Author Topic: Film School  (Read 23427 times)

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Gamblour.

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Re: Film School
« Reply #60 on: March 20, 2007, 07:50:54 PM »
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So, my academic career is coming to an end. I came to this school because it's one of the only ones in the state with a film program and it gave me a scholarship. Where do I stand?

Georgia State University, as you could probably guess, did nothing to ready me for a career in film. I went to SCAD and spent a weekend shooting a film with a friend, and I learned more that day than in all the four years I went here. Well, at least about technical stuff and how a set runs, but everything about filmmaking I taught myself.

However, the school gave me access to Final Cut Pro, which I've digested thoroughly, and some equipment, and really, having assignments to do truly is helpful for those without a clue what direction to go.

As for people who act high and mighty for not going to film school, I think going to college is a great life experience for someone to have, but school's not for everyone, and if you can teach yourself more and be more motivated on your own, that's great, you really wouldn't benefit from school. For me, having access to Final Cut Pro was probably the best thing I gained. That and having awesome classes discussing films and exposure to films I wouldn't have thought to watch. Instructors can be very influential and eye-opening. Outside of the film program, I've hated the classes here, but the film program did have a lot to offer at least. And for personal reasons, coming here was a great decision.

From here, I'm not quite sure what to do, but I've got some ideas.
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pete

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Re: Film School
« Reply #61 on: March 25, 2007, 02:48:19 AM »
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life experience, my friend.  if you've got a little bit of cash, go abroad.  if you dont, then do some Americorps or something, either way, see the world, and find some stories and textures of your own.
“Tragedy is a close-up; comedy, a long shot.”
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Gamblour.

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Re: Film School
« Reply #62 on: March 25, 2007, 07:47:04 PM »
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I know, I plan on it. I know you swear by Chris Doyle, and if a guy can spend years chugging it on a Norwegian tanker and then go and film In the Mood for Love (which I finally saw...fucking brilliant), then his are words to swear by. I'm heading to New Zealand in September. Maybe for a few weeks, but it's only a sneak preview. But yeah, I read this thing where someone said money should be spent not on material things but on memories, and I plan to live by that.
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matt35mm

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Re: Film School
« Reply #63 on: March 25, 2007, 09:39:15 PM »
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walk a lot.  a LOT.

Gamblour.

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Re: Film School
« Reply #64 on: March 26, 2007, 12:27:51 PM »
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walk a lot.  a LOT.
I don't even own a car.
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for petes sake

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Re: Film School
« Reply #65 on: March 28, 2007, 08:01:46 PM »
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From here, I'm not quite sure what to do, but I've got some ideas.

Do you plan on moving to Los Angeles sometime after graduation?  The reason I ask is because that's what was strongly encouraged for my class at a similar east coast film school.  I've been out here for almost a year, and so far I've found the experience alternatively wonderful and discouraging depending on the day.  There is a lot of great opportunity and exposure in LA that you can't get anywhere else, but most people don't fully comprehend what an entry-level position in the industry means until they actually get out here.  Anyways, I remember after idea of picking up all my shit and moving across the country after graduation was terrifying at the time, wondering if you (or anyone else on the board) has had similar considerations...

Gamblour.

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Re: Film School
« Reply #66 on: March 28, 2007, 10:24:32 PM »
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What work have you found while out there?

I'm really not interested in working PA jobs or crawling up a ladder, or working in the industry at all. I think the most incredible thing about film right now is the entrepreneurship people can be capable of with just a few dollars. I personally want to pursue my own ideas, and if that means years of trying to get into festivals and lots of failure and struggle, so be it. I've got some ideals I'm going to stick with, and people might scoff with cynicism, but I feel like those who scoff have given up.

