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Film School

 
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Tooky Cat
Cinematographer


Joined: 15 Mar 2004
Posts: 106
Location: Madison, WI

PostPosted: 05.19.2004 12:25 am    Post subject: Film School Reply with quote

Even though it may appear that I'm not the best film critic and certainly not the most knowledgeable about many films, I'm wondering if anybody here has any insights as to where I could go for college to get myself into the field of film production.



So far my only option in Wisconsin seems to be UW-Milwaukee. Although I had a blast at the student film festival, I'm not entirely sure how much dealing with experimental-type film will help me with a career post-college. Judging from the film festival and the things I've heard on the street Milwaukee deals primarily with that.



I've heard Madison has film programs, but am certainly having trouble finding info on them.



Other than that, Columbia in Chicago, UCLA, and NYU have all been suggested. But I should really probably be reasonable about tuition.
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matt header
Studio Exec


Joined: 26 Jun 2003
Posts: 623
Location: Milwaukee, WI

PostPosted: 05.19.2004 5:31 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well, sir, I happen to attend UWM for film, and must admit I am having a blast. It's inexpensive, which may be the most important thing for undergraduate college; and although the equipment is not the best or most up-to-date, it instills the basics quickly and allows you to explore your own technique rather loosely. You're right, though, about it being heavily experimental; if you're looking to get into narrative filmmaking, you might find yourself criticized often here. Then again, many of my friends make narrative films here and enjoy themselves as well.



UW-Madison doesn't heavily specialize in film - I know because I went there for my first year and wasn't even admitted into any film classes. It's certainly possible (their Communication Arts major would be the closest thing) and Madison is a great town, but the college itself is heavily science and business-oriented. Then again, another one of my friends is making films at Madison and enjoys it.



I was accepted to NYU before beginning my undergraduate career, but - and this is of course a very subjective opinion - I would be in debt for the rest of my life unless I indeed became a wealthy, successful filmmaker (which, in all honesty, is not extremely likely). As far as undergraduate film programs are concerned, I think learning the basics is most important, and you can do that anywhere: perhaps not with as celebrated a staff or with as cutting-edge equipment, but you can still make movies without digging yourself into debt. In graduate school is when the connections and location really matters, and that's when NYU will come most in handy. My plan is to gain an undergraduate film degree at UWM and then try once again for NYU for grad school, and then I will be more willing to take out tons of loans to go there.



Other great film schools (so I've heard) include: Boston University; the University of Texas-Austin (I was thisclose to going there - it has a nice infusion of experimental and narrative focus); UCLA and USC, although both of them are heavily commercial and/or narrative, which may be what you're looking for); the New York School of the Visual Arts; Northwestern University; if you're looking to really branch out, the Vancouver Film School is supposedly the best film school in Canada; and Florida State.



I'm by no means an expert, but I think there are two things to remember. One is that wherever you go, you'll be making the movies you want to make, regardless of the school's main focus, and it's damn exciting; as long as you get to handle a camera, I think you'll find it rewarding. Secondly, you can always transfer; the only way you'll really be able to find the place that's right for you is to go there, and if a certain film school doesn't prove the home for you, trying again is always possible. Frank Lloyd Wright went to five different colleges, and he's a pretty celebrated guy. Also, remember that Steven Spielberg, Quentin Tarantino, David Fincher, and P.T. Anderson, among others, never went to film school - so (and this might be terrible advice) don't be devastated if a certain film program doesn't work out perfectly.



Also: the most important thing is that which film school can't teach you: creativity, a vision, the desire to tell a story. Having that is most of the battle.



Good luck.
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beltmann
Studio Exec


Joined: 26 Jun 2003
Posts: 2341
Location: West Bend, WI

PostPosted: 05.19.2004 4:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

After Matt's eloquent and dead-on response, what else is there to add? Excellent advice, Matt.



Eric
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Danny Baldwin
Studio Exec


Joined: 26 Jun 2003
Posts: 1354
Location: San Diego, CA

PostPosted: 05.19.2004 10:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

When time comes, I'm going to try for USC. My uncle is an alumni, even though he was an engineering student.
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Tooky Cat
Cinematographer


Joined: 15 Mar 2004
Posts: 106
Location: Madison, WI

PostPosted: 05.21.2004 3:00 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well thank you very much for the advice Matt. It's greatly appreciated!
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matt header
Studio Exec


Joined: 26 Jun 2003
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Location: Milwaukee, WI

PostPosted: 05.21.2004 3:30 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ain't no thing.
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