“The Best” Film School Doesn’t Exist

Every year, thousands of young people consider what they want to do with their lives, realize they’re born to be storytellers, and promptly google the words “film school”. Unfortunately, the worlds “film school” are always inextricably linked to the word “best”.

Ranked by facilities, staff, alumni, and acceptance rate, every year, thousands of people decide on what school they should go to based on a list. This isn’t a bad thing, but by reducing different schools into rankings, students may loose sight of factors that are important to them.

Finding Your Style

A common through-line when interviewing film school students at some of the schools ranked highest of the Hollywood Reporter Top Film School List, is that many schools encourage students to make “traditional Hollywood films”, while other schools (Emerson comes to mind) are more comfortable with experimental, non-linear films.

Understanding what you value most, and picking a school based on that will give you a far better film school experience, and make applying to film schools far easier.

Understanding Finances

When you hear “film school”, what type of person do you think of? The typical connotation for a film school student is a wealthy individual, often detached from reality. In my experiences, this connotation does not consider just how many film schools there are. The institution you chose can often impact the stories you get to tell.

The average cost of a film school can directly impact the culture of that school, translating into work that may not align with the reason you want to make films.

As of January 2021, Stuudeo has a “What is Film School Like” blog series in the works, stay tuned to the platform to learn more about the culture of different institutions.

Career Ambitions

Like we mentioned before, higher ranked film schools are built for students who want to make traditional films within the Hollywood studio system. These are schools that teach students how to crew on hundred-person sets, or write Hollywood features.

If you want to edit YouTube videos, work at an ad agency, or pursue a career in corporate-media, there are likely other programs better suited for you.

For those of you who know you want to tell stories, but don’t know how to turn that into a career, visit our blog post on some jobs you can get with a film degree.