• For posts related to budget, finanace, legalities, distro, and marketing (including festivals) please post in Film Biz.
    Rule of thumb:
    Filmmaking for directors (creative)
    Film Biz for producers (buisness)

film-school Should I do a gap semester at nyu?

Hello, I'm a freshman at NYU, in the film and television program. I have had an amazing college experience, amazing people, great city, etc. Except one thing, the courses. I enjoy the film courses, but after almost 2 months, I haven't learned anything yet. I am kinda starting to get worried. All the things that we "studied" in 2 months could have been sump up in a one hour video. Which are thing that I already knew thanks to the internet. Additionally, the film equipment, is I would say, mediocre. We got a canon 7D (the 2009 version), which lacks in many thing that even my canon 70D is better at. We are not allowed to borrow 99% of the equipment. My most intense classes are not even my film class, but my general education classes. The writing essay class and the Soviet Union history. Which are the class that I spend the most of my time free time on because there is a lot studying. I'm very skeptical and really worried. By paying $80K the year, I was expecting a lot more. I don't know if I should do a gap semester next semester or next year. I talked to a guy who said that he could get me as PA and get me into many different projects. I'm not really sure what to do to be quite honest. The only big positive thing about Film school, is that I'm around people of my age, and living with others made me grew up a lot.
 

sfoster

Staff Member
Moderator
I never went to film school but I can say most colleges don't teach you much about your major as a freshman
 
It's a very difficult decision indeed. You are correct that a lot of what you are learning you can learn on your own or by working on a set. If you leave, you'll be giving up the connections/relationships you will develop at school. NYU has a very good reputation in the US and its film school is well regarded within the film world. However, the film business is a guild/apprenticeship type business when it comes to crew. Unlike a lot of other industries where you start with some credentials when coming out of college, film crews are made up of people that have experience crewing. That's what counts the most.

What do you see yourself doing? Writing? Directing? Cinematography? Acting?

You might reflect on your own patience. Of course first year film students don't get to use the best equipment. Does that really matter? Unless you are going to be have a career in a highly technical area of film (like camera or sound or FX), you should be concentrating on learning how to tell a story. What if I told you that before you have any kind of career in film, you'll need to spend the next seven years doing low level jobs on often crappy productions. Would you still want a career in film? If you make a great film before you graduate from NYU, it might jump you into a career. Do you think that's you? Do you believe you have a lot to learn before you get your hands on the best equipment or do you think you are ready now?

As someone who has been in and out of the business for 30 years now, its often disheartening to see how many people think they are going to jump right into a successful film career, doing what they really love, without a long, long apprenticeship period. That's how it is for 99% of the people working in the film and television industry.

Finally, I went to film school and have no regrets doing so. That said, I didn't spend anywhere near $80K per year doing so. That is a huge investment to make and may not be worth it in the end.
 
Last edited:

indietalk

IndieTalk Founder
Staff Member
Admin
You are attending an accredited university for a rounded education with a major. Sounds like you expected more of a school like New York Film Academy.
 
Top