From Military to Film school?

Hello, first I’d like to state you’re not going to find anyone west of the Mississippi more ambitious than me.
I’m leaving for the Navy for 5 years, I was fortunate enough to find the job that I dreamed about when enlisting which is Mass Communication Specialist, (MC), in this job, I will work on videography, photography, journalism, and graphic designs. I chose this job because I dreamed of working in the film industry one day. What I wanted to ask was, what am I going to do after the Navy? I wanted to go straight to film school, hopefully UCLA, because it’s one of the most prestigious colleges for film, and I don’t live too far from it so I don’t have to spend money from my BAH on housing when I’m using my GI bill. What are my steps? I know UCLA requires very smart students, and I had a very low GPA in high school, but does UCLA accept freshman in the film program? Or Juniors? And let’s say I miraculously get a B.A. in film from a nice school, would it be hard to find a job with a good degree with from a high end school, along with my military experience in film already? I’m not speaking about getting millions from making movies, but just even as a producer for a TV broadcast show. Thank you for your time.

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I’m not in the film industry, but I’ll tel you this. Several vets have tried this path and it’s not lucrative. You have better chances of being an OK paid journalist than being in video production.

It seems like you’ll work in Public Affairs. It’s a good field, good autonomy and trainining. You’ll like it.

If you truly want to work in the video industry, research colleges the top rated college in this industry. Usually, the best ones are the ones closest to a video agency or news network…or (you guessed it) hollywood/broadway. However, you can’t just graduate and get a job. Even with veteran experience. You need connections, a portfolio or at least real world (not military) experience in order to get these jobs. A better option would be to seek a position as production manger of regional theater. That’s a better alternative, just my opinion.

Also, another thing, to take in mind: remember the Navy, Marines, Army and Air Force have a good paying positions in Public Affairs as a commisisoned officer (civillian too). While you’re in, look into STA-21 program and the Public Affairs Ofifcer. It pays well, very chill but challenging job. Worth looking into.

I don’t have all the answers. But as long as you take college while on active duty, raise your GPA and retake SAT/ACT, you’ll have a chance in the future. It’s just a matter of planning and not giving up. I had a 2.2 high school GPA and now have 3.5 college GPA. I"m still in active duty, but several respected colleges have accepted me. I ain’t that smart either. I just put the time into it.

Note: Military pays for CLEP tests. Look into that. When you get to your duty station, pay a visit to your Education Center. Seriously. Do it. The educationc enter is one of the most empty buildings on every military installation. It’s sad.

You don’t have to figure all this out now. You can do after a couple of years. The UCs have a good transfer path for CC students and they take a lot of transfers. Schools will be Vet friendly. If you want to start at UCLA as a freshman your high school record will be very important, and your SAT scores. If you are a transfer, only your CC grades matter but they expect high grades. Since you didn’t do well in HS, how will you get the high grades in college? Maybe with a little maturity you can make it matter to you more. Also Orange Coast and LA City College both have film programs and you can do AA to Transfer or such.

Yes very recently UCLA did start admitting a limited amount to the film school as freshmen, most have to transfer in still like before. USC also has a top film school and take a lot of transfers from CCCs. Also Chapman in Orange has a top film school.

Film is very hard to work your way into. You don’t just graduate and get a job most of the time. You try to do stuff summers internships and stuff, low pay. I know a NYU grad who did get a great job as a producers asst on an HBO show out of college, but he had interned with the BBC. I know some Chapman creative writing majors who got low paying jobs at one of the big talent agencies then they make connections and get low pay assistant jobs at production companies. One is a Asst to the Producer and prod company head and reads scripts but also gets coffee. She is the 2nd assistant.