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Learning on your own


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#1 Jonathan Albritton

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Posted 04 April 2009 - 06:45 PM

Hi guys,
I am in my last year of high school I have always wanted to be a film maker as a DP or Director. I live in Florida and I wanted to attend Full sail University but if you have ever looked into the school you know that the film program is really expensive. So I thought to just stay in my home town and do work by filming weddings and local business commercials to make some money of my own to go to full sail. What I want to know from people who have attended Full sail and people who started film making without school which one is better? Would it be best to take out the loan for Full Sail or would it be best to learn on my own? Is it easier to find work after graduating Full Sail?

Thanks
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#2 timHealy

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Posted 04 April 2009 - 10:17 PM

You won't learn much about filmmaking doing weddings.

You would be better off working with other filmmakers or making your own films if you can't get to school.

But if you know nothing about filmmaking school could help, but going to film school does not guarantee success.

best

Tim

Edited by timHealy, 04 April 2009 - 10:18 PM.

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#3 Satsuki Murashige

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Posted 05 April 2009 - 02:59 AM

I don't know anything about Full Sail, but from having gone to film school (SFSU) I can tell you that the most successful graduates are almost always the ones who know the basics and who are actively making films and crewing before attending school. This is especially true for people who want to be DPs - you need to know more and have more experience than everyone else there, or else why would they want you to shoot for them? The main benefit of film school is having access to free equipment and a pool of contacts with like-minded colleagues. If you don't have piles of ideas for films stored up before enrolling, then you won't be making very many films there anyway. You may find one or two good mentors to guide you, but basically you're education is up to you.

So first read everything you can get your hands on about filmmaking, film tech, film history, photography, theater, painting, art history, and know it. Watch lots of films, and make a special effort to see older films, avant garde films, and foreign films that you may not have been exposed to so far. Get inspired. If you want to be a director, write your own scripts or hook up with a talented screenwriter. Get a camera and shoot as much as you can as often as you can - dv, Super 8, whatever. Edit your own films. Show them to strangers, not just to your family and friends. Build a body of work, and don't hold on to the bad ones. Keep improving. Don't be afraid to make mistakes, but learn from them and don't make the same ones twice.

You won't find work after graduating if you're not already working by that point, so start from the bottom and crew under more experienced students who will teach you what they know. Try to get onto professional sets even if you have to skip classes. Work for free, but always learn something. Don't neglect to make contacts and keep in contact with them. Keep a list of people you want to work with and like working with and make it a point to work with them as much as you can. Work, work, work.

I dunno, I think that's it. It's not magic, it's just hard work, talent and some luck.
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#4 Saul Rodgar

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Posted 05 April 2009 - 03:36 PM

Satsuki's is good advice. From experience, I would say: find yourself a mentor at a local camera / grip / electric rental shop _you will likely start as an unpaid intern_ and work as hard a you can, learning the ropes as you go.

Eventually you will start working paid gigs and move up the ladder. If you want to DP or Direct, that means you have to work on your own projects as you work on other people's. The sooner you start the better off you will be.

If your desire to learn is genuine, you will have lots of fun working on people's projects, but if you start wanting to be the DP or director from the get go, you will not only not have fun, but you also may not last long . . . Good luck!

Edited by Saul Rodgar, 05 April 2009 - 03:40 PM.

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#5 nada

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Posted 22 April 2009 - 03:33 AM

Hi Jonathan , i d suggest you not to learn it from your own , first you may not get it in the correct way secondly it will be time consuming and you might lose interest after sometime .. doing it from a film school will get you the right kind of exposure and getting into the industry will be a lot easier , why don't you re think on your geographic options , Asia is the best place where you can pursue your film course and it is a lot cheaper than doing it from the states , in fact why don't you try a chance in Whistling Woods International, it is one of the largest film school in Asia , and they are affiliated with all the major international colleges , take this link : http://www.whistling...s.net/main.asp.. have fun
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#6 DavidFu

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Posted 01 May 2009 - 06:14 PM

Hi Jonathan , i d suggest you not to learn it from your own , first you may not get it in the correct way secondly it will be time consuming and you might lose interest after sometime .. doing it from a film school will get you the right kind of exposure and getting into the industry will be a lot easier , why don't you re think on your geographic options , Asia is the best place where you can pursue your film course and it is a lot cheaper than doing it from the states , in fact why don't you try a chance in Whistling Woods International, it is one of the largest film school in Asia , and they are affiliated with all the major international colleges , take this link : http://www.whistlingwoods.net/main.asp.. have fun



If your goal is to work in Hollywood, I would not recommend going to school in Asia. Industries in different countries have very different work habits. I did a one year program in Beijing with the intention of working in Beijing and not going back to the states. A film school grad from the States would have a very difficult time adapting to here and vice versa.
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