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Logan LeBlanc
11-13-2005, 02:17 PM
Hey Everyone, I'm sure this has been addressed before, but I am looking into furthering my education on the processes of filmmaking and directing. Before I shell out $30,000 though, does anyone have any materials that were SUPER beneficial to them? I've seen the Hollywood Filmmaking DVD's, but that's about it. Also, does anyone know of any good film programs in the Southern U.S. I'm originally from Louisiana and would like to study as close as I can to home. Thanks to All!!!

jermz
11-13-2005, 02:25 PM
My advice: spend the time (if you have it) checking out director commentaries on the DVDs you purchase.

Since we're on the DVXuser forums, I'm assuming you're shooting your films in digital. In this case, I would suggest investing in any DVD with Robert Rodriguez's 10 minute film school on them. The DVD commentaries themselves are also very helpful.

For more suggestions from some of the rest of the DVXuser community, check out this thread: http://www.dvxuser.com/V3/showthread.php?t=38280&highlight=commentary

This is about as cheap as it gets, and if you check out the right ones, it can prove to be very informative in helping you understand the filmmaking process.

Hope this helps!

Jeremy Ordan
11-13-2005, 03:25 PM
The filmmaking DVD's are great, also invest in some books. Some of my favorites are Film Directing Shot by Shot, In the Blink of an Eye, Rebel without a Crew, Alfred Hitchcock and the Making of Psycho.

GenJerDan
11-13-2005, 03:40 PM
But nothing beats just doing it. Even if it's not film...they're still actors, so find a local theater group.

You'll have to adjust the style a bit (well, more than a bit) when going to film, but you'll learn how to deal with...Those People. :)

jermz
11-13-2005, 06:31 PM
But nothing beats just doing it. Even if it's not film...they're still actors, so find a local theater group.

You'll have to adjust the style a bit (well, more than a bit) when going to film, but you'll learn how to deal with...Those People. :)

The trouble with theater actors though is that they tend to take their characters to the edge of reason. The reason for this is of course, because in theater, you're taught to perform for the person waayyy in the back row, so you project and make your movements really large.

In film, things are more subtle. You're performing for the person in the front row, because the camera can capture more.

But yeah, the adjustment is huge. Speaking for myself, it takes some getting used to.

Apparently, I'm still not over it. (See Avatar.) :shocked:

aaron_wade
11-13-2005, 06:31 PM
your in film school now. DVXUSER FILM SCHOOL!

there is no such place as basketball school, singer school, ......................

get out there and do it! network, shoot, learn.

THAT'S JUST MY OPINION. YOUR ONLY GOOD AS YOUR REEL.

jermz
11-13-2005, 06:44 PM
your in film school now. DVXUSER FILM SCHOOL!

there is no such place as basketball school, singer school, ......................

get out there and do it! network, shoot, learn.

THAT'S JUST MY OPINION. YOUR ONLY GOOD AS YOUR REEL.

Although I do agree that "you are only as good as your reel", the implications of going to film school is that you're being trained by people who know what they're doing and can help you understand the fundamentals of filmmaking, what each shot conveys, the nature of story, etc. Of course, this information is not inaccessible. A basic Google search will assist you in unraveling tons of film history and theories, but to know even what to look for requires structure, insight and discipline.

Granted, DVXuser is an AMAZING resource and experience is indeed the best teacher, if coupled with a competent knowledge of filmmaking and its conventions, it can only enhance one's final product.

That said, I echo my point in saying DVD commentaries are an excellent resource in learning more about how great films are made and why each shot was composed in the way that it was.

Also, the very basics of filmmaking point to story. If your story is no good, there is no reason in investing the time in making a film (unless you're doing it for the sole purpose of getting acquainted with your camera and its capabilities). In this case, if you're looking to writing your own screenplays, screenwriting books can also be a helpful resource. "Story" by Robert McKee has helped me the most, personally. You may find one that better suits you, but that is my recommendation on the matter.

Again, best of luck in your pursuit of filmmaking! I look forward to seeing some of your completed works! :laugh:

americanmaniac
11-13-2005, 07:38 PM
My first message on here, i'm glad I found a nice site with other filmmakers finally :laugh: ! Anyways I just got into film, I was at Barns and Noble and was in the film book section and picked up this book, $30 film school. Helped me out check it out at http://search.barnesandnoble.com/bookSearch/isbnInquiry.asp?r=1&isbn=1592000673&popup=0

jermz
11-13-2005, 09:02 PM
My first message on here, i'm glad I found a nice site with other filmmakers finally :laugh: ! Anyways I just got into film, I was at Barns and Noble and was in the film book section and picked up this book, $30 film school. Helped me out check it out at http://search.barnesandnoble.com/bookSearch/isbnInquiry.asp?r=1&isbn=1592000673&popup=0

First of all, welcome to the forums! (Yes! I'm actually telling this to someone new to the forums, finally!)

Secondly, what's the book about? What does it cover? "$30 Film School" -- The title is certainly promising. I'm really interested in its contents. Perhaps you could give us a brief rundown of what it contains, if you don't mind. I want to be sure of my investment. :thumbsup:

Luis Caffesse
11-13-2005, 09:26 PM
First of all, welcome to the forums! (Yes! I'm actually telling this to someone new to the forums, finally!)

:grin:
Welcome aboard.

Streckfus
11-14-2005, 02:26 AM
As far as learning the ropes goes, if there's a resource available to you, use it. Filmmaking is just like any other art or skill, whether it be songwriting or shooting free throws or playing the guitar. You will never truly "master" anything as we are constantly learning and improving on our skills. No matter how good you are, there is always someone better, so that should take the pressure off. So don't be shy - don't limit yourself to any one resource, use them all and soak it up.

I learned a lot when my parents got a VHS Camcorder when I was in the 7th Grade. That hands on experience was invaluable. Take a look at the stuff Rodriguez is doing now - he learned the same way.

You can learn a lot by studying the films of Hitchock, Scorsese, Spielberg, Kubrick. (Yes, there are plenty that I've left out, but these have been the most influential directors for me!)

As far as modern filmmaking goes, I must concur with other posts in saying that you just can't get any better than watching a Robert Rodriguez commentary or DVD special feature, or by reading his book "Rebel Without A Crew". He is an incredibly generous filmmaker, offering tons of insight and hints into low-production filmmaking.

