Is Film School Worth It in 2011?

This is a guest post from filmmaker Seth Hymes. He is particularly qualified to discuss the pros and cons of film school as he is a graduate and former instructor at NYU Film School.

Film schools are a wonderful opportunity to acquire basic filmmaking techniques and mingle with others interested in making movies. They allow a chance to experiment and study in a very structured and thorough way.

But, sad to say, I’ve gotten to know so many USC and NYU film school graduates who find themselves deeply in debt, without a job, and having no clue how they can make a living working in the film industry. At the same time I’ve gotten to know many more independently minded individuals who are thriving in the film industry but never got a traditional film school degree.

Today there are more and more lower-cost alternatives to traditional film schools and my goal in this post is to explore the pros and cons of investing in a traditional degree school versus the many other options available.

[Read more…]

Why Not More Asian Film Directors?

I just got an email from Shan Peng asking about Asian film directors:

I really appreciate your site. I am a university student here and i dream of becoming a successful film-maker(director) one day. but what bothers me the most is that i am an Asian, and as far as i know, there is few successful asian directors out there. And i think this is a ethical issue. what do you think of this? how can i start my career in states?

There’s a long, strange history of discrimination in the entertainment industry in the United States, not just against Asian film directors. Believe it or not, in the early days it was very difficult to get anywhere in the movie industry if you weren’t Jewish.

It’s a little understood bit of entertainment history, and source of deserved pride for many Jews, that the modern film industry was invented by a few hard-working Jewish families.
[Read more…]