First post in a while..
I graduated from Full Sail University in Orlando FL ( http://www.fullsail.edu/
) with a Bachelors Degree in Science for Film. If you have heard about Full Sail, then you know about the outrageous tuition, the rigorous schedule demand and the learning process.I graduated with a 4 Year degree in 18 months, you take a set of two classes revolving each month, while attending a mandatory of 8 hours of classes 6 days a week. I got hands on experience in nearly every aspect of Film/HD & Television production; classes like HD Broadcasting, Directing, Producing, Post Production, Special FX makeup, and the list goes on.
My tuition was about 85K for the piece of paper(diploma that I probably threw away), but in reality the most important thing I took away was to approach everything with a professional work ethic 24/7. The school taught me to look at myself as my own company/brand. Our market is so over saturated right now, it's like having a video camera around your neck is just like hip hop rappers having an expensive chain. Ask yourself what you provide thats different than the kid down the street who is willing to do it for 1/2 your cost.
It was a great experience for me, which I feel I took full advantage of because most of my classmates were shut in's and anti social. I spent my small amount of time out of class partying & networking with people across a wide range of business markets. Which was absolutely key to my success once I finally graduated. I got a job as a Producer/Editor for a major online production resource website. I have been working with them and doing freelance work on the side producing all types of content like music videos, commercials, short form documentaries, corporate pieces, and live event production.
What I have come to realize about the whole production world is that nobody asks to see your degree like you would want to see for a doctor, they want to see your work. My education only scratched the surface, but that was meerily due to my lack of involvement. Many people I went to school with dropped out or are now working as a used car salesman to pay off their student loans. On the other hand I see people who did not attend a "Film School" with much more knowledge and better performance than I do. Many of the people I talk with have learned through trial and error and using the internet. It is amazing how you DO NOT have to go to school anymore to learn a trade, their are endless tutorials for any question you may have in any field of production. Its insane.
My advice :
If you have nothing to show anyone, you are out of luck. Get out and shoot for free to build experience and a portfolio. I started off doing free work for people that I felt I could benefit longterm ( Building relationships w/ industry folks pays off much more than trying to squeeze every dollar out them ) Almost all of the clients I have worked for have either found me on websites like Vimeo/ProductionHUB/Freelancer or through word of mouth/social media connections. You must create your own opportunities and not be afraid of rejection. It will happen to you but never be discouraged. In this digital age every company needs content, and their is certainly enough jobs for everyone. Roll the credits on any movie, every position is a paying job, but even outside of the credits their are "day players" who recieve no credit, but do get paid. Ever seen Jurassic park? The groundskeeper for the first film banked six figures.
**Sidebar** I have been editing a music video for 16 hours straight and needed a place to let some steam off. So this post may make absolutely no sense. However, if you are very interested in becoming a professional in the fields of Photo/Video/Web/Design, I am more than willing to share any resources and help you start your career.
Feel free to email me Bradford@massivematter.com