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Lesser Known University Film Programs


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#1 anamexis

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Posted 08 May 2005 - 11:17 PM

I have been looking into various cinematography programs lately.
The three I have mainly been looking at is the School of Visual Arts (NYC), the University of Illinois at Chicago, and the University of California at Santa Cruz.
However, I have not heard particularly the two universities ever mentioned on these boards.
Is it that these programs are sub-par, have less industry contact and application, or are they just less known?
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#2 Christopher Heston

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Posted 14 December 2005 - 01:50 PM

I have been looking into various cinematography programs lately.
The three I have mainly been looking at is the School of Visual Arts (NYC), the University of Illinois at Chicago, and the University of California at Santa Cruz.
However, I have not heard particularly the two universities ever mentioned on these boards.
Is it that these programs are sub-par, have less industry contact and application, or are they just less known?



As a graduate from UCSC I can say that the program is great. However, there is much more emphasis on post production and digital media theory. The film dept is being transformed into a video department. The equipment though limited is in well kept condition. The teachers are very smart and honest. UCSC is also one the most beautiful campuses of the world.

-Chris
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#3 McKenzie Moore

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Posted 24 December 2005 - 04:58 AM

I am currently attending UCSC, and honestly, my best advice regarding the school is don't go.

Let me clarify now. I chose UCSC for the film program and am dissappointed, so much so that I am transferring to another school.

You're not garaunteed entrance into the program. You can apply as often as you like, but still, no garauntees.

The equipment is limited. The program focuses more on theory than anything else, or at least that's what I've gotten from it.

Also, it depends on where you want your film career to go. If you want to work in Hollywood, then UCSC is definitely not for you. They are very anti-Hollywood. They tend to teach towards the artsy independent type films. Which, as a cinematographer, you are artsy and you want to know how to make your film look good. Santa Cruz hasn't turned out a lot of really great alumni either in the film department. Honestly, it says it's an artsy school, but it's focus is on marine and space sciences.

That being said, I also believe that no matter where you go, you will get out fo teh school what you put in to it. My decision to leave UCSC is based in other factors as well.

I suggest looking into:
The LA Film School (an interesting take on film school, and amazing. . . if you're interested, ask me about it. This is not a four year.)
Chapman University
Florida State

But Santa Cruz is a gorgeous location, that is true enough. I do love the campus and the city.

Edited by McKenzie Moore, 24 December 2005 - 05:00 AM.

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#4 Chris Keth

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Posted 01 January 2006 - 09:34 PM

Check out RIT in Rochester, NY, too. A lot of people overlook it but it has quite a good reputation for turning out good technical DPs, editors, animators, and soundmen. I'm a junior there this year and am very happy with it, concentrating my education on photographing films.
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#5 Scott Fritzshall

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Posted 01 January 2006 - 11:48 PM

I'm at Columbia College of Chicago, which has an enormous film program. Their cinematography department is really worth checking out- there are tons of classes, and it gets pretty in-depth. If you stick with it long enough, you'll end up shooting multiple times on 35mm. Columbia puts a lot of emphasis on film. Some courses use video, but just about every cinematography course is taught on film.

They've also got a pretty respectable amount of gear. The beginning students use Bolexes for everything, which unfortunately are not very well-maintained. I guess it's because they've got so many freshmen abusing them, they decide it's not worth bothering to do too much work on them. Once you're into the advanced courses, though, you get access to the advanced cameras and gear, some of which is pretty nice. There are several Aaton and Arri cameras, as well as a GII on permanent loan from Panavision. Some older stuff as well, including an ancient Mitchell BNC that gets used occasionally.

One thing that's really nice about the school in general is that many of the teachers are also past or current professionals, so they can give you a lot of real-world advice. The program emphasizes practical experience, and if you put yourself out there, you can have more than 50 films under your belt by the time you graduate. You're also required to do internships, and there are a lot of local companies and productions that students work for.
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