I have been to film school three times and am a member of a family where education was given the most respect, obviously I am a fan of being film educated. However, I find it stressful to be “educated”. School is not the only way to be educated, and in some situations, there is no official school to learn important information. Not so little, school is a time-tested successful method for laying a tremendous foundation.
The Big Five
The schools of the Big Five films are The University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), The University of Southern California (USC) and The American Film Institute (AFI) on the West Coast in Los Angeles, and New York University (NYU) and Comb. University on the East Coast in New York.
UCLA is known for its authors who dominate summer movie screenwriting credits, USC is better known for their powerhouse directors, AFI often has unreliable cinematographers, NYU is known for its East Coast filmmaker style, and Columbia a. Is. Film principle for all applications. Every school you go to on the Big 5 will be an incredible experience for every program. You will also have big-name professionals and heads of big companies who teach courses or speak as guests because of the school’s notoriety. You can’t lose.
The downside of USC is that they run it like a studio. Only 5 people can direct a thesis project if you are a graduate directing student. Every directing student comes to be one of those 5 and then 20 or 30 people don’t get the thesis project at the end, but help the crew on 5 people who thought of making someone’s film. The opposite for USC, again, is that they run it like a studio. USC is often unmatched in its networking capabilities and aggressively markets its students in the industry.
UCLA is best known for its screenwriters. USC may be able to out-network UCLA, but its authors cannot out-write UCLA authors. The average UCLA graduate screenwriting student will go with 8 feature length screenplay. UCLA screenwriters write a feature-length script over a 10-week quarterly, much like a real-life 8-week writing assignment. USC screenwriters will write 1 feature-length screenplay over a 1-year period. You do the math.
The Peter Stark producing program at USC is great for making movie executives, but the UCLA producing program is great for teaching producers everything they need to know to get there and just start doing it.
The AFI is even more hardcore, like the USC’s “only 5 thesis projects will direct.” Not only are there a limited number of thesis projects, not every filmmaker is always invited to come back to school for another year. It’s harder to get into any of these film schools than it is to get into Harvard Law School, because Harvard has a higher percentage of its applicants than a big film school, so for me AFI and USC weren’t really worth cutting. Or you snatch away the chances of winning the lottery already to be accepted after you had already beaten them. Winning the lottery a second time was not desirable.
Other film schools
The second school is Florida State University, which accepts an equal amount of writers, directors, cinematographers and editors to form teams for the thesis project. This seems to make the most since. Temple University in Philadelphia is excellent, and must apply for experimental filmmakers.
But in general, any film program is a great film program as far as you are learning.