If your current ultimate goal is to live and work in Los Angeles, would it make more sense to attend a school that requires you to borrow more money but is located in LA, or to attend a school that requires you to borrow nearly no money whatsoever but is not located in LA?

Put another way, would you rather sacrifice the potential connections made up front for the significantly lower student loan burden following graduation, or vice-versa? Which sacrifice poses the greater hinderance in the long run? Fewer connections? Or more debt?

Chris W

Willem was robbed
Staff member
I've found that the most useful connections are your peers as you rise up together in the ranks.

I've never gotten a job because of where I went to school... But I went to BU and not USC or something like that. I just worked my ass off and always did good work.

I've heard great things about UT Austin. If debt worries you, you can certainly get a good education and then Hussle when you get to LA.

Does UT have a summer LA program?

Also.... It's highly likely that most of your peers at UT will be headed to LA too.


Great points regarding potential UT peers! In this field I suppose the soft rule "you're more likely to work where you graduate" does not apply in the same way it did for undergrad/non-film fields. UT does also have an LA internship program, though it may or may not be geared more towards its undergraduate students? I have to look into that one further.

I think my concern is more specifically regarding forming connections with folks already in the industry as opposed to just my peers in film school ("you never know who you're gonna run into on a train" as we say in New York).

Also, I don't know as much about the strength of local acting talent available to the Austin independent film scene. This is a concern because the quality of my thesis film(s) walking out of graduate school is also very important to me ("90% of directing is casting" I've found to be more true than not).

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