March 1, 2008 at 11:37 am #1238
As I’m sure you all know, St. Johns offer a few film making courses…but what I want to know is, are they worth doing if you’re a screenwriter?
On the one hand you will learn the basics of making movies, as well as making contact with others looking to get into the industry.
But on the other hand, I already know the format for writing a script and learning about lighting and sound design etc isn’t going to be of any use to me.
I’m trying to decide right now whether I should go for this course or just keep writing instead, so any advice here would be very much appreciated.March 1, 2008 at 1:14 pm #4596quinnyMember
for screenwriting alone I wouldn’t say it would be worth it but you could catch the bug and decide there are other areas you might like to work in, good thing about St. Johns is you get a chance to dab your hand at everything.March 1, 2008 at 4:03 pm #4597oisinmaccoilleMember
i agree with quinny. you have to wait until second year to get a specialist class in scriptwriting. you do learn the very basic stuff in first year like layout and stuff.
that said i thoroughly enjoyed my time there like you i went in there wanting to be just a writer then i fell in love with directing so i would do it again if i had my time back.March 7, 2008 at 5:28 pm #4598"oisinmaccoille":z2o65bum wrote:i agree with quinny. you have to wait until second year to get a specialist class in scriptwriting. you do learn the very basic stuff in first year like layout and stuff.
that said i thoroughly enjoyed my time there like you i went in there wanting to be just a writer then i fell in love with directing so i would do it again if i had my time back.[/quote:z2o65bum]
If only I could skip the first year…I think it’s going to come down to whether or not I can write a script by the summer that someone wants to make a movie out of, even if it’s a small short. I think I’d much rather actually be out there, working on a film than doing courses.March 11, 2008 at 1:07 pm #4599PadosMember
I spent 4 years getting a film degree in Dublin and when I finished I started writing feature scripts – I quickly realised they weren’t any good when someone in the industry was kind enough to pull me aside and be honest and straight with me and tell me so – and they explained why – I simply didn’t have the structure or technique to make a well-rounded script. They advised I go and get some books and teach myself screenwriting – I did and I’m still learning and practicing – but it worked, my scripts improved and I even got one optioned.
Film schools and courses can be very helpful when it comes to getting a grounding in technique and hands on experience and in finding a film-making network but you have to work hard at it yourself at home if you really want to get anywhere.
These courses are not the be-all and end-all especially when it comes to learning to write – writing takes good strong ideas and solid technique and structure that you have to learn and then practice practice practice……
Here are some books and sites that I found and find very helpful;
– The Screenwriter’s Bible by David Trottier
– Directing: Film Techniques and Aesthetics by Michael Rabiger (great sections on story and writing)
– How Not to Write a Screenplay: 101 Common Mistakes Most Screenwriters Make by Denny Martin Flinn
– http://www.scriptpimp.com – take some time to browse this site and sign upo for their newsletter
These are just some samples – I know there are thousands of books and sites out there but I found these helpful and interesting – try a few and make them work for you – use them as guidelines and then make them your own.
I hope this is helpful and not too preachy!
All the best,
PaddyApril 19, 2008 at 1:15 am #4600
Ok, so I need some more advice, specifically from someone who has already done the course. I’m filling out the application but I have to give a second choice course as well as Film Production.
So I need to know two things…
1. Is the second choice course one that you do if you can’t get a place on your first choice course or is it one you as well as your first choice?
2. Would it be worth my while giving TV and Video Production as my second choice?
The reason I need to know is because if the second choice is a course you go on if you don’t get your first choice, then TV and Video production would be a good choice, but if it’s one you do as well as your first choice, then I’d end up covering a lot of the same things twice and it might get confusing.
If it’s a second course that you are required to do as well as your first choice, then I was considering doing the computers course. I’ve actually already done it in Fas a few years ago, so I could take that course and breeze through it, being able to concentrate fully on Film Production.April 19, 2008 at 7:38 am #4601oisinmaccoilleMember
the film and video course is a general first year for all entrants into film. the film section does not start until second year, getting into the film module depends on results, attendence, work rate and whether or not you impress the tutors.
so if you do get selected for the film course you WILL be doing tv and video modules in first year. hope this clears things up.June 13, 2008 at 7:25 pm #4602
I have my interview next Friday. I’m not really nervous, I always do well in interviews. I’m just not entirely sure if the course is in fact the best thing for me. Directing is something I have considered but it was never more than just a thought. But I suppose at the very least I’ll learn a bit about the process of making films and meet like-minded people who I might be able to work with in the future.
Anyways, wish me luck.
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