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Film School

Book Description

Develop the tools you will need to succeed before, during, and after your film school education.

Film School: A Practical Guide to an Impractical Decision is a specific, straightforward guide to applying, getting into, and thriving in film school and in the industry in general. Not only does this book appeal to both prospective and current film students, it also features an in depth discussion of the application process, both from the graduate and undergraduate perspectives. You will learn how to choose between different schools and programs, avoid debt, succeed at festivals, and transition out of film school and into the work world. Author Jason Kohl offers:

  • Tips on how to develop your voice before attending film school
  • A chronological layout that allows you to continually refer to the book throughout your film school process
  • Advice on how to gauge the cost of attending film school

Whether you are a recent film school graduate, or just starting the application process, Film School gives important advice and insider knowledge that will help you learn and grow in the film industry. Film School is a must-have for anyone who wants to know what it takes to succeed in film school and beyond.

Table of Contents

  1. Cover
  2. Title
  3. Copyright
  4. Dedication
  5. Contents
  6. Acknowledgments
  7. Foreword: Film Crit Hulk
  8. Part 1 • Introduction: Middle-Aged Olympians
  9. Part 2 • Who Needs Film School?
    1. CHAPTER 1 Ten Reasons to Go to Film School
      1. 1. Time
      2. 2. Structure
      3. 3. The Freedom (to Fail)
      4. 4. The Opportunity to Relocate to a Filmmaking Center
      5. 5. Commitment/Affirmation
      6. 6. Guidance
      7. 7. A Professional Network
      8. 8. Insurance/Equipment
      9. 9. Teaching Credentials
      10. 10. Practice
    2. CHAPTER 2 Ryan Koo: Ten Reasons Not to Go to Film School
      1. 1. It Has Never Been More Expensive to Go to Film School, and It Has Never Been Cheaper to Make a Movie
      2. 2. Many of Your Favorite Filmmakers Didn’t Go to Film School
      3. 3. You Don’t Need Access to Expensive Celluloid Equipment
      4. 4. Every Movie and Book Is at Your Fingertips
      5. 5. A Film Degree Is Optional
      6. 6. Not Everyone Learns Best in the Classroom
      7. 7. Lessons and Answers Can Be Found on Websites, Forums and DVD Special Features
      8. 8. An Online Network
      9. 9. You’ll Probably Make It (or Not) Either Way
      10. 10. The Most Instructive School Is the School of Hard Knocks
    3. CHAPTER 3 Graduate or Undergraduate Film School?
      1. 1. Money
      2. 2. Maturity
      3. 3. Timing
    4. CHAPTER 4 The Film School Majors This Book Addresses
      1. 1. Directing
      2. 2. Cinematography
      3. 3. Editing
      4. 4. Producing
      5. 5. Screenwriting/Television Writing
  10. Part 3 • Before Film School
    1. CHAPTER 1 Develop Your Voice
      1. 1. Areas of Mastery for Filmmakers
      2. 2. Dig Your Creative Well
      3. 3. Self-Overcoming: Discipline, Courage, Perseverance
      4. 4. Get Organized
      5. 5. Build a Writer’s Routine
      6. 6. Build Your Portfolio
      7. 7. Revise Your Work Based on Feedback
      8. 8. Take a Few Classes to Prepare
      9. 9. Think about What Major You Would Be Interested In
      10. 10. Get a Job
      11. 11. Define Why You Want to Be a Filmmaker
      12. Sidebar: The Big Choice: Film School, Film Work, or Just Keep Making Things?
    2. CHAPTER 2 Applying to Film School: General Research
      1. 1. How Did the Movies I Love Get Made?
      2. 2. Did the Filmmakers Go to Film School?
      3. 3. What Companies Made the Films and TV Shows I Love?
      4. 4. Big Cities/Small Cities
