I've been accepted to all three programs and I'm very excited, but I am completely overwhelmed with deciding. They all seem like such great schools.
For me, money is a huge deciding factor, however they all come down to a relatively similar price (USC the cheapest, then Chapman, then NYU). The only thing is, if I go to NYU I have to do a liberal studies program for the first year and I would have to take my film classes that summer semester (so extra money and time).
I am visiting USC next week and I have already seen the other two. So far, I really loved the Chapman environment as well as NYU's. What I'm really looking for is the best option for having success in the film field (the school with the best opportunities). Also having a supportive community and really focusing on film is very important to me.
Any perspective from anyone else in my position, or anyone else who chose Chapman, even if your not a film production major, would be great!
Thank you for any responses!
(I also posted this in the usc and nyu thread, sorry if it seems redundant I just want to get a holistic view).
Hi kitkat, Wow! Congratulations for getting accepted to all of the great schools! How exciting! I think you'll have a better feel after you've visited the schools. Revisit them if you need to. Be sure to ask tons of questions on you tour, such as who owns the film rights to your films? Speaking of film rights, I believe the Chapman Dodge students get to keep their own films. That's a big plus for Chapman. From what I know about USC is that USC gets to hold the rights to the physical film.
My advice for you would be to speak to your parents after the visits and make a list of pros and cons about each school. 1. Affordability (how much can you and your parents afford?) 2. Fit ( size, location, environment, facilities, etc.) 3. Opportunities ( internships, jobs, connections in the industry, faculty and students)
With that said, based on what I know about Chapman Dodge is that it is an amazing film school with the best state-of-the-art facilities (can't wait to see the filmmakers' village), great location, great opportunities, talented students, and world-class faculty.
madbean, The purpose of film rights is to protect the filmmaker of his or her own work, whether it's a student film created while in school or professionally. You never know, if that film gets into the wrong hands, it could be sold without the filmmaker's knowledge. I guess that's why they have copyright law.
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia:
"Film rights are the rights under copyright law to make a derivative work—in this case, a film—derived from an item of intellectual property. Under U.S. law, these belong to the holder of the copyright, who may sell or option them to someone in the film industry (a producer or director or sometimes a specialist broker of such properties) who will then try to gather the other professionals and secure the financial backing needed to convert the property into a film. This is different from the right to exhibit a finished motion picture commercially to an audience; this is usually referred to as "exhibition rights" or "public performance rights"."
Thanks for that explanation. Perhaps you do not realize it, but for student films made at NYU, USC and other film schools, the student DOES own all creative rights to the IP. The Wikipedia entry you quoted is about film rights derived from other media, such as books or comic books, however. Those film rights belong to the original authors, and have nothing to do with original content in student films.
It's a complicated topic. With an original film created by a student, the subsidiary rights including additional film rights stay with the student, no matter what film school they attend.
Once a student film is made, however, there is essentially no paying market for it. It's highest value is in submission to festivals and competitions, and on a student's reel. That is never a problem, though, because all film schools encourage and help their students with submissions. I think the wording of "ownership" can sound scary to those who are not attorneys, and basically it can give students the wrong idea.
Indeed it's a complicated topic. I believe the concerns are more for the independent filmmakers. If the picture was made under the studio or the school, the independent filmmaker gives up control unless it was made under the director. Perhaps this could be the reason that Chapman Dodge emphasized it. Although some films may be entered into festivals and competitions, while others may not, some feel it's necessary to have the full control rather than not for the purpose of what could become a potential down the road. This is where Entertainment Law comes in.
Film Financing and Distribution Deals
By Jon M. Garon
"For the independent filmmaker, making a picture under a studio-financed production deal is both a blessing and a curse. A well-made studio film has the potential to greatly exceed the success of any independent film. The studio’s marketing budgets and promotional savvy can make a household name out of anyone, opening the door for tremendous professional control on subsequent projects.
The curse is that the independent filmmaker gives up control immediately. Rarely do studio screenplays resemble the writer’s first drafts, and novice directors will be second-guessed at every turn—if the filmmaker is allowed to remain attached to the picture at all. Still, that is where the money is. For most artists it is commercial success that buys them the luxury of later artistic control."
