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Is college necessary for cinematography?


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#1 Alecks_29

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Posted 26 January 2006 - 01:55 PM

I have been reading some of the posts about colleges and filmmaking and was wondering what your opinions were about college and cinematography work? I already have a major in English and a minor in business, but would like to switch gears.

I am out in boondox, Iowa and know that to attend a school like USC I would have to take on massive loans. The university here has a journalism program with an Electronic Media Studies emphasis that I am considering, but the advisors have told me that this is aimed more at television work. Would this be a possible option if I were able to secure some internships as an assistant on film sets? (Would a student from Iowa even have a shot at securing an intership, what with all the film students right there in California?)

I looked into Brooks Institute once, but frankly it seemed more like Amway than a college. I have never recieved so many phone calls from any "advisor" EVER. (and they seemed more interested in my money than in my education...)

If you would recommend that I forgo college, how/where would I go about picking up cinematography skills?

Thanks in advance for any advice on what my best options would be at this point.
-Alecks
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#2 Jamie Metzger

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Posted 26 January 2006 - 02:06 PM

I have been reading some of the posts about colleges and filmmaking and was wondering what your opinions were about college and cinematography work? I already have a major in English and a minor in business, but would like to switch gears.

I am out in boondox, Iowa and know that to attend a school like USC I would have to take on massive loans. The university here has a journalism program with an Electronic Media Studies emphasis that I am considering, but the advisors have told me that this is aimed more at television work. Would this be a possible option if I were able to secure some internships as an assistant on film sets? (Would a student from Iowa even have a shot at securing an intership, what with all the film students right there in California?)

I looked into Brooks Institute once, but frankly it seemed more like Amway than a college. I have never recieved so many phone calls from any "advisor" EVER. (and they seemed more interested in my money than in my education...)

If you would recommend that I forgo college, how/where would I go about picking up cinematography skills?

Thanks in advance for any advice on what my best options would be at this point.
-Alecks


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#3 benspo111

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Posted 26 January 2006 - 05:35 PM

I go to Brooks Institute, yes the admissions reps are rather annoying, but the education is great, they really prepare you for the industry, we have tons of equiptment, and the people that actually end up graduating really know what there doing and go on to do some great things, I'd go have a visit of the campus, we have a couple sound stages, and the teachers are awesome, really know what there talking about, and they are coming from LA to teach, and when there not teaching they are working on movies.
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#4 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 26 January 2006 - 06:04 PM

Besides USC & UCLA, the Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, AFI, Chapman also have cinematography courses.

A lot of cinematography can be self-taught, but assuming you do that, what you also need are (1) the opportunity to shoot a lot; (2) the opportunity to meet students who may want to hire you after they graduate. So I'd go where ever you'll get a chance to shoot, and where the graduates have a decent chance of ending up somewhere in the industry. The second tend to suggest a LA-based program just because of the physical closeness to the film industry.
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#5 Will Novy

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Posted 30 January 2006 - 08:20 AM

Besides USC & UCLA, the Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, AFI, Chapman also have cinematography courses.

A lot of cinematography can be self-taught, but assuming you do that, what you also need are (1) the opportunity to shoot a lot; (2) the opportunity to meet students who may want to hire you after they graduate. So I'd go where ever you'll get a chance to shoot, and where the graduates have a decent chance of ending up somewhere in the industry. The second tend to suggest a LA-based program just because of the physical closeness to the film industry.

I also go to Brooks, and find it to be one of the more technical schools out there. There are about 3-4 cinematographer teachers at the school, and each very different from the next. I hear that Chapman has a good DOP by the name of Bill Dill, who i see is listed as being in ASC, so he cant be all that bad. As for the "advisors", I think by now, they dont call as much, and from talking to one recently, they dont really want you to go to brooks if you arent 1. serious about being a film maker or 2. If it isnt the place you should go. If you have connections somewhere else, aka out of state, you would probably have a better chance going there and being a student. The Art Institute is another good Cinematography school. Shop around and find out that suites you.
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#6 Alecks_29

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Posted 30 January 2006 - 12:12 PM

The Art Institute is another good Cinematography school. Shop around and find out that suites you.


I checked into some of the schools you guys mentioned - American Film Institute looked fabulous if I could somehow come up with the money. I found Columbia University in Chicago on another message string, and that looks like a good option too (and definitely a more do-able one for me).

After my experience with Brooks, I don't think anyone will be able to convince me it's worth anything, but more power to you if you like it.
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