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Old 04-27-2010, 11:02 AM   #1
littleturtle
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what can you do with a film degree?

in case you don't become a filmmaker? does that also translate into being screenwriters/editors/producers/asisstantdirectors/etc...

sorry if it's a stupid question.
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Old Today   #1A
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Old 04-27-2010, 11:32 AM   #2
directorik
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Quote:
Originally Posted by littleturtle View Post
in case you don't become a filmmaker? does that also translate into being screenwriters/editors/producers/asisstantdirectors/etc...

sorry if it's a stupid question.
Not a stupid question at all.

A degree in film isn't the same as one in law, engineering,
medicine or even computer sciences. A producer looking
for a screenwriter doesn't look at that person degree, they
look at their script. A producer looking for an assistant
director doesn't look for a degree, they look at a resume for
experience. And a prodCo looking for a producer isn't going
to ask for a degree in film, they are going to look at a persons
track record in film production.

Even though I am fully, completely, passionately anti film
school I would never say don't go. And I'm sure those here
who have gone or are going will have a very different opinion
then I do. But in this business a person who spent four years
working in the business is considered more a professional than
one who spent the last four yeas in college.

Frankly if you want to become a filmmaker (I suspect you mean
director) you can become one by directing movies and never
getting a degree at all. Make several shorts for practice and make
a really good feature and you will become a director.

It's rare that an editor is someone who tried to become a
filmmaker (director) didn't make it and got a job editing. Usually
an editor is someone who worked very hard to become an editor.

None of the four jobs you mention is really the "back up" plan for
someone who doesn't become a director.
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Old 04-27-2010, 12:30 PM   #3
Dreadylocks
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Those who can, do. Those who can't, teach.
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Old 04-27-2010, 01:25 PM   #4
jeremy
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In my experience, if you don't make it as a director you'll end up an editor, AD, or doing one of a handful of jobs behind the camera best of which would probably be DP. However coming right out of film school, that's likely where you would start anyway so it's more like you will just never make it and continue to work in these fields. None of them are bad jobs. They are creative and high paying if completely undervalued positions.

In film, the education you get is the valuable thing, the degree fills a line in your resume.
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Old 04-27-2010, 03:46 PM   #5
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Wellhh.... Let's see here...

This is an important TIDE detergent commercial, you do understand...

And well, uhh.. You said your name was...?

- Michael Bay

Well Mikey... You majored in English in college and well... We were looking for more of a Film school graduate... Sorry... We'll give you a call...
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Old 04-27-2010, 07:33 PM   #6
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as rik said " in this business a person who spent four years
working in the business is considered more a professional than
one who spent the last four yeas in college."

oh, it does help you get internships easier...
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Old 04-28-2010, 03:30 PM   #7
littleturtle
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CDCosta View Post
as rik said " in this business a person who spent four years
working in the business is considered more a professional than
one who spent the last four yeas in college."

oh, it does help you get internships easier...
how can you get work in the business when they want someone with experience? does independent filmmaking count as experience? or do they want actual experience with real movie productions?
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Old 04-28-2010, 03:58 PM   #8
directorik
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Quote:
Originally Posted by littleturtle View Post
how can you get work in the business when they want someone with experience? does independent filmmaking count as experience? or do they want actual experience with real movie productions?
You don't start at the top.

Your first job will be on a student film where just about everyone
is beginning.
Your next few jobs will be on projects just like that. After a few
student films and "backyard" films you will have a little more
experience than you did before your first time on set.

You next job will be as a PA on a slightly bigger student film or
maybe a no budget independent movie where the producer can't
afford people with experience, but your background an a bunch of
student films is enough. You do several of those movies, you work
hard, you show dedication and someone on one of those movies will
get you your next gig.

Pretty soon you'll have a year or two of working on several
different sets and you can apply for a paying gig. Low pay, but
still worth it. You'll get more experience and meet people who
will hire you on their next movie.

Four years of doing that and you will have much more on set
experience than someone just coming out of film school with a
degree who will start where you were four years earlier.

That's why you often here isn't better to be in Los Angeles or New
York. To get experience on several movies a year you need to be
where a LOT of movies are being made. LA and NY aren't the ONLY
options, but you will get more work - and more experience - when
you are living where movies are being made than when you are
living where very few movies are being made.