On screenwriting, check out any David Mamet flick. I think Tarantino and Kevin Smith write superb dialogue - but if you want to hear some dialogue that really cooks, check him out. There are also a ton of books on screenwriting, but I've found that they all pretty much cover the same things. If you wanna stay mainstream, stick to the 3 Act Structure, but although there are reasons for it, once you learn the rules then you're allowed to break them. Whether you're shooting for mainstream or not, it is essential in screenwriting to cut anything that doesn't move the story forward (no matter how in love with it you are) and keep the viewer asking the question "What happens next?" The more disciplined you are in the screenwriting stage, the easier your shoot will be (less footage to shoot), if you get rid of unnecessary material before you shoot it then you won't have to get despressed when you have to cut it later on. You're going to have to cut some material regardless...make it easy on yourself and limit it as much as possible by sticking to a tight script.

I must also say that - although somewhat biased in the editing process - the Project Greenlight series are a wealth of inside information on what goes into making a film. Most of us won't be working with $1 Million budgets or casting Aidan Quinn in our films, but the basic principles still apply.

If you don't already have one, pick up a PC and some decent editing software and just start shooting stuff. Once you've done some hands-on editing you'll be more prepared when you shoot because you'll know what will work in the edit and what won't. Again, watch Hitchcock. The guy practically edited in camera. When his editor got his footage, there was really only one way to put it together. Now that's efficiency.

And if there are any filmmaking classes or seminars close by, dive in.

Sidney Lumet's book "Making Movies" is superb, as are the books by Judith Weston ("Directing Actors" in particular.)

And finally, forums like this are invaluable. Nothing beats networking with people who've been there, done that. I've only posted here a few times, mostly by asking questions, but I've been reading these threads for quite a while and there are a LOT of experienced people here that are more than willing to give you their 2 Cents. (Or in my case, close to a buck's worth - not necessarily in substance, but in length!)

At any rate, welcome aboard. And to paraphrase Kevin Smith, don't say you want to be a filmmaker. If you're making movies, whether you're cutting together old VHS footage or shooting a feature-length film on 35mm, then you're already doing it.

Best of luck.

jpbankesmercer
11-14-2005, 02:59 AM
My bible.
'Directing-Film techniques and aesthetics' by Michael Rabiger
It's a fantastic resource that you can go back to again and again.
In regards to filmschool. IMOP filmschool's give you the opportunity to meet others and develop future contacts, whilst the course sets you tasks to complete using their gear. In other words, if you don't go to filmschool, you have to come up with your own projects, blag-borrow or steal the equipment and network like hell.
Each has it's own plus points and minus points. The one true thing about making films is there is no right or wrong way, apart from the basics of course. This business offers a variety of roles and directions. You might want to direct now but find your more interested in other areas once you embark on projects. Keep and open mind and try everything. Directing like Acting has no time limits, you can start early or late. I honestly believe if you want to make films, you will do. Art has a way of finding its way out sooner or later. Good hunting, I wish you all the best with your endeavours.

Watching great films is the best resource open to you and obviously dvxuser.com :grin:
J.P.

FourStarCinema
11-14-2005, 03:13 AM
The very best film school you can get is simply going out and making your own movies. If you have to, buy a cheap camera and some editing software and get busy. Come up with your own stories, and learn the basics of screenwriting. You don't necessarily need to go to film school. I am currently in film school, and I'd estimate that 90%+ of my class will never make it as a director in Hollywood. Get clear about your goals. It all boils down to whether or not you have the patience, dedication, passion, creativity and skill. What do you have to offer? Are you in this for your passion, or for the money? Be honest with yourself, and then go out there and make the very best films you can with whatever budget you have. If you fail, go out there and try again. Keep trying until you think you want to give up, and then try some more.

yagfxg33k
11-14-2005, 08:56 AM
The very best film school you can get is simply going out and making your own movies.

Well said. Take that tuition, buy a camera/dolly/jib/tripod/boom/coupla mics/digital recorder/lighting kit/copy of FCP or Premiere/copy of an audio editing app like Audition.

Write a short. Take some joke that you already know and like. Re-write it. Research the hell out of all of the skills that you need. Then go make your movie.

My wife was a professional photographer. I have converted her into a DP. One of my friends is an engineer. I trained him to do the sound on set. For my current film, I had about 4 rehearsals with the sound guy at the location. Then I had a full day crew only rehearsal / training session. Then I shot the film.

You can do the same.

Luis Caffesse
11-14-2005, 09:01 AM
I would highly recommend editing as much as you can.
(then again, maybe I'm biased seeing as that's how I make my living for the most part).

But I can honestly say I learned more about shooting from editing than I ever have from shooting. When editing you're forced to sit down and (as a friend of mind is fond of saying) 'wallow in your own mess.' You really get to learn your footage, and it becomes very obvious very quickly what you SHOULD have shot that you don't have...and what you shot that you don't need.

jhvid
11-14-2005, 09:08 AM
As far as film schools in the South: North Carolina School of the Arts and Florida State both have pretty well known programs. If you're looking to spend less money check out the University of Memphis; I'm in the graduate program here now and I'm liking it. The program is much smaller than the other two I mentioned, but you have to make two movies to get your degree, so you're guaranteed to produce something (actually two somethings), and with my graduate assistantship I don't pay anything to go here. The faculty is excellent, and while the program does have its downsides (it's actually an MA program as opposed to MFA so there are two required Communications courses that are a real pain in the ass), I've gained a ton of experience and met lots of great people that want to do the same thing as me.

chromeboy007
11-16-2005, 04:41 PM
One thing that's not mentioned here is being a TV/movie actor... ok ok. It's not as hard as you think. An extra is an actor, right? I was an extra a few years ago and that was when I decided to be a filmmaker. There is nothing like being there and watching other people doing it. They would re-do a scene over and over until they get it right even if it's not a significant scene, and these are just mediocre movies/TV shows. I was in a shoot once for a student filmmaker from a local college. I have to tell you I wasn't impressed.

I can't afford film school, so I signed myself up with the PMFS - Poor Man's Film School (the library, Blockbuster and HMV etc...). I'm so desparate for knowledge I even have 2 Eisenstein movies lined up.

americanmaniac
11-17-2005, 02:53 PM
First of all, welcome to the forums! (Yes! I'm actually telling this to someone new to the forums, finally!)

Secondly, what's the book about? What does it cover? "$30 Film School" -- The title is certainly promising. I'm really interested in its contents. Perhaps you could give us a brief rundown of what it contains, if you don't mind. I want to be sure of my investment. :thumbsup:

Sorry so long to post it covers Writing,Fundraising,Producing,crew camera and medium, directing, filming and recording techniques, computers, editing images,editing audio, Making your own dvd, telling the world, selling your film, copy protection and rights, programs teaches you how to use them. It also comes with a CD with all the release forms you will need to have your actors and such sign. and some video HOW To's on there. It was worth my $30. Now I just need to wait a month so I can get my camera. :cheesy: If you need anything else just let me know it won't take so long to respond to next time.

dougspice
11-17-2005, 06:52 PM
There's no easy answer to this. But, even if you ingest all the best knowledge in the world from books and other movies, it doesn't matter if you don't know people. That's a big thing that schools are good for. If you're that very rare person who's motivated and actually has good ideas, you can do it without school and without a lot of help... but those people are one in a million. The most valuable resource is people to bounce your ideas off of - people with more experience than you.

