To go to film school or not?

I’ve been struggling with this issue for a while. And with the application deadlines just 5 weeks away, I need to make up my mind and not let the decision be made for me by procrastinating..

Background — I have a graduate degree in business. I have a Filmmaking Certificate from NYU where in 12 short weeks, I made two shorts, one of which is here. I live in New York, so there are only two options – NYU and Columbia. NYU probably has a better all-around program and Columbia probably has a better program for writers.

Now the question is whether I invest THREE years (two if Columbia) and go to film school.

Pros —

  • Get much better training on all the basics and all the advanced technical skills of filmmaking
  • Be in an atmosphere where all I do is come up with ideas and make them happen
  • Learn to work in very tight timeframes — if NYU’s 12-weeker was any indication, I’ll learn how to have extremely low shooting ratios and tight production timelines.
  • Finish my feature script with access to professionals who can guide me through it (both schools have great writing departments)
  • Meet a group of peers with whom I will form creative and professional connections
  • Give me more credibility in the world
  • Be in school again! Go to classes, work in coffee shops and otherwise be burden free!

Cons —

  • It is THREE years (at NYU and even at Columbia, because in the third year, you are doing the thesis project). In the same amount of time, I could be working! Actually making a short or working with a great director on his/her feature and learning on the job. While this is just one simple bullet, this is the hugest issue for me. HUGE. I love the doing of it! I’d learn a lot. This is like 5 bullets worth of cons for me.
  • The cost. At a minimum, it is $100K, probably more like $150K once you add in all the film stock needed, the thesis project etc.
  • I have a full application packet I need to put together! 😉

Am I missing any pros or cons? I am eager for input as I try to make this decision in the next couple of days.