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Alphonzo Alegrado

Film School - Institute/Academy

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I live in the Philippines and am working towards my Bachelor's Degree in Digital Filmmaking, and intend to graduate within the next two years. 

After I graduate, I plan on doing further studies at a one/two year filmmaking certificate/diploma course in the US. All the most popular schools are universities or colleges, especially the ones mentioned by The Hollywood Reporter in this article http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/news/top-25-film-schools-united-721649. Surely, there must be some great film academies/institutes out there. I'm not looking for a bachelors or masters degree but want to go to an institute because I am looking to hone my skills, and see no need to take a full on degree. 

As an international student, one of my biggest problems is getting a student visa, then converting it to a working visa, so it would be great if the school assisted with that as well. As for the ones I've found, it's pretty much the New York Film Academy (the reviews for which are 50/50) and the Digital Film Academy, both in New York. It would be really helpful if you could offer some insight as well as suggest other schools. 

 

THANK YOU!

 

 

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Do not go to Full Sail. I went there for Digital Art & Design, the film program does not have the best reputation. Worse though is that there is not enough jobs available in orlando for the volume of film students in the area (UCF & Valencia are both less than a mile away) and you will have to move to out of the area if you want to find work. Also the tuition is insane, I believe it's currently +$90,000 for 2 years.

Those two New York ones are great, and there is a bigger film making community in the area. UCLA is also excellent, but hard to get into their film program.

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Do not go to Full Sail. I went there for Digital Art & Design, the film program does not have the best reputation. Worse though is that there is not enough jobs available in orlando for the volume of film students in the area (UCF & Valencia are both less than a mile away) and you will have to move to out of the area if you want to find work. Also the tuition is insane, I believe it's currently +$90,000 for 2 years.

Those two New York ones are great, and there is a bigger film making community in the area. UCLA is also excellent, but hard to get into their film program.

​That's good to hear. What do you know about the two schools and how? 

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Hello,

I am the President and founder of Digital Film Academy in NYC.

We do things quite differently on many levels so please give DFA a serious look. ONE BIG DIFFERENCE is our LEAP Program (Lifetime Equipment Access Program).  This means that all of our graduates have free access to all equipment, facilities, insurance policies ... everything that is needed so you can provide services to clients (Monetize your skills - TM) and create your own media (Monetize your media - TM).

The LEAP program is no questions asked for a full year after graduation and then continues lifetime if you hire some fellow DFA grads or students on your gigs after the first year. It works really well. We have grads using RED cameras for free for years and therefore being able to under bid others and get the gigs.

Give a look and see. I think we've got the formula that works because after graduation is when you have debt and need to monetize. Common sense really. Thank you.  www.digitalfilmacademy.edu

Patrick DiRenna 

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Do you want to direct? Write? Edit? Shoot? Or learn how to use gear? What job do you want? Or just a broad skill-set?

First things first: everyone wants to do this stuff. So you need to be likable however you approach it. Or very good looking. Or rich. Or able to make someone else money, which is where skill can come in. Simply: you want people to want to be around you.

99% of the professional non-accredited schools not teaching you one specific skill-set that you can monetize are rip offs, and certainly redundant with what you've learned already, though you can find a silver lining anywhere. You learn less than you'd learn on an actual set, except you're paying rather than getting paid. If you're rich or unmotivated, great. You can get a technical primer there rather than by asking questions on set. Otherwise, work for free, make people like you, network network network. I have heard a few amazing things about Full Sail. I went to one (well two, but dropped out of the second, although it was very good just not right for me) film schools on that list and a crew member recommended that I attend Full Sail to get a leg up, but it's just too expensive. Otherwise I've heard nothing good about these professional programs. They'll guarantee you'll never work in the industry because you'll not only have no marketable skills coming out of them, you'll also be broke.

If you're rich, just do what you want, though. That's the first step to making it is already being rich. 

Professional vfx schools and courses at community colleges (especially those in LA) that focus on training you to get work in camera department or in a vfx house... those are worth it.

