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Old September 13th, 2004, 07:08 PM   #1
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School vs. Correspondence Courses?

Hello All,

I am considering attending NYFA for the 8 week directing workshop, but I am not sure if that is the way to go. I also came across a Correspondence Course but I have little knowledge on what they have to offer in regards to Film Schools.

Any feedback on correspondence courses(pro/con) or NYFA would be greatly appreciated.

THANKS A MILLION
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Cindy Seenath is offline   Reply With Quote
Old September 13th, 2004, 09:50 PM   #2
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My production partner went to the NYFA one year program, and learned a lot, mostly how to actually plan and shoot a film (lighting, directing, cinematography, etc..., but not too much about the business side). He was very happy with it, but he was also in LA working along side students form the program, from other film schools, and pros. Your experience may be a lot different depedning on the location/teachers etc...The school was reputable enough, though. Some universities will also accept their class time toward college credits. One of my film teachers at WPU went to film school with one of the founders of the NYFA, and he said it was a good program as well.

Not that this should sell you, but while my friend was in the program, Brett Ratner, came to lecture a couple of times and showed some of his student films. He said some other "name" pros came in and out of the program too.
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Old September 13th, 2004, 10:06 PM   #3
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I have no experience with NYFA, but I do have a year's worth of experience in an internet based training program for visual effects and post production that has been AWESOME.

That said, I think an on site program with many students working together would be a much better way to PRACTICE directing and LEARN from direct feeback based on the interactions, versus a correspondence program. Directing is very a personal and interactive disciplin. These characteristics would be very hard to simulate effectively with a correspondence program.

Whatever you choose, please stop back here and post about the experience !!!
Good luck, and...

Have fun.
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Old September 14th, 2004, 08:28 AM   #4
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Thanks

Jesse ....thanks for the info! In reading the details of the workshop it really seems like it will be a unique and full experience. I am definitely leaning toward NYFA...I willl make sure i have fun! I was also checking out this other program that allows you to work on an actual film (on the job training) with a working pro who trains you "one on one". Any ideas on that?

Nick....you are so right about the correspondence course...it was really the cost that was appealing to me, so I guess the saying is true "you get what you pay for"....LOL.

I must add that I am in the process of taking a correspondence course from NYI (New York Institute of Photography) and I am at the end of the first lesson and doing well at that. Besides almost falling asleep every thing I have to listen to the cassette tapes.. it is very useful and informative ....I am able to successfully apply all that I have learned in creating the end of lesson assignments (which I am working on now) ...May I will post one of my pics here.

Again thank for taking the time to share your with "the Newbie"
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Old September 14th, 2004, 09:36 AM   #5
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Re: Thanks

<<<-- Originally posted by Cindy Seenath :
Nick....you are so right about the correspondence course...it was really the cost that was appealing to me, so I guess the saying is true "you get what you pay for"....LOL.
-->>>
Actually, I've found that, more often, you get what you work for. The effort you put into learning (at least in my experience) has much more bearing on what you "get" than simply the price you pay.

Again, I'm part of an internet based learning group that focuses on post production and visual effects and the experience has been fantastic. The cost is insanely low (under $150 for a three-month term) and the return is easily worth more than 100 times that in value.

BUT...
... the "work" of post production is individuals coaxing results from cameras and computers. While there is a great deal of emphasis on teamwork, and direction, the "tire meets the road" work is between individuals and their tools. This is a completely different dynamic from directing cast and crew on a set which is ALL about live, personal interactions. I just think that directing can only be learned effectively from practice in a "real" environment, not by listening to some tapes and practicing with friends or entirely on your own. (Just watch the back seasons of Project Greenlight for some perfect examples of how people that are VERY talented on their own can get completely lost when thrown into a full production environment.)

As for the mentoring, that can be the single best way to learn, IF the mentor is already successful at what you want to do. Be sure to find out who the mentor will be, what work they have done, what are their accomplishments, etc. If your hope is to produce commercial video or films, a director of avant gaurd, art house indie shorts may not be the best mentor for you're goals. ;)

Good luck.
Have fun!
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