Jump to content


Photo

Film School rejection


  • Please log in to reply
22 replies to this topic

#1 Ralph Tabith

Ralph Tabith
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 136 posts
  • Cinematographer
  • UK

Posted 05 July 2007 - 12:10 PM

Well I have received my rejection letter from my designated film school. I said to myself that if I do not get in this time I what I would have spent on going there actually making my own first few short films...anybody have any advice, it would be appreciated, thanks
  • 0

#2 Chris Keth

Chris Keth
  • Sustaining Members
  • 4427 posts
  • 1st Assistant Camera
  • Los Angeles

Posted 05 July 2007 - 12:52 PM

Well I have received my rejection letter from my designated film school. I said to myself that if I do not get in this time I what I would have spent on going there actually making my own first few short films...anybody have any advice, it would be appreciated, thanks


Where do you live? Perhaps you could just start looking for PA jobs and learn that way.
  • 0

#3 Ralph Tabith

Ralph Tabith
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 136 posts
  • Cinematographer
  • UK

Posted 05 July 2007 - 03:03 PM

Where do you live? Perhaps you could just start looking for PA jobs and learn that way.


I am in the UK, but actually I am quietly relieved that I did not get in as I would prefer to get stuck in making films I want to make without going through through the whole "schooly" thing again...but I will look into that, thanks
  • 0

#4 Brian Drysdale

Brian Drysdale
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 5069 posts
  • Cinematographer

Posted 05 July 2007 - 03:39 PM

I am in the UK, but actually I am quietly relieved that I did not get in as I would prefer to get stuck in making films I want to make without going through through the whole "schooly" thing again...but I will look into that, thanks


Only one rejection... try again next year or other schools.

One problem you'll find is that most people in the starting jobs have been on a media course or at film school.

It's a matter trying again and developing your talent to the stage where it stands out amongst the applications. Getting into the top film schools is extremely competitive, so you need to present material that makes you stand out. At a good film school, it's not schooly, it's taking full advantage of resources that will cost you a lot of money outside.
  • 0

#5 Ralph Tabith

Ralph Tabith
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 136 posts
  • Cinematographer
  • UK

Posted 05 July 2007 - 03:45 PM

Only one rejection... try again next year or other schools.

One problem you'll find is that most people in the starting jobs have been on a media course or at film school.

It's a matter trying again and developing your talent to the stage where it stands out amongst the applications. Getting into the top film schools is extremely competitive, so you need to present material that makes you stand out. At a good film school, it's not schooly, it's taking full advantage of resources that will cost you a lot of money outside.


True, I didnt think of it like that, susprisingly. I think I just need to build up my "repetoire," -
  • 0

#6 Jimmy Browning

Jimmy Browning
  • Basic Members
  • PipPip
  • 42 posts
  • Student
  • Los Angeles

Posted 05 July 2007 - 04:25 PM

For what it's worth, don't take it too hard. I have seen some extremely talented, experienced, bright people get rejected, while some bozos who can barely operate a television remote control sail right in past them. The selection process for some of these schools is atrociously bad and not at all an accurate reflection of who would be best suited for the program.
  • 0

#7 Natalie Saito

Natalie Saito
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 107 posts
  • 1st Assistant Camera
  • Los Angeles

Posted 05 July 2007 - 05:19 PM

i've worked with grad students in an overrated film school that are no better than 1st year undergrads in other film school. i think people get lazy thinking their school is going to cover them.
  • 0

#8 James Steven Beverly

James Steven Beverly
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 4199 posts
  • Director
  • El Paso, Texas

Posted 08 July 2007 - 04:16 AM

Reading between the lines (not really reading between the lines 'cause ya said it a few times in this thread) what you really want to do is make a movie, well OK here's what you need to decide, do I want to try and make a movie I'm going to try and sell or am I going to make a movie to learn on. You may only have the resources to make a short or film shot on DV or HDV, none of which has much chance of selling. The first thing you do is start researching and studying on your own, read every book on film production, cinematography. budgeting, scheduling, film business, post production, screen writing and film distribution you can get your hands on, watch documentaries on film making and filmmakers. Ask question, seek answers aand while you're doing all this, start gathering up what you need to make a film. Figure out what is the best way for you to get your film made, do I rent or own, what format do I go with, what am I going to shoot, am I going to write it or use someone else's script, is it going to be silent or sound, where do I find a cast and crew, where am I going to shoot, if I shoot film where do I get it processed and transfered and MOST importantly, HOW IN THE HELL AM I GONNA FINANCE THIS MASTERPIECE?!!! Money will be a constant and unending problem so that needs to be your first concern, raising funds and what can I actually afford to do. Once you've done all this, go make your movie. B)

Edited by James Steven Beverly, 08 July 2007 - 04:19 AM.

