Writing yesterday about my film school pilot, I thought about our terrible professors for the first time in years. They were all pretty old, and set in their ways. They wouldn’t let us do anything unusual, like, oh, say, move the camera in the shot. They drained every ounce of originality from the production. Like network executives, only not paid as well.
At the time, I also worked for the school. I asked my grizzled old boss what he thought of the situation. Was it going to be this hard to get things done in the real world? He assured me no studio is run as inefficiently as film school. They’d go out of business.
“Everyone is here because either they’re too old to hack it any more,” and he included himself in this group (he was old enough to be on a first name basis with Walt Disney), “or, if they’re young, they never will.”
I looked around at my professors and saw that he was right. When I checked credits on imdb, either I didn’t recognize anything they’d worked on, or their last project of note was done before I was born.
After I graduated, I had an AD who was an asshole (not all that uncommon for ADs, sadly) and had no idea what he was doing. I later found out he taught a directing class at our alma mater. I felt bad for his students.
This obviously calls to mind the old saying, “Those who can, do; those who can’t, teach.” Out of curiosity (and lack of anything to do), I tried to figure out who coined that phrase. Apparently, everyone did. On further researching, I discovered it’s actually a bastardization of a quote from Aristotle: “Those that know, do. Those that understand, teach.”
While I think the latter is nicer (my wife is a teacher, after all), the former one applied to my professors much better.
(On an unrelated note, I’m excited to learn I’m not the only one in Hollywood who votes Republican.)