Attending film school is a wonderful way to get a career in the film industry off to a fantastic start. Essentially, studying the art of filmmaking provides a solid basis of skills and enables you to build a network of connections so that you can develop and thrive.
However, not everyone understands that film school is about so much more than just getting good grades and a certified qualification. So, let us discover what you can do to succeed in film school in just 3 easy steps.
Although some film schools encourage students to start filming straight away, others might not provide opportunities to film anything until later in the course. That being said, it is almost always beneficial to get to grips with the practicalities of filming as soon as possible. Correspondingly, you might want to take some time to create an amateur film of your own alongside your studies. Learning the basics of film production techniques independently ensures that you are always one step ahead and can avoid making any rookie mistakes.
Similarly, if you are unsure about how to find opportunities to develop your skills, you could always consider volunteering on any projects that your classmates are working on. There is a tremendous amount to learn from even a small shoot so be sure to get stuck in as soon as you are able to do so. Look out for any call boards in your school, or if you are attending an online film school like Friends in Film you could always look online for volunteering opportunities in your area. In essence, teamwork is crucial in filmmaking and most filmmakers will be grateful for any help, no matter how small.
Networking while at film school is a fantastic way to build friendships that can lead to exciting work opportunities in the future. When attending a film school either on campus or online, your fellow students are a fantastic source of knowledge and contacts so be sure to form worthwhile connections with your peers. Always try to make a good impression and be sure to show an interest in projects that other students are working on. Establishing a positive reputation as a friendly hard worker can pay off immediately and throughout your career so now is your time to shine.
Film schools are a melting pot of filmmaking talent, and you never know what you might be able to learn about from another student. Combining skills can lead to great things so be sure to offer your help to anyone who might benefit from your contributions. Similarly, both on campus and online networking events can be brilliant ways to meet professionals from the film industry with similar interests to your own. Not only are these kinds of events useful for staying on top of industry trends but they can also lead to lifelong contacts so be prepared to branch out as much as possible when studying.
While there is no denying that having a well-rounded education is incredibly important, homing in on areas of filmmaking that interest you most can help you to carve out a niche. In the early stages of studying film, it is totally acceptable to explore different areas of filmmaking so do not be afraid to experiment with shooting, editing, graphics, lighting, or sound. Then, once you have found the elements of filmmaking that you are best at, you can begin to specialize your skill set.
For instance, some filmmakers find postproduction to be a rewarding career avenue. Moreover, it is no secret that knowledge of postproduction software is an in-demand and marketable skill that employers in the film industry consider to be an asset. In some cases, proficiency in filmmaking software can even be the difference between landing an exciting job opportunity. There are plenty of different types of filmmaking software out there so be sure to have at least a basic familiarity with the most popular postproduction systems and applications.
Ultimately, the work that you create at film school and the connections that you make while studying have the power to open doors for the rest of your life. Above all by investing time and energy into your education now, and by making the most of all opportunities presented, you can enjoy a long and rewarding career in the film industry.
Knowing how to write a winning script is an important part of the filmmaking process. For more information, take a look at this essential scriptwriting guide.