If you are going to go to film school, though, make damn sure you go to a good one. I can't imagine a bigger waste than going to a third-rate school. In the south, UTA is great, Full Sail in Florida is also supposed to be really good, in addition to everything suggested above.

Logan LeBlanc
11-17-2005, 07:08 PM
Full Sail? I actually was saving up to go there...until I found this page called fullsailsucks.com. It had several different stories about how the faculty were underqualified, "job placement" included Blockbuster because they're in the entertainment industry, people getting billed THOUSANDS that were already paid; things of that nature. I actually went before I saw the page and checked out the school. It seemed impressive then, but now, it was more like a lot of smoke and mirrors. Some people actually said it was better to NOT state that you went to that school on resumes. Needless to say, I didn't go.

dougspice
11-17-2005, 11:19 PM
Huh. Well, I don't know anything about them first hand, and certainly don't know anyone who went there, so that might be a sign. Normally I would suggest to avoid a trade school like that anyway, but I had read good things. But you never can tell how far the wily grip of PR can reach...

masada1903
12-01-2005, 09:21 PM
This is my first time posting -- reading this thread was why I registered.

I'm not sure what film schools you've been looking at, but 30,000 doesn't even begin to scratch the surface for most schools. I've recently earned an MFA in film, and it cost me roughly 90,000. Granted, that is the *high* end of the scale, but film school isn't cheap no matter where you go. AFI is more expensive than that, I believe. The best thing about film school is being able to interact with others who take film very seriously. There's a lot to be said for that. But it is a very expensive venture, and not one to be taken lightly. They can be a very positive experience, but they're not going to "make" you -- at best all they will do is help you along your way. If you go into it thinking they'll turn you into a genius, I think you'd be bitterly disappointed (that's your job.)

Regardless of whether or not you were to attend film school, the best way to learn is to do it. The first few things you make are going to be attrocious, but you learn from each mistake. It's like learning to play the piano, or just about anything else. It takes time and practice. The beauty of video is that you can make shorts and even features for relatively little. It's still a fairly ugly format and there's a fair amount of snobbery towards it in the industry, but at this point it doesn't matter. You're just trying to learn. Get your hands on *any* video camera, and start hacking at it. As you do it, you'll start to get the sense of your own sensibilities, and you'll start to find what "works" and what "doesn't."

Reading up on screenwriting can be very helpful -- check out books by Syd Field and Robert McKee to name a few. It's probably best to start with a script (Coppola said he'd never start a film until he had locked his script) you're confident in, but again, you're just starting so you can screw around with impunity.

Also, keep in mind that most films spend a LONG time in pre-production. I can't stress enough how important it is to plan what you're going to do. Storyboards, shot lists etc etc really help films to stand out. I've seen films that have been storyboarded up to the half-way point (at which point the director got tired of working on it, and just started shooting), and it falls apart visually after that.

DVD commentaries can be great, depending on who is talking. I've heard good things about the Rodriguez commentaries, though I've never listened to them personally. Ridley Scott also has very insightful commentaries on Gladiator and Black Hawk Down. I seem to recall Guillermo del Toro's commentary on Blade 2 to be very good as well, but it's been a long time.

In terms of southern film schools, I think everyone has covered them: NC School of the Arts (used to live in NC -- it has a good rep), Florida State, and FullSail (I have friends who went there, and they are very sharp -- so I wouldn't believe *all* the negative things you hear about it). There's another school -- Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD), that I briefly looked at but didn't dig into enough to tell whether or not it was a good program. Personally, I think if you're gonna spend the money on film school, you should go for the gold and find one in Los Angeles. Just keep in mind, every school has its caveats. USC is widely regarded as one of, if not the best film schools in the country, yet I know quite a few people who are very bitter about their experiences there. When deciding on whether or not to go to film school the best (and coincidentally BS) answer is: "It depends."

Hope that helps.

dougspice
12-02-2005, 05:06 PM
At USC, it tends to be the Critical Studies students who are most bitter. I've never figured out a single reason why that is.

The Machinist
12-02-2005, 05:28 PM
Someone a few months back told me that University of Texas Austin had a good program

David Jimerson
12-02-2005, 05:38 PM
there is no such place as basketball school, singer school, .......................

Well, actually, there are.

Isaac_Brody
12-02-2005, 06:11 PM
The alternative? Just do it. Start writing, shooting, editing. Hopefully you're motivated enough to work hard and keep practicing. Find people around you with similar interests and work with them.

As much fun as it is doing everything yourself, there are people out there more skilled than you with different talents. If you can find a lot of people with talents in different areas to help you then it'll improve the quality of your films.

Know your limitatons. Most people think they can do it all when they can't.

J.R. Hudson
12-02-2005, 07:29 PM
Nothing is better than just doing it. Period.

wabbit
12-02-2005, 08:03 PM
There are several successful approaches to becoming a filmmaker. I have meet plenty of successful people who "just do it" but film school also gives you many of great resources, the most important, which has already been stated, is networking.

As Luis said, editing is the place where you will learn the most. You quickly learn what does and doesn't work. That is one of the reasons it is not usually the best approach to start out trying a feature length. Do a bunch of shorts to quickly learn from your mistakes.

Books, DVD's, the internet, and cheap equipment so you can practically shoot for free make it a great time to be starting out as a filmmaker. Take advantage of all these resources.

One great way to get up to speed is to volunteer your services to work on a local film crew. It's great to make your own movies but working on other people's movies will quickly show what to do and what not to do.

School is not to be underrated. A full 4 year program is more then you need to start making films (but still valuable overall). One great program is the Maine International Film and Television Workshops. They have a summer program that includes intensive courses that can get you quickly up to speed on the basics as well as master level course for the more experienced filmmaker. I have taken several course there and you meet some of the top people in the field. Only issue for me was they are all based out of NY or LA and working out of Seattle I could not take advantage of the networking. If you plan to move to either location, Maine is a great place to get some opening contacts.

They also have a great program for kids to work there (maintain equipment, perform as actors for the other students' s films, etc) to subsidize their tuition. It's a great deal for kids to get a great education for close to free. If I were a young adult getting started I would sign up for that program tomorrow. :)

A ton of options are open to you, only you can figure out what you think will work best for you.

