Writer/director Kevin Smith, a film school dropout himself, talked during a Q&A about whether going to film school is worth it, and the skills that really can't be taught in school. Thanks to the wonderful filmschoolthrucommentaries, here is Smith on what they can't teach you in film school (this is Kevin Smith, so there's always plenty of NSFW language):
He also had some great words about being a director:
Directing isn't about having an insanely grand vision -- for some directors it absolutely is and we get some really cool-looking movies -- but directing is all about like communication. If you can communicate to somebody else, if you can communicate a thought, you can direct, it's that simple.
The point he makes about writing is also great -- something which is echoed by plenty of writers and screenwriters: if you keep working at it you will get better. Whether or not you should go to film school is a complicated answer depending on who you are and your situation, but as Smith mentions, it's really the connections you make with other people there that can be the most fruitful part of the experience. These are connections that can last an entire career -- which we have seen over and over again with successful filmmakers.
For more terrific collected audio commentaries, head on over to the YouTube page.