School

Discussion in 'Digital Video' started by tehybrid, Feb 13, 2007.

  1. tehybrid macrumors member

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    #1
    Okay, I am currently a sophmore in high school and I am planning fo my college education. I know I want to go into Post Production and editting, but I may later in life decide I want to direct. Does anyone have any suggestions for school? Im looking at NYU and USC at the moment, but am open to anywhere.

    Kevin
     
  2. LethalWolfe macrumors G3

    LethalWolfe

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    #2
    My short answer is film schools are overrated 'cause no one really cares where you got your degree from (or even if you have a degree).

    My long answer is take the money you save by *not* going to a school like USC, put it in the bank and don't touch it until you graduate 'cause if you decided to move to a big market like LA or NY you'll need all the money you can get to survive the first couple of years until you can start to get a foothold in the industry.

    Getting work experience (intern at a post house, PA on local shoots, etc.,) is significantly more important that where your degree comes from. Now, where schools come in handy the built in networking. The school already has relationships w/people and companies so that getting an internship (or summer job) is easier than if you were out trying to get it on your own. Also, in my experience, alumni are typically willing to help out if they can. The opportunities (networking, equipment, etc.,) the school can provide are more important, assuming you take full advantage of them, than the degree you'll get at the end of four years. And those opportunities are present at many schools, not just the big name film schools.


    Lethal
     
  3. CalPoly10 macrumors regular

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    #3
    Come here to Cal Poly in San Luis Obispo, CA. Best engineering school in the west for the money!
     
  4. puckhead193 macrumors G3

    puckhead193

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    #4
    over the break in January my prof took a group of us to LA and meet with some very important people. It came up often that a lot of film school students are cocky and they tend not to hire them. They have an attitude that they should be at the top instead of working their way up....
     
  5. TheAnswer macrumors 68030

    TheAnswer

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    #5
    LethalWolfe is spot on, especially in regards to networking and getting your start.

    And since you are only a sophomore in high school, obviously now is the time to start watching lots of movies. A majority of the greats got where they are out of their love of movies. So watch as many well done films as you can without it having a negative impact on your grades. Find the films and directors that inspired some of your favorites and start watching them. Watch the great films over and over again. You will learn a lot from repeating viewings.
     
  6. tehybrid thread starter macrumors member

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    #6
    yeah I have a netflix account and find it indisposable! I was just wondering what all I should be looking for? Currently I look at transitions, L cuts, and how different parts are peiced together, what else should I be eyeing?

    Kevin
     
  7. puckhead193 macrumors G3

    puckhead193

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    #7
    i like photography, so i look at camera shots/style etc
    look at sets and colors a lot of movies use color schemes if you really pay attention
    also editing in continuity. I always spot things they've done wrong... :p
     
  8. Sdashiki macrumors 68040

    Sdashiki

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    #8
    Its NEVER what you know.

    Its always WHO you know.

    ALWAYS.

    pathetic, but its true. you can have the greatest demo reel ever, but if you dont know the right person to show it to, you are doomed.


    if you goto a film school, you will hate every second of it. maybe not during, but certainly afterwards.

    once out, youll realize you wasted your time and money. youll see the least talented student in your class, the guy with the crappiest demo reel, get a HUGE job with a major firm, while you scrounge for anything to come along.
     
  9. puckhead193 macrumors G3

    puckhead193

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  10. wizzerandchips macrumors 6502

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    #10

    How true, I work in this industry, and you are only as good as your last job, getting in is hard, and you will lick arse to get anywhere, it will be luck, and a lot of dissapointment, I suggest you get a degree in bread making, it will get you the same result, just a lot of back stabbing arseholes.
     
  11. Sdashiki macrumors 68040

    Sdashiki

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    #11
    if Paris Hilton can get famous, you have NO chance of making it in the film world.

    Even if you are the next Jackson, Kurasowa or Lynch

    ps: "you" refers to us all
     
  12. LethalWolfe macrumors G3

    LethalWolfe

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    #12

    But to varying degrees this is how it is in any business. I think it's just more so in the entertainment industry because it is super saturated w/people (both talented and not) looking to be the next big thing and there are no prerequisites required. If you want to be a doctor, lawyer or cop you have to get specific education and training before you can get a job as a doctor, lawyer, or cop. If you want to be an actor, writer, or director in LA all you have to do is move to LA and say you are an actor, writer, or director. Instead of a pre-weed out factor (needing a specific degree) there is a post-weed out factor. The longer you can hold on by the skin of your teeth the increasingly better odds that you'll get a lucky break.

    Who you know gets you in the door. What you know keeps you from getting kicked right back out the door.


    Lethal
     
  13. bigbossbmb macrumors 68000

    bigbossbmb

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    #13
    I have to agree with both Lethal and Sdashiki...

    I am currently a senior at UC Santa Cruz doing Film and Digital Media and everything they say is spot on. I was planning to go to art school before I chose UCSC, but after thinking it over, art school really didn't appeal to me. The benefeit of going to USC or NYU or others (LMU, Chapman, etc) would be that you get to work with celluloid film rather than digital. However, I am glad I don't HAVE to work with celluloid cuz it is way too costly for students.

