June 12, 2016 at 12:39PM, Edited June 12, 12:40PM

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Why aren't you in school?

Inspired by the article regarding pros and cons of going to film school, I'm asking you; why are choosing not to go to film school, but become an autodidact instead?

4 Comments

Because you have the opportunity to do so, I know people who work in the film and tv industry that havent done any film school, they arrived by other way by opportunity or doing something else and eventually the company offered them to try something new and make film, etc. Also if you work for a niche market, as nobody else does it you can live out of it more easily.
The thing is that if you want to live from working in that field you need to find a way to get in and to get people to trust that you will do the job properly. If your film are wonderful it's more powerfull than a nice resume.

June 14, 2016 at 4:24PM

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AvdS
1383

I think what needs to be really understood is why someone might go to school in the first place. Most of the time, for any industry, you go to school to become a professional in that industry.

Now if you just like playing with gear, then sure, school is completely unnecessary.

If you want to be a working professional, as in the ACTUAL BUSINESS (Industry) of filmmaking, and not shooting lame YouTube videos or trying to half-ass market some awful "Award Winning" project, then film school should at least be considered.

But Robert Rodriguez didn't go to film school! True - but you're not Robert Rodriguez. That guy HUSTLED his way in. He sold his soul and lived for El Mariachi. He was/is a student of film - not a fanboy.

99.9% of people aren't going to pull off what he and the very few like him have done. And there's nothing wrong with that. School offers structure and a network. It's not for everyone but neither is trying to do things on your own.

June 14, 2016 at 5:48PM

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Nick Rowland
Street Bum
670

The market is saturated. Filmmakers have to look for unique ways to stand out and network for the limited spaces in film festivals and labs. Another big issue is how to justify asking people for money. Not just for $100 but for $100,000 and more. A film school education seems to authenticate your profession for more serious fundraising opportunities. But I'd apply only to programs that don't require the student to incur excessive debt.

June 18, 2016 at 12:23PM

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Michael Taylor Jackson
Writer/Director/Producer
8

What is missing is the art, or point of view, better to take some of that money you were going to put down in film school and travel abroad, get some real life experience - become a 18 wheeler truck driver cross country. You have to be able to bring your own voice to the screen - watching bad formula TV and even worse Hollywood movies and crap on the internet is not going to cut it. You have to live and experience life. 90% of people in L.A. are chasing the carrot thinking they can regurgitate tv and feature films better then what is out there - well they can't and as they climb into their 30's and 40's and beyond you see it slip away. Make art, make films and find a way to support yourself and just do it. The only reason to attend film school is to teach (MFA in Film ) if you want to work in production, just move to a city that has an industry and start carrying cables - work your way up to the department you want a career in. The filmmaker Jem Cohen (who's day job is a set decorator on tv and feature films) quoted once as saying "I've seen a lot of money waisted".

June 20, 2016 at 10:24AM

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bjones
Filmmaker and Photographer
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