I wrote a column for DV Magazine on what film schools should be teaching students besides how to make films: Top 10 Subjects They Should Be Teaching in Film School.
Here it is – let me know what you think:
Top 10 Subjects They Should Be Teaching in Film School
May 18, 2009 By Jon Reiss
Film schools are normally quite good at teaching students how to make films. But they generally have not seen it as their mandate to help students actually learn how to survive in the modern media landscape. Because of this, I developed a class at Cal Arts — where I teach — entitled “Reel World Survival Skills: Everything I Wish I Had Been Taught in Film School.”
To succeed, it’s no longer enough to have a body of work and a script in hand for what you want to do next. You instead need to develop a range of entrepreneurial skills in order to develop, pitch, fund and distribute your work. Filmmakers need to be the architects of their own career and create a wider and wider network of relationships to help them on their path.
What follows are the Top 10 subject that should be taught in film schools (and by film organizations around the country/world), broken equally into “Old School” and “New School” categories.
Old School Techniques That Are Still Essential:
1. Building Relationships
Filmmaking is a business based upon personal relationships, but, unfortunately, most filmmakers are intellectual wallflowers. You need to come out of your skin, go to as many events as possible and learn how to create lasting relationships. Hint: People like to talk about themselves instead of exclusively listening to you. Continue reading →