Well, again, the passage you quoted is not a concern of student filmmakers, since universities exert exactly zero control over the student's films, scripts, etc. It concerns paid filmmakers working for a studio--as the studio backs the film and takes on the financial risk. It is quite easy to get confused, OCELITE, but the research quoted above is completely off the topic of students making films. The trouble is that students and their parents may become needlessly frightened by the wording of posts by well meaning fans of Chapman. However much a school may want to promote its own policies, the legal ownership of student films is essentially a non-issue for the use of these films by students.
Since the film program at Chapman is really exceptional, it would be helpful for students learn about all the positive elements in the program. This particular bragging point, however, may come across as a scare tactic without substance.
Hi madbean, Thank you for your input. You've given some very good points on this issue, however, it is a personal preference. Eventually the personal choice is up to the individual student filmmaker. Some students may feel more comfortable to be able to have the full access of all copyrights rather than going through hoops later. I don't believe Chapman's intent to come across as a scare tactic. I believe it's to educate and allow the students to have the freedom to think and choose ahead what kind of film policies they want to go with. If something didn't turn out the way they thought it would be , they would not have any regrets. All the copyright laws are there for a reason, otherwise there is no purpose.
Perhaps the following information from USC and NYU will help those film students and families to understand the policy a bit more. This is rather long, but hope it's helpful to those who may want to know.
" Q. Do I own the rights to my film?
USC retains the copyright to ALL short films created within the class. Intellectual property (scripts, treatments, etc.) remains with the filmmaker. Only the tangible film rights are held (the piece created at USC).
Q. Does USC own the script to my short film?
No. USC only holds the rights to the physical film.
Q. If USC owns my film, am I allowed to show it/ send it to festivals?
A student film may be shown/sent to festivals as long as a proper production book is completed for that film. A production book consists of permits/ releases and rights for everything in the film (actor, location, story, music, etc.). The Production book process is outlined and explained in detail in all Summer Program production courses."
Tisch School of the Arts Ownership Policy
The creative works produced by students at the Tisch School of the Arts in fulfillment of class assignments, or as individual study projects, whether made on Tisch School of the Arts premises or elsewhere, with or without Tisch School of the Arts equipment, and with or without extra funds (hereafter called "Student Works"), have a dual nature. First and foremost, the production of Student Works is intended as an educational experience. However, the product of that educational experience is an item of property that may have a market value for its creator(s).
The interest of the Tisch School of the Arts in any Student Work extends only through the completion of the educational experience associated with such Work until its utility as an educational device or matrix has been exhausted. This is not necessarily the completion of the Work; many Student Works that are technically incomplete have nonetheless satisfied the educational purposes for which the creation of such Works was intended.
But, if certain students were to market, distribute, or work for private profit on a Student Work prior to the termination of that Work's usefulness as an educational device, it could deprive other students of the opportunity to work in or with such Work and hinder the exercise of proper faculty supervision of such Work, thereby obstructing the educational purpose that the production of such Work is intended to serve.
Student Works are prepared for educational purposes, not as products for market, and the financial value of Student Works, if any, is at most a secondary benefit of their creation. Therefore, it is in the interest of the students at the Tisch School of the Arts and of the Tisch School of the Arts as a whole that each Student Work remains subject to certain restrictions until the educational experience associated with such Work has been completed. Following the completion of such experience, the Tisch School of the Arts has no interest in the marketing of any Student Work or any income derived there from. Therefore, all Student Works are subject to the following ownership policy:
1. All Student Works are owned by the student(s) who create them.
2. Any income from distribution of any Student Work shall be the property of the student(s) who create such work.
3. All students who create or participate in the creation of a Student Work are jointly and severally responsible for such Student Work, including without being limited to, for determining and ensuring that such Student Work does not violate or infringe on any copyright, any right of privacy, or any other right of any person, and that such Student Work is not libelous, obscene, or otherwise contrary to law. Such students shall also be jointly and severely responsible for obtaining any necessary permissions for the use of any copyrighted materials included in such Student Work.
