Tisch School of the Arts (NYU)

General Information

The Kanbar Institute of Film, Television and New Media of NYU Tisch School of Arts comprises an undergraduate film program in addition to the famous graduate program. The four year undergraduate program is designed to give students a broad understanding of the aesthetic, technical and practical aspects of film and television production.

Freshmen in Film & TV are required to take aesthetic colloquiums in both 'Picture' and 'Sound' to better understand how film-makers forge the various elements of a final Hollywood production. Introductory writing classes are instrumental in building the student's personal voice as a creative professional in the industry and are spring-boards to the more intensive Sophomore level script-writing classes. 'The Language of Film' serves to introduce the student to cinema language, theory and history as well as on overview of the inner workings of the industry. Freshman-level production classes include three options, each one runs a full fifteen-week semester in length. 'Sound Image', a production class that provides the basics of audio for film, concentrates on the nuances of sound recording as well as how the auditory can enhance and affect listeners without an accompanying image. In 'Digital Frame and Sequence' students use 35mm still photography to focus on image composition and to test the elements of editing theory. By using still images, sequences are created that lead students to concentrate on the development of meaningful storylines without the use of sound. The third Freshman production option is 'Introduction to Animation'. 'Intro' as it's called by Animation students, serves as an intensive study of movement and form introducing both hand-drawn animation and state-of-the-art techniques.


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Film School Rating

Tisch School of the Arts (NYU) EXPOSED

Top Notch film school in New York City. One of the very best.

Was it worth it? (Overall)

My experience at Tisch was spectacular; ...

Equipment & Facilities

In terms of equipment, Tisch actually gives ...

Instruction & Professors

I will never forget the great professors ...

Film Industry Connections

The success of the program is only ...

Hands-on Experience

This is where Tisch lacks. You don't get to ...

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Quick Reviews & Comments


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I'm so sick of people

I'm so sick of people complaining about NYU. This is where its at, we are in New York city, people, quit whining about loans and your inability to find a job when you finish. We have the ability to learn the ropes, connect with amazing professors, who will help those who go the extra mile and who actually appreciate what they are learning, and who have real talent. To get ahead in this business you HAVE to have initiative and serious drive to succeed. If you can't handle it here, then get out and make room for dedicated people. stop thinking about the loans, and payoing them back and get into as many projects as you can right now so you will be ahead when you get out! This school is a great start to get your foot in the door, and learn all you need for the industry.

I took the screenwriting

I took the screenwriting program at Tisch, and I liked it in general. I did write for film, however I felt that the courses did tend towards the playwrite side. This school is expensive and everyone complains about it, but they do have financial aid, so thats helpful to anyone whodoesn't have mommy and daddy to fund your stuff. Also, NYU is good becuase your right there in the heart of so much film, and your peers will most likely not go back to their small towns and instead become your carreer buddies later on. I would recommend this school, i had a good experience with everything even though i'll be paying off my loans for the rest of my life.

could have been better for what your paying...

I found that Tisch was like your average university program; you go in with all kinds of expectations of being enlightened and given all these great opportunities, but what you get is a very expensive price to sit in lecture halls with 100 or more other students. This is when you realize that maybe your not as talented as you thought, because you are emmersed in a crowd of talent (and a lot of non-talented students too...). Ok, I'm being a little harsh, but honestly, it could have been better. We had a lot of talented teachers, people we could look up to, and successful alums to try and emulate, but I was also shocked to find that in a film program we didn't even get to touch the camera equipments untill sophomore (was it just me who thought we would be using cameras right away in a film program...?). Anyways, I hate to be a complainer, because I did have a great time at uni, and I did make a tonne of connections with my fellow peers who were as commited as myself the whole time.



I enrolled in TSOA Undergraduate Film/TV fall 97, left things unfinished, then came back and finished up in 2007.

I did not enjoy it and I will always remember my college experience with disappointment. While the school has good equipment, some good connections, name recognition, a widely talented student body and some prolific alumni, it is also a very cramped and a very unsupportive environment.

