Columbia College Hollywood (www.columbiacollege.edu) is a leader in preparing students for careers in the film and television/video industry.
Known as “the filmmaker’s film school,” Columbia College Hollywood (CCH) is where industry professionals nurture the talent of their future colleagues by emphasizing hands-on training. The technical and creative advances now being made in the motion picture and television industries make it imperative for aspiring film and video artists to receive cutting-edge instruction Since its founding in 1952, CCH has offered that kind of training.
Columbia College Hollywood is a private, nonprofit institution accredited by the National Association of Schools of Art & Design (NASAD), the premier accrediting authority for colleges and universities specializing in the Arts. The College is also in the initial stages of applying for a more expansive dual accreditation with the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC). CCH’s goal is to turn out artists with technical proficiency and technicians who are also artists. The formula seems to be working: a recent CCH graduate directed the blockbuster film Flight Plan, starring Jodie Foster. Another graduate won an MTV Movie Award for United 93. Two CCH graduates recently produced Grand Prize winners at the Sundance Film Festival; others have won awards at the Hollywood and Palm Springs festivals. CCH is proud of its history in finding work for students and to date, approximately 94% of its graduates have been successful in finding work in the entertainment industry upon graduation.
Columbia College Hollywood’s commitment to involving students in the professional film and television/video community is the reason why its campus is located right outside of Los Angeles, the world’s center for the motion picture and television industries. It has allowed the school to maintain close relationships with working industry professionals, studios, and production companies and encouraged them to become involved in the educational process at CCH. It also ensures CCH students access to coveted internships and the networking opportunities that drive the entertainment business. Recent student internship stints have been at Warner Brothers, Dreamworks, Smokehouse Productions (George Clooney), Valhalla Productions (Anne Hurd) and Seed Productions (Hugh Jackman), among others.
CCH students are frequently invited to work on the many films that are produced daily in the L.A. area. The school’s Student-Industry Relations Department arranges internships for students with production companies and studios, enabling them to gain invaluable experience and make all-important industry contacts. Apart from the excitement that comes from being at the visual media center of the world, there are the well-known physical attractions of Los Angeles itself: its temperate climate, beaches, mountains, and deserts. Los Angeles is a cultural center as well and is home to an increasing number of renowned art museums, galleries, concerts, major-league sports teams and live theater.
Majors and Degrees
Columbia College Hollywood offers a Bachelor of Fine Arts (B.F.A.) degree in Cinema or combined Cinema/Television. Students who wish may instead pursue an Associate in Fine Arts (A.F.A.) degree in combined Cinema-TV. The A.F.A. and B.F.A. degree programs can be attended on a full-time or part-time basis. In addition to choosing a major, students also select an Emphasis in key areas: Directing, Cinematography, Writing, Editing/Visual FX. Producing: Production & Development, and/or Producing: Entertainment Business. For more information on CCH’s degree programs, please CLICK HERE.
The Bachelor of Fine Arts degree requires 192 units of study, 48 of which are in general education and 144 of which are in the program major. In the B.FA. Cinema programs, students are enrolled in parallel courses of study for the first five quarters. These courses cover both film and video technology and gives students a solid foundation. This is beneficial because these two media are merging in the professional world. After the fifth quarter, students continue in their major area of study. The Associate of Fine Arts degree requires 96 units of study including 48 units in general education and the other 48 in film and TV core classes as well as critical studies.
The program in television/video production is designed to provide students with knowledge and skills in the creative, technical and operational aspects of the medium. Graduates from this course of study are well qualified for a variety of entry-level positions in a television broadcast facility, a non–broadcast video production setting, or an allied industry. Examples of entry-level positions are production assistant, directorial assistant, development assistant, camera operator, floor director, advertising and sales assistant, copywriter, assistant editor, tape operator or video engineer.
Through the program in cinema, students learn about the technical and creative aspects of theatrical, documentary and industrial film production, as well as conception and development of such projects and post production and distribution as well. Graduates from this program are well qualified for entry-level positions such as camera assistant, lighting assistant, grip, dolly grip, budgeting and production assistant, development assistant, writer’s assistant, sound recordist, assistant editor, postproduction sound mixer, and assistant director. In order to accommodate students who desire to hold employment while in college and the many instructors who hold entertainment industry positions, students can choose between classes held in the morning, afternoon or at night. Some weekend classes are also offered.
