July 22, 2012

Choosing A Profession Part Two - How To Get There?

(To read part one of this mini-series about choosing a profession, head over here...)

Part two: How to get there?

So. I want to direct movies.
Or at least work in the industry somehow.


Frankly, I've got no idea. There are no schools that can guarantee you work as a director. There's nothing you have to do, or not do for that matter. Some of the world's best directors are not even trained professionals... (Christopher Nolan - Batman and Inception) Others have truly worked themselves up from a nobody to become a respected director. A lot of them are schooled in the art of filmmaking, yes, but some say that the practical work experience was more important to them than anything else. With absolutely no right way to do it, where to start then?

I considered the Norwegian national film academy in Lillehammer, but gave up that thought learning the grades you had to have to even get in. Besides, most of the people there look like know-it-alls that either make serious documentaries or even more serious television programs. I feel like I'd be kind of stuck there.

Naturally I moved on to consider schools like UCLA and other schools in the Hollywood area. Then I'd be at the heart of it, right? It'd be perfect! Then I hit a big obstacle that suddenly materialized between me and the other side of the Atlantic Ocean. I must admit I had to cancel my brilliant plans when I learned how much money they'd all require. I'm a regular mortal! I'd like to avoid living waist deep in depth for the rest of my life.

It's got to be Norway, then.

This spring I applied to Bergen University. Originally for a Bachelor in Film- and Television-production. My grades are actually quite good, but unfortunately there are too many nerds in this country and only 20 of over 200 applicants would be offered a place in the program. I wasn't one of them.

Here I have to quote cinematographer Oliver Stapleton:

"I'm useless at everything but I'm willing to learn. Now this is much better. Modern schooling damages more people than it helps. This is because the grade system means that you are never first. And if you were, you wouldn't be reading this. [...] Many successful film people started life like this. Film People are kind of outlaws anyway: it's not a proper job."

Instead I got offered a place at the Bachelor in Media Science at Bergen University. I said yes. Basically this means I get to take all of the theoretical classes included in the other bachelor, but I don't get to actually make a film.

I was kind of disappointed, but fortunately this could also be a good thing. I will get to learn the history behind it all. The incredible power that lies within a film maker's hands. Why one film can effect millions of people all over the world. Why it connects with people watching it in their basement thousands of miles away. And by learning the secrets behind it all, I might get some sort of understanding of what it is people want to see, and why?

Conclusion: They (the guys at film- and television-production) get to learn how to make a movie, I get to learn why. I believe that's a decent way to start out. Who knows where I'll end up eventually?  I'll figure it out as I go along. That's what I usually do. That's me.

* To read Part One, head over here