Author Topic: Film School- Grad or Bach  (Read 6276 times)

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SoNowThen

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« Reply #15 on: June 05, 2003, 02:00:58 PM »
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For my money, the best course I've ever taken was Robert McKee's story seminar. I could have taught my film school writing/directing courses, but the McKee one was invaluable, because MAN does that guy LOVE film. He's crazy passionate about it, and also is quite a showman.

But really, there's only two reasons for film school: get to use almost professional equipment, and you meet friends who you can insulate you when you're working (ie. people you trust who help you on set and make life easier 'cause they are familiar).
Those who say that the totalitarian state of the Soviet Union was not "real" Marxism also cannot admit that one simple feature of Marxism makes totalitarianism necessary:  the rejection of civil society. Since civil society is the sphere of private activity, its abolition and replacement by political society means that nothing private remains. That is already the essence of totalitarianism; and the moralistic practice of the trendy Left, which regards everything as political and sometimes reveals its hostility to free speech, does nothing to contradict this implication.

When those who hated capital and consumption (and Jews) in the 20th century murdered some hundred million people, and the poster children for the struggle against international capitalism and America are now fanatical Islamic terrorists, this puts recent enthusiasts in an awkward position. Most of them are too dense and shameless to appreciate it, and far too many are taken in by the moralistic and paternalistic rhetoric of the Left.

Gamblour.

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« Reply #16 on: April 17, 2005, 10:04:13 AM »
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I'm resurrecting this thread for two reasons.

1. I have three semesters left at this school and I'm considering grad school. However, something like AFI will cost $100,000 and that's just ridiculous. At this point, having been through a bachelor's film program, the only thing left to learn is equipment (we have a shitty dept. here, but lots of dv stuff. film equip. is for grad students). So, why shouldn't I just take some of the money that I would spend going to grad school and make my own goddamn movie? I mean, if I took a tenth of AFI's conservatory cost, I could, with difficulty, make a feature on my own.

It's the same old argument as earlier in this thread, but with real practical thinking. I'm capable of teaching myself anything, and besides I have friends who go to SCAD who have learned film, so I could always sit in on a production with them or have a DP come up. The thought of being autonomous with all of that money is much more exciting and invigorating that the thought of spending it on room and board just to end up with a short and a thesis portfolio. My main inspiration in going for this on my own is Shane Carruth, the guy who made Primer. I think what he did was absolutely fantastic and near impossible. With a little more planning and money, what he did would be hard, but attainable.

2. I want to know what everyone's experiences have been at film school. I wanna know what classes everyone has taken. I've taken these:

-Film History
-Film Aesthetics and Techniques (not a prod. class)
-American Film History I and II
-Feature Screenwriting
-Critical History of TV
-Film Theory and Criticism

For me, all of these classes have been great except Film Theory and Screenwriting. Theory was just boring as hell and all bullshit. But screenwriting is horrible for a million other reasons. We have to write 60 pages, half a feature-length script, and it's just the hardest thing to do. My idea started off ok, but I've grown to hate it so much. Ironically, not caring anymore has freed up my writing in terms of going different places with plot, even though they don't fit the movie. And the teacher presents everything so poorly. He knows what he's talking about, but the class is basically a workshop where no one gives feedback that's of any real use. If he got to the nitty gritty of what's wrong with a scene, it might be helpful. But he's a little too loose because he knows it's our first time.

The best/worst part is the ideas. Jesus, people have bad ideas. One girl has the idea of a message board murder story (like if Stefen went and killed Pete, that's her movie) and this other girl wants a schizophrenic girl in her movie to have an abortion performed on her by imaginary stuffed animals. I'm not joking. There are other good ideas, a zombie movie, a gangster movie, so it's not so bad.

