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‘Net school offers film instruction

Venture opening o'seas doors to H'wood

Global Film School, a new educational program backed by top entertainment institutions in Australia, London and Los Angeles, will launch next year.

Initially an online institution, it’s the brainchild of Australian Film Television and Radio School (AFTRS), the National Film and Television School of Great Britain (NFTS) and the UCLA School of Theater, Film and Television. It will offer in-home classes worldwide on directing, producing, screenwriting, editing, design, cinematography and music composition.

On-site classes in Sydney, London and Los Angeles will also be available to supplement Global Film School’s ‘Net instruction.

The school hopes to ensure democratic access into Hollywood, even for students living in developing countries. “The Internet represents the ultimate non-elitist sector of the media,” said UCLA film prof and Mandalay Pictures chair Peter Guber, one of the program’s organizers.

Funding film schools

The Internet school also aims to be a full-scale business operation.

“The idea is to develop revenues from advertising, e-commerce and to develop a range of business-to-business applications,” UCLA film school dean Robert Rosen said. Some of the online revenues will then be used to fund the traditional brick and mortar film school operations at UCLA, AFTRS and NFTS.

But, perhaps most important, Guber pointed out, “the school will be an incubator of talent, which happens to be the rarest and most inelastic element in the entertainment industry food chain.”

And students will not be short-changed with an online, long-distance education. As AFTRS director Rod Bishop explained, “By combining cutting-edge technology and the ability of the Internet to create a virtual classroom for students from around the world, the possibilities are infinite.”

Echoing Bishop, Rosen added, “One of the things we can bank on is the omnipresence of online education becoming an integral part of the culture in the 21st century and a central part of lifelong education.”

More than 300 accredited U.S. schools and colleges, including Harvard, Stanford, Duke and U.C. Berkeley, offer degrees through distance learning.

Other Global Film School heads, in addition to Bishop and Rosen, will include NFTS director Stephen Bayly. The project’s coordinator is Lesley Dyer, UCLA’s director of international projects.

Offering degrees

Promising to offer accredited certificates following course completion, Global Film School will start announcing its application process in the next several months on its Web site, http://www.globalfilmschool.com.

The school curricula will be broken down into four programs: the Global Conservatory, Global Film’s primary media studies focus; the Center for Advanced Studies, a retraining program for professionals looking to change careers; the Youth Program for Media Literacy, an intro to film for elementary and high school kids; and the Life-Learning Program, studies for anyone hungry for more film knowledge.

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