What makes me happy though is that where I work (retail) I sometimes sit in the stock room for long periods of time, just waiting for time to pass, but when I think about ideas and get inspired or motivated to write, I could stay up all night doing it. To know that I've got the driving force really keeps me optimistic.
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A Matter Of Chance

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Re: Film School
« Reply #67 on: March 28, 2007, 10:59:38 PM »
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gamblour i think you're going the way to go

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Re: Film School
« Reply #68 on: April 09, 2007, 06:25:33 PM »
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What work have you found while out there?

I've done everything from being an extra on an infomercial to volunteering on indie films shooting in the area.  Currently I work as a production coordinator at a movie titles/trailer house in Hollywood and intern at Ad Hominem Enterprises.  Like you, I want to ultimately be a director so "working up the ladder" is really of very little help to me.  Right now I am trying to get into the camera department so that I can AC or cam op using the spare time between shoots to write.  I think doing so will aid my technical knowledge but it's still mainly something to pay the bills while I pursue my own career on the side. 

That being said I think being an intern/script reader has probably been one of the most helpful experiences I've had as a writer.  You read a lot of really bad scripts and a couple of good ones and doing so really helps you to distinguish what writing works and what doesn't.  When you add specific details  are you adding texture or distractions?  With your character arc are you being too subtle or not subtle enough?  In many ways what you're doing is refining your "taste," which I've found that many people erroneously think they already have a handle on.  Of course once you have that sensibility you still have to be able to implement it into your work, but I think it has allowed me to trust my gut a lot more when I write about what's going to work and what's not.  It's hard to articulate, but I do think that analysis is the first step to improvement and you're never going to get enough exposure to pure writing as you will working in the industry. 

Reinhold

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Re: Film School
« Reply #69 on: August 05, 2008, 09:40:31 PM »
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first off, a HUGE thank you to Mac for being my search function.  :bravo: :bravo:

and now, the film school debate: Grad School Edition

i want to edit. ten months from now i will have an academic film degree and still have basically nothing on my reel. i couldn't get a job in the industry if i wanted to yet because i have virtually no hands-on training and final cut pro experience is useless in this avid world (plus it's extremely common).  i feel like i won't stand out enough in the job market to be able to feed myself by editing.

as for grad school... i'm a good student with a lot going for me except for a reel. the cost/loans don't bug me. fuck it, it's only money. the issue is that i'm only very excited by the prospect of an MFA from Cal Arts, Chapman, AFI, or UCLA but i'm applying to several more. conversely, if i were to get a job at the Whitehouse (an international post firm) or Optimus or something like that i'd take it in a heartbeat even if it was a glorified internship.

winging it post-undergraduate school is absolutely not an option. i'm not interested in working some bullshit job while the dream of editing slowly dies at the feet of no-budget projects. i just want to guarantee that i will be around editing (in school, for work, whatever) over the next few years and i want to be reasonably assured of an employable future.  as i stand, i'll be applying to both schools and employers and i'll take whatever seems best at the time. if i get the job(s), then i'll save up and maybe go or maybe not. if i go right away, i will leave grad school with my theory education, plus a reel, plus a terminal degree, plus contacts, not to mention a load of debt.

both avenues seem quite logical given the right opportunity with either, especially re: my lack of technical experience.  i welcome any insights, though (especially related to the schools i mentioned above). 

edit: what the fuck? that's not an eerie green glow.
Obviously what you are doing right now is called (in my upcoming book of psychology at least) validation. I think it's a normal thing to do. People will reply, say anything, and then you're gonna do what you were subconsciently thinking of doing all along.

matt35mm

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Re: Film School
« Reply #70 on: August 06, 2008, 02:01:01 PM »
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first off, a HUGE thank you to Mac for being my search function.  :bravo: :bravo:

and now, the film school debate: Grad School Edition

i want to edit. ten months from now i will have an academic film degree and still have basically nothing on my reel. i couldn't get a job in the industry if i wanted to yet because i have virtually no hands-on training and final cut pro experience is useless in this avid world (plus it's extremely common).  i feel like i won't stand out enough in the job market to be able to feed myself by editing.