Any advice or assistance given by any faculty member or other representative of the Tisch School of the Arts or of New York University to any student in relation to the foregoing responsibilities, or otherwise in relation to the preparation or production of a Student Work, shall not be construed (a) as the assumption of such responsibility or of any liability by such person, by the Tisch School of the Arts, or by New York University; (b) to deem the University, the School, or such person a joint venturer with such student; or (c) to grant such student the power, right, or authority to create any obligation or responsibility on behalf of, or otherwise, to bind the University, the School, or such person.
Each student who creates or participates in the creation of a Student Work agrees to indemnify and hold harmless the Tisch School of the Arts and New York University against any loss, damage, liability, or expense that they incur as a result of the preparation or production of such Student Work, including, without being limited to, any material in such work that infringes or violates any copyright, right of privacy, or any other right of any person, or is libelous, obscene, or contrary to law.
4. To ensure that each student and faculty member has a meaningful opportunity to participate in the educational process occasioned by the production of each Student Work, the student(s) who owns each Student Work agrees not to distribute such Work in any manner, whether by sale or other transfer of the ownership or other rights, license, lease, loan, gift, or otherwise, except for entering such Work in festivals or competitions, and further agrees to make such Student Work available to other student and to faculty members of the Tisch School of the Arts for any use relating to his or her education or to the education of such other students, until such student, or if more than one student owns such Student Work, until all such students have either graduated from New York University or are no longer matriculating at New York University. The dean of the Tisch School of the Arts may, in her sole discretion, waive these restrictions for any reason satisfactory to the dean.
5. The student(s) who owns each Student Work grants New York University: (a) the right to purchase prints or other copies of such Student Work at cost, whenever, in the University's sole discretion, such prints or other copies are needed for any University use; and (b) the right to reproduce, display, or perform such prints or other copies anywhere and for any reason, including, without being limited to, publicizing the Tisch School or the Arts or New York University, without any royalty or other payment of any kind to the student(s), provided that such prints or copies may not be rented or sold by the University. Such student(s) also agrees that he or she will not make any contract or commitment regarding the Student Work contrary to this policy or in derogation of the rights granted to the University by this policy, and that he or she will sign any document reasonably requested by the University to confirm or enforce any of the rights granted to the University by this policy.
6. The Tisch School of the Arts will decide whether or not to put its name on a given Student Work. If so requested by the dean of the Tisch School of the Arts, the student(s) who owns each Student Works agrees to credit in such Student Work, in a manner satisfactory to the dean, any donor to the Tisch School of the Arts whose donation contributed in any way to the production of such Student Work.
Thanks for printing all that out, OCELITE. Like you, I'm afraid many do not understand what a copyright really means. It does NOT entail the intellectual property or any creative rights in any way. They always belong to the student(s). Just wanted to make that very clear as that was not what you originally stated.
In fact, the reason I wanted to ask you about your original post was that it seemed pretty confused about the facts. Your subsequent posts were also mistaken. And you have posted similar things on the film forum on CC and there are many who do get scared by this sort of discussion. I just thought it was time to get this cleared up.
Thanks so much for your input and for your being open to delve a little more deeply into what this issue really means. The policy you have been concerned about (and that is your right!) is not, however, one that in any way infringes on the student filmmaker. That point gets murky in posts that continue to defend the original mistaken post, and suggest other school's policies disadvantage the student. As I'm sure you know, none of these schools take advantage of their students. That's why so many continue to attend USC, NYU and Chapman.
madbean, again I thank you for your input. Sounds like you're still a little confused about the point I was making. My original post's question: " who owns the film rights to your films?" Meaning who owns the copyright to all of the student's work. My point was if a school owns the copyright to the physical film, the filmmaker would not have full control of all of his/her work. In order to present the original work to the buyer, the seller most likely will require to present both the script and the physical film. It's a package deal as DS calls it. If the original artist has the copyright of one piece of the work while someone else has the copyright of the other piece of the work, it won't go well with the buyer. If that film turns out to be a hot piece of work, who will be the one that claims it? The film has the school's name on it, while the script has the artist's name on it. That is the point I was making. It's like a student who makes a discovery in a research project, but the school has the copyright of the work, who will claim the discovery, the student or the school? As we have indicated it is a complicated topic. It never hurts to understand the value of one's work. With that said, I agree that these are all great institutions.
