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#1 Julia Gers

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Posted 09 November 2007 - 10:29 AM

So, I've been looking at colleges (mostly art schools) with good film programs. Full Sail is supposed to have a really good program. What I can't figure out, though, is if it is an acutal 4 year school or not (like LA Film School isn't a 4 year school). Does anyone know if it is or not?
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#2 William A Chapman Jr

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Posted 09 November 2007 - 02:16 PM

So, I've been looking at colleges (mostly art schools) with good film programs. Full Sail is supposed to have a really good program. What I can't figure out, though, is if it is an acutal 4 year school or not (like LA Film School isn't a 4 year school). Does anyone know if it is or not?


Did you check their web site? http://www.fullsail....cfm?degree=film
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#3 Michael Palm

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Posted 09 November 2007 - 03:08 PM

Did you check their web site? http://www.fullsail....cfm?degree=film


I looked at Full Sail before I went to college. I decided to go to school at Savannah College of Art and Design. It's four years here with a bachelors degree. I think Full Sail is 2 years.

Make sure you go where you can enjoy living.
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#4 Benjamin Smith

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Posted 09 November 2007 - 04:25 PM

I looked at Full Sail before I went to college. I decided to go to school at Savannah College of Art and Design. It's four years here with a bachelors degree. I think Full Sail is 2 years.

Make sure you go where you can enjoy living.


Yeah I was talking to full sail earlier this year about their program. The counselor I spoke to said it is a 2 year plan and you wind up with the equivalent of a 4 year degree (a BA in science I believe). Since it is such an intense 2 years they treat it like a full time job which means their is no time to get a job while attending you are in class over 40 hrs a week already. but they are a great school from what i hear with connections to big film studios.

Hope that helps
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#5 Brad Grimmett

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Posted 11 November 2007 - 03:36 AM

There are a few different threads on this forum about Full Sail. I suggest you search the archives and read them. It's not a four year school. I believe it's a 12 or 14 month program. I've worked with many Full Sail graduates in the past. Most thought they were professionals straight out of school, but didn't know what a C-Stand was. They won't get you a job (same as most film schools) and they don't have any connections that make the tuition worth it (in my opinion), but I didn't go there, so I could certainly be wrong. I'm only basing my experience on people I know that went there. Those people started out as PA's, just like most of us. Do your research before you go there. It's very expensive.
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#6 Robert Starling SOC

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Posted 11 November 2007 - 01:02 PM

...They won't get you a job (same as most film schools) and they don't have any connections that make the tuition worth it (in my opinion), but I didn't go there, so I could certainly be wrong. I'm only basing my experience on people I know that went there. Those people started out as PA's, just like most of us. Do your research before you go there. It's very expensive.


Brad is right on target. When my business was located in Orlando for 14 years, I hired quite a few Full Sail graduates as either full-time employees or freelancers. Generally, I was happy with their grads at least in that they had a broad but not necessarily in-depth knowledge of the various positions on set; no more or no less really than any other film school grads I've hired or worked with.

The one thing I'd say some of their students come out with is an unrealistic idea of where they're going to start in the business in terms of roles and particularly pay. Telling a student they'll graduate and start out at $60k a year someplace is not reality and not right.

They do seem to work your tail off 24/7 and if your studio lab class is at 3:00 a.m. then that's what you deal with; the same as you would if you are shooting nights. On the other hand, experience is a factor and Orlando is not exactly the hotbed of production that you have in LA. Tit-for-tat, going to school in LA or NYC might enable you to network in the industry and work on dozens more student films to get experience.

My other pet peeve was that every single resume that comes out of Full Sail is like a template; you don't even have to look at the school name. Their placement department was always responsive when I needed resumes but they all looked the same. Also, the school NEVER EVER sent us names of their current students for freelance or part-time work, only graduates. My thought being they want to keep you and your tuition in an education cycle.

These are just my observations as an employer. Education, like Brad said will not get you a job but it may open doors.

Robert Starling, SOC
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#7 Julia Gers

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Posted 16 November 2007 - 01:58 PM

I hadn't really heard anything about the school other than just having what they sent me in the mail, so it's good to now have other peoples opinion of it. From what you all are saying about it, it doesn't really seem like the kind of place I'd like anyways...having to work so much like that and then coming out with the wrong sense of the business and a lack of knowledge.

