Thinking about Film School - Page 3 at DVinfo.net

Go Back   DV Info Net > And Now, For Something Completely Different... > The TOTEM Poll: Totally Off Topic, Everything Media

The TOTEM Poll: Totally Off Topic, Everything Media
Let's talk about anything media related.


Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old June 22nd, 2003, 11:39 PM   #31
Retired DV Info Net Almunus
 
Join Date: Dec 2001
Location: Chicago, IL
Posts: 6,943
Brad,
" I don't want to direct. I want to learn how to use 16mm and 35mm cameras and edit on Avid."

Are those your primary goals? $200,000 seems like a pretty high price if you just want to learn to be a technician. I'm not a film school graduate but I'm not even sure how much emphasis a degreed university program even places on operating a camera or clicking an Avid -- those are more vocational training subjects. If I was sending my son to such a program I would expect him to become well-versed in the history of film, the aesthetic use of the medium for conveying a story, etc. But I could certainly be wrong.

How old are you and what are you doing now?
__________________
Lady X Films: A lady with a boring wardrobe...and a global mission.

Hey, you don't have enough stuff!
Buy with confidence from our sponsors. Hand-picked as the best in the business...Really!

See some of my work one frame at a time: www.KenTanaka.com
Ken Tanaka is offline   Reply With Quote
Old June 23rd, 2003, 12:09 AM   #32
Air China Pilot
 
Join Date: May 2002
Location: Vancouver, B.C.
Posts: 2,389
Take a part-time course first, especially at the school you are looking at, and see if it is to your taste. That way you can gauge your interest, the type of education you are sampling without the commitment. I went through the same decision last year and decided taking even a year off couldn't be justified at this point in my life. Rent, debt load, and immediate future post graduation are considerations. That said, if you are young and just starting out, I can think of worse ways of spending the first few years of your twenties.
__________________
--
Visit http://www.KeithLoh.com | stuff about living in Vancouver | My Flickr photo gallery
Keith Loh is offline   Reply With Quote
Old June 23rd, 2003, 12:34 AM   #33
Major Player
 
Join Date: Apr 2002
Location: Washington DC
Posts: 304
Hi guys, thanks for the advice. Ken, I certainly wouldn't mind learning more about film history and all other aspects of film. I've looked at the curriculum and all those classes are a requirement to getting a degree at places like USC and UCLA. If I only wanted to direct, I would probably try to make it on my own, but since what I want to learn is technical, they offer great training there as well. They have critical studies degrees which are basically geared towards those wanting to learn film theory and history, and then they have a production/directing or production/cinematography degrees where you learn both theory and technical. To answer your question, I'm 25 years old. I graduated from Syracuse University with a bachelor's in International Relations, so it's a completley different topic. They say they look for people with different backgrounds, but I'm sure I'll have to spend more time creating a better portfolio. Right now I'm a graphic designer/webmaster for a governmnet agency here in D.C. I'm not sure I could even get in to one of these schools. I've done a few short films but that's about it.

Another reason I want to go is to make some contacts and network with people in LA where everyone breathes movies. I think I'll be hard pressed to meet as many contacts here in DC where the environment is so political.

Keith, good idea, I think I may take a trip out there and check out the facilities, perhaps take a tour and talk to some students. Thanks guys.
Brad Simmons is offline   Reply With Quote
Old June 23rd, 2003, 02:37 AM   #34
Air China Pilot
 
Join Date: May 2002
Location: Vancouver, B.C.
Posts: 2,389
Heh. I graduated from university with Political Science. What did I do with that? I went right back into school.
__________________
--
Visit http://www.KeithLoh.com | stuff about living in Vancouver | My Flickr photo gallery
Keith Loh is offline   Reply With Quote
Old June 23rd, 2003, 09:20 AM   #35
Major Player
 
Join Date: Apr 2003
Location: St. Louis, MO
Posts: 581
If you want to be a cinematographer, there are schools that teach equipment usage, including Arriflex and Avid. You can save a lot of money and take a good photography course and just shoot stills like crazy. I highly recommend slides. If you want to learn film theory you can still take individual classes at the school rather than a whole curriculuum.