Your son is right about the copyrights. However, as stated before but it seems to need repeating: There is no market (no buyers) for student films. Since this subject only relates to the sale of the actual film (not the ideas, script, etc) and since there is no one who buys student films as is, this point is moot.
In case this surprises you, I'll explain a little further. The restricted budgets, short length, and other aspects common to student work give student films no real commercial value, no matter how brilliant, and many may be. Since the sale of such a film as it exists is not possible (no one buys student films--the best ones are exhibited at showcases, festivals and competitions) there are no cases when this policy has hurt the student, as I've said. However, if there should someday be a buyer who wants to purchase the film itself (this is a student film, we're talking about), many universities will only need the student to come to their clearance office to arrange the paperwork to make that possible. These contracts are necessary by the WGA, SAG, etc. who originally okayed the film to be produced with unpaid talent under a student film exclusion to their standard basic agreements for commercial films. In case that is not clear enough, OCELITE, no university goes on to sell one of their student's work, make any money off of it, take creative credit for it, steal it, or any such nonsense. This is the suggestion you continue to make and I can't imagine you mean this.
I'm glad you have been willing to learn a little more about this topic. It is so esoteric (in that its application is almost completely theoretical in light of real practices in selling films today) that I always cringe a little when it is brought up to seem like some big deal that hurts the student. It is not. And your analogy to the student whose research is somehow claimed by the university is, I'm afraid, exactly the sort of distorted logic that is so untrue. I hope you understand now that the university does not own any intellectual property or creative ideas, concepts or scripts produced by its students. Perhaps you should really stop trying to explain at this point. You are, I'm afraid, still confused.
I do appreciate your willingness to look at the issue more openly and honestly. As I suggested and hope, those of you on the Chapman forum can do a great service to incoming students by featuring the actual benefits of attending this school. There are so many that are real and substantial.
madbean, I thought you're a fan of USC and have kids there. So I see you're here to check out the competition. And of course Chapman has lots of benefits, this happens to be one of them. I will save you the trouble of repeating, because it is not a requirement for the students to sell their films through festivals and whatnot. Keep in mind this industry is about connections. If a student already have connections within a company, he or she can pitch the way in. You can't sell if you don't have the goods.
FYI...I was using the student's research work as an example, and you're taking it out of context. I do realize most universities do follow rules and they have no intention of taking credit. As I had said before, the purpose of rights is to protect the filmmaker. Life has no guarantees. As I'm sure the USC fans didn't expect their football team and basketball team to break any NCAA rules either, but it can happen. With that said, it's time to move on.
I'm a sophomore at Tisch now. The last time I ever thought about the copyright on my student films was when I was applying to film schools and Chapman made a big deal out of it. Since then it hasn't mattered at all. Don't worry about it. It's completely moot.
Student films never go anywhere. There's honestly no reason for you to hold even intellectual rights on them. Trust me, virtually nothing you make in film school will be commercially useful. This is for two reasons: 1) 99.9% of filmmakers aren't NEARLY as talented as they think they are, and 2) the resources given to you are not great enough and the assignments are too unique so there's usually no reason your creation would be of interest to non-filmmakers anyway.
That said, there certainly are *some* students at NYU who have their final thesis films broadcast (documentaries, mainly) but that's post-graduation and long after the film's educational purpose has run out. Any of these schools would be more than happy to not only let you broadcast, but help you get there.
We've already spent so much time discussion copyrights it's ridiculous. It's the LAST thing that should be on your mind right now.
As for NYU vs. USC vs. Chapman, I'd rank and attend them in that order. I faced the same decision you are facing now and picked NYU for two reasons: I did NOT want to live in LA and after touring the schools decided that, even besides location, NYU offered the best environment for me to grow as an artist. I was not impressed with Chapman academically or intellectually (though they have great facilities and bla bla that stuff doesn't really matter trust me). I was not impressed with USC on an emotional/personal level (everyone there was really rude and stuck-up to me for some reason) but WAS impressed with NYU on every level.