And, of course, all the time you are volunteering of projects you
are meeting other people and directing your OWN small projects.
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Old 04-28-2010, 04:03 PM   #9
Utopia
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Quote:
Originally Posted by directorik View Post
You don't start at the top.

Your first job will be on a student film where just about everyone
is beginning.
Your next few jobs will be on projects just like that. After a few
student films and "backyard" films you will have a little more
experience than you did before your first time on set.

You next job will be as a PA on a slightly bigger student film or
maybe a no budget independent movie where the producer can't
afford people with experience, but your background an a bunch of
student films is enough. You do several of those movies, you work
hard, you show dedication and someone on one of those movies will
get you your next gig.

Pretty soon you'll have a year or two of working on several
different sets and you can apply for a paying gig. Low pay, but
still worth it. You'll get more experience and meet people who
will hire you on their next movie.

Four years of doing that and you will have much more on set
experience than someone just coming out of film school with a
degree who will start where you were four years earlier.

That's why you often here isn't better to be in Los Angeles or New
York. To get experience on several movies a year you need to be
where a LOT of movies are being made. LA and NY aren't the ONLY
options, but you will get more work - and more experience - when
you are living where movies are being made than when you are
living where very few movies are being made.

And, of course, all the time you are volunteering of projects you
are meeting other people and directing your OWN small projects.
+100

I'll add:

Unless your teacher in film school is well known and has a lot of connections, you won't have as many connections coming out of film school than you would working on the ground for 4 years - I guarantee it.

And we all know what connections can do to you... see the other thread where I took a couple of actors and listed off their connections...
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Old 04-28-2010, 04:13 PM   #10
CDCosta
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Rik and Roc nailed it.
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Old 04-28-2010, 04:51 PM   #11
directorik
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ROC View Post
+100

I'll add:

Unless your teacher in film school is well known and has a lot of connections, you won't have as many connections coming out of film school than you would working on the ground for 4 years - I guarantee it.
I've got several stories of the amazing people I met
on a show that I wasn't getting paid for who helped
me get paying gigs and in making my own movies
and music videos as a director. People I would never
have met had I been in school.
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Old 08-01-2010, 12:48 PM   #12
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Dont go to film school for a job. I go because i love getting taught by working professionals. Theres no reason you cant make shorts while in school for practice, and for assignments. Coming out of film school, you'll have an impressive demo-reel critiqued by fellow students (future co-workers), and more importantly, WORKING PROFESSIONALS! Film school is a learning experience. Im not going for the degree benefits. I go because i want professional feedback on my work, and like someone said before, internships are priceless, and schools help out alot with that.

Bottom line: Attend for the experience, not for the degree. Because your getting both anyways, might as well focus on what really gonna help you in your filmmaking career, the experience.
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Old 08-01-2010, 04:40 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dreadylocks View Post
Those who can, do. Those who can't, teach.
Not to be negative, but try teaching sometime... My wife has a shirt which states precisely the opposite of your statement: "Those who can, teach!"

I also come from a long line of teachers (and married one) - in addition to having taught. Getting people to understand complex system interaction with no experience whatsoever is REALLY difficult, whether that be how the internet works or how to read and write English.

Doing something you understand is soooo much easier than that.

That said, I'm currently 1 semester from my film studies degree at SCSU. The feedback we've been getting from the industry is that our production students are much more well rounded than students coming out of "film schools" that are simple technical colleges for film as we get more of an academic exposure to the ART of film rather than just the CRAFT. I'm not sure what that translates into as far as jobs are concerned yet, we've just had our first 2 waves of graduates from the program (who have found work using their degrees and internships available through our program). I'll be in the 3rd/4th and we'll see where I end up.

I'm hedging my bets though with a double major in Anthropology (archaeology focus) and Film Studies (production focus) to go with my 10 years of IT experience... that way I have multiple avenues for job searching.
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Old 08-01-2010, 04:46 PM   #14
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You can get me a Big Mac value meal, with a large Coke, please.
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Old 08-02-2010, 11:34 AM   #15
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I'm hoping the economy is ready for me when I graduate... right now, I'm applying in retail
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