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USC/UCLA Film School


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#1 Tyler Leisher

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Posted 14 August 2008 - 11:02 PM

So, I know how a lot of people use Film School as networking time, and the use of supplies... but I'm curious if its worth it if you already know your crew or have your gear hook ups? Will I learn more from going to the USC Film School or should I Just buy a bunch of books and read those?

What do you learn in film school that you can't learn by getting a crew together and shooting a short film, as well as buying a ton of books?

I'm talking specifically about the USC Film School, and to a lesser extent the UCLA Film School. I live nearby both, but I don't know if I should bother applying if I'm already making films and learning via total immersion.
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#2 Brian Drysdale

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Posted 15 August 2008 - 08:40 AM

I think what they're getting at is making connections beyond the people you currently know. One crew on a short film isn't going to last a career and you need to meet people on a broad a base as possible. If going to a particular school gets your foot through a door that otherwise would need a battering ram, you've got an advantage.

As the saying goes "it's not what you know, but who you know that counts".
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#3 Tyler Leisher

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Posted 18 August 2008 - 12:17 AM

Brian,

What is your opinion on the New York Film Academy in Universal Studios?

I think their 1 year program might be the best bang for my buck in the LA area, access to the Universal Back Lot, their equipment, and meeting people in under one year.
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#4 Brian Dzyak

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Posted 18 August 2008 - 12:31 AM

So, I know how a lot of people use Film School as networking time, and the use of supplies... but I'm curious if its worth it if you already know your crew or have your gear hook ups? Will I learn more from going to the USC Film School or should I Just buy a bunch of books and read those?

What do you learn in film school that you can't learn by getting a crew together and shooting a short film, as well as buying a ton of books?

I'm talking specifically about the USC Film School, and to a lesser extent the UCLA Film School. I live nearby both, but I don't know if I should bother applying if I'm already making films and learning via total immersion.



Tyler,

What is it that you want to do? I mean, specifically. What job do you want to have in the industry? The path to become a Director, for instance, is different than what it takes to become a Director of Photography. What you want to do will help determine the kind of advice you'll get from forums like this. :)

But whatever your goal, the true path to finding success isn't in learning how to make movies, but to learn how the professional industry really works. Once you know that, then you'll be able to focus your efforts more efficiently and you'll live your life DOING the job you want instead of spending your life trying to get there.


www.whatireallywanttodo.com
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#5 Tyler Leisher

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Posted 18 August 2008 - 04:23 PM

Tyler,

What is it that you want to do? I mean, specifically. What job do you want to have in the industry? The path to become a Director, for instance, is different than what it takes to become a Director of Photography. What you want to do will help determine the kind of advice you'll get from forums like this. :)

But whatever your goal, the true path to finding success isn't in learning how to make movies, but to learn how the professional industry really works. Once you know that, then you'll be able to focus your efforts more efficiently and you'll live your life DOING the job you want instead of spending your life trying to get there.


www.whatireallywanttodo.com


Hey Brian,

I can't believe I didn't mention what I wanted to do. I want to direct-produce-write films. If I had to choose one, it would be directing.. but I love all aspects (Including distribution and sales). I own that book that you linked to.. including a plethora of others on writing/directing/producing/distribution/etc.
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#6 Andrew Koch

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Posted 18 August 2008 - 05:58 PM

If you do decide to go to film school in LA check out all of them. Visit them and talk to the students, and not just the ones giving you the tours. This way you will help you get a sense of each type of program and what type of students they attract (by "types", I mean industry, independent, experimental, documentary, animation, etc.).

Are you applying for undergrad or grad? Most undergrad programs are 4 year programs, but I think Brookes is 3 years. Someone from Brookes, please correct me if I'm wrong.

Most Grad programs are 3 years like USC, UCLA, Loyola, Chapman (where I went). AFI is a two year program.

And then there are the one year programs. There are only two that I know of. There is New York Film Academy and LA Filmschool.

I went to filmschool and found it very valuable, the best education I ever got and still get is from working on larger sets as a crew member. It's a great way to learn how the "big kids" do it. If you want to be a director, you should try to work on some professional sets as a PA or work on films a grip, electric, camera assistant, etc... This will help you learn how professional sets are supposed to be run (and sometimes not supposed to be run). Then when you get your big break, you will have a better idea about how to run your set. You will also most likely work better with your crew because you will understand where they are coming from. This way you will understand when the cinematographer says he/she needs more time to light the entire city block for example. As a producer you will understand that when you wrap shooting, the electrics and grips still have possibly hours of loading up and will give them the necessary time to finish.
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Glidecam

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Tai Audio

Rig Wheels Passport

Wooden Camera

Visual Products

Abel Cine

Metropolis Post

Aerial Filmworks