January 14, 2019

Watch: M. Night Shyamalan Recalls His Parents Disapproving of Film School

It wasn't always smooth sailing for the director of 'The Sixth Sense.'

With the filmmaker's latest blockbuster, Glass, set to open this weekend, director M. Night Shyamalan is making the publicity rounds, discussing his multi-decade long career and the ups and downs he's experienced along the way. 

While his path to success included film school (Shyamalan was a 1992 graduate of NYU's Tisch School of the Arts), it wasn't an easy ride, especially when he initially chose to attend. In an interview with CBS Sunday Morning, Shyamalan reflected on his parents' initial reservation to his career choice, noting "[it's like] you're on the road to damnation, and that makes sense in a practical way, because they [his parents] did this whole hard road, really practically done, and then their son's going into a field that has no guarantees, that no one who has ever done this. I'm from the east coast, I'm Indian, we're immigrants, there is no one like this doing anything like this, there's no road for this."

With a scholarship in hand, Shyamalan did ultimately make the decision to attend film school, even if his father remained disapproving in the immediate aftermath. Shyamalan reflects on that father-son conversation (and more) below.

 

Will you be seeing Glass this weekend? Let us know in the comments below.      

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2 Comments

Honestly ..it's not JUST immigrant parents...stray from whatever your parents think is the norm .... and it's difficult .. athletics, creative endeavors, etc ... be brave kids .. go for it ... the world is a better place because of it !!!

January 14, 2019 at 12:18PM, Edited January 14, 12:18PM

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I'd say to young people who wish to make films - while it may be easy to say "Yes, I want to be a filmmaker." - the path is not an easy one. Flexibility is fundamental to any successful pursuit. You must learn to roll with the punches - recalculate your course whenever obstacles appear, because they will - but never loose sight of your goals. And never take the journey for granted - it IS the destination. When you choose what you are going to do to earn a living for the next 40+ years, remember that you will be getting up every day to go do whatever it is you have chosen. You might as well choose to do that which makes your heart happy. When you love what you are doing, it is never "work" - it is pure joy. And, when the career is over and you "retire" you will likely look back over the years and then you will find yourself making one of two ultimate assessments: either you are glad you did, or you wish that you had. Make your life count. And don't be afraid to fail. Every failure teaches a lesson. Learn from it and grow from it and do better on the next film. You will never stop learning. Plan. Prepare. Appreciate the value of other professionals and always strive for excellence - perfection is never going to happen. Be glad you did. And mention me in your Oscar acceptance speech, okay? Cheers!

January 26, 2019 at 7:40AM

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DON HENDRICKS
Storyteller, Pro Video, Indie Filmmaker
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