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Advice to Future Film Production Majors

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Replies to: Advice to Future Film Production Majors

  • madbeanmadbean Registered User Posts: 3,219 Senior Member
    Right, B&D. It gives one a lot to think about...

    I must say that pursuing success in film can take 100% of a person's talents, time, passions, energy, excitement and devotion. That leaves about zero % left for one's loved ones, non-film friends, family, kids, husband/wife? Hmmm.

    Some couples do work together (James Cameron & Gale Anne Hurd and also later, Kathryn Bigelow, George Lucas & Marcia Lucas, Peter Jackson & Fran Walsh) but where, how do kids and other family responsibilities (and joys!) come in and who takes care of everything/one?

    What is most sad about Coppola's comments is that the boys can find non-industry, non-working wives who presumably put up with being left on the back-burner of their husband's lives while he goes out and gives 100% elsewhere, but that Coppola can't imagine that a girl filmmaker could find such a sacrificial husband out there (or would want one if she could find him?).
  • tofugirl101tofugirl101 Registered User Posts: 624 Member
    Hello. I'm just getting into film. What are some things I need to do to get started?
    I'm a sophomore by the way.
  • maddenmdmaddenmd Registered User Posts: 389 Member
    Tofugirl: see the first post in this thread. The most important thing, is start making films! They don't have to be great- just shoot a few things and see how they turn out. You can do your first films on any digital camera or even on a smart phone. As you begin to do more and more you will refine your technique, your vision and your skills. If you have access to a mac computer (home or school) you can start editing right on your computer without any additional software. If you continue with film, then you can think about better cameras or more sophisticated software.
  • tsdadtsdad Registered User Posts: 4,035 Senior Member
    Tofugirl:

    Write about films, do a lot of writing in general-- poems, scripts, fiction, essays; go to see films in the theater; become the film critic for your school paper; listen to the director's comments on DVD's; get involve in school plays, act, direct, learn technical skills; if available, take film classes at your school; do papers on film in all your classes; join a film society; go to film festivals; join (or start) the film club in your school; make films; crew other people's films; submit your films to competitions.
  • SfilmsSfilms Registered User Posts: 7 New Member
    Yes. The most important thing is to start making films. Or start writing films if that is what you want to do.

    And film school is fun. Looking back (I graduated in 1999 from BU Film) - I'd say if there's a way for you to go to film school without going into too much debt - go for it. Film school is a blast and I'm really glad that I'm actually working in the film industry now because if I wasn't I don't know what I'd be able to do for a job. :)

    Some people recommend getting a "real degree" in undergrad and then going to study film and this is a good option. Study writing in undergrad then film school. Business then film school? There are many options. But follow your dreams... and do it with as little debt as possible... Your future self will thank you for that. :)

    Check out my forums on Studentfilms.com - Film School and Filmmaking Forum for more help on getting into film school.
  • ready100ready100 Registered User Posts: 238 Junior Member
    wow! thanks for this @digmedia
  • digmediadigmedia Registered User Posts: 3,307 Senior Member
    Do not plan on going into debt to attend film school. The way this usually works is that you will not get a "job" upon graduation like other majors do. You will probably need additional support for up to 6 months (or more) while you get a few gigs - free or low-paying. You might work for a week or two then be unemployed again. The work (if you are on a path to making it) will slowly increase, and if you are really good, you will reach a tipping point where people come to you rather than you pursuing them for work. BUT... important BUT, this will all not be possible to slowly ramp up yur career if you have student debt to pay back. You'll have to get a jb that takes you in a direction away from yoru dreams. Do not go into debt to attend film school.
  • kkjj2johnkkjj2john Registered User Posts: 5 New Member
    Thank you so much for this! I'm a sophomore in high school and plan to major in film in college! This is very useful advice and I plan to use this information to help me. Thank you again!
  • filmproffilmprof Registered User Posts: 3 New Member
    reposting what I wrote on another thread. Basically, go to film school and follow your dreams but tread lightly:

    As a film professor for the past 5 years, let me say this. You want to go to a school in which its professors are/were professionals in their craft. I don't care what the school is or even if their credits were mediocre at best, you want to go to a school where all/most of its faculty made a living solely doing what they're teaching. Too many schools, mine included, are full of academics who have no real world experience (NOTE: exceptions to this is that if you're planning to get a PhD in film and want to become an academic but I don't recommend that to anyone because this is an adjunct nation.)

    I say this because my department is full of tenured professors who haven't done anything remotely creative in years. Or they're full of part-time professors (me) who struggle to make a living.

    Don't go to a school that has that one quasi-celebrity stopping by for a two-hour guest lecture. Credits means a movie you've heard of or know the people in it, not some indie film without distribution. Again, it doesn't have to be amazing credits either.

    I hate to sound so negative here, but as someone who has lived and breathed film school since his early 20's, I've seen so many people not getting what they pay for. For example, my program does not require its students to write a full-length screenplay, make a tv show, or direct a short film. I wanted to make our program more challenging but it's fallen on deaf ears. I now feel my job, for better or worse, is to simply shuffle these kids through our system and I feel horrible about it, but I have 5 other classes to teach in addition to the ones I teach at the film school.
  • VioletRutherfordVioletRutherford Registered User Posts: 2 New Member
    are there schools or programs you recommend?
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