Cinematography Emphasis FAQ

When you’re trying to find the perfect college cinematography emphasis, a few questions are bound to pop up. Take a look at this list of the most frequently asked questions we receive from our incoming students to find out if Columbia College Hollywood is right for you.

1. Can I choose more than one Emphasis for my BFA program?

No, you can only choose one Emphasis, but you’re free to choose from a wide variety of elective courses in other areas.

2. Can I apply for internships with entertainment industry companies while I’m a student?     

Yes! An internship is one of the best ways to build industry relationships and gain practical experience that you’ll be able to include on your resume. Most Columbia College Hollywood students can begin applying for internships that earn college credit in their junior year.

3. How will a liberal arts degree help me in a creative career?

A liberal arts degree program provides a foundation of critical thinking, creative problem-solving, and effective communication skills that best prepare you to be a resilient, agile, lifelong storyteller, ready to build your own future career doing what you love.  

4. Do I have to audition or submit a portfolio or sample reel with my application?

No, we don’t require auditions, portfolios, or reels to apply. We believe college is the place to discover your passion, try new things, hone your skills, and develop a body of work to take into the real world after graduation. Iyou already have a reel and want to submit a web link with your application, it’s completely optional. However, if you want to apply for a Columbia College Hollywood Scholarship you may be required to submit a portfolio, video, or creative sample of your work as part of your scholarship application.

5. What is the Admissions Review Committee looking for in my application? 

The Committee is looking for a complete application, including your official high school transcripts and all other required documents, submitted on time. When you write your personal essay, express yourself, describe your creative and academic goals, then proofread carefully for grammar and punctuation errors. Ask teachers, counselors, or employers who really know you to write letters of recommendation. Finally, during your admissions interview, let your individuality shine so your Admissions Counselor can see how you’ll contribute something unique to the Columbia College Hollywood community.

6. Can I sit in on a class?

Yes! Contact your Admissions Counselor directly to coordinate a campus visit.

7. Can I visit the campus before applying?

Yes, you can sign up to attend one of our Saturday Open House events or you can arrange for a private tour.

8. How is studying Cinematography at Columbia College Hollywood unique?

In our unique BFA program, you’ll study all aspects of the filmmaking process while you focus on learning how to professionally light and shoot projects for film, television, commercials, and digital media. You’ll become a more complete storyteller as you work with other students who are focusing on directing, screenwriting, editing, acting, producing, and sound to take projects from pre-production to final cut.

9. I also want to direct and produce my own films. Will I learn more than just cinematography?

Yes! You’ll take hands-on courses in every aspect of the filmmaking process on a campus that reflects the real world of the entertainment industry. You’ll start building your career with an insider’s perspective on how films and digital content are made from start to finish.

10. Will I be able to use professional, industry-standard cameras and equipment?

Yes! Our equipment room is fully stocked with current, professional-quality, industry-standard film cameras, digital cameras, and grip, lighting, and sound equipment, all available for you to check out and use on your film productions and hands-on coursework. You’ll shoot on our standing sets, on a professional-quality soundstage, and in front of our green screen. You’ll edit your films in fully equipped, pro level post production suites and screen your work in our HD surround sound theaters.

11. How soon can I start shooting?

Most Columbia College Hollywood students have a camera in their hands during their first quarter on campus.

12. What are my career possibilities after I graduate with a Cinematography Emphasis?

Depending on your interests, you’ll be able to seek out opportunities as a camera assistant, production assistant, grip, gaffer, or best boy. You’ll also be able to use your skills, vision, and expertise to build your reputation as a professional still photographer or videographer for private and commercial clients. Most important, the BFA in Cinema with a Cinematography Emphasis is designed to provide the essential and practical skills, experience, and knowledge you’ll need create your own entrepreneurial career path in the entertainment industry.

Is our BFA program right for you?

If you think Columbia College Hollywood is the perfect fit for you, download our Application Checklist. It will walk you through our application process, making the beginning of your journey that much easier.

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