When I was first starting my filmmaking career, I thought long and hard about the prospect of getting a film school degree. At the time, I figured an education from one of the top film schools would increase my odds of garnering success. Now, after having worked in the game for awhile, I can honestly tell you that very few people, if any, have asked me where I went to film school.
5 Things Your Film School Degree Won’t Teach You
1. Your Film School Degree Will Collect Dust: Nobody cares where you went to school. They just care if you can contribute value to their professional lives and their movie projects. (By the way, I’m not saying you shouldn’t go to college. I’m just saying that unless you plan on becoming a film professor, your time is better served getting a degree in marketing.)
2. Learn How To Sell: In the film business, people with sales skills can write their own ticket. Start learning how to sell.
3. Your Material Rules: Control good material and you’ll have something to sell. What is good material? Great screenplays that don’t suck. If you’re confused about this one, refer back to #2
4. Be Nice To Everyone: The PA fetching coffee today will control your job tomorrow. (Or one day, in addition to working in film distribution, he might also run a prolific filmmaking website.)
5. Don’t Ask Permission: I say this over and over, but why are you are still knocking on doors, hoping that somebody will discover you? Don’t do that. Go make something great without permission. Otherwise you will get lost in the noise. Hollywood rewards doers, not talkers.
If you like these tips and want more of them, make sure you download a copy of my filmmaker checklist. And make sure you take time to read it so you can avoid common filmmaking mistakes.