Is Film School Worth It?
We think so. Many students pursuing careers in the film industry are faced with the decision to attend film school or go the no film school path. If you are someone who believes in the value of a bachelor’s or associates degree, then going to film school is a good way to fulfill your personal and professional goals. We understand not everyone feels that way. Some students prefer to learn from online video resources and take the no film school route. The no film school path does take tremendous self-discipline and may take longer than opting for a more traditional approach through college. If you don’t want to earn your college degree, there are online resources that offer training certificates. We have found that self-discipline is a defining factor for people who want to be a self-taught filmmaker. Comparatively, our classrooms have a lower student-teacher ratio and we offer hands-on instruction for those students who want a more supportive environment.
Your peer network is a huge resource
Employers often look at a candidates’ experience as a key hiring indicator, which is especially true in the entertainment industry. In order to gain that experience, students who go to film school are able to build relationships with their filmmaking peers. These connections often continue beyond graduation and help graduates land gigs in the future. Our career development team is another beneficial resource for potential employment opportunities down the line.
If you are seeking higher education in an unconventional industry like entertainment, we want to share the benefits our film students can have by earning their degree in film production from The Los Angeles Film School.
Reasons Why We Think Film School is a Good Idea
Cross collaboration. Here at The L.A. Film School, we offer campus degrees in film, animation, music, audio, and entertainment business. You’ll have the opportunity to collaborate with students in your degree as well as the other programs. You’ll learn from them. They’ll learn from you, and what you create together is a reinforcement of the teamwork that keeps entertainment fresh. We also offer online degrees for students who still want the accountability of a class schedule but the freedom of online learning.
Practice — with a mentor. One of the best things about higher education is having experts in the field mentor you. You’ll still get to learn from that infamous “school of hard knocks,” but when you do make a mistake, someone will be there to help you figure it out and learn from it. By learning from your failures here, you’ll be better prepared to enter your industry of choice.
Structure. The structure that comes with taking film classes will help you build upon your skills. You’ll learn the foundations of filmmaking, or audio, or animation, or whatever you choose to focus on, and then add your creativity and personality to make it shine.
Who you know and what you know. Not only will you learn the “what” while you’re in school, you’ll also get to know the “who.” One advantage of going to film school is that you’ll work with experts in your field and collaborate with peers who will someday be the experts. As we mentioned earlier, when you’re ready to start your filmmaking career, they’ll be there to help you get the interview or pitch your idea. The L.A. Film School Alumni Association is a powerful community of creatives.
Resources. Film schools have incredible resources. And we don’t just mean the fancy camera equipment and professional studios. We also mean federal grants, financial aid scholarships, and support from industry-experienced instructors. While you’re at school, our financial aid team and student advisors can help you find the right resources you need to be successful.
Experience. While you’re at school, you’ll have the opportunity to work with companies that sponsor projects. Having that little “in” can make all the difference when you’re ready to set out on your own.
A single grain can tip the scale. When you enter the film industry after school, having a degree by your name can make a difference. In an industry as competitive as entertainment, every advantage is worth it.
Guidance. When you hit a wall with a project or you’re overwhelmed with an enormous task, your mentors and peers at film school will be there to encourage you — something YouTube can’t give.
Time to find your voice. Spending time to hone your voice or medium as an artist is invaluable. You’ll have the time and resources to do that while you’re at school.
Benefits of a school community. Getting a higher-level degree is about more than classroom learning. You’ll have the opportunity to attend guest lectures and panels, see film screenings, and participate in campus activities. You’ll get access to resources and live-streamed events as a student both online and on-campus. We can’t forget to mention our on-campus facilities that include professional sound stages, film sets, animation labs and recording studios. Our Digital Filmmaking Online program also gives students the opportunity to use pro gear in their own communities.
Frequently Asked Questions about Film School
Is film school expensive? Like any form of higher education, film school costs money. No film school is completely free. But financial aid, scholarships and grants are available to students who qualify. You can speak to your Admissions Representative about options for your personal situation.
Will film school actually get me a job? Schools do not “get you a job.” You get the job. But what we will give you is every opportunity for education, exposure, networking and connections to prepare you when you land your first entertainment industry interview.
How do I know which school is right for me? We love this question! We suggest doing your research on your school(s) of interest. You can book a campus tour to see our facilities or take a virtual tour. We also suggest calling the school and talking to them. Look at what classes they offer. Take a look at their alumni and what they’re doing in the industry. No one should make this choice but you, and arrive with questions!
Is it hard to get into film school? Film schools are looking for the best, just like any university of note. Find out about our admissions requirements or talk to an admissions representative. You and your talent are worth it.
How long will I be in school? This varies depending on your degree and how many credits you take each semester. All of our programs are accelerated, which means you earn your film degree sooner. For example, the Cinematography Bachelor of Science Degree at the L.A. Film school takes 36 months to complete.