      5. 5. Read the Trades
      6. 6. Learn the History
      7. 7. What Kind of Filmmaker Do I Want to Be?
      8. Sidebar: Choose the Major You Actually Want to Pursue
    3. CHAPTER 3 Applying to Film School: Program-Specific Research
      1. 1. Eight Great American Film Schools (and Seventeen Very Good Ones)
      2. 2. The Possible Majors Revisited
      3. 3. What Does Each School’s Program Look Like?
      4. 4. How Much Do They Cost?
      5. 5. Can I Afford It?
      6. 6. Can I Get In?
      7. 7. Pick Three to Five Schools
      8. Sidebar: If You Don’t Move to a Big City
    4. CHAPTER 4 Apply
      1. 1. Start Early
      2. 2. Make an Application To Do List and Matching Calendar
      3. 3. Write Your Statement of Purpose (Personal Statement)
      4. 4. Assemble Your Work Samples
      5. 5. Revise Your Application Based on Feedback
      6. 6. Polish (Read It Out Loud)
      7. 7. Submit
      8. 8. Prepare for Your Interview
      9. 9. If You Don’t Get In on Your First Try
    5. CHAPTER 5 For International Students
      1. 1. American Basics
      2. 2. Special Financial Considerations for International Students
      3. 3. Learn Really Good English
      4. 4. Catch Up on American Pop Culture
      5. 5. Keep a Foot in Your Home Country
      6. 6. Embrace Your Dual Identity
      7. 7. Staying in America: The Post–Film School Dash
  11. Part 4 • During Film School
    1. CHAPTER 1 Minimize Debt
      1. 1. Calculate Your Net Worth
      2. 2. The Debt Scorecard
      3. 3. Track All Expenses
      4. 4. Teaching Assistantships (TAships)
      5. 5. Get a Part-Time Job (Pay Down Interest)
      6. 6. Be a Residential Assistant (Free Housing)
      7. 7. For Directors: Avoid the Arms Race
      8. 8. For Directors: Buy an Affordable Kit
      9. 9 Leave of Absences
    2. CHAPTER 2 Practice Your Craft
      1. 1. Make a Creative Plan (Set Goals)
      2. 2. Finish Every Project
      3. 3. Learn to Give and Receive Great Feedback
      4. 4. Develop a Feedback Circle
      5. 5. Learn How to Do Research
      6. 6. Develop a Project You Can Realistically Make After Graduation
      7. 7. Don’t Swing at Every Pitch (Prioritize)
      8. 8. Understand the Other Disciplines
      9. 9. Give Yourself Talkdowns
      10. 10. Develop Healthy Habits
    3. CHAPTER 3 Build Relationships
      1. 1. Do Several Internships
      2. 2. Be Grateful (Always Thank and Update)
      3. 3. Learn to Make an Email Request
      4. 4. Your Attitude Is Your Life
      5. 5. Your Classmates Are Your Film School
      6. 6. Become a Talent Scout
      7. 7. Don’t Compare Yourself to Others
      8. 8. (Don’t Be Afraid to) Fall in Love
      9. 9. Choose Your Collaborators Wisely
      10. 10. Who You Know Does Matter (A Strategy for Meeting People)
    4. CHAPTER 4 Craft an Exit Strategy
      1. 1. The Lean Years
      2. 2. Film Festivals
      3. 3. Some Film Festivals You Should Know
      4. 4. How to Apply to Film Festivals
      5. 5. How to Release a Short Film Online
      6. 6. Screenwriting Opportunities
      7. 7. Imposter Syndrome
      8. 8. TV Writing Opportunities
      9. 9. Major Independent Film Organizations
      10. 10. A Career Is Not a Contest
      11. 11. Producers
      12. 12. Co-Production Markets
      13. 13. Representation
      14. 14. Get a Job
      15. 15. Get It in Writing
      16. 16. Crowdfunding
      17. 17. Patience (Rejection)
      18. 18. Leveling Up (Learn to Love the Process)
      19. 19. Always Make the Hard Choice
  12. Part 5 • Life After Film School: A Benediction
  13. Appendices
    1. A. Author Bio
    2. B. Film School Budgeting Worksheet
    3. C. Applying to Film Festivals Worksheet
    4. D. A Reading List for Aspiring Filmmakers
  14. Index