Columbia College Hollywood has a nonresidential urban campus that is designed to cater to students’ needs in their quest to become great filmmakers. Students have access to an equipment center that contains the new “it” Red Camera, 35mm and 16mm and Super 16mm cameras, a wide array of digital cameras and, of course, lenses, lighting equipment, grip equipment, and sound equipment. Its newly remodeled television studio opened in fall 2004 and its new Gail Patrick Soundstage opened in 2008. CCH offers both Avid and Macintosh-based Final Cut Pro online-quality digital editing systems, and many other VFX and other software programs. The campus also houses a student library of movie and television scripts, industry trade publications, DVD and BluRay movies, TV programs and documentaries as well as and traditional literature and research materials including both mainstream and entertainment-oriented databases. There is a computer lab offering budget, planning, and scriptwriting software and an Internet lab for computers with Internet access. Wireless Internet access is available campus-wide. Additional features on campus include two projection theaters, two permanent shooting sets, study areas, a prop room, computer and screenplay-writing labs, well-equipped classrooms with HD flat-screen televisions, a “shooting gallery” workplace for student filming, and an ADR facility for postproduction sound editing.
Tuition and Housing
For the 2010–11 academic year, tuition and fees for full-time attendance were approximately $16,785 per academic year, a figure the College purposes attempt to keep low in this era of double digit tuition increases at most colleges and universities. The estimated living costs for an independent student are approximately $8,000 per academic year. Campus housing is available on the campus of California State University Northridge (CSUN) located 4 miles from CCH, and a shuttle provides service back and forth from CSUN to Columbia College. For students who prefer apartment living, ample housing is available in the vicinity of the College. For more information on CCH’s housing choices, please CLICK HERE.
Columbia College Hollywood participates in the following federal and state financial aid programs: the Federal Pell Grant, Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant, Federal Work-Study Program, US Department of Education Direct Loan Program (which includes subsidized and unsubsidized Federal Stafford Student Loans), and Cal Grants A, B, and C. The school also receives an annual grant from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences in order to award scholarships for unpaid film internships.
The faculty consists of 65 members, the majority of who hold positions in the television, motion picture, or educational fields, and include both Emmy and Academy Award winners. The student-faculty ratio is 8:1.
Applicants for freshman-level classes must be high school graduates and must have earned a minimum cumulative grade point average of 2.0 or maintained an overall letter grade of C or better during their high school studies and/or subsequent community college or other college studies. Transcripts must demonstrate high school graduation. Under special circumstances, a passing score on the General Educational Development (GED) test may be accepted by the College in lieu of high school graduation.
Applicants for admission to the College on any other level are required to furnish transcripts of previous course work to establish their academic standing. Applicants to the upper-division programs are required to furnish transcripts verifying completion of an Associate in Arts degree or higher. All transcripts must be sent directly to Columbia College Hollywood by the educational institutions. Two letters of reference from people other than relatives who have been acquainted with the applicant for more than one year and are aware of the applicant’s interest in the field of cinema, television, or communications media are required; these letters must be mailed directly to Columbia College Hollywood by the writers. A minimum 500-word essay explaining why the applicant wishes to study either film or video and describing his or her career goals is required. SAT scores are not required but may be submitted in support of the student’s application.
Students enrolling in Columbia College Hollywood for the first time are encouraged to attend an orientation session. Academic objectives and career goals are discussed, school programs and academic requirements are explained, and registration for classes takes place during the course of orientation. Advanced standing may be granted to applicants for the programs in television/video production and cinema. For more information on CCH’s admissions process, please Click Here.
Applications are accepted on a rolling basis throughout the year, and applicants may apply to enroll starting in the Fall (September), Winter (January), Spring (April), or Summer (July) quarters. A completed application for admission and an application fee of $50 should be mailed to the College or delivered in person by the applicant. An online application tool is also available, allowing students to apply for admission via the College’s online application tool by Clicking Here.