Introduction to Film School

I learned film and video the hard way. I wasted a lot of time and effort making equipment I couldn't afford and even tried to develop 16 mm film because I couldn't afford to send it to the lab. Once I had a job in the biz, I learned at other people's expense. Fortunately I had skills that prevented me from screwing up too much and was valuable to producers. I knew electricity, electronics, still photography, how to build a house/set and fix things. When I got a chance to shoot, my images were good and I rose fast as a cameraperson.

In the business I taught a lot of crews and camera-people. I have always loved to see my students do well. This web site was to share information I had learned over the years that might not be available out there. I have also designed an on-line correspondence film course like the one I teach in person that would require a teacher/monitor to approve a student's each lesson before they got the next lesson. I have not found an organization to run the course and have decided to express my opinions on films schooling and learning to shoot good images. The film course may follow.

I recommend that you read all sections of this "film school" and believe what you wish. I am pessimistic about opportunities today, but have hope for the future for those who learn basic image making. It takes lots of time but the best will find work if they learn enough valuable skills and the right attitude to keep them on a producer's "A" list. Often chances are lost with one mistake such as showing up late or not returning a phone call. There is lots of competition waiting in the wings for you to screw up. I highly recommend that you look at the "Library", "Set Etiquette", and practice the "No Camera Camera Course" every spare moment.

I am critical of some film school methods. I hope that this discussion can be of some value to the film school industry. There is a need for qualified shooters, writers and directors. There will probably be much less money in the future for filmmakers, but those who learn necessary skills will find work and maybe a award or two if they dedicate their time and life to learning and practicing and not just dreaming about success.

We can thank all the want-to-be filmmakers who have bought camcorders and edit systems that facilitated high quality equipment at low prices. A few years ago a Betacam was about $50,000. and an Avid at lease $100,000. Film equipment remains high. Look what we have today and just dream about what the future holds equipment wise. But all the same skills are still needed to make a movie or even a good home movie that it always took.

© Copyright 1999-2004 Ron Dexter. All Rights Reserved.