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columbia college?


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#1 grahamstanly

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Posted 22 March 2007 - 10:12 PM

Hey guys as a senior in hs, I have been looking at film school options I narrowed it down to chapman, brooks, and columbia college of the arts. At all of these schools I could get a BA in film and tv broadcast which is what i want. Columbia however is the cheapest, it is also a bit smaller, and I was wondering if any of you knew about it? or if any of you have been there. it is in hollywood california in an old panivision warehouse. sure mabey chapman, and brooks are nicer schools, but they are also around 30,000 a year. vs columbia's 13,000 a year. So i guess I would like to know 2 things, is columbia a good school where i will learn a lot and get some good experience, and when it comes to getting into the industry does it really matter which film school you go to?
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#2 Daniel Madsen

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Posted 23 March 2007 - 12:59 AM

Columbia College Hollywood is a poor film school for the following reasons:

1. Many of the teachers are unqualified to teach. Some teachers in fact, have neither an MBA nor practical experience in the subject of their class(es). I could give you specific examples in the cinematography department but won't for the sake of space.

3. Poorly organized- everything from the financial aid department to class syllabi.

2. Students don't understand and haven't been taught to understand the concept of teamwork. Finding people to work on your project is impossible because most people are self-involved with their own work. This leaves most projects sub-par.


In my opinion most film schools that specialize in only film are a scam. Their marketing campaign consists of convincing students that they have a bright future in film. This creates a student body that is very mislead and annoying for someone who just wants to study and work.

Peace
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#3 Mark Heim

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Posted 23 March 2007 - 06:56 AM

I am in my last quarter right now at Columbia and while I somewhat agree with what Danielle said, I don't agree with a lot of it.

Yeah, its a bit disorganized, the administration sucks and things like siging up for classes can be a pain, cause you have to registar in person, not online. but it really hasnt been that bad.

I think if there is any department that has it right, its cinematography. I have to disagree with you on that Danielle. Not qualified? No real world experience? Charlie Rose is hands down the best teacher the school has. He is highly qualified and has loads of real world experience, he has shot like 3 features in the past year alone! The man not only teaches at Columbia, but also AFI, USC, UCLA, and LA Film School. What the hell are you talking about saying not qualified? I agree some of the teachers there were not worth my time, but show me any college where there arent any bad apples.

The students are hit and miss, but I've never had a problem finding people to help me on my projects. NEVER! Is everyone a little self involved? yeah, but welcome to fu**ing film school. This business is full of people with huge egos, you think columbia is bad? try heading over to SC for awhile. If you have a passion to make films then you will find the people at the school who share your same passion. Work with them, not the losers who couldnt give a poop.

In my opinion after going to Columbia for over 3 years, I'm pretty happy with my experience. I've had access to all the equipment I could possibly want, if not through the school than through professors hooking me up with rental houses. I have had pretty much all the creative freedom I could want. I've found good passionate people to work with. And it didnt cost $30,000 a year. Columbia is the kind of school where you really get out what you put in. If you want to make films without having your hand held the entire time then I think Columbia is a great school. It's a relatively small school and it lacks the true "college experience" although I heard they housed some freshman in dorms this year? Many of the students in my grade are mid - late twenties, but the freshman classes seem to be coming right out of high school now. Sure I have my problems with the school, really only with the administration and the fact it seems more important to them to promote the school rather than pay attention to their current students.

To answer the original question... Yeah you can get tons of experience at Columbia. The class sizes are really small, limited to like 10 people or so for hand-on classes (cinematography, sound, editing) You can work on many many many films, anywhere from small DV no budget projects to 60k 35mm shorts. You just really have to put yourself out there a let people know you are willing to work. Columbia also provides many internship oppurtunities to students (NBC, Paramount, Sony, the list goes on) I dont think it really matters which film school you go to. Sure USC and NYU have bigger names but the real world doesnt give a poop where you went to school, nor that you have a degree. Film school is a place to get your feet wet before you go out and make expensive mistakes. Is Columbia the best choice for a film school? No, but it's cheap and can provide you with the tools and education you need to get your feet wet in the industry.

oh and by the way... columbia wishes they were in hollywood. they are in an old panavision building, but it's in tarzana, not hollywood. It's about 20min from hollywood.

best of luck, cheers
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#4 grahamstanly