  • 0

#9 Robert Hughes

Robert Hughes
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 873 posts
  • Sound Department
  • Minneapolis

Posted 11 July 2007 - 10:08 PM

And as for dealing with rejection... you've just got to develop a bit of a thick skin. There are plenty of conceited, self-absorbed people out there who will rub you the wrong way, and you've gotta accept it's their issue, not necessarily yours. You have to believe in yourself, in your worth as a person and an artist, technician, businessman, what have you. If that film school didn't have room for you, go somewhere else, teach yourself what you need to know to do it, and go do it. Don't be halfhearted, go all out, and keep working it until you succeed. Go team! :rolleyes:

By the way, I work as a manager at a large A/V company, and see plenty of media / film school graduates working as entry level technicians. Don't knock the work; it gets people in business, and if they decide to continue doing what they love, they'll keep doing it and pay the bills, too. It beats waiting tables.

Edited by Robert Hughes, 11 July 2007 - 10:12 PM.

  • 0

#10 Kenny N Suleimanagich

Kenny N Suleimanagich
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 900 posts
  • Cinematographer
  • New York

Posted 17 December 2007 - 11:14 PM

Yeah I just got my rejection letter from NYU. Feels weird, I thought by submitting photographs I could express my interests as a cinematographer while showing them an artistic well-roundedness. I guess I couldn't cut the mustard. I'm still kinda stressin but this thread is very reassuring.
  • 0

#11 Richard Boddington

Richard Boddington
  • Sustaining Members
  • 5482 posts
  • Director

Posted 18 December 2007 - 01:04 AM

This is from the bio on Steven Spielberg:

"at 16, finished his first full-length feature entitled ?Firelight.? Yet, despite his strong ambition, he was rejected from USC film school and instead attended California State University."

USC film school rejected him, what the hell where they thinking????????

I dreamed all through high school of attending USC film school, of course I was rejected. It was really a stupid idea, it's a school for the elite, not people from low income families like me.

So I went to choice number two, BYU. The film school is not as well known as USC's of course. But the university it self is big and very well funded. The film school has turned out a few notables, Neil La Bute, Aaron Eckart, Jared Hess, Richard Dutcher. The Sundance festival was started by BYU film professor Sterling Van Wagenen.

So to people that have been rejected by XYZ film school, just go some place else. Then when you accept your first Oscar say, "And a big NO THANK-YOU to _________ film school for rejecting me!!"

I will say one thing, for 99% of the people out there saying, "I'll spend the money on a feature film instead of film school." Is a very BAD idea. I can't possibly see how one would be able to make a commercially viable product at 19 or 20. It's just wishful thinking in 99% of cases. Let's be real here, there is simply too much craft that needs to learned and there is no short cut for experience.

R,
  • 0

#12 Jonathan Bowerbank

Jonathan Bowerbank
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 2815 posts
  • 1st Assistant Camera
  • San Francisco, CA

Posted 18 December 2007 - 01:49 AM

I once considered BYU, but couldn't picture myself living in the Provo/SLC area for such an extended period of time. Plus, too many people from my wife's family live there ;)

Now, if they transplanted the entire school to some place like Kanab, then maybe I would have seriously considered it.
  • 0

#13 Robert Starling SOC

Robert Starling SOC
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 101 posts
  • Steadicam Operator
  • Los Angeles and Las Vegas

Posted 18 December 2007 - 01:50 AM

Hi Ralph, sorry to hear about the letter, but actually rejection and learning how to turn it around into positive motivation is good for you, as much as it may not seem that way right now. Use that rejection letter as a source of inspiration and self evaluation of what is really important to you.

Rejection is a part of life and a big part of our industry; it's something we all face. It'll either make you more determined or you'll find that this is not a business you are suited for. You'll be rejected hundreds if not thousands of times over your career. Its the eventual YES we're all in it for... looking for approval, acceptance and validation of our creativity or just the next gig that pays the rent.

When you read about the big successes in the film / television industry or any other industry you hear a few stories here and there about big names being rejected at some point in their career, but for every one of those examples there's probably a thousand other rejections they don't mention.

