UrsulaR
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Does anyone do MA Cinematography course at Goldsmith? Could you please share your experience? How is the course, is it really practical and does it worth this money? Many thanks
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KarenEggers
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Really looking forward for and answer for this question too!
(Original post by UrsulaR)
Does anyone do MA Cinematography course at Goldsmith? Could you please share your experience? How is the course, is it really practical and does it worth this money? Many thanks
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priyankachoudary
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Try connecting with people over Facebook or Linkedin.
I do see they have a good curriculum, but I'm not quite sure too. Have you looked into other options tho?
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KarenEggers
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(Original post by priyankachoudary)
Try connecting with people over Facebook or Linkedin.
I do see they have a good curriculum, but I'm not quite sure too. Have you looked into other options tho?
I looked all over facebook, but since I'm brazilian it's hard to find people, cause I'm not from there... I'm going to check Linkedin!
I have looked every possible option... I really want to study Cinematography in the UK and so far Goldsmiths was my best option, but I'm worried cause I don't know anyone who actually studied Cinematography there.
Thank you for your tips tho!
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KarenEggers
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(Original post by ltsmith)
you're better off spending the money on a new car lmao

worthless degree
Really? Have you studied there? What course did you take?
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priyankachoudary
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I understand, did you try contacting the college? Ask them if you can talk to current or past students. Goldsmith's does seem like a nice one, Based in London. On their website, try searching for alumni students.
But did you try NFTS or Met film school?
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Vayl
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Bumping this thread up, still trying to find Cinematography students that graduated from the MA program at Goldsmith.
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KarenEggers
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Hey there!
Last year I was really struggling trying to find any former students who took the MA Cinematography course at Goldsmiths. So I dug really deep on facebook and reached out to a lot of them, and four of them replied to me and told their experiencies. This really helped a lot to make up my mind about taking the course or not (I ended up not taking it), so I'm gonna share their responses and I hope this helps anyone else who is struggling with this too. So here it goes:

Student A:
Hi Karen, to be totally honest with you if I knew what the course is like before applying i wouldn’t have done it
I don’t think they offer a realistic view about the film industry and most people who graduated from my year are not working in film
Producers do
But if you have a look there are sooo many producing Jobs
But actual film crew Jobs not So much
I don’t want to be negative, I do love some people I was in the Same year with
And helped out some of the students from this year with their grad films etc
But on the whole
It’s not worth it
- Here I asked her: But do you think the lectures and the practices on a film set haven't helped you to develop as a cinematographer? -
Sure those were ok
But you don’t get that much
And during my year there was also a 4 week strike
So we never got to use RED cameras at all
They also don’t prepare you for the “real world” too much either
How to make contacts how to get actual jobs etc
Those were never covered
Also they have LOTS of international students
Everybody is from somewhere else
Which is lovely of course
But now they all went back to their countries
And you’re stranded with no-one to work with

This is pretty much all the relevant information she shared with me. Besides the fact that living in London is extremely expensive, of course. But she was really disappointed with the course and after everything she told me, I got scared and decided not to take it, cause it's just too expensive to give it a shot and it end up being not worth it. But there were other responses and good ones too. I'm going to share them below.
Last edited by KarenEggers; 11 months ago
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KarenEggers
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Student B:
I LOVED IT! BUT - Masters doesn't baby sit you, its full on and you really have to put your efforts into spending time in the studio to learn and test, but I had no film experience before and entering this course was amazing, you do learn A LOT!
I would recommend it, you'll meet so many people as well which is great, you'll soon realise that networking is key for this industry, and having access to the studio and equipment is best way to learn
I think its a really good course, not the most expensive in the UK actually..
I would also want to tell you, because its really FULL ON, they really do pack the whole year, make sure you have money saved up ... second semester frees up a little bit more towards the end, which is great for part time work

I asked her a few more questions and details about the course, she didn't answer me though.
Her response was good, but it didn't excite me because she did not have any film experience before and I have, so I got worried that the course would be too "easy" for me.

