Jump to content


Photo

What sort of idiot (pardon the bluntness)...


  • Please log in to reply
21 replies to this topic

#1 Jonathan Bowerbank

Jonathan Bowerbank
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 2815 posts
  • 1st Assistant Camera
  • San Francisco, CA

Posted 06 December 2007 - 10:04 PM

...gets a masters degree in film directing from NYU, AND THEN contemplates getting a masters in screenwriting from UCLA or USC?

Hasn't he learned anything about the biz? Is he just trying to avoid having to pay off loans for a few more years?

I'm looking at him right now at my internship, in disgust.
  • 0

#2 Adrian Sierkowski

Adrian Sierkowski
  • Sustaining Members
  • 7116 posts
  • Cinematographer
  • Los Angeles, Ca

Posted 06 December 2007 - 10:12 PM

someone more uncertain about their abilities than I can be at times?
The business is often a frightening beast, and school a quite comforting bed-fellow (when you at least feel some superiority to the younger people?)

Edited by Adrian Sierkowski, 06 December 2007 - 10:12 PM.

  • 0

#3 Daniel Sheehy

Daniel Sheehy
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 407 posts
  • Other
  • Brisbane

Posted 06 December 2007 - 10:19 PM

Someone who has an eye on a teaching spot..? Or maybe someone who enjoys life in the Ivory Towers. ;)
http://en.wikipedia....iki/Ivory_tower
  • 0

#4 Adrian Sierkowski

Adrian Sierkowski
  • Sustaining Members
  • 7116 posts
  • Cinematographer
  • Los Angeles, Ca

Posted 06 December 2007 - 10:24 PM

Could you imagine how hard it would be to keep a literal ivory tower clean and sparkling. . .(sorry havn't slept since 6 am yesterday!)
  • 0

#5 James Baker

James Baker
  • Basic Members
  • PipPip
  • 75 posts
  • Other
  • Los Angeles

Posted 07 December 2007 - 12:19 AM

...gets a masters degree in film directing from NYU, AND THEN contemplates getting a masters in screenwriting from UCLA or USC?

Hasn't he learned anything about the biz? Is he just trying to avoid having to pay off loans for a few more years?

I'm looking at him right now at my internship, in disgust.



Maybe he's more interested in the theoretical side of things. And yes, maybe he would like to teach. So what? More power to him.

Consider that school can be a good thing for some. I did it (and a lot of schooling, too; in three different disciplines) because I also wanted to teach. And now I have a good income and the time to do my own personal work (and the way I want to do it, too)... and I happen to enjoy the academic world. Each to their own, I suppose.

To look at him in disgust is a bit harsh. Especially as your intern.
  • 0

#6 Jonathan Bowerbank

Jonathan Bowerbank
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 2815 posts
  • 1st Assistant Camera
  • San Francisco, CA

Posted 07 December 2007 - 01:04 AM

To look at him in disgust is a bit harsh. Especially as your intern.


Hey, no complaints here, I get free equipment rentals out of it for only devoting 4 hours a week of my time.
  • 0

#7 Bill Totolo

Bill Totolo
  • Sustaining Members
  • 698 posts
  • Cinematographer
  • Los Angeles, CA

Posted 07 December 2007 - 10:57 AM

I never quite understood the mentality that looks down on education.
Aren't there worse ways to invest your time?
  • 0

#8 Leo Anthony Vale

Leo Anthony Vale
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 2010 posts
  • Other
  • Pittsburgh PA

Posted 08 December 2007 - 02:17 PM

Could you imagine how hard it would be to keep a literal ivory tower clean and sparkling. . .(sorry havn't slept since 6 am yesterday!)


That's what the janitors and work study jobs are for.
  • 0

#9 Jonathan Bowerbank

Jonathan Bowerbank
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 2815 posts
  • 1st Assistant Camera
  • San Francisco, CA

Posted 08 December 2007 - 06:14 PM

I never quite understood the mentality that looks down on education.
Aren't there are worse ways to invest your time?


Yes indeed. But I don't look down on education, however, in many instances it is entirely justified to put "higher education" into question. I just wonder what this individual has to gain professionally and artistically from going through the process of getting a degree in writing when he already has plenty of schooling and education under his belt to start working in his desired field of filmmaking, or even a teaching career (which I suppose is why he would want multiple degrees to boost his salary).

