A Letter From Our CEO – Now, Community Matters More Than Ever (COVID – 19)
As a Career Coach and Stage 32 Next Level Webinar presenter, I have two perspectives on this topic. You can read my answer at http://www.thegreenlightcoach.com/blog/291-question-34/
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Film school really gets a bad rap. I can tell you from experience that, without going to film school I never would have had access to such great equipment, people eager to crew, and mentors genuinely interested in helping me become a successful filmmaker. Not to mention it would have taken me a lot longer to learn the technical stuff on my own. I get why people claim film school is unnecessary, there are a lot of great arguments for this line of thinking. I just think the benefits far outweigh the drawbacks.
Allen, I am so with you because you sound like a person who knew how to maximize his film school experience. Someone who does, can really get an edge. Unfortunately you are a top 10%r, which you already know. Most people don't make the time to build relationships and take advantage of equipment unless it's an assignment. They don't even maintain relationships with their teachers who work in the industry. Kudos to you!
I totally agree, Jessica. One of my biggest frustrations in school were the students who just didn't seem to care (and there were a lot of them!)
You are only responsible for yourself Allen, that's why the creme rises to the top
I haven't read your book Jessica, but I can say that I got a lot out of film school. Hands on work in the industry is still an essential part of one's education but for me, the time, environment, resources and connections that film school provides is very valuable. That being said, I wouldn't recommend going into debt for it. I'd advise someone to do it if they can afford it but it's not worth mortgaging the house.
Just a thought about film school. When I went to film school I was too immature. I thought it would be a traditional school experience where I studied and learned. I was wrong. It is way more like working in the professional world. To get the most out of it, you need to focus on building relationships, and marketing yourself to your fellow students. I was too young, and did not understand this. Get Jessica's book and read it before attending! Your film projects will be only 10% of the value of the school. The diploma? No body has ever asked me if I even went to a film school in an interview! My real learning took place when I found myself unemployed after graduation and needed to devise a way into the industry. And it took me a few years of making connections before I even began to make a living. At the beginning of film school, there was one student who announced at a meeting on the first day, that he didn't expect to learn anything at the school, but simply came for the connections. I thought this sounded kind of arrogant, but he quickly became one of the most popular cinematographers in the class due to this very attitude! Even at a film school, everyone wants to work with the people that "everyone else" thinks is good! In the meantime, I have matured! I'm now a very experienced and cool cinematographer. Call me :)
I have to say, I really like the conversation this is turning in to. You are all so helpful with your points of view and in addition to the person who asked this question, this will be a great resource to other people researching their decision on attending film school.
I had a B.A. and went to the old American Film Institute. The people I went to school with are in very high positions in the industry.