Stanley Kubrick said, "If you want to learn how to make a movie, make movies". What could you make with $200,000? You'll learn much more just working for free at any shoots going on in your area. I know a lot but there are some things I got "confirmed" just by being an extra on a recent local Hollywood production.

I'm not knocking film school. I've heard USC has fallen out of favor in lala land just because everyone goes there. But it's not what school you went to, it's what you've done and sometimes who you know.
Rob Belics is offline   Reply With Quote
Old June 23rd, 2003, 10:16 AM   #36
Wrangler
 
Join Date: Feb 2002
Location: Cleveland, Ohio
Posts: 1,929
A USC MFA won't teach you craft--it's assumed you already have that, and that your portfolio will show it. The purpose of a big film school master's program is really to give proven filmmakers the opportunity to do a project that will see national or international recognition (via winning festival prizes to qualify for a Student Oscar or Student Emmy)--and thus catapult the filmmakers into careers.

Not every film grad school student's thesis pitch is approved for production. So even once you're in, it's a crapshoot.

"I've heard USC has fallen out of favor in lala land just because everyone goes there."

I've never heard this, but I have heard of the "USC Mafia." Put USC on your resumé and you'll get calls for having that alone.
__________________
All the best,
Robert K S

Search DVinfo.net for quick answers | The best in the business: DVinfo.net sponsors
Robert Knecht Schmidt is offline   Reply With Quote
Old June 23rd, 2003, 11:41 AM   #37
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Sep 2002
Location: San Mateo, CA
Posts: 3,840
Speaking as someone who started in Radio/Television while simultaneously pursuing a Communications degree... What you learn in school is usually behind the curve of what is practiced in "real life" business situations.

There are many good aspects to film school however, one of the best being "networking". Being introduced into a closed community, and creating a network of your own are probably the biggest reasons for going to "top" schools.

Otherwise, take the same money, study film history and aesthetics, BUY an AvidXpressDVPro system (The interface is almost the same on the higher end systems). BUY a nice 16mm camera and start shooting films. (Hey, you can buy a refurbished Mitchell BNCR 35mm camera and head, ready to start shooting your feature film for 10 grand.)

The most important thing you can come out of film school with is a GREAT short film and a GREAT script ready to shoot. If you are seriously inclined to being a DP, then take the best Craft courses you can (Lighting, Camera, Production) whever you can afford it, and SHOOT SHOOT SHOOT.
Richard Alvarez is offline   Reply With Quote
Old June 23rd, 2003, 12:29 PM   #38
Major Player
 
Join Date: Apr 2002
Location: Washington DC
Posts: 304
This is all great advice guys, I really appreciate it. You all make good points for both sides. Tough decision, but no matter what, I agree that I need to practice practice practice.
Brad Simmons is offline   Reply With Quote
Old June 23rd, 2003, 07:06 PM   #39
Major Player
 
Join Date: Aug 2002
Location: London, Ontario, Canada
Posts: 484
I've had the same dilema for years now.... I think making my owns mistakes and learning from them, and also developing my own style is the best route. I have another source of income to keep myself afloat, so I have it pretty good right now.
__________________
Andrew | Canon XL1s, ME66, Vinten Vision 3, GlideCam V16 (for sale!)
Andrew Petrie is offline   Reply With Quote
Old June 23rd, 2003, 07:19 PM   #40
Wrangler
 
Join Date: Jan 2002
Location: Los Angeles, CA
Posts: 6,781
I will fully admit to being biased about film schools, having dropped out of NYU after my freshman year and remaining convinced that it absolutely did not hinder my career ascension. However, I have come across some programs in the intervening years that seemed to avoid many of the things that turned me off back in the day--AFI has a solid program, for instance, and many successful cinematographers have emerged from it.

Another route to consider is the Maine Photographic Workshops, which are craft-related and well-regarded.

The traditional way to start learning about film cameras is to intern at a camera rental house. Hardly glamorous (you'll do your share of scrubbing labels off cases in the back room) but by helping assist in checkouts you can network and start to meet folks who are working camera assistants and DP's, as well as get hands-on time with the gear.