I suppose you also had to be there when he was talking about it, and then you had to see the film he was screening. He definitely needs more life experience and foundation in personal taste than more study in formula and film appreciation.

:)
  • 0

#10 Walter Graff

Walter Graff
  • Sustaining Members
  • 1334 posts
  • Other
  • New York City

Posted 08 December 2007 - 07:54 PM

I'd give a guy far more credit for wanting to get a great education which could take someone most anywhere in any field, than someone who thinks they are going to max out their credit card on a camera like a RED or even worse a F900 and thinks that is going to make them a cinematographer and create an instant career. How many of those do we have here and other places? Statistically I see far more guys taking the less than thought out road I just mentioned than those getting quality education. 70% of people who obtain degrees do not end up working in the field of endeavor that they got the degree in. I have a few friends for Oxford who have degrees out the ass and whose dissertations are so complex that I couldn't even pronounce half the words in the title and are now doing things professionally that are 180 degrees from the degree, but the education will take you places.
  • 0

#11 Jonathan Bowerbank

Jonathan Bowerbank
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 2815 posts
  • 1st Assistant Camera
  • San Francisco, CA

Posted 08 December 2007 - 11:33 PM

Very good point Walter :)

Another good reason why I pose these sort of questions for myself in this forum
  • 0

#12 James Baker

James Baker
  • Basic Members
  • PipPip
  • 75 posts
  • Other
  • Los Angeles

Posted 09 December 2007 - 03:02 AM

Yes indeed. But I don't look down on education, however, in many instances it is entirely justified to put "higher education" into question. I just wonder what this individual has to gain professionally and artistically from going through the process of getting a degree in writing when he already has plenty of schooling and education under his belt to start working in his desired field of filmmaking, or even a teaching career (which I suppose is why he would want multiple degrees to boost his salary).

I suppose you also had to be there when he was talking about it, and then you had to see the film he was screening. He definitely needs more life experience and foundation in personal taste than more study in formula and film appreciation.

:)


Just for the record, "multiple degrees" will not "boost" one's salary. It might make one more competitive for a position, but assistant professor salaries are competitive from university to university with some variations depending on geography. In other words, there is a beginning salary for entering academics which then changes when one gets tenure and becomes an associate. Later salaries are raised when one becomes full. The hiring procedure is fairly transparent with a full public announcement for the job (in other words, you can't easily sneak in the backdoor because you have connections as in other industries.) At all universities and at most community colleges, one must have a terminal degree in their field (a master's degree won't be enough unless that degree is the terminal degree.)

But the bigger issue is why do you care about this person? Do I smell a bit of sour grapes? Who are you to say he needs "more life experience" and a "foundation in personal taste?" Let him go his direction and you go yours. Why let it bother you? Do your thing and don't get concerned about what other people are doing. Different strokes for different folks (as Sly Stone would say.)

In the end, "higher education" is an industry in itself with its own agendas. Just like the "movie industry." Each with their positive sides and negative sides.
  • 0

#13 Adamo P Cultraro

Adamo P Cultraro
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 157 posts
  • Producer

Posted 09 December 2007 - 11:05 PM

The irony in your intern's academic habit is that Hollywood is no respecter of degrees - never has been, never will be. It is the last great bastion of apprenticeship. A famous screenwriter once said - "Getting an MBA at Harvard will get you a $100K per year job. Getting a degree in film from the Peter Stark film program at USC will get you a job in the mail room".

The guy you are describing sounds like a career academic. I say that pejoratively.
  • 0

#14 James Baker

James Baker
  • Basic Members
  • PipPip
  • 75 posts
  • Other
  • Los Angeles

Posted 10 December 2007 - 12:12 AM

The irony in your intern's academic habit is that Hollywood is no respecter of degrees - never has been, never will be. It is the last great bastion of apprenticeship. A famous screenwriter once said - "Getting an MBA at Harvard will get you a $100K per year job. Getting a degree in film from the Peter Stark film program at USC will get you a job in the mail room".

