01-01-2005, 11:38 PM
Hello everyone. I'm a freshman in college at the University of Arizona. I am a Theatre Education major, but I have a huge interest in filmmaking, however, it seems like there's no school here that can teach it to you. I mean...the university has a media arts program, but it closes it to anyone who isn't a major. It's really frustrating because I want to get involved in independent filmmaking, and the university isn't allowing me to learn it. What can I do? And is anyone else here from Tucson, AZ, USA?
I'm glad I found this board, it looks like a great community!
01-02-2005, 08:28 AM
:hi: welcome to Indie Talk
Welcome UprightCitizen! Have you ever considered an apprenticeship with a local filmmaker, possibly a media graduate from your college? Check out your state arts board roster of Arizona artists-sometimes they even allocate funds for a master/protegee program.
01-02-2005, 01:51 PM
I will have to check that out...thank you!
01-02-2005, 03:18 PM
Read lots of books and teach yourself. :) Save the tuition money for your big breakout feature.
01-02-2005, 04:01 PM
Will has it totally right. I have seen it written time and time again that while pro hands on direction can teach you a lot in the beginning, in the end about the only things great about film school in the later years in the contacts you make (read people who truly want to work with you to make films or know a way for financing), and access to school equipment. I just saw a thing on Kevin Smith's story and the making of Clerks. In short, he went to film school to learn how to operate a camera so he could make his feature. He came back after just one semester with his co-producer and camera operator, a fundamental understanding of how film sets work and spent the rest of his money on Clerks.
Read Robert Rodriguez's top 10 list for making films or is it the 10minute film school? Anyway, the quickest way to learning how to make DV productions for cinema is to do the following:
1) Buy good book(s) on film production. Read them cover to cover as reference. It will tell you how film sets are run, who the people on set are and what their responsibilities are, how the stages of production go, and what to do with your film afterward.
2) Buy a decent camcorder. You don't need an expensive one to start, just a simple DV will do the trick. Find shots in films you like and take all of the lights you can find to try and emulate it. Play with shadow falloff, key light, back light, etc. Big stuffed animals can be good subjects unless you have a little brother you can chain to a chair (just kidding!). Try everything and check how it looks on your camcorder on a tripod.
3) Learn basic format for scriptwriting. Easy enough to do from the Nicholl's example, but I like to get shooting scripts from bookstores or online and then watch the movie. Gives you a good idea for how it translates from script to screen. Write something simple that you can do with what you have available to you NOW.
4) Edit this on a PC with a firewire connection and a decent NLE.
5) Make something better, wash and repeat. Make something with characters and a storyline (beginning, middle, end).
6) When you've got something you're proud of, share it with us here at IT where you'll get some constructive criticism. Eventually you'll know exactly what you're doing and make something really delicious that is both unique and well done. Something to be really proud of, demonstrative of your talents. Now you're ready to make cinema.
Keep the costs down as much as possible, take account of what you have to work with, and if you involve other people, feed them. Remember you are in charge, it is your film, but you are not a dictator so listen to other people.
Good luck :)
01-02-2005, 06:13 PM
Thank you very much for that...that was a very inspiring post for me!
01-02-2005, 06:47 PM
Hey Citizen! Welcome to IndieTalk. My friend and I have no film education, experience...or even books! We just decided to make a movie, so we made one. Some may argue that perhaps we SHOULD have at least bought a book...but others have complimented us on our first effort--considering our total lack of training. My point is--if you want to make a movie, just do it. WideShot said it well above... " wash and repeat"...make a movie, learn, plan, make a better one, practice, learn, start again, etc. and have fun with it. Good luck!