5 Things You Need to Survive Film School

Film School

The decision to pursue a career in film is as exciting as picking a film school to attend. The Cinema and Television Arts major provides students the most competitive, expensive and time consuming coursework to be offered.  Whether your ultimate choice is at a private or public institution, if your program has a glamorous reputation or is found online, here is some advice you might not expect will help you survive your experience. 

1.  An unwavering love of films.

Sure you love movies. Why else would you go pick this major?  But going to film school does something to your ability to be an average audience member.  Simply put, it ruins it.  Instead of being immersed in CGI and storyline, you’ll be dissecting shots and recognizing locations.  You’ll get either annoyed or inspired by lighting, sound and soundtrack choices and in some instances swear you could’ve done a better job.  On the bright side, you’ll be a better critic of what makes a film truly great, its ability to suspend disbelief for those of us who are filmmakers.  Alert the Academy.

2.  A great appreciation for Teamwork.

Directors may get all the credit, but once you’re in classes you realize all too quickly that filmmaking is a team effort.  There are many aspects to making a film, man jobs to be done.  Sure you may not be the producer or the director, but a gaffer that messes up his job potentially messes up the film.  Each team member plays an integral part in the success of a film.  Check your ego at the door.  And woe betides you if you haven’t learned this by the time you graduate.

3.  A flexible attitude.

Everyone and their mama wants to direct, but like any other craft, it must be honed.  To get to be able to direct, you need a competent cast and crew.  In fact, no crew means no movie.  If you really want to get to that glorious director’s chair, you might consider going into screenwriting, cinematography or editing-all roles no good film can do without.  Who knows, you might find yourself more suited to the task of Art Director or After Effects specialist, both tend to make more money annually than Directors anyway.

4.  Bed Rejection

If you enjoy long lazy hours lying bed, perhaps this is not the major for you.  You’ll be on par with those new mamas and papas running off 4 hours of sleep.  Film School will take you through all three film production phases and if you have even an inkling of hope having your film featured in your school’s or any other) festival, you’ll be up all night with re-writes, actor demands, equipment runs and editing.  Treat yourself to a nice getaway once you graduate.

5.  Tenacity

Going to film school doesn’t mean you’ll automatically have a successful film career, but it will train you to the expectations of the industry and foster those connections that might lead to the job of your dreams.  So don’t give up!

Get information on film production degrees by using the form on this page.  School representatives will guide you through the process and answer any questions you might have.

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