There's also sometimes intern positions available on features and other productions. You may not get paid, but you are getting to learn for free, which is incredibly valuable. The best part is that you can start learning how things are done for real in the industry, as opposed to how some film school professor thinks it works which may or may not be accurate.
__________________
Charles Papert
www.charlespapert.com
Charles Papert is offline   Reply With Quote
Old October 27th, 2003, 11:06 PM   #41
Major Player
 
Join Date: Nov 2001
Location: New York, NY
Posts: 355
Texts for College Film School

I'm not sure if this belongs in this particular corner of the DV I community, but here it goes.

Beginning January I will be an Adjunct Professor at New York University. My course is titled "Fundamentals of Sight and Sound Video." This is a core course in the NYU Film School. The students that have to take this course have their sights set on cinema, so a course on video - 3 camera live in studio, switching, boom mikes, vectorscopes, single camera doc on location, and dramatic with "real" actors is not exactly what they think they are here for.

My approach is that this is the foundation for anything they plan to do after they are done with the course. If you can't visualize a scene live with three cameras, you're in for a hard time visualizing it with one camera.

Anyway, the reason for this post is because I just went through some of the suggested texts. My lower jaw is still hanging after seeing the prices. The same text I had in graduate school in 1969 - Herbert Zettl's "Television Production Handbook" is nearly $100!!! These students are already paying $40k per year. I'm not about to require them (or their parents) to dish out $100 for ONE textbook. Instead, I've decided to give them the option to go with handouts that are cheap and more to the point. This is where you come in - I am looking for suggestions on good informational materials.

This class spans a very wide range - from color temperature, through directing, to editing with Avid. I already have a long list of suggested supplementary materials, but I can always use more. So if you have a favorite book, magazine article, website, video, DVD - ANYTHING that will help a novice class, just let me know. I'll probably end up writing my own text, but that's a few years down the line.

Thank you in advance.
__________________
Ozzie Alfonso
www.ozziealfonso.com
Ozzie Alfonso is offline   Reply With Quote
Old October 28th, 2003, 09:17 AM   #42
Major Player
 
Join Date: Apr 2003
Location: St. Louis, MO
Posts: 581
Photocopy appropriate parts of that $100 text and hand those out.
Rob Belics is offline   Reply With Quote
Old October 28th, 2003, 10:33 AM   #43
Obstreperous Rex
 
Join Date: Jan 2001
Location: San Marcos, TX
Posts: 26,900
Images: 513
Ozzie

From my bookshelf I've pulled my old supplemental text for RTF 681Ka, Principles of Television & Film Production by Louis Leung, Fall 1990 at UT-Austin. Granted this is thirteen years old now but perhaps it might be of some use as a rough and outdated guideline. It's a bound collection of photocopies Prof. Leung put together and made available to students for a grand total of $15.34 at a nearby photocopy shop. It's an assemblage of material from a variety of sources including some fairly notable books. Here's the TOC:

The Production Book
Television Terminology
The Ten Commandments of TV
Staff and Crew
Flowchart: Pre-production
Flowchart: Studio Day
The TV Producer's Responsibilities
Television Directing
The Director and the Floor Manager
Some thoughts on using the Asst. Director
Composing the Picture
The Five C's of Cinematography
Scripts and Storyboards
Bretz-Plotter - the TV Director's Slide Rule
Marking the Video Scripts
Pre-Production: Script Marking and General Info
Marked Sample Script for Director, AD and TD
Marked Sample Script for Audio
Marked Sample Script for Floor Manager
Camera Concepts: Shots and Lenses
Lighting: Additive vs. Subtractive Color
Glossary of Lighting Terms
Visuals for TV
Framing Titles
Television Handsignals
Audio Cues
Shot Numbers and Camera Cue Sheets
Film Cues
Cues Given at the Opening of a Show
Editing
Time Base Correctors
The Video Signal
Component Video
Tape or Film
Get ready, Get set, Go Remote
Five Characteristics of Documentaries
Settling on a Concept
The Instructional Development Process
Corporate Video Applications
Video Post-Production
Sweetening Audio for Video
Introduction to Digital Video
Appendix of various technical manuals for studio equipment

