Full Sail Real World Education

Full Sail Real World Education is one of the more flamboyant film editing schools in the world. Founded in 1979 by Jon Phelps, Full Sail started as a recording studio workshop and later expanded to offer degree programs in Computer Animation, Digital Art and Design, Entertainment Business, Film, Game Design & Development, Recording Arts, and Show Production & Touring. As far as film editing schools go, Full Sail offers a Bachelor of Science in Film.

Situated in Winter Park, Florida, Full Sail is known for their round-the-clock class schedule (24 hours a day, 7 days a week), accelerated college degree programs (12 to 21 months)... and high tuition. The Full Sail Bachelor of Science in Film currently costs $59,075 (as of February 2006 - it goes up regularly).

Still, you can't argue with success, and Full Sail does seem to be experiencing success. Rolling Stone magazine has named Full Sail as "one of the 5 best music programs" in America, along with Berklee College of Music, USC, Oberlin College, and Julliard. Rolling Stone based this on Full Sail's training programs in music production, show production, and engineering.

Other accolades for Full Sail include:

  • Being named by Electronic Gaming Monthly as one of the "Top 5 Game Design Schools in the World"
  • Being named by Shift magazine as "The Third Best New Media School in the World" (MIT and New York University were one and two)
  • Having 32 Full Sail graduates win Grammy Awards in 21 different categories in 2006 for projects they had engineered or mixed.

Full Sail has been expanding rapidly. They have 11 buildings on their campus, with several more planned. They have a wide range of equipment including:

  • Recording studios
  • A film studio
  • A dubbing stage
  • A concert venue

Planned additions include a film studio backlot similar to Universal Studios or MGM
A separate building for the Bachelor of Science in Film program that will house film-specific labs and soundstages

Critics claim that their admissions policies are lax (only a high school diploma or GED is required), their tuition is high, and the academic credentials of the instructors are sometimes lacking. Full Sail notes that they place a higher emphasis on real world experience over academic credentials for their instructors.

Most critics seem to object to the fact that Full Sail is more of a technical school than a college or university. This seems to miss the point that this is exactly Full Sail's strength - they may be expensive, and they may not provide a traditional university education, but students come to Full Sail to get hands-on experience with the technical side of film production and video production. Hands-on experience includes cinematography, non-linear film editing and video editing, sound editing for movies and television, lighting, preproduction, postproduction, and visual effects.

Graduates of Full Sail include Darren Bousman, director of Saw 2, and Jayson Whitmore, motion graphics artist for Nickelodeon, VH1, and the Fox Soccer Channel.

Graduates of Full Sail film school have worked on feature films such as I, Robot and Cellular and on televisions shows such as CSI, The Apprentice, and American Idol. A number of graduates work at George Lucas's Skywalker Sound.

If you're looking at film editing schools to find one that will give you real world technical experience in film editing with film editing equipment and software currently used in the film industry, Full Sail is an excellent film editing school.

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Submitted by support on March 19, 2006 - 5:25pm.

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