When you consider the competitively long list of successful alumni of Tisch Film, please consider that this is an institution that has in excess of 1,000 undergraduates enrolled in Film/TV at any point in time. The comprehensive majority of them want to be DIRECTORS, just like you. They all passed a competitive, talent based, admissions process and, though competition is not enforced, it is a very anxious place. It is the biggest film school in the world, and it feels that way, though it is cramped into several floors of 721 Broadway. The program (enrollment) is significantly bigger than any other film program, and it is among the most expensive, if not THE most expensive in the world.

It is fairly easy to make it through the program, i.e. get decent grades and graduate. It is not so easy to make films there. Unlike some of the state schools and art schools that my friends went to, the entire building shuts down at 11pm. Almost all equipment is limited to allotments for classes you are currently enrolled in, (COMPLETELY forget about coming back after you graduate). The way classes are set up, your projects are very determined, just like in a professional studio environment. There is very little 'messing around'. For some students this is an exciting prospect to take themselves seriously. But for most undergraduates it is premature.

The best thing about Tisch Film for me was the talented students I got to work and interact with. I do not credit the school for developing or enabling these talents at all, but the fame and LOCATION of the school continues to make it a meeting place for aspiring filmmakers of all banners and dispositions (with the exception of poor people, who have no chance at all of financing this education. You will completely miss out on having these people as peers.) The faculty is also slightly more international than most schools.

The "Sight and Sound" foundational courses are potentially a lot of fun. They are also really the only opportunity throughout the program to experiment, collaborate and interact in a critical environment. I believe you are able to repeat these classes, and if I had it to do over I would take Sight and Sound Film at least one additional time. Otherwise, some of my favorite classes were actually in the Cinema Studies department. The Film/TV program is so production oriented that students tend to lose track of their ideas, and the classes become more about scheduling than working out ideas. That is kind of the nature of filmmaking and its obstacles, but don't expect your classes to be any kind of refuge.

Sometimes TSOA rejects an applicant to Film/TV, but instead offers them acceptance to Cinema Studies. This actually is (at least was 10 years ago) a good path into Film/TV. The first year courses in Cinema Studies are every bit as productive as the first year Film/TV courses, and students have (had) a very high potential of being accepted into Film/TV sophomore year, after a year of Cinema Studies. The first year "production" classes in Film/TV are (were) a waste of credits anyway. Otherwise, I would say the Animation dept (within Film/TV) tends to make it under the radar as well. These facilities and classes are a bit more accessible.

I was happy to be accepted into this competitive program. But having attended, I almost always choose to hide the fact that I went there. I do not consider it any kind of credential as a filmmaker. The degree would be most useful on grad school applications or as a credential for being a high school teacher or insurance adjuster. There are some advantages and opportunities available to you while you are there, but it is not a fun program and most people in it fail at a rate similar to all the other schools. The only people in the film business, including the ushers, who will have increased respect for you because of your diploma will be the people who applied there and got rejected when they were kids.

Graduate Film/TV is better supported and less over-enrolled and may warrant your time.

Is it worth it?

I would like to learn filmmaking in New York City and I am having a hard time deciding between NYFA and NYU. There is about a $20,000 difference (NYU being more) between the schools and wanted to hear from graduates if they thought NYU was worth the $114,000+ for two years they spent?

Tuition: $42,550.00
Room and Board*: $13,226.00
Books and supplies: $950.00
Personal expenses: $1,000.00
Total: $57,726.00 for one year

there is no question to people in the know...

I just graduated from the TISCH grad film program. there is NO question that TISCH is the one to go to- the NYFA is known in NEw York as a trade school of sorts, very low grade but with good international advertising- during and since being at TISCH my short films have screened at Sundance, Cannes, Berlin and most recently Venice and Telluride. There is no comparison! If you can get accepted that is- very competitive- so good luck.
ps- I got a scholarship to TISCH, so try for that if you can.

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