    Get a decent Film degree anywhere and just make the best of your time there. Learn EVERYTHING while you are there. This is includes learning computer programs (FCS, Shake, AE, Maya, whatever), theory, taking a couple acting classes from the Theater Arts Dept. (this is a must for a director and most students don't do it).

    In the end, college is really what you make of it. The education you get will be a direct result of what you go out and learn, not what the school is willing to teach you.

    I'm moving back to LA in June. I have some connections through family and friends, but I am still trying to learn as much as possible because Lethal is 100% correct in saying, "Who you know gets you in the door. What you know keeps you from getting kicked right back out the door."

    Good Luck (and you're still young, so don't worry too much)
    -Bryan
     
  14. Carl Spackler macrumors 6502

    Carl Spackler

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    #14
    I don't think I'd discount film school as easily as some have. I wouldn't discount it because it's not a hard science. The right school offers an excellent environment and framework for collaboration and access to equipment. However, the greatest thing film school can offer is the time to allow you to focus on the making yourself a better editor, DP, what-have-you. It's pretty amazing what you can achieve when you have a semester to devote to a short with the appropriate resources in an environment of complete creative freedom.

    Since the vast majority of those who go through a film program do not earn a living in the film industry, I recommend you consider double majoring in Film and something more marketable. The ability for a talented Joe to see their vision to fruition is astounding. Having the ways and means to make money in non-film employment to feed your film habit is pretty great and much less depressing that banking that you're going to walk out of film school with a film job that pays the rent.

    Getting a formal education, assuming you get a good one, will also going to give you a well rounded appreciation for all aspect of film making, from pre- to post-production. Plus, you may latch onto an art that you might not have thought of before.
     
  15. tehybrid thread starter macrumors member

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    Nov 21, 2006
    #15
    okay so i see film school isnt a must, but does everyone agree that if I get a scholarship that I should go? Right now I jsut read and teach myself, is that the best way to go? Im also working on a website just to showcase my work.

    Thanks everyone
    Kevin
     
  16. Carl Spackler macrumors 6502

    Carl Spackler

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    #16
    Wow, I eidited 16mm film with razor blades and tape at school. I used to sit in front of sync reels and MovieScopes with a grease pencil in one hand a razor blade in the next. I finally got to work on a Steenbeck toward the end of my education.

    Final Cut Pro will never cease to make me smile.
     
  17. ANIM8R macrumors member

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    #17
    Carl,

    Your post made me smile - kind of a charming look back on where it all started. I began editing on computers so I never had the chance to get messy. :)

    To be on topic - I agree with what others have stated, that it's who you know and then what you know. The other side of the fence for me is that a degree will also help you branch into other jobs that may require those kinds of credentials. I had a friend who was very interested in directing going into school, learned his craft, was talented but in the end utilized his degree to branch off into entertainment marketing.

    I'm not saying a degree is necessary to get work - demos are important. Life throws curveballs all the time though, and it's nice to have a degree to fall back on.
     
  18. TheAnswer macrumors 68030

    TheAnswer

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    #18
    Well, I'm actually in the same boat as you, going back to school in the Fall to get my B.A. and a graduate degree (but I'm about 20 years older than you).

    I think for someone your age, you have an excellent grasp of editing and are already looking at films a lot differently than a lot of your peers. I'd look for the relationship between thematics, plot, and character development on one hand and how that is reflected in shot composition, editing, and soundtrack. Listen to the commentary tracks on those DVDs.

    For reading, check the online bookstores of the top film schools to see what the students in the introductory classes are reading and see if you can check them out at your local library (don't buy them yet, because they will likely go through revisions before you actually head off to school).

    On the scholarship issue, as someone who ran out of money halfway through my first time at college, if someone offers you money go for it!

    Just out of curiosity, what are the five best films you've seen and what are the next five in your netflix queue?
     
  19. tehybrid thread starter macrumors member

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    Nov 21, 2006
    #19
    hrm, my favorite 5 films would consist of, V for Vendetta, Back to the Future, Clerks, Oceans 11, and Remember the Titans

    Clerks is a huge inspiration because Smith did that movie with under 30K completely independent. Fun stuff.

    The Next 5 in my Queue are

    The Cutting Edge, Magic Of Movie Editting
    Back to the Future 2 and 3
    Blue Man Group Concert
    Hannibal

    Silence of the Lambs and Hostel are to be delivered tomorrow
     
  20. LethalWolfe macrumors G3

    LethalWolfe

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    #20
    But you can get that at a variety of schools w/o having to pay the multi-thousand dollar penalty of having "USC" printed on a piece of paper that no one who's interviewing you for a job cares about. ;) I'm just saying going to a big name film school (or a "film/tv only" school like Full Sail) isn't worth the money, IMO, since what the student makes of their time in college is more important than what college they go to. I went to a relatively small school in Indiana (Ball State University) and many of my work peers when to USC or FSU (some even had graduate degrees) but we were all in the same boat, if you will. LA is the great equalizer. Unless you are "invited" to work in LA you start at the bottom as a runner or PA. I know people who were working editors in other large markets in the country that moved to LA and could only get work as AE's until they got enough "LA stuff" in their reel that LA people trusted them.

