Can't Afford USC? 10 Budget-Friendly Film Schools in New York and Los Angeles

6:02 AM 8/24/2020

by Mia Galuppo and Kirsten Chuba

From a Quarantine Stories film competition to on-set pod teams, global institutions have quickly adapted to the COVID-19 crisis.

New York Film Academy
Glenstar/Alamy Stock Photo

New York Film Academy

  • City College of New York

    Founded in 1941 as the first film program in the U.S., City College offers a BFA in film and video (the only public NYC institution to do so) as well as MFA tracks in fiction and documentary, where students direct their own thesis projects and serve as cinematographer, editor or producer on another thesis production.

  • New York Film Academy

    With plans to return for hybrid classes at its New York, L.A. and South Beach Miami campuses, NYFA continues its hands-on approach in which first-year students write, direct, shoot and edit eight short films each and work with a crew of 28 more.

  • The New School

    The school, which has moved all its fall courses online, offers a film production minor that gives hands-on lessons in how to create a short film through planning, production and editing, and teaches use of cameras, film equipment, recording techniques and postproduction software.

  • Pace University

    Pace’s undergraduate film program focuses on cinema in the digital era, with courses — which will be a mix of online, in-person and hybrid this fall — on cinematography, multiplatform editing and lighting for HD.

  • Pratt Institute

    The past year has seen Pratt continue to expand, with growing VR coursework, serialized storytelling offerings and a new class centered on the work of Killer of Sheep director Charles Burnett (culminating in a Q&A with the filmmaker).

  • Cal State Los Angeles

    Part of the state’s expansive public university system, Cal State L.A. recently offered a 15-week educational program, Women Making Film, a collaboration between the school and Canon, with special support from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.

  • Los Angeles Film School

    A growing alumni network includes Kyle Newacheck, who was behind one of the Netflix’s most popular films of 2019, Adam Sandler’s Murder Mystery, and Hannah Lux Davis, the go-to music video director for Ariana Grande.

  • Pepperdine University

    The film studies program in Malibu offers majors and minors, as well as an MFA in Writing for Screen and Television. An extensive film theory catalog includes several classes on the intersection of religion and media (the school is affiliated with the Church of Christ).

  • Hussian College Los Angeles

    Formerly known as Studio School, Hussian offers BFA programs in film and digital content, as well as commercial dance, acting and contemporary musical theater and film.

  • Los Angeles City College

    Both certificate and associate’s degree programs are offered at the public community college, which can provide an inexpensive (in-state tuition is $1,220) jumping-off point for specific entertainment vocations like editing and cinematography.

    This story first appeared in the Aug. 19 issue of The Hollywood Reporter magazine. Click here to subscribe.