The guy you are describing sounds like a career academic. I say that pejoratively.



Thanks for the insult to all of us academics who have decided to make a life long commitment to education. Sorry, but I already did my share of digging ditches and getting my fingernails dirty.

Why this knee jerk reaction to the academy from those so distant from it in the first place? It's a very right wing response; like saying everything that comes out of Hollywood is only mindless, profit driven garbage......

btw, many, many successful and respected people in film came from my alma mater including this forum's own David Mullen.
  • 0

#15 Jonathan Bowerbank

Jonathan Bowerbank
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 2815 posts
  • 1st Assistant Camera
  • San Francisco, CA

Posted 10 December 2007 - 03:12 AM

Let him go his direction and you go yours. Why let it bother you? Do your thing and don't get concerned about what other people are doing. Different strokes for different folks (as Sly Stone would say.)


Definitely, but it doesn't hurt to post it to an open forum in search of more understanding. That's all. Thanks for your input everyone. It helps to see the other side of things from time to time instead of stubbornly hindering to my own ways of doing things :)
  • 0

#16 Michael Waite

Michael Waite
  • Basic Members
  • PipPip
  • 71 posts
  • Other
  • Sydney, Australia

Posted 10 December 2007 - 08:43 AM

I can think of a few people who came from a theoretical or academic background & went on to be very interesting film makers.
Paul Schrader - degree in Film Studies at UCLA & was then a film critic before becoming a script writer (Taxi Driver etc) & then a director.
Truffaut & Godard were both theorists & critics before they moved into making films.
  • 0

#17 Michael Lehnert

Michael Lehnert
  • Sustaining Members
  • 1086 posts
  • Other
  • London, UK / Basel, CH

Posted 10 December 2007 - 09:17 AM

To be quite honest, I am getting a bit tired of an increasing amount of people who havn't received higher education yet talk pejoratively about something they havn't experienced while singing the praising song of the purity and honesty of the practionership.

How many people here are not going to Film School, try jobbing to make a living (as in just paying the bills and not getting evicted) in this "last bastion of apprenticeship". All the directors I know and hold in high esteem because they advanced the art of cinematography have actually been at film school, even at postgrad level or have theoretical backgrounds or ? imagine that, how disgusting ? are intellectuals or thinkers.

I think this industry is in dire needs of more intellect and people with their fair share of educated knowledge, because learning-by-doing practice-oriented day labourers are there in the thousands willing to enter this industry with their rapidly-aging self-owned videocams, and are also easily replacable, especially at the entry-level. And that one is a stage were most are in for the first half of their professional career.

Also going through higher education, esp. at Master and PhD level is much tougher then people can imagine. And anything about "hanging around in an ivory tower" secluded from the "harsh realities" of making your hands dirty, or boozing your day away is bullsh*t propagated by people who couldn't hack it there or who weren't able to transform what they could have taken from those places into their professional career. And there are lots of those around, and quite so because it is demanding to go through school or uni in the first place.

The reason why I always recommend to do higher education, irrespective of the field or career ideas the person has is that going through university is so much more than just listening to a teacher, learning abstract things from books, and getting a sheet of paper with a degree. It's about the experience, the social encounter, the networking and contacts (co-incidence that so many of a generation of filmmakers shared classes?), the cultural horizon that gets expanded by meeting people from all over the place and world, and getting confronted with stuff you havn't heard of before and you can't simply reject but have to deal with, digest, and integrate in your own world view because those other opinions won't go away.

Don't wanna believe me, Jonathan? Well, if you had gone through uni, then frankly, you wouldn't have voiced your points the way you had. And this thread, in an ironical twist, is a bit of schooling for you yourself, as you put a view forward and get critique (in a positive sense of the word) for it, over which you adapt, change, develop your view. You acknowledged that yourself that this is a beneficial thing for you and your intellect (a word you wouldn't use for yourself, right?).
So there you go, if you had gone to uni, every minute of your day might have been like a moment in this thread.
  • 0

#18 Walter Graff

Walter Graff
  • Sustaining Members
  • 1334 posts
  • Other
  • New York City

Posted 10 December 2007 - 09:22 AM

This might be a great time for all to listen to this. If we all toolok this into account when we read and post, we'd find a lot less noise gets through and more signal is appreciated. I know it's helped me a great deal.


