How to Prepare for Filmmaking School
Start filmmaking school on the right foot with these five simple tips.
If your dream is to walk down the aisle at the Academy Awards or achieve cult stardom á la Richard Kelly for "Donnie Darko," the time to start preparing for a successful film career is now. Take advantage of these five insights before filmmaking school begins, and you'll find yourself starting at the head of your class.
1. Find your style
Jean-Pierre Geuens, filmmaking school professor and author of "Film Production Theory," believes each student should choose a school that fits his or her personal style. So take the time before your classes start to develop your style. Are you into indie, blockbuster or experimental films? Do you prefer working on commercials, shorts, music videos or feature films?
2. Zoom Out
Once you have a feel for your preferences, the temptation is to focus only on what interests you. But even though keeping a hold on your personal creative flare is important, any good filmmaking school will challenge you to broaden your perspective—to imagine yourself as an actor, writer, set builder or crew member. One of the greatest benefits of filmmaking school is the opportunity you'll have to get a feel for the film industry as a whole and learn how to maneuver within it.
3. Exercise Your Inner Couch Potato
There is almost nothing more embarrassing than having to answer your professor at filmmaking school with "No, I haven't seen that film." So you might as well find a comfortable place on the couch. Take the opportunity you have now to watch all the classic, cult and blockbuster movies you can. And pay attention to the script, acting, scenery, effects and cinematography as you watch. Get used to assessing films based on their creative and historic elements.
4. Focus Your Lenses
The greatest filmmakers have eyes that never rest. They live their art by looking for inspiration in everyday activities. Beautiful arrangements of objects, positioning of actors, viewpoints and color schemes can be inspired by something as simple as a trip to the supermarket or a bus ride in the city. Start a journal where you jot down or sketch your ideas. Filmmaking school will give you ample opportunity to turn these simple musings into movies!
5. Keep Filmmaking School in Perspective
A film degree will set you apart as a job applicant and help you build on the lessons of decades of directors, producers and cinematographers. Instead of forgoing the education that can help you gain contacts and refine your style, let success stories inspire you to continue building on and adding to their legacy, both in filmmaking school and beyond.
Film School Guide
- Getting into Film Schools
- Student Interview
- Professor Interview
- Choosing Your Programs
- Prepare for Filmmaking School
- Do Film School Rankings Matter?
- How Do Global Trends Affect Film School?
- Film and Video Career Tips: Networking and Demo Reel
- Film and TV School: Who Should Go?