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Old September 7th, 2011, 12:05 AM   #1
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Schools..... any advice

So Im thinking about heading to college after I get out of the Marine Corps (Combat Cameraman). Problem is... its hard to find a decent school and even harder to find out if its "legit". I was looking into Fullsail and New York Film Academy, but I here a lot of negative stuff that gets me a little worried.

Im just trying to see if theres something out there that maybe I havent looked into yet. Any help would be great!
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Old September 7th, 2011, 03:37 AM   #2
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Re: Schools..... any advice

I can only hope that if you've been a combat cameraman then you already know your stuff. I'd head straight to a job with a TV station if I could.

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Old September 7th, 2011, 06:19 AM   #3
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Re: Schools..... any advice

I'd assume he's planning to learn higher level stuff than is done by many TV stations. Quite a few of the films schools that are worth going to require you to have some work that you can show during the selection process.

Here are some of the best:
the best film schools in the world | Filmmaker.com
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Old September 7th, 2011, 12:30 PM   #4
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Re: Schools..... any advice

And check this out:

Best Film Schools
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Old September 20th, 2011, 01:45 PM   #5
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Re: Schools..... any advice

Do not go to Fullsail. It's a joke. Nobody I know who has a film or music degree from there is working in either of those fields for money. I'm not a master lighting technician, so I decided to work on a local music video for free shot by Fullsail graduates hoping to get some insight from the DP. I have an ARRI light kit at home, and these kids were holding a hanging kitchen light and pointing it at the actors' faces, and not for dramatic effect. They also had a single fluorescent bulb umbrella light they used. They didn't shoot enough footage to cover the whole song. The director (and part time photographer) didn't understand the concept of depth of field or its relation to aperture size. I used to date a girl who had two film degrees from Fullsail. She got jealous when she saw that I was getting consistent gigs as a videographer with no schooling and she was doing nothing but freebees ever since she graduated.

Everything I learned about the biz/camera operation/etc. I learned from forums like this. You don't need a school. In fact Fullsail is detrimental also in that it has all its students drink the Mac Koolaid as a Mac Pro, FCP, etc. is included in the tuition fees. To even get Adobe Premiere from the Fullsail store it has to be mail ordered specially. I'm not saying all film schools are bad, but I just don't see the point of amassing huge debt for something not compulsory to work in the business.
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Old September 23rd, 2011, 06:34 PM   #6
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Re: Schools..... any advice

Charles: Since you're an NC lad, you might look seriously at the UNC School for the Arts film program in Winston Salem. I've shot along side a few of their students, and seen some of their reels...and these folks are picking up some serious skills on some serious gear.

However; you need to decide what you want to do with a camera. If you want to make actual feature films, then one of the many film schools may be the ticket. But if you want to go to work in short order and use your on-the-fly skills learned from your service, then a news position in local TV might be a better fit.
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Old September 23rd, 2011, 06:57 PM   #7
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Re: Schools..... any advice

Watch out for what's called 'the Peter Principle'

You join an outfit as cameraman, you love the work and do such a great job, you get promoted up the ladder to where you are telling other cameramen to go out and do the job you used to do and love so much.

Happens in every industry in every country but in the creative biz, it can lead to much unsettling, changing jobs, alcoholism, depression, bankruptcy, separation, divorce and IF I CAN'T GET MY DAMN CLIENT TO AGREE TO MY EDITS ON HIS VIDEO THEN I'M GOING TO THROTTLE HIM!!

Oh yes, and murder.

Cheers.
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Old September 23rd, 2011, 11:34 PM   #8
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Re: Schools..... any advice

If not for clients, we could be so much more productive.

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Old September 24th, 2011, 06:22 AM   #9
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Re: Schools..... any advice

I think going to a good school *may* help you greatly and has the potential to improve your skills quickly. In doing so, my daughter discovered she really wasn't good at everything she needed to be to be a good filmmaker and so she switched majors to a related career. So it could be good in other ways and going to a university affords you the ability to do that versus a trade school such as Fullsail.

Lacking that, it strikes me that you could leverage your experience and market yourself to production companies who may be very interested in taking you under their wing because of your combat training, experience, know how and contacts ... especially if they are working on a military piece. If nothing else, shoot some dramatic interviews and b-roll for a demo reel while you are still on active. Interview a colleague inside a tank or Cobra or whatever. Collect a series of battlefield humor or drama. Your access to stories and military gear that few civilians could get near will make your reel stand out and command attention.

Last edited by Les Wilson; September 24th, 2011 at 07:03 AM. Reason: clarity
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Old September 26th, 2011, 10:41 AM   #10
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Re: Schools..... any advice

Quote:
Originally Posted by Allan Black View Post
Watch out for what's called 'the Peter Principle'

You join an outfit as cameraman, you love the work and do such a great job, you get promoted up the ladder to where you are telling other cameramen to go out and do the job you used to do and love so much.

Happens in every industry in every country but in the creative biz, it can lead to much unsettling, changing jobs, alcoholism, depression, bankruptcy, separation, divorce and IF I CAN'T GET MY DAMN CLIENT TO AGREE TO MY EDITS ON HIS VIDEO THEN I'M GOING TO THROTTLE HIM!!

Oh yes, and murder.

Cheers.
Allan,

How did you know my life story :>)


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Old September 26th, 2011, 09:47 PM   #11
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Re: Schools..... any advice

My advice: Don't go to film school. Reasons here: Film School or Not? | Sareesh Sudhakaran
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Old September 27th, 2011, 04:34 AM   #12
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Re: Schools..... any advice

I'd also say, skip "film school". Just go do it, and take an occasional workshop to fill in the gaps.

[EDIT] and if you're just looking to get a college degree, study something that really interests you, it will probably inspire your filmmaking more than any "film school" ever will
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Old September 27th, 2011, 04:34 AM   #13
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Re: Schools..... any advice

I think it depends on what you want to do. If you want to work on high end productions you do need a level of training and use gear that will much cost more than you afford yourself.You also must have a means of building up a range of contacts, which the really good schools will put you into a position to do.

In the UK there are industry training schemes which train technicians, starting as trainees.
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Old September 27th, 2011, 06:51 AM   #14
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Re: Schools..... any advice

If I was running a private film school I would have really begun to hate the internet and its discussion forums.

But that's a side effect of the onwards march of technology for you. Film schools etc are no longer the main fount of information.

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Old September 27th, 2011, 07:09 AM   #15
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Re: Schools..... any advice

Nor is the internet, it's just a source of information, good films schools allow you to explore and even push you into areas through interaction with students who mightn't even be on a film course. It's easy to just look at the technology, but many of the important parts have nothing to do with the technology. Film schools are just a starting point, unless you've gone a high end specialist course (which most film schools probably aren't).

If you're not going to film school you do need to get yourself into an environment where you can progress in the area you want to work. A dash of nepotism also helps.

Some of the top film & TV crafts people aren't the most technical people in the world, but they're very good with people and have knowledge of other art forms.
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