Back in the early 80's I remember a workshop instructor really ripping apart my work. He was brutal. It was a terrible feeling and it really pissed me off. I left that night with a bad attitude, cursing and bitching about him all the way back to my room. The fact was the work sucked and was riddled with technical problems. By the next morning I had turned that anger around into a realistic self-evaluation that it did suck but also that I would do everything in my power to never shoot anything else that I would not be proud to show my clients and peers. Still to this day that one evening of reality / rejection motivates me to do better work.

Best of luck and if one door is locked... go to the next door and the next until you break through. There are other doors into this business than film school so don't let that slow you down; the very next door could be your big break.

Robert " Still knocking on doors" Starling, SOC
Steadicam Owner Operator
Las Vegas
  • 0

#14 James Baker

James Baker
  • Basic Members
  • PipPip
  • 75 posts
  • Other
  • Los Angeles

Posted 18 December 2007 - 02:52 AM

FWIW, the selection process is more involved than simply trying to select the "best" candidates in respect to their creative potential. A lot of it has to do with a "proper fit" and how much the applicant might gain from a particular program. Almost all candidates are qualified and certainly one or two sometimes stand out above the rest. But a lot of it has to do with how the incoming class will fit together as a whole. And each year there is a new crop of incoming students.

You could easily be well qualified and a very creative individual but the faculty is looking at both the trees and the forest. Believe me, it's not an easy process to select through a large group of good applicants, each of them with promise and merit, and come up with the small number that makes up the incoming class. And faculty will argue with each other over which candidates to pick, sometimes with their own egos on the line.

Never take it personally. But here's a tip: take the time to personally connect with a faculty you would like to work with and at a school you would like to attend. Visit, have lunch, show them your work and talk about your thoughts, ideas, and ambitions. Follow up on the meeting with a call or another visit. Let them get to know who you are. Then when you apply, they will argue in favor of your application.
  • 0

#15 Jonathan Bowerbank

Jonathan Bowerbank
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 2815 posts
  • 1st Assistant Camera
  • San Francisco, CA

Posted 18 December 2007 - 04:59 AM

"...Yet, despite his strong ambition, he was rejected from USC film school and instead attended California State University."


I think his biggest issue was he didn't have the grades for USC, whereas, of course, it's much easier to get into a State College. But even then, he didn't stick around for very long in the school system, what with his early connections at Universal ;)
  • 0

#16 Richard Boddington

Richard Boddington
  • Sustaining Members
  • 5482 posts
  • Director

Posted 18 December 2007 - 11:09 AM

I think his biggest issue was he didn't have the grades for USC, whereas, of course, it's much easier to get into a State College. But even then, he didn't stick around for very long in the school system, what with his early connections at Universal ;)


Yes you raise an excellent point, "film" people that apply to four year universities that just happen to have film schools are often rejected based on their academic performance in high school. These schools are universities first after all, film schools second.

My grades and SAT score where a joke when I applied to USC, so no surprise I didn't get in. I should confess that I was admitted to BYU on academic probation. This was an "allowance" for students with bad grades that show promise in their field of study. They give you one semester to prove you can cut it, if you fall below a 2.0 GPA you're gone. Well I showed them, I got a 2.1 that first semester

And I was admitted 20 years ago, admissions to all universities have changed a lot in that time period. Today I would have to attend a JC for two years to try and raise my grades.

So now unless forced to tell the truth, I just tell people, "I was admitted to BYU right out of high school." Which is technically true. This drives my wife mad as she went to a JC for two years before attending BYU and she was a scholar in high school!

I read an article once in the campus paper at Ryerson University in Toronto [Canada's most celebrated film school] the head line was, "Film Students Flunk Out." Apparently film students had the lowest graduation rate of all majors. They where there to make films and get access to gear, not to bother with any of that book learnin' stuff.

So you definitely need to be a well rounded individual to get into the elite four year film schools in the USA these days. I'm sure NYU is very tough, so don't feel bad about that.

R,
  • 0

#17 Freya Black

Freya Black
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 4161 posts
  • Other
  • Went over the edge... Central Europe

Posted 18 December 2007 - 12:49 PM

Well I have received my rejection letter from my designated film school. I said to myself that if I do not get in this time I what I would have spent on going there actually making my own first few short films...anybody have any advice, it would be appreciated, thanks


Hiya Ralph!

Making a bunch of short films seems like a great idea to me. Obviously you can learn a lot from doing stuff, and from this list and from the internet and library etc.

