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Old February 6th, 2004, 01:36 PM   #1
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Full Sail

Have any of you heard of this school? I'm possibly enrolling soon. I'm going to their open house this Sunday to check it out. It seems like a really nice school. www.fullsail.com
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Old February 6th, 2004, 06:42 PM   #2
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I went there for an Adobe seminar, and thought it was a decent campus. However, having talked to actors who have worked in the student films, I learned that they tend to be chaotic in some aspects. For instance, class projects rotate students in all roles. The old "Everyone gets a turn at bat" theory.

The school does teach you in the use of all manner of equipment, 35mm, 16mm, and even Avid editing.
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Old February 6th, 2004, 07:03 PM   #3
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I worked with someone who graduated from there and they didn't have any real skills for practical shooting. They shot a 35mm short film that really sucked - it's all he talked about for 2 years after graduating. However, he couldn't even produce a simple television show with me. (trust me it was easy)

Anyway, it was a waste of cash in my opinion. Go somewhere that will give you PRACTICAL skills...that's where you'll make money. This 35mm short B.S. isn't working anymore...unless you are heading to Hollywood or NY and plan to starve for 10 years.

I'd buy an HD camera, shoot constantly, work in video production to make a living...enter film fests, write your own scripts and bang away at that for a few years...along the way you'll figure it all out and in the end you'll be 100% independent.

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Old February 6th, 2004, 07:18 PM   #4
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<<<-- Originally posted by Christopher C. Murphy : I worked with someone who graduated from there and they didn't have any real skills for practical shooting. They shot a 35mm short film that really sucked - it's all he talked about for 2 years after graduating. However, he couldn't even produce a simple television show with me. (trust me it was easy)

Anyway, it was a waste of cash in my opinion. Go somewhere that will give you PRACTICAL skills...that's where you'll make money. This 35mm short B.S. isn't working anymore...unless you are heading to Hollywood or NY and plan to starve for 10 years.

I'd by an HD camera, shoot constantly, work in video production to make a living...enter film fests, write your own scripts and bang away at that for a few years...along the way you'll figure it all out and in the end you'll be 100% independent.

Murph -->>>

Yea I realized that going to school will never educate me like good experience will. But I hear from everyone that the Avid is the intustry leader. The only software I know how to use is Adobe software and I'm thinking that i can't really get anywhere with that, being that most of these production companies are running Avid systems. Or at least thats what I'm told. I'm not the richest person in the world so I can't afford an Avid system or a 35mm camera to learn on.

And I don't know anybody in the industry (I'm a lone rider in my area!) so wouldn't the degree I earn from this school help me find a job in the future?

I have no idea about any of this stuff so enlighten me!
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Old February 6th, 2004, 07:23 PM   #5
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Dustin,

If you want to have an edge, I suggest you learn Avid AND Final Cut Pro.
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Old February 6th, 2004, 10:21 PM   #6
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If editing is what you want to do, do it. I myself love to edit, and would rather do this 10-12 hours a day, than almost anything else. John is right in suggesting you learn Avid and FCP, as these are what 90% of the existing production firms use these.

I would like to add, that you should learn with what you already have as well. I use Premiere, and find it perfectly suitable. I learned J cuts and L cuts, transitions, audio synching, and compositing with it. The platform and program are merely the tools. It's knowledge and experience that will get you noticed.

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Old February 6th, 2004, 10:47 PM   #7
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Some additional remarks concerning Full Sail, from 2002.
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Old February 6th, 2004, 10:49 PM   #8
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You could buy yourself a computer instead with lots of hard drive space and learn the Avid and FCP interfaces yourself. What you really need to work on though is the creative aspect of your editing. You can go to the library and borrow books (Eisenstein, Pudovkin, and Walter Murch books should be worth reading) and dissect films yourself. And of course, cut your own films and get other people to critique it. That's assuming you want to get into editing. I'm not sure what exactly you want to get into.

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But I hear from everyone that the Avid is the intustry leader.
I believe an Avid system is cheaper than tuition. Full Sail probably has some stuff that was ok a few years old. I suggest you go to their campus if you can and talk to students and faculty there. They can tell you what the program is like, what the equipment is like, whether they like the program, etc.

You can also check out the book "Film School Confidential" (free online) for some advice on whether or not film school is good, what you should do at film school, and other advice.
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Old February 6th, 2004, 11:16 PM   #9
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Wow thanks for all the info guys! Its hard to make a decision right now. I have people on one side of me saying that film school is a waste of time and I have another group on the other side of me telling me I'm worthless if I dont go to school. Oh well, I'm going there Sunday to check out the campus. I'll let you all know how it goes.
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Old February 7th, 2004, 12:42 AM   #10
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It's not so much that film school is a waste of time as it's Full Sail that's a waste of time. You'll spend a tremendous amount of time and money basically just learning tools. No real world experience, and no preparation for the real world.

In and around town here in Orlando, Full Sail students and graduates carry as much prestige as a mail order degree would. I'm not exaggerating - it staggers me whenever I meet graduates from there how little they learn about anything that can actually help them in the real world.

They sure do know how to market themselves though. They have a bunch of expensive equipment there. But if you learn anything about filmmaking it should be this - having great tools is second to actual grey matter you have upstairs. Story, ingenuity, originality. All things you can't be taught; things you develop through experiences and personal growth.

