Film School (MA/MFA) after MFA Theatre?

Hello fellow artists! I'll be graduating with my MFA in Theatre Directing in Fall 2021. I am interested in attending film school. I do not have vast experience in film but I want to learn. From your knowledge and experience, is it feasible to go into film school after earning an MFA in Theatre? I am concerned about submitting a film reel. What advice do you have for that too? Thank you.
 

llueve

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Hello fellow artists! I'll be graduating with my MFA in Theatre Directing in Fall 2021. I am interested in attending film school. I do not have vast experience in film but I want to learn. From your knowledge and experience, is it feasible to go into film school after earning an MFA in Theatre? I am concerned about submitting a film reel. What advice do you have for that too? Thank you.
Hi! I know this question is old, but in case you'd still like some input--

Seems to me like film MFAs take people from all kinds of backgrounds, so having an MA in Theater shouldn't stop you from applying if that's what you really want to do. Schools like a little variety in their cohorts, they don't just want film robots. :)

Application requirements vary, although if you are applying for Directing or Film Production MFAs I agree, you'll need to have filmed at least one thing before applying (in addition to any films for specific prompts). And actually, I think that's a good thing. It means you will have at least tried out film before committing all the time and money and energy to applications and then maybe to a 2-4 year MFA.

If you are completely new to film, can I make a suggestion?
Hope it's ok.
I would either PA on some film projects; volunteer on some film projects (they can be shorts by people at your school, a webseries your friend wants to make, a music video by a friend of a classmate, anything); or take a short course. Those are good places to start to see if the actual practical day-to-day of filmmaking is appealing to you. It will help you know if it's a lifestyle you want, if it's work you enjoy.

I was in theater before working in film and TV. I did lighting design in undergrad and worked in New York City in stage management for 5 odd years after college. I love theater, LOVE IT, and LOVED lighting design. But. I didn't like what it meant to be a professional lighting designer. I didn't want the constant travel, I didn't like that the collaborative aspect is usually limited to a couple production meetings over the phone + tech week. I also liked a lot of aspects of stage management, but it didn't ultimately do it for me. Then I migrated to film.

I'm glad I got some work experience in theater before jumping into a lighting design MFA, you know?
The medium is not the same as the job. Loving theater was not the same as loving the life of a theater professional.

My transition into film was slow. First I did props for short film by an actor in a play I was ASMing. Through that, I met a camera operator/DP who agreed to take me on as his PA on a few small shoots -- webseries, digital commercials. I also took an 8-week TV Writing class at a writing school. After a couple years, I quit my day job and jumped on a micro-budget feature. I then became a Post PA and worked up to being a union Assistant Editor for narrative TV & film. I took a summer film intensive in writing & directing. And now that I'm in the industry and have confirmed I want to write for a living, I'm applying to an MFA in Screenwriting so I can learn the craft better and make that transition.

So, that was a long winding path and it doesn't mean you have to take that long to get to where you want to go. But I think a good take-away is that sometimes, it's GREAT to try something out by dipping a toe rather than jumping full in.

And maybe it helps to know that you can get film work without any film experience and without a film degree.

So, happy to bounce around more ideas, but my first suggestion is to explore some non-MFA options first before applying to a program. Best of luck!
 

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