SRS becoming a director

Discussion in 'On Topic' started by vierstein, Jun 14, 2005.

  1. vierstein

    vierstein New Member

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    disclaimer:This may or may not be in the right place, but i suppose there isn't really a place for this. This isnt so much for emotional help, but really for life help.
    what i wish to talk about is becoming a director.

    Also i would like to mention that if you could direct me to a place where i may find answers to my questions, if you cannot answer directly yourself, that would also be great.

    I want to become a director, and so i want to get tertiary education in the field. Now i know that most directors dont have any, or at least didnt start with, formal education on the subject. However i dont think i would be able to get into the industry otherwise.

    So my first question is this: what sort of length of education is best? Looking around, I've seen several local Universities which offer bachelor degrees in the subject (3-4 years), whereas most film school's longest program is a kind of 1 year diploma. (I would probably greatly prefer a full degree)

    Secondly, are there any film schools/Universities that you could recomended on their directing course. Location is really unimportant as i currently live at the end of the world anyway so everything is just about as far away. (any financial advice for international students in the US (or the UK for that matter) would also be helpful)

    lastly, im currently in school, my second to last year, i'm making good enough marks to leave at the end of the year, and i would rather do this than stay because my marks are beggining to decline (i seem to be developing ADD like symptoms). However the last year might actually be better, or something i have to do, especially if i want to go overseas to study. What are your thoughts on that?

    Thanks for any help.

    -vierstein
     
  2. Nightshade

    Nightshade New Member

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    well, man, first off, I want to congratulate you on making a decision, and deciding early on what you have got your heart set on in terms of your life, and what sort of career that you want to do.

    I did a google search for you and came up with 2 handy links:

    http://education-portal.com/how_to_become_a_movie_director.html
    http://www.ehow.com/how_623_become-movie-director.html

    which seems fairly simple enough!!

    anyways, can I ask you, typically, do you have your own video camera yet?? or even a job yet?? well, can I recommend getting a casual or part-time job (anywhere), and then getting a camera, and just making up some scripts with friends and such and shooting it ... (or maybe even taking a movie that you know, and scripting the whole thing, and then getting a bunch of friends together and doing the whole thing?? )

    anyways, I would recommend enlisting in a degree in film and television, or grabbing yourself a digital video camera, and a bunch of friends, creating a script and run it from there ...

    maybe look on Amazon.com for some books on film making (if you wanted to self-school yourself!!) ... here is a link to some:

    http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/s...618?index=stripbooks&field-keywords=directing

    and I am sure that you can use your intuition to find things out!!

    just experiment with a camera, and you should be fine!!

    (also, you should find a board of people with the same sort of interests as you!! here is one on here, for starters:

    http://forums.offtopic.com/forumdisplay.php?f=94 )

    good luck chief!! :bigthumb:
     
  3. Filmboy44

    Filmboy44 Guest

    look from my experience I can tell you one thing about the industry. Experience over education time and time again.

    If it is important to you to have a college education then go to school if not, start doing right now. Do some research on cameras, editing software, mics, etc. or find a crew of people that have that knowledge and just start shooting.

    I went to the top film school in the country and still...I have learned more in the field than I have in the classroom.
     
  4. Nightshade

    Nightshade New Member

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    actually, I didn't mention, this man above is probably the best person in here to talk to about this ^^

    :big grin:

    he is actually working in the industry at present!! ;)
     
  5. vierstein

    vierstein New Member

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    thanks for the help.


    yes i have a (digital) camera (well, not technically mine, but at my full disposal) but it isnt very good (lower end consumer digital), alright for home movies of your vacation, but for a movie i would be rather horrible. however it is better than nothing and i think i may start shooting on it.
    as for making a movie with friends i dont think they would be too keen, maybe i just picked the wrong friends.
    a problem too is that i live in new zealand, its difficult to find anything around here, let alone a group of filmakers, although, having said that, i did recently enter a film competition with a crew, not as director, but, as actor and writer, for directors and producers even younger than me.

    i'll look around for some people to work with though.

    i think i've decided what i'll do now too, a local university offers directing and writing for screen, as an undergraduate degree, which will yield a couple of positive effects.
    1. i'll be able to look my parents in the eyes, knowing that i'm getting a university degree.
    2. i'll get a large amount of broad education in both directing and writing (i'd enjoy both)

    but till then hopefully i'll already be famous :p
     
  6. Filmboy44

    Filmboy44 Guest


    First off, I know you're probably kidding but I have to say it anyways. If you're getting into this for fame and fortune you're in it for the wrong reasons.


