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Anyone on the board attend SF State school of cinematography?


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#1 Wesley Hall

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Posted 08 January 2010 - 07:02 PM

I plan to transfer there in the next year or so and i was wondering if anyone is attending or did attend their had any opinions on it, I've heard its an excellent program but i was looking for some words from someone first hand.

thanks guys.
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#2 Satsuki Murashige

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Posted 13 January 2010 - 04:13 AM

I plan to transfer there in the next year or so and i was wondering if anyone is attending or did attend their had any opinions on it, I've heard its an excellent program but i was looking for some words from someone first hand.

thanks guys.

Hi Wesley,

Please do a search in the film school sub-forum, I promise you'll find lots of results. FWIW, I attended SFSU as an undergrad and there is no cinematography emphasis, only production. Also, only a few of the faculty are actual working industry professionals in their teaching fields - Bill Zarchy, who teaches the graduate cinematography class is one (but that class is only open to grads, or to a few undergrads by invitation only). It's mainly a film studies school, and there are no production courses in the program until you finish your undergrad requirements which takes two years. Typical undergrad cameras would be the Bolex, Arri S, Eclair NPR. They have no 35mm gear. Grads get the Arri SR (Standard 16, not Super). They do have a nice sound stage.

I found it kind of disturbing that there were so many students in the film program who seemed apathetic and disinterested in actually making films, discussing films, and actively learning on their own. A lot of people sit in the back of class and space out. I did meet a number of great colleagues there, but they were a very small minority.

Academy of Art in San Francisco is more of a technical school, with better camera gear (a lot more expensive to attend though). I know a lot of excellent people that came out of there.

If you still intend to come to SF, then I would recommend supplementing your education at City College of SF, which is relatively cheap and has some great film production courses which you can take right away. I can highly recommend Beginning and Advanced Cinematography with John Aliano, and Digital Film Finishing with John Carlson. The students there greatly vary in age and experience level, but they are all pretty serious which makes it a fantastic environment. Anyway, best of luck.
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#3 Jonathan Bowerbank

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Posted 13 January 2010 - 08:39 PM

Oh nice, Aliano's back! That's excellent news. I too definitely recommend taking some courses at City College, I went there and was completely satisfied with their program. They got pretty much anything you need to get you started.
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#4 Kevin Masuda

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Posted 14 January 2010 - 12:41 AM

I plan to transfer there in the next year or so and i was wondering if anyone is attending or did attend their had any opinions on it, I've heard its an excellent program but i was looking for some words from someone first hand.

thanks guys.


I also went to SF State for Film for two semesters when I figured out that no one there was really that interested in making films. Like Satsuki said, most of the students were spacing out in the back of the room or when I was there there were a handful of students just mainly interested in the theory of film and filmmaking rather than actual production. I currently go to Academy of Art and I do have to say that its pretty cool because it is technical and we have access to equipment and there are some great teachers.
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#5 Satsuki Murashige

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Posted 14 January 2010 - 02:12 AM

Oh nice, Aliano's back!

Yep, as of a few weeks ago. We should all go out for beers sometime.
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#6 Jamie Metzger

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Posted 14 January 2010 - 11:47 PM

Wesley:

Go to City college. After your first day, get on the T train and head down town. Get off at the montgomery station stop and head to 79 New Montgomery. Proceed to the Academy of Art University and start making friends.

I promise you (and satski, bowerbank, and kevin can attest) that the Academy has it going on. I encourage new students to make friends with academy people and work on their shoots. If you stay in the city and start working professionally, you will always find an Academy student on set. We work. We are stubborn and think we are all that. But we get the kind of hands-on experience that you can't compare to any other school.

Save your money.
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#7 Kevin Masuda

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Posted 16 January 2010 - 09:42 PM

Wesley:

Go to City college. After your first day, get on the T train and head down town. Get off at the montgomery station stop and head to 79 New Montgomery. Proceed to the Academy of Art University and start making friends.

I promise you (and satski, bowerbank, and kevin can attest) that the Academy has it going on. I encourage new students to make friends with academy people and work on their shoots. If you stay in the city and start working professionally, you will always find an Academy student on set. We work. We are stubborn and think we are all that. But we get the kind of hands-on experience that you can't compare to any other school.

Save your money.


Jamie's right, make friends because the more friends you make the more connections you will have. Utilize the equipment, get your friends and just go and shoot...shoot...shoot!!!
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#8 David Bowsky

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Posted 15 June 2010 - 12:31 AM

... FWIW, I attended SFSU as an undergrad and there is no cinematography emphasis, only production. ...

... then I would recommend supplementing your education at City College of SF, which is relatively cheap and has some great film production courses which you can take right away. I can highly recommend Beginning and Advanced Cinematography with John Aliano, and Digital Film Finishing with John Carlson ...


Mind if I ask when you were at SFSU? I was there as a transfer student and graduated in 2003. Pretty much the same experience, few folks interested in production, even fewer in actual careers as crew. Got sort of sucked into the slacker aspect in my last year. I did have one professor who pushed us do to a lot of film making, but not nearly the same approach that goes on at Academy.

Oh, and thanks for the reminder about the CCSF classes. Almost took that back when Toney Merritt still taught the summer session, but had to drop in order to work. Ah continuing education.

I'll echo what pretty much everyone has said about Academy. Too expensive to attend, but get to know folks who are there and/or are graduates if you are coming to the Bay.
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