as for grad school... i'm a good student with a lot going for me except for a reel. the cost/loans don't bug me. fuck it, it's only money. the issue is that i'm only very excited by the prospect of an MFA from Cal Arts, Chapman, AFI, or UCLA but i'm applying to several more. conversely, if i were to get a job at the Whitehouse (an international post firm) or Optimus or something like that i'd take it in a heartbeat even if it was a glorified internship.

winging it post-undergraduate school is absolutely not an option. i'm not interested in working some bullshit job while the dream of editing slowly dies at the feet of no-budget projects. i just want to guarantee that i will be around editing (in school, for work, whatever) over the next few years and i want to be reasonably assured of an employable future.  as i stand, i'll be applying to both schools and employers and i'll take whatever seems best at the time. if i get the job(s), then i'll save up and maybe go or maybe not. if i go right away, i will leave grad school with my theory education, plus a reel, plus a terminal degree, plus contacts, not to mention a load of debt.

both avenues seem quite logical given the right opportunity with either, especially re: my lack of technical experience.  i welcome any insights, though (especially related to the schools i mentioned above). 

edit: what the fuck? that's not an eerie green glow.

Sounds like you're giving it pretty good thought, so I'm sure that if you just continue with this level of research, you'll come to a school you're comfortable with.

This past school year, our school had a lot of alumni who now work in the industry at various levels (I guess the most famous would be Camryn Manheim) come to talk to us.  There was an editor who runs her own company, as were a few writers and directors, an agent, some producers, another editor, a former Vice President of Disney, Vice President of Production at Warner Bros., a President of Worldwide Acquisitions at Universal, a guy who made little docs for PBS.  Neat stuff.

ANYWAY, the "to grad school or not to grad school" question was a major one.  The consensus seemed to be that it's a fine path that offers a nice place to grow, even though it will put you in debt.  Since these are all people who had managed to find decent jobs, they didn't really offer a consensus on whether or not it is more likely to get you work.  In your case, since you are looking to get more experience, and don't yet have a reel, then indeed it would be very helpful for you.  And I guess schools like USC have a solid reputation for getting you work afterwards.

I briefly considered grad school, but as of now I've decided it's not really what I want.  The contacts you make are perhaps the most important thing regarding job-getting, but opinions from the group of alumni were basically that you can make good contacts in school or by just jumping straight into the field.  Basically, the alternate route if you don't decide to go to grad school is to get a shitty job at an agency or an editing house or wherever, meet people there, complain about your shitty jobs together (this builds a pretty tight bond), and then stay in touch.

They all painted a pretty positive and simple portrait of the industry, actually, which was comforting to me.  While no one can know the path their career will take, everyone seemed to agree that the industry is good to people who are smart, reliable, hard-working, and nice to be around, because people will always want to work with you.  It sounds simple, but it was essentially The Secret that they wanted to share with us.  Apparently a lot of people say that they know this but few stick it out, which is why the few who stick it out, uh, stick out.  This is different from "winging it," though.  It's more of a dedicated pay-your-dues kind of thing, constantly proving yourself and delivering more than expected at shit jobs until someone notices (but unless you're REALLY unlucky, someone will eventually notice and have a lot of goodwill toward you).

One thing that I did notice out of our group of alumni, though, was that the people who didn't go to grad school (or didn't study film at all) tended to work at studios and make more money, while the grad school people worked independently and were basically still in debt years later (but were getting work and were on their way to getting out of the debt).

But anyway, both your options (either working in the industry or grad school) sound like the right ones, depending on what you're most comfortable with.  I'm afraid I can't offer much more insight.

Gamblour.

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Re: Film School
« Reply #71 on: August 08, 2008, 12:53:25 PM »
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Film school for me was a no brainer. Grad school, however, I would avoid. For my purposes, I always reasoned it out that the amount of money I would pay for it, I could just use towards shooting my own film.