Good luck

TimurCivan
12-03-2005, 03:44 PM
my friend went to film school and he teaches me all thestuff he learned. second hand knowledge is good i guess.

MsManhattan
12-04-2005, 04:52 PM
I have to chime in and say I agree with all those here who've given the advice "Just do it!" My background is in journalism, and I was always interested in making a documentary. Then, I was consulting for a software company, and they needed a customer testimonial DVD. Although I had no "moving image"-related experience, I knew that essentially it would be the same as writing up a puff piece praising the software, just a different medium (video vs. print). So, my partner and I taped interviews that I conducted with users of the software, and put together a series of talking-head testimonials. It was poorly lit (the first thing we did), but the editing and content were right on-target. I realized that producing is all about establishing and meeting deadlines, and editing for video/film is storytelling -- just like editing an article -- and so forth. In other words, I learned that I had a lot more skills that were portable to this medium than I realized.

It was a huge confidence builder, and we've just taken every opportunity since then to learn by doing -- entering the DVX User contests and other competitions has been a big motivator, because you have to meet deadlines and once you declare publicly that you're going to do it, you put pressure on yourself to follow through. You make mistakes, and finish, and maybe you like what you did and maybe you don't, but you move on to the next challenge.

One thing that we definitely learned A LOT from was a local 24-hour film competition, and we've since discovered that a lot of these are conducted nationwide -- 24-hour or 48-hour or two-week competitions where you have to script, shoot and edit your entry within the designated timeframe. Those are like mini-bootcamps, and you will learn a tremendous amount just by rolling up your sleeves and plunging in.

Finally, try to talk to as many people as you can -- whenever you have an opportunity to try out ideas on someone of get information from people, go for it. My rule of thumb on that: There are no stupid questions, only stupid answers...

Good luck!

dougspice
12-05-2005, 01:12 PM
Just doing it is fine, but you will reach a limit of what you can achieve with that method. Books and videos are great, but they are not conversations. It is invaluable to be able to hear something taught and then ask, "Okay, but what about THIS situation? How does it work then?" That's hard to get outside of real-world scenarios. Forums like this are a big advance, but not quite there.

At the very least, if you're going it alone, and serious about it, you should find a mentor. Find someone who will teach you hands-on. Work (or volunteer, even) as their assistant for a while. You'll learn a lot more than the relatively low ceiling of what you can learn all by yourself.

One more thing to add, Boston University has a summer film program that is supposedely pretty good. NYU has a similar program. I know people who attended both in high school.

GraBird
12-24-2005, 07:16 AM
Books books books. You ALREADY have access to the best teachers in the WORLD through loads of fantastic books. Two years ago I put together my own "Film School" curriculum (based on real film school curricula) and researched books to serve as class textbooks.

Here's some of the better ones. (ISBN's in parens)

INTRODUCTION TO FILMMAKING
"Understanding Movies" by Louis Giannetti (0130408131)

MAKING INDIE FILMS YOU CAN AFFORD
"Rebel Without a Crew" by Robert Rodriguez (0452271878)
"From Reel to Deal" by Dov Simens (0446674621)
"How to Shoot a Feature Film for Under $10,000" by Bret Stern (0060084677)

SCREENPLAY WRITING
"Screenplay: Writing the Picture" by Russin/Downs (1879505703)
"How NOT To Write a Screenplay" by Denny Flinn (1580650155)
"Screenwriting 434" by Lew Hunter (039951838X)

FILM PRODUCTION
"The Complete Film Production Handbook" by Honthaner (0240804198)
"Film Budgeting" by Ralph Singleton (0943728657)
"Film Scheduling" by Ralph Singleton (0943728398)
"Uva's Basic Grip Book" by Michael/Sabrina Uva (0240804856)
"Killer Camera Rigs You Can Build Yourself" by Selakovich (www.DVcamerarigs.com)

DIRECTING
"Directing: Film Techniques and Aesthetics" by Michael Rabiger (0240805188)
"Directing Actors" by Judith Weston (0941188248)

CINEMATOGRAPHY
"Setting Up Your Shots" by Jeremy Vineyard (0941188736)
"The Five C's of Cinematography" by Mascelli (0187950541X)
"Painting with Light" by John Alton (0520089499)
"Film Lighting" by Kris Malkiewicz (0671766341)


There's a bunch more but these are the favorites I notice that I keep grabbing over and over again.

AND I agree with others who've also pointed out that you also have access to a tremendous amount of "Adjunct Professors" RIGHT HERE... and it's all FREE.

gumonstro
12-26-2005, 04:47 PM
Try "Picture", by Lillian Ross. Better than any BTS on DVD.

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0306811286/qid=1135643924/sr=8-1/ref=pd_bbs_1/002-6845266-3331217?n=507846&s=books&v=glance

Gopher_Greene
12-26-2005, 10:15 PM
The best kept secret in Film Schools......

Oklahoma City Community College

The program was started up by Grey Fredrickson

http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0292875/

Academy award winner for Godfather II, his credits are unreal. He still teaches one class a semester.

The school until recently was ran by Fritz Kiersch director of Children of the Corn.
Fritz left last semester to start a program at Oklahoma City University, which I'm sure will be a great 4 year program, but very expensive.

This may not be the best school for a director, it is very technical oreinted. However go on to a four year school and get the film studeis and you'll be set for directing.

This school is all about lighting, camera, production design etc. etc. I'm still a student there and have worked on 2 feature films one as 2nd AD the other as set construction, and a reality tv show as a lead man.

So here is my speil, go buy a camera and go out and shoot and learn by making mistake after mistake after mistake. Throw good money after bad learning from more of those mistakes. Go to film school and learn from those who know this business inside and out. Then get on sets of multi million dollar productions, where you learning curve will go through the roof, because you will work with top name actors, producers, directors and so forth.

The cost? I think last semester cost me @ 900.00 I made that on a two day commericial shoot last week. Oh yeah the contact that hired me for that was my sound editing teacher.

gumonstro
12-27-2005, 03:40 AM
Any 2 or 3 months course on directing and cinematography?

Greggl
12-29-2005, 01:08 PM
I can also recommend the University of Wisconsin:Milwaukee. It has an experimental
and documentary focus, but I went home with a 16mm camera (Filmo) on my
first day of classes, freshman year. I easily shot over 10,000 feet of 16mm film
there and they did have in-house b/w reversal processing that made it affordable.

