Going to film school, like anything, is a personal preference. In the film and video industry, some say it’s not necessary – even a waste of time – since you can learn through various courses online. Then there are those who think having a film school background is important and has its advantages.
We’re not going to debate whether you should or shouldn’t attend film school, but if it’s at least something you’re considering. It’s good to know you can learn a lot while attending. Here are some of the top things you can take away from attending film school.
1.You Learn to Admire and Watch Classic Films
Yes, some aspiring filmmakers already do this voluntarily. They study classic films on their own to learn what they can use in their own work. But studying in a film class takes this further because you get to discuss and learn film history and theories while you’re still starting out.
In film school, you also get assignments or discussions about the films or processes, allowing you to internalize everything better as opposed to just doing it yourself.
2. You Discover Your Own Style and Preferences
When you’re exposed to a number of talented filmmakers constantly, you end up figuring out which styles you like and which ones you don’t like. Being in film school helps you figure out who are your favorite directors, subject matter and style. It’s important because in the early years, your tastes aren’t as refined yet. The more exposure you get, the more you’ll figure out what your taste is like when it comes to creating your own films and projects.
3. You Get to Experiment and Try Out Different Roles
Film school helps in giving you an idea which film production role you love best. Most film schools will have group projects where each member can try out different roles in the production, from the actor, DP, sound, boom operator etc. This is a huge advantage because you can easily find out which roles you want to take on and which ones you don’t. It’s also great for experiencing what each job or role requires, which will be helpful when you become a part of an actual production set.
4. You Learn How to Deal With Constructive Feedback
This is probably one of the best things you can get out of film school. When you’re in a school setting, you learn to handle constructive criticisms, not just from your professors but also from you peers. It can be terrifying of course, and sometimes defeating when people only have not-so-nice things to say about your work. But when placed in the right mindset, it’s the single best thing for you because it forces you to learn and improve. Learning to handle feedback and criticism is a huge role in helping you grow faster as a filmmaker.
5. You Get to Grow a Network from the Ground Up
Chances are, your current classmates and friends will end up working in the film industry like you. Film school is a great way to start networking as you make your most valuable connections while here. This is especially true if you’ll be staying in the same city or just keep in touch with the people you went to school with.
While it’s fun to learn things on your own, going to film school does have its own advantages. Whether you go or not is entirely up to you, what’s important is your desire to learn and to improve in your craft regardless of where you start.