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FilmmakerGround >> Is film school worth the money?


8/5/07 2:50 AM
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TheRealJoker
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Edited: 05-Aug-07 03:01 AM
Member Since: 05/10/2003
Posts: 22212
 
Hello all,

I've always been a movie buff and have been a pretty good creative writer. I've always been interested in possibly writing movies or maybe even directing, but I have no experience and haven't really acted on this sort of thing.

Im going to college right now and I have to decide on my major by the end of this semester to get into the right school next fall. Im leaning toward a finance major but I just dont want to kick myself 10 years from now saying "I wish I would've applied to film school instead".

Are there any classes you would suggest for me to take in the Fall at the Community college to help me decide? Im taking an English class writing about film, but I was wondering if there was something more specific?

Also, i've read that film school isn't necessarily a prerequisite and isn't necessary. How much is it worth in your opinion?

I'd like to know about anything I can do to see if maybe this would be a passion of mine worht pursuing.
8/5/07 10:52 AM
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BarkLikeADog
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Edited: 05-Aug-07
Member Since: 10/11/2005
Posts: 4849
Oh, man. I can already tell you what most of the people on this forum are gonna say, which is that if you really want to know, go get a camera & start shooting, & maybe read this or that renegade directing book. So before they start in with that, here's my OG tough love: Just about EVERYBODY has directing &/or acting in the back of their mind. You need to take a quick personal reality check to see if that's even possible, or just wishful thinking. If you want to be involved with mainstream directing or writing, you have to know people. Do you know people? Do you know people with money? Do you live in LA? Are you willing to? Is your family influential &/or filthy rich? All that stuff is relatively important to break into the Hollywood system as a director or writer. Not absolutely necessary, but a stiff "don't quit your day job" is in order here. Having done that, Take a look at the credits of any mainstream film. See how it takes about a minute to go through the director & actors, & another 10 minutes to quickly name off every else? THAT'S who film school & university production programs are for. It's mostly formal training in the tools of production & post-production. If you want to be a rotoscoper or a gaffer or a visual artist or a key grip or whatever, you can go to a production school & find your place, & maybe that's a good investment. Or maybe you can move to LA & apply for every PA gig you can find & make coffee until somebody calls in sick, & boom! whatever they did, that's your new job. Both are about equally viable & probably cost you about the same in the long run. If you're a really good writer, then you should be well aware that the Hollywood system is full of crappy writing, so clearly there are other criteria in play. Directing, that's more of a mat time kind of thing, & you can usually learn more about that out of school than in, ..all of which is not to say that school is worthless, just that it's equivalent of, say, music school. Music school will not make you a rock star. Being a rock star is the only thing that can make you a rock star.
8/5/07 2:36 PM
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TheRealJoker
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Edited: 05-Aug-07
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So basically what you're saying is that its a better investment to go through with business school and pursue screen writing more as a hobby and if I get something good great, but if not I have a day job to fall back on? Sounds reasonable enough, are there any books  or courses at my local college you'd recommend?

8/6/07 12:13 AM
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Gorgeous
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Edited: 06-Aug-07 12:45 AM
Member Since: 06/14/2002
Posts: 10319
It is if you read and understand as much as you can technically before you go in. You know, know what a stock is, what they are a nd how they differ and apeture settings and be familiar with pixel and dpi requirements for different medias. Then when the first lecture tries to make your head spin you'll be in front instead of bamboozled. Then you can bust into your first assignment that will be a fully produced short film due the next afternoon straight away. And get it right because you woudl have understood the assignment.
8/6/07 12:43 AM
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Gorgeous
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Edited: 06-Aug-07
Member Since: 06/14/2002
Posts: 10324
Now, having read your first post. I woudl find a real reason to make a film before you apply. This may take years.
8/7/07 4:20 AM
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BarkLikeADog
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Edited: 07-Aug-07
Member Since: 10/11/2005
Posts: 4869
"It is if you read and understand as much as you can technically before you go in. You know, know what a stock is,"...blah blah blah. All that stuff is useless to a screenwriter, & even a lot of directors don't know squat about any of that. "So basically what you're saying is that its a better investment to go through with business school" Most of the people that make a ton of money in film are on the business end of it. You can write a long string of blockbuster hits & still be broke at the end of it, but one good business deal can set you for life. I'll leave the book recommendations to the mods, or you can scroll down a bit; there are a half dozen threads about it here already.
8/7/07 5:31 AM
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Gorgeous
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Edited: 07-Aug-07
Member Since: 06/14/2002
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You're taling about film school. There, you have to do everything.
8/7/07 6:04 AM
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BarkLikeADog
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Edited: 07-Aug-07
Member Since: 10/11/2005
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Sorry, it looked like your other post was in response to his reply right before it: Him: "So basically what you're saying is that its a better investment to go through with business school" You: "It is if you read and understand as much as you can technically before you go in." I still disagree with what you're saying, but for different reasons now, lol. I think that collegiate level instruction is generally not designed to trick you or "make your head spin". Further, if you understand all that shit before going in, there's not a whole heck of a lot of reason to drop serious cash on getting bored by it, outside of learning how to play nice with others.

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