Saturday, March 31, 2007

School schmool

Know what's crazy? How much people spend on film school.

Every time I bring up my short to people - experienced people - they all tell me the same thing. You don't need to know what you're doing to know what you're doing.

Today I started making preliminary shot lists. I want a shot that comes down a guy's arm and lands on the other guy's face. So I call Partner, who paid for that film school education, and he tells me I want a focus pull. So I write "focus pull down Billy's arm to Eric's face" in the margin next to the scene. And I didn't have to sit in on any classes. I'm so glad I can benefit from his tuition payments.

(Mind you, I'm not at all saying that film school is a waste of time. I spent a good amount of money on learning to write stories and I use that education daily. I just don't think it's the only way to go.)

I don't have a DP yet, but when I get one I'm going to walk in with my notes and go, "Ok, buddy. I want a focus pull here, and a two-shot here..." and everybody will think I know what I'm doing. Because at that point, I will. That's what I'm learning. It's been said before by wiser heads than mine, but you don't have to ask permission to be a film maker. All you need is a great script and some talented people. I have a great script and so far, talented people who want in.

What's also been rewarding about the process so far is that it's lit a fire under Partner's ass. He's been sitting on that fancy NYU education for years sort of bouncing around not choosing a path and lamenting that he spent all that money for nothing. But helping me write and produce this, and eventually act in it, has reminded him of what he loves about making movies. He's started to apply for jobs in the industry again and he's brimming with excitement.

That's my special skill: infectious enthusiasm. Talk to me for five minutes and you'll decide that your wife cheating on you with your best friend and stealing all your money was a GOOD thing.


  1. here's what I say about post-college skool (even though I'm in it now)

    college stabs you.
    and then graduate school kills you.

    ...i'm currently suffering a slow death...

  2. Infectious enthusiasm is a good thing, yes indeedy. Happy housewarming, by the way. Sorry I couldn't make it. Let's meet up soon to divide the world we're conquering...


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