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Breaking into films


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#1 James E Wright

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Posted 09 June 2011 - 12:37 PM

Hey guys,

I'm just curious to know what everyone thinks of the various ways to break into film making. Whether the best way would be to go through a film school and work your way from the ground up, or whether the technology and free information available out there at the moment sort of renders that side of it a bit of a waste?

Basically, I'm interested in becoming either a cinematographer or a director (I know they're rather different roles) and want to know whether I should just invest in a few thousand dollars worth of camera, sound and lighting equipment and see if I'm any good.

Anyway, what does everyone think in terms of the best way to break into films?



James
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#2 Liam Renaut

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Posted 15 June 2011 - 07:41 AM

I study and run my own independent business, the perks are good with both, the school is right next to Fox Studios and we get to work there A LOT, which is good, because to work in a studio, its not what you know, it's who you know (to a degree), we also get a good chance of getting work with surrounding studios as soon as we finish compared to someone trying to break into the business from else were than a school, just because we have made the connection with help from the school and the studio know who we are and how we work. I also like having my business, keeps me busy on the weekend and I learn the aspect you miss most at school, working directly with clients, sure the studio sort of counts as a client, but they don't pay you, so there is a difference, and the money is also a good bonus.

I am not sure what country you are in, so this can vastly change from country to country, either way, I say buy yourself a low-level DSLR or video camera, get shooting and experience what you can.

Good Luck,

Liam
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#3 Jonathan Graham

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Posted 02 August 2011 - 03:23 AM

Hey guys,

I'm just curious to know what everyone thinks of the various ways to break into film making. Whether the best way would be to go through a film school and work your way from the ground up, or whether the technology and free information available out there at the moment sort of renders that side of it a bit of a waste?

Basically, I'm interested in becoming either a cinematographer or a director (I know they're rather different roles) and want to know whether I should just invest in a few thousand dollars worth of camera, sound and lighting equipment and see if I'm any good.

Anyway, what does everyone think in terms of the best way to break into films?



James

Well for one thing, investing in expensive equipment to then see if you are any good is definitely not the way to go.

I'm in the same boat you are right now, wanting to get into filmmaking, and what I've relied on the most is to just be a sponge for everything related to filmmaking. If you can afford to go to a film school (especially the well known ones), that's great and I would do it if I could afford to, but don't go that route just for the education, do it for the education and the networking opportunities. (Also access to good equipment)

It's one thing to research and read about film, but the actual experience of working on one is another thing entirely. Basically just get experience, any way you can. You may actually find you want to be something other than a director or a cinematographer.
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#4 Tom Jensen

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Posted 02 August 2011 - 01:53 PM

I want to teach a class at the learning annex called "Breaking Out of Film." It's a lot harder than getting in.
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#5 Brian Hulnick

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Posted 09 September 2011 - 01:54 AM

Film school along with plenty of book reading and video watching. Get some hands on training.
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#6 Markshaw

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Posted 12 September 2011 - 11:56 PM

I want to teach a class at the learning annex called "Breaking Out of Film." It's a lot harder than getting in.


Why is that may I ask?
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#7 Brian Hulnick

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Posted 15 September 2011 - 03:48 AM

I learned at a film school. It worked for me as I prefer to get physically involved rather than learn in a classroom.
That's just me. I was crap in school as I get bored very quickly and need to be doing stuff to get me motivated.
If you prefer to so to university to learn film making good for you and I hope it works out for you. But it's not my thing, personally.
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#8 Daniel Jackson

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Posted 22 September 2011 - 06:24 AM

Whether you go to film school or college ultimately it's down to the student whether he or she succeeds. They must have that burning desire to make it in this business. They must also be prepared to start at the very bottom.
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#9 Adrian Samuals

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Posted 24 September 2011 - 08:54 AM

I just don't understand why folks give film schools such a hard time. Seems like people don't want to hear the good only the bad.
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#10 Brian Hulnick

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Posted 29 September 2011 - 12:01 AM

There are many purists who reckon that only after you have completed a 4 year university course are you qualified to work in film.
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#11 Brian Drysdale

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Posted 29 September 2011 - 03:14 AM

There are many purists who reckon that only after you have completed a 4 year university course are you qualified to work in film.


You don't, but you do need to be in an environment where you're getting trained. Quite a few people enter after doing an un-film/TV/media related university course as well. On one shoot I was on a few years ago the camera trainee had a MBA.
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#12 Brian Hulnick

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Posted 29 September 2011 - 04:26 AM

You don't, but you do need to be in an environment where you're getting trained. Quite a few people enter after doing an un-film/TV/media related university course as well. On one shoot I was on a few years ago the camera trainee had a MBA.


But was he necessarily better than any other camera trainees you've worked with?
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#13 Adrian Samuals

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Posted 01 October 2011 - 10:11 AM

You don't, but you do need to be in an environment where you're getting trained. Quite a few people enter after doing an un-film/TV/media related university course as well. On one shoot I was on a few years ago the camera trainee had a MBA.


Maybe they needed a major change of direction in their life.
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#14 Tom Jensen

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Posted 01 October 2011 - 10:55 AM

Why is that may I ask?


Film sucks you in. The large paychecks are an irresistible dangling carrot. The atmosphere is fascinating. But, the downside of not working all the time, looking for work, the long hours, the fierce competition can be overwhelming. It's hard to quit.
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#15 George Ebersole

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Posted 02 October 2011 - 11:49 PM

Work hard, show whoever that you know your stuff, that you can take getting yelled at, that you know the talents' boundaries and respect that. It'll take you to where you want to go.
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#16 Daniel Jackson

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Posted 08 October 2011 - 03:15 AM

Many say working in film is just like taking drugs. The Highs, The lows.
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#17 Brian Hulnick

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Posted 09 October 2011 - 07:32 AM

Work hard, show whoever that you know your stuff, that you can take getting yelled at, that you know the talents' boundaries and respect that. It'll take you to where you want to go.


The problem is that many kids today have no idea about working hard, and the first time they get yelled out they are off in tears to their mamma.
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#18 Markshaw

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Posted 10 October 2011 - 09:24 AM

Not blowing my own trumpet or anything, but I could never understand people not putting in 100% on any given task. I suppose that's the competitive part of me. I was always task orientated, had to get the job done even if it meant staying behind for half an hour.
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#19 Brian Hulnick

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Posted 12 October 2011 - 05:02 AM

Some chump is bragging how he screwed over his interns when he was a mentor, then got all bent out of shape when they refused to pay him.
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#20 Markshaw

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Posted 13 October 2011 - 09:11 AM

I do hope that he is not being hired as a mentor anymore.
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