I might go there or LA Film School after college. It'll probably be LA Film School, though, since it's actually in LA.

I looked at Full Sail before I went to college. I decided to go to school at Savannah College of Art and Design. It's four years here with a bachelors degree. I think Full Sail is 2 years.

Make sure you go where you can enjoy living.


SCAD is actually where I'm most likely going to end up. My mom works there teaching in foundations. I went and visited the school and took a tour and then also a more personal tour of just the film and television buildings. I really liked the school, but I didn't like the town that much. It seemed too historical and old-timey for my taste, but I'm sure I could get used to it. (I did like Tybee Island a lot though :) )

Have any of you heard of Brooks Institute in Santa Barbara? I originally thought it was only for photography and was looking at it for that (because photography is my other option if not cinematography), but in looking at their website I saw that they're also a school for film. And it looks like they have a specific cinematography program. I couldn't find the tuition and fees cost anywhere on the website so I just went and filled out the application anyways. Then when I was done with that it finally told me the cost and it was super expensive, so I never sent the application and now I'm ignoring their phone calls :( . Their website wouldn't say their costs upfront, and the message the lady left on my phone said they wanted to talk to me personally first before even bothering to think of even looking at my application...so now I've kind of got this thought that the people there are kind of upity...
Anyways, was just wondering what people knew about that school.
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#8 Chad Stockfleth

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Posted 16 November 2007 - 04:21 PM

I went to Full Sail 7 years ago. It is expensive. At the time, it was 14 months for a 2 year degree. Now you can get a bachelors degree for some longer amount of time. A lot of kids there had unrealistic ideas about what they would do. Lots of rich/spoiled kids. It's the kind of place that you get out what you put into it. You have access to a lot of nice things (panavisions, dollies, jibs, etc.) Obviously my focus was production. The hours are crazy but that was actually a good preperation for the odd schedule i keep now.

Ultimately its up to you. You will not direct a feature right out of school. You may however meet some cool people with a good work ethic that you can learn with.

I can't speak to other film schools, I didn't go to any others.

Let me say too, I originally went there to get an audio engineering degree. I switched gears.
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#9 John Hoffler

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Posted 22 November 2007 - 11:51 PM

I actually start at Full Sail on Monday, so I'll let you know how it is once I get rolling!
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#10 John Hoffler

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Posted 07 December 2007 - 11:28 PM

Well, I'm a few weeks in. I've started with basic GenEd classes, but I am already on my midterm for Behavioral Sciences and doing a lot of creative writing courses. So far it's pretty cool (for Gen Ed) and can't wait until I can get hands on with some equiptment. My classmates and I have already done a few video projects on our own, so it's been fun.
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#11 Michelob Fedusenko

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Posted 08 December 2007 - 10:00 AM

I attend the school. What it comes down to is that the school does not make the school, but the student make the school. Full Sail is a great place to learn, but you get what you put out of it. The problem that most people complain about is from the fact that so many of the students that attend this school don't really 'want' to be in the film industry. I as well as many of my peers do not think that we will leave this school and get a non-entry level job. The school is to blame.

Full Sail Film Program is an accredited Bachelors program that is completed in 22 months. They have the same amount of class hours as a normal college. 95 percent of the time, the school has better equipment than most productions out there (which can be a bit of a bummer). But the point is that the school provides everything that a film student needs. It's up to the student to make the most of it.

LA Film School is owned by Full Sail.

I strongly suggest that before you hire a Full Sail student you find out what projects they worked on outside of school. Just because we have a lot of school, we still have time to make things on the side. I wouldn't hire anyone who does not have extra programs.

Edited by Michelob Fedusenko, 08 December 2007 - 10:01 AM.

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#12 John Hoffler

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Posted 13 December 2007 - 01:38 PM

I have to say that there are a lot of students I've found in my first month that don't seem to really have the passion and drive that I or some of my peers have. There are some really talented people in my class, but also a good amount of jokers. I can't seem to gauge why in the hell some of these people would shell out $60,000 to come here and not have the responsibility to show up on time for a 1:15pm class!!!!!!!!! When we get into production, I'm going to be VERY concerned about having some of them on my crew.

