Los Angeles is known as the “City of Angels,” but it’s also a city that attracts dreamers and visionaries, from Hollywood filmmakers to startup founders. And if you want to become one of those visionaries, LA has no shortage of institutions that can help you achieve your goals: film schools abound across Southern California.
In this list, we’ve compiled our top 10 picks for the best film schools in Los Angeles based on factors like location and reputation.
List of 10 Best Film Schools in Los Angeles Reviewed
Los Angeles is a perfect place to study film. There are so many beautiful places to shoot, the weather is always great, and there’s even ample opportunity to meet agents while they’re scouting locations.
Here are some of the best film schools in Los Angeles:
1. Loyola Marymount University
Loyola Marymount University is a private, coeducational university in the Jesuit and Marymount traditions, located in the Westchester community of the Westside region of Los Angeles, California. The University of Southern California is a private research university in Los Angeles, California.
Founded in 1880, it is the oldest private research university in California. The New York Film Academy (NYFA) is a for-profit film school and acting school based in New York City, Los Angeles, South Beach/Miami, Gold Coast (Australia), Florence (Italy), and Shanghai.
2. University of Southern California
The University of Southern California (USC), commonly referred to as USC or simply “Usc”, is a private research university in Los Angeles, California.
It was founded in 1880 and its main campus covers roughly 1,500 acres just south of downtown Los Angeles within the University Park district. As one of the oldest film schools in the world, USC’s School of Cinematic Arts is considered one of the most prestigious film schools in the world.
It offers Bachelor’s programs: Cinema & Media Studies and Computer Science; both require 4 years to complete. Students can also receive a bachelor’s degree in Art History via online classes offered by USC Online or another accredited institution
3. New York Film Academy
The New York Film Academy offers a variety of film programs and courses. The school has campuses in Los Angeles, Miami and Prague, where students can learn how to become an animator or cinematographers.
The academy offers full-time and part-time programs that are designed to fit the needs of all students. Students can choose from a wide variety of courses such as animation, cinematography, directing documentaries and more.
Students who want to improve their skills in acting can take classes at the Screen Actors Guild Conservatory at this institution. Other courses include producing films or writing screenplays for television shows like CSI: Crime Scene Investigation or Law & Order: Special Victims Unit
Students who want to improve their skills in acting can take classes at the Screen Actors Guild Conservatory at this institution. Other courses include producing films or writing screenplays for television shows like CSI: Crime Scene Investigation or Law & Order: Special Victims Unit.
4. American Film Institute
The American Film Institute (AFI) was founded in 1967 to promote and preserve the art of filmmaking. The school offers a variety of classes on film theory, history, and production. AFI also offers programs in acting, animation, and directing for students with an interest in working behind the camera or on stage.
The New York Film Academy has campuses in New York City, Los Angeles, and Miami as well as online courses that can be taken from anywhere in the world—including Antarctica. They offer degree programs and short-term workshops throughout the year at their locations as well as through their online courses.
5. Chapman/Dodge College of Film and Media Arts
Chapman University is a private university located in Orange, California. It was established in 1861 and named after its founder, George Chapman.
Chapman University is known for its academic rigour and it’s not a school of film. However, it does have an excellent Film Program at the Dodge College of Film and Media Arts (FCFMA). The FCFMA offers undergraduate programs such as Screenwriting; Producing; Directing; Editing; Cinematography & Lighting; Acting for Film & Television and much more. Students can also earn master’s degrees in Writing for Screen & Television or Producing from this school.
Chapman University has one of only a handful of private universities in the United States with a strong focus on undergraduate education because they believe that their students are their most important asset.
6. Columbia College Hollywood
Columbia College Hollywood is a private institution of higher education located in Hollywood, Los Angeles, California, United States.
It is a part of the Columbia University system. It offers undergraduate and graduates degrees in a variety of disciplines including film, television, and digital media.
7. California Institute of the Arts (CalArts)
CalArts is a private university that offers several undergraduate and graduates degree programs in the visual arts, performing arts, creative writing and film. The school has two campuses: Valencia and Los Angeles.
The institution is known for its commitment to teaching art in an interdisciplinary manner. The curriculum at CalArts integrates artistic practice with concepts from other disciplines such as philosophy, psychology and science.
8. Pepperdine University / Seaver College
Pepperdine University is a private university in Malibu, California. The school offers a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Film and Television Production. The program is designed for students who want to work in the entertainment industry.