You've also got access and rights to your own work as well.

http://www3.uwm.edu/arts/programs/film/bfa_prod.html

oneinfiniteloop
12-29-2005, 02:02 PM
Another couple of good books that I've read and heard of are:

Filmmakers Handbook - by Steven Ascher & Edward Pinkus (I own this and it almost invaluable in terms of all the knowledge that's in it)

Ross Lowell's Matters of Light and Depth - I've heard it's a good book, but I haven't got a chance to read it.

Also, Rebel Without a Crew is a very good book for motivation and it really shows how much can be done with a little creativity.

ericyoung
12-30-2005, 02:21 AM
Got this book for Christmas, and it's excellent!

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/057121102X/qid=1135935618/sr=8-1/ref=pd_bbs_1/002-0134377-1935214?n=507846&s=books&v=glance

[Edit: Oops. Link now works!]

It shows there are as many approaches to directing as there are directors.

marko5000
12-30-2005, 04:47 AM
I disagree with all the above as an alternative to film school.

making your own films, watching DVDs and reading all these books is essential to all of us regardless of Education. These should be budgeted for before considering if you can afford film school.

If then you still want to go then why not? I would love the chance to spend three years talking and reading about movies and making my own with other like minded people. Personally I can't afford the tuition or to give up my job.

OK you might ask why not spend that 50K on a feature? But I believe that with a good film education behind you and some very good indie movies under your belt you'll have a much easier time of raising the money from investors.

Just my thoughts on the subject.

Ursa
12-30-2005, 10:58 AM
My tips for directing is reading the following books:
*Robert McKee's "Story" (You GOTTA know how to write)
*Judith Weston's "Directing Actors" (directing actors is 50% of your job)
*Nicholas Proferes "Film Fundamentals" (finally an aesthetic book on directing)
*Stephen Covey "The 7 habits of highly effective people" (you GOTTA balance yourself)
*Robert Rodriguez "Rebel Without a Crew" (Good for morale)

All these books were completely mindblowing to me. If you can learn 100% of the information in these books, and then apply them to your work 100%, then you will in practicality be as good as the best Hollywood players today.

Myself I went to Bond University in Australia. They had a "Directing Actors" class and a "Scriptwriting" class which were INSANELY helpful.

Oh and yes: Stop watching other people's movies and throw away your magazines, so that you have time to read classical literature. Classical literature is classical for a REASON. I were kinda down and depressed since I could'nt seem to find interesting articles that inspired me, until I started to read Ibsen. It completely blew my mind. 150 year old literature, and as relevant today as it was then. And what about 2500 years old literature? Read Aristotle's Poetics. Other writers to check out: Dante, Lovecraft (personal favourite), Poe, Dickens, Nietzsche, Marx, Dostojevskij and lots and lots others... From the nordic countries you have Ibsen, Strindberg and even Snorre (Icelandic Viking-tales, hopeless to understand :)

I know americans don't like checking out this old european pompous stuff, but believe me when I say classic literature is classic for a reason. You won't find today's magazines standing besides Aristotle in history.

Good luck!

RyanT
01-01-2006, 01:16 AM
The hollywood camerawork dvds were a tremendous push in the right direction for my filmmaking. I don't know what I'd do without them.

jazzx
01-01-2006, 08:04 PM
Dante, Lovecraft (personal favourite), Poe, Dickens, Nietzsche, Marx, Dostojevskij

Fine Writers\Poets indeed, though I really think you should avoid (especially Nietzshe and Poe) them if you're in a bad mood, or writing\directing a comedy. :)




Stop watching other people's movies

Could you please explain this? In my view every artist has to draw influence from whatever inspires him\her and that could be a book, a painting, an emotion, an incident, a mood and yes absolutely so a movie!

I also have a book to recommend that talks alot about filmaking as creative process and really takes you to discover-find out for yourself the fundamental reason as to why really anyone wants to be in the filmaking process, whether as a director, editor, dp, actor and music composer and alot more you just have to see for yourself.

The book is called: Creative Filmaking From The Inside Out.


Cheers

Ursa
01-04-2006, 04:00 PM
No I just meant do not draw all your influence from movies. The world already has too many Tarantinoes... I see the wave of violence in modern film as a downfall. Yes it is beautful, yes it has great scripts, now what do you wanna do when you come out of the cinema? You wanna start a fight. I think the art of film should tell people something more than "go out and start a fight". The greatest example being "Fight Club", which had an extremely well-written anti-violent message, and then somewhere in Fincher's direction the message got completely lost. It IS an anti-violent film, so why do everyone want to hit people in the nose when they get out of the cinema?.

I know I know, I sound like a complete christian nerd. But I really do intensely HATE this violence trend in Hollywood for the time being. And people in America can't see that they influence the rest of the world at the same time. Here in Norway you aren't taken seriously anymore if the violence is not portrayed in a beautiful, slick way like in the Hollywood cinema.

So in essence what I meant was: do know when you've seen enough films.

Like I said: I had a depressive breakdown cause I couldn't find inspiration nearly anywhere. I tried movies, but the same old violent escapist crap. I tried magazines, but I felt caught up in a web of commercialism. That's when I turned to reading books. Even though we here in Norway learn about Ibsen when we're 16, it's really not interesting at all when you're that young. So reading it again at 24 was a real new experience to me, and suddenly inspiration was flowing again.

I'm sorry if that seems like a paradox to some: I make movies, but strongly discourage people from watching TV.

I agree you can learn heaps from analyzing movie scenes. The book I recommended: Film Directing Fundamentals" by N. Proferes actually had massive analyzes of three feature films. I learned really a lot. But analyzing is time-consuming, and once you've analyzed a couple, you don't learn that much from analyzing another imho.

But once again: know when you are ready to find your own voice/directing style and stop imitating others.

Ursa
01-04-2006, 04:01 PM
No I just meant do not draw all your influence from movies. The world already has too many Tarantinoes... I see the wave of violence in modern film as a downfall. Yes it is beautful, yes it has great scripts, now what do you wanna do when you come out of the cinema? You wanna start a fight. I think the art of film should tell people something more than "go out and start a fight". The greatest example being "Fight Club", which had an extremely well-written anti-violent message, and then somewhere in Fincher's direction the message got completely lost. It IS an anti-violent film, so why do everyone want to hit people in the nose when they get out of the cinema?.

I know I know, I sound like a complete christian nerd. But I really do intensely HATE this violence trend in Hollywood for the time being. And people in America can't see that they influence the rest of the world at the same time. Here in Norway you aren't taken seriously anymore if the violence is not portrayed in a beautiful, slick way like in the Hollywood cinema.

So in essence what I meant was: do know when you've seen enough films.