I think FS gets a bad rap b/c a lot of these people will probably graduate and try to get jobs and give the rest of us a bad name. Out of the 102 students in my class, I probably wouldn't want half of them as P.A.'s on a DV short film. But again, don't let some of these fools ruin the school's name or the name of the students that really care and are striving. Some of these guys are really great.

At this juncture, there are about 40 or so people I'd work with anywhere and anytime. You can learn and get great experience here. And you do it in half the time of some of these other schools.

But there are also those guys who when I'm talking to a friend about Storaro's theories on Color, they interject with "Yeah, but have you seen Spiderman 3? It kicks ass!!!! Like, the effects...and stuff..." and proceed to go home and get wasted........ :rolleyes:
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#13 Mike Cuffin

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Posted 28 December 2007 - 08:30 PM

Hello all. This is my first post on this forum. I did a lot of research in to this school before I decided that this was my school of choice. I am now in the processing of financing this. BTW I'm 54 years old. I have other responsibilites to deal with also. I went to their behind the scenes tour and was impressed with the layout in Orlando. I also watched some of the other people on the tour. I was not impressed with the attention span or interest level of some of them. I saw a lot of parents and even grand parents dragging them around. Few were even slightly excited when said parents wrote the check for the tuition. I felt like asking if they were looking to adopt ;). I feel that a lot of these students haven't worked in the real world. Maybe I'm wrong. I have relied on my abilities of observation and they have served me well in past jobs and life in general. I agree that you will get what you put into the school. If you apply yourself and have realistic goals, you well do well and move upward. I'm looking forward to going there. Anyone have a spare $100,000 laying around ??? :P
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#14 Greg Johnson

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Posted 28 December 2007 - 09:27 PM

5 years ago I was all but sold on Full Sail, so I took a buddy out to Winter Park to check it out. I took the tour, and I noticed the mentioned attitudes right off the bat.

Most of the little tour stations were really lame. They spent like a half hour explaining editing,.. and how you could re-arrange shots as the crowed oo'd and ahh'd. The gear was really nice so I was stoked about that. The chaperons were current students, so I decided to pull one aside and get the low-down. He told me they did the tour every sunday, and they were required to chaperons a certain number of them a week as part of their education. This spooked me, it sounded like a multi-level marketing scheme. Next I asked the kid how long he'd been there, he told me 6 months. I figured he was now half way through his education so I asked him what there were doing. He informed me that he was really excited because they just got their single chip Mini-DV cameras. I was shocked!

During the financial aid segment, my buddy and I snuck off want went to some audio stations that weren't included in our tour. At that time in my life I was working for a Pro-Audio store, so I stared asking them about their outboard gear. None of them could tell me anything about it. They only talked about the stuff they were pre-told to tell us,.. it was kinda creepy.

Then we went to some sound stage where the students presented to shoot a movie. Wow,.. it was campy. After words I got to talk to one of the "professors". I told him about my setup at home, and what I was doing, and asked him what'd I learn there opposed to saving the money and buying my own gear and teaching myself. He told me to buy gear. To top it all off they told us our final project in school would be to shoot a film on 35mm, and everyone got a role from Director on down to PA. Finally, I was so excited. Then the explained how the students would vote or draw straws or something like that for their positions. Again, I was shocked to think I'd spend that much money to PA for that popular kid, or the brown noser.

Then they took us across the street to a converted K-mart or something where they do their on-stage classes. There they put on a big light and fog show that ended in a movie presentation that included all their "successful" alumni. I didn't recognize anyone famous, and there were only 2 dudes that were working on movies I'd heard of. Then I looked around the room of 100's of potential students and calculated my odds. Not good.

To sum up, I'm glad I checked out the school. It helped me to decide not to go. It seemed like everyone there was just going through the motions, no passion, no drive, just money and debt.

Now, I have a cousin and a few friends that graduated, both in audio. They are both really smart and doing pretty well. But I'd sure be surprised if they make over $40k.

I'm not ragging on full sail, I just had a bad experience on the tour and made up my mind. Who knows if it was the right choice.


I do know their recruiters were relentless for months I received phone calls until I told them off.


Sorry I guess this was a little off-topic, but the thread kinda turned there.

