Maybe you’re thinking about film school. And maybe, like us, you spend a preposterous amount of time fantasizing about all the places you’re going to travel as soon as you can. Why not go to a film school by the beach, where you can read scripts while listening to the waves lap against the shore? Or draw storyboards as you stare at the horizon? We had two big rules for this list of the World’s Best Film Schools by the Beach: The schools had to be great, and they needed at least one lovely beach within a 30-minute drive. Some of them were even closer — or had even more beaches.
All of the following schools are combining online learning with efforts to bring students back for in-person instruction when it’s possible to do so under strict safety protocols. The situation with COVID-19 is changing daily, so please check these programs’ websites or contact the film schools directly.
We’ll do an American list of the Best Film Schools by the Beach soon. In the meantime, enjoy applying for one of these schools — or daydreaming about it.
NYFA Australia, based on the Gold Coast on a backlot for Village Roadshow Studios, focuses on teaching American-style filmmaking. Students get hands-on training to walk onto Hollywood productions anywhere in the world. It offers an advanced diploma of Screen and Media in filmmaking, acting and screenwriting; a diploma in the same subjects, as well as 3D Animation and VFX; four-week online workshops for adults, and three- and four-week online camps for kids. Students can also transfer credits to continue classes at any of NYFA’s American campuses.
The school emphasizes well-roundedness and versatility: An advanced diploma filmmaking student can expect to work as a producer, cinematographer, gaffer, sound person, camera operator, editor, and screenwriter, and even some acting. They will also have the opportunity to make their own films.
As its name suggests, the Gold Coast (where Margot Robbie grew up) offers the gold standard of beaches and broadwaters.
The popular Main Beach, which connects to Surfers Paradise and Broadbeach, is a short stroll from campus. And it’s a short drive to rainforests and hinterlands.
From the world-famous Bondi Beach to tranquil swimming spots in and around Sydney Harbor, you’ll have boundless opportunities for swimming, surfing or coastal walks as you plot your cinematic breakthrough.
Everything you need will be at your disposal at AFTRS, a global center for screen and broadcast storytelling that offers a Masters of Arts Screen in animation, cinematography, directing, documentary, editing, music, producing, production design, screenwriting and sound. There’s also a Graduate Diploma in radio and a Bachelor of Arts Screen: Production, as well as short courses, industry certificates and online courses.
You’ll also get some of the best opportunities possible for hands- on experience, since Australia has had some of the greatest success in containing COVID-19 and was one of the first countries to return to full production.