Now I checked again and I didn't have four responses, just two. The other two were people who studied at Bournemouth University and took the MA Cinematography there. If it is any interest for you, I can post it here.

So this is it. I hope this helps who need it in any way!
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Vayl
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(Original post by KarenEggers)
Now I checked again and I didn't have four responses, just two. The other two were people who studied at Bournemouth University and took the MA Cinematography there. If it is any interest for you, I can post it here.

So this is it. I hope this helps who need it in any way!
Wow, thank you so much for sharing this! I'm actually in talks with Bournemouth right now trying to figure out if we're a good fit for each other. It would be just grand if you could share those reviews here as well.

If you don't mind me asking, if you did end up studying cinematography, where did you go? How did it go? Thanks again, much appreciated.
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KarenEggers
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(Original post by Vayl)
Wow, thank you so much for sharing this! I'm actually in talks with Bournemouth right now trying to figure out if we're a good fit for each other. It would be just grand if you could share those reviews here as well.

If you don't mind me asking, if you did end up studying cinematography, where did you go? How did it go? Thanks again, much appreciated.
Yes, of course!!

The first former student I talked to told me this:

Hi Karen, I understand your doubts since I have also had some myself, what I can share is my opinion/experience, therefore, it could have been different to another person so don't take my opinion as a decisive mark for your choice.
I feel like the course itself didn't bring me more knowledge, I came from a very practical bachelor degree and it touched on many subjects, so when I went through the Master, I felt like I already had the bases of what we were talking, though it went a bit deeper it was very much an introduction to a topic for you to search and dive into it by yourself.
I enjoyed the course for the experience it gave me, the contact with people from other cultures and backgrounds, and I believe that most of what I learned came from that contact and sharing of knowledge. For that reason, I think I don't regret doing the course.
There are things I wish the course would change, like have more workshops and be more practical, but my experience is from 2014/2015 so I believe some things might have changed since then. I am not sure if I answered to what you wanted to know, but feel free to ask me anything.
then I asked her some more questions and she replied:
I will start with saying that I have since then changed paths, it was very hard to find a job in the area with contract (there were lots of work experience in London, but since I had a rent to pay I couldn't afford something for free and unstable, that was the main reason that lead me to go into 3D)
The lectures were nice, Mark Bond was the lecture responsible for our course, you could see he knew a lot and was very close to us
Then he invited some people he knew for workshops but some were unprepared and we ended basically just talking and sharing experiences
Then you had a few classes that were common to the framework, which were more theoric
One nice thing that Mark started doing later on was ask us to do exercises with the topic we were working that week
So what we did was do small groups and each of us be responsible for a video so we could add on our showreel
You do have the tools at your disposable to practice and do things, so you could always be doing more
If that's what you are hoping
I took this master degree but I was divided between cinematography and vfx so maybe that's why I ended up changing after all. However I can see that I always end up using that I have learned in the course, so I don't think it was a waste
Hope I am helping in some way

And the second one:

Right, so, let me give you some background. I studied at BU for my undergraduate as well as my masters and my masters has been infinitely more useful. It has developed my skills, provided equipment access, gave me a better sense of professional hierarchies etc. The main issues with MA Cinematography are 1) the course size, 2) the financial logistics and, 3) the academic modules. So, the course size has ripple effects on everything from workshops to equipment availability to ACing and collaboration. It's really hard to know how many students will study this year but my class had 15 cinematographers which was just too many people. The financial logistics are hard because, unlike others on the MA framework, it is desperately hard to hold down a job at the same time as being on this MA. It's a demanding course and when everyone is shooting productions, your apartment becomes somewhere to sleep and eat. Finally, there are several really amazing cinematographers on the course every year who don't manage to do the academic modules to a good standard. The university recognises that most media students aren't principley academic but they need you to be for the course to exist. So the academic modules trip people up every year and sometimes people end up retaking which is difficult if it delays your final masters production.
I absolutely loved being on the cinematography MA. It's really been helpful to me! If you want to be worked hard and be properly immersed in the cinematographer role, it is a good place to start.
One thing I would argue, however, is that a masters degree counts very little in terms of career progression in the UK media industry. So, if career progression has played any part in your decision making thus far, maybe don't focus on it too much. I have made well over 30 films this year, for clients, for festivals and for the university so if you dedicate yourself to it, you'll learn tonnes about filmmaking.
Usually, having a masters would offer some additional progression but a masters in media related subjects tends to be more for personal development.
As for practice, I worked constantly from the first week on films and photos. I've finished my MA and I'm still shooting! You'll definitely have enough to do. However, yeah, it is hard to actually work round all the problems that come from having a bigger framework. There's more films but there's also more of us so you tend to do less films with decent sized crews. You'll be expected to have two to three assistant camera people in your team but that can be very hard to get when everyone is shooting. Equipment is the biggest problem because you'll often have shoots planned which require certain lights or bits of equipment but they're fully booked. So, that can be a bit of a pain. I'd say, be friends with kit room and network with the undergraduates because there'll be a couple really eager to be on board with masters films in camera department. It can be arduous but, for the most part, MA Cinematography is the most thought out course on the framework. You'll learn from each other, from situations on and off-set, from workshops and the masters project really gives you an opportunity to create loads of good content for your final steps into the media industry.
We have two Arri Alexa Classics and four Panasonic EVA-1s, you'll have access to HMI lights of varying wattages, Arri redheads of varying wattages, dedo lights, Kino Flo Divalite panels, some battery powered LED panels, a TV studio, LUMIX GH5/GH4, Zhiyun Crane 2, Movi, two easy rig systems (one's a minimax, the other's a vario). In terms of lenses, although you'll mainly work with primes, zooms are also available. Road flags and fast flags, c-stands, clamps and various grip equipment. You'll be trained in the green screen studio and when in there, you'll be able to work with the varicam classic. You'll also get access to Panther jib and track for the Arri Alexa and Libec jib and track or Hague jib arm for the Panasonic Eva-1s.

This is all the info I got for the MA at Bournemouth. I hope this helps you to make your decision.

And finally answering your question, I ended up not taking the course I still intend to take, which is the Cinematography Intensive at Maine Media Workshops and College (Maine, USA), yet (I was supposed to go next month but well... coronavirus). I'm from Brazil, so after all this research and talking to people, the majority of them told me that if I'm gonna travel to take any course then I should go to the USA, and I ended up agreeing with them. I'm obsessed with the UK and I really wanted to study there, but I realized it doesn't make sense to have an MA since the degree itself doesn't really matter to me. I just need to have more practical experience, which is what the course in Maine offers me, and even though it is not a cheap course, it will be a lot cheaper than taking a whole one-year one. But if the MA is the right choice for you, obviously, just go for it!
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Vayl
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(Original post by KarenEggers)
Yes, of course!!

The first former student I talked to told me this:

Hi Karen, I understand your doubts since I have also had some myself, what I can share is my opinion/experience, therefore, it could have been different to another person so don't take my opinion as a decisive mark for your choice.
I feel like the course itself didn't bring me more knowledge, I came from a very practical bachelor degree and it touched on many subjects, so when I went through the Master, I felt like I already had the bases of what we were talking, though it went a bit deeper it was very much an introduction to a topic for you to search and dive into it by yourself.
I enjoyed the course for the experience it gave me, the contact with people from other cultures and backgrounds, and I believe that most of what I learned came from that contact and sharing of knowledge. For that reason, I think I don't regret doing the course.
There are things I wish the course would change, like have more workshops and be more practical, but my experience is from 2014/2015 so I believe some things might have changed since then. I am not sure if I answered to what you wanted to know, but feel free to ask me anything.
then I asked her some more questions and she replied:
I will start with saying that I have since then changed paths, it was very hard to find a job in the area with contract (there were lots of work experience in London, but since I had a rent to pay I couldn't afford something for free and unstable, that was the main reason that lead me to go into 3D)
The lectures were nice, Mark Bond was the lecture responsible for our course, you could see he knew a lot and was very close to us
Then he invited some people he knew for workshops but some were unprepared and we ended basically just talking and sharing experiences
Then you had a few classes that were common to the framework, which were more theoric
One nice thing that Mark started doing later on was ask us to do exercises with the topic we were working that week
So what we did was do small groups and each of us be responsible for a video so we could add on our showreel
You do have the tools at your disposable to practice and do things, so you could always be doing more
If that's what you are hoping
I took this master degree but I was divided between cinematography and vfx so maybe that's why I ended up changing after all. However I can see that I always end up using that I have learned in the course, so I don't think it was a waste
Hope I am helping in some way

And the second one:

Right, so, let me give you some background. I studied at BU for my undergraduate as well as my masters and my masters has been infinitely more useful. It has developed my skills, provided equipment access, gave me a better sense of professional hierarchies etc. The main issues with MA Cinematography are 1) the course size, 2) the financial logistics and, 3) the academic modules. So, the course size has ripple effects on everything from workshops to equipment availability to ACing and collaboration. It's really hard to know how many students will study this year but my class had 15 cinematographers which was just too many people. The financial logistics are hard because, unlike others on the MA framework, it is desperately hard to hold down a job at the same time as being on this MA. It's a demanding course and when everyone is shooting productions, your apartment becomes somewhere to sleep and eat. Finally, there are several really amazing cinematographers on the course every year who don't manage to do the academic modules to a good standard. The university recognises that most media students aren't principley academic but they need you to be for the course to exist. So the academic modules trip people up every year and sometimes people end up retaking which is difficult if it delays your final masters production.
I absolutely loved being on the cinematography MA. It's really been helpful to me! If you want to be worked hard and be properly immersed in the cinematographer role, it is a good place to start.
One thing I would argue, however, is that a masters degree counts very little in terms of career progression in the UK media industry. So, if career progression has played any part in your decision making thus far, maybe don't focus on it too much. I have made well over 30 films this year, for clients, for festivals and for the university so if you dedicate yourself to it, you'll learn tonnes about filmmaking.
Usually, having a masters would offer some additional progression but a masters in media related subjects tends to be more for personal development.
As for practice, I worked constantly from the first week on films and photos. I've finished my MA and I'm still shooting! You'll definitely have enough to do. However, yeah, it is hard to actually work round all the problems that come from having a bigger framework. There's more films but there's also more of us so you tend to do less films with decent sized crews. You'll be expected to have two to three assistant camera people in your team but that can be very hard to get when everyone is shooting. Equipment is the biggest problem because you'll often have shoots planned which require certain lights or bits of equipment but they're fully booked. So, that can be a bit of a pain. I'd say, be friends with kit room and network with the undergraduates because there'll be a couple really eager to be on board with masters films in camera department. It can be arduous but, for the most part, MA Cinematography is the most thought out course on the framework. You'll learn from each other, from situations on and off-set, from workshops and the masters project really gives you an opportunity to create loads of good content for your final steps into the media industry.
We have two Arri Alexa Classics and four Panasonic EVA-1s, you'll have access to HMI lights of varying wattages, Arri redheads of varying wattages, dedo lights, Kino Flo Divalite panels, some battery powered LED panels, a TV studio, LUMIX GH5/GH4, Zhiyun Crane 2, Movi, two easy rig systems (one's a minimax, the other's a vario). In terms of lenses, although you'll mainly work with primes, zooms are also available. Road flags and fast flags, c-stands, clamps and various grip equipment. You'll be trained in the green screen studio and when in there, you'll be able to work with the varicam classic. You'll also get access to Panther jib and track for the Arri Alexa and Libec jib and track or Hague jib arm for the Panasonic Eva-1s.

This is all the info I got for the MA at Bournemouth. I hope this helps you to make your decision.

And finally answering your question, I ended up not taking the course I still intend to take, which is the Cinematography Intensive at Maine Media Workshops and College (Maine, USA), yet (I was supposed to go next month but well... coronavirus). I'm from Brazil, so after all this research and talking to people, the majority of them told me that if I'm gonna travel to take any course then I should go to the USA, and I ended up agreeing with them. I'm obsessed with the UK and I really wanted to study there, but I realized it doesn't make sense to have an MA since the degree itself doesn't really matter to me. I just need to have more practical experience, which is what the course in Maine offers me, and even though it is not a cheap course, it will be a lot cheaper than taking a whole one-year one. But if the MA is the right choice for you, obviously, just go for it!
Can't tell you how useful this is to me, can't thank you enough. For me, studying in the UK is also a way to gtfo of my country (Lebanon), as the situation has become unbearable here.

I did however attend the full set of beginner and advanced cinematography workshops at the Global Cinematography Institute in Los Angeles, about 2 years ago. The other contender was Maine for sure, eventually I opted for LA. Heard great things about Maine and it was a close call to say the least.

Anyway, thanks again friend, this was quite helpful. Gonna go for Bournemouth most likely, my first choice, NFTS, is unfortunately way too expensive for me.

Good luck!
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KarenEggers
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(Original post by Vayl)
Can't tell you how useful this is to me, can't thank you enough. For me, studying in the UK is also a way to gtfo of my country (Lebanon), as the situation has become unbearable here.

I did however attend the full set of beginner and advanced cinematography workshops at the Global Cinematography Institute in Los Angeles, about 2 years ago. The other contender was Maine for sure, eventually I opted for LA. Heard great things about Maine and it was a close call to say the least.

Anyway, thanks again friend, this was quite helpful. Gonna go for Bournemouth most likely, my first choice, NFTS, is unfortunately way too expensive for me.

Good luck!
I'm just really glad this was helpful to you!

And I'm so sorry for the situation in your country. I don't know if you live in Beirut, but that explosion last week was just terrifying, can't even imagine how things are over there right now. Wishing only the best for everyone.

Yeah, I heard good things about the Global Cinematography Institute too! And how was it for you, did you like it? Isn't it the course that lasts for about two weeks or something? I'm glad Maine was a good contender, I believe I chose it over the course you took in LA because it takes over about 10 weeks and I wanted to have a bigger and longer experience.

Oh yeah, NFTS is actually the dream but it's just too much, I think especially for us, foreign students. I hope Bournemouth is a great fit for you and you have the best possible experience!
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Vayl
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(Original post by KarenEggers)
I'm just really glad this was helpful to you!

And I'm so sorry for the situation in your country. I don't know if you live in Beirut, but that explosion last week was just terrifying, can't even imagine how things are over there right now. Wishing only the best for everyone.

Yeah, I heard good things about the Global Cinematography Institute too! And how was it for you, did you like it? Isn't it the course that lasts for about two weeks or something? I'm glad Maine was a good contender, I believe I chose it over the course you took in LA because it takes over about 10 weeks and I wanted to have a bigger and longer experience.

Oh yeah, NFTS is actually the dream but it's just too much, I think especially for us, foreign students. I hope Bournemouth is a great fit for you and you have the best possible experience!
Yes, I live in Lebanon. Thank you for your kind words

Otherwise here's kind of a review I made a while ago on cinematography.com; I write up a short review of GCI. The program was about a month and a half long.

Too bad about NFTS, it is the dream program!

Peace
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Teg_
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Just wanted to say thankyou Karen for all you're research and sharing what you've found! Very helpful.
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