Should You Go To Grad School? – The Anonymous Production Assistant

Last time, we talked about movie faculties typically. Today, we’re discussing grad faculty, which is a particular case. The circumstances of the scholars are typically completely different, as are the alternatives afforded by completely different graduate packages.

Who’s Even Wants Grad School?

Back within the day, I used to work at a serious movie faculty. The undergraduates have been about what you’d anticipate– latest highschool graduates attempting to earn their diploma between events and work-study jobs.

The grad college students, then again, fell into three distinct classes:

  1. Experienced Hollywood professionals who need a sophisticated diploma to allow them to educate at a college.
  2. Recent school graduates who’re afraid to enter the true world.
  3. Middle-aged folks altering careers.

The first group I perceive. A whole lot of universities require you to have a superior diploma to be able to educate there. A visitor on our podcast, John Lynch, advised me he provided to show a category on the movie enterprise at USC, and so they turned him down, as a result of he didn’t have an MFA. He was the Head of Production at Amazon Studios on the time!

That alone ought to let you know all it is advisable learn about how movie faculties function.

Wouldn’t you wish to take a category from this man?

As for the latter two teams, all I can say is, what’s unsuitable with you? Get off your duff and get working. A masters diploma isn’t going to impress most individuals within the business, definitely not as a lot as working credit will.

Just as necessary, ageism is a factor in Hollywood, even for assistants. It’s a lot simpler to get an entry-level job in your early 20s than your late 20s (or 30s!).

So Is a Post Graduate Degree Pointless?

As you’ll be able to guess, I’m not precisely hyped about grad faculty for movie. But there’s an exception– conservatories.

Schools like The American Film Institute don’t hassle with a number of idea and historical past. Instead, the scholars focus not simply on making movies, however on one specific craft within the filmmaking course of, be it cinematography, modifying, manufacturing design, or no matter.

In the standard movie faculty setting, when it’s time to shoot one thing, you’re pressured to work with no matter buddies and classmates are prepared to tackle a selected function. For instance, it’s actually laborious to search out somebody who’s inquisitive about doing sound on a pupil movie.

At a conservatory, the expertise is just about the other. Everyone has a selected job that they’re finding out for the subsequent two years, so it’s pre-determined you’ll be working with gifted folks in each space. Thus, you’re studying actual abilities not simply in your chosen division, however you’re studying easy methods to work with different folks in different departments, as nicely.

Academy Award-nominated director Tim Reckart advised us this was essentially the most invaluable factor he discovered on the National Film and Television School within the UK. Directing isn’t nearly HaViNg a ViSiOn; it’s about bringing all of the completely different components of a movie collectively.

Tim Reckart talks about his expertise on the NFTS.

Don’t Wait

Grad faculty might be very helpful in sure, particular circumstances. But don’t waste your time merely since you wish to delay entry into the skilled world.


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