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#1 Blake Dawson

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Posted 21 October 2008 - 04:53 PM

I only got out of undergrad with a 2.6 GPA and a BA in Media Arts, with minors in Film Studies and Business Admin. I am extremely motivated to pursue a film career in directing and producing. I am really interested in the dual MFA/MBA programs in Producing I have seen at NYU and Chapman. I would also love to attend FSU or USC. However, being aware that my grades have not been so great, I have reached out to my advisor from my undergrad school. He, among others, have mentioned that joining a Continuing Studies program in Film, from a major university, might better my chances of getting into one of the top film schools of my choice. Since my undergrad degree touches on many aspects of media, besides film, I feel that this is a good idea. I was wondering if anyone could recommend any programs for me, or if they have any other suggestions.
Thanks
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#2 Blake Dawson

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Posted 26 October 2008 - 05:43 PM

anyone have any suggestions?
any other ideas?
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#3 Brian Dzyak

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Posted 26 October 2008 - 06:40 PM

Yes. Here's my suggestion, though others likely will have other advice.

As someone who went to filmschool and worked hard to "get into" the business and works hard everyday to stay there, here's my advice to you:

First, know what you're getting into... in terms of the BUSINESS of filmmaking. Most filmschools, workshops, and books will ONLY teach you about the "art" of making a movie. Some schools may have working or former professionals who are capable of also teaching some "hands on" nuts & bolts of "how" to make a movie. Very few to none actually teach you the business of filmmaking or will they tell you about the realities of life and work in the business. The vast majority of schools, workshops, and books are in the business of selling the dream of Hollywood. Inspiring, maybe ("Anybody can do it!), but not very helpful if you're serious about creating a viable and successful career.

So, with that in mind and hearing your question, I'm going to suggest that you set aside some time in the next week and read these two books before you do ANYTHING else:

http://www.amazon.co...t...5862&sr=8-1

and

http://www.amazon.co...l_txt_2_rdssss0


Yes, the first one is mine, but I wrote it specifically for aspiring filmmakers who really didn't have any way to learn how this all works without jumping in with both feet. The other is probably the best description I've found of what a responsible Producer needs to know and what he does for a living.

There are a lot of other books and resources out there, some better than others, that go into specifics of other specialties that any Director and Producer SHOULD know. A lot of them are listed at www.whatireallywanttodo.com under "Additional Resources."

The point here is that there is no one way to "get" the job of a Director or Producer. The best and most realistic thing you CAN do is to learn how this all works in the real world. Most books and schools concentrate on teaching you "how to make a movie." Or at least they pretend to with the promise that you can get a job. But the best thing anyone can do is to learn "how movies are made." Sounds like the same thing, but it isn't. Learning how to write a script or set up a shot or direct Actors or edit film.... anyone can do that and you don't have to spend a ton of money at school to learn those things. There are plenty of books, magazines, and other inexpensive resources out there to help you learn that. Even an internship or volunteering to work on a few indie films will give you more practical experience than any one filmschool ever will.


That said, a higher education degree may help you get an Executive job (eventually) at a movie studio which could eventually lead you toward a Producer position somehow. Or a degree could get you in the door of a production company where you are the personal assistant of an established Producer who then might promote you over time to a point where you "suddenly" find yourself with a Producer credit.

Again, the point is that there is no one way to do it and a degree from any school is not a ticket in nor does it automatically qualify anyone to be a Producer. There are some great Producers out there who know what they are doing and there are some who have the title but couldn't produce their way out of a box. Sometimes politics beats ability. The best you CAN do is to prepare yourself as much as you can so when the opportunities arise (that YOU attempt to create...don't wait for them to find you), you can make the most of them.

And all that begins with learning how all of this truly works in the real world. Then, just go for it.
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Metropolis Post

Tai Audio

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