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Film school curriculum


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#1 Benjamin Smith

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Posted 17 April 2008 - 08:43 AM

Hi all,

I have been interested in going to a film school for some time now and have been doing a lot of research. I have a question for those who have been. What kind of curriculum is there? I mean what kind of books or study materials do they require you to purchase if any. I know a lot of film school is hands on learning but I also know there is class time. If you have the names of specific ones that you like let me know I would like to investigate them.

Cheers
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#2 Brian Dzyak

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Posted 17 April 2008 - 09:14 AM

Hi all,

I have been interested in going to a film school for some time now and have been doing a lot of research. I have a question for those who have been. What kind of curriculum is there? I mean what kind of books or study materials do they require you to purchase if any. I know a lot of film school is hands on learning but I also know there is class time. If you have the names of specific ones that you like let me know I would like to investigate them.

Cheers


Hi Benjamin,

Just like any school or professor, there is no set curriculum for film study so what is actually taught and what resources are used is going to vary from program to program. The best answer to your question will come from the schools themselves. There is a comprehensive list of film schools and programs available on my website (link below). I'd suggest just investing some time to search the locations that are realistic for you and contact the schools the interest you most.

There is also a large list of specific "job" books on my website (under "other resources"). Whether the schools use those books or not, most are excellent ways to learn about the jobs you really want to do.

Good luck!
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#3 Dax McKeever

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Posted 30 April 2008 - 11:21 PM

Hi all,

I have been interested in going to a film school for some time now and have been doing a lot of research. I have a question for those who have been. What kind of curriculum is there? I mean what kind of books or study materials do they require you to purchase if any. I know a lot of film school is hands on learning but I also know there is class time. If you have the names of specific ones that you like let me know I would like to investigate them.

Cheers



Here's a real answer: unless you're professors have full 15-20 yrs experience in LA or NYC,
then they do not know anything about the career; they do, however, know how to return to school.

1 - USC FILM SCHOOL
2 - NYC Tisch Film School of Arts

I don't recommend others. There are many more but most graduates spend 8-10 yrs trying to find career
potential, only to return to school as teachers/professors at older age. If anyone does not give direct
response, then it's a perfect example.
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#4 Johnathan Holmes

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Posted 16 June 2008 - 02:57 AM

Having gone to NYU, I found it was geared mostly towards those who want to direct and write.

Very little focus (by comparison) is possible in the other technical positions (camera assistants, electricians, etc).
As a result, I found my three years at NYU to be rather useless in a practical training sense. While film schools may own "state of the art" equipment, it doesn't compare to the kind of equipment used in the real world. The only thing I can say I got out of my $180,000 experience was networking with some excellent people with great potential to be great directors and cinematographers.

Nevertheless, working on a student film shoot is very different from working on a real union show. Almost shockingly so - at least for me it was. My best advice is to go to a cheaper college and study anything you want, but most importantly get out there and start working on film shoots as early as possible - start with student shoots (you don't have to be a film student enrolled in a film school to work on many student films), but don't get stuck working on student shoots for too long. They will distort what you perceive a real film shoot to be like.
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#5 Frank Barrera

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Posted 16 June 2008 - 12:46 PM

You can do a search about the pros and cons of film school here and find pages and pages of arguments... so you should do that.

but to answer your question:

I went to a small NY state art school called SUNY Purchase. As with any accredited school in the U.S. your class credits will be divided between your core curriculum (about 25% of total) which includes science, literature, history etc. and then the rest which will be credits from your concentration of film. This will be classes in editing, writing, directing, cinematography, film history/theory and actual production. So in a four year program (BFA) you spend a year on the core and then three years on film. That's not a whole heck of a lot of time to learn about all that film stuff. As a matter of fact it's sort of impossible to really do anything but scratch the surface of any one of those subjects. Any book you would be required to purchase can be found on the list available on this site.

All film schools have their particular pros and cons. In the 13 years since I graduated I have discussed this topic with many other grads and also non grads and have come to one conclusion: It's nice to learn about about early Russian cinema but the real reason to go to film school is to make connections with your future co-workers and bosses. That's why NYU and USC are so great. There you will meet people not just with talent but MONEY. They will get you jobs later in life. Even though I went to a cheapo state school I can say that almost half of ALL my jobs over the years have been connected to my four years at Purchase. I am pretty convinced that if I had gone to NYU I would be further along right now. I also wish I was three inches taller...

So there you go. If you really want to go to film school go to the highest profile one you can and be nice to all the rich kids.
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#6 Chad Stockfleth

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Posted 16 June 2008 - 02:29 PM

So there you go. If you really want to go to film school go to the highest profile one you can and be nice to all the rich kids.



Totally hysterical and completely true!
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#7 Adrian Sierkowski

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Posted 16 June 2008 - 02:32 PM

Sadly so true!

I knew I should've buggered up to NYU, then maybe I'd not be scraping the CL and Mandy barrel so often!
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#8 Damien Bhatti

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Posted 18 June 2008 - 03:27 AM

I knew I should've buggered up to NYU,


I didnt know this turn of phrase was used in the US, I thought "bugger," (!) was only a british quirk, or maybe it has another meaning over in the states,
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#9 Adrian Sierkowski

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Posted 18 June 2008 - 09:41 AM

It is a British term, but as I have dual citizenship and a former London address, I figure I can use it ;)
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#10 Cory Lonas

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Posted 18 June 2008 - 11:27 AM

I went to a small NY state art school called SUNY Purchase.


Frank, I just graduated from SUNY Purchase in May. Unfortunately I was not part of the Film School, but I did have the opportunity to take a lot of film courses through the film department. Are you by any chance on the Alumni Network with Career Development?
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#11 Frank Barrera

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Posted 18 June 2008 - 02:24 PM

Frank, I just graduated from SUNY Purchase in May. Unfortunately I was not part of the Film School, but I did have the opportunity to take a lot of film courses through the film department. Are you by any chance on the Alumni Network with Career Development?


ummmm, no. What is it?
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#12 Cory Lonas

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Posted 18 June 2008 - 03:31 PM

ummmm, no. What is it?

it basically gets you in contact with students who are about to graduate who want to pursue a career in your field... its basically for alumni to give words of advice to graduating students and help them find the most direct path to success for them... I probably sound like a CDC pamphlet by now, but if it sounds cool to you then hit them up to sign up...
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#13 Frank Barrera

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Posted 18 June 2008 - 08:13 PM

it basically gets you in contact with students who are about to graduate who want to pursue a career in your field... its basically for alumni to give words of advice to graduating students and help them find the most direct path to success for them... I probably sound like a CDC pamphlet by now, but if it sounds cool to you then hit them up to sign up...

i'll contact them and see what i can do. we all need all the help we can get.
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#14 Cory Lonas

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Posted 18 June 2008 - 08:32 PM

i'll contact them and see what i can do. we all need all the help we can get.

I also just moved to NYC, Id love to meet up with you at some point.
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