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SFSU MFA Rants and Raves / Lodz MA Rants and Raves


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#1 Viktor Kaganovich

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Posted 11 November 2006 - 10:15 AM

Please post your INFORMED opinions (other schools seems to elicit quite a deluge of angry posts, many of them based on hearsay). Especially appreciated will be any information regarding the artistic slant/direction prevalent and cultivated at the school.

Thanks!
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#2 Kirk Anderson

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Posted 25 November 2006 - 11:34 PM

I'm an undergrad in my senior year at SFSU, majoring in Cinema. Great Program, definate talent within students and within faculties. The foundation of SFSU if 16mm. Digital is looked upon as lame and not artistic. 35mm can be used, but not often and only the MFA's get to use super 16, which you are.
McBride is a bad ass. All in all I feel it is Highly, highly under rated. some of the MFA's mentor the undergrads or TA intro 16mm filmmaking and theory classes. I like it, definately a worth while program and in the end, we'll see who prevails in the film industry.
spoiled children or the ones who worked for it?..... prolly the spoiled children, they have more money.

kirk, any other questions feel free to ask.
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#3 Satsuki Murashige

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Posted 26 November 2006 - 08:24 PM

I'm also an undergrad (senior) at SFSU, but I've crewed on a few graduate projects and have a few friends in the graduate program.

The school produces a lot of indi film/experimental filmmakers with a good knowledge of film history and film theory, but not so much technical expertise. The students who really know their stuff technically supplement their classes by reading, shooting, and crewing constantly on their own time. So, I'd say if you want to be immediately employable as a DP, AC, or a grip/electric and make lots of industry contacts, then you should go to a school closer to LA, like Chapman, AFI, etc. But if you want to get a solid foundation in film history and theory, then consider SFSU.

Equipment wise, the grad students get Arri SR2's (reg. 16mm, not Super 16). The lenses are pretty bad, but you can always rent from the local rental house, Lee Utterbach camera.
http://www.lucamera.com/joomla/

Grip equipment is pretty minimal, so if you want something like a Fisher 10 dolly, you'd have to rent it from DTC Grip in Emeryville. Just tried it recently, btw, pretty cool!
http://www.dtcgrip.com/

Lighting equipment is pretty minimal, mostly small tungsten fresnels, but there is a soundstage you can use with 10K's, 5K's, and the like, so you'll get some soundstage experience. You can rent stuff like HMI's very cheaply at Photographer's Supply Lighting.
http://sanfrancisco....y_lighting.html

Here's a link to an SFSU grad film I worked on recently (I was a 1st AC). The DP and I both took cinematography classes at City College of San Francisco, which I found were better than the one at SFSU. The cinematography professor at CCSF is John Aliano. If cinematography is your focus, then consider taking classes at CCSF on the side.
http://www.carrienoe...nowplaying.html

Hope this was helpful.
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#4 Jonathan Bowerbank

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Posted 12 December 2006 - 05:51 PM

I can't give enough praise for John Aliano's lighting class at City College of SF. He's a great teacher and can really show you the ropes of basic cinematography, while allowing you to experiment and play around so you can learn certain things for yourself.

I have friends who went to SFSU, and as an undergrad, some of them were only able to roll just one 100' roll of 16mm in four years. Mainly because the production classes are mostly lecture and theory based and access to equipment for undergrads is really difficult since MFA students have first priority.

If you're in SFSU's film program, I would strongly suggest you take a couple of night classes at CCSF. Their film program is highly comparable to SFSU's, if not better, because you have way more access to equipment.

Edited by Jonathan Bowerbank, 12 December 2006 - 05:53 PM.

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