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Old September 27th, 2011, 12:05 PM   #16
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Re: Schools..... any advice


I was once in a similar place. I was getting out of the military and deciding where to go next.

Given that I had the GI Bill, which I presume you do, I decided to go to school. While I didn't go to a dedicated "film school" I decided to get a degree from a major university with an emphasis in filmmaking.

For me, this rout worked well. I graduated with no educational debt, a degree, some decent skills and a lot of good contacts. Those things, along with some determination and hard work, have me earning a living in this industry.

Coming from the military, I had a level of maturity and work ethic that my peers in school didn't have. I pushed myself, dug deep and got everything I could out of it. I think that's what makes the difference in school. USC film school or community college, you get out what you put into it. Personally, I would have loved to go to Full Sail. I've seen what they have there and what a motivated student could get out of that program. Pretty awesome.

Whatever you choose, go all in. It can be a tough industry, but given where you're coming from, you should be able to handle that well.

Best of luck!
Josh Keffer
“Don’t shoot your demo reel. Be true to the story.” Tobias Schliessler, ASC
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Old September 28th, 2011, 07:22 PM   #17
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Join Date: May 2003
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Re: Schools..... any advice

I can't say whether film school is good or bad. I'm pretty much a wanna be indie guy. Everything I've learned was from reading books, and forum post, on sites like this. I've built a decent home editing studio, and taught myself the basics of many different programs, and am getting better every day. I run a small business, and indie film making is a hobby/passion. One of my younger employees recently graduated from one of the local colleges, and listed FCP on his resume (my business has nothing to do with film making or video work). I hired him, and we have chatted at length about film making. He admitted to me the other day that he's learned more from talking to me, then the classes he took in school. I've recently given him some books I've read (and enjoyed) on the subject.

You can definitely learn a lot by reading and studying for yourself. Having the degree may open some doors that wouldn't otherwise be open to you. But I'd think your experience as a combat camera man could open similar doors.

I just turned 39 and didn't realize, until about 2 years ago, that I had as much passion for this as I do. If I had it to do all over again, I probably would have tried the film school route, back when I was getting out of high school. But the digital age being what it is, owning the equipment I own now, wouldn't have been possible 20 years ago.

Wish you the best
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