I am the product of 2 highly creative parents, a graphic designer and a commercial photographer who both did quite well as commercial artists. In high school I studied art and painting extensively and there was never a doubt in my mind I would also head off to art school. I was accepted to SCAD (Savannah College of Art and Design) right out of high school, but decided to take some time off and travel for a bit.
Upon returning to the states, I decided that the starving artist lifestyle didn’t suit me, and I made the decision to chase the money and pursue a degree in computer science since those grads made pretty good money at the time. I’ve always thought it a bit cruel to sit 18-20 year olds down and make them choose a career path, but that’s what I chose in the face of it all, even though I knew something in the arts would better suit me. And by god, I was right. Fast forward to now, and I know I made the wrong choice as I was beyond stifled creatively, and sitting at a desk is a miserable experience. I was laid off a little over a year ago and am back in school in the UNC system working towards a B.S. Biology degree and was thinking of medical school. It wasn't until a few weeks ago when started pulling my hair out again out of frustration over how bored I am with my classes that I finally decided to say screw it completely and have made the decision to get back to my roots and pursue something in the commercial arts.
Growing up the son of a photographer, I pretty much absorbed everything I could about the medium, but definitely know I want to pursue a career in films rather than stills. I wish I had made this decision my first go round, but better late than never.
I've been doing my own research on film schools based on some of the advice given in these forums, as well as just my own looking around. I don't have a reel or a portfolio of anything film related, so my search is limited to schools who don't require those materials. I have great grades, about a 3.65 in mostly math/science courses. My university does offer a minor in film which I'll be declaring this Fall.
My timeframe to enroll in some sort of film oriented school is Fall '10, which will be my Senior year from an hours standpoint. So based on all of this, and as promised, here is the million dollar question: Which film schools would be the best for me to look into? I realize it's a loaded question of course. At the top of my short list are Columbia College (Chicago), Chapman (LA), Art Center and Brooks (LA), UCLA (this of course will be a HUGE reach, but I have nothing to lose right?), and FSU. Columbia really seems to have an amazing Cine program, and the location is phenomenal. It's a bit pricey, but since I'll only be there 2 years it's doable.
My goals for breaking into the film industry are to work with actual film. While I appreciate digital, it's not my first choice. It has IMO taken a lot of the creativity out of the stills world, so I imagine it'll be similar in the film realm. It's probably worth mentioning that I'm just as interested in directing as I am DoP'ing and would like exposure to both.
So, there's my huge wall of text. I'm happy to have found a site like this and look forward to reading more about the world of cinematography!
Edited by Jayson Knight, 06 August 2009 - 04:44 PM.