    Next, do what you're doing. Start getting involved with the film community around you. Those guys that are younger, thats a start. Start making contacts and see if there is a film commission board in your city as well. They should be able to put you in with the right people.


    EDIT: for motivational reasons. Your camera, although you may htink it is low end...there have been several very successful films that have been shot on lower end equipment.

    Since Sundance and Cannes recently started to accept digital prints there was a documentary a guy shot about his life on a low end 3 chip and edited on imovie. It won best doc. the jury award and later the Palm D'ore(voted best picture by audience).
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 15, 2005
  7. JordanClarkson

    JordanClarkson OT Supporter

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    I recommend "Film Directing Shot By Shot". I took screenwriting a long time ago but never any directing classes and just recently shot my first film.
    http://www.supersouls.com/arisphoto/ioniumpg.wmv
    be warned it's a bit x rated and has to do with main forum drama. :)

    There are some errors but that's to be expected. This is something I want to do too, so I enrolled in a film directing class at my local community college. It is combined with the acting class so directors and actors get to learn and work together.
     
  8. Darketernal

    Darketernal Watch: Aria The Origination =)

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  9. vierstein

    vierstein New Member

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    Yeah, i was kidding, i think i'll be in a more 'starving artist' type scenario, which is fine if i get to do what i love (of coursing finding out what that is might be another life-long journey in itself), i dont want to be another white collar guy getting paid 100k a year for a job he hates, just so he can retire at 45 having acomplished nothing. (in truth i feel sorry for my intelligent friends who are heading that way).

    as for getting involved with the community, i'm not exactly socially skilled, but i'll try my best.

    thanks for the help.
    thanks Aluyminyum (i'll watch your film once it finishes downloading) and darketernal also.
     
  10. Filmboy44

    Filmboy44 Guest

    are you referring to Stephen Katz's Shot by Shot? There are two. Stephen Katz has the big blue book, which is "ok" but there are many better books out there that would be more worth his time.

    5 C's of Cinematography
    Filmmakers Handbook
    From script to screen

    get books on shot composition and ligthing. Lighting is almost more important than the story you're telling.
     
  11. JordanClarkson

    JordanClarkson OT Supporter

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    Yes that's the one. I'll check out the others cool :cool:
     
  12. Nightshade

    Nightshade New Member

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    I am seeing some good posts here now, and I am sure that they will keep going, and again, we all come to realise we are here to support our fellow OT members, go Team, Go!!

    vierstein I just wanted to ask you about your level of social skill ...

    is it important for you to be more sociable?? also, are you aware of techniques that will make you more sociable?? (refer to Google or Amazon for more info :big grin:)

    when you go into social places, what do you want to gain from them??

    to meet up with old friends?? or to establish new ones??

    many a person has come up to problems with lack of sociability; I myself came across it once; I used to hide out in the back at parties, and just hang with good friends rather than make new ones ...

    I have been through some rather intensive (spiritual) and social environments ... Student Associations, and Big Business Conferences (refer to Anthony Robbins) and learnt a lot there ...

    It is your call on what path you choose, but ask yourself this question: If you wanted to be good at Directing, and have a Meaningful life, with significance in the wider community, and the world, what steps and concepts are you prepared to take on to see you reach that goal??

    I believe you have the same goals as me, in some respect. You want to influence the whole world, and you want to push your own personal limits.

    I believe they are both achievable goals, and only over time, and dedication, will these dreams become a reality. It is your choice, and ultimately, if it is really in your heart to suceed and set a new standard for the directing of movies, then you will find a way!!

    Good luck, champ!! Because you have only just opened one door to eternity ... where is the next door that you walk through, and where will it lead you; only time will tell!! :wavey:
     
  13. livingdeadboy

    livingdeadboy New Member

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    Connections... Pull strings through friends, parents, family friends, teachers, EVERYONE. In any artistic industry, you need lots of connections.. Even if its as minor as another director... You can learn lots of thinks off each other.
     
  14. TheHeretic

    TheHeretic Guest

    my best friend is currently studying film to become a director in NYU which as far as i know is the most prestigious film school in the country or world, with many famous directors such as spike lee and oliver stone coming out of there, i can get you in contact with him if you want to know more let me know
     
  15. Peyomp

    Peyomp New Member

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    First of all, buy this book by Lloyd Kaufman, maker of such greats as the "Toxic Avenger": Make Your Own Damn Movie

    http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/t...104-1413360-1261529?v=glance&s=books&n=507846

    1) Buy a DV Camera. START MAKING MOVIES. There is no time better than now. Its not hard. You will make bad ones at first, and better ones later. Period.

    2) Watch "great" movies and analyze. Learn. Use what you learn. Determining what a great movie is... well you probably already have some idea of this, but film classes can help or hurt, depending.

    3) Fuck Hollywood. Maybe you'll make it someday, but if you want to make movies: START DOING IT NOW. If I waited to get a book deal to write a book, you think I'd ever get a publisher? Fuck that.
     
  16. Peyomp

    Peyomp New Member

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    First of all, buy this book by Lloyd Kaufman, maker of such greats as the "Toxic Avenger": Make Your Own Damn Movie

    http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/t...104-1413360-1261529?v=glance&s=books&n=507846

    1) Buy a DV Camera. Get some editing software. It comes with both windows and OS X, but if you don't already have a computer I recommend a Mac cause iMovie is real easy to use and more featured than Windows's shit. Whatever. Download Adobe's stuff off bit torrent. It doesn't matter. START MAKING MOVIES. There is no time better than now. Its not hard. You will make bad ones at first, and better ones later. Period. If you don't like making movies now, then you won't like making them later, and you'll suck at it.

    2) Watch "great" movies and analyze. Learn. Use what you learn. Determining what a great movie is... well you probably already have some idea of this, but film classes can help or hurt, depending.

    3) Fuck Hollywood. Maybe you'll make it someday, but if you want to make movies: START DOING IT NOW. If I waited to get a book deal to write a book, you think I'd ever get a publisher? Fuck that. Make it first. Get it sold later. Then on to bigger and better next time.
     
  17. vierstein

    vierstein New Member

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    I will go to the library and check out those books
    and i think i'll try to get a part-time job in the industry somewhere, that should help get me some connections too.
    and thankyou peyomp, i'll start immediately, sir.
    and in answer to nightshade:
    i would like to be more sociable, but i do tend to wtihdraw a little, as you say at a party i would be hiding in a corner somewhere. in fact i made a post here in the asylum about it a while ago, i think if come to realise that it wont get better quickly, and i think if simply make little steps in the right direction without trying to make some life-changing improvement, it should eventually disintigrate, i think i'll just try not to think about it too much.

    and to theheretic: that would be cool, if you could pm or email me ([email protected])



    thank you to all of you.
     
  18. Peyomp

    Peyomp New Member

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    Lloyd Kaufman will show you the way.
     
  19. Filmboy44

    Filmboy44 Guest

    :rofl: I'm working with Lloyd right now on Poultrygeist...slated to begin shooting August 4th through september :cool:
    http://www.poultrygeistmovie.com/
    as far as social skills, you sorta need those when your directing people and workign with actors ;) so I'd start developing that skill asap. :big grin:
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 17, 2005
  20. JordanClarkson

    JordanClarkson OT Supporter

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    :werd:
    It will come though. I'm pretty quiet but I love to give people orders. :mamoru:

    My old teacher Sal Litvak made a movie called "When Do We Eat?" www.whendoweeat.com, check it out. It's hilarious.

    btw my "movie" actually evolved from an idea to video photoboard my project, but after doing that, which took 8 hours, 5 for film and 3 for sound/touch up, I think normal storyboards would work fine. :hsd:
     
  21. Peyomp

    Peyomp New Member

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    You have just become my hero, you sexy piece of man meat.
     
