Film School

Do you want to be the next Spielberg, Scorsese or Stone?

Perhaps a more important question than what film school you should attend is this: should you even bother going to film school? Some of the top directors in Hollywood never went to school; they simply broke into the industry based on their talent. Some people argue that it's better to spend your tuition money on making a film and teaching yourself as you go.

That said, most people who end up working in film have some sort of film school experience under their belts, even if it is only (as Spike Lee once noted) "a chance to play with cameras for a while." The advantages of a formal training in film include the chance to network with industry professionals and a better chance of getting your films shown in festivals.

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Getting Educated

Just as there is a lot of competition for jobs in the film industry, there are a lot of film schools competing for students. Think you have a "good eye?" You'll need to use it to help you size up schools before you make the plunge. There are many universities and colleges offering courses in videography, camera operations, film studies and more. Courses range from two-year diploma programs at career colleges to graduate programs at some of the top universities in the nation.

The actual quality of film school programs varies widely from school to school, so make sure to thoroughly research any programs that you're interested in. And don't go on reputation alone - many lesser-known schools offer excellent programs that will earn you respect in the film industry.

As important as formal training is in the film industry, your ability to hustle and to think on your feet may be even more important. Soak up more than technical information while at school. Use the time to network and to learn how experts like your teachers handle themselves.

Job Prospects

Regardless of whether you decide to attend film school, at some point you will have to begin searching for a job. Competition for entry-level jobs in film is stiff - in fact, you will probably face competition for employment throughout your entire career, as there is never a shortage of interest in the silver screen.

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