A film school is any educational institution dedicated to teaching aspects of filmmaking, including such subjects as film production, film theory, digital media production, and screenwriting. Film history courses and hands-on technical training are usually incorporated into most film school curricula. Technical training may include instruction in the use and operation of cameras, lighting equipment, film or video editing equipment and software, and other relevant equipment. Film schools may also include courses and training in such subjects as television production, broadcasting, audio engineering, and animation.
The formal teaching of film began with theory rather than practical technical training starting soon after the development of the filmmaking process in the 1890s. Early film theorists were more interested in writing essays on film theory than in teaching students in a classroom environment. The Moscow Film School was founded in 1919 with Russian filmmakers including Sergei Eisenstein, Vsevolod Pudovkin, and Lev Kuleshov serving as faculty to disseminate their very distinct viewpoints on the purpose of film.
Those seeking to learn the technical craft of filmmaking in the early days of cinema were largely self-taught engineers or still photographers who experimented with new film technology. With the rise of commercial filmmaking in the 1920s, most notably the Hollywood studio system, those seeking to learn the technical skills of filmmaking most often started at the bottom of a hierarchical system and apprenticed under a more experienced person to learn the trade. Filmmakers such as Alfred Hitchcock and David Lean started in this way, beginning as a title card designer and clapperboard assistant, respectively, in the early 1920s. The USC School of Cinematic Arts was founded in the midst of this Hollywood system in 1929, and continues to be widely recognized as one of the most prestigious film schools in the world.The University of Southern California was the first university in the country to offer a Bachelor of Arts degree in film.
The tradition of apprenticing up through a hierarchical system continues to this day within film studios and in television in many technical positions such as gaffers, grips, camera operators, and even into post-production with editing and color correction. Independent lower budget filmmaking in the post-war period using portable 16mm film cameras allowed filmmakers like John Cassavetes in the United States, along with members of the French New Wave and Italian Neorealism in Europe, to circumvent the classical system.
The notion of a granting a four-year college degree in film grew more popular in the 1960s with the founding of prestigious film departments like the New York University Tisch School of the Arts (1965), Walt Disney founded California Institute of the Arts (1961), the University of Texas department of Radio-Television-Film (1965) and the Columbia University School of the Arts (1965).Over the years competition for admissions to these programs has steadily increased with many undergraduate programs accepting less than 10% of applicants, and with even more stringent selection for graduate programs.
In the 1990s and 2000s, the increased difficulties in getting into and the financial costs of attending these programs have caused many to spend their money self-financing their own features or attending a shorter trade school program for around the same costs. Film trade schools however rarely offer more than technical knowledge, and often cost more than a degree from a public university without providing the security of a four-year college degree to fall back on.
A film school may be part of an existing public or private college or university, or part of a privately owned for-profit institution. Depending on whether the curriculum of a film school meets its state's academic requirements for the conferral of a degree, completion of studies in a film school may culminate in an undergraduate or graduate degree, or a certificate of completion. Some institutions, both accredited and non-accredited, run shorter workshop and conservatory programsconcurrent to longer degree courses.
Not only the types of courses on offer but also the content, cost, and duration of the courses differs greatly between larger institutions and bespoke film schools. Universities offer courses ranging from 1 to 4 years, with the majority lasting 3 or 4 years. Conversely, films schools focus on shorter technical courses of 1 or 2 years.[ citation needed ]
Many film schools still teach students how to use actual film in their productions, although the incorporation of digital media in film school curricula has risen drastically in recent years. Some schools offer only digital filmmaking courses, eschewing instruction in the medium of film altogether. The use of digital cameras and digital media is significantly less expensive than film cameras and film stock, and allows a film school or department to offer more equipment for students with which to learn and use for their projects. In addition, digital media (such as DVD) is often used for in-class screenings.
In recent years, online film schools of sorts have sprung up teaching filmmaking through articles, tutorial videos, and interactive forums. The next generation of digital cinematography using the large sensors and manual features available in still DSLR cameras has lowered the barrier further towards creating inexpensive digital video that compares closely to 35mm film.
Professionals in the film industry hold a variety of opinions on the relevance of a degree in film in relation to the ability to find work and succeed in the field. As in many professions in the arts, some feel that talent cannot be taught. With respect to filmmaking, others feel that learning techniques and understanding the business is crucial to one's success as a filmmaker.
Those who argue against the necessity of film school cite the high cost of such an education as prohibitive and assert that an aspiring filmmaker's money would be better spent on the actual making of a film, the experience of which would offer a more practical hands-on education. At many film schools, including NYU and USC, initial student films in non-digital programs are shot with non-synch Arri-S or Bolex film cameras manufactured in the mid 20th century. These films are typically shot on black and white reversal film with no dialog, or limited sound added after shooting. Supporters argue that shooting films like these challenges students to creatively express their story without relying on dialog or other modern conventional devices. Opponents question the practicality of having students invest a substantial amount of money using equipment that is no longer used in the industry and doing simple filmmaking exercises that could be recreated for much less.
