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Old 02-17-2019, 06:20 AM   #1
FenderBender
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Go to Film School or not?

So I'm in my begin 30's and I've been thinking seriously about a career change (to follow my passion for storytelling). I've been working as a game designer for the last 5 years and even though I can't complain about having this for what others would call a "dream job". My dream job has always involved film making. I have an educational background in media studies focus on film and television studies, back in college I already had to study film history, make some a short film and a music video. Later I somehow got talked into pursuing a career in games (I love games too, don't get me wrong). But lately, a little voice in head keeps wanting to do greater things, tell bigger stories that matter.

Now my plan is, I want to take a break or just basically leave the gaming industry and at least have my last attempt in film making. In the very little free time that I have, I try to make short video's. But my plan is to resign my job, move to New York City and attend a program (reckless? I know). I've been thinking about going to NFYA and do a conservatory film making program (1-2 years). It costs a big ransom of money, I know. But I hope to get really emerge myself into the film making world, make some connections (new friendships with other people who want to enter the film business). Why New York? Because of Broadway, fashion industry and many other art forms and artist that the city attracts. I'm an indie film lover, I like to experiment and love artsy things.

I hope to hear other people's thoughts about this. Because I've heard very mixed stories about going to film school and also going to a for-profit academy such as NYFA. If I'm going to study there, I tend to be serious about the program (since it's not a cheap program) and I'm not really in for partying anymore. So I'm afraid I'll be put together with less serious working people who just want to make it into Hollywood but not really in for hard work but more the party lifestyle.

(side note: I'm from Europe and I can't just go to New York to make films on my own. So the idea was doing a study program would be a start)

Let me know what you think, thank you!

(if anyone here went to NYFA, please let me know what you think of that school, thanks)
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Old 02-17-2019, 06:33 AM   #2
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Why not study it in Amsterdam... why New York? How much money is this gonna cost you? If you saved enough..... perhaps you should do this.....

Did this inspire you?

Me 2

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Old 02-17-2019, 07:25 AM   #3
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what do you hope to get out of film school?

Ive watched many pros and cons lists and actually cant see much reason for an expensive film school, that said there are some great online 'schools' that can teach you everything (some great youtube channels include D4Darious, FilmRiot, DSLRguide, NoFilmSchool)

you don't need a school to make connections and if your passionate you dont need a school to stay focused so its likely better to save the ransom and put it into making a film or two instead
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Old 02-17-2019, 08:08 AM   #4
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I agree with BBfilms. I think you'll learn a LOT more by actually doing the job ( experimenting , writing , making shorts ) than going to an expensive film school. These days with the internet and different programs there is really no point in film school ( in my opinion) . Everything you need to learn as a filmmaker is already at reach. Instead of investing in a film school, invest the money experimenting with some short films. maybe take a screenwriting class.

Now moving to america is another matter ( I struggle with this too) , if you wanna apply to american film schools to be able to move to america eventually, that's another story. But as far as learning goes, making two short films gives you more experience and knowledge than two years of expensive education.
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Old 02-17-2019, 11:38 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FenderBender View Post

I hope to hear other people's thoughts about this. Because I've heard very mixed stories about going to film school and also going to a for-profit academy such as NYFA.
The reason you've heard very mixed stories is because no two
people are exactly the same. We can all point out successful
filmmakers who never went to film school and we can all point
successful filmmakers who went to film school.

What is best for you is different than what is best for me.

But it sounds like realistic plan. NYFA is what YOU make of it. You
will be with serious people and less serious people. You will meet
people with no talent trying to buy their way into the industry and
you will meet talented, driven people. You'll meet people who want
to make "Hollywood" films and people who want to party and people
who want to tell stories that matter.

I'm sure you know NYFA has a program in Amsterdam.
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Old 02-17-2019, 01:33 PM   #6
Feutus Lapdance
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If you want to do it because you think it will make you look cool than perhaps you should do something else... Do you got links to your previous work like a 48H you worked on?
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Old 02-17-2019, 02:07 PM   #7
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The same thing you learn in film school is the same thing you can learn in Google if you are dedicated. Film school is not going to guarantee you a Hollywood deal or even an independent production if that's what you're thinking. You will still have to struggle with the knowledge that you know. So think about that.
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Old 02-18-2019, 09:50 AM   #8
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The same thing you learn in film school is the same thing you can learn in Google if you are dedicated.
If you trust Google and YouTube to be your film school, you’re gonna have to navigate a whole lot of bad advice and to learn how to know what’s useful and what’s not. Anybody with a YT channel can start their own fillmmaking tutorials, and way too many of those are run by people who haven’t been able to succeed at actual filmmaking (because they’re terrible at it), so they decide to teach others the wrong ways to do things. Or to review cameras and other gear. If I see a camera review from a “filmmaker” on YT and the video is terribly lit, not lit at all, suffers from crappy sound... I move on to the next. And that’s a lot of them.

