Is going to film school/getting into a film program after you've graduated college a good idea?

I have just got a B.A. in English. But, what I really want to do is to get into the TV/Film industry. I'm thinking about going back to get another bachelors in film. What do you think? I didn't make good grades in college, and it would be tough to get into graduate school. Do you really think getting into a masters program is necessary for this field? What do you think?

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  • 1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    The very FIRST thing you need to do is to figure out precisely what "job" it is you'd like to spend your life doing. Saying "I want to make films" or "I want to be a filmmaker" isn't enough. Do you want to be Director? Or a Producer? Or a Cameraman? Or an Editor? Or a Writer? None of those? A combination of those? From your question, it sounds like you've got an interest in writing, so perhaps Screenwriting would work for you.

    And then ask yourself what kind of career and work you'd like to do? Are you interested in being a "starving indie filmmaker" or would you prefer to work in the big leagues on "Hollywood" large budget features?

    Once you figure those questions out, the next step is to learn exactly what those jobs entail, what it takes to get there, what your typical day will be, and what the realistic chances are of getting that job. You can find those answers by reading the book "What I Really Want to Do: On Set in Hollywood." It is vitally important for you to know what you're getting yourself into BEFORE you choose a filmschool. Why? Because not all schools are created equally. While one school may be perfect for one person, it may not be the best for YOU. So once you know what it is you're aiming for in life, research the available filmschools (over 700 worldwide!) to find the one that is best for YOU. There is a comprehensive list of ALL of them with contact information at http://www.whatireallywanttodo.com.

    Then, realize that no matter what school you go to, the diploma or certificate WILL NOT guarantee anything. It won't qualify you for the job you want and will not automatically ensure you an entry-level position. School is there to give you exposure to the filmmaking process in a fairly safe environment. The professional industry runs almost completely on word-of-mouth, meaning, you will get jobs from people you know and people who know you and what you can do. Getting a Masters is not necessary unless you have aspirations to teach. And more importantly, if Screenwriting or Directing is something that interests you, you're better off NOT majoring in Film. Taking film classes will help you to understand the process, but as a Writer, you'll need something to write ABOUT. Too many aspiring Writers and Directors ONLY take film classes so their stories are very film-centric. The better stories are based on real life and classic stories, such as Oh Brother Where Art Thou? which is based on Homer's epic The Odyssey.

    So, while you're still in school, make the time to go out into the real world and volunteer on professional productions of any kind. Look for indie films being made near you and inquire at local production companies for internship opportunities. You'll be learning how real professionals actual work every day AND you'll start your own network of contacts who will be able to offer you work and real income. Building that network and experience will help you get where you want to go.

    If you do those things, you will likely work in the industry and be on your way to doing what you really want to do.

    If you have any specific questions not answered here or in the book, please feel free to contact me at brian@whatireallywanttodo.com.

    Good luck!

    Brian Dzyak

    Cameraman/Author

    IATSE Local 600, SOC

    http://www.whatireallywanttodo.com

  • 1 decade ago

    forget about grades; passion is where it's at.

    apply.

    and while you are at it, remember this; you can go to the library

    and check the names of the book[s] used in the classes you want to take and start teaching yourself and hire a tutor in the class.

    ALL you need is a basic understanding of the technical functions of

    staff in a movie and concurrently, study what makes a popular film

    hot at the box office.

    start by using a digital camera and make some elementary

    films.......work with some grad film students.

    I will guide

    Source(s): biz teacher
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