Director, VFX Artist David Lewandowski Makes Art His Own Way. Here's How & Why

A week ago, director and film school dropout Ryan Lightbourn shared his experience of striking out on his own as a filmmaker, solidifying for so many of us that nothing stands in the way of our cinematic aspirations. Now, director and VFX artist David Lewandowski gives a similar account to the web series Half Cut Tea, explaining how he, a mostly self-taught artist, can go on and create visual effects for Tron: Legacy, music videos, and bizarrely brilliant viral videos without the aid of a 4-year film degree. Check out the video after the jump.

Lewandowski received an associate's degree in film, but as he describes in the Half Cut Tea video, he hated the one year of film school he took. Striking out on his own, Lewandowski began to make a name for himself as a Cinema 4D freelancer, which helped him get his Tron: Legacy gig. Many would sell out their own mothers for a chance to work on a film like that, but Lewandowski explains in the video that the only hope of doing anything that will be remembered or moving is by doing your own work.

Check out Lewandowski's shorts, going to the store and late for a meeting.

Lewandowski shares some keen insight about life as an artist -- the frustration and amazement in knowing that sometimes art is the only means of communication -- how understanding and embracing who you are as a filmmaker, your sensibilities and tastes, is supremely important. This breeds passion, and passion will take you further in your career than you think -- that and hours and hours of practicing your craft!

Check out the video below:

Video is no longer available:

As an autodidact, film school was a weird experience for me. Don't get me wrong, it definitely provided for me a lot of great information, experiences, and lifelong connections, but there was this common current that I seemed to continually fight and eventually get caught up in -- wanting to experiment and learn from my own mistakes or following the path that had been laid out previously for me.

This experience isn't exclusive to film school grads; this happens all the time to professionals as well, but the lesson to glean from it is that sometimes you have to take the bull by the horns and do things your way, because sometimes that's the event that sets your future in motion and your passion on fire.-- something that Lewandowski adeptly demonstrates.

Have you taken the road less traveled in your film career? Have some advice? Let us know in the comments.


[via Half Cut Tea]

You Might Also Like

Your Comment


I love his stuff.
I also didn't go to film school (they didn't really exist back then). Does that count? :-)

Filmmaking is mostly a blue collar career. Film schools can be wonderful for connections, history, and advice. But if you can't afford it/don't like it, don't panic. Just get out there and do it.

December 14, 2013 at 9:06PM, Edited September 4, 8:45AM


Film schools are good for connections (really good if you can afford the best schools), but the truth is you don't really need them.

December 14, 2013 at 10:38PM, Edited September 4, 8:45AM

You voted '+1'.

Totally agree with you guys. I can't knock film school, because it was a great experience for me, but I definitely know (and knew before I started) that it's not a prerequisite for making films!

December 15, 2013 at 3:18AM, Edited September 4, 8:45AM

V Renée
Content Manager at Coverfly

Agree. I am film school now but it is just a smaller piece of the larger puzzle. Thanks for posting.

December 15, 2013 at 6:43AM, Edited September 4, 8:45AM


Nice films, very creative and very funny. Director last name (surname) is the same like striker from Borussia Dortmund, football club :)

December 15, 2013 at 8:59AM, Edited September 4, 8:45AM


Wow! One of the best football striker in the world/director/VFX artist in one!

December 15, 2013 at 9:27AM, Edited September 4, 8:45AM


I love his last line. "That's why we have art"

December 16, 2013 at 8:00AM, Edited September 4, 8:45AM


Let's see we got 2 videos of what looks like a wooden artist's
model spastically dancing around...and a video of a guy
playing video games talking about some motion graphics
for what are we supposed to do with this stuff ?

December 19, 2013 at 4:02PM, Edited September 4, 8:45AM