Well I'm also in the u.k. as you may know, and if I were you I would avoid university film schools. I used to work on shoots for the university where I lived as a sound recordist because nobody at the school wanted to study sound. I worked on quite a few shoots and it was fun, but I didn't learn that much about anything but sound. On all the shoots I worked on I never once saw a c-stand! Lighting was mostly something like bouncing a 2k off the ceiling or blasting huge HMI's on massive stands through the windows. I had hoped to learn more about lighting but mostly people would just tell me that lighting was easy, and it wasn't something people bothered about too much. :(

I had a friend who was an undergraduate at the same school (the shoots I worked on were S16 and 35mm shoots for the MA course) and told me that it was incredibly hard to even get out very basic camcorders (sony handycam type stuff). I became smart and went to the local art school instead which had canon XM2's that were somewhat difficult to get your hands on but possible, and cheap canon DV cameras that were really, really easy to borrow. I had a really wonderful time and met lovely people. Seriously perhaps the best 2 years of my life were at that art college, and other people I meet from the same college also generally have a great time too.

Recently some guys wanted to interview me for a documentary they were making, they are studying video at a college down south somewhere. The college apparently has panasonic DVX100's (about 10) and HVX100's (also about 10) for higher end stuff. I got the impression the the DVX's weren't that hard to borrow and the guys seemed to be having a great time and looking forward to doing more stuff and maybe even getting a portfolio together to apply to Beaconsfield.

My recommendation is that art colleges have good facilities (not just equipment but dedicated art libraries too) and that they are good places to study because they just do art and they are really enthusiastic about art type stuff as opposed to being an adjunct to more important stuff going on at the university.

love

Freya

Edited by Freya Black, 18 December 2007 - 12:51 PM.

  • 0

#18 Bill DiPietra

Bill DiPietra
  • Sustaining Members
  • 2339 posts
  • Cinematographer
  • New York City

Posted 21 December 2007 - 05:53 AM

Well I have received my rejection letter from my designated film school. I said to myself that if I do not get in this time I what I would have spent on going there actually making my own first few short films...anybody have any advice, it would be appreciated, thanks


When I applied to NYU, I was accepted to the general studies program but not the film school (Tisch.) I was disappointed, but I would not trade my four years at Fordham University at Lincoln Center for anything. The media studies program was outstanding and I began to realize how much I loved film theory and film history. I obviously took all of the production classes, which I loved, but they did not interest me as much as the theoretical aspects of the program.

I am currently studying for my MA in media so that I can teach film theory one day. And yes, I have an Arriflex 16 S/B and I still make shorts. And I can tell you that the majority of what I learned, production-wise, was on my own by trial and error. School only gives you the fundamentals, even with theory. I read and research tons of film information that simply is not taught.

But I agree that you need to keep at it. Only one rejection? Did you apply anywhere else? Keep in mind that there are plenty of schools that have production classes but just not a film major, per se.

Keep plugging away! If you are truly passionate about film, you will find a way to make things work for you.

Good luck.
  • 0

#19 Lars Zemskih

Lars Zemskih
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 119 posts
  • Other

Posted 23 December 2007 - 01:21 PM

What school was it? NFTS or LFS?
  • 0

#20 Ralph Tabith

Ralph Tabith
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 136 posts
  • Cinematographer
  • UK

Posted 24 March 2008 - 05:58 AM

What school was it? NFTS or LFS?


long time ago now though its water under the bridge, wow thanks for all the responses, i have been in india filming and completely forgot about this thread, :lol:

Edited by Ralph Tabith, 24 March 2008 - 06:01 AM.

  • 0


Willys Widgets

The Slider

Tai Audio

CineLab

Paralinx LLC

Opal

FJS International, LLC

CineTape

rebotnix Technologies

Media Blackout - Custom Cables and AKS

Aerial Filmworks

Gamma Ray Digital Inc

Rig Wheels Passport

Broadcast Solutions Inc

Abel Cine

Visual Products

Metropolis Post

Ritter Battery

Glidecam

Wooden Camera

Technodolly

Aerial Filmworks

Glidecam

Metropolis Post

Wooden Camera

FJS International, LLC

Rig Wheels Passport

Tai Audio

Ritter Battery

Willys Widgets

Media Blackout - Custom Cables and AKS

Broadcast Solutions Inc

CineTape

Abel Cine

Gamma Ray Digital Inc

Technodolly

rebotnix Technologies

Opal

Visual Products

CineLab

Paralinx LLC

The Slider