I read, a while ago, now, that, in the West, on average, if you are not making a living (not hobby…”living”) in your chosen career, by the time you were 28 yrs. old, there was a less than 5% chance that you were ever going to get anywwhere, in your chosen career. This has great implications for the kids I work with.
Basically most of us, at high school made a couple of short films. We were even taught how to storyboard. My mates then went to do three or four year film and TV production degrees, and left, still having only made one, or possibly two shorts. In other words, they didn’t go forward. You would think that, after all this study in TV and film production, they would’ve been taken through featurettes, and it least one feature! The problem lies for most young graduates, with the fact that they are terrified of the jump from a two minute short to a 90 minute feature.
Surely that is what a film production course should be doing. It should move them on from the high school shorts, through featurettes, to a feature. That way, when my mates came out they wouldn’t have been so afraid of the jump in organization. Maybe, in the first year, they could do another short, in the second year, a featurette, and then in the third year, a full feature. The finance problem would be solved by making a micro, and they could use each other’s labour and laptops for production and post. The uni could then introduce the third year undgrads to festivals. This would then mean that they could perhaps start their careers higher up the ladder and at least some of them would have been given an entrepreneurial push.
Features wouldn’t seem so frightening then and my mates might have got a chance to actually get well on with their careers before they hit the dreaded 28 years old…..I’m not saying this is a sure fire solution it’s just that I have been meeting so many hopeless and depressed film grads who feel that they wasted their money and time studying, and it feels sad for them.
*Presidential voice*: If I ever taught a film course, I would certainly try and change things.