Many great filmmakers never went to film school. In part because there was much less competition.
The reason there is so much more competition these days is because resources are so widely available. This is EXACTLY why you don't need to go to film school.
Some concentrations lend themselves better to formal schooling (like cinematography, sound, editing), but even those might be better off mentoring under a professional.
Here are five steps you can take to educate yourself and start a filmmaking career without spending tens of thousands of dollars:
1. Choose a Concentration
Do you want to be primarily a Producer? Director? Cinematographer? Editor?
Many newcomers have trouble deciding. Director is the most popular, but also the most crowded. Each come with a specific skill-set that will need developed in order to compete.
Try checking out descriptions of different positions on GetInMedia. That site has a wealth of knowledge that will help make the decision easier.
Still stuck? Reach out on Twitter or by Email letting me know what your strengths, experience, and interests are. I'll see if I can help point you in the right direction.
A mentor of mine once said, “the best way to learn something in-depth is to teach it.”
We here at Sideline Pictures made our first feature film in 2016. We self-released to independent theaters and online.
The experience of producing our first feature film has taught us a massive amount about the process. Now it’s time to move onto movie number two. This time we’re going bigger and better; to do that I made this guide.
Originally the guide was for my own personal use to make sure I never missed a step learned during the first movie. A lot of these steps were things we didn’t do for our first movie, but maybe we should have.
Our mission is to find a balance between making movies on our own terms and making movies that can support a living as a creator.
Sideline Movie Maker will put a spotlight on every step we go through. Over time, the series will grow into a full guide that can help you make your own movies.
We love independent film and independent movies. If you use any of the advice on this blog, podcast, or videos please let us know! We’d love to hear from you and learn about what you’re working on.
Here is a complete guide to the topics the Sideline Movie Maker Guide will cover:
Hi. I’m Craig and I have a film degree.
It feels a little dirty to say. With so many resources online and the ability to get your hands on a video recording device for the price of a videogame, the value of paying for film school has diminished drastically.
I do still think there is value in film school. Networking, focusing solely your craft for two to six years, and being forced to work on deadlines are just a few of the benefits you’d have trouble finding without it. (Here's a guide on how to do all that on your own)
Even though I think film SCHOOL has value, I’m not convinced that a film DEGREE does. I would argue that getting a degree in creative writing, psychology, financing, business management, or marketing would be a MUCH better use of your time and money. Those degrees would all help you achieve the same filmmaking goals-- maybe even moreso.
Here is a list of successful filmmakers who never got a film degree: