Has Anyone here been to a film school?

I’m interested in the medium and may wish to study it in the future. Probably not for at least a couple of years, but I would be interested to hear what you study about and what employment oppurtunities are available in such a field. Anyone ever study film somewhere?

I majored in it at the University of Miami. This was back in the early 90’s, so everything was pre-digital. I loved goofing around with a Bolex and the physicality of splicing film in the editing room. Mostly, I just wanted to make experimental “art” films, although I had a lot of fun writing screenplays for absurdist comedies.

As for career options? I’m now a librarian.

I majored in Radio/TV/Film at Northwestern University. The way their program worked when I went there ('87-'91) you were required to take some foundational courses in film and broadcasting history, criticism, business, and film, TV, and/or audio production. After getting those requirements out of the way, you could choose to concentrate on the aspects interested you. My interest was more in the history and business classes, so I only took the most basic production classes. My short films were less than inspiring.

Today I’m a service quality supervisor for a large tax and accounting firm. But at least I have good taste in movies.

B.A. in Film (double w/English) and M.A. in Film Archiving. Since the B.A. was at UC Berkeley, it wasn’t production-heavy (more an emphasis on history/analysis/etc.); I may have been the only person in my department who didn’t want to make movies. Great school, but not great film-making school.

Similarly, there was a small film-making component with the M.A., but nothing beyond 16mm Bolex work just so we knew our way around the equipment (including AVIDs, etc.) a bit.

So if you’re interested in non-production careers, academic, critic, and film archivist come readily to mind.

Are you willing to study abroad or would it have to be the US?

As part of my journalism studies at the U. of Northern Colo., I took a class on movie making. It changed the way I watch movies, and in a very good way. I enjoy them more than I did before.

There are two components of the motion picture medium – the art and the commerce. You can do some fun artsy things and be commercially successful in the mold of Spielberg and Lucas (though probably not on that scale) but you’ll probably struggle constantly to reach that balance. If you formally study film (and I’d strongly suggest the California universities, because that’s where the talent lives) you’ll get a very strong grounding in technique and mechanics, and you’ll learn how to translate your personal vision into the medium. You’ll want to change the world with your movies, but you’ll find the path to greatest funding through commercial success.

Cogswell Polytechnical College, where I graduated from, has a digital film degree program. I was in the animation/3D/effects department, but there was a lot of overlap. I currently work with eight other Cogswell alumni doing live AV production for conferences at a large tech company.

Not me, but my daughter acted in films made by students at NYU, so we got to chat a bit. The consensus from them was that you shouldn’t go to film school as an undergrad - you don’t get to do much, and NYU at least wanted to see a broader background. Second, it’s expensive - not just the tuition, but making your student film. You might be able to borrow equipment, and borrow sets, but the rest is up to you to pay for.

I also got the impression that you really need to be driven to make films to get anywhere. It’s not something you can succeed at if you’re causally interested.

As for employment opportunities, in what way, exactly? Are you interested in camera work, in editing, in directing, in writing? There are a lot of barriers to that also. For lots of jobs, apprenticeships seem to be more useful than film school.

I’m interested in any aspect of film, directing, editing, camerawork, and whatever else their may be. I know almost nothing about the field, but am interested in it. I think I would like to do work in media of some sort, I do have a music degree so perhaps I could work in tandem?

Oh, I live in Canada and would prefer to study here, but I’m not exclusive.