  • 0

#19 Jonathan Bowerbank

Jonathan Bowerbank
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 2815 posts
  • 1st Assistant Camera
  • San Francisco, CA

Posted 10 December 2007 - 12:33 PM

The reason why I always recommend to do higher education, irrespective of the field or career ideas the person has is that going through university is so much more than just listening to a teacher, learning abstract things from books, and getting a sheet of paper with a degree. It's about the experience, the social encounter, the networking and contacts (co-incidence that so many of a generation of filmmakers shared classes?), the cultural horizon that gets expanded by meeting people from all over the place and world, and getting confronted with stuff you havn't heard of before and you can't simply reject but have to deal with, digest, and integrate in your own world view because those other opinions won't go away.


Very good points Michael. Perhaps it's more a regional mindset that deems getting two masters degrees as...less than necessary. There are too many people in my area who have gone to University, received their BA and later an MA or MFA with nothing to show for it except for that piece of paper. And then you see them working their part-time minimum wage barista job and wonder, why? There are many occurrences down in LA I'm sure, but the SF film community is a little tighter knit, so one might see it more often.

There are many exceptions for both sides, and I agree, the more formal education the better. But just as in any other field, film school is what you make of it, experience and networking wise. I'm incredibly fortunate to have the experience and education that I've received, and I am making the most of it in furthering my career. I just hope the person I referred to at the beginning of this thread does understand that.

I also think it's dangerous to not be critical of the benefits or inadequacies of higher education, or anything else for that matter. Hell, critique my lifestyle do death if you like, but it's what works for me. And if devoting 6 to 8 years of your life to school works for you, more power to you.
  • 0

#20 jason ing

jason ing
  • Guests

Posted 10 December 2007 - 07:50 PM

"I just wonder what this individual has to gain professionally and artistically from going through the process of getting a degree in writing when he already has plenty of schooling and education under his belt to start working in his desired field of filmmaking..."

You'd make a great studio executive or producer. By the way, if you have nothing better to do then to write a statement like this, why don't you drive by the picket line of writers and yell at them to go get a real degree in filmmaking (because knowing how to tell a good story has nothing to do with filmmaking, right?).

Okay, sarcasm aside. Consider this statement... "Cinema is the only art form that incorporates all the seven major art forms..." (by the way, I heard this from a USC cinema professor) Now, maybe people will disagree with this; but my point is that considering everything cinema incorporates, it's obvious there is a lot to learn about cinema and filmmaking. So despite your disregard of this individual, he actually has the right instinct--he realizes he doesn't know enough and he desires to know more to become a good filmmaker--ESPECIALLY how to tell a great story. So at least he's self-reflective enough (unlike some people) to recognize that he's a ignorant (which is not the same as an idiot).

I know real life can teach a lot, and so can the ivory tower. I've seen this disdain between book-smart people and street-smart people before. But, imho, it doesn't matter where the source of knowledge comes from--we all have a poop load of stuff to learn.

Learning screenwriting in school is valid.

Learning screenwriting on your own is valid.

And learning filmmaking in either worlds is valid.

Success stories come from both sides.

Edited by jason ing, 10 December 2007 - 07:51 PM.

  • 0


rebotnix Technologies

Gamma Ray Digital Inc

Tai Audio

FJS International, LLC

CineTape

Wooden Camera

Ritter Battery

Abel Cine

Technodolly

Rig Wheels Passport

Visual Products

CineLab

Glidecam

The Slider

Willys Widgets

Media Blackout - Custom Cables and AKS

Broadcast Solutions Inc

Aerial Filmworks

Metropolis Post

Opal

Paralinx LLC

Abel Cine

Opal

Aerial Filmworks

Media Blackout - Custom Cables and AKS

Ritter Battery

Visual Products

Rig Wheels Passport

Tai Audio

Technodolly

CineTape

Paralinx LLC

Wooden Camera

Gamma Ray Digital Inc

rebotnix Technologies

Glidecam

Broadcast Solutions Inc

FJS International, LLC

The Slider

Willys Widgets

CineLab

Metropolis Post