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The TOTEM Poll: Totally Off Topic, Everything Media
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Old February 14th, 2006, 03:34 PM   #1
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keep going like i am or look into an education??

i realise this thread is probably going to go off in a few different directions but: Im 20 years old, i own an xl1s and i love shooting and editing video. I live on the east coast of canada right now but move around quite a bit. I want to be able to make a life around film(video)making. My biggest obstacle i have right now is the lack of opportunity where i live. i find that i never really get a chance to get anything serious done. I made the choice last year to move back to montreal and try to get in to film school. I was supposed to do that last september.. i ended up using that money saved and hooking myself up with some equipment instead. I felt that i really didnt need a formal education in the craft and i have learnt from trial and error and taken almost everything i know from this site and others like it. im starting to reconsider the chice to go to film school.. not because i think i need a diploma to get a job or anything.. i just feel that by immersing myself in a community that is focused on the making of films and videos then i will have alot more opportunity to practice what i love doing. Im sure the classes wouldnt hurt either. my job situation right now has me working a contract for 5 months starting in april which gives me 5 days on and 5 days off continuously. Im planning on using that time off to build up a nice portfolio/demo reel for my application to school. What should i focus on getting on my reel. should it be full scenes, clips or montage? or is school just a waste of time? i know..i know.. for some people not for others.. but my goal is different.. my main goal wouldnt be getting that diploma.. it would just be for the experience and an environment that forces me into doing what i like.. even if its only for a year or two.

so those are my questions.. what would a film school be looking for in terms of a portfolio and should i just forget about it and keep trying at the pace that im going right now?

(sorry for the rambling essay)
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Old February 14th, 2006, 03:42 PM   #2
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Do both. Keep doing it and never stop learning. They go hand in hand.

If you don't have a degree, get one in something you're really interested in. If you have a degree then keep taking classes to improve yourself.

Either way, keep doing doing it and never stop learning.
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Old February 14th, 2006, 03:55 PM   #3
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thanksthe quick response... basically im working in the navy right now and doing video in my spare time.. i want to make the jump to full time filmmaking but i want to decide whether i should put my money into film school or keep investing in my gear and learning on my own.. if i would have decided to go to film school in september like i wanted to i would never have had the cash to buy my xl1s and other gear..
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Old February 14th, 2006, 04:27 PM   #4
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FWIW: I'd take advantage of what school has to offer. The opportunity to "do it yourself" will always exist but the opportunity to be in a community of filmmakers your same age all learning together can pass by quickly.

Another thing, at 20 you still don't know "what you don't know". Heck even at 36 I can say that. Take every opportunity to get as broad a range of experience as possible, it will always serve you in the long run, and can only help to make your future films better. Good luck!
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Old February 15th, 2006, 02:01 AM   #5
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Andrew I would say one of the most important things about film shool for me were the people I met. The friends you make in film school will always be there to help you/work with you ,and more than once I have found myself back at college to see my old lecturer for advice. Had I not went I would never have met the people who I now have an Indie film company with, of course we are a new company and are now learning the stuff they can't teach you in film school but the point is I'm not alone and that is a good thing.

Now you have the XL1s and other gear and since you are still only 20 (a good friend of mine from film school was 31 at the time) I think you would love a few years at film school. You have plenty of time just now I would use it.

As for a portfolio you could use some of the work that you have already shot, I took a couple of 2min shorts that I had made. I don't think there is any right or wrong thing to take to the interview other than keep it at a reasonable length.


Andy.
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Old February 15th, 2006, 08:56 AM   #6
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I know a lot about shooting, etc., but I'm constantly learning while on sets, etc. About 4 years ago, following a crazy and not-so-great year (2001 saw me working full time in TV news, editing a feature film and directing a feature film that never was finished--I lost 30 pounds in 3 weeks and was sick too often), I had nothing going on.

So I went back to college to get my B.A. degree. That fall, I started a film society (www.pbfilmsociety.org) and my film life took off again. But I didn't quit going to college, I just had to go more part time.

I finish this May, and though it took about 1.5 years longer than I wanted, I know it will only benefit me.

heath
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Old February 15th, 2006, 03:03 PM   #7
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Good reason to go: you will network and gain access to all sorts of equipment.

Good reason not to: you could learn on your own and save a bundle. The education might not be practical--if they mention psychoanalysis, run for the hills.

You decide.
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