C.J. tweeted at me:
@TheAnonymousPA Hey do film producers require film school? Think Jerry Bruckenheimer. should I go to college?
— C.J Davis (@lifeischess027) July 21, 2015
Being a filmmaker, from the biggest producer to the lowliest PA, is not like being a doctor or engineer. If we screw up, nobody dies.2 You’ll just end up with a bad movie or TV show.
Because of this, there’s no need for a film board or cinematic bar association that certifies you as a filmmaker.
There is, unfortunately, no clear path to becoming a producer. I often refer to PAing as the bottom rung on the Hollywood ladder, but really, it’s the first step on a long, winding hike that could lead to a tangle of brambles or a beautiful vista.
The only sure-fire way to become a writer, director, producer, or actor, to get above-the-line, in other words, is to just do it. The trick is, getting someone to pay you for it.
This involves not just creating a quality project, but getting people to actually see it. That’s where networking comes in. Networking can begin in film school, it’s true; but it can also happen on set, at film festivals, or just any random coffee shop or bar in L.A.
The truth is, you never know. You need to recognize that there’s really no advice I, or anyone else, can really give you about how to reach your career goal. There’s too many factors. Film school might help you; it might not. Whatever your situation, don’t worry about it. Just keep plugging away.
Eventually, if you’re talented, hard-working, friendly, and a little lucky, you’ll probably make it as a producer. Maybe.