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.

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Online Film Schools – A Good Option For Learning?

Online Film School

Butch Cassidy as part of the Wild Bunch - Image via Wikipedia

Is an online film school a good option for learning filmmaking? This is an important question because no matter where you are in your filmmaking career there is always a lot more you can learn.

When the great screenwriter William Goldman (Butch Cassidy, Princess Bride, Misery, etc.) first attempted to turn one of his novels into a screenplay he discovered that there was no information available on how to write a screenplay. No books, no classes and of course nothing on the Internet because it didn’t exist then. (By the way if you want to learn the truth about Hollywood and screenwriting read his hilarious bestseller book Adventures in the Screen Trade: A Personal View of Hollywood and Screenwriting.)

Online Film School For Learning Facts

Today you will find tons of in-depth information on every aspect of how to make a movie in books and on the Internet. But are online film schools a good option for starting or continuing your film education? [Read more…]

The Scandal of For-Profit Colleges And Film Schools

Film School no different than Cooking School

Film School no different than Cooking School

Last week a cooking school in San Francisco agreed to refund up to $20,000 in tuition to each of more than 8,000 students who were led to believe they would get high-paying jobs as chefs after they graduated. You’re wondering why I’m writing about a cooking school on a blog about filmmaking.

You came here wanting to learn more about filmmaking but you need to understand that you are at much at risk of be ripped off as those kids at “culinary arts” school. [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…]

Is A Degree In Film Worth Anything Today?

Degree In Film

Degree In Film = Hollywood Fame?

Why Do You Want A Degree In Film?

I just added an article to the lessons about the value of a degree in film. Click on over to have a read. As film schools crank out graduates with degrees in film faster and faster I hear more and more industry insiders saying they think most of those students are wasting their time and money.

One prominent film educator has created some controversy by claiming that only 1% of those degrees in film will lead to even a marginally successful career in filmmaking. If that’s true what are some other options? [Read more…]