Since posting message responses seems to be broken, I’ll try this again:
Anonymous asked: Quick question; Is film school worth it? specifically NYU film. I love writing, directing and acting. But my intended major is dramatic writing. I think I should stay in dramatic writing to hone in writing skills, all while pursing film making outside of school.
I am not the best person to answer this, because I chose to leave school to pursue my art directly. In my opinion, unless you work long and hard to build a solid portfolio, use much of your free time establishing and maintaining contacts, take any and every PA job/creative internship you can handle ‘til you’re “discovered”, and enter your work into as many film fests as you can afford, art school is just a very expensive hobby.
Filmmaking is an intricate art and requires a LOT of technical know-how, as well as artistic instincts finely tuned through practice. To me, film school is worth it to learn how to actually make films, but if you just want to write, direct, and act, you’re better off just throwing yourself into developing a portfolio and getting into the local art/writing/performance/film scene. Get your critiques from real working artists, collaborate with everyone you can, and learn the biz by being the biz. Save your money for your projects, or for getting a degree that will not just help you start your career, but give you a knowledge base that makes you unique and indispensible.
Followers: what do you guys think?
I saw an amazing show this past weekend. Chicagoans - if you’re into multi-media cutting-edge dance performances, you need to see This is a DAMAGE MANUAL at Theater Wit (by Belmont and Sheffield).
A quick synopsis: Produced and performed by Atalee Judy and the BONEdanse danseurs, This is a DAMAGE MANUAL is a potent mix of anxiety, punk rock, prescriptive ’50s psychology mumbo-jumbo and bad dreams, exploring the cyclical process of what it is to be “damaged” - and alive in spite of (or because of) it.
How I ended up seeing this show is kind of an interesting story. A couple years ago, I PA’d an indie here in Chicago (same PA gig I wrote about in my previous advice post). I spent most of those 3 days trying not to get in the way of the steadicam operator, Carl. Now, a couple years later, I reunite with him out of nowhere at my grrl Chrissy’s birthday party at the MusicBox, seeing a midnight showing of Wayne’s World (Chicago really is a tight-knit town for creatives). I also met his girlfriend/creative partner, Chrissy’s close friend Atalee. Of course I knew about Atalee, due to her being an innovative and intense local dancemaker/choreographer, so it was really cool to meet her. She invited me to see her dance show, This is a DAMAGE MANUAL, and Chrissy got me comped for opening night because I was so excited to go. Opening night was this past Friday and I can say (with great self-awareness) that I made a fool of myself begging Carl to use me for whatever he might need in future BONEdanse productions - second camera, camera assistant, carrying his equipment… anything.
And then I went to my boyfriend’s apartment and cried. I was so overwhelmed and moved by the show that I fell into a self-analytical spiral of how I call myself an “artist” and “filmmaker” but don’t really live up to it at all. And This is a DAMAGE MANUAL not only forced me to confront my own lack of productivity - I also realized a lot about myself from the themes of the show: anxiety, identity, stagnancy, being overwhelmed, feeling strapped down, and reeling from constantly stimuli that only do harm.
So I’m gonna write a review on it. I won’t be able to write anything else, anyway.
What have you seen or heard recently - be it movie, performance, concert, album, exhibit, etc. - that deeply moved you? What feelings came with it? Did it motivate you to do something, or did it aid in self-reflection?