Lately, several readers have been asking if they need a degree from film school to get a job.
The truth is, the only film schools recognized by the Industry are USC, UCLA, and NYU. Outside of those three schools, no one is going to be impressed. No one’s going to be impressed if you did go to those schools, but if you brag about your media studies degree from U of M, people are going to think you’re a hick who doesn’t know anything about Hollywood.
The same goes for “film certificates” you’ll get from summer programs at the New York Film Academy, and the like. In fact, those programs may even hurt your chances of getting a job. A coordinator once told me he throws out any resume that lists PA Bootcamp under “education,” because, in his view, anyone who pays money to be a PA is a rube.
- The information
- Access to special equipment
If you’re considering whether or not to go to school, you should absolutely listen to that podcast.1
It’s a big decision, with a lot of factors. The cost (both time and money) is high, the benefits are delayed, if they ever come, and the guarantee of future success doesn’t exist.
But one aspect that does make it easier is this simple truth– you don’t need a degree. Scratch that off your list. If that’s the only thing holding you back from throwing everything you own into a bindle, finding the nearest freeway onramp, and sticking out your thumb, stop worrying. Go west, young man.
- You should listen even if you’re not thinking about filmschool; it’s a great podcast.↩