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Which school has the best cinematography program?


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#1 Jonathan Spear

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Posted 31 May 2005 - 04:01 AM

Hi all,

I'm dying to go back to school but I need some guidance with this one.
I got into Brooks Institute of Photography last year but my parents wouldn't co-sign my loan so I had to pass on the oppurtunity. I'm almost 24 and will soon be eligable to take out my own loans. I'm a good student, a hard worker and I love every aspect of filmmaking. I want the best hands-on education I can get.

Which schools offer the best programs in cinematography?

Thanks in advance,
Jonathan
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#2 Richard Boddington

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Posted 31 May 2005 - 09:25 AM

In your case I would find a school with the best course in "cash register operations."

R,
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#3 Jonathan Spear

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Posted 31 May 2005 - 10:31 AM

<_<

Anyone else?
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#4 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 31 May 2005 - 10:56 AM

This will be in the FAQ:

22. Should I go to film school? Which one?

You won?t get a definitive answer on this one. Someone who went to film school and then had a successful career in the film industry may have a more positive assessment than someone who went but was not successful, or didn?t go yet was successful anyway. And since most people only attend one film school in their lives, they are unlikely to have much insight into the programs at other schools.

No matter which one you choose, remember that the best teacher is yourself. You have to be motivated to teach yourself using whatever tools and resources the school provides, rather than expect some formal education so well-designed that it can turn any novice into a professional. Possibly the biggest advantage to film school is the ability to meet and work with fellow students; these connections may lead to work after graduation. This is one argument for picking a film school with a fairly high success rate for graduates entering the film industry.

end

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Everyone's heard of the best film schools: USC, AFI, UCLA, NYU... (I won't mention them all.) Bill Dill, ASC is setting up a good cinematography program at Chapman University and apparently they are putting a lot of money into their film program in general. Personally, I tried to get into UCLA's program and failed (due to my grades as a pre-med student) but if you're a California resident, it's by FAR the best deal around financially compared to spending over $20,000 a year to go to a private university.

When I went to CalArts in 1988, it seemed expensive at $9000/yr, back when UCLA was only $2000/yr for state residents. Now CalArts is more like $20,000 like all the other private schools, which seems insane to go into that much debt for an art degree. It's not like we're talking about a law or medical degree here...
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#5 Jody Custer

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Posted 09 July 2005 - 06:17 PM

I am a grad student at Chapman film school, so I can only speak of my experience there.

As for cinematography:

in early cinematography classes, you work with stills and 16mm, both b&W & color, sync & non-sync. as with any basic cinematography class, the emphasis is on prepping and operating the cameras and related equipment, understanding the basic qualities of film, learning how acheive both practical and creative lighting, getting hands-on experience, and participating in critiques of your own work as well as existing work.

in the advanced cinematography classes, the emphasis is more on finding your particular style and building the relevant skills to develop it. the department did rent a 35mm camera, and we had in-class projects, where each student had a chance to prep and operate a 35mm panavision camera first-hand. almost every cine class involved actually setting up lights, shooting, and discussions. there seemed to be adequate equipment for grad and undergrad productions, but as always, the ones who plan ahead are more likely to get just what they need, when they need it. and actually, i think classes got the highest priority when it came to reserving and receiving equipment.
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#6 aartaxx

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Posted 10 July 2005 - 06:54 PM

Brooklyn College is known for graduating competent DP's. I'd look into their program. I went to SUNY Purchase. The notable grads are Hal Hartley, Mike Spiller, Nick Gomez, Tim McCann, Bob Gosse, Ron Fortunato.

It's not known for graduating DP's. It's more for independent auteurs but it's a great place to meet talented film geeks. Your in a class of only 20 freshman in the program and theres lots of 16mm cameras to go around. You're also close enough to NYC to get film within an hour but you don't have to deal with NYC bullshit all the time. It's not an easy program to get in and it's harder to stay in but it's worth it. Unless you're paying out of state tuition. Then forget the whole thing. You might as well take that 40K and make your first feature.
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#7 Tim J Durham

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Posted 10 July 2005 - 10:21 PM

Hi all,

        I'm dying to go back to school but I need some guidance with this one.
I got into Brooks Institute of Photography last year but my parents wouldn't co-sign my loan so I had to pass on the oppurtunity. I'm almost 24 and will soon be eligable to take out my own loans. I'm a good student, a hard worker and I love every aspect of filmmaking. I want the best hands-on education I can get.

