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Film Schools in Canada


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#1 Dan Goldberg

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Posted 04 April 2007 - 04:23 PM

Hey all,

I'm currently a university student in Ontario Canada, completing a major in MTP (Media and Technical Production). However, I am looking to apply to a film school after my degree for more intensive education in the film and cinematography area. However, I am unsure whether I should stick to film schools in Canada or perhaps apply to school in the States.

I am fully aware that Ryerson in Toronto is an exceptional school for film, however, how does it compare to some in the States? As well is Ryerson my best bet for film schools in Canada? Do you have any suggestions?

Thanks, I appreciate your time! :)

Dan Goldberg..
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#2 Richard Boddington

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Posted 04 April 2007 - 08:45 PM

Ryerson is probably the best over all program in Canada. There are several Ryerson guys on this board.

I was accepted there in 86 but went to a US film school. The best thing about going to a US film school and coming back to Toronto was hiring managers always saying, "wow, you went to school in the US." When I was in TV it was always a big deal that I went to a US university. It made me different from the piles of Ryerson grads they usually see.

And in marketing, different is always good.

Be prepared though for much higher costs, taking care of your own health insurance, and not being able to work there as a student to supplement your income. As an F-1 student you will not be allowed to work off campus. This could seriously limit your opportunities. If you're single your best bet is to marry an American and fast track a green card.

You will also need to prove that you have all the funds to support your self while attending school there, without working. This alone can be tough for many people.

You have to ask your self if all the hassles will be worth it.

R,
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#3 Joe Baron

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Posted 06 April 2007 - 12:50 PM

I attended York for one year, found it depressing, then switched to Concordia where I completed my BFA in film production 3 years later. My experience at Concordia, which apparently has a pretty good reputation in the field, was underwhelming and forgettable. I found that most of the professors were either struggling/failed filmmakers themselves, or non-academics or both. They never knew how to fill a 3 or 4 hour class with informative and engaging insight into filmmaking and were often hard to take seriously as a result of their own lack of creative accomplishments.

On the plus side, the students were fantastic. My peers were smart, phenomenally talented and ambitious, and I'm happy to say that I'm still working with several of them regularly on various projects years after graduating. So there's always that. Oh, and the equipment isn't bad and as far as I know, they have new studios and resources in this swanky new building that has gone up since I left.

So that's Concordia. A good friend of mine when to Ryerson and felt more or less the same way. Underwhelmed. Like Concordia though, he has made some valuable contacts among peers (you don't make industry contacts in Canadian schools) and is pretty much at the same place as myself at this point.

I hope that helps.
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#4 Kar Wai Ng

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Posted 06 April 2007 - 08:08 PM

I'm finishing my fourth year at Ryerson in film. It's difficult to compare to other film schools not having any experience with the others but generally is considered the best film program in Canada. It's relatively well rounded, has been established for a while, and has a decent amount of equipment and quality of facilities and faculty. Despite the universal student complaint about tuition, for the $5000 in tuition per year plus your production costs it's a relative bargain compared to what film school in the states would cost you. I've heard a a rough figure of $8000 of provincial funding subsidy per head in the film studies program at Ryerson, which is really quite substantial.

Film school is what you make of it. It won't teach you everything, but it provides an opportunity and platform for you to derive what you can from it and with your own initiative and interest you self-educate as well. The other benefit of getting a film education in an organized institution like a film school is that you are stuck with the same peers for four years, and you develop a core network of talent that you will find yourself working with long after graduation.
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#5 Riku Naskali

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Posted 08 April 2007 - 02:20 AM

Yeah, Ryerson seemed pretty cool. They had pretty good gear as well, although as surprising it is, we may have slightly better gear here in our small finnish school :rolleyes:

And no tuitions...At all ;)
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#6 Mitch Beaudry

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Posted 08 April 2007 - 11:02 AM

Ryerson is certainly the most recommended film school in Canada by professionals. They have decent equipment that's not exactly "cutting edge" but it does function. But from my own experience I would recommend you look at the Toronto Film School.

The school has great facilities (film studio, TV studio, great editing suites, sound editing suites) and great equipment (several lighting kits and studio lights, SRIII 16mm cameras, BL3 35mm camera, HDV cams [Sony HDR], Beta cams [Sony D30], Mini DV cams [Canon XL1s, Sony PD170], DAT recorders and everything else you need to shoot a film).

The cinematography teacher is amazing and is one of the most resourceful guys you will ever meet. He not only lights wonderfully, he knows how to cheaply solve expensive problems and offers the best advice.

The only downside is the cost. Tuition was something like 25 grand when I went and I heard it's risen since. If you can take the debt and be able to make the OSAP payments though, it's a great school to at least give a look at.
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#7 Kar Wai Ng

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Posted 08 April 2007 - 11:54 AM

The question is whether the $20k in tuition over 4 years for a university program, versus the $25k for an 18-month or so program at TFS works better for you. How much can you learn and how much experience can you gain in a year and a half?

There are also colleges like Humber and Sheridan, which have 3 year programs.
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#8 Dan Goldberg

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Posted 10 April 2007 - 01:14 AM

It's relatively well rounded, has been established for a while, and has a decent amount of equipment and quality of facilities and faculty.


Ryerson is certainly the most recommended film school in Canada by professionals.

The school has great facilities (film studio, TV studio, great editing suites, sound editing suites) and great equipment (several lighting kits and studio lights, SRIII 16mm cameras, BL3 35mm camera, HDV cams [Sony HDR], Beta cams [Sony D30], Mini DV cams [Canon XL1s, Sony PD170], DAT recorders and everything else you need to shoot a film).

The cinematography teacher is amazing and is one of the most resourceful guys you will ever meet. He not only lights wonderfully, he knows how to cheaply solve expensive problems and offers the best advice.


Seems like the common word is that Ryerson is my best choice. I've always figured so, however I wasn't sure if there were what I like to call "sleeper programs",, film programs that are magnificent, yet often overlooked or underrated.

The question is whether the $20k in tuition over 4 years for a university program, versus the $25k for an 18-month or so program at TFS works better for you. How much can you learn and how much experience can you gain in a year and a half?

There are also colleges like Humber and Sheridan, which have 3 year programs.


I'm not sure, I mean, I'm definitely not the richest kid in the world, however I have been saving money for quite some time and have a good chunk in ym education fund. I think that tuition cost is about my budget.

I can learn a TON in a little amount of time. Even by joining this forum a week ago today, I have learned more than any communication tech or film studies course I've ever taken. Especially with hands-on training I can learn things fast.

I do have a friend at Sheridan for graphic arts, and he enjoys it greatly. I've always considered those as well, but I am not sure if I would attend there before Ryerson.

Another thing...is there such thing as a relatively cheap film school in the States that is considered a very good quality film school? :huh:
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Aerial Filmworks

Willys Widgets

Visual Products

Broadcast Solutions Inc

Opal

Paralinx LLC

Metropolis Post

Media Blackout - Custom Cables and AKS

Wooden Camera

rebotnix Technologies

The Slider

Rig Wheels Passport

Abel Cine

FJS International, LLC

Gamma Ray Digital Inc

Ritter Battery

CineTape

CineLab

Tai Audio

Glidecam