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Today, I was rejected from film school. This is one of the short films I sent.


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Hi everyone,

I'm a 23-year old freelance cameraman, videographer and editor. Films are my passion and I wanted to sharpen my knowledge and skills by going to film school.

This is one of my short films I sent as an application. The application consisted of two short films and one script. Unfortunately, it wasn't enough to get accepted. I felt pretty bumped out, but realized that this is small hurdle in my journey as a filmmaker.

So, please enjoy and tell me what you think about my short film!

Cheers!

-Leo

 

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I was rejected when I applied to UCLA's film school, mainly because my GPA had dropped too low due to the fact I had been studying for pre-med but making movies on the side -- I ended up at CalArts, which was portfolio-based..

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I was rejected from my first choice as well. I spent 3 years at another school, got two degrees and then transferred to the school I first wanted to go to, no questions asked. I don't necessarily think film school is important anymore. I think making product is far more important and going to school for a backup career, so if film doesn't pan out for whatever reason, you at least haven't wasted your youth and don't need to re-train at 40 years of age or something. That really sucks. 

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I believe that education is important whether it’s film school or otherwise. I went a little crazy in college earning a degree in cinema and ultimately, 3 business degrees. The business degrees really paid off for my long motion picture career. 
 

G

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Being initially rejected is fairly common. I always find it interesting how many famous or influential creative people (not just in cinematography) got their start. A lot of them knew rejection early on (sometimes lots of it) and their stories are inspiring and uplifting. Just because someone gets rejected doesn't mean they will rise to the top, far from it, but it's still encouraging that many talented people suffered the same thing and didn't quit. To take a famous example: around about the early 1900s the young violinist Fritz Kreisler couldn't get a job playing violin in a professional orchestra. The concertmaster wrote on his audition report that basically he wasn't good enough a player. So not long after that Kreisler ended up being the world's most famous classical violinist. A rare case, sure, but fun to read about, and ponder. Must have been funny going back to that orchestra and playing as the soloist with them. I guess the main message is keep on going, if you really want to do something enough.

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7 minutes ago, Max Field said:

Solution: film school is a rip off if you're born after 1986

Oh yea, it's a total ripoff unless you're going to AFI. Then at least the connections you make there, may have some value. 

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15 minutes ago, Tyler Purcell said:

Oh yea, it's a total ripoff unless you're going to AFI. Then at least the connections you make there, may have some value. 

That's what I often hear. Making connections can be one if not the most important aspect of film school. 

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6 hours ago, Tyler Purcell said:

Oh yea, it's a total ripoff unless you're going to AFI. Then at least the connections you make there, may have some value. 

I would say USC is worth it if you can get in. 
 

G

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8 hours ago, Leonardo Thaci said:

That's what I often hear. Making connections can be one if not the most important aspect of film school. 

It’s the only important thing, otherwise it’s a waste of 4 years ya could be getting a degree in something useful or being on set. School is super important but connections are how ya make it famous. 

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This might not apply to you, Leonardo… but might to others.

My daughter never went to, or even thought about film school.

But today she has made a career as a writer/producer of TV series promos for major networks.

She studied English literature and writing in college. And it turns out that the ability to write is very useful in the entertainment business. She learned video editing on the job, with no previous experience.

This is just to point out that film school is not the only way forward, and that a creative mindset and skill can be an important asset.

Best wishes to all just starting out!

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So as a graduate of USC's MFA cinema program, I'd mention 2 things - 1 at the end of the day theres really only 3 or 4 classes that were truly "worth it" and 2 some of those classes have historically been available at USC's cinema summer program (used to be called the summer production workshop). That program is open to anyone who applies, you dont need to be an active USC student. UCLA I believe has a similar program. In the case of USC, you'll be taking classes with normal film school students who have decided to stick around for the summer.  

So it is possible to do a lite version of these film schools via these summer program classes, make some connections with students and staff, and get out without the burn of 100k in expenses and or debt (or whatever USC charges these days). Just some food for thought. (Note I do not know if these summer programs have become more competitive or how well known they are now)

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my current advice is to FIRST get a career which lets you get a stable income of at least 4k or 5k a month by working normal amount of hours about 4 days a week without physical or mental stress (no overtime etc needed to get the 4k+ a month) and which allows you to leave for film projects whenever needed for 1 - 2 months at a time without ruining your "real job" career.

When you have this "not straining at all but very well earning"  "REAL JOB" , THEN it is possible to pursue the film career because you can always make tons of more money from your "real job" whenever needed to pay for the passion project catastrophes, expensive film schooling and canceled film gigs which cost you money instead of bringing more money in.

An alternative would be to save 100k+ of money first and then start pursuing the film career when you know you can support yourself couple of years without working any paid job at all. But that is much harder than just getting a better job first which pays the bills and still lets you to do film projects on the side whenever you want 🙂

This way you don't need to choose every project or last minute 1day gig you are offered because needing the money, any kind of money, to pay the bill. And you can take time off whenever needed when you want to write a script or attend a perfect movie project you have found

Edited by aapo lettinen
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On 6/17/2022 at 11:20 PM, Jon O'Brien said:

Being initially rejected is fairly common. I always find it interesting how many famous or influential creative people (not just in cinematography) got their start. A lot of them knew rejection early on (sometimes lots of it) and their stories are inspiring and uplifting. Just because someone gets rejected doesn't mean they will rise to the top, far from it, but it's still encouraging that many talented people suffered the same thing and didn't quit. To take a famous example: around about the early 1900s the young violinist Fritz Kreisler couldn't get a job playing violin in a professional orchestra. The concertmaster wrote on his audition report that basically he wasn't good enough a player. So not long after that Kreisler ended up being the world's most famous classical violinist. A rare case, sure, but fun to read about, and ponder. Must have been funny going back to that orchestra and playing as the soloist with them. I guess the main message is keep on going, if you really want to do something enough.

Pretty sure Spielberg was rejected by USC because his gpa was too low

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13 minutes ago, dan kessler said:

Pretty sure Spielberg was rejected by USC because his gpa was too low

Hollywood was a different planet back then. The studio system was in the final days and most movies were still made in Hollywood. So it was a lot easier to mingle with people and meet the right ones. Spielbergs journey can't be done these days. The only way to really be that successful today, is to be rich (or know rich people), hire a great writer (or find a great script) and convince  super talented cast that you can produce something great. Gotta have a resume to back it up of smaller projects of course. 

In our new world, getting a college degree in a backup career, getting a job in that career and every day you're not working, focus on your craft, is the smartest way to go. I feel bad for people who land in CA having just graduated from film school and think they'll get somewhere. 

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10 minutes ago, dan kessler said:

The entire point being that the OP's rejection from film school is by no means the end of the road.

He should take heart and press on.

Agreed, gotta just move on. 

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