Updated on Wednesday 27 February 2013
Ready, set, action! Is studying film-making your passion? Do you enjoy shooting tear-jerking documentaries or is animation more you style? Do you like to play around with old Super 8 cameras or would you rather take on a comedic independent script? Film making is a diverse field with many different directions you can go. Many of the best film schools in the world are located in the United States. Having trouble deciding where to study film? Knowing you budget and direction can help you filter out the numerous options you have for choosing the right school to study film in the United States.
Where to study film in the United States is not an easy question to answer. There are hundreds of film and art schools, along with hundreds of majors at colleges and universities around the nation that are tied to film making. The major areas to study film are in Los Angeles, California and New York City, although they are not the only options. To help you decide where you want to study film, check out more information here.
When many people think of blockbuster movies, they think of the bright lights of Hollywood. Los Angeles (LA) is the land of bumper-to-bumper commutes on the 405, where everyone is an aspiring actor or has a script you just need to see. It might seem hard to an international student to find a way to stand out amongst the skinny models and talented writers. But you can. Many of the top-rated film schools in the United States are located in sunny California, and they can help you stand out indefinitely. But now the question is where to study film. The University of Southern California’s School of Cinematic Arts is a top contender. Their programs include critical studies, animation and digital arts, interactive media, film and TV productions, producing, and writing. The University of California Los Angeles also has the benefit of being close to the major production companies and big shots of the film world. At UCLA’s School of Theatre, Film and Television, students can study a wide range of arts, from acting to playwriting to producing, screenwriting and directing. Recently voted the number one film school by the Hollywood Reporter, the American Film Institute’s Center for Advanced Film and Television Studies, a training program for filmmakers, is highly competitive. This film school is attended mostly by people who have already worked in the industry and are fine tuning their skills. An impressive alumni list for all three of these film schools also allows students to network with award-winning professionals.
But California isn’t the only good place for international students to study film in the United States. New York City is a worldwide hub, where 36 percent of New Yorkers come from another country and 170 languages are spoken. The “Big Apple,” is home to the moody writer, the hopeful Broadway dancer working late night cocktailing shifts at a trendy bar uptown, the atmospheric photographer’s prized gallery. It is also home to New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts. Not only can students study the arts of dancing, acting and stage design, but also dramatic writing, film and television and photography, which students can master while studying film. Also located in New York City is the School of Visual Arts. If you are looking for a smaller student body with all the benefits of a big college or university, SVA can fit that need, with a student body of around 4,000 representing 51 foreign countries. Not only can students study film and video related subjects at SVA, but they can also study graphic design, interior design and advertising.
Next to the obvious answers of Hollywood and New York City, where aspiring film students can connect with notable professionals in the industry and enjoy a multicultural, inspiring canvas to work with, the question of where to study film can also be answered in two words: Ivy League. Colombia University is not only Ivy League; it also has the distinction of being located in New York City, with all its benefits. Colombia’s School of the Arts offers international students degrees in film studies, producing and screenwriting/directing.
If students are looking to escape the hustle and bustle, studying film in Florida is a great option where the year-round sunshine, scenery and temperate climate allow the motion picture industry to continue all year long. Not only is the cost of living more affordable, but schools like Full Sail University offer state of the art equipment that will give international students the tools to make their career a success.
Or, in the "City of Brotherly Love," there is a love for film studies. The University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia has an historic cinema studies program dating back to 1886, when students participated in Eadward Muybridge's Animal Locomotion studies. According to Penn's website,"the Penn Cinema Studies major and minor are traditional humanities programs involving the critical study of film history, theory and aesthetics, rather than film or video production."
The film schools mentioned above are just the tip of the iceberg. There are still hundreds of film schools in the United States with a variety of programs to study at a variety of locations and sizes.