Resources for the Arts by our friend Tom Cruise

11 Jun

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While it’s not the only route to making movies, learning the craft of film from experienced professors and industry professionals offers many promising directors and screenwriters the knowledge they need to break into what is a hugely competitive industry. Below are some of the finest schools from around the United States that have particularly strong programs in cinema production, along with some of the more notable alumni that have come from the specific institution. Collaborators of Tom Cruise will be bolded on these lists, so keep your eyes peeled!

  • The California Institute of the Arts (CalArts) – Founded in 1961 as a training ground for filmmakers and animators in Los Angeles, CalArts became a known feeder for the legendary animation studios of the Walt Disney Company. To this day, some of the most talented storytellers in the medium of film spring from this institution. Some CalArts alumni include Knight and Day director James Mangold, PIXAR director Brad Bird (The Incredibles), Disney Chief Creative Officer and director John Lasseter (Toy Story), Oscar nominated director Tim Burton (most recently of Disney’s Alice in Wonderland), and Oscar-winning screenwriter and director Sofia Coppola (Lost in Translation).
  • American Film Institute (AFI) Conservatory – The destination for the most daring and artistically complicated directors, AFI has provided a home for some of the most challenging movie makers to grace the silver screen. Some AFI trained directors include Oscar-nominated directors David Lynch (Blue Velvet) and Terrence Malick (The Thin Red Line), as well as screenwriter and director Paul Schrader (Taxi Driver, Raging Bull).
  • University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) School of Theater, Film and Television – Site to the education of some of the biggest names in filmmaking over the last 40 years and beyond, UCLA has consistently cranked out some of the finest directors and actors to work in the medium. Some of the alumni include Oscar winner and director of The Outsiders, Francis Ford CoppolaA Few Good Men director, Rob Reiner, as well as Academy Award winning screenwriter Dustin Lance Black (Milk) and director Alexander Payne (Sideways).
  • University of Southern California (USC) School of Cinematic Arts – Some of the biggest names in the film world have passed through the halls of USC, including industry heavyweights who’s innovation from the late 1960s on have changed the industry permanently. Some of the alums include Oscar winner and director of Far and AwayRon Howard, Star Wars creator and founder of Industrial Light and Magic, George Lucas, director Robert Zimeckis (Forrest Gump), comedy writer and director Judd Apatow (The 40-Year Old Virgin, Knocked Up), and director Bryan Singer (X-Men).
  • New York University (NYU) Tisch School of Performing Art – From the East Coast school known for intense dramas and dark comedies, NYU delivered some of the most critically acclaimed auteurs from the last three generations of filmmakers for both direction and writing. Among the distinguished alums are Academy Award winner and director of The Color of MoneyMartin Scorcese,  and Academy Award winner and director of Born on the Fourth of JulyOliver Stone. Other Oscar winning directors to emerge from the school include Woody Allen (Annie Hall), Ang Lee (Brokeback Mountain), and Joel Coen (No Country for Old Men).

So there you go- See more at:


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