Like I said: I had a depressive breakdown cause I couldn't find inspiration nearly anywhere. I tried movies, but the same old violent escapist crap. I tried magazines, but I felt caught up in a web of commercialism. That's when I turned to reading books. Even though we here in Norway learn about Ibsen when we're 16, it's really not interesting at all when you're that young. So reading it again at 24 was a real new experience to me, and suddenly inspiration was flowing again.

I'm sorry if that seems like a paradox to some: I make movies, but strongly discourage people from watching TV.

I agree you can learn heaps from analyzing movie scenes. The book I recommended: Film Directing Fundamentals" by N. Proferes actually had massive analyzes of three feature films. I learned really a lot. But analyzing is time-consuming, and once you've analyzed a couple, you don't learn that much from analyzing another imho.

But once again: know when you are ready to find your own voice/directing style and stop imitating others.

GenJerDan
01-04-2006, 05:30 PM
No I just meant do not draw all your influence from movies. .


Hmmm...I'd say don't draw the influence from newer movies. They're second, third, and fourth hand. Go back to what the makers drew from, and from what those folks drew from, and so on and so on.

Nothing wrong with being influenced...but you'd best go to the original source, unless you just wanna make cheap knock-offs.

Of course, the original original sources are going to predate films....and you'd be even better off going there.

jazzx
01-05-2006, 03:55 AM
I'd say it's a bad idea to generalise all content produced nowadays and one of the reasons is that it's unfair to the artists producing truthful, strong and influential content right now.

Granted, there is a trend towards violence in movies right now, but I don't consider that a problem to artists or viewers for that matter, that are seeking something different because it is there! It's only a matter of choice. In fact the problem lies more on the predictability-flow (as I call it) on movies being made on the Hollywood and European big budget system, than it lies on violence alone.

However I'm optimistic, take a look at american and european independent movie makers and you'll see a lot of gold in there and people seem to really respond to that content. Jim Jarmusch is an example of that success, as other European, Korean, Chinese and Japanese artists like Takeshi Kitano are. These people have an audience which is quite decent!

It's also a bad idea, it think to blame a medium (Like TV) and not the content. I recently saw Jeremy Clarkscon (From TOP Gear) talking in a BBC Series called Grumpy Old Men and he pretty much said that the amount of good TV content has increased incredibly over the years and as such, the amount of garbage has also increased and I can't agree more to that point. You just have to be more selective nowadays.


My view is let everything that really has an impact on you and is truthful, do it's job on infuencing who you are and your artistic endeavors, drawing lines and generalising all the time won't do much good.


Just my 2c.

rsbush
01-05-2006, 04:59 AM
I agree with reading classic literature and viewing classic films but more as a way to inform yourself about life as seen through the eyes of great artists. YOUR life is where true inspiration lies.

jazzx
01-05-2006, 05:13 AM
YOUR life is where true inspiration lies.

Amen to that.

oneinfiniteloop
01-05-2006, 06:47 AM
I think violence is depicted in a strange way in American cinema, but there have been some bigger independent type films that have portrayed it a very real way. Two that come to mind are City of GOd (my all time favorite, thus far) and A History of Violence. Both are very good films and only use violence to tell the story, not for entertainment purposes.

I think good ways to find inpsiration is to be aware of what's around you, and watch how people interact with one another and the world. Utlimately, most stories are about people, so the more the you understand them and how they work, the better off you are. Considering most of us probably feel a little disconnected from the "real world", it is helpful to immerse ourselves into that and find things to motivate us there.

Visually, I think a good place to find inspiration is photo books/art books. Usually when I have a concept for a video or short I will go to the bookstore and look through photo books and art books to find stuff that reflects the tone I am going for in my design. Recently for a music video treatment I went to the store and I was looking through "The Photo Book" and I found this photo that just set something off and I did the treatment and they loved the idea and it got me the job.

Ultimately, it is all about your own creativity and what you experience in your life. That's what makes your ideas your own. And remember what Picasso said:

"Good artists copy, great artists steal"

jazzx
01-05-2006, 08:05 AM
Ultimately, it is all about your own creativity and what you experience in your life. That's what makes your ideas your own. And remember what Picasso said: "Good artists copy, great artists steal"

Absolutely, Which reminds me of the movie "Anything Else" where David Dobel (Woody Allen's character) says to his friend Jason Biggs (Jerry Falk) To strive for originality but if he needs to steal, to do it from the best.

Stanislavski (On an actor is born) also said that when playing a character you're not becoming him and if you do it's wrong. What you actually do is use your own feelings and experiences to relate to the character and display it to the audience.

I guess the bottom line of this is not about copying the exact material or being the next Tarantino, Stone or Kubrick but about finding something in their creations that inspired you and use it in your fashion or expression if you like. Either way it will always be you and your own depiction of things that people will be seeing, unless of course you're carbon copying.

Slimothy
01-05-2006, 10:24 AM
No I just meant do not draw all your influence from movies. The world already has too many Tarantinoes... I see the wave of violence in modern film as a downfall. Yes it is beautful, yes it has great scripts, now what do you wanna do when you come out of the cinema? You wanna start a fight. I think the art of film should tell people something more than "go out and start a fight". The greatest example being "Fight Club", which had an extremely well-written anti-violent message, and then somewhere in Fincher's direction the message got completely lost. It IS an anti-violent film, so why do everyone want to hit people in the nose when they get out of the cinema?.

I know I know, I sound like a complete christian nerd. But I really do intensely HATE this violence trend in Hollywood for the time being. And people in America can't see that they influence the rest of the world at the same time. Here in Norway you aren't taken seriously anymore if the violence is not portrayed in a beautiful, slick way like in the Hollywood cinema.

So in essence what I meant was: do know when you've seen enough films.

Like I said: I had a depressive breakdown cause I couldn't find inspiration nearly anywhere. I tried movies, but the same old violent escapist crap. I tried magazines, but I felt caught up in a web of commercialism. That's when I turned to reading books. Even though we here in Norway learn about Ibsen when we're 16, it's really not interesting at all when you're that young. So reading it again at 24 was a real new experience to me, and suddenly inspiration was flowing again.

I'm sorry if that seems like a paradox to some: I make movies, but strongly discourage people from watching TV.

I agree you can learn heaps from analyzing movie scenes. The book I recommended: Film Directing Fundamentals" by N. Proferes actually had massive analyzes of three feature films. I learned really a lot. But analyzing is time-consuming, and once you've analyzed a couple, you don't learn that much from analyzing another imho.

But once again: know when you are ready to find your own voice/directing style and stop imitating others.

