How to prepare as a high school student

Just Wondering

New member
Hello!

I am currently a high school upperclassmen who has decided to become a film director, and I have some questions.

-What are somethings I should start doing?
-Are there any helpful books, videos, etc?
-Is there a website, or something else, I should keep up with?
-Is UNCW film studies a good program, why or why not? How do yo get in?
-I heard that film students have to pay for things they use, is that true? Or only to a certain extent (as in you can use what they have, and after that its out of your own pocket)?
-Most directors start out doing another thing with film first, correct? What would be a good job for that?
-Is there anything I should know, any advice?

A response would be greatly appreciated; I know that the majority of people on here are already making films and an answer from you guys would feel more genuine than the ones I've found with Google.

Thank you very much!
 

amyclarkeuk

New member
Hello, my names Amy I’m a 21 year old filmmaker from the UK, I hope I can help you out.
There’s no clear path in becoming a film director that is to say that everyone has their own unique path. The best way to learn is by doing, so I’d say write a script, find a camera and get some people together to make a film. No one makes good films to start off with, it’ll take a lot of practice to get good – so don’t let anyone stop you – I always had a lot of people telling me that since my first 10 short films where no good I should stop making films – but then after my 11th one things started to get better. It’s good to get your bad films out of the way.

When I first started out I read the book – Rebel without a crew by Robert Rodriguez – It’s about his journey making his first feature for $7000. It’ll get you buzzing to make a film. Another great book is the - Guerilla filmmaker’s handbook – the bible for every independent film maker.

Some directors start out doing other jobs on set. However there is no specific job ladder to climb up in film making. Some directors start out as actors, others as editors, some direct music videos or get popular on YouTube. I’m a continuity script supervisor. I’d get onto film sets in any way you can – even if it’s to be an extra you’ll get to see for yourself how the film set cog works.

In advance with film making I’d say that the important thing is to be nice to people. If people are working for you for free – even if it is your friends- buy everyone a cup of tea or coffee – a bacon butty in the morning will do wonders for the sets energy levels. And that way even if the film doesn’t work out people will be happy to work for you again.
Hope that helps.)

Amy
www.amyclarkefilms.com
 

Just Wondering

New member
Thank you, you did help a lot! I'm going to try to start working on some small films with friends to gain experience. Thank you so much for your advice, I'm sure I'll be using it for years to come (especially the buying people coffees and such)!
 

Tylerb

New member
Also, there are no rules to film making. Only sins. Like lots of camera shake. And crappy audio.
 

Michael Bruder

New member
Hello "Just Wondering",
I agree with "amyclarkefilms. This is exactly the way I do. My first short film project was two years ago in New York. It is called "Students at Manhattan Village Academy". It is kind a representation video for the High School. Yes, everything starts little. You need two thinks: Believe in yourself and endurance. But it is still recommended to read books about directing. You can watch my video here:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XU1_v_wOKfk
 

Victor Ramirez

Moderator
I'm going to say just watch movies and meet people. Really watch the movies and observe people. Stop spending time on web sites (except maybe this forum :cool: ), don't read anymore books, and don't take a film job.

You're in high school! Learn to love life and love film. By truly watching people and cinema, you will begin to understand them. This is what makes a great filmmaker - perception and communication.

You could spend so much time and money on film and books without truly understanding film. I could be wrong but... Scorcese's got my back http://www.edutopia.org/martin-scorsese-teaching-visual-literacy (watch the video!)
 
Honest answers to your questions:

-What are somethings I should start doing?

Get a job, save. When you have $1000 saved keep working so you can afford some magazine subscriptions (Digital Video, Videographer, Video Editing) and books (The Liveliest Art by Arthur Knight and The Complete Film Production Handbook). The purpose of print publications is to read, re-read, highlight, study.

-Are there any helpful books, videos, etc?

Must read: Script Supervising and Film Continuity 4th edition (Focal Press). Must see: The Stuntman (1980) with Peter O'Toole., The Flight of The Phoenix (1965) with Jimmy Stewart, and The African Queen (1952) with Hepburn and Bogart.

-Is there a website, or something else, I should keep up with?

TheHollywoodReporter.com

-Is UNCW film studies a good program, why or why not? How do yo get in?

Try to get in to University of North Carolina School of the Arts

-I heard that film students have to pay for things they use, is that true?

That's the point of working and saving.

-Most directors start out doing another thing with film first, correct? What would be a good job for that?

Grip. Editing intern. Background extra on a feature. Assistant anything, especially props or lighting.

-Is there anything I should know, any advice?

Do not marry an actor.
 
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