10 reasons you shouldn’t go to film school

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    • #39335

      This was posted today at

      Should make for an interesting debate. What do you guys think?

    • #170234

      is the question to go to college or not? college yes, by all means. what filmmaker wouldn’t benefit from college. One of his points is that your favorite filmmaker didn’t go…well, maybe they would have benefitted in some way.

      Absolutely you don’t have to go, but most of the gorilla films that are being made by non-educated filmmakers are trash.

      I guess if you didn’t want to go I’d pick a film company that I wanted to work for and go do an apprentiship or internship. You will prolly have to work for free for someone before getting hired to do something meaningful in the industry. and filmmakers who run off and spend $25K on making a film are most likely wasting every dollar of their money and god forbid they put that on a credit card it will be much more than $25k.

      Most people have no idea what it means to work in film and have no idea of how to get there…so, my answer is film school is good.

      I went to film school and then got a degree from nyu in video. Both helped me immensly and some of the people I met are still in my life as best friends and colleagues and partners. And that was 16 years ago.

      So, one vote for film school!

      Bottom line. If you want it badly enough you’ll make it happen.

    • #170235

      Debates like these are common in many areas of specialized expertise – thanks to the internet! I mean, I have gone to book stores to find information on topics, and found that the same information can many times be found for free on the internet – provided you can filter out the garbage!

      I’m not saying that the internet is the end-all of information – but for some topics – it’s fantastic – like programming languages for example.

      Anyway, I have also found that getting a well written book and having it at your side is a valuable and worthwhile resource.

      I’m halfway through my BS in Computer Science and I have no intention of stopping until I get it – for me it’s about the journey and the expansion of my mind on things I never would have thought about otherwise.

      Now, when I’m on a mission to accomplish something more specific and immediate – I’ll search anywhere and everywhere for the knowledge I think I need to get it done – (and sometimes learn the hard way when I get mis-informed!)

      I can see both sides of this one!

    • #170236

      This is a tough one. It really depends on the person and their skills. It also depends on a person’s monetary situation. Can they really afford it?

      Filmschool will help people who have no prior skill or experience. Just as acting schools will help novice actors, but you also find that some filmamkers have a natural talent. Look at my directoral idol Peter Jackson. he made films since he was a young child. His first major films was made for something like $10,000 out of his own pocket. He had no "official" training as far as I know. The best thing any newcomer can do it just try stuff.

      When I was younger I saw Jurassic Park, I was immediatly interested in how visual effects were done. This was before DVDs were in heavy use and there were no behind the scenes features. A few years later I saw "The Mask" and there was one part where that very famous optical effect was done where the background got smaller but the actor was in the same spot. I wanted so bad to know how they did that, I picked up my dads VHS camcorder and started messing around until I figured it out. Today It can be as easy as watching the behiond the scenes special features on DVDs to figure out how something is done.

      There is no doubt in my mind that someone with an active imagination, ingenuity, and determination. Cannot teach themself how to do a lot of things. The only thing a filmschool will get you is exposure to tools, tjhat are ussually too expensive for an individual to buy.

      So then why not skip film school. save the money and buy the equipment instead? Thats my 2 cents.

    • #170237

      Stay in school kids.

    • #170238

      I knew some fellas who went to film school. They went in knowing absolutly nothing about it. When they came out they had a DVD full of their own short productions, mostly mock commercials. I have to say that the few years they spent getting their degree definatly helped them.

      That being said, If I were to expect a good film it wouldn’t be of the quality that they produced, although one commercial they made was just about the funniest thing I had ever seen… anyway. They more or less learned the basics of Camera work, editing with Avid, and other various tools and skills for pre and post production. I still feel, however, that those are basics they could have taught themselves.

      I have owned my camera for a little over a year now. My first release productions is going to be an indie film. I am slowly releasing test videos on revver.com to fund it, but for the most part I am paying out of pocket. I am estimating that when I am done with my film I will have spent 2 years working on it, when I can, and close the $30,000. Now that includes all productioins equipment, all wardrobe, etc. This is of course my hobby I am not looking for fame or anything, alhough it would be nice.

      My point is I am able to fund this because I have a great job that I got with my Computer Science degree. The guys I knew who went to film school. Did a indie film since they got out. But it was extremly low budget as neither has a job, and they were able to get it done quickly for the same reason. Now I do believe a good film can be made on a low budget, but that is by far one of the hardest things to do.

      Not to sound prideful or anything, but I still feel that I am better equiped in trems of skills and vision to make a better film than my friends.

      Anyway, anyone wanting to go to school for such things should get a degree in Mass Communication. You learn the same basic skills and when you get out you can also get a job, it is the best of both worlds.

    • #170239

      The author of 10 reasons to go and 10 reasons to not go to film school did a good job on the subject! Good discussion all around.
      I cant add much (or subtract even). (My concession speech!)
      But I got to ramble:
      A 4-year college degree is a useful credential in life period, even if you end up working outside of the degree area.
      Film maker doers/aspirants/dreamers will be more committed to their mission than other students. Which SHOULD make them an exception to the rule of a high percent of college students switching their major. Righto? The tendency to drop out to do what you really want to do should not be there either, so the film makers will get their degrees (not the same as a job however )
      Are those pursuing the film muse today like those pursuing the writing muse of yesteryear? Images on 1000 cable channels communicate today like printed words once dominated, so my guess is that todays film makers are those who might have tried writing in an earlier era. (Where did THEY all go!)
      Strong writing skills are still a plus for anyone planning to make a living or even do moonlighting in film, make that essential if the goal is directing. In a film curriculum, take all the writing classes you can find (creative/fiction, playwriting, literature appreciation, grant writing). It all starts with print on the page for fiction films and commercials; it eventually hinges on writing in documentaries. What does the paying audience notice, never mind the critics: The weak link.
      A few years ago, the School of Film in Vancouver, Canada was in ascent and was open to U.S. citizens. The Canadian Govt is a huge supporter of Canadian produced films, as in providing major funding. My impression is a much higher percent of the Canadian Govt budget is dedicated to the arts than is the case here. Check out Vancouver when considering film schools.
      REGARDS TOM 8)

    • #170240

      Here is the top 10 Reasons you should go to film school…


      Haven’t read both stories yet but I would bet there are really good points on both sides…

    • #170241

      I was getting ready to type up a huge rebuttle to this until I saw the link for the "10 reasons to go to Film School". It pretty much made the same points I was going to make.

    • #170242

      I wouldn’t know jack or feel comfortable on a set or know how to get work if I hadn’t gone to production school. They helped me a lot.

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