All posts tagged: Film School

Recommended Film & TV Books | Part 1

I’ve been studying film and television in school for some years now, so as a result I’ve amassed quite a collection of film and TV-related books. Here’s part 1 of my recommended media texts list – and you can expect a number of these posts in the future since there are so many books that I’ve found to be truly invaluable. Although I’ve linked each book to Amazon, buy locally if you can find them at your community’s bookstore! Save the Cat! The Last Book on Screenwriting You’ll Ever Need by Blake Snyder: Save the Cat! is, indeed, the last book on screenwriting you’ll ever need. The book includes information on high concept ideas, genre-play, beat sheets, and even a bit of pitching advice. It contains basically everything you need to know about coming up with an idea, writing your script, re-writing your script, and getting it sold. Designs on Film: A Century of of Hollywood Art Direction by Cathy Whitlock: There was a point during college when I thought that I wanted to be a production designer, so my boyfriend got …

Reflections on “Emerson”

It’s my last week of classes at USC before I graduate, which basically means it’s my final week of school ever since I definitely don’t plan on getting my PhD! WOOT. I’m feeling a mix of emotions, but I’m mainly excited. Graduate school has made me a better, smarter person, but I’m certainly ready for the next, non-academic chapter in my life. I never really was a procrastinator before grad school, but these past two years I’ve spent plenty of late nights getting work done at the very last-minute. As someone with a fine arts degree, I think it’s because writing non-stop scholarly work is too strenuous for me. I need to take breaks and make stuff, beyond shaping flowery words into poignant statements on cinema, TV, and culture. I don’t consider myself an artist by any means, but I like working with my hands – putting pictures into thrifted frames, moving furniture, making photo collages – and research and academic writing, as much as I enjoy it, doesn’t satisfy those needs. But making short films does, and I …

Revisiting My Undergraduate Thesis Film

As I enter my last year of graduate school, I’ve found myself reflecting on my undergraduate years, almost longing for that simpler time. I’m only 25, yet I’ve been feeling far older, like my age is a scary number that keeps getting larger and larger and more overwhelming. But that’s a different story – one that I may return to in a separate post. This sentimental reflection on my past has led me to revisit some of my older work, such as my senior thesis film, Fruition. So much has changed since I started making Fruition in 2012, and although I haven’t made a notable short film since, I know that my perspective as a creator has evolved significantly. On the one hand, I’m not as naive and am instead somewhat disillusioned and overwhelmed by how little I understand about life itself. On the other hand, I feel more empowered and able to embrace who I am and my unique perspective. I know that I’m somewhat smarter and more equipped to understand others and the world around me. That being …

What Film School Taught Me as a BFA

Though it’s been a little over three years since I completed my undergraduate program at The University of Arizona, I’ve decided to revisit those years in a post about what film school taught me as a production student. Now that I’m in graduate school at USC, I’ve decided to shift my academic focus to film studies for a variety of reasons, but production is still at the heart of what I hope to accomplish in the future. A few notes about this list: while I didn’t go to a prestigious undergraduate production program at NYU, USC, UCLA, or UT Austin, I think many of the lessons I learned are somewhat universal at all institutions. Also, this is a slightly snarky, but thoroughly honest list. Long story short, take what you will from it… You can’t be unreliable. No one will want to work with you if they can’t rely on you to show up when you’re needed and put in the work. Hearing “we’ll fix it in post” is common for a reason. Yeah, you might be able …

My Thesis Film

My senior year of college I set out to make a thesis film that reflected my sensibilities and personal aesthetic. Fruition is an experimental short film in which a young woman experiences and perceives abrupt changes in her existence. It’s about the journey of life, which is particularly turbulent between adolescence and adulthood. Fruition screened at I Dream in Widescreen on May 11, 2013 at The Fox Theatre in downtown Tucson, AZ. At the screening it received honorable mention for cinematography, which was done artfully by Santiago Bahti. It has been almost a year since I completed my thesis project and it still boggles my mind just how much work goes into a six minute short film. In retrospect there is so much (I repeat, so much) I would change about my thesis short – but isn’t that the point of school? This project was a lesson (one of many I hope) and I look forward to learning and developing more as I grow into my own style. Heck, I’m even still trying to figure out what I want to spend the rest of my life doing! All I know is, I …

Film School or No School?

What do Stanley Kubrick, Quentin Tarantino, Terry Gilliam, and David Fincher have in common? Aside from their magnificently acclaimed careers, all four directors opted out of school and decided instead to jump head first into the film industry. On the other-hand, greats like Spike Lee, Martin Scorsese, George Lucas, and Darren Aronofsky attended film school before developing their careers. So, what’s the better option? Film school, or no school? A lot of young aspiring filmmakers ask: “Is film school worth it?” Simply put, the answer depends on the type of person you are and what you’re interested in taking away from the experience of receiving an arts degree. First, you must know that film school is not for everyone, and it’s certainly not necessary to begin a career in the film industry. But even if the program you’re pursuing isn’t prominent, you’ll still get something out of it. What’s important is if what you get out of your experience is worth it to you. In my case, I believe it was. Sure, you can learn how to be a filmmaker …