Posted 17 February 2011 - 05:05 PM
Another routes that I have been considering is to go on and get an MA in Communications or an MBA and continue doing film work. That way I can have something to fall back on or at least something that can make me money in a down economy. But I fear that those degrees might work against me in some ways. One of my professors, a USC grad, said that there is a bias against people with college degrees in the film industry. I have no idea if that is true.
It is a very difficult decision for me, hopefully you guys can shed some light on my predicament by sharing some of your own experiences with film school.
Posted 02 January 2012 - 01:04 AM
Posted 05 January 2012 - 08:37 AM
Unlicensed L.A. film school must pay fines, refunds
The Los Angeles Feature Film Academy, which operated out of a loft apartment, pledged on its website that students would get a chance to make 'real feature films … that are released worldwide.'
September 09, 2011|By Stuart Pfeifer
A Los Angeles film school has been ordered by a state agency to shut its doors for operating without a license and pay $80,000 in fines and tuition refunds to two former students.
The Los Angeles Feature Film Academy pledged on its website that students would get an opportunity "to train alongside working professionals" and make "real feature films … that are released worldwide." One student complained that instead, she spent tens of thousands of dollars on a program that was run out of the owner's loft apartment on West 5th Street near downtown Los Angeles.
The state's Bureau for Private Post secondary Education ordered in a July 1 letter that the school pay a $50,000 fine for operating without a state permit and that it refund more than $30,000 to the former students.
William Wesley, the school's owner, said he was not aware of the requirement and has asked the bureau to reconsider its fine. He said he didn't have the money to cover the fine or restitution.
"We can't pay it. … I have no idea what the bureau is going to do. Put me in jail? I can't afford to pay it," he said.
One of the former students, Ingrid Patzwahl, said she was so impressed with the school's marketing that she traveled from Germany to attend, with hopes of making a feature film that could launch her career. After she arrived in California, she was surprised to see that Wesley operated out of an apartment.
"He set up a table and some chairs for the students, so it looked a little bit like a classroom," Patzwahl said. "He had some professional film equipment. And a big TV. I was shocked, of course, and wondering. But I thought, 'Maybe this is the American way of vocational school.'"
Patzwahl said that she complained to Wesley about the curriculum and that he ultimately responded by suspending her from the school and refusing to refund her money. That led her to complain to the state. Wesley said Patzwahl was disruptive and that's why he told her she was no longer welcome at the classes.
The state agency has ordered Wesley to refund more than $15,000 to Patzwahl.
In an interview, Wesley defended his school's curriculum and acknowledged that he taught classes out of a loft at the Bixel at Fifth apartments.
"It was used at times for classes and then also living there," he said.
Wesley said he considers the fine unfair because he was unaware that he needed a permit from the Bureau for Private Post secondary Education.
"The regulations are really tough for any school, unless they're bringing in a huge amount of money," Wesley said. "We didn't know about it. ... We didn't know they existed."
He said he responded by renaming the school American Feature Film Academy and reducing fees to no more than $2,500 per student, low enough that the school no longer falls under the bureau's authority.
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