What’s Behind the Movie Magic? A Guide to Graduate Film School

Many people believe that shooting a film is nothing. It’s not that big of a deal. Just hire some actors, hire people, and let them do their magic. But what exactly does that mean?

People working in the industry are surprisingly versatile in their roles and responsibilities. They are connected, though by their love for hard work and understanding of the craft. Film school helps you to find your voice and master skills essential for filmmaking. Even if you had your doubts regarding enrolling in one, you should consider it as an option. 

Without a doubt, film school is not a vacation. If you don’t manage to organize your workload, you can easily get buried underneath endless essays and practical tasks. That’s why you can start with looking at how to order custom writing at EssayPro and use other services that ease your daily routines. Being one step ahead in your game as a student still is one of those tricks up your sleeve to make it in the world. 

The quest for greatness begins the moment you decide that you want to major in film. It is natural that many things will always stay behind the scenes. From the outsider’s perspective, your work will always look easier than it is in reality. 

Prioritize Your Mental and Physical Health

It is easy to be two steps behind someone if you miss your chance. However, regardless of your goals, you have to put yourself as a number one priority. How could you achieve anything if you feel constant fatigue and depression? 

Students are often exposed to higher burnout risks. While everyone is talking about it, the issue is still as widespread as before (if not more). Of course, not everyone can allow themselves to take a pause and rest from the stress. 

You can create a list of tools that would suit you and help you to manage emotional exhaustion. It is important to listen and trust yourself in these questions. Developing healthy coping mechanisms is essential for anyone in any professional area. 

Being Organized Is Half of Your Success

Yes, the greatest minds are often seen as tricksters who break the order around them. But even in the transgression, there should be a pattern. Being organized in the popular meaning of this word can be exhausting for many people. You need to develop a routine that would help you to keep up with your tasks. 

There’s no formula because people are different. You can use software that allows you to visualize your projects or just keep your to-do list updated and fresh. You can also rely on more traditional methods with notebooks and idea boards. Whatever it is, don’t let things drift. 

Sometimes Showing Up Makes the World Go Round 

The right place and the right time are two elements of luck and routine in the film industry. Sitting in a prison of four walls won’t take you anywhere. Thinking that you start to get recognition after your graduation is counterproductive in all senses. Yes, it is hard work that brings you food to the table, but also sometimes it is a question of luck to get involved in more projects. 

The most life-changing offers are somewhere beyond your fears of failure and getting ridiculed. There would be good days when you would meet dozens of new people and pitch your ideas, and there would be days when everything would seem to be against you. Don’t let these small defeats hold you back. 

Work on Your Communication Skills

The filmmaking industry is highly competitive. Yet, you don’t need to perceive your colleagues as your enemies. Instead, perfect your communication skills and expand your network at any given opportunity. The more people you know, the more likely you get to learn something new from them. 

How can you meet new people? 

  • Volunteer on sets;
  • Attend workshops and lectures outside of your alma mater; 
  • Keep up with local initiatives and contribute to the events;
  • Collaborate with your classmates; 

Treat Theory and Practice Equally With Respect

Yes, many things in filmmaking have practical weight, and theory is regarded as a formality. Many people would argue that theory is boring and redundant for visionaries. The infamous dislike is rooted in the misinterpretation of it. People learn about the principle “show, don’t tell” and then fail to follow this advice.  

Film theory and history open a window of possibility for students. It is a rich and long road from Roundhay Garden Scene, the first movie made, to the latest innovative technology used on sets. Without knowing what was before, how can you create something new? The craft always demands respect for the source. 

At parties, you get to tell your friends all fun facts about movies they didn’t know. So it is a double win to know your theory. 

Know Your Craft

Knowing the theory is a baseline requirement for a good director or sound designer. The most valuable benefit any film school can give is the possibility to experiment in different production areas. You can practice shooting, motion graphics, lighting, and other aspects using school equipment and spending zero dollars on it. But why bother if you plan to be a director?

First of all, you never know what your vocation is unless you try it. You can change your mind in the process, and it still would be a valid decision. People often think they know what they want to do for the rest of their lives, and then boom, change of plans. It’s normal during your formative years to constantly switch focus. 

Second of all, even as a director, you have to know the production set by heart. It is important to know everything: 

  • how lighting works; 
  • how editors do their magic;
  • what other specialists’ responsibilities are.

This knowledge makes you a better communicator and helps explain your vision. It’s not helping anyone when you navigate on the set like in the dark.

Continue Your Observations

Many students focus on their work and forget to keep checking with all-time classics and the newest releases. The time limits are always dictating how you manage it, and you will put your projects on a pedestal. But what is beautiful with filmmaking craft is analyzing and dissecting what other creators do. There’s always something that you missed when you first watched the film and it can be something you can transform in your work.

When you watch something new, you can find the answer to all of your creative blocks. Quentin Tarantino is one of the most prominent directors that uses this approach. He watches a movie before making one and takes notes. Many of his works have an homage to the source material, which makes the process for the audience even more engaging. 

Even more, you can take your inspiration from any medium you need. Musicals, theater, modern installations, anything can give you a new insight into visuals and ideas. This is also the time when you can effectively use your student’s ID and get discounts in movie theaters and other venues.

Wrapping Up

Of course, there’s still a debate about whether you can be a filmmaker even without a formal education. You can, but it definitely would be a more hard path, the entrance to which you will need to find on your own. Film school opens up the doors and teaches important basics. It gives you a chance to get things done, as you meet new people, learn different specializations, and get feedback from industry veterans.