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Should I bother going to film school?


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#1 Nathan Keir Crofton-Bond

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Posted 20 September 2014 - 04:08 PM

I wasn't quite sure where to post this so forgive me if it is in the wrong place. I know this question most be posted here quite frequently but I wanted some sound advice.

 

I am currently in a dilemma. I am thinking about trying to break into the film industry. I would love to become a cinematographer but I have different people telling me different things. I have no experience in this field. All I have is a desire to make films - which of course millions of other people have too. There's nothing unique about me, I have no special skill. Should I bother taking the risk?

 

Next year I want to study either science of film production at university. Many people have told me a BA is useless and it will only leave me in a "f**k load of debt." But I have no proper skill (other than shooting a few things with my Canon 7D) and I want to learn.

 

If I study science I am almost guaranteed a career. I love science but I'm not sure if I want a career in it. I have no contacts, I don't have a great deal of money. Am I doomed to failure? Does anyone have any suggestions? 


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#2 Satsuki Murashige

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Posted 20 September 2014 - 04:21 PM

Where do you live? What university will you be attending? Do you just want to make your own little indie films or work on big Hollywood productions?
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#3 Anthony Schilling

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Posted 20 September 2014 - 04:28 PM

A friend of mine has been living in a tent for the last 2 years so he can pay off his student loads from NYU film school. He graduated 10 years ago and has yet to make a film. Save your money, buy a camera, and start shooting.


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#4 Bill DiPietra

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Posted 20 September 2014 - 04:33 PM

I would go to school...for science.  Put your education into a field that will make you marketable so that you can have a career.  Then you will have the money to finance your own short films and even go back to school for film if you so desire.


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#5 Brian Drysdale

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Posted 20 September 2014 - 04:47 PM

You haven't mentioned about which aspect of science you wish to study.

 

People in film and TV come from a wide range of backgrounds, I remember the camera trainee on one production had a MBA. There is also science involved in many aspects the industry, which can give you an edge over those who attended film school. Check the universities to see if they've got a strong film making society and use that  in a proactive manner to further things.  


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#6 Nathan Keir Crofton-Bond

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Posted 20 September 2014 - 05:26 PM

A friend of mine has been living in a tent for the last 2 years so he can pay off his student loads from NYU film school. He graduated 10 years ago and has yet to make a film. Save your money, buy a camera, and start shooting.

 

I live in the UK. I am illegible for a student loan. 


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#7 Nathan Keir Crofton-Bond

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Posted 20 September 2014 - 05:28 PM

Where do you live? What university will you be attending? Do you just want to make your own little indie films or work on big Hollywood productions?

 

England. I'm not too sure yet. I'm not sure about 'big Hollywood productions'. 


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#8 Freya Black

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Posted 20 September 2014 - 06:42 PM

 

England. I'm not too sure yet. I'm not sure about 'big Hollywood productions'. 

 

If you have in mind something like working in TV then I recommend going to Oxford University. You just need to pass their exam to get in apparently and get through the interview. It's very much worth trying.

 

That aside I would just keep shooting stuff with your 7D and learning through doing, I doubt you will find having a film production qualification all that useful in life.

 

Freya


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#9 Brian Drysdale

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Posted 20 September 2014 - 06:53 PM

In order to get into a UK film school that worth gong to you need a portfolio of some films etc in support of your application, some are also post graduate.  


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#10 Nathan Keir Crofton-Bond

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Posted 20 September 2014 - 07:04 PM

 

If you have in mind something like working in TV then I recommend going to Oxford University. You just need to pass their exam to get in apparently and get through the interview. It's very much worth trying.

 

That aside I would just keep shooting stuff with your 7D and learning through doing, I doubt you will find having a film production qualification all that useful in life.

 

Freya

 

I am actually interested in applying for this course at Oxford. http://www.ox.ac.uk/admissions/undergraduate/courses-listing/human-sciences 

 

I would ultimately like to combine both science and film/TV. 


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#11 George Ebersole

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Posted 20 September 2014 - 08:17 PM

I wasn't quite sure where to post this so forgive me if it is in the wrong place. I know this question most be posted here quite frequently but I wanted some sound advice.

 

I am currently in a dilemma. I am thinking about trying to break into the film industry. I would love to become a cinematographer but I have different people telling me different things. I have no experience in this field. All I have is a desire to make films - which of course millions of other people have too. There's nothing unique about me, I have no special skill. Should I bother taking the risk?

 

Next year I want to study either science of film production at university. Many people have told me a BA is useless and it will only leave me in a "f**k load of debt." But I have no proper skill (other than shooting a few things with my Canon 7D) and I want to learn.

 

If I study science I am almost guaranteed a career. I love science but I'm not sure if I want a career in it. I have no contacts, I don't have a great deal of money. Am I doomed to failure? Does anyone have any suggestions? 

 

Do you have an idea of the kind of films you want to make, and what level of success would satisfy you?


