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Best Path as a Graduate ?


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#1 Ben Park

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Posted 06 June 2009 - 11:28 AM

Ok so brief background, I did my bachelors of Fine Arts in Photography and now am about to finish my Masters in Digital Media (Film) here in Australia at UNSW College of Fine Arts http://www.cofa.unsw.edu.au .The course is a general course that touches on a very 'overall' aspect of film production i.e. Directing, Editing, Cinematography, Sound and so on.

I want to be a cinematographer and want to complete a intensive Cinematography Diploma or additional degree at a prestigious school or university.

Can you recommend the schools or universities that i should apply to? It can be anywhere around the world but i prefer to study in the U.S. or Australia.

Thanks..

Edited by Ben Park, 06 June 2009 - 11:29 AM.

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#2 John Brawley

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Posted 06 June 2009 - 07:19 PM

Ok so brief background, I did my bachelors of Fine Arts in Photography and now am about to finish my Masters in Digital Media (Film) here in Australia at UNSW College of Fine Arts http://www.cofa.unsw.edu.au .The course is a general course that touches on a very 'overall' aspect of film production i.e. Directing, Editing, Cinematography, Sound and so on.

I want to be a cinematographer and want to complete a intensive Cinematography Diploma or additional degree at a prestigious school or university.

Can you recommend the schools or universities that i should apply to? It can be anywhere around the world but i prefer to study in the U.S. or Australia.

Thanks..


Hi Ben.

You could look at AFTRS ?

It was great when I went through, but they have changed the course quite a lot since I left in 2007.

jb
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#3 Ben Park

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Posted 07 June 2009 - 06:32 AM

Hi Ben.

You could look at AFTRS ?

It was great when I went through, but they have changed the course quite a lot since I left in 2007.

jb


Yeah I was looking into getting into the Grad.Dip of Cinematography program. But it looks like from the prerequisite's its probably better if i work for a year and gain some more experience than try to enroll straight after my Masters..

Do you know how many people they take in now a year? Is it a easier to get in now?

Also do you know Mia Horniak, they both studied at aftrs. ? Mia is our main teacher for film.

thanks John...
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#4 John Brawley

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Posted 07 June 2009 - 08:00 AM

Yeah I was looking into getting into the Grad.Dip of Cinematography program. But it looks like from the prerequisite's its probably better if i work for a year and gain some more experience than try to enroll straight after my Masters..

Do you know how many people they take in now a year? Is it a easier to get in now?

Also do you know Mia Horniak, they both studied at aftrs. ? Mia is our main teacher for film.

thanks John...



I know they take more students now. It was 7 this year. For a long time it was only 4 (from over 500 applicats usually) I do know that you now have to pay and it's not cheap.

The course was GREAT but I have grave fears for the new course now....

I don't know if it's easier to get in, but number alone suggest it would be. They also have a foundation year which I think may help you gain access to the MA program, but it might be a bit of a backwards step for you.

Sorry, I don't know Mia....


jb
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#5 Brian Dzyak

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Posted 07 June 2009 - 09:20 AM

Ok so brief background, I did my bachelors of Fine Arts in Photography and now am about to finish my Masters in Digital Media (Film) here in Australia at UNSW College of Fine Arts http://www.cofa.unsw.edu.au .The course is a general course that touches on a very 'overall' aspect of film production i.e. Directing, Editing, Cinematography, Sound and so on.

I want to be a cinematographer and want to complete a intensive Cinematography Diploma or additional degree at a prestigious school or university.

Can you recommend the schools or universities that i should apply to? It can be anywhere around the world but i prefer to study in the U.S. or Australia.

Thanks..


Ben,

You say that you want to be a Cinematographer and then follow that with your wish to get a diploma for it at a prestigious school. Before you act on recommendations, I just hope you understand that the diploma and the "prestigious" school will have very little to nothing to do with you building and maintaining a sustainable career as a Cinematographer.

I'm not suggesting that you won't learn a lot and that there is no value to receiving a higher education at a prestigious school, but it would be very easy to spend quite a lot of money and time earning a degree from a place like that and never receive a decent return on your investment. Arguably, once you have a relatively solid foundation in how to expose film/video, you'll learn a lot more by just going out and doing it. The alternative to formal cinematography schooling is to take the money you were going to spend and use it to sustain yourself (food, shelter) while you work for little or no money on small independent projects learning "on the job."

Again, I think that there are more reasons to get an advanced degree than not, but if you want a life and career in the professional film industry, that degree isn't necessarily the key to achieving it. Most filmschools really only teach the basics of "filmmaking," but learning about the BUSINESS end of things doesn't tend to be high on their list of priorities. And experience dealing with personalities and logistical challenges can only come from putting in time on as many sets as possible. School may give you a decent jumping off point, but carefully weigh the time/money you'll spend/invest in that diploma with your current base of knowledge and whether or not you feel confident about just getting out there and starting your career.

You can find the most comprehensive list of worldwide filmschools at http://www.realfilmcareer.com. Just click on the "Filmschools" link on the tab on the top.
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#6 John Brawley

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Posted 07 June 2009 - 05:25 PM

Arguably, once you have a relatively solid foundation in how to expose film/video, you'll learn a lot more by just going out and doing it. The alternative to formal cinematography schooling is to take the money you were going to spend and use it to sustain yourself (food, shelter) while you work for little or no money on small independent projects learning "on the job."


Hi Brian.

I think you make a good argument, but I think you've left off one big advantage of film school; Establishing life long relationships with peers that will provide you with a working life far beyond film school.

At film school you can expect to forge close relationships with other filmmakers. Of course this can still be achieved outside of that environment, but the process is accelerated somewhat...

I think it's up to the individual. I would also argue that it's the other way around. Your suggestions could apply to undergraduate studies and you're right to say one can learn exposure theory and technical stuff from on the job training. I think if you're doing an MA though, you should be way beyond the basics and exploring other aspects of the job, developing your visual language skills etc.

When I applied to AFTRS for one of their 4 slots for DP's, they wouldn't even interview someone that said they wanted to learn more of the *tech* stuff of exposure theory etc.

I think it depends on what stage you're at in terms of your career.

jb
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#7 Ben Park

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Posted 08 June 2009 - 02:29 AM

Thanks for you advice guys... I wanted to try do the Grad. Diploma at aftrs next year. http://www.aftrs.edu...matography.aspx
I want to do this while i work freelance assisting on films sets or doing my own low budget or student films/content. Another reason i wanted to study in the U.S. was to travel and experience the American culture.

John i think your absolutely right about forging relationships especially in our industry. Could you suggest the best way to find a good DOP to assist for ?


Ben
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Ritter Battery

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Tai Audio

Media Blackout - Custom Cables and AKS

Visual Products

Broadcast Solutions Inc

Technodolly

Gamma Ray Digital Inc

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