Watchtower of Turkey on Vimeo

Watchtower of Turkey from Leonardo Dalessandri on Vimeo.

Question from a High School Student:
So I’m applying to colleges soon and would love to major in cinematography or something similar. As of now I only have short DIY videos (interned for a studio) with little actual camera movement. I go to a high school that’s incredibly academically oriented so very few people would be willing to act for me. How can I show to the colleges what I know and can do if I don’t have any subjects? I really want to stick out because my gpa is isn’t necessarily the best when compared to others.

Answer from a Film Production Grad:
See if you can find a decent camera, maybe a 5D or GH4 or something along those lines. If not, then a smart phone. Then, go out and shoot stuff. Anything. People on the street, traffic, weather. Shoot the prettiest stuff you can, at dusk, twilight, golden hour. Then, cut it together into a mood piece and set it to music.

This obviously has a lot of production value and was shot in a beautiful city, but I’d look to it for inspiration since it’s non-narrative and still very cinematic: https://vimeo.com/108018156

Also, some schools will accept a visual portfolio consisting of other things than just film work. I’m a USC film production grad student and got in based on photos and a writing sample. Film schools want to see that you have a ‘cinematic imagination’ more than anything-– they’re not assuming you’ve already shot an award-winning short (unless you’re applying to AFI, but that’s more of a conservatory than traditional film school).

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