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Old June 28th, 2006, 01:22 PM   #196
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike Teutsch
Roger,

I mean no offense, but you are located in or near the film capitol of the world! If you can not find friends or companions who have your interests, then film making is the least of your problems.

Why can't you find people who feel the way you do???????? Please let us know! There must be local film making groups, indie clubs etc., hell there are here in my little neck of Southern Florida!

Mike
This is true. The high school I went to had NOONE with the same interest as me. Sure they loved movies, but they weren't the type to want to MAKE one.

Even when I hit film school the first time around it was hard to find people TRULY dedicated to filmmaking (but I blame that on the school mostly...it really sucked). The students there were just there for a grade and pass the class. So, I took off...and now I found out about The LA Film school which is DEDICATED to NOTHING but Filmmaking....and the students there...well! They know what they want and they work hard. The school itself is like a job, working 10+ hours a week and I've seent eh students work and it is AMAZING.

BUt anyway, I never could find clubs for filmmaking here. Maybe I just didn't look hard enough, but I did try.
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Old June 28th, 2006, 02:01 PM   #197
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if you look at study's a degree persons earns more then a non degree person..
While I'd agree that there is a (strong) correlation between degrees and lifetime earnings, that doesn't necessarily prove a cause/effect relationship. It could be that those who are interested in making money are more likely to finish a degree... it would really be their interest in making money that causes them to make lots of money in their lifetime. To know the true effect of getting a degree, the thing to do would be to run an experiment. I don't believe there have been any studies/experiments like this.

You could also compare the people that finish degrees to those that dropout. Sometimes, dropouts do exceptionally well (i.e. Bill Gates). In the case of Humber College, I've met more dropouts (or people who failed to finish their degrees) who are working in the industry than graduates working in the industry (although this is quite annecdotal, and the sample size is way too small). They dropped out of college because they were working already and realized they weren't learning that much in school. If the correlation is positive here (dropping out increases your success), we know that dropping out probably does not cause you to be more successful (it's much more likely that people who will be successful tend to drop out / not finish).

In the case of film specifically, the correlations between getting a degree + employment may not be very strong. Many in the industry don't have degrees. From a semi-theoretical perspective, those who have gone through film school find that the education could have been better. (See the ron dexter link below.)

Quote:
there are more doors open for degree persons
This is probably true... a degree is a prerequisite for jobs in many fields because employers look for it.

For the film/video industry however, the degree is generally not very important. If you can graduate without knowing what a sandbag is, you're not all that much more useful than a person who didn't go through film school. Regardless, you can get a foot in the door and work your way up without having gone to film school. The door is ajar... there are sneaky ways of getting a PA position on a set. And if you just graduated from film school, you'll likely only land a PA position anyways.

Not going to film school might be more fun since you won't be saddled with student loans and working a low-paying PA (or other entry-level) job. In Canada, tuition isn't that much so student loans aren't that big a deal.

On the other hand, you can't lose out on anything if you go to film school. And there are some advantages + perks, like getting student discounts, borrow gear, some networking, parents approve, make new friends, chill out for X years, etc.

Other viewpoints:
http://www.rondexter.com/filmschool/...ilm_school.htm

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Old June 28th, 2006, 07:02 PM   #198
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Even if you do not get to be a Director of Photography, going to film school and graduating will give you some back up knowledge to go into teaching, of coarse you have to go to teachers college but atleast you know film school helped you out alot.

My other two cents,
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Old June 28th, 2006, 07:35 PM   #199
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the film business is actually quite small .. there are less persons working in LA area film business then there was 40 , 30, 20 , 10, 5 years ago ! so is there a trend here?
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Old June 28th, 2006, 07:47 PM   #200
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Go to a College like Columbia in Chicago. Take Production one and two, and maybe three, and a special effects course. Take screenwritting one and two and history of film. Then take legal aspects of arts and entertainment, a business management class, marketing and an advertising course. Do this and you would've structured your whole education around being an indy filmmaker. That's what I did. After this read a lot of books and talk to people in the industry. Trust me on this one. "What They Don't Teach You At Film School : 161 Strategies to Making Your Own Movie No Matter What" is a great book. Amazon has it for cheap (starting from $4.20).

-Nate
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Old June 28th, 2006, 07:53 PM   #201
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Ernesto,

In your lifetime, you will probably have more than one career and more than one hobby. Why not start out at a local university with the basics, and spend all of your free time volunteering in any way you can with local videographers, newsstations, corporate businesses in their production department and local interest groups? You may find a unique role for yourself that you can't even dream of right away, but in the meantime you can work on a degree that will pay the bills while you explore this area of interest. As I am sure you see, this type of a creative endeavor can't always be classified with any specific degree. I think the more life experiences you have though, the better you will be able to elicit the range of emotions that a great video/movie always seems to do. From personal experience I can tell you that it is EXPENSIVE, but as more than one person has said, it isn't the equipment, it is the creator that makes the movie.

Happy exploring - you are young and the world is waiting!

Leslie
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Old June 29th, 2006, 08:26 AM   #202
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Even though I own a lot of the toys, I decided that film school would be better suited to me as opposed simply quitting my job and all-of-a-sudden making movies. I've been working in live productions (lighting, sound, etc.) for years, so I know that I have (or at least I think I have!) the right personality to survive in the film industry. But, I have no burning desire to be a writer, director, gaffer, driver, boom swinger, etc. all at once (like most indie film makers have to become). I went to film school so that I can meet people that'll fill in the skill gaps that I don't have or don't want to learn. I also needed a holiday, and in all honesty, uni is basically an expensive holiday.

