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Is Film School Worth It?


Updated October 23, 2021


I’ll never forget the day I packed my bags and moved to Los Angeles to attend film school. It was incredible and taught me a lot, but it wasn’t the silver bullet for my career I thought it would be. It didn’t prepare for the harsh reality of what it’s like to get started in Hollywood.

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Do you want to become a filmmaker? Do you want to write and direct movies?

If so, the common thought is to go to film school. But is that the right choice? Is going to film school really worth it?

I attended film school in the heart of Hollywood. My directing teacher was a member of the DGA. My sound design teacher worked full time on Law and Order during the day and taught us at night. My editing teacher cut Blazing Saddles.

Needless to say, I learned a lot.

But what film school didn’t prepare me for was the sobering reality of what life would be like after graduation.

Los Angeles is saturated with people trying to break into the entertainment industry.

The Harsh Reality of Hollywood

Los Angeles is filled with people trying to make it in the industry. Just go to a restaurant and ask your waiter or waitress where they’re from and what they’re doing in LA.

So many talented people end up working jobs not even related to filmmaking just to pay bills while trying to break in. Some give up. Others finally get an industry job, only to be stuck for years in a position they never really wanted.

And guess what? If you want to write and direct the odds are even more against you.

Film school didn’t prepare me for the sobering reality of what life would be like after graduation.

What am I saying? That it’s impossible? 

No way. If you really want to direct movies, nothing can stop you. Nothing. But if you want to write and direct movies, film school may not be the silver bullet you think it is.

Film school can offer a lot of top dollar gear and exceptional training. They can’t get you a job.

The Typical Film School Scenario

So is film school worth it? I’ll let you decide. Here’s a normal scenario based on my experience in attending school in Los Angeles: First, you’ll spend anywhere from $30K to $100K on your education. And school will take you 1-4 years.

After graduation, when you’ve screened your thesis project and all of the hurrah is done, you’ll be hit with one sobering fact: Nobody is going to hire you to direct a movie. 

After graduation you’ll be hit with one sobering fact: Nobody is going to hire you to direct a movie.

Your shiny new degree will not land you a job in the film industry. I’m not against degrees. But like it or not, Hollywood doesn’t care about where you received your education, or even what your education is. It just doesn’t matter.

What does matter?

1) Your experience matters.

2) Your credits on IMDb.

3) Your audience.

How do you gain experience, obtain credits on IMDb and build an audience if no one will hire you?

By doing it yourself.

But how can the average person afford to make movies for free after sinking thousands of dollars into school?

When I graduated from film school I had over $60K of school debt, which meant I didn’t have the luxury of buying equipment and making movies. I had to get a job. This delayed me considerably.

So what’s the solution?

The Answer for Upcoming Filmmakers

In 2020 when wrapping post production on a film something dawned on me: I should teach people how to make movies. This was the beginning of Write & Direct.

My goal is to liberate you from the normal film school grind. I want you to spend a small amount of money on your education so you have money left over to pay rent, buy food and start making movies. 

Write & Direct teaches new filmmakers how to make a movie the right way, from development through post production. The Hollywood landscape has changed.

Robert Rodriguez said this:

“Being creative is not enough in this business. You have to become technical. Creative people are born creative. You’re lucky. […] Too many creative people don’t want to learn how to be technical. So what happens? They become dependent on technical people. Become technical. You can learn that. If you’re creative and technical, you’re unstoppable.”

With Write & Direct you’ll gain more practical knowledge about making movies from start to finish than you will from most of the film schools out there. And you’ll learn it in a way that accelerates your career.

The Elephant in the Room

The obvious question most people are asking right now is, why should anyone listen to me? I’m not Steven Spielberg, Kathryn Bigelow or Edward Zwick. I haven’t won an Oscar or directed a major studio film. 

So why should you listen to me?

Because first and foremost, I’m an active filmmaker who understands what it takes to make a good movie. I’ve written, produced, directed, edited, done sound design and much more. I have IMDb credits on both feature length and short films.

I know from personal experience what you need to know to get started as a filmmaker.

It’s Not For Everyone

There’s a huge problem with Write & Direct: It only works for self-motivated people. People who are willing to sacrifice. Who have an unstoppable passion for film.

Yes, I’m here to teach you every step of the process. Yes, we have a growing community that will support you. But at the end of the day, you have to do this. You have to commit. This applies to your filmmaking career regardless of how you learn.

If you’re not in this for the long haul, honestly, you probably should look at another career. Don’t make movies. Get a more predictable path. An 8-5 punch the clock life.

If you want to be a filmmaker more than anything else, Write & Direct is your ticket to getting there faster.

But if that’s not you, and you want to be a filmmaker more than anything else, Write & Direct is your ticket to getting there faster.

It will require sacrifice. You’ll have to give up time hanging out with friends. Skip that vacation. Spend money on a microphone instead of the latest toy or gadget.

Your friends may not understand. They might call your dream a “hobby.” But it doesn’t matter. Only you understand your passion. The drive to make movies.

Are you ready?

You can get on the waiting list using the form at the bottom of this page. Write & Direct will launch in the first quarter of 2022!

Do you want to make movies?

If your answer is yes, Write & Direct is your inciting incident. It's your catalyst in the journey to becoming a filmmaker. There's nothing else quite like it. Enroll today or find out more below:

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