ethan.tinsley

New Member
Hello, I am a Texas native currently trying to decide between UT and NYU. Ive had my eyes set on UT for a while now because of the cost and its closer to home. The only thing is im worried the connections and networking wont be the best and I really would like to go to NYU just the cost of 50k a year is quite a lot and not knowing if ill be able to go on campus next year is quite troublesome. I understand that film school is more about what you make out of it than the degree. I would really appreciate some outside opinions on this matter.
 

sevs

Member
Hello, I am a Texas native currently trying to decide between UT and NYU. Ive had my eyes set on UT for a while now because of the cost and its closer to home. The only thing is im worried the connections and networking wont be the best and I really would like to go to NYU just the cost of 50k a year is quite a lot and not knowing if ill be able to go on campus next year is quite troublesome. I understand that film school is more about what you make out of it than the degree. I would really appreciate some outside opinions on this matter.
Wrestling with the same question. End of the day, a film degree won't make your career, and minimizing that monthly student loan payment will go a long way towards making expensive industry hubs like New York City and Los Angeles financially livable for you if you're trying to go into the industry after graduating.

So money matters— a plus for UT— but then so does living and working somewhere where you can rapidly and consistently make connections with people already working in the industry— a minus for UT... So it's not an easy call to make, and that's before you even factor in any of the complicating logistics of the coronavirus pandemic we now know we will face in the fall.
 

collin

New Member
Hello, I am a Texas native currently trying to decide between UT and NYU. Ive had my eyes set on UT for a while now because of the cost and its closer to home. The only thing is im worried the connections and networking wont be the best and I really would like to go to NYU just the cost of 50k a year is quite a lot and not knowing if ill be able to go on campus next year is quite troublesome. I understand that film school is more about what you make out of it than the degree. I would really appreciate some outside opinions on this matter.


Senior in HS. Currently have the same dilemma (and, of Course, only a few days left to decide). It's hard to put Corona thought aside, but we do know that schools will have a hard time or just may not open at all in the fall. And I've talked to someone who's lived through devastating times in New York (e.i 9/11) and they've mentioned the culture and air of the city does change for a while, and that corona might have the same effect. Regardless, assuming normalcy afterwards. Here's what I've been able to figure out from people who work in the industry and current students at each university.

NYU

PROS
. The dream School
.2nd most competitive film school in the world
Only 200 spots, I earned one
. Some admitted students will likely be some of the most committed and talented kids from around the world. Actors, Singers, Business-minded (But keep in mind some of the most talented might not be able to pay the tuition and go elsewhere)
. International student body- students from 100 different countries
. Personally feel, I might “click with” or find more film makers like me at NYU.
. Occasionally good internships for juniors and seniors (from what I’ve heard NBC, SNL, Nickelodeon, and heard some about A24, HBO, Universal but couldn’t confirm)
. more successful alumni (though this is primarily from the grad school. And honestly doesn’t really matter. They likely had the talent in them before they went to NYU, but everyone's path is different)
. Your School does not define your career path, especially for film
. LA Abroad Program (semester to one year)

CONS
. Some admitted students aren’t passionate, just well-connected. Only looking to have fun and coast along in New York-don’t have to worry about career, internships, money, time. (heard this from an occasional guest-lecturer at NYU)
.3 people in the film industry- editor for HGTV/Food Network. Ex-movie Distributor/current Director, and an assistant director- believe NYU is not worth the money.
. Some NYU Students believe the education isn’t even worth the money (But they have the money to pay it comfortably)
. According to current students, little access to equipment and production sets (Like most film schools)
. more difficult to pursue second major or other academic interests.
. Your School does not define your career path, especially for film
. According to current students, some faculty don’t seem to care about students.
. no short film work in class the first year (if you want to make your own shorts as a freshman its done independently of classwork)
. New York is less helpful and more competitive

UT

Pros
. Can graduate with less (or no) debt than one would at NYU
. Have more money to put towards production, equipment and travel.
. Faculty seems more willing to commit to the student. More opportunity to develop a relationship with faculty
. Get some of the same internships as NYU students (from what I could confirm- nickelodeon)
. New York semester long program & LA semester long program
. Can double major easily/pursue another academic interest (isn’t always necessary- but film is in industry, like any business there’s finances and advertising, and topics like sociology, psychology, and history could contribute greatly to storytelling)
. 3 people in the film industry said “you can’t really go wrong with UT FILM”
. Austin is competitive, but people in industry are more willing to help.

