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5 Colleges to Consider If You Want to Become a Filmmaker

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So, you want to be a filmmaker. But where do you start your path, and what do you need to succeed?

Just like any other artistic profession, filmmaking requires having creativity, a sense of what the public craves for, and talent. However, like it or not, just being talented won’t really get you anywhere because even today, you still need a degree to become a high-profile specialist in virtually any industry. Thus, before you create your first masterpiece, you will have to study first.

As a future filmmaker, you seemingly shouldn’t have any issues choosing the right college, as there is no shortage of good schools out there. However, a wide range of options, on the contrary, makes it even harder to make up your mind.




Every school has its pros and cons. Often, analyzing and categorizing them yourself can be very tough. But we are here to help you narrow down the list of options. Below you will find the list of top colleges for future filmmakers that will help you pursue a degree and build your dream career!

University of Southern California

Tuition: $50,010

The University of Southern California, or USC, often tops different lists of the best higher education facilities in the US, and there are quite a few reasons for that.

This school is known for its great community, excellent programs, high-quality teaching, and, oh well, many very famous graduates, including George Lucas, Forest Whitaker, Robert Zemeckis, Will Ferrell, and others.

Also, it is one of the oldest filmmaking universities in the country. It was founded in 1880 and has deservedly gained a flawless reputation.

Finally, USC attracts students with a wide selection of programs. It offers undergraduate and graduate programs that cover pretty much everything, from screenwriting to digital arts and animation.

All these reasons have turned USC into one of the best filmmaking schools not only in the United States but in the whole world. So, if you are determined to build a career in this industry, this college will be a perfect starting point!

Pro Tip: Keep in mind that the acceptance rate for this college is only about 13%. Thus, if you want to have a chance, you should start thinking “I might need someone to write my paper for admissions” already now. Luckily, you can entrust your admission essay to professionals and get higher odds of being accepted.




California Institute of the Arts

Tuition: $43,986

Your next option is the California Institute of the Arts, or simply CalArts. This school focuses specifically on performing and visual arts. Just like the previous university from this list, CalArts also often ranks high in the lists of the best higher education facilities.

There are quite a few benefits of choosing CalArts over other options. First of all, this place is the alma mater of many famous people, including Tim Burton, Ed Harris, Alison Brie, and many others. Also, it is known for the excellent quality of education and a wide selection of programs.

What is more, one of the biggest highlights of CalArts is that it is one of the few US colleges that allow students to retain full copyright and control over their work. As you can see, there are quite a few weighty reasons to choose it!

University of California Los Angeles

Tuition: $37,471

Speaking of the best film schools in the US, it is impossible to avoid mentioning the University of California Los Angeles. Just like the other facilities on this list, UCLA can boast of a stellar reputation and many famous graduates.

By the way, UCLA was the first university that combined TV, theatre, and film programs into one. And, another notable thing about UCLA is that it offers great non-degree programs in addition to their regular undergraduate and graduate programs.




NYU Tisch School of the Arts

Tuition: $47,750

Although there are many great schools for filmmakers that are located in Los Angeles, which is not surprising at all, there are also some options worth considering in other parts of the country. One of such facilities is the NYU Tisch School of the Arts (TNYU).

Experienced professors (including Nobel Laureates), great degree programs, prestige, famous graduates – all these things are tightly connected with TNYU. In addition, this place is known for offering its students a unique opportunity to have a double major with a business degree. Thus, be sure to consider TNYU.




American Film Institute

Tuition: $90,000

The most expensive on our list, the American Film Institute, or AFI, is deservedly considered one of the best schools for cinematography and related degrees. 

The college is located right at the foot of Hollywood Hills and has a lot to offer to its students. There are outstanding degrees in directing, cinematography, editing, production design, screenwriting, and production.

One of the biggest benefits of this place is that it has always been recognizing the need for diversity in the movie industry. Due to this fact, in 1974, the school even offered free directing workshops created just for women, which gave the world many great female directors.

All in all, AFI has many benefits. Thus, despite its high tuition fees, it is definitely worth considering.




The Bottom Line

With so many options out there, having to choose a single place you want to study at can be a real challenge. But, hopefully, this article will help you at least narrow down your choice. All education facilities we mentioned earlier are well-known and reputable. They all have given the world some very talented and skilled film specialists. And you can be one of them after a couple of years!

Author: Margaret Reedson

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