and regularly screen them in our theaters. This past year I got to see The Color Purple, Pineapple Express, Blades of Glory, and Philadelphia on print to name only a few. We even got to screen an original print of Apocalypse Now that Copolla himself borrowed from our archive years ago for a festival. Either on print or digital, theres a huge emphasis on watching movies at our school because story is what they stress as the most important element of filmmaking. The students always get hung up on getting that on set experience, which is what sets the school apart from others, but you can watch 1-6 movies on the big screen every weekend if you show up for them.

    My conclusion.
    I almost didn't want to go to UNCSA because the campus is admittedly dingy and small. I was really attracted to SCAD because the dorms were big and they had so many shiny new things. But it would have been a mistake to go there because I would have been paying over double the amount of tuition for a fraction of the hands on experience. The physical faults of UNCSA keep us a tightly knit group of filmmakers with the same grievances to laugh about but everyone is satisfied with the level of education they receive because even after just completing 1 of my 4 years at this school, I could walk onto any film set in any department and be able to prove my worth and knowledge and thats not something people from other film schools can say.
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  3. Chris W

    Chris W Get Busy Living Staff Member

    Oct 30, 2002
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