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Bah! Need Help With School Info!


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#1 Taylor Stuart

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Posted 04 June 2010 - 12:54 AM

Hi my name is Taylor and I'm currently attending Vancouver Film School in their Foundations programme and registered for their Film Production programme next year but I’m having second thoughts. I want to eventually be a DOP and after doing research I'm wondering if maybe choosing a cinematography specific programme would be better? The film programme at VFS is very well rounded, but I think doing a programme primarily focused on cinematography would be more productive and won’t leave me feeling like I’ve wasted my time. I’ve been looking at NYFA in LA, Los Angeles Film School as well as university film programmes. I want to study more hands on and less theory.

Also is there any benefit in graduating with a degree over a diploma?

If anyone could provide ANY insight I would very much appreciate it, I’m so confused!!

Thanks so much!

Taylor
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#2 Brian Dzyak

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Posted 04 June 2010 - 07:48 AM

Hi my name is Taylor and I'm currently attending Vancouver Film School in their Foundations programme and registered for their Film Production programme next year but I’m having second thoughts. I want to eventually be a DOP and after doing research I'm wondering if maybe choosing a cinematography specific programme would be better? The film programme at VFS is very well rounded, but I think doing a programme primarily focused on cinematography would be more productive and won’t leave me feeling like I’ve wasted my time. I’ve been looking at NYFA in LA, Los Angeles Film School as well as university film programmes. I want to study more hands on and less theory.

Also is there any benefit in graduating with a degree over a diploma?

If anyone could provide ANY insight I would very much appreciate it, I’m so confused!!

Thanks so much!

Taylor


Hi Taylor! You'll get a lot of different advice for this question, but I think that you'll find that the common theme will be that you're best off just going out and working on sets as much as possible. That said, you DO want to have some of the fundamentals of technology, lighting and exposure, but your best "classroom" will be to be on set and work through the largest variety of situations as possible. You'll also gain a lot by going to the various workshops that pop up from time to time. These cover lighting and different cameras and different camera support technology. Also, read as much as you can here at Cinematography.com and if you haven't joined, join the CML Discussion List at www.cinematography.net. There are also a few books and DVDs out there that will help you learn quite a bit from the comfort of your own home at a far less expensive cost than attending a formal school.

In order to GET that on-set experience can be as simple as putting your name out there at the local filmschools and letting aspiring Directors know that you will shoot their movie for free. Sometimes other projects are happening away from the schools, like music videos or short films or corporate videos. The idea is to get on as many different types of sets as you can. This gives you a wide breadth of practical experience with a variety of situations and equipment AND just as importantly, you get to meet lots of people who are either in the professional industry or are working toward that just as you are. It will ultimately be who you know that will be the key to your getting the opportunities to shoot the projects you're interested in. No one will really care where you went to school or about your degree.

This site has a list of books and DVDs you should consider and if you visit www.realfilmcareer.com and go to the Forums section, scroll down toward the bottom to find threads with links that should also help you.
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#3 Rob Vogt

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Posted 04 June 2010 - 07:56 AM

Also the fact that you're at a film school that doesn't have a cinematography specific program, you're more valuable an asset. There's not 20 people fighting for the same job, as long as people know you want to be a DP they feel more comfortable you're not going to take over from the director, and you'll want the project to look as best as it can so you're more likely to get hired. Just make sure you read up and learn how to do it well. Might I suggest also going to your library and looking for American Cinematographer and look for movies that inspire you and see how they made it.
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Aerial Filmworks

The Slider

Metropolis Post

Broadcast Solutions Inc

CineTape

CineLab

Visual Products

Abel Cine

Media Blackout - Custom Cables and AKS

Glidecam

rebotnix Technologies

Willys Widgets

Paralinx LLC

Opal

Rig Wheels Passport

Tai Audio

Wooden Camera

Ritter Battery