cheapest film schools in los angeles

Last Updated on December 15, 2022 by Omoyeni Adeniyi

Are you passionate about filmmaking? Want to make films? Learn how in film school! This article is for anybody wanting to make their own videos or films and get into film school. There are many schools to choose from so you need to know what you need to do in order to get in. These are the top places you can learn the basics of filmmaking, script writing, and acting. Actors can even go on to be directors and producers as well! You just have to have a passion for film!

Good news! Film school can be affordable when you attend one of these film schools in Los Angeles. From UCLA’s School of Theatre, Film, and Television to Loyola Marymount University’s School of Film and Television, we’ve got all the information you need to make this dream a reality. Get more information regarding the cheapest film schools in Los Angeles, affordable film schools for international students, affordable film schools in the UK & affordable film schools in Europe.

Reading about the cheapest film schools in Los Angeles for the very first time may seem overwhelming to those without prior experience or who don’t study the subject, but they may find it fascinating. 

Learn more about affordable film schools for international students, graduate film programs in Los Angeles, Los Angeles film school notable alumni, and film editing schools in Los Angeles. You will also find more resources on collegelearners related to the American Film Institute Conservatory.

Affordable Film Schools According to The Hollywood Reporter – The Los  Angeles Film School

cheapest film schools for international students

Studying film abroad is a great way to develop yourself as a filmmaker, and there are many different affordable options for international students.

1. THE LOS ANGELES FILM SCHOOL

The Los Angeles Film School offers degrees in Film, Audio, Animation, Music, Graphic Design, and Entertainment Business. Located in Hollywood, California, this film school is well-renowned by professionals across the globe. Aside from on-campus courses, this school also offers online degrees in Digital Filmmaking, Entertainment Business, Graphic Design, Music Production, and Animation.

Whether you’re across the country or ready to work in L.A., there’s something for every aspiring filmmaker at the Los Angeles Film School.

Phone Number:

323-860-0789

Location:

6363 Sunset Boulevard

Hollywood, CA 90028

2. NEW YORK FILM ACADEMY LOS ANGELES

New York Film Academy’s Los Angeles location provides students with a variety of degrees in acting, film, and other media. Opportunities are endless at this well-known film school! With some of the best film studios in the industry just around the corner (Warner Bros. and Universal), field experiences are unforgettable. Members of the NYFA faculty are active in the city’s entertainment hubs, so students can definitely benefit from possible networking.

Phone Number:

818-333-3558

Location:

3300 Riverside Drive

Burbank, CA 91505

3. CALIFORNIA STATE UNIVERSITY NORTHRIDGE

CSUN’s Department of Cinema and Television Arts has seven programs of study: Entertainment Media Management, Film Production, Media Theory and Criticism, Multimedia Production, Screenwriting, Television Production, and Graduate Screenwriting. All of CSUN’s programs offer professional experience, access to studios and labs, and plenty of other opportunities to hone your skills.

CSUN is known for its eclectic performance program. It’s home to the Younes & Soraya Nazarian Center for the Performing Arts – Just another awesome opportunity for film students to use to their advantage!

Phone Number:

818-677-1200

Location:

18111 Nordhoff Street

Northridge, CA 91330

4. LOYOLA MARYMOUNT UNIVERSITY

LMU’s School of Film and Television graduates are in high demand, which gets students one step closer to successfully pursuing their careers. This school has a surprising number of minors, majors, and graduate programs for film students to consider. Let’s take a closer look at your options.

Minors:

  • Animation
  • The film, Television, and Media Studies
  • Screenwriting
  • Screenwriting for English Majors

Undergraduate Programs:

  • Film and Television Production
  • Recording Arts

Graduate Programs:

  • Film and Television Production
  • Writing and Producing for Television
  • Writing for the Screen

Phone Number:

310-338-2700

Location:

1 LMU Drive
Los Angeles, California 90045

5. ARTCENTER

ArtCenter is a paradise for cinema students. Expert guidance and access to top-notch equipment create unparalleled opportunities for students to grow in their respective fields. There are currently three programs offered at ArtCenter: The Directing Track, the Cinematography Track, and the Editing Track.

No matter which tracks interest you the most, keep in mind that this school’s alumni are highly accomplished, one of whom worked on the iconic Guardians of the Galaxy film. Imagine your film school opening up opportunities for Marvel movies. The possibilities are endless here!

Phone Number:

626-396-2200

Location:

1700 Lida Street
Pasadena, CA 91103

6. CALARTS

California Institute of the Arts is a world-recognized school that provides all kinds of opportunities for emerging filmmakers. CalArts’ School of Film/Video is one of the top places to study and practice the art of moving pictures.

This school offers programs in character animation, experimental animation, film and video, and film directing, all with top-quality resources to help you succeed. We know you want to bring your vision to life, so why not check out one of the world’s top places for film study?

Phone Number:

661-253-7825

Location:

24700 McBean Parkway
Valencia, California 91355

7. AMERICAN FILM INSTITUTE

AFI is prepared to educate tomorrow’s storytellers with hands-on, production-based training. As you work alongside experienced and inspiring professionals through the AFI Conservatory, you network with television communities that can further your career as a filmmaker-in-training.

This school’s film program classes are separated into teams that mimic a real film set environment. AFI’s teams collaborate and produce more films than any other graduate-level film school, giving you a step above your competition. On top of this school’s impressive curricula structure, roughly 81% of its graduates enter the field upon graduation. That’s a number we like to see!

Phone Number:

323-856-7600

Location:

2021 North Western Avenue
Los Angeles, CA 90027-1657

8. CHAPMAN UNIVERSITY

If anyone wants to go to one of the top ten film schools in the world, and one of the best four options in the country, this Los Angeles-based film school offers both undergraduate and graduate degrees spanning different practices for the entertainment industry. From educating you on storytelling but also production and financing, as well as distribution, the courses at Dodge College-Chapman University are the kinds of versatile options you may be looking for.

As a connected school in LA, there are plenty of opportunities available for the graduating students that attend this well-known film school.

Phone Number:

714-997-6815

Location:

One University Drive

Orange, CA 92866

9. UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA LOS ANGELES

For good reason, the UCLA School of Theatre has undoubtedly produced some of the greatest film greats of all time. From graduate programs to undergraduate degrees, the schools offer a broad range of programs for budding industry professionals, providing you with the basis for a well-rounded education that can ensure you have everything you need for a future in the industry. From cinematography to film editing and screenwriting, there are courses for every type of film degree you can think of.

Phone Number:

301-206-8441

Location:

103 East Melnitz Hall

Los Angeles, CA 90095

10. UNIVERSITY OF SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA

USC offers a plethora of programs for anyone who is hoping to build a career in the Los Angeles film industry. Whether you want to study Media Arts + Practice or Film and Television Production, there are plenty of courses available at USC. A unique aspect of USC is the way students have the ability for interdisciplinary education across seven programs.

Phone Number:

213-740-8358

Location:

900 West 34th Street

Los Angeles, CA 90089

cheapest film schools in los Angeles

The best film schools are in Los Angeles, and the best way to find them is to look for colleges with film programs. Here are the top five film schools in L.A., along with some other great filmmaking institutes in the area:

1 The AFI Conservatory for Film and Television
2 UCLA School of Theater, Film, and Television
3 USC School of Cinematic Arts
4 California Institute of the Arts
5 University of Southern California Film School”
Top Ten Film Schools In The World

affordable film schools in uK

You’ve got your heart set on going to film school, but as all good film industry practitioners know, it’s a business that involves your head as well as your heart. That means thinking things through: can I afford it? Where are the best people working out? What’s the hit rate when it comes to getting a job after I graduate? Do I want to be near home to cut costs, or do I want to be where the action is?

It’s important to weigh up all the options and not just look at the flashy prospectuses. Look at who’s been to the school you’re considering—would you like their career? Study the films students have made—are you impressed? Is it the kind of place where you’ll feel happy and supported? Film school friends now are good contacts for the future, so it’s important to find your tribe.

Affordable Film Schools According to The Hollywood Reporter – The Los  Angeles Film School

Choosing to go into the performing arts isn’t an easy path, but for many people, there is no choice—they’re compelled to give it a go. If that’s you and you decide film school is where you’re headed, then here’s a selection of some of the very best this country has to offer.

National Film and Television School

Based in Beaconsfield, about 90 minutes outside of Central London, the National Film and Television School has more than 30 MA, diploma, and certificate courses and is definitely one of the big beasts of the UK film school world. Students are taught by industry professionals in a fully working studio complete with dubbing theatres, edit suites, and three cinemas.

Former students include Oscar winners like Nick Park (The Curse of the Were-Rabbit) and cinematographer Roger Deakins (Blade Runner 2049), and notable directing names such as Lynne Ramsay (You Were Never Really Here) and David Yates (Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2). Plus, the school regularly attracts top names like Christopher Nolan to give student master classes; and last year, director Alex Garland (Annihilation) was named the school’s associate director, a creative figurehead for the NFTS student body.

London Film School

Unlike its big rival, NFTS, London Film School couldn’t be more centrally situated. Set slap-bang in the middle of Covent Garden, LFS was founded in 1956 and offers various postgraduate degrees, a Ph.D., and short courses focusing on film. The school has a good reputation internationally, with students’ work regularly appearing at film festivals across the world. Also, its student body is overwhelmingly international, with 60% of students coming from countries outside the UK.

Notable alumni include BAFTA-winning director Duncan Jones (Moon), Mike Leigh (Peterloo), Michael Mann (Public Enemies), and producer Iain Smith (Children of Men). Worth considering is that its MA in Filmmaking allows students to get valuable experience in all sorts of departments rather than specializing in just one. The school produces approximately 180 films every year and likes students to feel they are part of a “working unit” participating in colleagues’ films as well as their own.

Before you’re totally swayed by LFS’ glitzy Central London location, it’s important to note that the school will be moving to new, state-of-the-art facilities in not-so-swanky Canning Town in 2020. Also, fees are steep—the two-year MA in Filmmaking costs just over £2,000 for both British and international students. Then again, Danny Boyle has said that if he was going to film school, he’d go to LFS!

Met Film School

The Met Film School’s HQ is based in the historic (but still fully operational) Ealing Studios at the end of the Central Line. That means students are very much taught in a professional environment and have access to great facilities and equipment. Ealing is where The Ladykillers, Notting Hill, Downton Abbey, and The Theory of Everything were filmed. Plus, the Met has its own working production company, which recently made Swimming With Men, starring Rob Brydon.

The Met has an enviable selection of courses, including acting for camera, editing, cinematography, postproduction, screenwriting, and producing. Course lengths go from a few days to three years for a BA in practical filmmaking. Postgrad MA courses are also available.

Running for the first time from September 2019 is the Met’s two-year BA in Screen Acting. The course promises to teach students about storey and script, character and performance, acting methods and techniques, behind-the-camera skills, screen business, and specialist acting skills including automated dialogue replacement (ADR), voiceover, motion capture, and combat techniques.

Goldsmiths, the Screen School

Based in New Cross, Goldsmiths already has a great academic reputation as part of the wider University of London; but its Screen School has its own aspirations, challenging bigger film school rivals for the very best students. It markets itself as the “next-generation film school” and wants to produce students ready to work in the industry as it is now, not 20 years ago, so there’s also a focus on a wide variety of media platforms, including web dramas and video games.

The school operates from a purpose-built media facility within the college’s Department of Media and Communications, focusing on film production rather than acting. It offers a one-year MA in Filmmaking with six distinct paths: cinematography, directing fiction, editing, producing, sound recording (with postproduction and design), and screen documentary. There are no short courses, diplomas, or BA degrees, but the university has its own cinema: the newly opened Curzon Goldsmiths.

Directors including Boyle, Asif Kapadia, Stephen Frears, Sally Potter, and Alan Parker have all spoken at Goldsmiths.

Fees are £12,940 for UK students and £24,820 for international students—but, crucially, Screen School students can get relatively cheap accommodation through its university link. A definite bonus in an expensive city.

London Film Academy

Another relatively new kid on the film school block, London Film Academy, is based in a former Methodist church in Fulham, West London. Set up in 2001, LFA is a film school founded and run by women. It offers MA, BA, and diploma courses in filmmaking; a diploma and MA in screenwriting; and assorted short courses and vocational add-ons.

LFA’s facilities may be a little less spacious than other schools, but they have two studios, a floor of editing, and a cinema. It also promises to teach students in a “hands-on, practical production company environment” led by industry professionals.

University of Westminster

Before you go out and buy a penthouse Soho flat so you can walk to your WC1 film school lessons, know this: the University of Westminster’s film and TV faculty are actually based in Harrow, Zone 5. However, that does mean more space for facilities like two soundstages, a set construction workshop, a TV studio, edits, a mastering suite, and more.

Westminster teaches film and TV production rather than acting, offering a three-year BA in Film that it describes as “one of the best-known film courses in the world.” It emphasizes group work as well as focusing equally on the academic and vocational sides of the degree. In the third year, students are given the chance to work in a professional setting.

