You Got What it Takes to Make It? Top Film Schools for Aspiring Filmmakers

Are you a storyteller with creativity, focus, discipline, patience and motivation? Does seeing a well-made film get yourthrfilmschool blood flowing and heart pumping with eagerness and enthusiasm? Does the thought of meeting directors like Michael Bay or Steven Spielberg make you giddy with merriment? If the answer to these questions is “YES,” you may be ready for film school.

A career in the cinematic arts can give you an exciting future as there are many avenues to travel down, not just directing. It takes a strong person with motivation and discipline to be successful, especially if going to Hollywood or New York City is on your mind. The world of movies is competitive, time-consuming and complex. To be successful at this art form, you must be the creme de la creme, at the top of your game.

With so many great options, which college will get you to Hollywood? There are film schools in cities that range from LA to Beijing to Prague, topping some exclusive lists, like the Hollywood Reporter’s 25 Best Film Schools Rankings. So what are some of the best, and what filmmakers came out of them?

Wesleyan University

The Film Studies program at this Middletown, Connecticut-based university is a film school foundation. The Hollywood Reporter says it accepts 80 film majors and teaches them to write, direct and edit a movie not only digitally, but also by hand. Michael Bay, currently best know for the Transformers movies, “Pearl Harbor,” and “Armageddon,” attended Wesleyan with a double major in English and Film. This college is unique in its opportunities to marry two disciplines, opening the doors for greater thinking. Bay, the action auteur, got his start in television advertisements and music videos before he began rocking Hollywood with his action-adventure flicks.

University of Southern California (USC)

The USC School of Cinematic Arts was the U.S.’s very first school of film established in 1929 and ranks #23 on U.S. News and World Report’s National University Rankings list. Degrees go as high as a Ph.D. in critical studies. With millions and millions of dollars routinely being donated by alumni (most notably the $175 million Mr. George Lucas has contributed), USC teaches not only filmmaking, but the culture of it. The Hollywood Reporter says USC is ideal for the Hollywood-bound industry type but the indie film lover might consider one of the others. Robert Zemeckis, Ron Howard and Jon Landau are all USC alumni.

New York University (NYU)

The spectrum of study is vast in Cinema Studies at Tisch School of the Arts. One can major in film and television and have the opportunity to take classes in animation, audio, editing, writing, film criticism, production and film history in order to round out their knowledge of the art of filmmaking. There are study abroad options in Prague, Shanghai, Dublin and London, according to Getting accepted into this elite school is not easy. Classes are as small as twelve and it’s more gritty than its Hollywood cousins. Alums include Scorsese and Oliver Stone.

American Film Institute (AFI)

Alumni include David Lynch (“Twin Peaks,” “Mulholland Drive”) and Darren Aronofsky (“Black Swan”). AFI sits in Los Angeles and the Hollywood Reporter says students have usually already worked in the industry and know the direction in which they are headed. Average age of a student is 27 and the two-year conservatory program offers specialization in directing, producing and writing. With access to SAG (Screen Actors Guild) actors and $13,500 for their thesis film, AFI is a solid choice for a career in any avenue of film study.

Article by: Gina Fernandez. Fresh out of journalism school, Gina is excited to have the opportunity to write about the things she loves: Movies, TV and Michael Bay. Mostly Michael Bay.

55 Responses to “You Got What it Takes to Make It? Top Film Schools for Aspiring Filmmakers”

  1. andre says:


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  3. Jimmie says:


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  4. jorge says:


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