Sunday, January 08, 2006

Film School and Film Reality

The academic setting where young cinema enthusiasts go get their education is, arguably, not the most idealistic for them to prepare for the real-world (aka "Hollywood") moviemaking machine. Some people might be irked by the term, "moviemaking machine" (implying that film studios and film sets are dull and robotic), and bristle, "No, it can't be true! All those beautiful actors and smart technicians? All those five-star catering and free-flowing after-work beer? No, man, making movies is a blast!" It is indeed to actors and crew members, but it is hardly the case for writers, directors and producers who have to worry about making sure that their movies fit into grand marketing schemes that involve budgets rivaling the national economic outputs of certain third-world countries.

The pristine nature of film school learning environment has a purpose -- it is supposed to force the young students to think about cinema as art, which, to some, takes quite a bit of psychological adjustment. I can recall, with amusement, that one guy actually enrolled in NYU film school to learn how to make "better horror films". To him, having to watch movies by Ozu or Godard is pure torture. Ironically, even those students who aspire to making commercial Hollywood movies do not find it easy to shift gears to Hollywood's high-octane financial stratosphere.

As Yogi Berra might say, "The real-world reality -- that's what'll get ya."

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