Yes, Full Sail, Film School was important!
These days, you can basically learn anything online that you'd ever want to know about, this wasn't the case when I went attended Full Sail 2005-2007. We were still learning on 16mm and 35mm Film cameras and I grateful for that! I think having limited access to cameras made us truly appreciate each and every shot and plan for it accordingly. I had already studied photography for several years, in and out of school and with professionals. Knowing what I know now and even having access to information so freely, I still think it's important to attend school. I think it's the best way to get experience working in many positions with diverse groups of people and an excellent way to fully understand the different positions on a film set.
For me, having a learning difference, dyslexia, it's difficult for me to comprehend things on paper so it's way better to be hands on and that's exactly what Full Sail offers. I have heard people say it's expensive but if you break down the time it would take to learn on your own, it's completely worth every penny. I don't know of any other Film School that has a full wood mill to build sets and professional size sound stages with full electric distribution, like you would find in a studio. I loved the pace of things with a new class every month, rather than every 6 months, we sometimes had class at 1am-5am, which actually makes sense because this isn't a 9-5 kind of industry.
This is one of the 1st student projects, I wrote and Directed, at Full Sail. I remember that the end was shot on 35mm film and we had to re-shoot it and my instructors were more than happy to help me re set the sound stage and allow me to use the extra time to light it on another day.
I did audit some classes last year and the schedule didn't seem quite as rigorous as when I had attended but still did resemble the same kind of hours you have to get accustomed to in the industry.
Now, this isn't to say it's for everyone, maybe you'd enjoy sitting in a class for 6 months taking the time to discuss the theory of things and film noir, maybe you don't want to learn how to operate cameras and lighting gear, if this is the case then it's not for you.
I had already been teaching myself how to edit and been shooting before I attended so I knew right away what questions I wanted to ask and was fortunate to attend when everything switched from tape to digital so I feel like it really put me way ahead of a lot of people in the industry. I believe it would have been incredibly difficult, without an education, to have the confidence it required to walk on to the sound stage at ABC studios, in New York City, wheeling around a Jimmy Jib (which drives sort of like a top heavy broken shopping cart if you aren't familiar with how one moves) with talent, crew and an audience ready to leap in your path at any moment.
Full Sail opened the doors to the greatest experiences in my life, including the opportunity to conceive and create this film, it is by far, the best investment in time and money I have ever made. I'm looking forward to sharing this project with my new team that I'm currently building, through utilizing my contacts with alumni and some of the faculty. 90% of the people who have worked on this project have either attended or worked at Full Sail so it really has made all the difference!