A student of “Film School Secrets” recently left the following comment in the members area.
“Hey, Seth. Thanks for all the information you’re providing. I’ve learned more in 1 week than I have in 1 month going to film school. It’s funny because I’ve already worked on an indie film as a PA here in the Bay Area and this was before I even started going to film school.”
I also did PA on a real movie when I was 17. I acted as a boom mic operator, runner, gaffer. I did some voice acting on the shoot and I got to hang out with the actors and director. It was awesome.
A year later I was at NYU taking the most ridiculous freshman courses you’ve ever heard of. I sat in a lecture hall and discussed the meaning of early 20th century silent cinema. I didn’t spend any time on film sets. It was the film equivalent of sitting on your butt for 12 months after doing a triathalon.
So if you’re a high schooler or under 20, and you’ve already worked on a pro film set, consider this: you are already leagues ahead of all those students from NYU and USC graduating with their fancy Bachelor degrees.
In fact, in LA the main path to success for everybody is to just start working. Vince Vaughn started acting when he was in his teens and had to hustle for 7 years before he got swingers. Most of the producers and casting directors out here hit the ground running and got jobs, either skipping college altogether or majoring in something unrelated to film.
And the result is quite amusing. Most film school grads, once they get out of the ridiculous ivory tower of film school, find themselves applying for jobs where their boss will be YOUNGER than them! Can you imagine being a 22 year old college grad and your boss is 20? It happens! (Or, what is even more likely is the 26 year old grad student with the 23 year old boss). You will find yourself learning the ropes/getting coffee for people less educated and more experienced than yourself.
High school students are actually more qualified than film school grads, and more desireable to hire than film school grads. Here is why:
1. High schoolers have not spent 4 years learning the wrong way to make movies from academic fools
2. High schoolers are easier to train and have a ton of energy
3. High schoolers are not as pretentious or “know it all” as film school grads; they are much easier to work with
If you’re in high school and you already have some film experience, or youjust want to get your career going without taking a 4 year or $120,000 detour, then just get on more film sets. And check out Film School Secrets to get the real deal about how you can start your career while you are still in your teens rather than wasting years of your life and your best years. Believe me, you will learn that you are not missing anything in film school.