How do you judge a film school? Or any school that graduates filmmakers? Ranker surveyed the top 500 films (according to the IMDB and other lists), and then asked where the filmmakers went to school.
On top of the list was NYU, followed by USC and UCLA
. No surprise there.
What's interesting is how it's not all film schools. NYU, USC, UCLA and UT Austin are there for their film schools, I imagine, though they are also universities that graduate lots of people who go on to live in New York and LA; ditto Columbia. Cal Arts is there for all the animators it turns out, undergrad and grad.
But Beverly High also gets on the list because it is where the Hollywood aristocracy's kids go to school; a disproportionate number of them become filmmakers, and they help their friends get into the biz.
The FAME school, New York's Fiorello Laguardia High School for Music & Arts, graduates a lot of kids who know early on that they want to be creative in the performing arts.
Northwestern is sort of the go-to school for undergraduate dramaramas.
HB Studio and the Actors Studio are on the list along with other legendary actors conservatories like RADA and AADA.
Yale (my alma mater), Harvard, Stanford and Brown get on the list just from graduating a lot of smart go-getters.
I think this list goes to prove that you don't need to go to a film program per se. If you can get into a top film program, great. But there are multiple roads into the biz. Some of them have to do with simply living where films are made. Some of them have to do with learning how to get'er done.
The school that would be at the top of the list if it handed out rectangles of parchment, though, is the School of Hard Knocks. That school generates more real filmmakers than all the other ones put together.