How To Get Into Film School

Last Updated on December 28, 2022

Find everything you need to know to get into film school in this one post. I will discuss scholarships, creative ways to increase your chances of getting in and outline a clear plan of action for applying. Film school is great but without a film school scholarship you are up against students who come from wealthy families which will give them a leg up when it comes to the application process so utilising the ideas I list below is essential if you wish to get into film school on your own merits.

Whether you want to become a filmmaker, an actor, set designer and other related fields in film production, we got you covered with up-to-date information on california institute of the arts, los angeles film school and the best film schools in the world.

To gain easy access to more information on how to get into film school, cheap film schools in usa for international students and best film schools, search on Collegelearners.

How to Apply to Film School

clapperboard operator on film set

It’s a good idea to have a general idea of what admissions officers are looking for in a film school applicant.

While every film school has unique requirements, preparing for some of the standard admissions hurdles can help boost your confidence as you go through the process. Finding ways to make your application stand out can also help your chances at more competitive schools.

Here are five tips to help you focus in the right direction as you explore how to get into film school:

1. Express yourself effectively. Communication is key.

It’s not enough to have great ideas or artistic vision. Film schools want students who can communicate in a clear, compelling way. Learn the art of storytelling. Learn the technical aspects of language and grammar. You don’t need to be a screenwriting expert. That’s why you’re going to film school. However, admissions reps want to see that you’re able to write. If writing isn’t your strong suit, take a class or two.

2. Become well rounded. You need more than raw talent.

It might be easy to fall into the trap of thinking that academics don’t have anything to do with your creativity or aptitude for a filmmaking career. And you may be right, at least in part. Nevertheless, grades matter. Especially when spaces in prestigious film schools are limited and competitive, your academic performance will be a factor in whether you make the cut. So, words to the wise: don’t coast through chemistry class just because you don’t think you’ll use it later.

3. Speak for yourself. Film schools want to hear your voice.

You have life experience and something to say. You’ll bring your own unique perspective to the film school that is lucky enough to have you. And that’s exactly what film schools want to see. What sets you apart from other applicants? What’s your story? Embrace life experiences. They can make your stories richer and deeper. Travel to faraway places, or get involved in your own community. If you don’t think you have anything to say, film school admissions representatives won’t either.

4. Practice makes perfect—and a strong film school applicant.

There’s one sure way to prove that you have the talent to make it in film school and the film industry. Start filming. Tell lots of stories. They don’t have to be feature length—just five to ten minutes will do. You’ll become a stronger writer, director or cinematographer, and you’ll be a stronger film school applicant. Whether or not you’ll need to submit samples of your work with your film school application, it can only help you to have something to show for yourself.

5. Get ready for your close-up. Take an acting class.

Take a turn on the other side of the camera. Enroll in acting classes. It may not be a requirement for getting into school, but it will broaden your perspective. It can also give you insight on how to be a good director. Anything that makes you more well-rounded and versatile can only be an asset when it comes time to apply to film schools.

How to get into Film School - PART 1: The Personal Statement |  | Forums - Reviews - Application Admissions Data

cheap film schools in usa for international students

Affordable film schools in USA for international students

Of course, the USA is known for its expensive studies. What if you get a few best affordable film schools in USA? For those who are interested in film schools in USA at an affordable cost, we have mentioned a few cheap film schools in USA:

  • ArtCenter College of Design, Pasadena
  • Barnard College, New York
  • Chapman University, California
  • Colorado Film School, Colorado
  • Columbia College Chicago
  • CUNY Brooklyn College
  • Dominican University, Illinois
  • Emerson College, Massachusetts
  • Ferris State University, Michigan
  • Fordham University, New York
  • Ithaca College, New york
  • Ferris State University, Michigan
  • Fordham University, New York
  • Kean University, New Jersey
  • Loyola Marymount University, California

Careers in film

There are three parts in film production that offer different kinds of occupations to international students. They are given below:

  • In the pre-production phase, ideas are presented in full-fledged productions. Fundraising, budgeting, screenwriting, and set design are the main parts of pre-production. Jobs in pre-production include screenwriting, producing, costume design, casting, etc
  • In the production phase, the actual creation of the film takes place. Occupations in production include production assistants, directors, sound engineering technicians, camera operators,  boom operators, gaffers, animators, multimedia artists, directors of photography, etc
  • In the post-production phase, the process of editing is done. Jobs in the post-production phase include assistant editors, editors, sound effects editors, dubbing editors, film librarians, advertising and promotional advertisers, sales representatives, etc

With film-making being one of the most demanded programs, various universities provide plenty of courses. Students can choose their interested programs in USA and become an expert in their preferred area.

best film schools

Best Film Schools in the World

1. University of Southern California (USC)

  • Film Program
  • Degrees offered: Bachelor’s, Master’s, and PhD

USC is the most respected and the best film school in the world. USC established a completely interdisciplinary learning opportunity as the world’s first media school to teach most of the areas in the Cinematic Arts. Its mission is to create and express the creative, educational, and entrepreneurial standards and procedures of film, television, and interactive media to equip students to become pioneers in the industry.

