There are 3 things most people do not know about film schools, which are vitally important to know.
They are as follows:
1. Tuition does not typically cover production costs of your films. Oddly enough, everywhere from NYU to NYFA to USC Film School requires students to pay thousands of dollars on top of tuition to cover the costs of their films. It begs the questions where the $10,000 to $40,000 a year in tuition actually goes. Florida State University is the only film school in the country to cover student film production costs. This is a feature they boast about on their website, but it is unfortunate that more schools don’t do this, because most production costs are not covered by student loans, and quite often a student cannot actually afford to pay for their movies on top of tuition.
2. Not every student gets to make a film. At schools like NYU, advanced classes are divided up into “directors” and “crew”. A Professor makes the choice of whether or not your movie gets shot or not. In NYU’s “Narrative” and “Advanced Production” course, only 10 students out of 30 or 40 get to direct a movie. Which means that even though you may be paying full tuition, you do not get to make a movie and you end up paying a lot of money to be a crew member on someone else’s movie.
3. A Film School Degree is meaningless in the Film Industry. In fact, film school graduates are considered cheap labor. I’ve personally had film school graduates work for me on productions for much less than more experienced crew with no college education. In spite of what the school’s marketing material says, having a degree not only won’t help you after school, in many cases it hurts your chances of getting work. In their book “Film School Confidential”, NYU Film School Grads Tom Edgar and Karin Kelley write:
“In many cases, you won’t want to include your MFA on your resume. Ironically, an MFA in film will probably help you more outside of Hollywood than inside… People in the industry have a preconception that MFA students think they are better than everyone else, are liable to not take their jobs seriously, and if put into positions where they can communicate with powerful people, might promote their own careers to the detriment of their employers. (It bears mentioning that this preconception is not always inaccurate). Several people we know, who have MFAs in film and work in film and television production do not include their degrees on their resumes. They found that when that was included on their resumes, they were rarely hired. It was only when they removed the MFA from their resumes that they started getting work.”
Those are just a few things to consider before making a serious investment. Most of the successful people working in the Film Industry did not go to Film school.