If you’re interested in jumping into the film industry, you might be wondering how to go about getting the skills necessary to succeed. Lots of people in the industry are self-taught or were lucky enough to be mentored by a professional. If you’re not sure you’d like to go the self-teaching route, then you might want to think about going to film school. Yes, it can be expensive, but a degree in film is more versatile than you might think. Here’s why going to film school can be a great investment.
Mentorship and Accountability
Teaching yourself the art of film sounds great in theory, but in practice, you may find it more difficult than it sounds. The reality of getting yourself to study and practice when you have no deadlines or accountability could mean you spend more time watching movies than making them.
Film school gives you structure, accountability and expert feedback. Your teachers will be your mentors, and they will be able to help you improve your technique on an ongoing basis. You won’t be left wondering what you did wrong — an expert can help you fix it.
Greater Opportunities for Women and Minorities
Hollywood, as we all know, has had a problem with diversity. In 2013-14, just 1.9% of the top-grossing films were directed by women. However, now that everyone’s attention is turned toward this issue, there are more opportunities for women and minorities to work and shine in the industry. More diversity in film has the potential to increase revenue for the industry, as it has in the business world. Research has shown that ethnically diverse companies are 35% more likely to outperform, and gender-diverse companies are 15% more likely.
With more women and minorities entering the industry, there is a stronger support network for future film school students.
Creating a Network
When it comes to getting into the industry, who you know is as important as what you know. Creating a network is an important part of the film school experience, and it can be key as you start to build a career. Those connections made during school can lead to interesting projects that launch careers and open new doors. The networking angle of film school can be an important benefit for those who are serious about getting into the industry.
All Ages Can Succeed
Some people wonder if they’re too old to go back to school. The truth is, more and more people these days are choosing to continue their education after a long time away from school. Almost 40% of undergraduates are over the age of 25 in the United States, and many are much older than that. You can always keep learning, and in fact, learning can help you stay sharp, agile and competitive.
Convenient Learning Options
For busy adults who can’t afford to take the time to solely focus on their studies, the internet has opened up new, convenient learning options. Going back to school can seem daunting, but there are flexible choices for people who have jobs, children or other obligations.
Some schools offer grants and scholarships to help with costs, and many schools now offer online or hybrid classes that are easier to fit into busy schedules. In fact, by 2019, it is estimated that half of all classes will be held online.
A Solid Investment
Going to film school is expensive, but it can be a great investment that can get your career started on the right foot. Of course, film school isn’t for everyone. You need to be dedicated and have a passion for creating. Getting a job in the film industry this days can be difficult, and getting a degree can help you get the edge you need.
If you don’t end up finding your dream job right away, there are lots of great possibilities. Video is growing in importance in marketing and advertising, and many businesses want training videos for internal use. Storytelling and an artistic eye are valuable skills in just about any market.
Your creativity, perseverance, and willingness to learn will determine your success, however, you happen to earn (and eventually use) your filmmaking skills. Going to film school could just help you get a leg up.