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#1 Paul Sallent

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Posted 27 May 2007 - 04:41 AM

Hello everybody,

It's my first post here, and to be honest I really need some help.
I have studied sound engineering (main principalls) in Greece but couldnt get a job there so I decided to give it a shot in Cyprus. I started working in a production house but because they had no actual need for a sound engineer, I got involved in the shootings as a trainee.
I found that i love it, and after awhile i went freelance (it's a country that there are aproximatelly 15 people for freelance work in shootings and something like 10 companies.So everybody works)
Over the time my skills expanded and i started doing, amongst other things, international productions that come to shoot in Cyprus. As you can imagine i get a lot of experience because i work a lot and with good DP's from Greece,UK and other places.Everyday i learn something new and i really enjoy that.
Usually i work as a Best Boy in grip, but there are times that due to the lack of people i get hired
as a gaffer.Because of that i was forced (in the good way) to become more and more involved and to learn. I also started reading books about cinematography etc.
But, here comes the question, i am 22 years old and i ve been working for 2 years now (the school i attended for sound engineering was only for the basic principals, hence the 2 years of studies), should i attend a film school in order to become better at my job or should i keep learning and gathering experience from it?

Thank you in advace

P.s excuse my english, i am really trying hard to improve it :rolleyes:

Edited by Paul Sallent, 27 May 2007 - 04:42 AM.

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#2 Julia Gers

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Posted 29 May 2007 - 12:43 PM

:D I think your english is fine.
If you think it would be fun and beneficial to learn even more, than film school might be a good idea. You might have a problem (though not in a bad way lol) of knowing more than the other students there that are going to the school right out of highschool. I'm not sure about this, but you might be able to test out of the foundations classes (I don't know if they let people do that or not).
Also, I think it could make it easier to get good jobs in the industry if you've got a degree from film school.
I'm planning on going to film school after highschool and then grad school after that. It sounds like you could get jobs in the industry without a degree right now, but, personally, I think it's better to have some degrees under your belt.
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#3 Ralph Keyser

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Posted 29 May 2007 - 04:31 PM

Paul,

I'd say it depends on your career goals. In general, and I'm treading on thin ice since not all schools are the same, film schools teach more of the language, structure, and art of film. They are aimed at producing directors, screenwriters, and actors while turning out occasional editors and cinematographers. Film school teaches you how to learn, and the best ones provide you with a network of contacts headed for the industry. Some film schools do actually have the students make films, so they do offer some opportunity to learn about lighting, makeup, acting, etc. Film school is also a whole lot more fun than the real world :)

For crew positions, a degree from film school doesn't carry much weight. People are going to be much more interested in what you have worked on before and who you have worked with. I don't think going to film school will make you a better Gaffer or Key Grip. There are, however, specialized workshops and seminars that do focus on the technical aspects of filmmaking. One of those might be a better fit if this is your interest area.

By the way, I'll second the comment on your English. Keep up the good work!
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#4 Paul Sallent

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Posted 30 May 2007 - 07:16 AM

First of all, i would like to thank you for your replys both of which i found really helpful.
I have a high school degree and something that looks like one, in sound engineering.
Ofcourse as most of us wish to, i want to expand my knowledge on what i am doing right now, and why not,
evolve. I have already read a few books, includind Cinematography written by Kris Malkiewicz, which in my opinion is a great entry level source for information regarding the craft of cinematography.
Also due to the fact that Cyprus is a small market which often attracts big clients, i had the chance to make a quite impressive resume in no time
including the British Army for Ridley Scott's company and more.
The thing is that i am not sure if my CV could get me a work in the industry or if i need a film school degree..


Wishes for the best on your plans

Paul
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#5 Julia Gers

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Posted 30 May 2007 - 04:39 PM

I think my dad minored in technical theatre in college and he said that even though he was doing things behind the scenes they still made the technical theatre students take an acting class.
I think that in film school, even if you are studying or majoring/minoring in one specific things, you still have to take classes from other fields of study aside from what you are majoring in. (like if you are majoring in acting you still have to take a class on lighting, or if you are majoring in cinematography you still have to take an acting class). Because of this, I think that if someone goes to film school they end up learning more and being exposed to more fields in the industry than what they are just specifically interested in. In film school you might find, say, that you love acting. You never know. But if you really just want to study one specific thing and don't want to take any classes outside of what you specifically want to do as a carreer, then I think doing workshops and seminars (like Ralph said) is a better way to go than film school.
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