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Why Should You Study Filmmaking and Why Should You Not?

Why Should You Study Filmmaking and Why Should You Not?

In today’s time and age where anyone can make a film and become a filmmaker, why should you study filmmaking? In this article, we will give you one reason why you should study filmmaking and one reason why you might not want to study filmmaking.

Note: This is not about “film studies”, where people study and analyse films. But about studying filmmaking, for people who aspire to be filmmakers.

Welcome back my fellow aspiring filmmaker. If you are new here, hi, I am Ashik Satheesh a writer and filmmaker from Kerala, India. On this website, we learn the intricacies of how to tell great stories and thereby make the world a better place, one story at a time.

If you want a video or podcast version of the same in Malayalam, check here.

Before looking at why study, let us first look at why you should not study filmmaking.

Why Should You Not Study Filmmaking?

The only reason that I could think of why you might not want to study filmmaking is that you want to do something original. By studying something you are being influenced by your teacher’s thinking. They could in essence be moulding you into looking at things in a certain way that they believe is the right way. Even this article is presenting my point of view on this topic so that you can see things from a different angle and decide for yourself. Hence one line of thought for not studying filmmaking is to retain your original inherent voice.

I used to believe in this line of thought. When I was looking to work in a documentation team within TCS I was afraid that by learning the professional way of writing I would lose my original voice. But what in fact happened was that my writing and communication skills improved drastically. By learning all the rules of writing I gained a better grasp of the art form.

If you are afraid that by studying filmmaking you are going to lose your original voice then the question that we want to ask you is have you shown an exceptional inborn filmmaking talent? Less likely. In the article Can You Lean Filmmaking we explained why there are no prodigy filmmakers.

Why Should You Study Filmmaking?

Now that we have seen why you might not want to study filmmaking let us come to the one and only reason for learning anything. Which is to save time. In your journey to becoming a filmmaker you there are a lot of things that you have to study. Following are some of those things, among many others, in no particular order. How do you:

  • Tell stories that keep people engaged from beginning to end?
  • Shoot visuals that capture the feeling that you are hoping to elicit in the audience?
  • Talk to actors to get the performance you need?
  • Edit it all together maintaining the pace and enhancing the storytelling?
  • Mix sound to direct the audience subconsciously?
  • Lead a group of technicians with far more experience than you to work together to bring your vision to life?

You can very easily go wrong in any of these artistic, technical and management skills that you need to learn. You can make mistakes and learn all this yourself or you can learn from the mistakes others made. The better you learn from the mistakes of people who went before you, the faster you can travel in your own journey of becoming a filmmaker. Hence the only reason for you to study filmmaking to save your time.

Concluding

So, you are not going to lose your original voice if you study filmmaking. You can in fact saving your time by studying filmmaking. Then the next question you would have is how do you learn filmmaking. I will be writing about those in the coming weeks. Signup for my newsletter if you want to have those.

Thus I decided to study filmmaking. I became a better filmmaker because I learned how to use the rules of filmmaking and also how and when to break them. If I can do it, then you too definitely can.

If you liked this article then I definitely recommend signing up for my email newsletter. Once every week I send filmmaking tips like these that other aspiring filmmakers are finding very useful. Thanks for reading, and see you in your inbox.


Hey Aspiring Filmmaker,

I debuted my film career making a feature film for ₹5 lakhs ($7,000) on an iPhone. I’d like to help you do the same. So I wrote everything I learned into a book. It is now available on Amazon, called The Indian Indie Film (or Make Your Film for rest of the world). Enjoy!

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