Other BA courses offered include Animation, Contemporary Media Practice, and Television Production—and the school says 80% of students are working in the industry after graduation. Famous alumni include Kapadia, the cinematographer Seamus McGarvey (We Need to Talk About Kevin), and screenwriter Neal Purvis (Skyfall).

Ravensbourne University

Based in Greenwich, Ravensbourne offers BAs in Digital Film Production, Digital TV Production, and Editing and Postproduction, among other film subjects. Known for its external links to the creative industries, Ravensbourne students are often working on professional shoots from their first year on.

Ravensbourne is very keen on plugging “digitally focused work” and its aspiration is to produce students ready for the real-world job market, including work in VFX, marketing, and commercials. To apply, you need to submit a portfolio showcasing your work and meet the school’s academic requirements. It likes students to have a background in—or at least an interest in—art, design, or a relevant creative endeavor.

Leeds Beckett University, Northern Film School

The Northern Film School is based in Leeds in the impressive Electric Press building in Millennium Square. In 2014, the Hollywood Reporter named NFS one of the world’s film schools “to watch.” Its alumni have won BAFTAs and Oscars—and living in Leeds is a lot cheaper than in London.

That also means more space to play with. NFS has two significantly sized studios, allowing students to build substantial film sets. There’s also a dedicated animation studio, editing suites, and access to top camera equipment like Arri and Aaton.

Bournemouth Film School at Arts University Bournemouth

If your idea of Bournemouth is a sleepy southern seaside town occupied by pensioners, then think again. It’s also a coastal hub for creativity and home to AUB. Established more than 50 years ago, Bournemouth Film School is the UK’s largest film school outside London, offering nine main programs, including acting, film production, VFX, costume and performance design, and makeup.

The Acting BA lasts for three years and gives students access to five specialist workspaces on campus, including a black box theatre and acting, movement, music/voice, and sound recording studios. BA fees start at £9,250 a year for students from the UK.

The sheer range of BA courses offered by Bournemouth allows students to really form their own production teams, featuring fellow students who specialize in different areas. Screenwriter Simon Beaufoy (Slumdog Millionaire, The Full Monty) and director Edgar Wright (Shaun of the Dead, Hot Fuzz) both started here. AUB has a great reputation, and it’s not hard to see why.

Brighton Film School

Another seaside-based institution is Brighton Film School, which, alongside the strong draw of Brighton’s nightlife and cosmopolitan nature, has the added benefit of being just over an hour from London. The school has links with Panavision and Panalux, so it’s not short of cameras, and students are taught on both digital and film cameras. It also has two “fully working 18 by 12-foot sets with lighting rigs and flats.”

BFS offers a range of short courses and longer options, including a BA in Film Production. Students are encouraged to specialize in their second years, and when they leave, it’s hoped they do so with knowledge, contacts, and a professional showreel that can act as a calling card for future employers.

free film schools in the world

tuition free film schools

A Bachelor’s in Film Studies is an excellent option for students looking to turn their love of movies into a career. With digital streaming platforms overtaking legacy distribution models, the television and film industries have grown tremendously in recent years. Global demand for professionally produced entertainment is surging with no signs of slowing down. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labour Statistics (BLS), employment is projected to increase by 17 percent by 2026.

A bachelor’s degree in film studies qualifies graduates for entry-level positions in areas like directing and producing. It is also an ideal starting point for students considering the technical or academic sides of the movie industry. Below you will find the top 15 most affordable bachelor’s degrees in film studies that will give you a starting point in your research the education you need to succeed in this exciting field.

5. Miami Dade College – BAS in Film, Television, and Digital Production

Miami, Florida

Points: 6

Miami Dade College’s four-year low-cost Bachelor of Applied Science in Film, Television, and Digital Production is designed to provide students with the practical, hands-on skills they need to succeed in the competitive and creative field of media production. The 120-credit affordable program consists of 41 credits within the major, and courses cover funding, editing, production, website design, scriptwriting, sound design, broadcast design, production management, and cinematography. In addition to completing the required curriculum of classes, students must also participate in a capstone experience that provides the opportunity to demonstrate the application of acquired competencies, skills, and knowledge.

