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TOPIC: Which Film Route?

Which Film Route? 17 Nov 2014 04:55 #5783

  • andres.z
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My big question is, do we need an education or do we need skill?

Of course, to be a professional, you need both, or do you?

Many award winning directors now-a-days have the opportunity to create amazing films, and sell them to the richest companies to publish. But how did they get there? Did they have intensive film education? Did they drop out or not even attempt college, because their lives were given a chance to work since they were eighteen?

Lots of questions arise, but let's admit it, you need SCHOOL!!!
School is a touchy subject in my heart, but I am wise enough to know that to succeed with education, you need both, but school is half of that answer. Sacrifice is the truest of all answers. Paying your dues, sure. Yet, we mustn't devalue the need for film education to become very essential for the advancements in the film industry.

Yes, many award winners within the industry do a fine job, but are mostly accredited with their backgrounds that got them there, and if you look at most rankings with the chance of categorizing the best American directors, 8/10 will have received a degree from an institution of some sort. School allows for artists to create their thesis, allows for room for error, and correction.

Working is very vital in knowing the ins and outs of a set, but with all due time, there will be knowledge transferred to the filmmaker, and those who excel in both will be the most successful.
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Which Film Route? 18 Nov 2014 18:27 #5788

  • Shaun.W
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It is funny that you posted this. The past few weeks I have been toying with this very question. Do I continue my path for a BA degree in Film or do I abandon this path and go to an institution like the NY Film Academy where I can just focus on the art of film making. You are correct that education is needed in anything that we do. This is the question that faces many Americans today. Do we pursue a liberal arts based education or focus on just the skill. There are pros and cons for each. There is also other factors that come into play. Time, money and the professional outlook. To just focus on skill or technical education means that one would be limited in what they could do going forward without having to return to school. Focusing on a liberal arts based education allows us to be more rounded in our approach to life and our profession.

My goal is to be a screenwriter but I find myself frustrated with taking classes that aren’t directly tied in with what I do. I can say that some classes have given me ideas on things to write as well as ideas for films. But what I really want to do is to dive right in to the film making process. But the truth is, I don’t know what the best course of action is.
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Which Film Route? 20 Nov 2014 20:51 #5793

  • alejandro.v
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Reply - Alejandro Vargas

The answer is definitely both, although I would say a lot of it also falls into how much skill one possesses. School provides a base for the filmmaker, however it depends on their determination and their tenacity if they will be successful. Many, myself included, work toward their bachelors degree in some aspect of film; however following that, many are faced with the problem of not obtaining work despite having a degree. You can attempt to land a job while studying, so that you can gain real work experience that you can implement into your studies. I consider myself fortunate that I am able to work in my field (Animation / Visual Effects) while still going to school. Nevertheless, it is best to attempt to do both simultaneously; balancing one's time may be difficult, but sacrifices must be made in order to succeed.
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Which Film Route? 24 Nov 2014 03:22 #5827

  • angela.b
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This is probably the biggest conflict I've been dealing with for about a year now. While school seems promising, you look at these filmmakers who are so successful and consider how discouraging getting into a good film school is and it's hard not to question it's validity. The most important thing is that if you do go to school for film that you come out of it with a reel of some sort. Taking advantage of the facilities at these schools is the most important thing, because funding a film on your own can be very expensive. If you can work while you go to school, it's a win-win. If not, at least make time to study films. Realistically, if you show up on set and wave your degree in everyone's faces nobody will take you seriously. Nothing beats experience.
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Which Film Route? 30 Nov 2014 17:37 #5858

  • Daniel.F
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As a screenwriter, I've dealt with this conflict in my head over and over. I think the answer (if any answers exists)is to go for a degree that will allow you to integrate classes along the way that are beneficial to what it is you really want to do. For example, I'm going for my degree in communications, which has helped my writing immensely. I've also been learning quite a lot about different cultures and outlooks, which has in turn given my characters a lot more depth.
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