    Agreed. I didn't have a minor in college, but if I could do it again I'd get a minor in business as the majority of jobs are freelance positions so needing to have at least a working knowledge of the business side of things is helpful. Getting a degree in this industry (mine is in radio and TV production) is definitely putting all your eggs in one basket 'cause not many of my skills and work experience would transfer at to other careers. But, since this is what I've wanted to do since I was a kid I think I'm safe. ;)

    Agreed as well. Which is another reason why I don't think going to a big film school needed. I think studying film and only film leads to a myopic approach to making a film, IMO. An old saying for writers is write what you know, but if you only know film, what are you going to write about? Taking at least introductory classes in art, science, world history, physiology, etc. can really help give you a broader base to draw from and help your storytelling skills. If you read up on successful creatives they almost all have interests outside of their "core medium" and they use those other interest to give themselves a unique voice. And it's that unique voice that sets them apart from the pack.


    Try to get a part time or summer job at a post or production house so you can start learning how things happen in the real world. And try to seek out other independent filmmakers in your area and see if you can work w/them (even if it's just as a PA) so you can get a feel for what goes into making a movie (even if it's just a short). They only way to really learn is to do it so just find all the ways to do it you possibly can. :)

    /rant


    Lethal
     
  21. TheAnswer macrumors 68030

    TheAnswer

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    #21
    Since most of your films seems fairly recent...I'd suggest trying out some older films. I'd recommend starting with some pre-1940 comedies by Howard Hawks and maybe some early gangster films. Then see John Ford's The Grapes of Wrath and Orson Welles' Citizen Kane. From their you can watch more Ford (a huge inspiration to most following directors), some Film Noir from the late 40s. Watch a ton of Hitchcock too, especially if you are going into editing. For foreign films, start watching Kurosawa (after you watch the Ford films) and try out some of the French New Wave directors since they easier to get into than the Italian and Swedish stuff.

    For the record...my top five would be (so far and not in any particular order) are Vertigo (Hitchock), The Searchers (Ford), Citizen Kane (Welles), Rashomon (Kurosawa), and Bob Le Flambeur (Melville).

    Next in my cue are: Dead End (Wyler), Angels with Dirty Faces (Curtiz), Mildred Pierce (Curtiz), To Have and Have Not (Hawks), The Big Sleep (Hawks).
     
  22. TheAnswer macrumors 68030

    TheAnswer

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    #22
    And just to further reinforce the importance of WHO you know (or could have known)...once around 12 years ago I blew off a coffee date with acquaintance who knew I was interested in film and wanted me to meet his friend (who we'll call :cool: ), who was working on a film. So, 12 years later...:cool: has 3 films in the top 200 US box office and the film he was working on back then is in the IMDb top 20. So just remember that next time you don't feel like going out for coffee with someone.
     
  23. tehybrid thread starter macrumors member

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    #23
    well I will be sure to not turn down coffee with anyone. What about IPtv is there any money to be made there? I know noone has quite figured it out yet, but do yall think its possible.

    Re: Lethal's comment on working with filmmakers... I live in a small town and I doubt there are many filmmakers here.

    I hear alot of talk about "philosophy" in film. What is this and how would I go about learning it? Is it just stuff like the "180 degree rule"?
     
  24. TheAnswer macrumors 68030

    TheAnswer

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    #24
    There are concepts like the 180 degree rule, shot-reverse shot...the technical techniques of film and then there are more theoretical things like identification theory and apparatus theory that you should probably wait until you are in college to worry about. Right now, focus on what technical knowledge you can gather from books, watching films, experimenting on your own and develop a broad historical reference that will help inspire you.
     
  25. theWholeTruth macrumors member

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    #25
    Film schools?

    It's funny because most of the schools mentioned are not strictly film schools. They are universities that offer film or cinema as a major. Just nitpicking I guess...

    IMO, you are very young, and while you may indeed stay on this path, the odds are that something else will pique your interest. So, as others have said, don't throw all your money into finding the best university with a film school. Look at your state colleges since they will be cheaper. Why? Simply because college is about learning new things and expanding your interests. You may suddenly become interested in biology, or philosophy, or painting. What then? You've spent 25 grand a year to go to a school with a film program when you could have gone to the state college for a quarter of the cost.

    Happened to me, thought I was always going to be a painter. Was on my way after I graduated from college, then became interested in film and never painted again. All of my friends are now in professions in which they didn't major in.

    So learn what you can about film, but keep your mind open to other interests. Lots of universities these days offer some sort of film, video, or media major. They are just as valuable as the biggies such as USC, NYU, UCLA, etc.
     

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