Filmmaking / Directing : Is Film School The best Choice ? by Aaron McKenzie

Is Film School The best Choice ?

Hey Stage 32 , I Have a Question For Directors / Producer's & Actors .... I Was Interested in attending film school in 2015 My goal is to focus on becoming a Movie Director & Actor would film School be a good choice of education to go through or am i wasting my time trying to focus on taking a Film course at an college . I Just would like some great advice From People that have experienced Film School .. " Did you get anything out of it ? and Was it worth your time "

Edwin Brochin

Hi Aaron, I never went to school for film but figured it out one project at a time. To this date I have produced 60 half hour titles for national television, a one hour special, an award winning full length feature and now I am working on my second film. All is possible when one applies himself/herself

David Chai

I went to film school in Australia. A 3 year full time course at the University of Technology. A film school is a place to apply yourself. You get out of it what you put in. I think the most valuable thing I learned at film school had to do with analyzing film and working out the messages. As a filmmaker, what do you want to say? We also had to make films every year, so that builds up your reel. But if you just want to learn how to make a film, the techniques you can learn from others, from books and by doing. You can find crew pretty easily. The good thing about the film school environment is it's focussed. No other job to worry about or crew disappearing for a paid job. But they also may be very low skilled and you get a poor project out of it. On the other hand, you have no one to answer to and can experiment and try things out. I think with the cost of major film schools, the only one worth attending is probably in LA, so you can network with sons and daughters of Hollywood big shots and make solid connections. You also want to be an actor, which is an entirely different track to Directing. You go to an acting school. Some of the serious schools are also a full time yearlong commitment and you train every day. Voice, movement, scene study, improv, character. To be a great actor takes years of training and experience. Raw talent is like a 7' basketball rookie that has a FG percentage of 25%. Practice, practice, practice. Then there is the business side of acting. Headshots, agents, castings. It would be very difficult to do both directing and acting at the same time. It is definitely helpful to experience both. You will appreciate how important each side is. Ultimately you have to go with your gut. It's your life, and your path. Some people thrive in a school environment, some people prefer to pave their own way. Best of luck!

Shaun O'Banion

Never went to film school myself... I've produced three features now and am in development with an Oscar winning producer on a new film. The most valuable thing to come out of it these days, are the relationships you'll make while there; other filmmakers in your age group who will all be eager and rising together - but, it's not cheap, and you'll spend years paying down those loans. My honest advice is to major in something that has value outside of film, and minor in film production. This way you have other possibilities down the line. Good luck!

Billy Marshall Stoneking

For storytellers, the writing of dramatic stories, plays and/or screenplays, seems to involve an imaginative re-construction of a personal past, and the re-situating of that past in the present. The actions of characters, in the context of compelling and identifiable narratives, allow change to become visible. Fairy tales, including Aboriginal Dreamtime legends are not fanciful contrivances. They provide, and have always provided, significant warnings based on tribal experiences of what can go wrong. By passing on this wisdom of what to avoid, the tribe offers advice to the tribe concerning the nature of being present. As such, these stories work to build both courage an freedom. Recipes, methodologies and techniques for 'making it' as a storyteller/filmmaker/playwright in the modern world usually stifle the creative adventure of becoming present by insisting upon and prescribing 'desirable' behaviors that frustrate the openness required liberating the present from the past.

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