academy of art
Posted 22 November 2005 - 01:16 AM
Posted 05 December 2005 - 11:41 PM
what does people know about them. if you have gone would you recoment it to others? i was thinking about going to sf state or some school like that but i want more hands on education
I am currently a student at the academy of art studying film. I will try to be braod in this post, telling you not only about my experience but how others seem to like it.
The Academy of Art University has no reason to use the word art when describing its film program. It is totally and completely focused on the technical aspect. This has its pros and cons. On the plus side it is great because in one of your very first classes your first term you get to rent out,m and shoot on an 8mm camera, exposing you right off the bat to the medium. Also the equipment issue room is a dream. Anyone making an indie film of any kind should just have one of their staff become a student and use the equipment they have. They have a ton of lights, light meters, cameras (mostly 16mm), tripods, scrimms, everything its great. This system is especcially great in your first two terms when all you want is to just jump right in. The big problems come from this very reason and also from the way the school is operated.
First of all anyone who applies to the school gets in without question, which in turn attracts a lot of people who really don't know where they want to be going, and a lot of people who don't have a lot of actual respect for art, since they didn't have to do anything to go to art school. The majority of the students dropout before the fifth term. Though in AAU's defense a lot of art schools have a lot of dropouts. As for the whole technical aspect being a problem well, here it is. Film is an art form about telling stories. The images you see support this story. A lot of a story is in the dialougue and actions but there is a TON of info the way its presented, bad filmakers don't see this and make crap, good ones know it and manipulate this fact. The academy acts like this aspect doesn't even exist. Some teachers go over it more or less well but most don't. You'll learn how to film and everything but you don't learn any theory. AT first I was like "theory? whatever!", but now I am seeing more and more how I would like to learn these things. Granted being an artist is finding your own voice but, the academy isn't really doing anything to assist me, or give me tools in finding that voice.
What it all really comes down to is this. A lot of the teachers in the film dept. have no idea what to teach some of the time. I've walked into my cinematography class, and its been blatantly obvious the professor doesn't know what to teach, so he just gets a bunch of cameras and has us shoot non sense. This is because all the teachers there learned on set, just like everyone in film does. No matter what when you get out, and you go for a job and say "Hey look a degree" it don't mean squat. You'll learn more practical job info on a set in one day than the academy can teach you. If you go to AAU you're paying to learn bare bones equipment, and to be around people who are learning the same thing, which can and does lead to jobs. The best way to learn is to get jobs on sets, thats the long and short.
I hope this wasn't too negative. AAU is a good film program, and the equipment you get access to is great, thats the best part. If you have any question at all please contact me via private message and i'll give you my email address or screename or something. Also I've done a lot of research into film schools and would be willing to share any info I have. Good luck with the school hunt!!