Students are introduced to the industry’s most recent technology innovations, narrative approaches, and networking opportunities to engage with prominent professionals. They offer programs for undergraduates and graduates students such as Fine Arts in Writing for Screen and Television, Cinema and Media, Animation, and Digital Arts.

2. American Film Institute (AFI)

  • Film Program
  • Degrees offered: Master’s

The American Film Institute (AFI) is among the world’s most recognized film schools. AFI assured students to acquire the process of producing films mastering technology and discipline behind the narration. Its mission is to recognize artistic excellence and develop educational efforts that empower both artists and audiences. The AFI Conservatory graduates have earned significant industry nominations and awards in Academy, Emmy, and Guild Awards.

Students should generally have an undergraduate degree. However, if they do not, they could receive a Certificate of Completion when enrolling as an Associate Scholar. AFI Conservatory creates six major specializations in Cinematography, Directing, Editing, Producing, Production Design, and Screenwriting.

3. National Film and Television School (NFTS)

  • Film Program
  • Degrees offered: Master’s

Over the decades, the National Film and Television School (NFTS) has nurtured some of the best creative geniuses in the United Kingdom and throughout the world. NFTS offers over 30 MA, Diploma, Certification courses and short training in various cinema, broadcast, and gaming fields. Undergraduates from different schools enroll in the NFTS to continue their chosen specialty at the postgraduate level.

NFTS graduate students have earned 13 Oscars, 145 BAFTAs, and 70 Emmys and have been recognized countless times. Films generated by NFTS students are also acknowledged by prominent prizes and organizations such as Grierson Awards, Sundance Film Festival, and Cannes Film Festival. They currently offer full-time courses in Cinematography, Creative Business, Film Studies Programming and Curation, Assistant Directing and Floor Managing, Screenwriting, etc.

5 Questions To Ask Yourself When Applying to Film School | IndieWire

4. University of California (UCLA) School of Theater, Film, and Television

  • Film Program
  • Degrees offered: Bachelor’s, Master’s, and PhD

UCLA TFT innovates a highly dynamic society program and provides an entirely interdisciplinary environment where media, performing arts, and world-class research thrive. UCLA TFT objectives will equip dedicated students with the necessary skills to explore the structures around them as versatile creators and artists, equipped with the understanding, vision, and perspective to make great experiences in the creative industry.

UCLA offers a wide range of programs, such as online courses, summer programs, and professional programs. For undergraduates, they can opt for Cinema and Media Studies, Directing, Cinematography, Documentary, Producing, or Screenwriting. Graduates also have programs, including Production/ Directing, Documentary, or Animation.

5. NYU Tisch School of the Arts (TNYU)

  • Film Program
  • Degrees offered: Bachelor’s, Master’s, and PhD

NYU Tisch School of the Arts is one of the famous film schools in the world. They are among the major arts institutions in the country, introducing dance, theatrical design and production, and film studies. They deliver intensive professional learning and relevant experience in theater and filmmaking within the setting of a renowned academic institution.

Undergraduates can choose programs in Collaborative Arts, Cinema Studies, Photography & Imaging, or Interactive Media Arts. They also offer programs for graduate students such as Art & Public Policy, Design for Stage & Film, or Performance Studies.

6. California Institute of the Arts (CalArts)

  • Film Program
  • Degrees offered: Bachelor’s, Master’s, and PhD

Founded by Walt Disney, CalArts is one of the finest film schools in Los Angeles. It delivers competitive undergraduate and graduates degree programs with its six Schools – Art, Critical Studies, Dance, Film/Video, Music, and Theater. They offer a comprehensive academic program and opportunities for each student to enhance their creative skills and talents.

These student’s degree programs include Acting, Experimental Animation, Film & Video, Graphic Design, Performer-Composer, etc. CalArts’ continuing learning project focuses on transparency, innovation, critical involvement, and artistic freedom.

7. Beijing Film Academy (BFA)

  • Film Program
  • Degrees offered: Bachelor’s, Master’s, and PhD

BFA is China’s most prestigious film school and Asia’s leading institution specializing in film and broadcast production courses. It has nine schools offering courses separated into six divisions- Department of Screenwriting and Film Studies, Directing, Cinematography, Film-and-Television Technology, Film Studies, and Basic Education. They have an outstanding professor, broad subjects, and well-organized teaching methods, making BFA a place for developing skills in film creation, administration, and philosophy.

They deliver undergraduate and graduate degree programs along with short-term courses and diplomas. BFA has produced excellent alumni that have received national and international recognition for their talents in film and television for over four decades. Among their renowned graduates are filmmakers, editors, scriptwriters, and movie stars.

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