Welcome to the Real World

High School and life outside the Film Business is like living in the Matrix: you are DREAMING. Dreaming of a magical place called film school that will teach you and prepare you to realize a life of glamor and fame… but like Neo in The Matrix, when you graduate you are going to find yourself covered in Goo, surrounded by Robots 🙂

Film is a cut throat biz. The hours are long and the competition is fierce. It ain’t easy. But hold on, this isn’t all doom and gloom.

The point is, in 2011 it’s never been easier to capture high quality images, edit them, and share them with the world. It’s never been easier to be the creator of your own projects and your own career. But you have to start smart!

The problem is, every year thousands of people do not start smart. They succumb to this dream of school and get hit with a harsh reality. As an NYU Film Grad my passion in life is to inform you about stuff you just won’t hear elsewhere, and let the truth set you free. But it may hurt as well.

This is the 1st chapter from my book “Film Fooled”. In it I explain in great detail the Freshman Year at NYU’s Film School.. exactly what students learn and produce for that $42,000 in tuition. The curriculum HAS NOT CHANGED IN 12 YEARS since I graduated, even though the film business has changed completely.

You can view the ebook chapter here or download below:

Click here to download…

[Note: Sadly, the Acceptable.TV tutorials have been taken down. The good news? They have been replaced with 1,000 more how to videos on youtube on how to shoot a basic short film!]

Okay, so let’s illustrate. Below is  sample “Frame and Sequence” project. They seriously have students take a still camera and shoot a slideshow for their final project.

The other semester, you are still shooting crap with a tape recorder, or a radio drama. I managed to find some examples on youtube. Here they are:

And this is a sample final project:

This is one of the reasons by film school students are a joke in the business. While real filmmakers are on real sets making stuff, learning the ropes, film students are in a classroom making ridiculous projects like these.

Meanwhile, this is a short film shot by a random guy on the internet with no film school experience:

and this is something a little sillier, shot by a friend of mine, that got more than 1 million youtube views.

Finally, this is a video shot by some high school students that is pretty darn cute. It’s a great example of an “exercise”; they shot this video with no dialog at all. If you want to experiment with no sound, or no movement, or no video… that’s great. But is it worth $50,000 to do so?

Buz Wallick didn’t think so. He is a Horror Buff and DP living in LA. His day rate is $500. He is 21 years old, is not rich, and has never had any formal training in how to shoot. His full 60 minute interview and his advice for young filmmakers is inside Film School Secrets. Listen below to the 1st 10 minutes and listen to us both talk about the reality of working in the business versus school.

Here is a copy of Buz’s Reel:


Listen to the first 10 minutes of Buz’s interview here:


If you’re serious about working in film, if you want to be taken seriously, then think twice before making a serious financial investment in school. Take the money and energy you would’ve dumped into tuition and use it learning filmmaking on your own or from working filmmakers, and use that money to make real movies, not ridiculous student exercises.

Great work, Neo. Now rest and get ready for our next lesson…


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