Anyhow, what experiences have you had in class?
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SHAFTR

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« Reply #17 on: April 17, 2005, 02:41:37 PM »
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Quote from: Gamblor HatesGardenState
2. I want to know what everyone's experiences have been at film school. I wanna know what classes everyone has taken. I've taken these:

-Film History
-Film Aesthetics and Techniques (not a prod. class)
-American Film History I and II
-Feature Screenwriting
-Critical History of TV
-Film Theory and Criticism



Not exactly film school, but at University of Wisconsin, I've taken:
- Introduction to Film
- Classical Film Theory
- American Film Industry - Studio System Era
- American Film Industry - Age of TV
- History of World Cinema
- Intro Production
- 2 Semesters for Honor Thesis

So a mixture of history, theory and production.
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Dtm115300

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« Reply #18 on: April 21, 2005, 12:16:45 PM »
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The way i think is that if your gonna go to college, you should be studying something you love. If you love film and have the money then go to film school. There is nothing wrong with it. And who knows you might leave with a great film you can use. Everyone must fallow there own path to becoming a film maker. Speilberg didn't go to school and he made it, while Lucas went to film school and he made it. Stick with it, and never give up and you will get to where you want to be.

grand theft sparrow

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« Reply #19 on: April 28, 2005, 10:19:12 AM »
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Quote from: Gamblor HatesMySpaceandU
The best/worst part is the ideas. Jesus, people have bad ideas. One girl has the idea of a message board murder story (like if Stefen went and killed Pete, that's her movie) and this other girl wants a schizophrenic girl in her movie to have an abortion performed on her by imaginary stuffed animals. I'm not joking. There are other good ideas, a zombie movie, a gangster movie, so it's not so bad.


My absolute favorite part about film school was the endless flow of masturbatory, self-indulgent ideas that people come up with because they have this need to be "original."  Wankers.  

If it isn't too late to weigh in on your screenwriting class, not caring about it might be the best thing for you.  I doubt your prof is even concerned with how good your idea is, in and of itself (especially if you have a classmate who's writing about a schizophrenic girl getting an abortion from stuffed animals... Jesus...), just do you know the mechanics of screenwriting?  I spent two years at Ithaca College for film, left, and now after 7 years, I'm back in school.  The first paper I wrote after returning was pure crap as far as I was concerned; I had written better blog entries off the top of my head... but I got an A on it.  I don't know if this script was already due for you or what but, for what it's worth, I wouldn't stress over it.

And as far as grad school goes, it depends on what you want to go for: production or theory.  I can tell you that I've learned more about the filmmaking process actually being on film sets than I did in any class I took.   An ideal intermediate film class, as far as I'm concerned, would be almost independent study: let the students make shorts on their own, sink or swim with as little class time as possible.  

In my experience, whether it's 16mm or DV, a camera is a camera is a camera.  In preparation for a DV short I'm going to film in June, I just took a one day DV cinematography crash course in NYC for $150, where I learned everything I would need to know about the Panasonic DVX-100 all in that one day.  So if you've used one, you've used them all, more or less.

It would probably be in your best interest to spend that grad school money making a movie than learning more about making movies.  You already know how to do it; grad school isn't necessarily going to increase your creativity.  Unless grad school is your ONLY way to get access to the cameras.  

Now, if you want to go for theory, then grad school would be the way to go.  But otherwise just make the damn movie already.

meatball

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« Reply #20 on: April 28, 2005, 12:34:26 PM »
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Go make something if you haven't already. You learn by doing.

Chrisdarko

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« Reply #21 on: May 01, 2005, 10:23:11 AM »
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I want to ask a favor of you that have gone to film school and you have taken classes like American Film History can you post a copy of your book list and required reading for me. If you would I would really appreciate it.

   Thanks :yabbse-grin:

SHAFTR

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« Reply #22 on: May 01, 2005, 11:15:13 AM »
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Quote from: Chrisdarko
I want to ask a favor of you that have gone to film school and you have taken classes like American Film History can you post a copy of your book list and required reading for me. If you would I would really appreciate it.

   Thanks :yabbse-grin:


These are pretty standard for Intro classes...



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Chrisdarko

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« Reply #23 on: May 02, 2005, 07:02:40 AM »
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Thanks i'll check those out if you have anymore please post them thanks :yabbse-grin:

Gamblour.

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« Reply #24 on: May 02, 2005, 09:43:44 AM »
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Quote from: Chrisdarko
I want to ask a favor of you that have gone to film school and you have taken classes like American Film History can you post a copy of your book list and required reading for me. If you would I would really appreciate it.

   Thanks :yabbse-grin:


Well, in both classes, we used copied readers, assemblies of articles from various works. Let's see....

Hollywood Genres: Formulas, Filmmaking, and the Studio System - Thomas Schatz (as my teacher said, this guy is a card-carrying genius and this is probably the only one you will ever need)

Movie History: A Survey by Douglas Gomfey (sp?)