Film school proponents argue that a formal education allows for a more rounded theoretical understanding of techniques artistic approaches, and offers the opportunity to gain from the knowledge and experience of professional instructors who work in, or who have worked in, the industry. Often cited as another benefit of film school are the opportunities available to students to work as an intern for filmmakers or in related businesses, such as post-production editing facilities, and to network with others interested in filmmaking who may be in a position to collaborate with the student on a project or to eventually offer work in the industry. Most film schools will hold a festival, or showcase, of student works at the end of a semester or school year.[ citation needed ] The more prestigious institutions often invite industry executives and producers to attend. However, ambitious individuals not in film school can also pursue such opportunities on their own through cold-calling, joining film industry-related organizations such as IFP, or submitting their work to independent film festivals.
The rise and popularity of independent filmmaking and digital video have influenced this debate, as anyone with a digital camera can shoot a digital work with little formal knowledge of the industry, and can succeed or establish a following by making the work available for viewing or by publicizing it on the internet.
Directors who have attended and earned degrees from film schools include Francis Ford Coppola (UCLA Film School, MFA film directing), Martin Scorsese (NYU Film School, MFA film directing), David Lynch (AFI Conservatory, MFA Film Directing), George Lucas (USC Film School, BA film directing) and Kathryn Bigelow (Columbia School of Arts, master degree in film theory and criticism) . Others, such as Stanley Kubrick, Frank Capra, Pedro Almodóvar, Bernardo Bertolucci, Paul Thomas Anderson, Sofia Coppola, Quentin Tarantino, James Cameron, and Alfred Hitchcock had no formal college film training at all. Film director Werner Herzog has been quite vocal in arguing against film school.
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The National Film and Television School (NFTS) is a film, television and games school established in 1971 and based at Beaconsfield Studios in Beaconsfield, Buckinghamshire, England. It is featured in the 2018 ranking by The Hollywood Reporter of the top 15 International film schools.
Villa Maria College is a private, Catholic college, founded in 1960 by the Felician Sisters. Located in Buffalo, NY.
Film studies is an academic discipline that deals with various theoretical, historical, and critical approaches to films. It is sometimes subsumed within media studies and is often compared to television studies. Film studies is less concerned with advancing proficiency in film production than it is with exploring the narrative, artistic, cultural, economic, and political implications of the cinema. In searching for these social-ideological values, film studies takes a series of critical approaches for the analysis of production, theoretical framework, context, and creation. In this sense the film studies discipline exists as one in which the teacher does not always assume the primary educator role; the featured film itself serves that function. Also, in studying film, possible careers include critic or production. Film theory often includes the study of conflicts between the aesthetics of visual Hollywood and the textual analysis of screenplay. Overall the study of film continues to grow, as does the industry on which it focuses. Academic journals publishing film studies work include Sight & Sound, Film International, CineAction, Screen, Cinema Journal, Film Quarterly and Journal of Film and Video.
The New York University Tisch School of the Arts is the performing, cinematic and media arts school of New York University. Founded on August 17, 1965, Tisch is a training ground for artists, scholars of the arts, and filmmakers; the school merges the technical training of a professional school with the academic resources of a major research university to immerse students in their intended artistic disciplines. The school is divided into three Institutes: Performing Arts, Emerging Media, and the Kanbar Institute of Film & Television. Many undergraduate and graduate disciplines are available for students, including: acting, dance, drama, performance studies, design for stage and film, musical theatre writing, photography record producing, game design and development, and film and television studies.
Visual anthropology is a subfield of social anthropology that is concerned, in part, with the study and production of ethnographic photography, film and, since the mid-1990s, new media. More recently it has been used by historians of science and visual culture. Although sometimes wrongly conflated with ethnographic film, Visual Anthropology encompasses much more, including the anthropological study of all visual representations such as dance and other kinds of performance, museums and archiving, all visual arts, and the production and reception of mass media. Histories and analyses of representations from many cultures are part of Visual Anthropology: research topics include sandpaintings, tattoos, sculptures and reliefs, cave paintings, scrimshaw, jewelry, hieroglyphics, paintings and photographs. Also within the province of the subfield are studies of human vision, properties of media, the relationship of visual form and function, and applied, collaborative uses of visual representations. Multimodal anthropology describes the latest turn in the subfield, which considers how emerging technologies like immersive virtual reality, augmented reality, mobile apps, social networking, gaming along with film, photography and art is reshaping anthropological research, practice and teaching.
The UCLA School of Theater, Film and Television, is one of the 11 schools within the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) located in Los Angeles, California. Its creation was groundbreaking in that it was the first time a leading university had combined all three of these aspects into a single administration. The undergraduate program is often ranked among the world's top drama departments. The graduate programs are usually ranking within the top three nationally, according to the U.S. News & World Report. Among the school's resources are the Geffen Playhouse and the UCLA Film & Television Archive, the world's largest university-based archive of its kind, celebrating its 50th anniversary in 2015. The Archive constitutes one of the largest collections of media materials in the United States — second only to the Library of Congress in Washington, D.C. Its vaults hold more than 220,000 motion picture and television titles and 27 million feet of newsreel footage. The film, television, and digital media program is one of the most prestigious film programs in the world. It is the most selective film school as the film and television major selects about only 15 freshman out of thousands of applicants and a handful of transfer students.
