As noted in many posts, Full Sail is a business. A for-profit school. However, the alumni working the register at K-Mart all the while complaining that Full Sail failed them... here's the shocking truth. You made your own bed.
They give you the tools, they don't give you the drive and creativity. These are key to your success and neither of which can be taught nor bought... Regardless of how much you pay!
I attended Full Sail class of Halloween '03. Full Sail showed me what pre-production, production and post were all about. I got the opportunity to learn in a state of the art facility with knowledgeable instructors, sometimes wacky, but knowledgeable none the less.
Sure, it may have been expensive. In fact, I am still paying for it and I took only the associates program. But, I have spoken to people that attend such schools as New York Film Academy etc. They have never once seen, let alone had such free reign of the practical applications and tools used in film making as I had at Full Sail. They were taught writing and theory (AKA: "BS").
I actively work in film and television. I have credits on such shows as Life On Mars, Brooklyn's Finest, Boardwalk Empire, Win Win and on and on... I know that what others schools teach and their students are left with EXTREME LIMITATIONS and/or HANDICAPS. They can't walk on set and tell me what a super crank does, what a nine-light is for, scrim and flag..? They can't build a set, level dolly track, set up three point lighting or shoot to edit. They know how to write, drop names and talk theory. That is not what film making is about. Film making is a box of nuts and bolts.
I urge anyone looking into working in film or television production to search within before researching schools.
Are you driven, do you have your own goal(s), are you willing to be creative not only in concept or theory, but with your methods? Are you ready to get dirty, work 16-21 hours a day? Can you let the BS roll off your shoulders and still make your shooting day? Were you made for film and television production, or were you made for something else?
If you were made for something else, save yourself the money, save yourself the heartache and disappointment. GO TO ANOTHER SCHOOL, DO SOMETHING ELSE! The faint at heart need not apply.
If you were made to make films, try working as a Production Assistant(PA) on something. Get a feel for what production really looks like. Know that you will ultimately start as a PA upon graduation from any film school. Heck, you don't even need to go to film school to do it.
My last walkie PA used to be a grade school teacher. Those who graduate film school and start at another point on the production ladder are few and far between. It is as rare as winning the lottery, or being struck by lightning. Surrender your ego, do the leg-work and remember... The only person responsible for your success or failure, is YOU!
Reply from TheBestFilmSchools.com
KNIFE. I love your direct manner. But are you playing the reverse Psychology card?
None of that matters. You’ve made a good point. Students must realize that a school is just meant to give you the tools, not provide you with a lifetime of guaranteed work. I would go there if that was possible.
But ... you are asking people to change the very way they think. That is a tough thing to do.
Despite your excellent advice, people will continue to apply to film schools in record numbers.
I don't know how to change the common feeling that "If I go to Film School, I will get work".
If people are going to go to Film School despite your advice then we want them to get the most for their money. We want to point out the good Schools; the bad Schools and the Schools that should be avoided.
Great post that is very informative. Thanks for your time,