MediaU is fueling the next generation of filmmakers, giving them the diverse and accessible tools needed to thrive. The platform, which is the first EdTech program focused on the entertainment industry, offers students a new, fresh approach to film school.
Often, good film schools are very expensive – costing up to $250,000 for a four-year degree. They also tend to take a more passive approach to actually employment post-graduation. In most cases, students don’t get the hands-on experience, mentorship, and tools they need to be successful in the entertainment industry.
Some argue film school isn’t necessary at all, that what you really need is practical information and hands-on experience. After all, one of the most iconic producers, Quentin Tarantino, once said “When people ask me if I went to film school, I tell them ‘No, I went to films.”
Still, Tarantino isn’t the only one who feels this way. After Adam Leipzig, former Disney and National Geographic Executive, began to teach at film schools, he realized how unhelpful it can be. Worse yet, Leipzig noticed that his college textbook designed for film students would mark the first updated textbook in the last twenty years. In this span of time, he argues he learned two things: first, that experiential learning is vital, and how unwelcoming the industry has become. “Students can spend $250K, 4 years, and not be able to be hired or get jobs in the industry,” Leipzig expresses.
Driven to allow aspiring filmmakers the resources they need, Leipzig created MediaU. Since then, the program has also welcomed professionals already in the field who want to refine their skills. MediaU also provides a much more affordable course of action, as you won’t need to spend four years getting a degree. Better yet, as MediaU develops, classes will be able to be applied towards earning a certificate with the University of California, a partnership that the company hopes to create with other colleges and universities in the coming years. MediaU also offers scholarships for those who aren’t able to afford their program, allowing education to be accessible to all.
Regardless of what niche of the industry someone is interested in, the company feels confident they can help. Instead of general, unspecific programs, MediaU students have much more diverse opportunities to learn. For example, they can engage with professional mentors, join an online community of other MediaU students and tune into monthly livestream networking events with real hiring managers.
MediaU’s mentorship program boasts an extensive team of highly skilled and experienced professionals in the entertainment industry. Advisors have worked at various high-level media companies, such as Netflix, the CW, National Geographic, Disney, the History Channel, Paramount, AMC Networks and Telemundo. “Under the tutelage of these coveted experts, students are bound to grow, excel and unlock their true potential,” Leipzig argues.
Leipzig himself is one of the coaches. Along with being the former Executive of National Geographic and Disney, he’s been the President of various media companies and has worked in nearly every role available in the industry- including studio executive, producer, distributor, financier, independent and even professor. At UC Berkeley’s Haas School of Business, Leipzig teaches in the MBA and Executive Education programs.
Another key member of MediaU’s team is board member BK Fulton, the CEO of Soulidifly Productions, a successful film, stage and TV company dedicated to inclusivity in the media. Fulton is the chairman of a total of seven companies, is a technology thought-leader, and was previously President of Verizon Virginia and West Virginia. Fulton’s accomplishments have earned him the title of one of the most influential African Americans in technology. “MediaU is a game changer. Prior to MediaU, the best film and media training was only available to an elite few. Now, we use the tools of our time to deliver a credit-based experience to anyone who wants to learn the art of filmmaking,” explains Fulton.
With the EdTech industry expected to be worth $605 billion by the year 2027, it’s clear that alternative education programs, such as MediaU- are taking off. Even traditional film schools are taking note – more than 70% of U.S. Colleges plan to create 100% online undergraduate degrees within the next three years. Leipzig sees the potential for colleges and MediaU to collaborate even more in the future. With the company’s help, higher education systems may be able to form better, more enriching programs for their own students.
For more information about MediaU, check out their website.