Full Sail students
Full Sail students

It’s got the term “Real World Education” in its name for a reason: Full Sail is all about training aspiring moviemakers to get out there and work once they’ve graduated. The Orlando-based college offers creative minds an intensive environment in which to further their media mastery. The school offers associate’s and bachelor’s degrees in such disciplines as computer animation, digital media, entertainment business, film, game design, recording arts and show production, to name a few. We recently sat down with David Franko, Full Sail’s program director for film, to get to the heart of the school’s mission.

Michelle Devereaux (MM): Orlando, Florida, Full Sail’s hometown, recently cracked MovieMaker‘s annual list of the top 10 cities to be an indie moviemaker. Are you at all surprised?

David Franko (DF): I am not surprised that Orlando made the list. Orlando has a plethora of resources and talented crews within the area—not to mention hungry Full Sail grads willing to intern!

MM: What’s the most popular area of study in Full Sail’s film program? Do you tend to spawn great cinematographers? Producers? Editors?

DF: Our most popular discipline is split between cinematography and post-production. While the students must learn pre-production, production and post-production, I think the school spawns artistically and technically sound DPs, creative directors and knowledgeable editors.

MM: Full Sail seems to offer the latest in film technology, but how accessible is it to students? Does supply always meet demand?

DF: The way our classes are structured and scheduled, the student must meet certain requirements set by the course objectives. Thus, a student must spend a sufficient amount of time on the gear for their proficiency test. The school’s supply keeps up with demand.

MM: Upon graduating, will a typical Full Sail student have a comprehensive reel? How many projects do they generally contribute to during the school year?

DF: Students take with them a reel with at least three film projects but they can work on as many films as possible. Full Sail produces 12 or more films every month. Students can work on these films as soon as they enter the school.

MM: How do your lifetime auditing privileges work? Can an alumnus pop into a class at any time or is it more formal?

DF: Full Sail offers a lifetime auditing privilege. An alumnus can call the school or myself and set up a time to come in and audit a course. They can take the entire class or a portion of the course.

MM: Full Sail’s film program is incredibly intensive, with student’s usually working 40-plus hours a week. Your Website even likens it to "boot camp." What kind of support do you offer your students, so that they don’t get too overwhelmed?

DF: Great question. Our structure is unique when compared to traditional colleges. Students are offered support through our staff and our student advisors. These advisors are located throughout our campus to help students control their learning and lifestyles. We also have cognitive development teachers on campus to assist with study habits.

MM: Anything new we can expect to see from Full Sail in the coming months, or year?

DF: Full Sail is constantly expanding our facilities. Soon, we will have a new dubbing stage and soundstage up and running. We are also opening up an entertainment business facility  and a new computer animation building complete with labs and studios.

For more information on Full Sail Real World Education, visit http://www.fullsail.com.