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#12 Nathan Keir Crofton-Bond

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Posted 20 September 2014 - 08:24 PM

 

Do you have an idea of the kind of films you want to make, and what level of success would satisfy you?

 

I have always been interested in social realism. I love films that address cultural and social issues, such as This Is England, Neds, The Magdalene Sisters and Kes. I have a particular interest in British and Irish cinema. Though I have seen some fantastic American films recently such as Boyhood, Short Term 12 and The Grand Budapest Hotel to name a few.

 

I guess I enjoy films that are plot driven. I'm not truthfully a massive fan of major Hollywood productions (with of course the odd exception). 


Edited by Nathan Keir Crofton-Bond, 20 September 2014 - 08:25 PM.

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#13 Bill DiPietra

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Posted 20 September 2014 - 09:09 PM

 I'm not truthfully a massive fan of major Hollywood productions (with of course the odd exception). 

 

Hollywood wasn't always what it is today, ya' know...


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#14 Richard Boddington

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Posted 20 September 2014 - 10:28 PM

 

I have always been interested in social realism. I love films that address cultural and social issues, 

 

Then move to Canada immediately, these people will welcome you with open arms and throw millions of dollars at you:

http://www.telefilm.ca/en/?q=en

 

R,


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#15 George Ebersole

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Posted 20 September 2014 - 11:31 PM

 

I have always been interested in social realism. I love films that address cultural and social issues, such as This Is England, Neds, The Magdalene Sisters and Kes. I have a particular interest in British and Irish cinema. Though I have seen some fantastic American films recently such as Boyhood, Short Term 12 and The Grand Budapest Hotel to name a few.

 

I guess I enjoy films that are plot driven. I'm not truthfully a massive fan of major Hollywood productions (with of course the odd exception). 

 

None of those are plot driven films.  Those are all actually character driven films with character studies.

 

Good to see new film makers.  Best of luck.


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#16 Brian Drysdale

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Posted 21 September 2014 - 01:49 AM

Just had a quick look at Oxford, there doesn't seem to be a film making society listed. Starting one could be a good way of adding to your CV and gathering like minded people together, plus you've got a drama society and photographic society , Christopher Nolan made good use of the film society at his University. 


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#17 Freya Black

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Posted 21 September 2014 - 02:22 AM

..some are also post graduate.  

 

Brian makes a great point. the NFTS is famous for its post grad course.

I couldn't get your link to work but I think getting a degree from Oxford will help you far more than any film-making qualification and will put you in good stead for getting work in the UK's broadcast industrys etc. Of course things could change but if the UK continues down the path it is on then I see that only becoming more the case than now.

 

It would also give you time to build up a portfolio of work to get into somewhere like the NFTS.

 

Freya


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#18 Chris Millar

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Posted 21 September 2014 - 05:10 AM

Ditch science, study engineering - specifically, software, electrical or mechatronics which along with those other two throws in mechanical to boot.

 

Much more practical and very transferrable to a career in certain parts of the film industry - nothing to stop you getting involved with other students and making films on the side to keep up the artistic side of it all.


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#19 Phil Rhodes

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Posted 21 September 2014 - 07:43 AM

Should I bother going to film school?

 

In the UK? Good grief no.

 

I've said this so many times I'll try to be brief:

 

 

The courses are almost all hopeless - most of them teach filmmaking as it is done in the UK, which means they're teaching something that's practically never actually done at all. They're teaching you how to do a job that doesn't exist in an industry that doesn't exist. There is no work.

 

All of this is of course subject to the "as near as makes no difference" rule, but really - there are a maximum of a few hundred people nationwide, that is in the entire UK, who make a real living at filmmaking. Joining this group is not really based on ability anyway, it's based on your contacts, and if you don't have any, you're going precisely nowhere.

 

People will feed you a lot of optimistic claptrap, but basically, yes, you are doomed to failure, as are the thousands and thousands and literally thousands of other people who come out of film schools in the UK and all go for the same three jobs.

 

P


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#20 Nathan Keir Crofton-Bond

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Posted 21 September 2014 - 08:00 AM

 

In the UK? Good grief no.

 

I've said this so many times I'll try to be brief:

 

 

The courses are almost all hopeless - most of them teach filmmaking as it is done in the UK, which means they're teaching something that's practically never actually done at all. They're teaching you how to do a job that doesn't exist in an industry that doesn't exist. There is no work.

 

All of this is of course subject to the "as near as makes no difference" rule, but really - there are a maximum of a few hundred people nationwide, that is in the entire UK, who make a real living at filmmaking. Joining this group is not really based on ability anyway, it's based on your contacts, and if you don't have any, you're going precisely nowhere.

 

People will feed you a lot of optimistic claptrap, but basically, yes, you are doomed to failure, as are the thousands and thousands and literally thousands of other people who come out of film schools in the UK and all go for the same three jobs.

 

P

 

I don't know where you are from but I have three major film studios within a few miles radius of me. 


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