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Academy of Art University


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#1 David Ralph Smith

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Posted 15 August 2006 - 01:58 PM

I want to pursue my masters in cinematography. Because of my schedule I will have to do it online, or part time. I live in Jersey and I am planning to move to Georgia in a year. After looking at many schools I thought the Academy of Art University out of San Francisco was my best option.

:blink: Has anyone tried their online masters programs? Is their a better program out I should be looking at for cinematography?
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#2 Morgan Peline

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Posted 16 August 2006 - 05:58 PM

Hi,

Obviously this might not be my place to say anything as I am at a film school doing an MA (though of course it is very hands on) ...however, the notion of an online M.A. in Cinematography seems to me to be a little bit nonsensical.

How many classes will you have where tutors teach you practically?...

I would suggest:

First:

Getting a job on professional film and tv sets as a trainee, and then loader, then 2nd AC, 1st AC, Op, DP etc. to see how people shoot and light in the real world.

Second:

Using some of the money you would have used on tuition to buy a load of good books that would give you exactly the same info that an online course would but for much cheaper.

Third:

Using the rest of the money you would have spent on tuition to buy a 3CCD miniDV camera and a Mac with Final Cut Pro and a few lights etc. and then shoot a load of short films with some friends and then edit them yourself.

Fourth:

When you finish those films, show them to your boss (a DP who hopefully hires you regualarly as a trainee or loader in the real world) to ask for any tips on how you can improve your technique.

Fifth:

When it is time to graduate to shooting film, buy a stills camera and practice, or shoot on an 8mm camera, or buy some 16mm reversal or neg. stock and practice on a borrowed bolex. You can then always rent or borrow a better 16mm camera e.g. Aaton XTR or Arri SR3 later to shoot bigger projects.

In other words, just go and shoot and read books rather than spending time infront of an LCD thinking about shooting...

Of course, mine is just one opinion, I have no idea how good or bad this art college is...

Good luck!
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#3 Kevin Masuda

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Posted 16 August 2006 - 07:05 PM

I can only speak for the actual college rather than the online program. The Academy is pretty cool, the teachers are helpful for the most part and you learn a lot. I have my qualms, mostly with the administration but what school doesn't, but if you really want to learn I suggest you come out here to San Francisco and actually go to the classes. Mind you, it's pretty expensive(both the school and to live).


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#4 Jamie Metzger

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Posted 16 August 2006 - 11:29 PM

I go to the academy right now, and I love it. It's really a great school and I have learned tons, plus worked on tons of films and tons of professional films.

I do not suggest taking the masters program online, and suggest that you do be here to experience the city and the school. Our equippment rental is quite great.
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#5 David Ralph Smith

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Posted 30 August 2006 - 08:23 AM

:D Thanks for all the replys. I just finished shooting a documentary on mini-dv I will be sure to show it around to get some feedback.

-David
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#6 Jonathan Bowerbank

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Posted 12 December 2006 - 06:33 PM

Yeah David, I don't see the point of going for a masters online. In that instance it's just a piece of paper that will probably only get you a teaching job or something. I would also suggest you come out here, get involved in projects and get some experience while going for your MFA.

Also, the Academy of Art, as great a school it is, puts more focus on training you for the film industry work force than really creating "art". Which has its positive and negative sides to it. You'll probably get a lot of work and do well financially AFTER going to the Academy, but whether you'll be a more educated and socially conscious filmmaker is another question. Just make sure you're exposing yourself to the forms of films and filmmaking that you're interested in while going to what is essentially a trade school.

All the film schools here in San Francisco are so different, it's a strange dynamic. But here are the labels that most SF filmmakers know them by:

Academy of Art University = Trade/Technical emphasis for future commercial filmmakers
SF Art Institute = Emphasis on the aesthetics, experimentation, art and theory of films and filmmaking.
SF State = Mostly theory and lecture based with some production once you become a grad student.
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#7 Kevin Masuda

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Posted 21 December 2006 - 12:06 AM

Yeah David, I don't see the point of going for a masters online. In that instance it's just a piece of paper that will probably only get you a teaching job or something. I would also suggest you come out here, get involved in projects and get some experience while going for your MFA.

Also, the Academy of Art, as great a school it is, puts more focus on training you for the film industry work force than really creating "art". Which has its positive and negative sides to it. You'll probably get a lot of work and do well financially AFTER going to the Academy, but whether you'll be a more educated and socially conscious filmmaker is another question. Just make sure you're exposing yourself to the forms of films and filmmaking that you're interested in while going to what is essentially a trade school.

All the film schools here in San Francisco are so different, it's a strange dynamic. But here are the labels that most SF filmmakers know them by:

Academy of Art University = Trade/Technical emphasis for future commercial filmmakers
SF Art Institute = Emphasis on the aesthetics, experimentation, art and theory of films and filmmaking.
SF State = Mostly theory and lecture based with some production once you become a grad student.


I also go to the Academy and it's a great technical school but the asthetics and art side has to come from you because no one is going to teach you that at the Academy. So generally I watch, read, analyze and observe everything I can because when I get out I want to not only be technically proficient but asthetically as well.

Kev
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#8 Sam Kim

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Posted 26 February 2007 - 01:10 AM

Academy of Art University = Trade/Technical emphasis for future commercial filmmakers
SF Art Institute = Emphasis on the aesthetics, experimentation, art and theory of films and filmmaking.
SF State = Mostly theory and lecture based with some production once you become a grad student.



I go to state and if you're smart you can get take three semesters of production courses (you have your pick, by lottery, amongst editing, directing, cinematography, sound, opitcal printing, documentary etc). State has a lot of theory courses too (we have Bill Nichols, a pioneer in film theory studies, after all) but we're not limited to that.

J Bowerbank is correct in calling Academy of Art U a trade/tech school. The masters program there is actually really good from what I hear however it focuses on being hands on. An online MA degree won't do much unless all you want to do is teach in the middle of nowhere university. Cinematography is a hands on technical art. Being somewhere physically is the best benefit.

If you want to do it online though, just don't get rid off. Dont' pay $2000 for online tuitiion and then $500 for books and supplies when you could pay $50-$100 for a book that teaches much of what you can learn. If you want to learn cinematography do and fail a lot. You learn a lot doing that. =]
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#9 Mark Heim

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Posted 08 March 2007 - 05:57 PM

I was just recently accepted into Academy of Arts MFA program. Are there any current MFA students out there who could share their experience? I've heard good things, but I'm curious about what the program really entails. Do the MFA students have plently of access to the equipment?

Anyone?

Cheers
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Rig Wheels Passport

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Willys Widgets

rebotnix Technologies

Glidecam

Media Blackout - Custom Cables and AKS

Gamma Ray Digital Inc

CineLab

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Visual Products

Tai Audio

Opal

Technodolly

Paralinx LLC

Ritter Battery

Metropolis Post

Abel Cine

FJS International, LLC