- Greg
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#15 John Hoffler

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Posted 08 January 2008 - 02:18 PM

I don't know how it was when you came but the Behind the Scenes tour is not a required thing they make us do. You can volunteer to do it and you get payed so most of the time you have people in their first few months trying to make an extra buck doing the tours. But like I said, there are A LOT of jokers here. I don't expect most of them to make it through the next two months. I heard the drop out rate once we get into lighting is over 40% so hopefully we can weed out these people. There are some who will get by the skin of their teeth. There are others who are actually really talented. The problem is, anyone can come to Full Sail if you have the money. I came because of the opportunity to use all the equipment and to get out of school within 2 years with a wealth of knowledge. I've seen the campy trailers for student films and I've read some scripts of past classes and some of it is really weak. But I see that as an advantage to someone who really knows what they are doing to be able to show their abilities.

also, the education is 21 months for the film program so in month 6 you've just made it out of Gen Ed classes and into production work. months 6-21 are your hands on courses.

Edited by John Hoffler, 08 January 2008 - 02:19 PM.

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#16 John Hoffler

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Posted 08 January 2008 - 02:28 PM

the editing was giving me a problem. I also wanted to add that the whole "voting" or "draw straws" thing is not entirely correct. You have to go before the heads of the film department and "sell" your film as if they were financiers. It's not a popularity contest. If you get chosen, (i think they chose like 4 out of a class) you get to pick your preferred position and pick your key crew members. So even if your 35mm project doesn't get chosen, if you are a badass DP then someone will pick you to shoot their projects. Only the before mentioned "jokers" will be PAs
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#17 Timothy Martin

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Posted 11 April 2008 - 04:52 PM

I'm currently in final project and have had an amazing experience at Full Sail so far. It all comes down to how bad you want it. I've had the opportunity to work on tons of outside projects and am always learning something new on set. Too many people just go to class and expect their degree to get them the work. Get as much set experience as you can and don't be afraid to ask questions. A lot of grads come out thinking they know everything because they spent $65,000 and got a degree.
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#18 Dax McKeever

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Posted 03 May 2008 - 11:49 PM

I hadn't really heard anything about the school other than just having what they sent me in the mail, so it's good to now have other peoples opinion of it. From what you all are saying about it, it doesn't really seem like the kind of place I'd like anyways...having to work so much like that and then coming out with the wrong sense of the business and a lack of knowledge.

I might go there or LA Film School after college. It'll probably be LA Film School, though, since it's actually in LA.



SCAD is actually where I'm most likely going to end up. My mom works there teaching in foundations. I went and visited the school and took a tour and then also a more personal tour of just the film and television buildings. I really liked the school, but I didn't like the town that much. It seemed too historical and old-timey for my taste, but I'm sure I could get used to it. (I did like Tybee Island a lot though :) )

Have any of you heard of Brooks Institute in Santa Barbara? I originally thought it was only for photography and was looking at it for that (because photography is my other option if not cinematography), but in looking at their website I saw that they're also a school for film. And it looks like they have a specific cinematography program. I couldn't find the tuition and fees cost anywhere on the website so I just went and filled out the application anyways. Then when I was done with that it finally told me the cost and it was super expensive, so I never sent the application and now I'm ignoring their phone calls :( . Their website wouldn't say their costs upfront, and the message the lady left on my phone said they wanted to talk to me personally first before even bothering to think of even looking at my application...so now I've kind of got this thought that the people there are kind of upity...
Anyways, was just wondering what people knew about that school.


LA FILM SCHOOL IS THE WORSE. I KNOW FROM WORKING WITH STUDENTS THAT WENT THERE.
HOWEVER, BROOKS INSTITUTE IS NOT MUCH BETTER. I DON'T RECOMMEND EITHER OF THEM.
ACTUALLY, YOU SHOULD BUY YOUR OWN CAMERA, DO YOUR OWN SHORT, AND YOU WILL LEARN
JUST AS MUCH...WITHOUT WASTING TUITION FEES.
IF YOU CAN AFFORD IT, OR CAN BE ACCEPTED, USC FILM SCHOOL and NYU TISCH SCHOOL OF ARTS
ARE THE BEST IN THE US; and maybe world. Really, don't waste time/tuition with LA Film or Brooks Inst.
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