        Which schools offer the best programs in cinematography?

Thanks in advance,
Jonathan

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Have you checked this out?

http://theworkshops.com/

You can design your own curriculum and it's all hands-on with professionals teaching the courses.
They also offer a professional certificate program through Rockport College (which as a piece of paper I suspect means very little but...) and it only takes a year. No French or math classes. All film. Lot's of contacts to be made.

http://www.rockportc.../pcert-film.asp
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#8 Steven Budden

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Posted 10 July 2005 - 10:57 PM

Hi all,

        I'm dying to go back to school but I need some guidance with this one.
I got into Brooks Institute of Photography last year but my parents wouldn't co-sign my loan so I had to pass on the oppurtunity. I'm almost 24 and will soon be eligable to take out my own loans. I'm a good student, a hard worker and I love every aspect of filmmaking. I want the best hands-on education I can get.

        Which schools offer the best programs in cinematography?

Thanks in advance,
Jonathan

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>


I think it really depends on whether you're into hollywood or more independent or experimental filmmaking.

Steven
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#9 Videonewbie56

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Posted 30 July 2005 - 12:07 AM

wow i have heard tons of great things about chapman university how many of you guys reaally reccomend it?

(reply requested)
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#10 Jody Custer

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Posted 03 September 2005 - 11:40 PM

wow i have heard tons of great things about chapman university how many of you guys reaally reccomend it?

(reply requested)

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>


The new film school being built at Chapman is going to be pretty amazing, I think.

"Marion Knott Studios: Scheduled to open in 2006
· A brand new, 76,000-square-foot facility.
· A 500-seat theater with digital cinema and 35 mm projection.
· All digital post-production.
· Networked digital storage.
· Sound stages and shop facilities.
· Graphics and digital post-production labs.
· A wide collection of DVDs and scripts for study.
· A backlot slated for the next construction phase. "

Dodge College of Film at Chapman

I know that a lot of AFI faculty have joined with the current Chapman film department in building the new school. I think it will be the updated and more evolved place to study, because LA is built and the colleges have not much room to grow, except in curriculum. Chapman being in Orange County is as close as you can get to Film, beyond it's LA home. And the new programs seem more involving with the industry greats not just as guest speakers, but also as teachers. My younger sister is thinking of going to Chapman Film. I can't believe she would want anything to do with film. Having had to go through my making all of my films, she would fill in where any person didn't show up. From making costumes, building sets, acting to just holding something and then cleaning it all up. But she wants to study film, and I want the best for her, of course, so I am encouraging Chapman. Not just because I go there, but because the new Dodge School is even better.
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#11 Jason Debus

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Posted 04 September 2005 - 12:47 PM

If you have the money there's all the great schools that David listed. Chapman is $10,000 a semester. Last time I looked AFI was $40,000. Also, I don't have a good school track record to get into places like UCLA.

I'm poor, LA City College is $26 a credit. :lol:
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#12 Brian A. Levin

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Posted 15 August 2006 - 02:46 AM

Well I know this forum is a bit outdated since 2005, but I figure if anyone looking for advice comes back here I'd throw in my two cents as well. I went to Columbia College Chicago, I know it's not one of the major film schools often mentioned, but if like the midwest Columbia is the place to go. The nice thing about the program is that there are a lot of peers for you to interact with, and lots and lots of student shoots to get work on. You can really choose if you prefer cameras to lights, or directing to cinematography. In addition, any gear you take out for a student project is completely free of any charge, and Columbia's lighting stage has just about every head you can imagine to rent, you could fill several 3-ton trucks with Columbia's gear package. The other thing that's nice is the assortment of cameras and lenses available to you at Columbia. Like most film schools you'll start with something small and easy, but as you progress Columbia has their own Panavision GII and lenses, as well as a BL3, Arri IIC, both with outstanding lenses, and an array of Super16 SRII's, and Aaton's. I felt that I walked out of that school with more technical knowledge than I even knew was there to be learned. Columbia is a school for tech-heads who want to know what everything does and why, although if what you want is to get a more art driven education, the directing and screenwriting programs just don't match up to the cinematography program.

-brian
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Visual Products

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Glidecam

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Aerial Filmworks

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Cinelicious

Paralinx LLC

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Zylight

Ritter Battery

System Associates

CineLab