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Why do most cinematographers go to film school? (2 replies)

Vabryn
2 months ago
Vabryn 2 months ago

Hey all,

I have been really struggling with the decision on whether or not to go to college for cinematography. I recently moved to NYC and am working in the industry as a lighting technician, and while the experience is helpful I want to put as many cards in my favor to eventually become a DP. I have done some extensive research (looking at over 100+ cinematographers, randomized) and it seems like the vast majority of cinematographers, especially younger ones oddly enough, have gone to film school.

I have already completed 2 years of college debt free, so I am looking at around 2-3 years left. One of my major concerns is the debt that I will incur, possibly from going to somewhere like Tisch or School of Visual Arts (over 100k by the end).

I just wanted to hear some opinions of some fellow workers in the industry. Is there more to college than meets the eye? Why does it seem to be such a trend for cinematographers, despite the popular opposition to film school?

Thanks all, hope everyone is doing well.

Al Duffield
2 months ago
Al Duffield 2 months ago

I think the biggest thing that you get from film school that is harder to get without film school is a network of likeminded people at a similar point in their career to you, so effectively people to grow with. 

Roger Deakins
2 months ago
Roger Deakins 2 months ago

I wonder if your statement is in fact true. It would not have been 50 years ago but there has been such an expansion of film schools and colleges that provide for film study that I suspect it is at this moment in time. That doesn't mean it is the only option.

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