Many graduates of film schools believe they are more or less worthless. As an example, in one study a large group of graduates from UofT’s School of Cinematic Arts were asked to compare themselves with the class in the UK.
Of the 50 participants, only 30% could identify any other graduates from their film school with whom they could have developed close, professional relationships.
This is not a surprising finding. When students who had an education from the film schools were compared to those educated from non-film industry disciplines, the only difference between the two groups was in their experience of film production compared to the people with no formal film training. In other words, they found the film schools as a whole just as useless, if not more.
And if you’re not a graduate of a film school, where do you think you will find your first job?
The best starting point is to begin with an established post-graduate job opportunity. By this we mean a business, university or creative project that you have experience of working on, and has made an impact in the industry.
I once wrote a film about the struggle of a man who tried to raise €2,000 through crowdfunding to put a documentary to air. But despite being confident that it had the potential to be a hit, this effort collapsed when he made an error that led to an estimated €200,000 going missing. He was left to fend for himself, living off his car loan and a small salary as a freelance reporter, when the film wasn’t picked up in any major US, British or Australian newspapers.
If you’re not a graduate of a film school, where do you think you will find your first job?
If you’re not a first-time, working filmmaker, this is also a big problem. The best way to ensure that you are getting an experienced and well-equipped studio can be to make something for yourself and your audience. This is usually not a film of high quality. Instead, you might develop a personal project, or look at how you can get a creative licence and work on your own project. But if you’re looking for work, you need to start elsewhere.
Do you think films are dying?
In my experience so far this has been a myth. Film was an integral part of my career before all the negative headlines. It is very hard to get a film financed if you’re not working under contract. And it is a much easier path if you
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