Have you always wanted to take a class at Chicago’s Second City, but don’t think you could handle the obnoxious improv kids? Their new film school may be a perfect fit for you. This fall, the comedy institution will open the world’s first film school “dedicated to comedy.” The Harold Ramis Film School, named for the late Second City alum behind Caddyshack, Ghostbusters, and Groundhog Day, will begin enrolling students this September.
“We want a place where you can learn your craft,” Second City co-owner Andrew Alexander says. Hollywood producer—and longtime Ramis collaborator—Trevor Albert will be running the school, while funny guys Steve Carell, Eugene Levy, and Keegan-Michael Key will sit on the advisory board. The school will not be offering a degree, but a certificate, and graduates will be exiting the program with a “portfolio of screenplays, short films, comedy pilots, web series, and other calling cards.” According to the Chicago Tribune, the idea is also to help graduates network to at least the possibility of a Hollywood job.
The new school’s main competition would appear to be Columbia College in Chicago, which offers a film program. But Bruce Sheridan, chair of the Department Of Cinema Art and Science at Columbia College, doesn’t see it that way at all. “We don’t see it as competition,” Sheridan states from atop a throne made from the tuition checks of film school dropouts. “We see it as complementary,” he adds between sips of warm blood from an ingénue filmmaker from Niles.
Tuition to the Harold Ramis Film School will be about $15,000 a year, which, if you have that money up front—and are local to Chicago and its surrounding suburbs—may be better spent shooting a full-length comedy on your iPad and hiring Kevin J. O’Connor to star.