Filmmaker or Business Person? Common Misconception #1

Orson Welles, March 1, 1937

Orson Welles, March 1, 1937


If you are an independent filmmaker you probably see yourself primarily as a creative person. The major skills you focus on developing are around screenwriting and directing and you aren’t probably very interested in developing business and marketing skills.

 Big Mistake!

Orson Wells once famously said many years ago that filmmaking is 2% about making a movie and 98% about hustling. That is probably even more true today. [Read more…]

Need a Film Idea? Look At Yourself

NEW YORK, NY - MAY 24:  Christopher Plummer, M...

Christopher Plummer, Melanie Laurent, Mike Mills and Ewan McGregor of Beginners. Image by Getty Images via @daylife

I always encourage young filmmakers to avoid a lot of film making courses and  just start making films as the fastest way to learn.

The problem is they never know what to make the film about. Then they typically attempt to do a slight variation on the latest science fiction or action adventure epic they saw at the mutiplex.

Of course without a gazillion dollar budget the results are lame and no one but their mother is willing to watch it all the way through. Time for a lesson in storytelling.

[Read more…]

U.S. Colleges For Film

Master List Of U.S. Colleges For Film


colleges for film

Filmmaking of 'Black Thursday' - Image via Wikipedia

I’ve just updated my master list of film making schools to include some thoughts about the effectiveness of getting a filmmaking degree from one of these film schools.

There seems to be more and more doubt amongst the people I’ve spoken to lately about the effectiveness of colleges for film teaching the skills needed for a career in filmmaking.

The time and dollars spent may not be the best way to go. [Read more…]

Film School In New York? – How NY Film Schools Stack Up

NYU's Tisch School of the Arts - NY Film Schools

NYU's Tisch School of the Arts - Image via Wikipedia

NY Film Schools – Any Better?

Last post I wrote about Los Angeles film schools and I feel I should give equal time to the NY film schools situation. Doesn’t seem a lot better. Although NYU’s film program brags about some impressive graduates the percentage who end up in satisfying careers in filmmaking seems to be very low.

NY Film Schools – Very Expensive

Pretty much everyone has an idea that living in the Big Apple is incredibly expensive. Being a student at a NY film school is also very expensive beyond just the very high tuition.

What are some options?

[Read more…]

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…]