The program focuses on developing problem-solving skills. Students may have the chance to participate in the production of music videos, independent films and commercials. Students can also take part in internships at various Los Angeles studios.
Pepperdine University emphasizes teamwork, professionalism and hands-on experience through extensive coursework that includes a comprehensive core curriculum, courses on script analysis and storyboarding, documentary filmmaking techniques as well as digital editing classes where students learn how to use Avid Media Composer software packages.
9. Emerson College Los Angeles Center for Visual Media Arts Program
If you’re interested in pursuing a career as a filmmaker, this school is the perfect place for you. The BFA in Visual Media Arts offered by Emerson College Los Angeles is a 4-year program that offers practical and theoretical training in cinematography, producing, directing, and directing.
The curriculum includes classes such as Documentary Filmmaking, Animal Cinematography, Sound Recording, History of the Magic Theater and more. All students receive hands-on experience with equipment like digital cameras, lighting kits and microphones while working with faculty members who are professional filmmakers themselves.
10. Art Center College of Design
Art Center College of Design is a private college located in Pasadena, California. The school was founded by Walter Gropius and has been ranked among the top film schools in Los Angeles. Students at Art Center College of Design are exposed to a variety of different filmmaking experiences that include writing, directing and producing short films as well as working on larger projects such as music videos or feature films.
At Art Center College of Design students are provided with an in-depth understanding of all aspects of the film industry including cinematography, postproduction, editing and sound recording. Students also learn about production design which encompasses creating realistic environments for live-action movies or television shows through set decoration, props and other elements that help create believable worlds for viewers to immerse themselves in when watching their favourite TV shows or movies at home on Netflix.
Why Do People Go to Film School?
When people ask if they should go to film school, they’re usually asking whether it will help them when they apply for jobs and internships. They want to know if film school is worth it from a practical perspective. But there are other reasons why people might choose to go.
- Film school is a good way to learn about the industry
- Film school is a good way for students to develop their craft and meet other filmmakers
- Students can learn about film history through the classes offered at most schools
- Students can also get an education in theory from their professors
Can You Learn What Film School Teaches Without Going to Film School?
This is a great question, and the answer is yes. You can learn what film school teaches without going to film school. There are many different routes you can take in order to become a filmmaker even if you don’t go to film school. Some of these options include:
- Learning about filmmaking by reading books on the subject (for example, this book)
- Creating projects on your own, with or without the help of friends and family members
- Taking classes at community colleges or universities (or taking free online courses)
Is It Worth Going to Film School If You Can Learn What They Teach Without Paying For It?
Some people argue that film schools are a waste of time because you can learn the basics at home and the more advanced techniques from a mentor. As long as you have someone who is willing to teach you, there’s no need for an expensive degree.
Unfortunately, this isn’t true. Film school is not just about learning how to make movies; it’s also about becoming part of an industry family. The directors and producers who run Hollywood aren’t just looking for talented screenwriters or cinematographers—they want well-rounded individuals who know how to network with other industry members and make connections that help them get their films made (and get paid).
While it may seem like an easy way into a career in filmmaking without paying thousands of dollars in tuition fees, getting accepted into college isn’t easy either. You need excellent grades and recommendations from teachers if your application is going to stand out against thousands of other applicants like yours
Schools also offer other opportunities. You can take classes on screenwriting, editing, and film production—all of which are things that aren’t taught in high school. These classes will help you learn more about the industry, which is something that is invaluable when applying for jobs or just trying to figure out what kind of movie you want to make afterwards.
Do Film Majors Need Math?
You may have heard that film school is all about making movies. But the truth is, you’re going to spend a lot more time in class than on set. And if you don’t know how to use numbers, then many of those classes will be pretty difficult for you.
What Is It Like Being a Film Student?
Many film students will tell you that, while they find it difficult to get into the industry and make a living as a filmmaker, they enjoy going to school because it’s a great way to meet people, learn about the industry, develop your craft and find something that excites you.
It’s also a good place to go if you want to work on something creative but don’t know how or where. Film students are often inspired by what their peers are doing in class and collaborate on projects together.
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We hope you’ve enjoyed this list of the top film schools in Los Angeles. We know it can be hard to choose which one is right for you, but hopefully, this guide has helped point you in the right direction.