Finding a college with a good film degree is an important process for those who want to make their own films or work on television productions. While there are a number of directors who achieved success without going to college, going to school helps you improve your skills and learn everything you need to know about working behind the camera. Though you can do to school where your idols did, you also need to think about factors like courses offered and national rankings.
Look at National Rankings
When choosing a college for film studies, you have two options. You can go to an actual film or performing arts school that focuses on entertainment, or you can go to a college that has its own film studies program. The University of Southern California School for the Cinematic Arts is one of the top schools. Judd Apatow, George Lucas and John Carpenter all studied there. USA Today College listed this school as the number one best film school in the country. Other colleges that made the list include New York University, the Pratt Institute, Yale University and the University of Michigan.
Schedule a Tour
Once you narrow down your choice to a few colleges, schedule a tour of each campus. Far too many students pick a college based on the brochures or catalogs they receive. They do not know what the school is actually like until they arrive. Taking a tour lets you see what the students look like, how the professors teach their classes and the opportunities and activities available for film students. You can also tour the editing facilities and other facilities that you’ll use when filming and producing your own videos.
Examine Class Offerings
Don’t pick a film school or college without first looking at the course offerings, especially the required courses for film studies majors. Many traditional colleges will require that you take general education courses like English or science, but film schools may let you focus more on film classes. The best schools will let you gain experience both in front of and behind the camera with classes on subjects like sound effects, set design, television and movie writing and acting. It’s important that you look at whether the program has a thesis component too. Some film schools ask students to create a final film project before graduating.
Look at Alumni
Looking at some of your favorite directors and where they went to school can help you find a college with a good film degree. Kathryn Bigelow, who made history as the first female director to win an Oscar, went to Columbia University, and Martin Scorsese studied film at New York University. Other directors attended classes or graduated from film programs at schools all across the country. Think about the type of films you want to make, search for directors working in the same genre and find out where they went to school.
Though Kevin Smith and other famous directors gained success in the film industry without going to college, going to film school is beneficial. You can form connections in the industry, hone your skills and learn about all aspects of films. Looking at famous alumni, checking out national rankings, examining class offerings and taking campus tours can help you find a college with a good film degree.