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June 1996, Week 3


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Film and TV Studies Discussion List <[log in to unmask]>
Mark Allen <[log in to unmask]>
Mon, 17 Jun 1996 09:58:19 -0800
Film and TV Studies Discussion List <[log in to unmask]>
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Mike Kelly writes:
>I've just finished my junior year in high school, and plan to pursue a career
>in film... i was wondering if anyone knows of good colleges with a strong
>background in special effects and/or editing.  And, if there are any
>employers out there.. what kind of training do you look for when rummaging
>through job applications?  I'm not out to become a star, I just want to make
>a decent living doing what I enjoy.
First, you have a refreshingly great attitude.
UCLA is a well known film school that has an avantage of having the editor
of Apocalypse Now (Marks) as its main editorial instructor.  Also, you will
have a well rounded education which is important.  However, they don't let
you major in film until you are a junior (and it is VERY hard and somewhat
whimsical to get in even for the most talented people) and there is no
editorial specialty.
USC, I am not a fan of their academic or film programs, but boy do they
have neat equipment.
Look for a way of getting a well rounded film education.  The tools you can
learn in internships etc., knowledge is harder to come by.
I can't speak of any other colleges.
Employers?  Employers in film look for talent and experience.  As much as I
value education, college is not a necessity other than personal growth;
diplomas don't mean much.  Get hands on experience doing what you love;
your a great great age for this.  Intern at a production company that has
editorial.  My friend interned at Roger Corman's New Horizons, then became
an assistant, then kept getting hired, became union, then is an editor...
it works like that.  Try to learn the AVID, that will make you more
valuable, but also try to learn how editing celluloid works.  As far as
effects, work on your design skills.  Start making things now.  Shoot them
on video or (even better) super-8 -get some good looking stuff, then take
it to Lucasfilm, or Stan Winston, or another shop.  Computer effects are
heavily in demand now and you can start learning 3D by getting a 3D
program, mastering that, then moving up.  Employers for all of these (and I
know because I've employed people in all these fields) want to see what you
can do.  They want to see some spark of originality in your approach.
And, lastly, everyone who employs LOVES people who love what they do (i.e.,
they don't "really want to direct instead someday").  That is why with your
attitude, you will do well.
Good luck to you.
Mark Allen
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