See that guy staring up at you looking like a lost puppy? That’s me.

I remember taking this picture. My sister told me to smile and I did for a few, but for most I looked at her like she was crazy.  Now don’t get me wrong because I was in a great mood (the debauchery from the previous night is probably why I look out of it). But the more I analyze this picture, the more evident it is that my bewildered expression pretty much sums up every aspiring filmmaker’s feelings when school comes to and end. Some of us in this photo possess more or less talent or ambition than others, but in the end we are pretty much on the same playing field vying for the top spot or the next big break.

4 Immediate Thoughts After Film School

We have all seen pictures where you asked to “caption this”, so here are four captions that I believe best define this photograph.

1.     “… Now what?”

a.     College can mean many things to many people. But it is hard not to agree that college, especially an art school, is a creative haven to meet likeminded people and to work on various kinds of projects and equipment. But once you walked across that stage, the opportunities to create significantly decrease unless you score a pretty good gig. Now that you have to pay for lights, cameras, actors, locations, you must ask yourself, now what?

2.     Girl – “Hey what that big pile of money?!” Me – “Oh that? Student loans.”

a.     One of, if not the major burdens, if not the burden about going to an American university is the incredible amount of money it cost to get a quality secondary education. Most students will leave with a major sum of debt a large percentage of their initial work checks will go towards. And for the filmmaker that is a liability when you have abnormal expenses like entry fees for film festivals, equipment rentals and purchases, film location fees, actors, etc. Hooray!

3.     “Hello, my name is __________, and I need you to hire me.”

a.     In order to handle number two on this list, it would behoove a filmmaker to find work with a stable income. But unlike many careers, being a filmmaker is a hustle and it takes time and several sources of income to make ends meet. And unless you were on your p’s and q’s looking for work while in school, you’ll be floating in a pool with talented individuals wanted the same thing. Again, this isn’t exclusive to just filmmakers, but there is a reason why most directors, cinematographers and the like do not start making the big money until their late middle years.

4.     “Where’s the bathroom? This is pointless. I want to go home.”

a.     Film is a business where no one cares about your schooling. It helps as far as getting an opportunity to create a movie you are passionate about. But no one really cares about my grade point average, missing four days of classes for no reason, dropping classes, if I obtained my degree. A 4.0 grade point average does not mean that student is the next Tarantino (who by the way dropped out of high school).  There is an understanding amongst my peers that the only thing that matters is our work and our ability to communicate and network.

What are some captions you would give this photo and why? Feel free to comment!

 

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