Degrees | Schools | Careers

Best Film Schools: Rankings of the Best Filmmaking Programs & Colleges

best film schools

Want to become a filmmaker? Then come learn the best film schools! We have rankings of the best film colleges & programs, including camps & online film schools.

Even before motion pictures were paired with sound, the movie experience was transforming the American way of life.  Humans were exposed to faraway places, new ideas, new sights, and radical images without ever having to leave their own small towns.  The film industry realized that it could communicate more effectively than almost any other art forms. 

Unlike painting, sculpting, or composing music, films leave very little up to the imagination of the viewer.  Filmmakers are able to quickly and readily communicate their ideals and principles to a massive audience with little fear of misinterpretation.  As such, the film industry has exploded: many experts estimate that the film industry is the most profitable artistic venture of the century.

Is Film School For You?

While you may love to attend the movie theater on the weekend, it’s likely that you have very little experience with the “behind the scenes” activity required to make a great movie.  Hundreds of individuals work in synchronization to turn a film into a success.  Editors, production assistants, lighting specialists, costume designers, set designers, casting directors, acting directors, actors, actresses and many more all play a significant role in the design, filming and production of a successful movie.  If you have a creative spirit and can handle a stressful and sometimes hectic environment, a career in film production or filmmaking may be an excellent choice for you.

A career in filmmaking doesn’t begin overnight.  There are many things that must be learned before becoming a successful filmmaker.  The best place to learn these skills is at an accredited university or educational institution.  There are thousands of options to consider when choosing a film school.  This may be the most important decision of your career or even your life: don’t take it lightly.

Top 10 Film Schools

There are hundreds of film production and filmmaking schools in the United States and thousands more across the rest of the globe.  Whittling down your list is a lengthy and tiring process.  There are many things to consider when choosing the perfect film school for you.  Cost of tuition and additional expenses is often one of the biggest factors when considering a film school.  Another common factor to consider is proximity and accessibility to the campus you choose.  Many prospective students cannot radically transplant their lives to another location.  A local university or online program may be a better choice for you. 

When considering which film school you’d like to enroll in, it’s important to consult lists of the top-rated accredited film school in the country.  Lists like this will often include schools in both California and New York, as these states are hubs for film production and filmmaking.  Other great film schools include the Universities of Ohio, Florida, Texas, Colorado and Washington.  Each of these schools has a unique assortment of experienced instructors, high-tech resources, and varied curriculum that will help you on your way to becoming a successful filmmaker.

American Film Schools

While there are thousands of film schools around the globe, some of the best schools that specialize in film design, film production and film editing are right here in the United States.  The US is often considered one of the front runners in filmmaking and motion pictures.  Nearly every single movie aficionado has heard of glamorous Hollywood and its streets full of stars, directors and movie producers. 

New York, also, is a great place to find accredited film schools that will help you land a career as a filmmaker.  New York is full of television studios that produce hundreds of successful television programs each season.  A student who chooses a school in either Los Angeles or New York City will be exposed to the leading men and women in the filmmaking industry.  Landing a job is much easier due to the contacts you will form in the course of your education.

Of course, the coastal states alone don’t have all the filmmaking education action.  The Midwestern states, the Northwestern states and the Southern states all have their fare share of excellent filmmaking universities to choose from.  No matter where you live in the United States, you are sure to find a superb filmmaking school within a reasonable distance.

Film School Rankings

When ranking film schools you are considering attending, it is important to evaluate a variety of factors that make an accredited film school into a superb accredited film school.  For example, just because a school has produced hundreds of successful directors and film editors doesn’t mean it’s the right choice for you.  Are you looking for a part-time education so you can hold a job?  Do you want to travel away from home to attend a film school?  Are you considering online education?  All of these questions must be answered before you choose which school you are going to attend.

Once you have answered the basic questions regarding what you’re looking for in a film school, you need to then evaluate what you are capable of regarding your education.  How much tuition can you afford?  Schools in California and New York are considerably more expensive than other schools in the Midwest states.  The coastal states, of course, provide you with more filmmaking opportunities, but other universities can give you an equally accomplished education at a fraction of the cost.

Film Editing Schools

If a career as a director or producer is too much for you to handle, you may wish to consider a career as a film editor.  Film editors are one of the most significant components of the filmmaking machine.  Directors shoot hours of footage for each film they undertake.  This exorbitant footage cannot all be included in the final picture. 

An editor is responsible for trimming out the excess in a movie while ensuring that the story stays intact.  Directors work closely with their film editors and prize them as talented individuals who can truly make or break a film.  Film editors must have a good understanding of the important elements of a good film and must be able to creatively piece these elements together.

Online Film Schools

Not everyone can afford to attend a university program full-time.  Some individuals must attend school at a slower pace so they can work at a full-time or part-time job.  These individuals are still provided with an opportunity to secure a career as a filmmaker by attending an online university that offers degree options in filmmaking or film production.  Online universities were once considered to be substandard education programs. 

Today, however, technology has advanced in such a way that an education from an online university is often indistinguishable from an education at a physical campus.  Students will receive the same instruction and the same attention from knowledgeable professors as students at traditional colleges.  Online film schools are a viable option for many hopeful filmmakers.

Film Production Schools

Choosing the right film production school is a necessity for jump-starting a career as a filmmaker.  Prospective employees will consider your education first when deciding whether or not to hire you.  Your education proves to those in the film business that you are dedicated to movie production and that you fueled that dedication by seeking the instruction and skill development necessary for success.  If you truly want to succeed as a filmmaker, you must attend a film production school.

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