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Few Doubts About Qualification In Film


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#1 John Lanney

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Posted 22 December 2008 - 11:39 PM

Hey guys, I have some questions which I hope to get some clarifications here. I have conveniently compiled them.

Course In Film

1. Are the courses offered at American Film Institute(AFI) Conservatory and New York University(NYU) Tisch School Of The Arts the ones that prepare you to become a director in the film industry?

2. Where do graduates go and get these jobs upon graduation?

3. Are there any other schools in the United States Of America(USA) that offer courses in the area of film making which are respectable too and international students can consider enrolling?

Qualification

1.What courses do AFI offer? Eg. Bachelor Of Arts(BA) or Master Of Fine Arts(MFA)?

2. What courses do NYU Tisch offer? Eg. BA or MFA

3. What is the difference between BA and MFA? Eg. An undergraduate can only apply for BA courses?

4. What are the requirements needed in terms of qualifications before enrolling into these schools? Eg. A Diploma in Film?

5. Is it still possible if that person is without the necessary qualification but in other disciplines, to obtain the same qualification as other students upon graduation?

Fees

1. Are there any scholarships that are provided to international students, specifically AFI and NYU Tisch?

Thanks for reading. I would really appreciate the effort of anyone who can help me clear these doubts
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#2 Adrian Sierkowski

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Posted 22 December 2008 - 11:54 PM

I didn't go to either school, but I can certainly tell you a BA and an MFA are not the same. You need a BA in order to enroll in an MFA program, and if you're accepted you get an MFA which IIRC is the terminal degree in film (e.g. no PhD in film). I also think AFI is a grad school primarily, so I don't believe they offer a BA or a BS.
But why not call these institutions. They have whole staffs waiting to answer educational questions.

I would venture out on a limb here that no school can prepare you to be a director in anything but the simplest sense. Directing is about making art and having a voice. How you choose to find your voice is up to you-- and certainly school helps-- as does making work (e.g. all the books on writing won't make you a writer-- you have to write).
Certainly is is important to learn some film theory-- which is why I went to film school myself-- but at the end of it all, being a director comes down to having something to say. You have to find what that is and then fill in the means to say it-- normally by getting with other qualified people who can help you get from the point a to the point z (a being concept z being let's say academy award.) No art is made in a vacuum and film is by it's nature a collaborative endeavor which relies on the opinions of others if you really want to make it a career (be they producers of even festival programmers to the people on your set who are giving their time and talent in the service of the film (not your film in my own opinion-- but they film you are directing)).
hope that helps.
good luck!


p.s.
Most us universities offer film programs. A few are very good, but you need to find one which fits for you.
No amount of school gets you a job in film guaranteed. where as often those without schooling get gigs through determination. I found school helpful for me, your own experience may vary.
To get in to a BA program, you need a diploma from a "high school," level school based on the system in your own country, so the degree you'd get before university. For a MFA you need a BA, though it needn't be in film. Your BA can be in anything for most MFA programs, but that's a school by school and case by case thing. My own school, Temple Univ, admits many MFA candidates who do not come from film-- but other arts like English etc, though they are still selective (I think maybe 20 MFA candidates? not sure).
Yes there are scholarships. You will need to find those on your own, more than likely, or with the help of their financial aid offices. Student loans are more-often the financing of choice. I did my BA on Grants, but I was lucky and well... poor! I have maybe 8000 in student loan debt.. not too bad for a BA-- soon to be 2 BAs!)

again, good luck!
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#3 Saul Rodgar

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Posted 23 December 2008 - 02:03 AM

John . . .

Have you ever seen an ad that reads something like this?

"Feature-film director wanted to helm the newest installment of Tom Cruise's Mission Impossible franchise to be shot around the world with a $100 million budget. Must have film-directing degree from AFI, UCLA, USC or NYU, a valid passport and talent to spare. Interested parties please contact Paula Wagner at XXX-XXX-XXXX to schedule an appointment. United Artists is an equal opportunity employer."

Me neither. Don't mean to be cruel or overly cynical, but you got to start at the bottom, along with the rest of us. Hard work, talent, dedication, patience, preserverance and a lot more hard work are going to be more handy than a film-directing degree. Unless you got some well connected family relations, and millions to spare, I'd say get a PA job on a movie set and start clawing your way to the top like the rest of us.

OR start shooting your own films in the hopes that you make it big and the much coveted directing gig eventually lands on your lap. After all, Robert Rodriguez, the Cohen bros and many others have started like that . . .

Legend has it that Spielberg was rejected by USC 3 times. Then he got a gig as an unpaid intern (the lowest of the low) at Universal, and the rest is history . . .

http://en.wikipedia....teven_Spielberg

Those are the ways to get to be someone in this biz. Schooling schmooling is the way of feature film making.

Edited by Saul Rodgar, 23 December 2008 - 02:08 AM.

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#4 Saul Rodgar

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Posted 23 December 2008 - 02:06 AM

Double post!!!!!

Edited by Saul Rodgar, 23 December 2008 - 02:07 AM.

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#5 John Lanney

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Posted 28 December 2008 - 10:42 PM

Hey guys, thanks for your replies. The main thing that I am concern about is the pre-requisite needed to be able to qualify for the Film Programmes in AFI and NYU Tisch. I do not have a Diploma or any equivalent qualifications in Film. I am just wondering if AFI and NYU Tisch will accept undergraduates even if they are without relevant qualification for their BA courses.

P.S I know that AFI offers Certificate Of Completion but I am wondering if I there is anyway I can qualify for BA even if I am without necessary qualification.

Thanks for reading.
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#6 Brian Dzyak

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Posted 28 December 2008 - 10:57 PM

Hey guys, thanks for your replies. The main thing that I am concern about is the pre-requisite needed to be able to qualify for the Film Programmes in AFI and NYU Tisch. I do not have a Diploma or any equivalent qualifications in Film. I am just wondering if AFI and NYU Tisch will accept undergraduates even if they are without relevant qualification for their BA courses.

P.S I know that AFI offers Certificate Of Completion but I am wondering if I there is anyway I can qualify for BA even if I am without necessary qualification.

Thanks for reading.


Your best bet is to just call them directly and explain your situation. They'll of course want to know your work and educational histories and may wish to see any of your work to that point.

If you need contact information, visit http://www.whatireallywanttodo.com and click on the Filmschools link at the top. If those schools aren't suitable for some reason, you'll find the most comprehensive list of worldwide (over 700!) filmschools anywhere.


But, to restate the above, know that no filmschool or diploma will "get" you a job. This industry works almost entirely on networking...who you know and who knows you and what you can do. Once you feel you have an adequate technical knowledge of film and cameras as well as an understanding of how a real set functions, then take those abilities out into the world. Start by shooting anything, like short films, student films, music videos, commercials, industrials... whatever it takes to build your own experience and start meeting people in the professional world. In time, you'll build your own skills as well as a reputation to the point where you'll "apply" to shoot an independent low-budget feature. That one will lead to another and another and another. At no point will anyone ask to see your University degree. If the stars align and your work is good and you meet the right people at the right time, you may get the chance to shoot a large budget feature. If that movie does well enough at the box office, your agent (you'll have an agent by then) will use that currency to land you another big budget feature for more money.

Or you could never meet the right people and have the opportunities even if your work is very good. There are many many very qualified and skilled Cameramen in the world who aren't shooting at the highest levels.

That's kind of the way it works.
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