I don't remember anybody leaving the theatres after FIGHT CLUB and wanting to hit somebody in the nose. This is coming from a person who had a "depressive breakdown" because they couldn't find inspiration in tv, movies or magazines.......No further comments.

-----------
I had a friend recently come out and help me out with a shoot, he goes to a very highly regarded school. He takes school very seriously, is very knowledgeable and has a good amount of his own equipment. I had to re-shoot 98% of what he shot. It was pretty bad. I think Film school will provide you with knowledge that you need, but also knowledge that you can get on your own.

I think that if you go to school it will obviously speed things up, but mainly as far as knowledge goes. If you compare a guy who goes to film school for 3-4 years to a guy who has been out there doing it for 3-4 years-Most of the time I think you would see a huge difference in favor of the guy who didn't go to film school.

Of course Film school helps with contacts, but there are plenty of people who will go to School and NOT make very good contacts. It's all about networking and that is up to you. The same guy who is out there doing it has the same opportunity to put himself in a position where he will meet alot of people in the industry. Just like the story: "the man who thought himself into a partnership with Thomas Edison" in the book "Think and Grow Rich" by Napolean Hill.

BTW: That is also a VERY good book-"Think and Grow Rich" by Napolean Hill.
http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0449214923/qid=1136485465/sr=8-1/ref=pd_bbs_1/104-9146931-3226341?n=507846&s=books&v=glance

zoostory
01-06-2006, 12:52 AM
Hey Logan. I am a third year grad student at USC Film School. So I can give you that perspective and my choice and reasons. Long story short. I worked as an actor as a child for a small stint, went to theater school for undergrad, then I dropped out of performance completely and spent 4 years working as a graphic designer doing a 9 to 5.

I always knew in the back of my mind that I NEEDED to make movies. But how to get there was the big question for me. I, personally, am into more mainstream type cinema (I like it all though)... Luckily my graphic design work was somewhat connected to the film and music industries so I was able to make some contacts and get some good letters of rec for film school. I applied and figured, if I get in, I get in. I am not rich, so I fund my education myself. It's mostly loans, but in grad school after a year or so you can get TAships etc that will significantly lower the cost of your education. As an undergraduate, there are TONS of opportunities to get your education practically for free. I don't care who you are or where you come from, if you want it badly enough, you can get it.

Anyway. I got in and I went and here is what I will say bout that to you:

1) If you want to learn something technical, anyone here on these forums knows 100 times more than most at SC. It's not a technical training ground. The school is about 2 years behind on technology. If you want the latest and greatest, you can look at Full Sail or LA Film School. They are trade schools, but really heavy on the tech.

2) The biggest reason to go is networking. God I've just met so many people and all different levels of filmmaking. And believe me, if you work har, they notice and call you. Or you call them. But it' a good way in to the mainframe.

3) Second to that, it's a place where you will get to make a lot of stuff, or help make a lot of stuff. You'll be frustrated because you'll meet people that have different film opnions than you. Every conversation in every hallway will be about some Won Kar Wai film or something and you'll want to vomit every now and then. This is great because it forces you to realize that you're own vision isn't the only thing out there... there are so many different types of person, so many different tastes in things... it' a big world.

4) you get a degree :)


but I agree with the above posts. The best way to do it is to just DO IT. There are those that talk and those that do. The more you do, the better you will get. And with technology these days, jeez... I mean in a years time or less high school kids will be making films that will technically be the quality of a theatrical release, it's a wide open market place now... and that is so amazing!

So really look in your gut and ask what you want to do. I personally love the environment. But I used to be a teacher, academia is fun (sometimes) to play around in for me, and I love all the people and contacts. Some people just don't like it.

peace

zoo

andrewbirch
01-07-2006, 11:51 AM
I am in the same boat on deciding whether to go to film school. I'm almost 32, have a BA in English and journalism, tons of newspaper writing experience, then fell out of love with newswriting and hopped aboard the tech boom in the late 90s till early 2002. Hated corporate, cubicle life. Decided to reevaluate, and take some classes.

This past fall I decided to enroll in NYU's intensive filmmaking workshop thru the School of Continuing Education and Professional Studies. I HIGHLY RECOMMEND this program to anyone thinking about film school. It's 12 intensive weeks -- 9 to 5 everyday -- of learning all the fundamentals of filmmaking. You'll know in that time whether film school is for you, and even learn enough to go out on your own. Program costs $7,000 and includes equipment and some film stock, etc. Best of all, you don't have to apply like you do for a college program. Just pay the $7000 and you get a taste of what it' like at NYU. At the end, you walk away with an 8 to 10 minute short shot in 16 mm color negative synch sound.

andrewbirch
01-07-2006, 12:28 PM
Two Schools of Thought

I've done quite a bit of research on whether film school is the way to go or not, and here's what I've found.

There are two main approaches to making films (in general terms IMO). There are the techie guys that know all about the equipment, lighting, sound, camera, etc. and can make something look really good. And then there are the creative guys that are great at story and writing but aren't very technical. Many of the people I've come across that say to skip film school and go out and make a film are usually the techie types that learn very quickly and know how to use the equipment really well. They are great at picking up the hard skills -- stuff that can be easily taught or learned. But I have found that most of these guys lack in the creative story telling department -- the soft skills that require some basic principles of understanding but really can't be taught as a hard skill. Techies are the ones that go on to be camera operators or DPs or guns for hire -- production crew, etc. They are great at the technical stuff and are a great asset to that area. The reverse is true of the creative types.

So if your goal is to be a production crew guy, there are tons of cheap ways to learn that stuff for free or inexpensively, and it would probably do you better to just go out there and shoot or just take a basic film course to show you how to use the equipment, etc. But I think that most people that say, hey I want ot be a filmmaker, are thinking more from a directors perpective, and thus need to pursue the creative route, which is story. Story, story, story is like location, location, location in real estate. And I think you can't just go out and pick up a camera and make a film this way. This is something that needs basic instruction on story telling, then a support network to cultivate your art on your own, which I think is best gotten in a dramatic writing program or film school like Columbia which emphasises story over production. Too many film programs empahasize production over story telling, which is wrong, wrong, wrong.

One other thing I've come across is that no one seems to take the kid out of high school very seriously. You get no respect if you are 18-24 and in college and looking to be the next hot filmmaker after watching Reservoir Dogs or something. My advice to anyone who is in this age category is to skip film school and just reevaluate film school once you get into your late 20s to early 30s when you realize that you've reached maturity and decide what is really impoirtant to you. Something happens to you in your late 20s or so that forces you to commit to something. Don't commit 4 years to film school in your late teens to early 20s. Maybe take an intensive course to get a taste.

zoostory
01-08-2006, 01:11 AM
andrew I couldn't agree more about story. And your division of the two types make sense, though it is a generalization, and, as usual, nothing is ever clearly divided, and there are always exceptions and such.

