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Undergrad Film schools besides the top for directing and cinematography


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#1 Salil Sundresh

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Posted 25 January 2008 - 10:20 PM

I'm a senior in high school and I've applied to the film programs at NYU University of Austin Texas. But seeing as they fairly competitive (especially NYU), should I not get in, can someone recommend some other schools to apply to? I got into GVSU and University of Milwaukee but I'm not really keen on going to either of these schools. I'm hoping to find a school that has a solid directing program and a solid cinematography program as those are my strongest areas of interest. I live in the Chicago area (Naperville, IL) and Colombia College in Chicago is pretty close but I've heard their directing program isn't all that good and they waste a lot of time with flatbed editing. (useless IMO) Any suggested schools would be greatly appreciated.

PS: I'm looking to stay in the USA.
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#2 Scott Fritzshall

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Posted 26 January 2008 - 12:42 AM

I don't know a whole lot about Columbia's directing program because I wasn't in it, but their Cinematography program is very strong. I never used a flatbed to edit, although they've got a few still around. There is, however, a lot of editing film by hand using a Moviscope, and personally I strongly disagree with the notion that it's a waste of time. Editing by hand forces teaches you a certain kind of discipline that you don't get from learning on digital NLEs. Same for shooting on film as opposed to digital. I personally consider the fact that Columbia still uses film in most of its classes to be one of its strongest points.
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#3 Salil Sundresh

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Posted 26 January 2008 - 12:55 AM

I don't know a whole lot about Columbia's directing program because I wasn't in it, but their Cinematography program is very strong. I never used a flatbed to edit, although they've got a few still around. There is, however, a lot of editing film by hand using a Moviscope, and personally I strongly disagree with the notion that it's a waste of time. Editing by hand forces teaches you a certain kind of discipline that you don't get from learning on digital NLEs. Same for shooting on film as opposed to digital. I personally consider the fact that Columbia still uses film in most of its classes to be one of its strongest points.

What would you say flat bed editing specifically teaches? Patience? An NLE lets you be a bit more creative IMO it lets you quickly try things if what you planned doesn't quite work or better yet you discover something that works even better.
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#4 Scott Fritzshall

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Posted 26 January 2008 - 02:06 AM

Yes, and editing by hand restricts you from doing those things, and forces you to consider each cut before you make it. It's a total pain in the ass, I'm not going to lie, but it's a great learning tool. The really great thing about Columbia's Production courses is that it sends you back to basics. In Production 1, you get a roll or two of 16mm B&W Reversal and a wind-up Bolex, and edit by cutting up the original film you shot. It's a really great because it forces you to really really think about what you're doing every step of the way. You can't shoot extra takes unless you budgeted for them, you can't use music or sound effects, you can't use color correction or anything else. You've got to make decisions and stick with them. Everyone bitches about it, of course, but ultimately you carry the lessons that you learn from it with you when you get to more advanced production techniques, and I think it makes you a better filmmaker.
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#5 Chris Keth

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Posted 26 January 2008 - 03:47 AM

Flatbed editing makes you a good editor. Only ever knowing a NLE makes you a "lets try stuff until one eventually works" editor. It teaches you to make decisions and to previsualize things rather than try random poop until the computer poops out something decent. Yes, you would eventually pick those skills up but I think working without the undo command speeds up that process greatly.

Edited by Chris Keth, 26 January 2008 - 03:48 AM.

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#6 Chris Keth

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Posted 26 January 2008 - 03:49 AM

Forgot to add the original purpose of posting. Have ou checked out RIT in rochester, NY? They just redid all of their facilities and it's extremely nice. Wish they would have done that when I was still in school there.
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#7 Salil Sundresh

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Posted 27 January 2008 - 11:43 AM

Thanks for all the suggestions folks.

I'll check out RIT.

If anyone has more feedback to offer it would be appreciated. Thanks.
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