Studying film is a fantastic way to enrich your knowledge of the filmmaking industry. Whether you are completing a film course at university, college, or even at home, taking your studies seriously can help you on your journey to an enjoyable and rewarding career.
That being said, when starting your studies again after a break, getting stuck back into your studies is not always easy. So, let us discover 3 simple tips that can help film students to make the most of studying the fascinating art of filmmaking.
Take an Unconventional Class or Module
While it can be tempting to only study areas of filmmaking that interest you, it is important to remember that real personal and professional development comes from studying things that you currently know very little about. For example, why not seek out cinema from different cultures? Film school is a wonderful opportunity to experience a curated and contextualized collection of films and filmmaking practices from a lesser known country or culture. Put simply, studying these types of modules enables you to understand the impact that other countries and cultures have had on global cinema.
When studying filmmaking it can be surprisingly easy to narrow your movie-viewing habits without even realizing. Although the proliferation of streaming services like Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon Prime means that we have access to more content than ever before, most people only ever choose to watch a certain type of film. Understandably this can limit and skew your perception of filmmaking. That being said nowadays, thanks to online film schools like Friends in Film it has never been easier to study global films and filmmaking practices, so do not be afraid to take a module or class that might be out of your comfort zone.
Read and Write About Film as Much as Possible
One of the main benefits of attending a film school either on campus or online is that you are provided with access to fantastic resources such as academic journals, biographies, and essays. Although there are some basic texts which are likely to form the foundation of your studies, it is strongly recommended that you branch out into other directions to supplement your studies. Not sure where to begin? Reading work by film critics can be an excellent place to start. Reading might take up some valuable watching time, but the payoff is almost always worth the effort put in if the material captures your interest.
Similarly, as part of your studies, it is only natural that you will be required to do a significant amount of writing. Nonetheless it is no secret that the more writing you manage to get done, the better your work will become. With this in mind, almost every time you watch a film or complete a lecture it can be helpful to write down any ideas that come to mind. Filmmaking involves plenty of pitching and writing and so practicing these skills is crucial. Why not start your own blog to capture your thoughts? You could even consider writing for a film website to take your work to a wider audience and to get valuable feedback.
Start Networking Now
Attending film school is a networking opportunity unlike anything else. You never know who your peers might become and therefore making friends with your classmates can be incredibly rewarding in the long run. Needless to say, making a good impression and showing an interest in projects that other students are working on can help you to earn a good reputation for being helpful and hard working. In the filmmaking industry, you are only ever as good as your professional network and so it pays to make an effort socially.
If you want to go the extra mile, try to reach out to someone with different skills to your own and see if there are any opportunities for you to both share knowledge. Making friends now ensures that job opportunities might find their way to you in the near future. Moreover, networking events both on campus and online can prove to be a huge asset. In fact, these types of events can even enable you to keep an eye on emerging trends from the film industry so that you can stay one step ahead. Even speaking to a lecturer can lead to a lifelong contact so be sure to speak up if you are looking for new ways to branch out.
Ultimately, by focusing on your studies and taking any filmmaking opportunities that come your way, your chances of mastering your craft are greatly increased. Above all, remember to ask plenty of questions whenever something is discussed in class or during a module that you do not understand, and do not be afraid to do plenty of independent research into topics that interest you to further boost your knowledge.
Looking for even more ways to take your filmmaking journey to the next level? Networking is the key to making lifelong connections that can lead to future jobs. For further information, take a look at these 4 ways to grow your career.