Yesterday, I told you why going to film school is stupid and pointless. Today, I’ll explain why it can be smart and pointful.
When I graduated from high school, I didn’t know any more about filmmaking than what I’d read in Entertainment Weekly. I knew there had to be a writer, and actors. I knew there was something called a “director,” but I didn’t know what he did, or why his name also appeared under “a film by.”
After one semester, I suddenly knew names like Truffaut, Murch, and Storaro. Of course, you could just add AFI’s top 100 movies to your Netflix queue. Between the commentary tracks and making-of videos, you’d get a pretty good introduction to film. You might want to read up on your David Bordwell, while you’re at it.
There is one thing you get in film school that you can’t get in your living room– other film students.
A university can be a safety net. Like Sarah, I come from a relatively minor upper-midwest metro area. I didn’t know anybody who wanted to make movies.
Then I moved to the second largest city in the country. Film school was a safe transition, where I was surrounded by other people of my age and temperament.
And there’s the institutional connections you get from a good film school. Internships are a great way to meet people, not to mention getting some real world experience. Plus, internships can have a magical habit of turning into real jobs. You can’t get an internship without earning college credit.
Learning the ropes, making connections, and getting your first gig are all possible without film school, but film school can make it easier.
But not all film schools are the same. Tomorrow, I’ll talk about some of the differences.