Film schools should provide each student with three basic opportunities:
1) Hands-on experiences with up-to-date hardware and software. Technical
colleges and private-enterprise (non-degree-granting) film schools should
provide these. Check to see that your prospective school has enough good
equipment to allow every student ample opportunity to develop skills.
2) Training that is well-enough orchestrated that each student can
build a portfolio or a list of credits to use after the education is over.
Sometimes technical colleges do not allow for this; more often universities
have too many other arts courses that interfere.
3) Contacts that can be used in later years. While it would be nice
if film schools all could provide a pipeline into the industry via
first-hand introductions to working professionals either in class or out,
this is not often the case. What schools more often provide is contacts
within the actual student body. IE, directors meet editors or
cinematographers among their peers. In this regard, universities usually
provide more valuable experiences, especially for those interested in
writing, directing, and producing--for there are more than mere techies to
associate with. Acting students, design students, marketting and accounting
majors, creative writers, et al. are just some of the "added attractions"
for these film students. Four year film degrees often offer more
opportunities for students to develop "life experiences" that could prove
Better information on prospective film schools can come from
present students and recent graduates or escapees. Check with them.
From a university film professor who has also taught in other venues,
University of Manitoba
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