Total is 186 pages. If you think this dinosaur might be of some use to you as an example of the "bound photocopy" concept in planning your own texts, let me know and I'll drop it in the mail for you right away. Hope this helps,
__________________
CH

Search DV Info Net | DV Info Net Sponsors | A Decade (+5) of DVi | ...Tuesday is Soylent Green Day!
Chris Hurd is offline   Reply With Quote
Old October 28th, 2003, 01:51 PM   #44
Major Player
 
Join Date: Nov 2001
Location: New York, NY
Posts: 355
Chris,

The TOC just about covers it all. Mr. Leung seems to have covered the field very well. Yeah, that bound text would be very helpful but I don't want you to part with a book that I'm sure means a lot to you. I'll make a copy of it and send it back. Is that possible? I can tun it into a PDF for posterity.

It seemed so ironic to be shown around the facilities at NYU - here are the cameras, here is the vectorscope, here is the audio mixing room, here is our Avid. And all the time I had my VAIO laptop in my shoulderbag. The VAIO with AVID for editing, Audition for sound editing and mixing, Encore for DVD authoring. Add a small DV camera and I would have had the entire floor in by bag.

The challenge is to not let them get "here" from where they are. It's too easy and not the best route. They really have to learn the nuts and bolts and it's my job to let them know why that is necessary.

My 15 year old son made a "movie" with his friends over the summer. I lent him my XL-1s (he's a resposible kid) and I taught him and a friend how the Avid works. Just the basic stuff. Within a few days these kids had mastered the camera AND the Avid! They were doing picture in picture, trimming, keys, sound mixing - stuff I had not shown them. Then, one night, I was talking with my son about some of his shots. I commented that he should learn to shoot in manual mode (he had complained about the picture getting darker when he included the sky) - I began to teach him about f stops and focal lenghts. In the middle of my "lecture" he stopped me with - "dad I don't have to know that..." Needless to add, I went through the roof. I won't go into my rant here but I saw his reaction as typical of so many students - they just want to get "there" NOW - all the stuff in between is boring or of no value. Where is this attitude coming from? We didn't teach hm this. It's an epidemic of "life is so easy why should I care" itis.

Anyway, it is going to be a challenge. I started teaching and it seems like the right thing to get back to, for a while.

End of rant.
__________________
Ozzie Alfonso
www.ozziealfonso.com
Ozzie Alfonso is offline   Reply With Quote
Old October 29th, 2003, 12:45 AM   #45
Obstreperous Rex
 
Join Date: Jan 2001
Location: San Marcos, TX
Posts: 26,900
Images: 513
Ozzie,

Since we have met before and know each other personally, of course I'd have no problem sending this up to you. Please shoot me your mailing address by email and I'll get it on the way to you a.s.a.p.

I would imagine that the 15-year-old son of a CTW producer would be most responsible with his dad's gear! By the way, I couldn't resist a Sesame Street reference when titling our meet-and-greet forum "These Are The People in Your Neighborhood." I grew up watching that show.

Give 'em the nuts, the bolts, the cotter pins, the steering wheel, the whole works! Then watch 'em put it all together.
__________________
CH

Search DV Info Net | DV Info Net Sponsors | A Decade (+5) of DVi | ...Tuesday is Soylent Green Day!
Chris Hurd is offline   Reply
Reply

DV Info Net refers all where-to-buy and where-to-rent questions exclusively to these trusted full line dealers and rental houses...

Professional Video
(800) 833-4801
Portland, OR

B&H Photo Video
(866) 521-7381
New York, NY

Z.G.C.
(973) 335-4460
Mountain Lakes, NJ

Abel Cine Tech
(888) 700-4416
N.Y. NY & L.A. CA

Precision Camera
(800) 677-1023
Austin, TX

DV Info Net also encourages you to support local businesses and buy from an authorized dealer in your neighborhood.
  You are here: DV Info Net > And Now, For Something Completely Different... > The TOTEM Poll: Totally Off Topic, Everything Media

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

 



Google
 

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 01:16 PM.


DV Info Net -- Real Names, Real People, Real Info!
1998-2017 The Digital Video Information Network