  22. Filmboy44

    Filmboy44 Guest

    Not to beat a dead horse, but just thinking back of what gave me an edge was getting a FULL understanding of the entire industry.

    When I was in NYU I was reading entertainment law along with my other studies and doing the shorts. I learned more about the industry through the law than anywhere else.

    producers often act as attorneys when neither the agent or the manager are present when the attorney isn't appointed. So when you dont' have an agent or a manager and an attorney isn't hired...you can discuss contracts and negotiate as if you are an attorney. This has helped me out countless times in the past few months because I knew how to negotiate and read/understand contracts. Trust me half of the lawyers in the biz are sharp as a tack, so you better know what is going on around you.


    this book will show you the way:

    http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/0275969835/102-7868082-8376909

    :)
     
  23. Nightshade

    Nightshade New Member

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    yeah, man ... don't worry too much about it!!

    it will pass in time ... ;)

    just keep your direction and focus on your dreams, and keep them going!!

    one day, if you put in the hard yards, and really give yourself to the task, you will be a Grand Director!! keep up the good work, champ!!

    the only way is UP!! :wavey:
     
  24. Filmboy44

    Filmboy44 Guest


    whoa. bring back the dead.

    I just wanted to comment on Nightshades response here.

    He's right, don't take your eye of your dream ever. It WILL get rough, discouraging and sometimes you'll be defeated. Don't quit. I've always kept this phrase in my mind when the going got tough "those that never succeed are those that quit" Its true, they say that the film industry is the hardest to break into. Harder than all of the professional sports together. Let me tell you something, its much harder to stay.

    Also, (if I didn't already say this) you may find that directing isn't for you. Dont' give up, doesn't mean that another part of the industry isn't your thing. For me, its producing. I too wanted to be a director. Hell I've directed mmovies, I've worked as a director and I can say that nothing gives me more satisfaction than doing what a producer does. Why? Because a producer oversee's an entire production from concept to distribution. This is where I found out that I really see the effect of the story. When you direct a movie, you're telling a story, your story through your experiences and vision. When you produce a movie you have control of the entire experience. I know Im rambling here, but there isn't anything more satisfying (to me) than prepping contracts, negotiating contracts, equipment, locations, actors, sets, studio's, traveling to major studios to discuss distribution of your project.

    I was in LA in April and I met with Disney. They are interested in seeing the project Im currently working on now. They approached me!!!!! Over several strong drinks we had a great time talking about movies, especially ours. I had the privelage of meeting with some great actors in discussion of playing roles in the film. I've met with famous composers, CG artists, agents, and other directors and I'm still learning. Why? where am I going with all this? Well I still get discouraged, feeling of defeat. But I keep my feet goig and work harder, smarter and most importantly...never give up.

    It will get harder before it gets easier. The important thing is that you don't quit. No matter what anyone says or what comes your way, keep your eye on your goals. Hell, I've had immediate family members tell me it was time to hang it up because it may never happen. They are right, it won't...if I quit. I've broken up with GF's because they didn't support my dreams, I've worked dead end jobs because I wanted something else. I won't take a 9-5 40K a year job and "settle"...I won't. I'll do what I have to to get by while working 80+ hours on my dream. Some say I'm obsessed...I say they dont understand dedication. Some say I'm setting myself up for failure, I say "Alexander Graham Bell didn't invent the phone on one try"

    You see, what I've come to realize is that people think movies, hollywood and they think Arnold, Brad Pitt, Tom Hanks, Speilberg, etc. What they don't see is the other 10 million successful people that make these names possible. Just because you don't grace the cover of TIME magazine doesn't mean you're not successful. Just because you don't drive a Bentley doesn't mean you're not successful.

    For me, my ultimate goal is for people to ask "what do you do" and for me to respond "I'm a film producer" (which I have on several occassions, its weird to say) but when they come back with "Do I know anything you've done" I can say "yes" :) They may not know my name, may not know my face...but they will know the films I've produced. That is my goal. So I will never stop until that is done.

    Ok, I'm done :)
     
  25. Yardsale

    Yardsale OT Supporter

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    great thread, and great advice. i'm on the same boat, maybe only a bit further along as I am already shooting my own shorts...


    good luck mate.
     

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