I'm not sure what the job market's like where you are, or if you have any contacts already. I got my job through an old professor. It sounds as though you'd flourish in grad school, though. If you have a semester left, you absolutely must do an internship. Seriously, it will increase your chances of getting a job by like 1000%. It doesn't necessarily mean doing bitchwork, but making the most of learning everything you can while you're there. Don't expect a stipend, though some have them. I know Georgia Public Broadcasting offered a stipend with their internships. Check into local television.
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Reinhold

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Re: Film School
« Reply #72 on: August 08, 2008, 02:30:08 PM »
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Film school for me was a no brainer. Grad school, however, I would avoid. For my purposes, I always reasoned it out that the amount of money I would pay for it, I could just use towards shooting my own film.

I'm not sure what the job market's like where you are, or if you have any contacts already. I got my job through an old professor. It sounds as though you'd flourish in grad school, though. If you have a semester left, you absolutely must do an internship. Seriously, it will increase your chances of getting a job by like 1000%. It doesn't necessarily mean doing bitchwork, but making the most of learning everything you can while you're there. Don't expect a stipend, though some have them. I know Georgia Public Broadcasting offered a stipend with their internships. Check into local television.

I'll go wherever there's a bullish job market and I have no contacts that I haven't made myself. I'd have a blast in grad school. By the way, I'm more interested in doing TV than cinema. Have been since the beginning-- my cinema studies program is geared mostly toward visual literacy and the deconstruction of pleasure.

Last year I interned for guys who opted not to go to grad school in favor of making some films and ended up regretting it. This semester, I've got another internship for which I'm extremely excited, and I think I've got one nailed down for the spring as well as long as I don't fuck anything major up when I meet with the producer in a few weeks. While this semester's should be awesome (I'm a post production intern for Xavier: Renegade Angel starting in September), I can't wait for next semester's. That one (hopefully) will be in the new york office of a leading international post production firm where I've wanted to work since high school--- although I didn't know until last year that this was the place doing most of the work I liked.  Walrus and I did have a public access show in High school, but I don't think it's an option for me in college because I don't have enough time. Plus in new york those internships are offered through the mayor's office, to NYC residents only.
Obviously what you are doing right now is called (in my upcoming book of psychology at least) validation. I think it's a normal thing to do. People will reply, say anything, and then you're gonna do what you were subconsciently thinking of doing all along.

The Perineum Falcon

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Re: Film School
« Reply #73 on: October 04, 2010, 03:55:41 PM »
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I've been considering pursuing a Film Studies Grad Program, as opposed to Production, and was hoping to find a program that offered its courses online. I've been snooping around the internet for some suggestions, but I haven't really found anything other than a couple of sites that offer "resources" for, what I can only assume to be, On Campus courses.

Is anyone aware of an Online Program? I have a job that gives me 8 hours of nothing to do but the internet, and I'd rather use this time wisely instead of dicking around with iCycle all day.*

*I do read, by the way, but would prefer some sort of structure as opposed to the random pickings of our campus library.
We often went to the cinema, the screen would light up and we would tremble, but also, increasingly often, Madeleine and I were disappointed. The images had dated, they jittered, and Marilyn Monroe had gotten terribly old. We were sad, this wasn't the film we had dreamed of, this wasn't the total film that we all carried around inside us, this film that we would have wanted to make, or, more secretly, no doubt, that we would have wanted to live.

squints

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Re: Film School
« Reply #74 on: October 04, 2010, 05:08:46 PM »
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I don't really know of any online graduate film studies institutes but if you want Film Studies for Free
http://filmstudiesforfree.blogspot.com/
Quote
A pluralist, pro bono, and purely positive web-archive of examples of, links to, and comment on, online, Open Access, film and moving image studies resources of note.

This is a pretty great blog
“The myth by no means finds its adequate objectification in the spoken word. The structure of the scenes and the visible imagery reveal a deeper wisdom than the poet himself is able to put into words and concepts” – Friedrich Nietzsche

 

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