choosing film school

MarinaBG

New Member
Hello everyone!

I would like to ask for your suggestions for which film schools I can apply!
Key words that would describe my field of interest are “practice-based research”, “artistic experiments”, “amassing of new ideas and forms” etc.

Thanks!
 

Chris W

As You Wish
Staff member
NYU has more of a indy feel to it. Maybe some others have some suggestions. Be sure to update your avatar with an image. People will respond more positively to your posts when they can associate an image with your screen name. It doesn't even have to be a picture of yourself, it can be any image you like.

Thanks for joining the site and I hope you enjoy it!
 
Hi MarinaBG,

I think you might find more guidance in your search if you were to focus on critera which are either more specific or more material. I've found that almost all programs emphasize "practice-based research" and actively seek "artistic experiments" and the "amassing of new ideas and forms." Some schools might be more rigid in their curriculum than others or have professors who are more experienced in one style over another, but literally every school is hoping to find the next great innovators of visual media.

AFI is a conservatory and is known for its fast-paced, highly-collaborative work. NYU certainly has a reputation for finding those most inclined to creating intimate, small-budget, character dramas. USC is known primarily for its size and resources, and it has a reputation for producing filmmakers who opt for creating films of an equally large scale. Reputations aside, however, all three programs have produced just about every type of film and filmmaker imaginable.

Here are some items I considered when deciding if and where to apply (in no specific order):
  • Location of the school. (LA, NYC, somewhere else)
    • Most jobs in the industry are concentrated in Los Angeles and, to a lesser extent, New York.
  • The rate at which a school's graduates are currently finding work within the industry.
    • This is something that’s very hard to find. Most of my research came from small blurbs in the trades and devouring interviews that industry professionals did in print, on film, and through podcasts. This is also a major factor publications use in determining “film school rankings.” These rankings can be insightful or completely meaningless determining on what information you want to draw from them.
  • The professors' professional experience.
    • Fairly easy to find. I was more focused on practical experience rather than theory.
  • The fluidity/rigidity of the curriculum.
    • If a program didn't appear at first to provide everything I was looking for, was there some way that I could work some other interest into the curriculum either through electives or other means.
  • The prestige of the school.
    • The actual degree doesn’t matter. Where you get the degree isn’t everything either, but it’s a solid “in.” People refer to the USC alumni base as the “USC Mafia” because it’s large, successful, and they like to hire from within. I know it might seem like a cynical thing to consider, but it’s certainly not irrelevant either.
  • Price and Program Length
    • School is expensive and film school is no exception.
    • Most programs run either two or three years. There are plenty of three year programs that are cheaper than two year programs, but what are you sacrificing in terms of quality and being out of the work force for an extra year?
There’s tons of info out there if you know what you’re looking for. Hopefully this should get you started.
 

Chris W

As You Wish
Staff member
Hello everyone!

I would like to ask for your suggestions for which film schools I can apply!
Key words that would describe my field of interest are “practice-based research”, “artistic experiments”, “amassing of new ideas and forms” etc.

Thanks!
Which schools have you looked at? I just noticed that you are in Serbia. If you are not interested in coming to the states I've heard of good things about NTFS and Prague's Film School.
 

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