If you go to one of the accredited top schools listed in that article what you MIGHT get are technical skill-sets, specific craft-based skill-sets (AFI), a group of smart like-minded people also entering the industry with you, a professional network that can get you meetings with top writers/directors/producers, a leg up into the indie world and festival world, a leg up into the advertising world, etc. But each school offers something very different. Many are very very good.

Few will teach you what you need to work in the industry. You'll get there by taking an entry-level job after school and working your way up. Or if you make an amazing short or reel, you might get into the indie or advertising world as a director, or be lucky to be the crew member attached to the person who makes it into that world. And that's the networking aspect of it... if you attend a top school, you get connections. You might be having meetings with top producers and directors and show runners weeks after graduating, or even while in school. If you visit a bar in LA and are sociable you might get the same connections. Either way, you have to be likable.

But think about what it is you want to do. What job. In what part of the industry. And BE LIKABLE. It's all about networking whether you go to school or not. Look at the reels and shorts produced by students. Look at the work produced by faculty. Look at the list of alumni and how likely they are to help you out. Where I went, it's easier to get into being an assistant or something. I have friends who went to another school and for them it's easy to get a gig as a PA on a tentpole. Different networks lead to different paths.

Any path can lead to directing.

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christopher nolan film school is only good for making contacts and friends. MAN you are going to spend shit load of money on this film school not counting living cost. Take that money buy some pro gear stay home and make an actual film you can learn script and story writing your self make some short films get good at it and them make a full feature film . Unless you are rich and you can waste money te go to film school and just waste time which money cant buy.

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Hi Alphonzo,

It's great to see you following your passion. 

I would like to let you know a little more about what New York Film Academy offers students. The academy has a number of workshops, 1 and 2 year conservatories as well as BFA and MFAs. All programs are very hands-on and provide you with a lot of practical experience allowing you to hone in on your own skills and further develop them throughout the program. We also run workshops throughout the world including Paris, Florence, India, Australia and more.

The 1 and 2 year conservatory programs run in New York all year round. For each year you study in the conservatory program, you will receive 1,000 hours of hands-on instruction and actual production experience. Each student writes, shoots, directs, and edits 8 films and works on 28 more in the first year. 

I would recommend checking the website here https://www.nyfa.edu/filmmaking/ for all the filmmaking program information. We can also assist with student housing, so I would suggest you speak to one of our representatives. You can email [email protected] or call us on 1-212-674-4300 and we will provide you with more information.

I hope this has been helpful. Please contact us if you have any further inquiries. Best of luck.

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Hey Geoff CB, thanks for the thumbs up!

 

Alphonzo, our One Year Program in Digital Filmmaking will probably fit your needs nicely: very hands-on training and, as Patrick DiRenna the school president, mentioned elsewhere in this thread, access to equipment and facilities even after you graduate.

 

As an international student studying filmmaking in New York, Digital Film Academy can issue you with the I-20 document you’ll need for the F-1 student visa application for $500. After completion of the One Year Program, you then have the opportunity to do O.P.T. (Optional Practical Training) and continue to stay on for another full year, work legally within the USA as an international student and earn money. Having the use of our cameras, light kits, sound recording equipment, editing suites, green screens etc. will be very useful for this part of your stay in the USA, as you begin working with clients: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RK8bsT2i2U0

 

If you’d like to set up a call to discuss your options, Alphonzo, just add us on Skype at DFANYC or email us at [email protected] to request our brochure.

 

If by any chance you will be visiting New York in the coming weeks or months, you're welcome to schedule a free class observation: http://www.digitalfilmacademy.edu/#!free-class/c1xcb  (No better way to get a feeling for what it's like to study here!!)

 

Tom Griffin

Director of Admissions,

Digital Film Academy

630 Ninth Avenue (Suite 901)

New York, NY 10036

Tel: 212-333-4013

www.DigitalFilmAcademy.edu

Email: [email protected]

Interviews with Digital Film Academy international students: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Aa5b6sz5pO0

 

 

Digital Film Academy in New York - F1 visa to OPT process.jpg

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