Find The Best Way to Learn Filmmaking

a woman read a book - Movie School Free


One of the questions that every film student deals with throughout his college years are can art e thought, or am I wasting my time? There are many advantages and disadvantages to taking filmmaking courses in film schools. I will try to review here the main ones. We will now ignore the question of whether one can teach art, but we’ll focus on the problems that could arise from studying art. 

"When people ask me if I went to film school, I tell them, 'no, I went to films."           

The Pros of Taking Film Making Courses in Film Schools

Before you jump into any free filmmaking courses for beginners or online paid courses, you should know the advantages of film school. Here are some of the top advantages:
  • Professionalization of technical equipment – Film schools are an excellent way to learn all the technical issues, which sometimes can be challenging to learn by yourself. I’m talking about stuff like: video editing, Cinematography, lighting, and other things you usually learn when taking film making courses.
  • The society in film school – Contacts that you will make during your film making courses at the College can be such that will help you in the future in your career. Also, you are always in a creative atmosphere.
  • Learn from the experience of others – In this industry, you can be a great filmmaker and still not make enough money. Many filmmakers take a second job as a lecturer. You should do a background check on the faculty members teaching the film making courses. You will find that some schools have lecturers that are currently active or at least were until recently. The truth is you can also find a lot of filmmaking courses and even free filmmaking courses for beginners that use famous filmmakers as lecturers.
  • The comfort of film schools – I’m not too fond of comfort. It scares me, and later on, in this article, you will read why. In College, you will have access to a lot of equipment, which means you can spend more money on art, costumes, etc

  "filmmaking is like sex, there's no one way to do it, and the only way to learn it is by doing it."

  • Competitiveness in film schools – In most film schools, you’ll have to deal with competition. Competition can help you to take everything you have and stand out in the crowd (Later on, you will read why it can also be harmful).

  • Learn about cinema – If you want to get real film education and know about movies that have been made outside Hollywood, then film school is a useful tool for that (but not the only one). Most film schools cover all the essential films made outside Hollywood and the USA. It’s a good thing to expand your knowledge of movies and to get to know movies that are not mainstream and more artistic.



I wanted to write that you can learn from the mistakes in film school, but that’s not always the case. You should check out with the graduates of the College, what’s the policy on artistic freedom. Many colleges insist you do things their way, which is very problematic in film studies. I believe it is essential to get out all your crazy ideas right at the start, especially to know yourself and your style better and know what is working and what does not and why. Film making courses should be an excellent place to do just that. It would help if you always went back for a moment you began to dream of making movies and remember which videos you created want to enter the field.

"I was never interested in being powerful or famous. But once I got to film school and learned about movies, I fell in love with it. I didn't care what kind of movies made."

    George Lucas          Tweet

Now, The Disadvantages of Film School in College

  • Film school’s Permissions – One of the biggest problems with film schools is that you continuously need their approval. This quest for approval is a horrible education for a film student. First, you need to be accepted to the school, and now you need them to approve your project to start shooting—all the time you need their approval. The principle on which you, as a future director, should work is that once an idea came to your head, you need to start working on it and see by your self if its working or not. Many film schools might not allow you to shoot a film, not necessarily because your idea was not good enough or you’re not talented enough. Sometimes it’s because there is not enough budget to finance also your film. Their excuse will be that your film is not good enough. 

  • Film schools are too expensive – Let’s face it. Film Schools can be very, very, very expensive. It’s not proportional. Basically, with this amount you pay for film schools, you can buy yourself a great camcorder with reasonable lighting equipment, sound equipment, and even video editing computer.
    You can also buy online film courses. There are many up to date courses that are presented by professionals from the industry. They are cheaper but also more focused on practical stuff that you need to learn and at your own pace.

  • The disadvantage of comfort in filmmaking classes – When you have the freedom to use whatever equipment you like, you learn to depend on it. It cannot be very encouraging when you go into the real world of film making, and suddenly equipment costs money. Suddenly there are technical conditions that you feel you have to have them, to shoot a film. When the truth is that, and this is not taught in school film – to shoot a movie, you have to want to film it.

  • Competitiveness in film schools – One of the most significant disadvantages of filmmaking courses in film school is constant competition. In a constant state of competition, it isn’t easy to make the movies you want. When you are competing for establishing attention, you need to make films for the establishment and not necessarily those you believe in. You can get lost in it very quickly, so you should watch out.
    Remember that you are in total apprentices now and still does not work in production Company. The movies you make right now are for learning and not for global success. Sometimes because of the competition, students tend to get carried away with high-budget scripts. Remember, you are currently studying, and it is not worth investing in everything in one film.
    Always try to remember what made you want to take film making courses in the beginning. I think the biggest drawback to most film schools is that they prefer to teach students how to make films than to try to help them understand why they want to make movies.

  • Taking responsibility for yourself – In film schools, you always have someone else to blame- your teachers, your classmates, the equipment they gave you and so on…, so if things don’t work out, it’s not your fault, and there is nothing you can do about it.
    When you learn a film by your self, it’s all about you. You have to find your disadvantages and fix them. That kind of thinking gives you a lot of power and puts you in a place where you have to keep improving yourself.


Do you have what it takes to become a filmmaker?

What do you need to do to learn filmmaking by yourself? Pick up a camera and start shooting, read a few books, or take a few online courses and watch movies. If you can’t do all that, then filmmaking might not be for you. You don’t love it enough, at least not enough to start working in it. Filmmaking is not something you learn to make money or to become famous. There are much better ways to get these things.


So what’s the verdict?

Well, it’s up to you. I think that if you have what it takes to become a filmmaker, you don’t need film school. Just remember one thing:

Whether you will go to film school or not, you will find yourself spending a lot of money on making films, but the movies you will make (whether in film school or by yourself), will teach you the best about this profession.


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