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Need some pointers, advice, anything please!


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I'm a senior in high school and I really want to go into the film industry, the problem is that I live in one of the smallest towns in Alabama with very little money. I have no idea how to get started, or where to go, should I go to film school? I really don't want to be 80,000 in the hole but to accomplish my dream I'll honestly do just about anything, does anybody know what I should do? The only experience I have is filming my schools athletic events for the coaches with a home video camera, please help if you can.

 

Thank you,

Peyton

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I'm a believer in the idea that people are products of their environments and it definitely sounds like the environment that you're surrounded in isn't conducive to you becoming a filmmaker.
Going to film school will put you in an environment where you're surrounded by film, both in terms of your classes but also with all of your classmates. It's the only time in your life where you'll be forced to make films in an environment that is conducive to doing that.
However, film school is really expensive; $80,000 is way to low of an estimate. A 4-year film school like NYU costs more like $250,000, even more if you spend a lot of money out of pocket shooting your films, which some of your classmates definitely will. Film school also by no means guarantees that you'll be successful. In fact, the statistics say that most people who go to film school won't go on to work professionally in film.
There is no definitive answer to your situation, but I'd say if you're planning on going to college anyways, you should go to some place where you can major film and either double-major or minor in another area in case film doesn't work out. Another option is to go to a community college for 2 years to get your gen-eds out of the way and then transfer to a film school, saving you a lot of money.

If you weren't planning on going to college anyways, I'd say look at relocating to a place where there is more production going on. Work a crappy day job and volunteer on film sets. Get to know people. Surround your self with film. The advantage of doing this would be that if you find out that film isn't for you, you haven't wasted a quarter of a million dollars and if you find out that you want to go to film school, you still can too.

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I've never heard of the University of Alabama's film program, but school is what you make out of it, so if you find some classmates that are as into film as you are and make some short films, you'd be getting most of the same experience that you'd be getting anywhere else. Most things in film school are learned out of the classroom. I definitely know people that went to film programs that aren't well known that are doing better now than people that went to name programs. Who knows if you'd find passionate people to make films with there, but I can tell you there's a much better chance that you'd find them at a large university than in a small town.

 

Also, if you find that University of Alabama doesn't have a sufficient enough film program for you, you can always transfer and use your gen-ed credits. Regardless of where you go, the first year of college is a lot of gen-eds anyways.

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Holy poop and I thought uni/film school in the UK was expensive.

 

Seriously, have you considered studying abroad? Sounds like it might be much cheaper than doing it in the US. In the UK, under the right circumstances, you can get paid to go to uni here.

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Seriously, have you considered studying abroad? Sounds like it might be much cheaper than doing it in the US. In the UK, under the right circumstances, you can get paid to go to uni here.

 

I'm not sure that's been true for a very long time unless you know something I don't!??

Here in England it is now fantastically expensive.

 

Freya

Edited by Freya Black
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I really want to go study in the UK but I don't know how I would pay for it us federal aid doesn't transfer over. So I thought about going to Alabama and studying abroad.

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You know, there's a ton of film production going on in Georgia right now. You might want to contact the film commission there and see if you can get on something as a PA. That would get you some practical production experience and industry contacts, and you could see if this business is really what you want to do before spending a ton of money on film school.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Use your cellphone and just start making films!

And yes, study and your local state university. You'll save a ton of money.

It is whatever you make of it, and I'm sure there will be others at the local state university into filmmaking too.

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