Anonymous asked in Education & ReferenceHigher Education (University +) · 1 decade ago

I want to be a film maker and make short films... Should I major in film?

I want to write my movie and pick my characters,and maybe even direct my movies.....

Should I major in film and be a film major and if so what do you do after you graduate?How do I I start my passion? Do I start alone and get a side job or are there any film companies I can write movies for???

4 Answers

  • 1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    It sounds like you want to be a writer, because you wrote "maybe even direct my movies..... " As far as picking characters, do you mean writing characters or casting actors in roles? Casting director is a job.

    If you really want to direct, film school is the way to go. If you want to write, then study screenwriting in college. Often writers end up directing.

    You look for a job after you graduate. Your college should have a placement office to help.

    Screenwriting is a very competitive profession. You will need to do other jobs along the way. My assistant is an aspiring screenwriter.

    Typically how you start is by writing a spec script which you try to sell through an agent. Production companies and studios do not accept scripts from anyone but legitimate agents. It's very difficult to be hired onto a tv show until you're experienced. However, there are intern writer jobs. The competition is very tough, but it's worth applying, once you're ready.

    If you have a camera, start filming now. Get some friends together and have them act in short films. Don't write up a full script, but more of an idea and outline and have them improve the lines. Then edit the film. It will be good experience and you will learn alot. If you have a mac, you already have film editing software. You should be able to find cheap windows software. This may give you an idea of what you're really interested in.

    This Celtx screenwriting software is free, and it's good! Be sure to always back up.

    Students can get academic prices on screenwriting software. I like Movie Magic Screenwriter, it feels more intuitive than Final Draft for me. Free demos of Movie Magic and Final Draft:

    Books to read:

    Screenwriting for Teens: The 100 Principles of Screenwriting Every Budding Writer Must Know by Christina Hamlett

    Filmmaking for Teens: Pulling Off Your Shorts by Troy Lanier and Clay Nichols

    The 101 Habits Of Highly Successful Screenwriters: Insider's Secrets from Hollywood's Top Writers by Karl Iglesias

    Writing Screenplays That Sell by Michael Hauge

    The Screenwriter's Bible: A Complete Guide to Writing, Formatting, and Selling Your Script by David Trottier

    Save The Cat! The Last Book on Screenwriting You'll Ever Need by Blake Snyder

    Classics -

    Screenplay: The Foundations of Screenwriting by Syd Field

    Lew Hunter's Screenwriting 434

    Story: Substance, Structure, Style and The Principles of Screenwriting by Robert McKee

    The Writers Journey: Mythic Structure for Writers by Christopher Vogler

    Good luck!

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    You could major in film. You could also major in mass communications.

    During college you will get to do an internship, possibly at a tv studio and during this time you will be able to figure out what you need to do once you graduate. There will be all types of resources at your disposal.

  • 4 years ago

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  • 1 decade ago

    There are some people who make a living from only writing screenplays. That's the good news... it IS possible to achieve that (screenwriting) as a career. There are also some people who make a living from only directing. The bad news is that while a lot of people try, not very many manage to make either of those happen. But don't let that discourage you.

    We all have just one life to live and if screenwriting and/or directing is something you truly want to do with your life, then do everything you can to not lose hope.

    This might mean taking on some other kind of work in the meantime, until someone realizes your talent or takes notice of your work.

    Having multiple examples of your work (screenwriting) is a major plus. Too many people rely on that "one" script that they think is so brilliant that it can't be denied. The film/TV business is an art, but it is also a business. It costs a tremendous amount of money to create even the most modest of productions, so investors aren't interested in the most innovative "new" story possible. New, exciting, and innovative is great for investors, so long as the story is within a "safe" realm for them so that their investment isn't a total risk.

    Having multiple scripts to show is great for a couple reasons. First, it shows that you are serious about being a writer. Second, it gives you more examples to show of your talent. And third, the more examples you have, the more possibilities your have to sell something.

    There are people who make a living writing original screenplays. There are others who work steadily as "script doctors" who polish existing scripts. Then there are writers who are able to take that skill and make the jump into directing.

    Thousands of aspiring filmmakers graduate from the 700+ worldwide filmschools every year and only a scant percentage of them are able to claim that the film industry provides them with their primary income. And only a very small percentage of those ever get to direct a film. And only scant few of those get to direct more than one movie in their life. So the odds are extremely small that you will get to do this for a living. Not impossible, but definitely very difficult.

    Make sure your scripts are as good as they can be. Then, work to get them noticed by an established and reputable agent. Most professional Producers and studios will NOT even consider looking at unsolicited material. It MUST be submitted by an Agent. That affords the studio/Producer a measure of legal protection and it gives you a level of credibility (that someone else has recognized your talent). And outside of working for an Ad Agency or in a marketing department, there aren't likely to be companies who are going to hire you to write screenplays for them. It doesn't work like that.

    So how do you even start? Start writing today. Don't wait for filmschool before you begin. Start small, by writing a few short stories in screenplay format. That will help you get comfortable with the style and format that is standard in the professional industry. Starting with smaller shorter stories also helps you to hone in on characters and plot so you learn how to get to the point quickly without extraneous scenes, dialogue, and characters. Once you feel you've grasped those concepts, begin work on the longer form screenplays.

    To get you started, there are a couple of resources that I HIGHLY recommend you read. They are listed below.

    In terms of what to study in school, by all means, choose a school that offers screenwriting courses. You likely should NOT major in filmmaking, but instead, concentrate more on topics that interest you, like Sociology, History, Political Science, and Business. Minor in Film/TV if you need to in order to take the classes, but you don't want to hyper-focus on filmmaking classes. As an aspiring writer, you need something to write ABOUT! Film/TV courses will teach you about film theory and some practical production, but as a writer, you need a broader base of knowledge so that your original stories and characters have a background that isn't film-centric.

    Given that, you MAY want to find a filmschool with a strong screenwriting program. For the most complete worldwide list of filmschools offered anywhere, go to and click on the "Filmschools" link at the top of the page. You can search by location and easily find all of the schools available along with their current contact information. Research the schools that interest you then contact them with questions regarding your specific situation. Don't just take their word for it either... if possible, contact alumni to find out what they thought of their education. This is no small thing... you are investing thousands of dollars into YOUR own education and YOU need to make sure that you are spending your money as wisely as possible.

    No one can tell you what school is best for YOU. That's something only you can decide for yourself. On

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