American Cinema/American Culture by John Belton
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socketlevel

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Re: FILM SCHOOL
« Reply #25 on: May 09, 2005, 11:55:05 AM »
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Quote from: finlayr
Just a bit of advice:  don't bother going to Film School.  If you have the PASSION AND DETERMINATION AND THE TALENT AND THE...EVERYTHING FUCKING ELSE...YOU WILL BE A FILMMAKER.  Don't waste THOUSANDS of your money and hours and energy-cajoles in four years, only to come out exhausted with a piece of paper that CAN'T PROVE that you can make good movies.  Learn on your OWN, develop and grow as a PERSON...and you'll get to make your movies.  Best of LUCK, Richard.


i agree with some of this sentiment, the best thing you'll bring to the films you make will be your subjective view on the world and the stuff you learned in business school.  you'll have something to write about.

but film school can be a good trial and error approach, however, don't think they'll teach you how to be creative, so many do and are disappointed with the result.  it's a good way to get a lot of those shitty films out of you (which everyone has).  i suspect that many people, outside of the academia, might give up after their first film, deeming themselves incapable of making films cause they had one shitty film that they put so much sweat, blood, and tears into.  School urges you to keep at it, and since you're in school no one will question whether or not you should keep at it.  so by the end of your fourth year, hopefully you'll have something half decent.

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Weak2ndAct

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« Reply #26 on: May 09, 2005, 06:29:46 PM »
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I really disagree with the mentality 'well, if i'm going to spend 100k on school, I should just make a movie.'  Yeah, but unless it's your 100k that you have sitting in a bank account, you aren't going to be able to do that.  Banks, institutions, and parents will give you a shitload of money if you're going to college-- now try telling those same people to give you all of that money (upfront, not over 4 years mind you) for an indie film.  And you have no experience/training.  Not so easy.  True, film school is a good place to fuck up.  It's also a good place to make lifelong friendships connections.  I still keep in touch with plenty of people who work out here.  It's really just a matter of finding a good school where you'll grow as an artist, meet cool people, and not be dogged down by an excessive courseload of crap classes (read: anything not film).

meatball

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« Reply #27 on: May 09, 2005, 06:53:45 PM »
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I really believe that you learn by doing. No matter how much natural talent and drive you have inside of you, unless you keep plugging away to develop and nurture whatever it is you have, it's not going to get any better. Film school is the perfect place to do that, but it's also the perfect place to get stuck into bad habits and bad atittudes. As long as you keep trying to develop yourself creatively, you can only improve by going to film school.

Gamblour.

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« Reply #28 on: May 09, 2005, 11:49:57 PM »
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Quote from: Weak2ndAct
I really disagree with the mentality 'well, if i'm going to spend 100k on school, I should just make a movie.'  Yeah, but unless it's your 100k that you have sitting in a bank account, you aren't going to be able to do that.  Banks, institutions, and parents will give you a shitload of money if you're going to college-- now try telling those same people to give you all of that money (upfront, not over 4 years mind you) for an indie film.


Well, if you think about it, aside from the lump sum loans you would use to pay for school, once you get out of school you owe that $100,000. You're paying it off forever. Why not take time, save up some money, invest, and take the money that you would've wasted paying back a loan to make a film. That's all I meant, in a roundabout way. I was never planning on asking a bank for a giant loan.
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socketlevel

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« Reply #29 on: May 10, 2005, 12:28:00 AM »
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Quote from: Gamblor Posts Drunk
Quote from: Weak2ndAct
I really disagree with the mentality 'well, if i'm going to spend 100k on school, I should just make a movie.'  Yeah, but unless it's your 100k that you have sitting in a bank account, you aren't going to be able to do that.  Banks, institutions, and parents will give you a shitload of money if you're going to college-- now try telling those same people to give you all of that money (upfront, not over 4 years mind you) for an indie film.


Well, if you think about it, aside from the lump sum loans you would use to pay for school, once you get out of school you owe that $100,000. You're paying it off forever. Why not take time, save up some money, invest, and take the money that you would've wasted paying back a loan to make a film. That's all I meant, in a roundabout way. I was never planning on asking a bank for a giant loan.


because i would put all my money on the fact that since this is your first film it's going to suck balls (they all do first time around), unless of course you're the next orson wells.  seeing that the odds are you're not, you've now wasted 100k.

start smaller

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