From one day to one year, completion certificates to PhDs, London to Los Angeles, whatever your film education desire, the growing crop of film education programs is making experts out of novices every day.
But which program is right for you? MM takes a look at a score of film schools and education programs the world over to find out where you might fit in.
Academy of Art College, School of Motion Pictures & Television
79 New Montgomery Street . San Francisco, CA 94105
www.academyart.edu . 800/544-ARTS
Go to this school if you want: to develop your portfolio.
Length of program: BFA: 4 years MFA: 2 years
Cost: Undergraduate – $550 per unit; Graduate – $600 per
Prerequisites: Undergraduate program requires high school
diploma or equivalent. Graduate program requires a portfolio.
Degree/Certificate: BFA, MFA
Equipment/Facilities: The Academy has camera packages
including everything from Mini DV cameras to 35mm sync sound,
a full range of sound gear, editing facilities with Avid, Media
100, Final Cut Pro and flatbed stations and seven Pro Tools suites.
Campus Amenities: Academy of Art College is located in
San Francisco, one of the world’ most beautiful and artistic
Faculty: With 500 faculty members from the biggest art,
design and studio companies in the industry, the Academy hires
current professionals to teach future professionals.
Notable Guest Instructors: Rob Carlson and Mike Thomas
Head of Program: David Oliver Pfeil
Avg. student age: 25
Post-Graduate Support/Services: Prospective employers
can connect and post job listings online. The result is that
AAC graduates can look forward to an 85 percent job placement
Screenings: Hosts the annual Spring Show so students can
have their work reviewed by industry professionals.
Comments: Over the years, AAC has grown to become the
nation’ largest private accredited art college.
Academy of Converging Arts
1800 N. Vine Street, Suite 100 . Hollywood, CA 90028
www.converging-arts.com . 323/461-0851
Year founded: 2003
Go to this school if you want: to be mentored through
the moviemaking process with other working professionals.
Cost: Varies by program
Prerequisites: Film or fine arts degree
Equipment/Facilities: Access to many Hollywood facilities
(additional pre-negotiated cost); relationship with Post Logic
Studios, one of Hollywood’ premiere post-production facilities.
Faculty: Gabrielle Kelly, Bonnie Voland, Peter Frish,
Barbara Dumphy, John Hora, Bob Koster, Chuck Fianance and Reine-Claire.
Notable Guest Instructors: Caroline Goodall (Schindler’
List, The Princess Diaries) is currently teaching an acting
Head of Program: Daniele J. Suissa, producer, theater
and film director and former Dean of the Los Angeles Film School
Avg. student age: 21+
Post-Graduate Support/Services: The Academy is a mentoring
institution dedicated to the constant development of its alumni.
Comments: The Academy is a new institution with 100 years
of experience through the dedication of its body of mentors.
Action/Cut Filmmaking Seminars
11288 Ventura Blvd. #400-B . Studio City, CA 91604
www.actioncut.com . 800/815-5545
Year founded: 1999
Go to this school if you want: the most acclaimed two-day
moviemaking seminar in the industry.
Cost: $275 ($250 for students)
Prerequisites: A great love of the moviemaking process-from
page to screen.
Degrees/Certificates: Action/Cut Certificate of Completion
Equipment/Facilities: An audio-visual seminar with professional
Faculty: Action/Cut founder, international film instructor
and professional working writer-director Guy Magar
Notable Guest Instructors: Randall Wallace, Scott Billups,
Frank Lupo and Dennie Gordon.
Head of Program: Guy Magar
Avg. student age: 15-50
Post-Graduate Support/Services: Action/Cut offers one-on-one
consultation services with Guy Magar
Screenings: The Action/Cut Short Film Festival will be
announced Summer, 2003.
Comments: We provide the Action/Cut Filmmaking Seminar
during spring and fall tours of major American cities: New York,
Boston, Philadelphia, Baltimore, Miami, Atlanta, Chicago, Denver,
Houston, Austin, Seattle, San Francisco and Los Angeles. The
seminars are designed for directors, screenwriters, producers,
actors and everyone interested in the moviemaking process.
American Film Institute Conservatory
2021 N. Western Avenue . Los Angeles, CA 90027
www.afi.com . 323/856-7609
Year founded: 1969
Go to this school if you want: to collaborate with other
artists, shooting short narrative projects in a rigorous and
immersive curriculum that mirrors the professional film environment.
Length of program: 2 to 2 1/2 years
Cost: $24,225 per year
Prerequisites: Three – five years experience or an education
in film production.
Equipment/Facilities: Conservatory fellows have the opportunity
to shoot on DV, 16mm and 35mm film and 24p HD video. Editing
fellows work with Avid 1000XL Media Composers, networked by a
Unity storage system and using Meridien board sets.
Campus Amenities: AFI’ eight-acre campus is located in
the hills overlooking Hollywood and is in close proximity to
the heart of the professional moviemaking community.
Faculty: The Conservatory faculty includes working professionals
from film and television, who act as mentors and guides to the
fellows in each discipline.
Notable Guest Instructors: Martin Scorsese, William Friedkin,
Julie Taymor, David Lynch and Brad Siberling.
Head of Program: Sam L. Grogg, Dean
Avg. student age: 27.5
Famous Alumni: David Lynch, Darren Aronofsky, Todd Field,
Carl Franklin, Amy Heckerling, Mimi Leder, Janusz Kaminski.