We all want to make a "good story well told." The former and latter of that statement acknolwedging your division.

The only thing I would like to add is that, in my opinion, no one can TEACH you how to tell a good story. People will disagree with me.... but after 7 years of theater/film school and having taken every type of writing/directing class under the sun, I've realized that what they can teach you is how THEY tell a story, how THEY are creative. Everyone is limited by their own experience, even the teachers. Yes they can stimulate thought, but then there is that danger of overthinking things and becoming self-conscious.

So don't go to film school if you think it's an instant way to learn to tell a good story. A large part of it just comes naturally. A large part comes from doing. I'de imagine that getting a PA gig or something on a good TV show or film set and watching the director at work will teach you worlds over sitting in a black box room and talking about Uta Hagen all day long.

What film school really teaches you (me anyway) is how to work with a team. How to understand people (if you're smart and pay attention to your surroundings) and how to complain about movies :)

jazzx
01-08-2006, 08:57 AM
An example of a good storyteller and tech-savvy artist was Stanley Kubrick, his background as a photographer and his eager thirst to learn anything new regarding camera equipment, lenses etc added alot to his already wonderful scripts. He also camera-operated alot in almost all of his movies. In Barry Lyndon for example he struggled and succeded to have a modded superfast lens to use in a scene that was only lit with candles. He didn't go to filmschool. But then again not everyone is the creative genius Stanley Kubrick was.

I have found that almost everything in life does not have clear answer, especially when it comes to the arts. So in the end everyone does and takes the path that is more appropriate and practical to him\her.

Slimothy
01-08-2006, 10:36 AM
Two Schools of Thought

I've done quite a bit of research on whether film school is the way to go or not, and here's what I've found.

There are two main approaches to making films (in general terms IMO). There are the techie guys that know all about the equipment, lighting, sound, camera, etc. and can make something look really good. And then there are the creative guys that are great at story and writing but aren't very technical. Many of the people I've come across that say to skip film school and go out and make a film are usually the techie types that learn very quickly and know how to use the equipment really well. They are great at picking up the hard skills -- stuff that can be easily taught or learned. But I have found that most of these guys lack in the creative story telling department -- the soft skills that require some basic principles of understanding but really can't be taught as a hard skill. Techies are the ones that go on to be camera operators or DPs or guns for hire -- production crew, etc. They are great at the technical stuff and are a great asset to that area. The reverse is true of the creative types.

So if your goal is to be a production crew guy, there are tons of cheap ways to learn that stuff for free or inexpensively, and it would probably do you better to just go out there and shoot or just take a basic film course to show you how to use the equipment, etc. But I think that most people that say, hey I want ot be a filmmaker, are thinking more from a directors perpective, and thus need to pursue the creative route, which is story. Story, story, story is like location, location, location in real estate. And I think you can't just go out and pick up a camera and make a film this way. This is something that needs basic instruction on story telling, then a support network to cultivate your art on your own, which I think is best gotten in a dramatic writing program or film school like Columbia which emphasises story over production. Too many film programs empahasize production over story telling, which is wrong, wrong, wrong.

One other thing I've come across is that no one seems to take the kid out of high school very seriously. You get no respect if you are 18-24 and in college and looking to be the next hot filmmaker after watching Reservoir Dogs or something. My advice to anyone who is in this age category is to skip film school and just reevaluate film school once you get into your late 20s to early 30s when you realize that you've reached maturity and decide what is really impoirtant to you. Something happens to you in your late 20s or so that forces you to commit to something. Don't commit 4 years to film school in your late teens to early 20s. Maybe take an intensive course to get a taste.


The most successful people will be the ones who understand the technical as well as the creative aspects of filmmaking.

masada1903
01-11-2006, 12:53 AM
we're told that UCF is the only film school in florida (or america, i can't remember) where you retain rights over you movies...

Art Center College of Design in Pasadena has a similar ownership philosophy, though, they're in major transition right now so I can't really recommend them. And they're not cheap either.

And yes, as indicated by others, LA Film School has a good program as well.

As for the quip about learning "real" film -- narrative is film -- everything else is just detail.

Eon42
01-30-2006, 07:32 PM
What if you're only really interested in digital film production? I'm not really into all that 16mm 35mm stuff. Where should I go after high school? I plan on studying film history, photography, video production, and art in my final year of high school. But I'm interested in writing, directing, and cinematography and I have no clue where I should go. I want to go to a college in Canada (Preferably in Ontario)

JonathanLB
04-15-2008, 07:49 PM
This thread is old but it's on the list of resources for directors, so I thought I'd post anyway.

Networking with film school students. That's the issue here that bothers me the most. What kind of networking are you honestly going to do with people who are as unprofessional as you are? So you have a bunch of people in your film school class, you all graduate together, none of you have any work most likely, or maybe one or two people do, what kinds of connections are these? I happened to meet my business partner in film school but we both quit after 7 weeks anyway, few other people are going to be any type of good connection for a LONG time. You'd have to stay in touch with people for 5 years and even then most of them will have quit the industry.

I also met my editor in film school, but it's more the other way around that I'm a good connection for him because I provide him with work opportunities. He is a very good editor, I think, and I love working with him. But the point is, he'd tell you this too and I think he posts here sometimes, there weren't many useful connections there or even people you'd want to keep in touch with.

I made MUCH better connections after I quit film school, REAL professionals, not a bunch of amateurs who have no clue what the heck they're doing and maybe 5-10 years from now are doing something useful. Maybe. No, forget that. Go make your connections in the real world with people already getting paid work. I opened a production company and interviewed at least 100 professionals in the industry across every area of production and now I have connections. I know who to call if I want a great DP, I know who can help me make my productions run smoothly as a unit production manager (and save me money on equipment, locations, etc.), I know reliable crew members to call for other assistance, etc.

The real connections are in the outside world, not in film school. That's a joke and a half. When film school students start making real money out of film school you can say what a great connection they are, but when most of them go back home or start working a day job, don't kid yourselves, those are terrible connections. Real connections are with real professionals, and I only met those once I quit film school. Even most of the teachers weren't as qualified as people I've worked with outside.

egyptianboxer104
04-16-2008, 04:51 PM
The filmmaking DVD's are great, also invest in some books. Some of my favorites are Film Directing Shot by Shot, In the Blink of an Eye, Rebel without a Crew, Alfred Hitchcock and the Making of Psycho.


i have film directing: shot by shot


excellent book! highly recommend it.