Go somewhere else, spend a week or two getting trained on Avid, and then take the rest of your money and hire some people to help you make a movie. You will be way better off, if learning is what you're after.


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Old February 7th, 2004, 08:45 AM   #11
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Dustin

This is an old discussion topic, and it applies to basically all the artistic endeavors. "Do I need a degree in ART/ACTING/FILM/DESIGN etc. to get a job?" The short answer is always no. A degree will not "Get" you a job and is often not necessary. I myself droped out of RTV to work full time in the television industry. I have over twenty five years of professional experience in various aspects of the industry radio/tv/film/print.

Recently I returned to school to FINISH my degree. Why?

I wanted to be able to teach. And you DO need a degree to do that.

Steven Spielberg recently returned to finish his undergraduate because he had promised himself and his parents it was something he would do.

Chosing an art school is all about Faculty/assets/ and connections. DO they have teachers who have REAL WORLD experience on their resumes. Those teachers who are still active are better than those who's professional resumes are outdated/ Not only because their skills are more current, it is likely their CONTACTS are. And contacts are what are most valuable about attending school. It is a substitute environement for the business world. Are you working with top notch equipment, creating films that are garnering praise and notice? Will you be making connections that will benefit you and that you AND others?

Sorry if their is no easy answer, just lots of tough questions. Life is like that.

Good luck.
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Old February 7th, 2004, 09:21 AM   #12
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I called the school and talked to them for a while about it. They constantly kept stressing how it is a "real world" experience learning there. They also said that during the first year they train you with all of the tools. Then the six months after that they teach you all of the business aspects of the industry and not only do they teach you, but while you are still in the school they either help you get a job or if you are looking to start you're own business, they actually help you start it up while you are still in class learning.

So they possibly could have noticed that people were complaining about having no "real world" education and they could have recently changed their policies. Or it could be a big lie to sell me out. I'll just have to find out when I go there tomorrow.

Check out their web site at www.fullsail.com. They have lists of their students who are currently employed and working. Seems like they are working for some pretty big names too.
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Old February 7th, 2004, 09:28 AM   #13
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I don't know anything about Full Sail, or about film school either. But I wholeheartedly agree with Richard. I myself have an undergraduate degree in theatre and an MFA in scenery/lighting design. My daughter is finishing up her BFA in acting and musical theatre. I taught on the college level for 10 years. I have an experience somewhat parallel to Richard in that I spent two years in graduate school at Carnegie-Mellon but didn't finish my degree. Then TWENTY YEARS later this started to bug me. At the time I had a good job and was a tenured faculty member at the State University of New York. But this bit of unfinished business bothered me, so I completed my MFA degree (which was actually no big deal), and it was a great experience. It re-energized me creatively. Shortly afterwards I changed jobs, moved to another city and have never looked back. As a bonus, I now have the "papers" I need to get a better teaching job at a university, should I ever decide to go back into that line of work.

Clearly you don't NEED to have any sort of formal education in the arts; much of it is more like a craft which can be learned by the traditional "apprentice" system. Richard is so right when he says there's no easy answer. I think you need to do some soul-searching and research to decide if you're the sort of person who will benefit from a structured learning approach at a school.

It may be true that some people can just buy a good camera, a computer and some software, then make movies. But quite a lot of people would just churn out awful, self-indulgent dreck also. I think it comes down to whether you can be critical of yourself and learn from your mistakes. Can you look at your own work objectively? It's pretty tough. If you do something awful will you be able to admit it? Your friends will probably just be nice to you and not really say what they think. In a classroom environment though a good teacher will bring you back to reality and tell you what s/he really thinks about your work. Hopefully it will be a constructive process and you'll learn along the way.

There's also a lot to be said about the competetive aspect of producing work in a class with other people. You will learn from their successes and failures, and will be forced to meet deadlines and push yourself to do the best possible work. Frankly, it's very difficult to do this on your own, especially when you're young. The pressure of competition is a great way to bring out the best - or worst - in people. Remember, careers in the arts are not easy. It's highly competitive out there.

Now on the other hand, some people are just gifted. Give them a $200 camera and they will start making masterpieces. Is that you? We'd all like to think it is, but there are actually very few people like that in my experience.

There's a lot of good advice here already. Now it's up to you. Check out the different schools and see what you think. Richard is absolutely right about the faculty and their connections. Don't underestimate the value of this either. A recommendation from someone who is respected in the industry can really help jump start a career. On the other hand, you could just waste a lot of time and money at a mediocre school with lackluster faculty.

Best wishes as you set off on an exciting journey!
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Old February 7th, 2004, 09:51 AM   #14
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You'll get out of school what you put into it. If you go to Full Sail, party, drink, and have a good time, you'll be wasting somebodies money. If you work hard, put in extra effort and take it all very serious you'll be way ahead of the masses of people skipping school to make the great American movie.
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Old February 7th, 2004, 10:35 AM   #15
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<<<-- Originally posted by Jeff Donald : You'll get out of school what you put into it. If you go to Full Sail, party, drink, and have a good time, you'll be wasting somebodies money. If you work hard, put in extra effort and take it all very serious you'll be way ahead of the masses of people skipping school to make the great American movie. -->>>

haha. Yea I've already been warned about all the partiers that go to that school. But I lived that life, ended up with two felonies on my juvenille record, and now I'm done with all the partying, getting wasted and so forth. I'm plannnig on putting 120% of my effort into completing this course.
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