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Best School for Directing, Cinematography and Screenwriting?


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#1 Jalen Coleman

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Posted 12 November 2009 - 09:10 PM

I want to become a director, writer and study cinematography which film school best focuses on these topics.
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#2 Brad Grimmett

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Posted 16 November 2009 - 07:25 AM

I'm not sure which film school is best (I didn't go), but one great place to learn this stuff is on set. I learned a LOT as a PA when I was first starting out. If you do go to film school, do yourself a favor and try to intern/PA as much as possible on as many sets as you can while you're there. It will be worth it. I've worked with WAY too many 'just out of film school geniuses' who are too good to know what a C-stand is or pick up a sand bag. And chances are you're gonna start at the bottom, so you better know the basics at the very least when you come out of school. Knowing the actual mechanics involved with making a film is imperative if you want to be successful as a director.
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#3 Brian Dzyak

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Posted 16 November 2009 - 09:15 AM

I want to become a director, writer and study cinematography which film school best focuses on these topics.


The first part of your statement "I want to become a...." will not necessarily be served by attending a filmschool. As you already are aware of, some schools are better than others, but even if you do find one that you feel is excellent, that curriculum alone will not likely be enough to put you into the professional industry.

The very best way to "become" those things is to go out and start doing them. There are plenty of lower cost ways to learn the craft of Screenwriting than investing in an expensive school. The primary thing you can do is to just start writing. Need help? I highly recommend the following resources that WILL help you:

http://www.wordplayer.com

Film Scriptwriting, Second Edition: A Practical Manual (Paperback)
~ Dwight V Swain (Author), JOYE R SWAIN (Author)
http://www.amazon.co...l_top_3_rdssss0


Read EVERY page of those two and I promise you that you'll learn more than you thought you could without spending a fortune.


Since you want to be a Director, I assume that your interest in Cinematography is solely so that you understand the basics of working with a camera and what lighting can do and not so that you can go light a set on your own. There are a host of "theory" books on the art of Cinematography that you could look at (listed in the resources section of this website) that will again help you for far less of an investment than a school will give you.


The Directing portion is something that really can really only come from experience, first by observing others and then by doing it yourself. Some people are able to build a directing career as a result of their writing while other working Directors don't write but build careers by creating short projects as co-Producers. There is no single path to this coveted position.


The KEY to building a career is not in obtaining a degree, but in educating yourself as to the realities of the professional industry. Theory and the controlled environment of filmschool can be helpful to some degree, but actually spending time on real sets, watching and helping real professionals and knowing what they really do on and off set will go a long way to helping you make wise choices for your own career.

There is a LOT more about that aspect in the book What I Really Want to Do: On Set in Hollywood http://www.randomhou...n=9780823099535 Once you've read every page of that, you'll have a greater sense of just how a typical movie is made on a shot-by-shot basis so that as a Director, you'll understand just what it takes to get your movie made in terms of the capabilities and the limitations of your resources.

I'd also highly recommend reading The Movie Producer: A Handbook for Producing and Picture-Making (Paperback) ~ Paul N. Lazarus
http://www.amazon.co...l_pop_2_rdssss0 It will give you a very good look into what it takes to gather and manage the resources that it takes to get a movie made.


So, I urge you to take a serious look at all of those resources BEFORE deciding to attend filmschool. If, after you've read through them, you still feel like you want to invest the time and money into a formal curriculum, you'll find the world's most comprehensive list of film programs at http://www.realfilmcareer.com under the "Filmschools" link at the top. Asking for recommendations for which school to attend is fine, but the best thing for you to do is to filter out all of the schools you just cannot attend (for geographical or financial reasons) then carefully study the curriculum of the schools that do interest you. Then contact each of those and speak to real people about your goals and what they offer to help you. Speak to teachers, department heads, and to alumni so that you have a very good idea what you are buying. And remember, no matter what you hear, what's perfect for one person may not be perfect for you, so listen very carefully before you commit and time and money.


Good luck!
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Broadcast Solutions Inc

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Tai Audio

Glidecam

Visual Products

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CineLab

rebotnix Technologies

Paralinx LLC

Metropolis Post

CineTape

The Slider

FJS International, LLC

Gamma Ray Digital Inc

Willys Widgets

Technodolly

Rig Wheels Passport

Wooden Camera