Have You Chosen a Film School?

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If you have a talent and want to pursue it as your life’s passion, a solid education is your best foundation. There is no arguing that whether it’s about you, or your kids, learning from those who came before is like mining for diamonds.

Workers operating overhead cranes watched the filming of the opening scenes for the new James Bond movie Spectre as they went about their work at the Metropolitan Cathedral. The atmosphere in Mexico City’s El Centro is naturally filled with a palpable electricity that could be caught on camera without artificial staging. The producers and directors knew this.

Years of experience, a gut knowing and an expert eye for their craft took them to the right place to get their desired results.Where does one apply to get the best exposure (so to speak) to becoming a movie maker? Do you study in the heart of Hollywood, New York or Dehli? Are the basics the same, no matter where you study and does the difference come down to your own creative value? It’s not as simple as it used to be.

Back in the day, having access to a 16mm camera, and a little film stock could get you started. With the advancements in technology, film schools must offer state-or-the-art augmented reality labs as well as digital Steadicams. Without these, a film school may as well open up a bagel shop and sell lox.

You may be surprised to learn that there are dozens of accredited film schools all over the world. For this article I’m just mentioning three indisputable greats in North America.

When we think of filmmaking we think of Los Angeles. UCLA The heart and soul of the industry, and for some the only game in town. Although many would argue with this, there is some merit to being at the pulse of the industry. Getting hands on advice from local mentors like Clint Eastwood and Steven Spielberg, who have been in the industry for years is just one of the advantages. Some of the notable graduates are George Takei, Justin Lance Black, Frank Marshall. Because of this, UCLA seems to be the first choice among aspiring film makers and only 2% of undergraduate applications are accepted each year.

New York University
Now if you want to talk heavy weights, this is considered by many as the most prestigious film school in the country. Far from the Hollywood scene New York University school of cinematography’s alumni is the who’s who of the industry. Martin Scorsese, M. Night Shyamalan, James Franco, Spike Lee, Oliver Stone. This school is for the very dedicated student who won’t be wasting anyone’s time fiddling around. Instructors include James Franco, Sofia Coppola and the great David Fincher.

Ringling College of Art and Design

The newest in the line-up of worthy mentions, this school has earned its reputation for producing high quality workshop experiences. Located in Sarasota, Florida the film department first welcomed new students in 2007. Already credited with alumni of Oscar winning fame, Patrick Osborne and You Tube star Michelle Phan. Expansion is in the works. A 30,000 square foot sound stage and post production studio plans to host students in December of the year.

What are your thoughts about film schools? Do you recommend one that I should put in my next article? Leave a comment below.

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