Keeping it Reel

4 Ways a High Schooler Can Prepare for Film School

If you are a junior or senior in high school, you have probably heard all you will ever need to hear about college prep. You should take these classes, be a part of these clubs, volunteer at these organizations, and so on. But what you probably haven’t heard enough of is how to prepare for your specific kind of college. A college for film. General college preparation tips are great, and advice on academic readiness are even better. But if you want to get ahead in FILM, you need preparation tips related to FILM SCHOOL.

Well, we are here to deliver. Whether you want to go to college for actingdirectingcinematography or some other area of film, these four things can help you start your college education off right. Take a look.

1. Take as many film courses as you can

If you haven’t already, you NEED to get into a few film-related classes. Whether it be a general film course, an editing course, or even a creative writing course, any structured program you can get into before college is going to help you prepare for what’s to come. You may be able to learn a lot on your own, but when you are just starting out, nothing is better than having an experienced individual showing you the ropes.

Beyond classes at your high school, you can look into dual enrollment at area community colleges, summer programs and workshops at local colleges, and classes and courses at local theaters. There is bound to be an option for you, you just have to look for it.


2. Make your own videos

Structured programs are perfect for helping you learn the basics, but if you want to go beyond beginner-level skills, you need to start creating on your own. See where your imagination and creativity can take you when you aren’t given a rubric or a specific task. See what problems you run into, and how you solve them without any help from a teacher or mentor. Most of all, hone in on what you really want to create and how you want to create it.

If you can do these things, you’ll have a jump-start on your education before you step foot in a classroom.


3. Experiment with every aspect of film

If you want to be a writer, you might spend your time practicing your screenwriting skills. If you want to be an actor, you might spend your time running through monologues. If you want to be a cinematographer, you might spend your time filming various people and things. These are all great practices to maintain if you wish to develop your skills, but in the film world, you need to know about more than just your job.

Whenever possible, you should dive into a different area of film to see what it is like from another’s perspective. As a director, knowing how to communicate with actors is an important part of the job. What better way to learn than giving acting a try?

In stepping into the different film roles, you’ll gain valuable insights into the jobs of others. Regardless of what you want to do in film, being able to see the filming process holistically is invaluable.


4. Enter a festival or competition

If you really want to know what you are capable of and prepare yourself for the world of film, enter a festival or competition. Knowing that you have a deadline and that your work is going to be seen and reviewed can push you beyond your normal creative limits. And a little competition does wonders for motivation.

By doing this, you’ll be able to see how you perform under pressure, you’ll get a good idea of your strengths and weaknesses, and you’ll improve your skills a little more. Not a bad way to prepare for film school, huh?

So, now you know how to prepare for film school; the question is have you been accepted to one? Columbia College Hollywood, could be the perfect place for you. With top-grade facilities and equipment, a faculty made up of industry professionals, and a curriculum focused on project based learning, there is no better place to study film. Download our application checklist below to see what you have to do to apply, and start working towards a career in film now!

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This blog is a collaborative effort by CCH staff and administration who want to share their knowledge with the film school community and prospective students.

Columbia College Hollywood is excited to announce TWO new scholarships! Receive awards of up to $5,000 for the 2021 Summer Scholarship for Storytellers and up to $18,950 for the CCH Career Accelerator Scholarship.

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