Our Directing Emphasis: Frequently Asked Questions From Students Like You

Written By CCH Staff on August 14, 2017

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When you’re trying to find the perfect college directing 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! Internships are one of the best ways to build industry relationships and gain practical experience that you’ll be able to include on your resume. Most 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.  

I want to learn about directing

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 to our BFA programs. 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. If you want to submit a web link to a sample of your work with your application, it’s completely optional. 

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 Directing 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 direct film, television, commercial, and digital media projects. You’ll become a more complete storyteller, experienced in the collaborative workflow of film production, as you work with other students who are focusing on acting, screenwriting, editing, sound, cinematography, and producing. You’ll take courses in every aspect of content creation, so you’ll experience the point of view from behind and in front of the camera.

9. 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. How many student films will I get to direct during my 4-year degree program?

The number of films you direct in four years is up to you. Our mission is to provide you with all of the tools, training, and time you’ll need to direct a wide variety of film and video projects.

For example, during your first year on campus, you’ll take practical, hands-on courses that’ll give you dozens of opportunities to develop your skills and vision as a director. After that, you’ll shoot your first short film and choose electives that give you experience directing for specific genres, such narrative nonfiction, music videos, commercials, and mockumentaries. You’ll also be able to offer your directing skills on film projects by other students focused on screenwriting, producing, editing, acting, cinematography, or sound. In your senior year, you’ll direct your own short film that you’ll add to your professional portfolio. Plus, when you’re not in class, you can collaborate with creative partners to shoot your own original films by reserving college-owned sets and equipment not being used for class projects.

13. What are my career possibilities after I graduate with a Directing Emphasis?

BFA grads can take advantage of a wide range of entry-level opportunities. Depending on your interests, you can start your career working as a Director’s Assistant, a 2nd or 3rd Assistant Director, Script Supervisor, or Production Assistant. Most important, your BFA in Cinema will provide you with the essential, practical skills, experience, and knowledge you’ll need to develop your own projects and 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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Topics: Insider, Admissions

CCH Staff

Written by CCH Staff

This blog is a collaborative effort by CCH staff and administration who want to share their knowledge with the film school community and prospective students.

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