Screenings: All thesis films have a showcase screening
that is held at the Arclight Cinemas. Agents, managers and other
film and television professionals are invited to the screening
and reception. These showcases happen on a regular basis throughout
Comments: The program models itself after the classic
European Conservatory model, where fellows enrolled in the program
work with their faculty in a master/apprentice relationship.
Columbia College Hollywood
18618 Oxnard Street . Tarzana, CA 91356
www.columbiacollege.edu . 818/345-8414;
Year founded: 1952
Go to this school if you want: to gain technical proficiency
in the cinema and television arts.
Length of program: 36 months
Cost: $3,500 per quarter
Equipment/Facilities: CCH has video and film cameras,
lighting and sound gear and film and video editing stations including
Avid and Final Cut Pro. The school also has a shooting stage,
dubbing and Foley facilities.
Campus Amenities: CCH has a variety of areas and office
space available for student production, as well as a student
lounge, bookstore, art studio, library and computer lab.
Faculty: Film instructors are working industry professionals
who are up on the most current industry practices. They share
their knowledge with students in small classes, which are held
predominantly in the evening.
Notable Guest Instructors: Frank Darabont, Daniel Petrie,
Jr., Dede Allen.
Head of Program: Mark Stratton.
Average Student Age: 21
Famous Alumni: Tim Bui, J.D. Ripp, Jamie Farr, David Elkins
and Sathish Bramhan
Post-Graduate Support/Services: Students may continue
to use CCH’ facilities and equipment after graduation.
Columbia University School of the Arts
513 Dodge Hall . 2960 Broadway . New York, NY 10027
www.columbia.edu/cu/arts . 212/854-2875
Year founded: 1754
Length of program: Three to five years
Cost: About $48,000 for the first two years. $3,000 per
semester for thesis years, not including cost of thesis film.
Prerequisites: Undergraduate degree
Equipment/Facilities: Columbia boasts a sound stage, screenwriting
facility, Super16mm film, 16mm film and digital video rigs, location
sound equipment and post-production facilities.
Faculty: Columbia’ film faculty includes, among others,
director David McKenna, writer Janet Roach and esteemed producer
Head of Program: Dan Kleinman, Chair of Film
Comments: The International Film Institute of New York
teaches summer workshops using Columbia’ campus and film facilities.
Classes last from four weeks to a full year.
Filmmaker’ Central School of Cinema
7095 Hollywood Blvd., Suite 858 . Hollywood, CA 90028
www.onlinefmc.com . 323/467-6580
Year founded: 2000
Go to this school if you want: to learn how to direct,
produce or work as a member of the crew in some of the most important
positions on and off the set.
Length of program: One day
Cost: $199 – $350
Degree/Certificate: Certificate of Completion
Equipment/Facilities: Filmmaker’ Central has 35mm and
16mm film cameras, digital video rigs and digital audio gear.
Faculty: Louise Levison, Daron Keet, Lawrence Benedict,
Eric Galler, Troy Wilcox, Maureen Tuohy, Leonard Bram.
Head of Program: Rayelle Belleau
Post-Graduate Support/Services: Filmmaker’ Central offers
job placement services after completion of the workshops.
Florida State University Film School
University Center 3100A . Tallahassee, FL 32306-2350
http://filmschool.fsu.edu . 850/644-7728
Year founded: 1989
Length of program: Undergraduate: Four years; Graduate:
Cost: Undergraduate: $18,616 per year for out-of-state
students; Graduate: $670.92 per credit hour for out-of-state
Prerequisites: Graduate program requires an undergrad
Degree/Certificate: BFA, MFA
Equipment/Facilities: FSU’ pre-production facilities include
two thesis offices, a conference room and a computer lab for
writing, budgeting and production planning. Students shoot on
DV, 16mm and 35mm and have access to the campus back lot and
Campus Amenities: In addition to post facilities with
Avid editing systems, students can do final sound mixes in FSU’
Faculty: FSU’ faculty includes 15 working professionals.
Head of Program: Dean Raymond Fielding
Screenings: Films are frequently submitted to film festivals
by the school, giving those students significant industry exposure.
Full Sail Real World Education
3300 University Blvd. . Winter Park, FL 32792
www.fullsail.com . 800/226-7625
Year founded: 1979
Length of program: 13 months
Degree/Certificate: Associate of Science Degree
Equipment/Facilities: Full Sail boasts two Arriflex 35mm
cameras, two 16mm cameras, four sound stages and many digital
editing suites, including 20 Avid workstations.
Head of Program: Dave Franko
Avg. student age: 21
Post-Graduate Support/Services: A staff of 30 helps graduates
and alumni with career placement.
Screenings: Full Sail showcases student film projects
at film festivals, local theaters and online at www.fullsail.com
Comments: Full Sail film program is all-inclusive, with
the school covering the cost of all insurance, permits, film
stock, processing and other costs of making student films.
Global Film School
8800 West Sunset Blvd. . West Hollywood, CA 90069
www.globalfilmschool.com . 310/360-2406
Length of program: Varies by course
Cost: About $800 per course
Campus Amenities: Classes are taught online.
Comments: GFS is a joint venture of the UCLA School of
Theater, Film and Television, the Australian Film Television
and Radio School and the UK’ National Film Television School.
The founders want to facilitate the “Democratization of Film
Education” by allowing students all over the world access to