If you live in or near the Chicagoland area and want to become a filmmaker, no doubt you’re curious about Chicago film school reviews. If you’re going to film school, you want to go to the best—or at least, the best you can afford. At the same time, these reviews can be confusing, because everyone has their own opinion of why a certain school is “best,” and every ranked list of top schools is a bit different. How do you make sense of it all?
Would it surprise you to learn that these school reviews might be entirely irrelevant to you—that rating one of these film schools over another could be ludicrous?
Don’t misunderstand: some film schools have extremely high academic standards and excellent curriculum, and train their students on the finest equipment available. The problem isn’t in how good the program is; it’s in how connected the film school is to the film industry itself.
You see, the film business is a very practical and relationship-based industry, where people are hired because of their connections and experience. This is a business where connections mean everything and degrees and diplomas mean almost nothing. You could go to the highest ranked film school in Chicago, but if that school cannot help you get connected to the film industry, you’re basically wasting your money. This is why Chicago film school reviews may be irrelevant to you. Without a way to connect to the film industry, it almost doesn’t matter which of these film schools you choose; your odds of success will be equally low among them all.
Sound hopeless? It doesn’t have to be—not if you apply a little common sense. There are creative ways for you to connect to the film industry while getting a decent education; it’s just that those solutions aren’t always going to be found on lists of school reviews.
It’s a common belief among film professionals that on-the-job training is actually more effective for training filmmakers than going to a formal film school. (Many successful film directors never even attended film school.) If you don’t have the connections to land an apprenticeship in a Chicago film production company, consider enrolling in a film school that uses the mentor-apprentice approach, like Film Connection. This kind of school is often overlooked by the review lists, but it works because it places you in a real film company as an apprentice, gives you one-on-one instruction with a real film professional, and best of all, enables you to connect to the film industry while you’re learning.
Film school isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but depending on the school, it may not offer everything you need to succeed. Just realize that you have more options than you might find in Chicago film school reviews.