If you're interested in filmmaking then undoubtedly you've considered the possibility of film school or some type of film training program. Unlike other professions, filmmakers are not required to attended film school to start work in the industry. Film professionals of all types have opted not to go to film school and have nevertheless achieved prestigious positions within film companies or have made the decision to write and direct their own films.
There is a 50/50 split when it comes to opinions about the importance of film schools. Some filmmakers say that film school is a waste of time because it is so focused on theory and that students should be in the field creating films and not in a classroom trying to interpret other filmmaker's films.
The other 50% say that film school is a valuable asset for filmmakers because it allows filmmakers to learn all of the ropes of filmmaking. They will not just learn about cinematography. They'll learn about theory, budgeting, screenwriting, composition, lighting, directing actors, marketing your films and so on. Likewise, they argue that film school allows them access to a huge assortment of talent and equipment that would otherwise be too expensive to buy or rent.
To truth is that film school is good for some and not as good for others. Many people who against going to film school have achieved their education on the sets of music videos, commercials and films. For them their education was very hands on and practical. However, others who have not had access to big productions, film school may be of more importance. It will give you a crash course in the artistic and technical elements of the craft.
Likewise film schools differ in various ways from one another. Some filmmakers really want to get into the theory of it and do not mind taking a 4 year degree program. Others are eager to get out in the field and start working. For them, 4 years is too long to be stuck in a classroom and they opt for a shorter 3 – 12 month program that will teach them the fundamentals and send them on their way.
Choosing a film school is no easy task. It usually involves a big financial and time commitment. The most important thing to do before enrolling in a film program is to ask yourself what your goals are. What do you see yourself doing in 1 to 5 years from now? Then ask yourself about the smartest way to achieve that goal. You may realize that the connections and hands on training that a film school provides is just what you're looking for as a future filmmaker.