We all admire the creative works of various video/film-makers and often wonder how they came to attain their level of digital mastery. The reality is that they call came through a clear-cut path which is no secret. Aside from innate talent, they all dedicated extended man-hours to studies and practice. The message here is that film-making, like athletics or playing a musical instrument, takes a massive amount of time and dedication to master.
Film schools provide structured guidance and time to learn and practice the art of video production. This formal education is usually a constant mixture of the school’s curriculum and a deliberate personal learning and development plan. However, this is not cast in stone. You can still become a successful filmmaker through some form of apprenticeship without a ‘formal’ film school education.
Unfortunately outside of film school, you may not have the opportunity to work with the various composites (writing your scripts or working with a writer, casting your own projects, etc) or to safely make the many mistakes that are part of the process. And because failure is always the best teacher, film school remains the best place you will be able to integrate the knowledge you learn from failure, progressively.
The sheer commitment of attending a film school will nourish and validate your urge to become a filmmaker in a way that the outside world simply cannot provide. This identity will provide strong fortitude to weather the inevitable storms that will come with the career.
Your peers in film school will automatically form a network of collaborators which is not very easy to build from the outside. Aside your peers, you will also meet people during through screenings, internships and events. There is no force more powerful than a group of people with a shared goal. It is from your network that you will get to hear about the best opportunities – in the short and long term – and film school is often a great place to start.
Film schools have equipment far in excess of what you would procure or have access to on your own. This will not only offer you the equipment you need to make professional quality films, but guide you on their proper usage.
Film school is the essential place to write, shoot, edit, repeat… There is no better way to structured, progressive learning.