Never go anywhere is a big phrase. Keep in mind that different people have different goals, therefore, they may take different paths to achieve their dreams.
"There's honestly no reason for you to hold even intellectual rights on them. Trust me, virtually nothing you make in film school will be commercially useful. This is for two reasons: 1) 99.9% of filmmakers aren't NEARLY as talented as they think they are, and 2) the resources given to you are not great enough and the assignments are too unique so there's usually no reason your creation would be of interest to non-filmmakers anyway."
There are different reasons why certain people prefer to hold their rights. Save the hassle would be a very good reason. Some students may use it to enter contests, whether it's for scholarship purposes or for a film festival, etc. Keep in mind that different contests may have different rules or requirements. In most cases, if the school or institution holds the rights to the film, they will need to sign the entry form giving permission for the film to be submitted. Therefore, each time you want to submit your film, you need to get permission from the school. As an example of what the rules may look like, here's one from the Depaul USA film contest:
4. Eligibility: You must complete the entry form and sign it, stating that the film is your work product. Films must be suitable for public viewing (as determined by Depaul USA at its sole discretion) and may not contain nudity, profanity, threats of physical violence, or material that is unlawful or in violation of or contrary to the laws or regulations in any jurisdiction where the film is created. Films with U.S. distribution (obtained prior to being selected for the Depaul USA film contest) or films produced, financed or initiated by a major film studio or television network are ineligible for competition. Films that have screened on U.S. network or cable television or distributed to theaters prior to the festival dates are also ineligible for competition.
5. Student and Group Submissions: Submissions from students, including graduate and undergraduate students, are highly encouraged but not required. Student films made with funding from a university or other institution are welcome, but if the school or institution holds the rights to the film, they will need to sign the entry form giving permission for the film to be submitted in this contest. Groups of individuals may enter one collective film, and the name of the director should be listed under the “Director” field in each entry form submitted by the group. Should a group submission win a prize, the award will be sent to the director, and the division of the prize money is the responsibility of the director, not Depaul USA.
6. Releases and Copyrighted Material: All entrants must submit a Depaul USA Film Festival release form for each individual that appears in the film contest submission. If your film contains any copyrighted material (music, video, photographs, or otherwise) the filmmaker will be responsible for securing the licensing rights. (To avoid the expense and difficulty of securing such rights we recommend using only original, non-copyrighted material or material licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike license). Films must not contain material that violates or infringes another’s rights, living or deceased, including but not limited to privacy, publicity or intellectual property rights, or as stated above, material that constitutes copyright infringement. Films should not prominently display or refer to any other for-profit companies’ or products’ names, brands, trademarks, or logos.
" I was not impressed with Chapman academically or intellectually"
Really? Did you sit in one of the classes or speak to the Chapman professors? Do you know where the Chapman professors come from or received their degrees from, such schools like Chapman, USC, UCLA, NYU, Stanford, U of Penn, Yale, Berkeley, Harvard, etc. to name a few?
" As for NYU vs. USC vs. Chapman, I'd rank and attend them in that order. I faced the same decision you are facing now and picked NYU for two reasons: I did NOT want to live in LA and after touring the schools decided that, even besides location, NYU offered the best environment for me to grow as an artist. I was not impressed with Chapman academically or intellectually (though they have great facilities and bla bla that stuff doesn't really matter trust me). I was not impressed with USC on an emotional/personal level (everyone there was really rude and stuck-up to me for some reason) but WAS impressed with NYU on every level."
Keep in mind that everyone will have different opinions for fitting purposes. LA is not for everyone as the same with NY is not for everyone. Frankly, the East Coast weather is too cold in the winter, and it's too humid in the summer for our fit. In addition to why many people choose Chapman, better location, better weather, better merit-aid, closer to Hollywood than NYU. In another word, closer to the action! If you want to have the full experience like in the real world, film facilities, faculty and connections do matter.