New York Film Academy – School of Film and Acting (NYFA) is a for-profit film school and acting school based in New York City, Los Angeles, and Miami. The New York Film Academy was founded in 1992 by Jerry Sherlock, a former film, television and theatre producer. It was originally located at the Tribeca Film Center. In 1994, NYFA moved to 100 East 17th Street, the former Tammany Hall building in Union Square. After 23 years of occupancy, the Academy relocated from Tammany Hall to Battery Park in October 2015.
The AFI Conservatory is a private not-for-profit graduate film school in the Hollywood Hills district of Los Angeles. Students learn from the masters in a collaborative, hands-on production environment with an emphasis on storytelling. The Conservatory is a program of the American Film Institute founded in 1969.
AFDA is the School for the Creative Economy and offers courses in film, television, performance, business innovation and technology, radio and podcasting. It has campuses located in Auckland Park, Johannesburg; Observatory, Cape Town; Durban North, Durban; Central, Port Elizabeth and Gaborone in Botswana. AFDA is a full member of CILECT and its degrees are recommended at a number of international schools. It offers higher certificates, undergraduate degrees and postgraduate degrees. These include: a Higher Certificate in Film, Television and Entertainment Production, a Higher Certificate in Radio and Podcasting, a Bachelor of Arts in Live Performance, a Bachelor of Arts in Motion Picture Medium, a Bachelor of Commerce in Business Innovation and Entrepreneurship, a BA Honours in Motion Picture Medium, a BA Honours in Live Performance and a Master of Fine Arts (MFA).
The Red Sea Institute of Cinematic Arts (RSICA) is the first and only MFA program in Cinematic Arts for the Middle East and North Africa. It is based in Aqaba, Jordan. RSICA is a joint effort of Royal Film Commission – Jordan and the University of Southern California School of Cinematic Arts. Its students are women and men from the MENA region in a specialized learning environment dedicated to teaching the six key disciplines of the cinematic arts.
London Film School (LFS) is a not-for-profit film school in London and is situated in a converted brewery in Covent Garden, London, neighbouring Soho, a hub of the UK film industry.
Visual Communications –– is a community-based non-profit media arts organization based in Los Angeles. It was founded in 1970 by independent filmmakers Robert Nakamura, Alan Ohashi, Eddie Wong, and Duane Kubo, who were students of EthnoCommunications, an alternative film school at University of California, Los Angeles. The mission of VC is to "promote intercultural understanding through the creation, presentation, preservation and support of media works by and about Asian Pacific Americans." Visual Communications created learning kits, photographed community events, recorded oral histories, and collected historical images of Asian American life. Additionally, it created films, video productions, community media productions, screening activities, and photographic exhibits and publications.
The International Film School of Paris is a private film school founded in 1972 by Jean-Paul Vuillin, producer and director of film.
The International Academy of Film and Television (IAFT) was a trade film school offering diploma and certificate programs in filmmaking, acting, and 3D animation. IAFT includes significant amounts of hands-on practical experience under the care and guidance of recognized industry mentors in its programs. IAFT Cebu was also voted as "one of the best film schools in the world" by the Hollywood Reporter.
The Seattle Film Institute (SFI) is a private, for-profit film school in Seattle, Washington. Founded in 1994, SFI offers part-time classes, bachelor's degrees, master's degrees, and certificate programs in film and digital video production.
A film director is a person who directs the making of a film. A film director controls a film's artistic and dramatic aspects and visualizes the screenplay while guiding the technical crew and actors in the fulfilment of that vision. The director has a key role in choosing the cast members, production design, and the creative aspects of filmmaking. Under European Union law, the director is viewed as the author of the film.
The Department of Radio–Television–Film at the University of Texas at Austin located in Austin, Texas, is one of the five departments comprising the Moody College of Communication. The department was founded in 1965 and has become one of the nation's premiere film schools, consistently ranking in the top 5 for graduate programs and the top 10 for undergraduate studies. The department has a very selective admissions policy, accepting fewer than 25% of applicants in its undergraduate program, and fewer than 15% of applicants in its graduate programs.
The School of Cinema is housed in the College of Liberal & Creative Arts at San Francisco State University (SFSU). It is located in San Francisco, California, USA and offers a Bachelor of Arts, a Master of Arts, and Master of Fine Arts in Cinema. The program has been included in the list of "Top 25 Film Schools" by The Hollywood Reporter every year since 2014.
The Centro de Capacitación Cinematográfica (CCC) is a film school belonging to Mexico's National Council for Culture and Arts. It was founded in 1975 with the aim of providing technical and artistic training for those entering the film industry. It is one of Mexico's two major film schools, the other being the Centro Universitario de Estudios Cinematográficos at the National Autonomous University of Mexico.
FTMA offers a one-year film and television master of arts degree and a two-year film and television master's of fine arts program at Sacred Heart University in Fairfield, Connecticut.
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