Vassar Film School? Also, other schools?

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  • Vassar Film School? Also, other schools?

    I wasn't sure where to post this, so I'm sorry if it doesn't belong in this forum...

    Does anybody know anything about how good the film program at Vassar is? Also, what are some other film schools you guys would recommend (preferably in North America or the UK, but I'm open to other places too) that have good bachelor's programs in film production? So far I'm looking at NYU and USC. I know that not everybody recommends film school, but I'm pretty sure that's the route I want to take now. (I'm a senior in high school).

    Thanks ahead of time!

  • #2
    Depends on what you want to do.

    Direct
    Cinematography
    Write

    Some schools put more emphasis on certain areas. Some are more hands on and others are more theory.

    Also, it's not a bad idea to maybe take a year off after high school and write some scripts and or make some shorts as you will often need a good portfolio or reel to show these schools when applying.

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    • #3
      ENWriter wrote: "write some scripts and or make some shorts as you will often need a good portfolio or reel to show these schools when applying."

      That's true, I'm sure, of other film schools, but not USC--at least, it wasn't when I attended, although maybe it is now.

      I went to USC (for an M.F.A, though, not a bachelor's degree), and we did not have to submit films or scripts. We had to create a "portfolio list"--that is, a list of all the kinds of creative endeavors and projects we had worked on. Ostensibly, the school says they want you to have everything available on that list to show them if they ask to see your portfolio. You also have to submit a couple of writing samples, but they were not script samples. They were essays.

      Well, the film school gets so many applications, that they could never look at portfolios! (for instance, there were 1,200 applicants when I applied, and this was for only 90 total Master's spots--45 for the M.A., and 45 for the M.F.A.) That was in the late 1980s, so there may be even more applicants these days. They never asked to see my portfolio, nor was I asked to interview with them in person. But again, that was in my day. The policy might have changed.

      As an undergrad film student at USC, you don't actually start that program until your Junior year. The first two years you take other types of core courses--they're trying to round out your education. After that, you start your film studies, and they mix you in, at least in the introductory classes, with the grad students. That's why so many of my friends from school were undergrads when I was a grad--we took classes together. Eventually, as a grad student, you have to take higher-level courses than those of the undergrads, but you still keep crossing paths with them, which is fun.

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      • #4
        Re: Vassar Film School? Also, other schools?

        Read some books on the topic:

        The Complete Guide to American Film Schools and Cinema and Television Courses by Ernest Pintoff

        Film School Confidential: The Insider's Guide to Film Schools by Karin Kelly and Tom Edgar

        Don't know about Vassar, but if you want to major in Screenwriting, USC has a good undergrad program. Not sure about UCLA's undergrad program but their MFA program is good. You might want to also look at NYU, Columbia University and The New School for Social Research, all in NYC. Harvard seems to be a pipeline into Sitcom writing, so check there also.

        If you do major in screenwriting, you might want to minor in Philosophy, English Literature, History, Journalism, Theater, Sociology or Psychology. Any of these could be a helpful background for a screenwriter to have.

        Do your homework and good luck!

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        • #5
          Re: Vassar Film School? Also, other schools?

          If you have little or no interest in writing for theater, then avoid NYU.

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