My only suggestion is (and this may only apply to Australia), to take a year off once you finish high school. Get a job and get your hands dirty in the industry. Save some money. If you survive the year, then re-consider going to film school. If you feel you will benefit from going to uni, then go for it! At least now you have a bit of cash to survive. If not, the world is your oyster!
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Old July 2nd, 2006, 10:06 AM   #203
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Just a little side note!

Just a little side note to the full question:

A student is a student, whether full or part time. In the little film class I attend we have a couple of people who take classes’ part time. Register for one class, and you qualify as a student, and are therefore entitled to the student prices for software and equipment. Maybe a big savings!

Mike
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Old July 2nd, 2006, 10:19 AM   #204
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One of the biggest advantages to film school is networking with both professionals and fellow students (future collaborators, post-graduation), plus hands-on training and more. And the whole psychology, if you will, of being in a filmmaking environment. That really gets the juices flowing.

Plus, access to nice equipment and, most importantly, deadlines to get things moving and shaking (lord knows we all need those).

That's why I liked going to film school years ago, and why I now work with a Film School to teach the next wave of filmmakers the art and craft of digital filmmaking.

heath
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Old July 2nd, 2006, 03:03 PM   #205
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I have done it both ways... learned it on the street for a while then went to film school. I went to THE film school (USC) so my experience may be different than others. Film school will not MAKE you anything that you are not. If you are an average talent, dont expect it to elevate you to greatness. However, if you are naturally gifted, film school can give you access to tools that will confirm your natural talent and elevate your abilities. This line of work in many ways, is driven by creativity and natural talent. Of all of the friends I made at film school 7 years ago, only 2 others are WORKING in the business.

All that being said, if you are going to go to college anyway... then why NOT film school? As noted by others, the connections you make are invaluable. If you can get into a premiere film school, that will actually get you thru doors that normally are not open. This is ONLY true of a handful of A list schools however. Going to a "b" film school can actually be a detriment in some situations because people assume that means you were not good enough to get into the better schools.... REALLY SILLY! Your work will speak for itself but you MUST have the connections to get your work seen.



ash =o)
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Old July 2nd, 2006, 04:08 PM   #206
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My personal take is that many undergrads are better served by a good liberal arts degree (i.e. exposure to other things in life) and then take formal film education at the graduate level. Filmmaking is a collaborative art and it takes a certain maturity for a group of people to be able to swap jobs from film to film and still "be there" for each other.

That said, I'm also of the belief that if one truly wants to work in the film industry, they can do so without the benefit of a diploma. I myself dropped out of NYU after one year and have never had an issue--it's never even come up. I do recognize that I would have likely made some good connections had I stuck around longer (as Ash points out, certain schools are more likely than others to promote this) but ultimately I still stand by my decision, 8000 years later!

I think there are some great graduate or independent programs out there for those who want to go the formal route, and for those who don't, the advent of DVD's have made it possible for anyone to scrutinize a film frame by frame then listen to the director's commentary, watch behind-the-scenes docs etc...a real treasure trove and a pretty good film education right there. Not to mention resources such as this forum and the ready availability of digital filmmaking tools. It's a great time to be getting into this stuff.
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Old July 2nd, 2006, 04:13 PM   #207
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Between NYC and L.A., you're in a great area, Charles. I'd recommend film school especially to those in areas that have small film communities, or next-to-non-existent. If nothing else, to meet others and learn. And access to gear. (A good film society that may provide networking, education through lectures, and more could be a possiblity.)

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Old July 2nd, 2006, 08:08 PM   #208
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I couldnt get into film or art school and I always had problems with art teachers, or courses being cancelled when I was eligible etc. School and art never worked for me. It didnt stop me from pursuing things on my own, but there are times I wondered how I might have benefited if I had been in a school where networking was possible. But that's assuming you would meet people you could work with. If you can get into a good US or Toronto school with networking value-then great.

When I contemplated going back to school to take computer graphics, people working in it said it was better to get the software and do it yourself--because ultimately the employer is going to look at your demo reel.
Art related fields have an additional problem--what you do in high school counts for nothing in higher education(at least it didnt count when i was there). With science or english--you continue on in university-the previous knowledge has weight there, but with art, you are almost expected to start from scratch.

And then there is the problem of art field teachers who are only teaching because they couldnt earn a living at their chosen field. Some of them take pleasure in trying to discourage others(I know of some doozy examples).

Whether you go to school or not you should be doing things outside of class.

Even with a liberal arts education--for Pete's sake, read outside of class. I read tons of classics on my own because we werent exposed to them in school.
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Old July 2nd, 2006, 10:25 PM   #209
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kelly Goden
And then there is the problem of art field teachers who are only teaching because they couldnt earn a living at their chosen field. Some of them take pleasure in trying to discourage others(I know of some doozy examples).
I have a huge problem with that. I am among many teachers who have done well in filmmaking, even some below-the-line jobs. To say that we are like that is absurd. There's always exceptions to the rules, but I don't subscribe to the "if you can, do; if you cannot, teach" philosophy.

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Old July 3rd, 2006, 06:13 PM   #210
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Didnt say it was a general rule--just that I encountered it and know of people who did as well. I remember one case where a university music teacher called a student an as*hole in front of 200 students. Real confidence builder. I had a film teacher who showed us his commercial work in class then lamented that his career didnt amount to much and he was learning to accept it(nope).
Another one kicked in a classroom door because his students gave him a petition saying they werent learning enough in class. Over the years I have met people who have similar anecdotes.
Maybe its a phenomenon restricted to Canadian schools on the West Coast. It definitely exists though.
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