CONS
. don’t 'fully' want to go here
. it’s the second choice
. potentially a less competitive film school, potentially less ‘talented’ (but remember “keep in mind some of the most talented students admitted to NYU might not be able to pay the tuition and go elsewhere like UT. and honestly most everyone is starting at the same place, right? "we know what we want to do, but we really have no idea what we're doing" rarely anyone's made a feature or has a distribution deal- we're all just trying to understand how, what, and why in regards to film)
. Austin may not seem as exciting as New York.
. worried you may not find “your people”
. potentially less connections and internship opportunities.
. first two years (unless you can test out/credit out of gen. ed courses) are primarily academic and production class don't start until junior year.

look, you probably know, in your heart where you want to go. you gotta ask, is it feasible? sometimes it isn't and sometimes the money isn't there and that's ok, play your cards where you have to, no saying how much you can win. Both are great schools, one just has the romanticized "New York" around it that probably adds some bias to the decision. I'm personally still unsure, but I feel like I can make both places work. Here's what's likely, you're going to find kids at either school you click with and want to work with- just put yourself out there. You are going to develop some connection inside the industry (which you don't need a university to do. I got on my first film set by emailing someone I'd never met and just asking if I could come up and see the way some things are done). One for my, like I said is the dream school, and it's hard to let part of a dream go, if I let I go (Not sure yet). But have faith in yourself, if you can make it at UT, you can make at NYU, therefore if you've got the talent (and a little bit of luck) you can make it anywhere. I hope you're doing well, you're definitely not alone in your struggle. if you've already committed I hope you feel you made the right decision! please let me know which one you chose and why. If you've yet to commit, I hope this helped, please let me know if you have any further questions. Your university does not make your experience, you do.
 

MildTabasco

Active Member
I currently attend USC and while there are things I would change about our program, I would say being in a city like a Los Angeles or New York would be a big benefit in your career development. While I’m sure you will do good things in a Texas, the fact of the matter is that LA is a city built upon the film industry and NY, to a smaller extent will provide opportunities as well. If I were in your position I would take a gap year because of the virus and try to apply to LA schools, with New York as your backup. That is, unless you are sure you plan to establish film roots in Texas, which is valid in its own right but know that there will be fewer opportunities there.
 

collin

New Member
I currently attend USC and while there are things I would change about our program, I would say being in a city like a Los Angeles or New York would be a big benefit in your career development. While I’m sure you will do good things in a Texas, the fact of the matter is that LA is a city built upon the film industry and NY, to a smaller extent will provide opportunities as well. If I were in your position I would take a gap year because of the virus and try to apply to LA schools, with New York as your backup. That is, unless you are sure you plan to establish film roots in Texas, which is valid in its own right but know that there will be fewer opportunities there.

Truthfully I am stuck. I have only a day to decide if I want to do a Gap Year and I truthfully don't know if it's the best option for me personally. But the breakdown is at NYU I would have New York, the single major, and 'potentially' be able to participate in the LA semester to year long program. UT I would have Austin, the New York City semester program,the LA semester program, money to travel to film festivals and more money for personal equipment. But I don't know if self reliability is worth more than the connections forged through NYU or USC. Especially in this state of economic unpredictably. I have decide, realistically by tomorrow, so if you could let me know your thoughts that would be great! Is an NYU tuition worth the 40k per semester if my first semester is solely online? I've been told by some people in the industry the four years might not be worth it all due the tuition price.
 

MildTabasco

Active Member
I think you should follow what your gut is telling you. But let me tell you a story. One of my friends is a successful filmmaker that went to UT Austin. He was able to hone his craft, but eventually he had to move to LA, where the work is. When he moved out here, guess what? His connections were gone and he had to start from the ground up meeting people again. The benefit of moving to LA or New York is that you will be in the locations where US film production is based.

Perhaps see what you want to do, but if it's 'I want to work in the industry' and not simply I want to make independent films, then I feel your best bet would be LA, and if you hate LA, then NY.

Texas is great, but the reality is that the film work you probably want to get will be based elsewhere. Just my two cents, but beyond these schools, the most important thing is to keep making creative work.

DO NOT take classes online. You can't learn production that way. Take a gap year if that's the case. If you have the talent, you can get in next year.
 
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