Film school vs university?

In your final year of secondary school you have a choice of choosing university degree education or specialized (private) education such as film schools.

Choosing between the two can be difficult as there are costs associated with private education. There is no one rule on how to make it in the entertainment industry but if you are serious about working in film production you will need to understand the skills required of you when working in pre-production, during filming, or post production.

There are complimentary skills that can help you in your career, such as communication, pr and advertising degrees which are skills needed in production companies, talent/press agencies and so on. For this you can go to an ordinary university and still pursue a career in the entertainment industry and have those skills for other industries should you want to change.

When choosing private education such as film schools, 3d animation courses, and technical courses; you need to have a good idea of what you want to do. Specializing is important in the film industry; as it is difficult to be a director and a sound technician, for example. Both skills are complimentary, but have vast learning curves. If you love editing, then look for courses specializing in post production/ 3D/ animation and get a feel for it before doing a 2-year diploma.

Short courses and summer courses are a great way to prep you for a full time course. Try to get a feel for the career you are trying to pursue before you tell yourself This is it, I am doing this .

At the end of the day, in this economic climate a Fine arts degree vs an MBA will make no difference in your chances of finding a job. The key skill you should focus on is what makes you unique.

Are you a director with a new vision, a sound editor with amazing skills, a 3D animator with incredible drawing skills or a great actor? If you can excel at what you do, this makes you unique, and you can succeed whatever it is you put your mind to.

Good luck!

film industry network members