Degree Options:
Bachelor of Applied Science in Film, Television, and Digital Production
Average Program Cost: $6,250
In-State Tuition: $2,838
Out-of-State Tuition: $9,661
Graduation Rate: 31 percent
Student-to-Faculty Ratio: 24:1

4. University of Alaska Fairbanks – BA in Film & Performing Arts

Fairbanks, Alaska

Points: 7

At the University of Alaska Fairbanks, the Department of Theatre and Film provides a 120-credit affordable BA in Film & Performing Arts degree with concentrations in theater or film. Majors take a shared core of classes in production design, film set production, and the fundamentals of acting before choosing an area of specialization. Other areas of study include digital video editing, directing for film and video, and an introduction to the study of film. All students gain practical experience through participating in main-stage productions, working on professional film sets, and closely interacting with faculty mentors and advisors. Through production work and teaching, the department prepares students to succeed in the industry while educating them across disciplines in the fundamental skills of creativity, communication, and collaboration.

Degree Options:
B.A. in Film & Performing Arts
Average Program Cost: $12,723
In-State Tuition: $6,262
Out-of-State Tuition: $19,183
Graduation Rate: 30 percent
Student-to-Faculty Ratio: 8:1

3. CUNY Hunter College – BA in Film

New York, New York

Points: 7

The Department of Film and Media Studies at CUNY Hunter College offers affordable degree programs in the critical analysis and production of the film, alternative media, and mass media. In addition to a media major, the school confers a low-cost Bachelor of Arts in Film that consists of 120 credits of study, including 30 credits within the major. Coursework is broken down into analytical classes such as theories of film acting and practical film analysis, production classes such as screen directing and screenwriting, and electives chosen from either analytical or production courses. Film majors may choose to pursue a minor in media but cannot double-major in both film and media.

Degree Options:
B.A. in Film
Average Program Cost: $10,677
In-State Tuition: $6,982
Out-of-State Tuition: $14,372
Graduation Rate: 52 percent
Student-to-Faculty Ratio: 14:1

2. CUNY City College – BFA in Film/Video

New York, New York

Points: 7

CUNY City College is the only public institution to offer a low-cost Bachelor of Fine Arts in Film/Video, and the program is one of the oldest in the country. Each year, approximately 25 undergraduates follow an intensive, rich, two-year curriculum that emphasizes documentary production and single-camera fiction. The affordable BFA is comprised of 120 credits, including 54 in the major, as well as a thesis project and an optional internship. Coursework is offered in areas such as screenwriting, documentaries, digital post-production, directing for film and video, and critical approaches to independent cinema. Although this is an undergraduate degree, the school does not accept recent high school graduates. Instead, this second-tier program requires a separate admissions process that happens once per year, and applicants must have a personal statement, a video portfolio, and three college-level prerequisites in media studies, media production, and film studies.

Degree Options:
Bachelor of Fine Arts in Film/Video
Average Program Cost: $10,635
In-State Tuition: $6,940
Out-of-State Tuition: $14,330
Graduation Rate: 50 percent
Student-to-Faculty Ratio: 15:1

1. University of North Carolina School of the Arts – BFA

Winston-Salem, North Carolina

Points: 8

Ranked among the top film schools in the nation, the School of Filmmaking at the University of North Carolina School of the Arts offers an affordable Bachelor of Fine Arts in which students can select a concentration in areas such as screenwriting, production design, producing, editing and sound design, directing, cinematography, or animation. In the first two years of the program, undergraduates direct and shoot digital projects, take hands-on courses in every area of modern film production, and work with peers on original short films that they then submit to worldwide festivals. Students also have the opportunity to attend the UNCSA-hosted RiverRun International Film Festival, held every spring, and during the senior year, students travel with faculty mentors from their concentration to Los Angeles to screen their films for influential UNCSA alumni and industry executives.

Degree Options:
BFA Animation
BFA Cinematography
BFA Directing
BFA Picture Editing & Sound Design
BFA Producing
BFA Production Design & Visual Effects
BFA Screenwriting
Average Program Cost: $17,210
In-State Tuition: $9,338
Out-of-State Tuition: $25,081
Graduation Rate: 70 percent
Student-to-Faculty Ratio: 6:1

Conclusion

There are several options to choose from when it comes to finding a cheap film school in Los Angeles. The American Film Institute, Loyola Marymount University, and the University of Southern California all offer stellar programs that come with relatively low tuition and fees.

If you’re not sure if you can afford any of these schools, remember that there are always scholarships available for students who excel in their coursework.

In the end, with so many fantastic options for studying film in Los Angeles, it’s really up to you to decide which route is best for your career goals!

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