The benefit to actual film school is that the information is already distilled for you. No wading through channels and channels of garbage to find the one tutorial that steers you in the right direction. But film school is about so much more than just learning in class. If anything, it’s about making connections. The ones who succeed in film school are the ones who have ambition and initiative. They’re the ones who take any and every opportunity to help with someone else’s project (getting help in return on their own projects), and who actively network with professors and guest instructors, and who seek any chance they can to get in on higher-level productions using the networks they’ve formed. Start out as a PA, work their way up. That is more than half the point of film school.
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Old 02-18-2019, 09:53 AM   #9
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What about Masterclasses by actual successful filmmakers? It cost money but a lot cheaper than film school.
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Old 02-18-2019, 10:29 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AcousticAl View Post
If you trust Google and YouTube to be your film school, you’re gonna have to navigate a whole lot of bad advice and to learn how to know what’s useful and what’s not. Anybody with a YT channel can start their own fillmmaking tutorials, and way too many of those are run by people who haven’t been able to succeed at actual filmmaking (because they’re terrible at it), so they decide to teach others the wrong ways to do things. Or to review cameras and other gear. If I see a camera review from a “filmmaker” on YT and the video is terribly lit, not lit at all, suffers from crappy sound... I move on to the next. And that’s a lot of them.

The benefit to actual film school is that the information is already distilled for you. No wading through channels and channels of garbage to find the one tutorial that steers you in the right direction. But film school is about so much more than just learning in class. If anything, it’s about making connections. The ones who succeed in film school are the ones who have ambition and initiative. They’re the ones who take any and every opportunity to help with someone else’s project (getting help in return on their own projects), and who actively network with professors and guest instructors, and who seek any chance they can to get in on higher-level productions using the networks they’ve formed. Start out as a PA, work their way up. That is more than half the point of film school.
take people like D4Darious and hes an actual filmmaker who has won many awards on the festival scene, he uploads his videos along with tutorial and the making of the films he shoots... he also attended film school and literally teaches what he was taught in film school - hes about a transparent as they come so you know exactly what your learning

you may not personally like his stuff and there maybe better 'filmmakers' in the world but hes a great TEACHER and frankly when you go to filmschool you know nothing about the people teaching, you could get someone that's never made a feature just some shorts themselves in film school or someone that's made terrible films or someone who saw a sucker and a way to make money etc... no to teachers will be the same weather at a 'school' or not and how good or if there way is 'right' is totally subjective
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Old 02-18-2019, 01:58 PM   #11
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I go to film school in LA. I agree with what the other posters have said. These days all materials are online and most are even free. If you have the passion to learn, you don't necessarily have to come to film school to learn it.

For me, apart from the resources (teachers, equipment, library, etc.), some of the advantages of going to film school are:

1) I get to make my own short films (write, produce, direct and edit) and when I graduate, I will have 3 to 6 short films.
2) Pretty much, every week (F, Sa, Su), I get to crew on other student films. I have worked on many positions from catering to producing other films. I get to learn on many crafts.
3) Contacts and Professional Networking. I get to meet real people, some of them are really talented and I get to work with them.

For all of this, you don't need to come to film school, but film school can make it easier and quicker. (When I moved from Dallas to LA, I didn't know anyone in LA or anyone in filmmaking. Without film school, I would't have known where to go or how to proceed.)

Biggest concern of going to film school is, as everyone already know, the loan. Seniors who have graduated told me that for many it takes 10 to 15 years to pay off the loan. Many even quit this industry in few years after graduation and moved on to something else.

Film school has both pros and cons. Based on money and time you have, you got to make the choice what is right for you.
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Old 02-18-2019, 04:33 PM   #12
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The main advantage to going to a prestigious school like that is the networking.

You need to ask yourself how friendly and charismatic do you come off to other people?
Do people want to be friends with you? Can you impress your fellow students with your film skills and make them want to know you?

If they believe you're going to make it theyre all going to suck up to you.
If the answer is yes you will get a lot of out of something like NYFA.
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Old 02-20-2019, 12:23 AM   #13
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Thanks a lot for all your replies and advice! Definitely good food for thought. I'm considering all the options for now. Going just for a workshop in screenwriting or cinematography doesn't sound like a bad idea either.

I see the advantages and disadvantages of both going to film school or not. It really depends on what would suit me best and what my expectations are. If those expectations can be met, that's really on me. Already working on some shorts, learning about lighting and script writing. Still, have a long way to go...Thanks again for the advice. Have to figure out what I really want.




(Btw NYFA doesn't offer film making programs in Amsterdam, I believe only in NYC, LA and Gold Coast Australia. Also, it's really difficult to get into the Film Academy of Amsterdam, they only take in 5 feature film directing students a year, and 5 documentary film directing students and so on. Even if I would have a chance, I don't want to spend 4 years in college, again. Two years is really already the max I would like to commit to studying fulltime.)
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Old 02-20-2019, 04:11 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by FenderBender View Post


(Btw NYFA doesn't offer film making programs in Amsterdam, I believe only in NYC, LA and Gold Coast Australia. Also, it's really difficult to get into the Film Academy of Amsterdam, they only take in 5 feature film directing students a year, and 5 documentary film directing students and so on. Even if I would have a chance, I don't want to spend 4 years in college, again. Two years is really already the max I would like to commit to studying fulltime.)
Fair point... I recommend that you do some 48H projects in Nederland or you could do the One week Film Project in Hertogenbosch http://www.nieuwefilmers.nl/oneweekfilmproject/

Perhaps I'm gonna do that this year. (if time allows it anyway)

Veel geluk op je filmakers reis.
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Old 02-20-2019, 04:52 AM   #15
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What Feutus Lapdance said. And there's also an active filmmaking Meetup in the Netherlands.

Good luck!
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