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Posted 24 March 2007 - 07:33 PM

thank you for both the reply's,

I just got my information packet from columbia. one thing i would like to know is are you allowed to check out school equipment while doing non school related projects? because one of the things I hope to have with me comming out of film school, is strong reel. Also is columbia only a film school? or can I use HDV, because though I hope to one day be shooting features in a cushy studio job, I also want to be ready to shoot TV shows, and commercials to pay the rent, and that seems to be going more into HDV and DV now. also I would like to know the types of cameras they use, not just film, Hd, and DV as well. once again thank you for the help.
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#5 Mark Heim

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Posted 25 March 2007 - 12:21 AM

columbia has all those digital toys, Xl-1,2 XL-H1, Panasonic DVX-100, every spring they get an F-900, i was an AC on a thesis last year using the varicam. they are supposed to be getting some HVXs but don't believe it when they say they're getting new stuff. they mentioned building a sound stage when i first started... yet to see or hear anything. They arent too keane on people taking out equipment for non school related projects. But talk to the right teachers and you can get around it. most students at columbia shoot on digital, i'm not sure why though when there is plently of film equipment provided. SR1 & SR2, Bolex, Eclair, CP-16, and a few classes that offer 35mm equipment to learn, but not take out on projects.

if your looking for a school that provides digital cameras, i'm sure you going to be fine. most schools now have moved away from film, which i think is crap. dont get me wrong, i know digital is part of the filmmaking future, but schools that just shoot digital and maybe offer a class or to on shooting on real film are robbing their students in my opinion.

anyway, columbia does offer plenty of education and use of HD, HDV, 24p DV and all those other formats.

cheers
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#6 David Sweetman

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Posted 26 March 2007 - 01:50 PM

I know one of the cinematography teachers at Columbia well; not only is he incredibly knowlegable, he's one of those guys where you ask him any question, and he'll respond with everything you wanted to know and many things you didn't know you wanted to know. And he has extensive experience in the industry, and is still shooting features when he can find a way to work them around his classes. So like Mark says, you really get out of it what you put into it, if you only take the classess and do just well enough to pass, you likely won't be a filmmaker, and won't learn anything either. But if you're passionate you'll learn everything you need to regardless of any school's failings. Honestly, if I were to go to any of the three schools you mentioned, it would have been Chapman. Education in other areas than film I have found to be incredibly valuable - I know, doesn't make sense from a high school perspective, but trust me.
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#7 Jamie McIntyre

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Posted 20 May 2007 - 02:20 PM

Charlie Rose? Vince Toto? Charles Haine?

I know these guys.
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#8 grahamstanly

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Posted 23 May 2007 - 08:10 PM

thank you for all of the replys but i am now not sure if I should go to film school or not.
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#9 Jeff Bierman

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Posted 03 October 2007 - 10:46 AM

thank you for all of the replys but i am now not sure if I should go to film school or not.



Not sure if this thread is still alive or not, but I found it and feel like I should put in my fair share.

I'm 22 years old, I went to undergrad for film right out of high school in Philadelphia, and then I got accepted to the AFI right out of undergrad, where I have just started my first year. I'm about 5 weeks in. For me it has been a great experience. I've learned a ton about the craft, but I've learned it all from being on set. The problem with learning it all on set at film school is that most people don't know their hand from a c-stand.

I was lucky enough to get a really great deal on undergrad, which allowed me to be able to withstand the loans for AFI, and I love AFI, but in general I don't think film school is the way to do it. I think if you are really passionate, and know that you want to work on films you need to set some goals for yourself and stick to them, then go out in the industry and get work doing anything you can. If you want to shoot, take the money from film school and buy a camera, and just shoot, shoot, shoot. Then advertise on craigslist and let everyone know that you have a camera and you want to shoot some projects. You won't be making money shooting these, but you'll be gaining experience and not going into debt.

The other thing to do is to try and crew on as many films as you can. There are always listings on craigslist for low budget stuff. Hop on the roject and and help out any way you can, and watch what they do, and work as hard as you can. If you bust your ass, people will notice and eventually you'll be getting paid, and eventually you will let them know that you have a camera and what to begin shooting films, and eventually you will begin doing that.

Finally you need to read the trade journals, subscribe to American Cinematographer, actually read, look around online for reviews on cinematography books, you'll find a solid list full of juicy information, which may at first seem really dense, but read it, and eventually you'll know the language of a cinematographer, which in the end will help you as a person, and a craftsmen.

Above all just be persistent and actually care. And don't forget to live either, because we're here to make movies about life, don't get caught up in the technical side so much that you don't live, you'll forget what making movies is really all about.

Ok, so that was a bit more of a rant than I intended, but hopefully worthwhile if anyone reads it.

Good luck.
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Visual Products

Technodolly

Glidecam

Gamma Ray Digital Inc

The Slider

Aerial Filmworks

CineLab