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Old March 6th, 2003, 12:38 PM   #1
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Cinematography, College? Schooling?

Would anyone have any advice or reviews on colleges that offer good cinematorgraphy B.A.'s? I'm thinking of transfering out of USan Francisco to get into a career of cinmatography.

I heard NYU has a top notch program?
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Old March 6th, 2003, 01:36 PM   #2
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I hope I won't appear too biased in recommending USC's cinema production curriculum. If the program has a downside, it's that it's quite difficult to get into, and many students who hope to do production track end up as critical studies majors.
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Old March 8th, 2003, 01:29 AM   #3
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So I assume the rest of the veterans on this board never went to college for video and such? =P
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Old March 8th, 2003, 09:21 AM   #4
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Advice from a Prof.

Here's my 2 cents.

In the long run, nothing will serve you better in any creative field than a good liberal-arts education.

Go to a school where you will have some opportunity to learn the craft of film or videomaking making, but where you will have some exposure to film, art, world, and American history, philosophy, literature, and the social science. These are things that will help you develop and feed a creative imagination and vision. Give yourself the time to learn these things as you learn your craft because they are more important.

If film making does not work out for you, you will at least have developed a flexibility of mind that might make you useful in many walks of life.
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Old March 8th, 2003, 10:17 AM   #5
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Or do what I'm doing now.

My Story (it all of a sudden got lengthy) :

I'm at NCSU (North Carolina State University) and I thought I was going to major in Engineering my freshman year. That turned out to be the most boring non-creative major ever, so I changed to business management with a concentration on marketing. I had a great Co-op job with a local ERP consulting firm for 2 terms at which point they offered me a job if I wanted one after I graduated. Through this job, I realized that a 9-5 desk job is the last thing I want to be doing, and chances for advancement this day and age are few and far between (more so just title lengtheners). Also, the late 20's employees stressed something big to me, "DO WHAT YOU LOVE FIRST, now is the time, once you're 28 or 29, you've got a job, payments, and a ball and chain to tend to". So I took this advice to head and decided to take a film minor from NCSU (it's actually got some EXCELLENT film professors). I'm working on shorts now, and screenwriting and will be graduating this fall and plan to hit either NYU or UNCW (North Carolina Wilmington) for film grad school. The point to all this babbling, is that I agree that a well rounded college education is really key. There are a ton of people out there who say "I'm going to do film" and they end up not making it for a variety of reasons and they are SOL for a long time because their entire education is film. Get all the other info you can from colleges because the longer you wait, the harder it is to fit it into your life..... Best of luck
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Old March 8th, 2003, 11:37 AM   #6
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I endorse Bryan and Peter's remarks. During the past 30 years many colleges and universities have become little more that expensive vocational trade schools, largely due to the public's demands. This has produced legions of 1-trick ponies who may have good technical skills but are otherwise thin-minded and illiterate. I hired hundreds of young people during my career. When given the choice between a good button-pusher and good thinker I would generally select the thinker.

Unlike medicine or engineering, filmmaking does not require a specific course of study. It's largely a matter of developing a particular set of aesthetic senses, something which requires no classroom. If, like so many young graduates of "film schools" or technical schools, you've foresaken exposure to broader arts and philosophies you may find yourself all dressed up with nowhere to go.

Good luck.
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Old March 9th, 2003, 12:08 AM   #7
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All of my formal video training is through certification programs. I became an Avid certified editor in '94 and took their advanced training in '95. When I owned my production company/post house I hired a lot of graduates of 2 year tech programs and 4 year colleges. Most of the 4 year grads had well rounded backgrounds, a few were from media programs or design programs. The 2 year tech grads made fine technicians and with training some went on to become certified Avid editors.

A film school graduate would have been great, if they didn't price themselves out of the market. Introductory wages are just that. I probably wouldn't have been able to afford them.
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Old March 9th, 2003, 12:33 AM   #8
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An interesting book to read related to this is "My First Movie: 20 Celebrated Directors Talk About Their First Film" by Stephen Lowenstein. You can find it at Amazon.com by clicking here.
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Old March 9th, 2003, 12:34 AM   #9
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I got my degree from one of the best film schools in the U.S., the College of Communication at the University of Texas at Austin. The most important thing it taught me was how to learn. Enough said,
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Old March 9th, 2003, 02:52 AM   #10
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Haha.. you guys crack me up! Guess my pyshcological post worked. Thanx for al yoru bg's and suggestions. I will take them into very high consideration. But as of now I'm still a computer science major going into business. My school only offers a media studies major. So I 'm think of getting out of here for my junior year, and currently seeking a cinematogrpahy career.

thanx! again alex
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Old March 9th, 2003, 03:38 AM   #11
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<<<-- Originally posted by dyslexicrydaz : So I assume the rest of the veterans on this board never went to college for video and such? =P -->>>

I quit school after two years of university that I feel were moderatly wasted. I joined the working slaves for minumum wage until I made enough money to start my own company. Started out working as camera for other people a bit, and learned more in my first shoot than I did from two years of school. Plus it didn't cost me $10,000.

I think if I was to do it all over again, I would do the same thing, except when I went looking for a slave labour job, I would have gone to an equipment rental place. That way I could have got lots of stuff for free that I otherwise have paid for. Still, it's not the way for everyone, but I found independence doing it.
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Old March 9th, 2003, 02:45 PM   #12
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Jeff.. FAU has a film/video program now, at State University tuition rates. Lots of equipment including an AVID, severl DV cams and top audio production equipment. In case you know anyone who is looking. The only negative is a class the shoves Feminist Ideology down everyone throat (very anti pure art).
But other than that, my son is having a lot of fun. The program is part film studies, part practicle technique. Mostly DV based. Lots of pros in the field are asst profs there.

>>I joined the working slaves for minumum wage until I made enough money to start my own company. Started out working as camera for other people a bit, and learned more in my first shoot than I did from two years <<

I have a lot of respect for people who go to work everyday and don't go crazy and keep society working. They are also known as paying customers.

AS far as liberal arts? Liberal Art schools produce some of this countrys finest clerks and secretarys. If you plan on actually going to work, test this open mind theory and take some business classes along with your philosophy. Having a well rounded eductaion and understanding business. That will get you better opportunities. Like when it comes time to understand the 300 page contract the big studio just put before you. hehehe.
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Old March 9th, 2003, 05:30 PM   #13
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>>I joined the working slaves for minumum wage until I made enough money to start my own company. Started out working as camera for other people a bit, and learned more in my first shoot than I did from two years <<

>>I have a lot of respect for people who go to work everyday and don't go crazy and keep society working. They are also known as paying customers.<<

I'm talking about burger flippers and gas pumpers. If they keep society working, we are in big trouble.
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Old March 10th, 2003, 01:31 PM   #14
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dyslexicrydaz:

Please contact me via e-mail, regarding the note in my sig file below -- thanks,
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