Top film schools often fail in transitioning their students from the academic world into the real business world of filmmaking. Most of the professors at even the best film schools have very little experience themselves working as professionals in the movie industry.
The Palm Springs International ShortFest film festival is working to help those students by giving them exposure and feedback to real audiences and industry professionals.
Festival Film Curator & Director of Industry Programming Kathleen McInnis said she wants to make the festival a link between film schools and the film industry. Contestants in the festival have won a total of four Academy Awards in the last four years. Read more...
Top Film Schools - In Whose Opinion?
Top film schools - I often see articles and web sites devoted to proclaiming them. They extoll the advantages of attending one film school over another without letting on that these articles and sites are often created by the very film schools that they recommend or by entrepreneurs seeking commissions for sending new students.
You might find this slightly shocking that highly regarded universities would lower themselves to spending millions of dollars to advertise and declare themselves one of the top film schools. But look into the history of film schools and it all becomes clear. If you are considering attending a so-called top film school you might even find your mind changed. Read more...
Yesterday I wrote about Nollywood, the Nigerian film industry, which I think by now is the second biggest producer of films in the world. I'm talking number of films produced in the case of Nigeria. If you want to know about the largest studio in the world then you need to travel to the other side of the world where the Chinese easily have everyone else beat. Read more...
The email I got last week was asking if I could provide the sender with a degree in film that day because he was trying to get a job on a film set and thought a degree in film might help. Did I mention the email was from Nigeria?
Fully half of the emails I get from people inquiring about film schools are from Nigeria.
Is Nollywood the Wave of the Future?
Until recently if you had asked me what is the 2nd biggest film production country in the World I would of course have replied "India". Everyone knows about Bollywood and their wonderfully entertaining films where everyone always breaks into song and dance when passions start to flare.
I don't think that's true anymore. With the low cost of movie making equipment and the even lower cost of distribution afforded by DVDs and online streaming there is a new capital for filmmaking.
Degree in Film Not Required
Nigeria is without doubt the fastest growing center for film production in the world and the output has already reached staggering proportions. Film production companies are set up in a moment and new ultra-low budget films get made in a matter of days.
All of Africa is not as primitive as the documentaries on PBS would lead you to believe. Many African countries have large populations of college educated, unemployed but highly ambitious entrepreneurs. Nigeria would be high on the list. Read more...
Would you like a glamorous, high-paying job where you got to work the hours you wanted, hung out with famous, beautiful people, everyone respected and admired you and you got to party all night? Would you like to get trained for it in just one year? Would you even be willing to pay a lot of money for the training or take out a big loan?
Of course you would. And so would thousands of other people. That's why selling the dream is such big business. Note that you aren't getting to buy the job, just the dream.
When I saw an article about a "culinary arts" school being sued for over-promising I was reminded that "selling the dream" is a very profitable kind of business in the United States but lately these "for-profit colleges" have come under a lot of legal pressure.
You see for most people the dream is all they will ever get. The schools pay huge sums on slick advertising, the tuition is sky high and the quality of instruction is often low. The success rate for students seems to be even lower.
The "majors" offered are usually in glamorous sounding jobs like fashion design or filmmaking. Jobs where a very few individuals have had spectacular success but job openings are almost non-existent.
If you are wanting to become a filmmaker and try to find the dream there are many options for finding film production courses but these fancy for-profit schools that look so appealing are not going to deliver.
Before you sign up for any film school do your research.
What is your experience?
Film Schools In Los Angeles - The Dream
What aspiring filmmaker hasn't dreamt of attending one of the top Los Angeles film schools, following in the footsteps of such luminaries as George Lukas, then being hired into the glamorous lifestyle of a Hollywood big shot?
Here's an article that discusses the dreams of attending film schools in Los Angeles as a stepping stone to fame and fortune and the reality of what most graduates find in the real world of today's film industry. Read more...
I just finished an article on 4filmmaking.com about NY film schools. I wish I had some good news to report.
NY Film Schools = Expensive
My experience with visiting New York is that you can get really fine if you spend enough, but even mediocre cost a lot. (Don't get me wrong. I LOVE N.Y. but it is expensive any way you look at it.) The same seems to hold true for the film schools there. NY film schools are subject to the same high costs as any other business trying to operate in the Big Apple.
Grad Reports High Cost, Poor Instruction
What's that all about? Read more...
Not Your Average Top Film Schools List
When you picture Danny Devito do you think "movie actor"? Did you know that he is one of the most powerful business men and producers in the film industry?
If your goal is success in Hollywood would it make more sense to pursue a degree in business rather than in camera angles?
If you're looking for a top film school to get into the film business you aught to have a look at this new list of the top ten film schools. These aren't the top film schools you'll see on any other list.
Top Film Schools For FREE?
Master List of Colleges For Film
I've just updated my master list of film making schools. I've also added my thoughts about some of the alternatives to traditional university education when it come to colleges for film. I even through in a little about film summer schools. A film summer school may be of interest to anyone who can't afford the time or money to enroll in a full course of study.
What kind of colleges for film should you be considering? Read more...
Going To Film School? What's A Degree In Film Worth?
Film school is as popular as ever and more and more universities are giving out degrees in film every year it seems. But will that degree in film actually get you a career. One educator claims that less than 1% of the graduates eventually become working filmmakers with at least one feature film under their belt. I'm not sure of the accuracy of that number but it is clear that the vast majority of graduates getting a degree in film end up in something other than filmmaking. Read more...