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December 1994, Week 2


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Jeremy Butler <[log in to unmask]>
Reply To:
Film and TV Studies Discussion List <[log in to unmask]>
Sat, 10 Dec 1994 14:35:47 CST
text/plain (54 lines)
Author:  Cal <[log in to unmask]>
Date: 12/10/94 1:05 PM
[Editor's note: This message was submitted to SCREEN-L by the "Author" noted
above, and not by Jeremy Butler ([log in to unmask]).]
DFowl's comment about Brooks Institute demonstrates that there are many
pathway's to filmic glory. One does not have to go to graduate school
(or any other, for that matter) to "make it." At the same time,
education can't hurt if taken in terms of what is offered not what is
fantacized. If one does not wish to get an education, it's a clear waste
of time (and money) to go to university.
What follows is an attempt to sketch a map of possible pathways.
1. Just hit the streets, nagging anyone who will listen to you
while at the same time taking any opportunity to do whatever it
is you think you want to do. If you want to write -- then do
so. It's cheap enough. If you want to direct, take any opportunity
to work with actors: little theater, summer camp, scout troops,
volunteer at schools. Lacking any such assignment, sit at the desk
and plan how you would stage (shoot) a script.
2. Brooks Institute is one of several schools that emphasize practical
matters. If only that interests you, such a school is a good choice
for you. You will learn more about technique in a short time than you
will learn in any university program.
3. Since filmmaking is more than technique, knowledge of the world is
more than useful. If one seriously wants to express ideas in film,
knowledge of ideas is basic. Ideas are the coin of the realm in
colleges and universities. Reading philosophy, say, Machievelli and
St. Augustine will not directly lead to a job in filmmaking, but the
knowledge gained about how others thought about things will help you
learn how to think about the things that interest you.
4. An education more specifically in film -- history, theory, criticism
-- may be appropriate for some people. Ingmar Bergman possesses a
sophisticated knowledge of the dramatic arts, as did Orson Welles.
So does that other Bergman -- Andrew -- who earned a Ph. D. in part
due to his dissertation later published as: WE'RE IN THE MONEY:
5. The most self-delusive notion among students (and, truth to tell,
some faculty) is that universities are the places to learn how to make
films. Some people do get to make a film while in school; my experience
as student and faculty member is that the people who are successful in
this venture are people who would have been successful quite apart from
the experience of a student film.
Cal Pryluck, Radio-Television-Film, Temple University, Philadelphia
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