The hopeful auteur’s dilemma – to go to film school, or not go to film school? That is the question. You say you’re currently weighing those options? Maybe this list will assist.
It’s The Hollywood Reporter’s inaugural list ranking the 25 best film schools in the entire world (though it’s heavily North American).
They claim that “in compiling this list, we consulted industry insiders, execs, filmmakers and film school grads. We asked participants to rate each program based on the following categories: Alumni / Cost / Facilities / Industry Access / Strength of Faculty.”
So did your school (whether currently attending, or an alumni) make the cut?
Here are your top 5, according to The Hollywood Reporter; here’s a hint, they’re expensive! And it’s partly for that reason that many continue to question whether a film school education is worth the cost – specifically a top-flight film school education, like those on this list, with annual tuition costs topping $40,000 in some cases. What happens when you’re done? Obviously it depends on what path you choose; after all, not everyone wants to be a film director:
1. American Film Institute
TUITION $38,416 for first year; $37,112 for second year (plus $8,033 for thesis)
NOTABLE ALUMNI Terrence Malick (The Tree of Life), David Lynch (Blue Velvet), Darren Aronofsky (Black Swan)
2. University of Southern California
TUITION $42,000 (plus room and board)
NOTABLE ALUMNI George Lucas (Star Wars), Ron Howard (A Beautiful Mind), Jon Landau (Avatar)
3. Beijing Film Academy
TUITION Program fees range from $1,240 to $1,550 for local students; international students pay $6,665 to $7,905 per year for film programs. Partial and full scholarships are available based on need and merit and are awarded on an individual basis.
NOTABLE ALUMNI Zhang Yimou (House of Flying Daggers), Chen Kaige (Farewell My Concubine), Tian Zhuangzhuang (The Blue Kite)
4. New York University Tisch School of the Arts
NOTABLE ALUMNI Todd Phillips (The Hangover), Joel Coen (No Country for Old Men), Charlie Kaufman (Being John Malkovich)
5. University of California Los Angeles
TUITION B.A.: $12,842 (California resident), $35,720 (non-resident); MFA: $22,208 (California resident), $34,453 (non-resident); M.A. or Ph.D.: $13,549 (California resident), $28,651 (non-resident)
NOTABLE ALUMNI Francis Ford Coppola (The Godfather), Tim Robbins (Dead Man Walking), Alexander Payne (Sideways)
“The key is having a point of view — which is very much the UCLA approach. You could say UCLA filmmakers try to bring an indie attitude even to studio pictures. We always try to find some kind of subjectivity.” — Justin Lin, director, Fast Five
The remaining 20, plus longer write-ups of each, can be found HERE.