Author: [log in to unmask] Date: 12/9/94 8:03 PM [Editor's note: This message was originally submitted to SCREEN-L by [log in to unmask] and not by Jeremy Butler.] Also to be considered, in addition to the referenced note, are the issues of how much you will be "allowed" to do as a film student. At some schools you must "win" a script competition if your dramatic screenplay is to be produced and shot by the class. In short, be sure that you'll have the opportunity to make YOUR OWN film and not someone else's. I am uncertain which schools are independent project oriented and which are more group-project driven, but have been told by some students coming out of the University of California system that their fellow film students graduate without ever making their own film. Rather, they have filled miscelleaneous positions, (gaffer, d.o.p., cinematographer, script supervisor), on someone else's project that was chosen over their's. Also, be on the lookout for schools that deal more in theory and less in hands-on experience. There's nothing worse than to be on a set and not know your way around. All the talk of Bergman films and favorite scenes from Citizen Kane won't bail you out when someone begins chewing your ass for standing around dumbfounded, slowing things down for the rest of the people who move and function as a tight, rehearsed unit. I attend a smaller school, Brooks Institute of Photography, in Santa Barbara, CA.. It is almost purely hands-on and most students come out having made their own documentaries, animation projects, a group dramatic project, and a project of their own choosing. The faculty have been quite nice and I've had no problem getting approval for projects and taking their cameras to Alaska and Africa. Yes, it's smaller and doesn't have the hordes of folks flocking to it, but students come out of here quite prepared to do just about anything. Just to re-emphasize the previous gentleman's comments, it is very important to do your homework on these places. And really look at the cost. This is an expensive business. Good luck!