1) Almost Everyone on the crew graduated with me.
I went to a small high school. The closest thing to filmmakers my school had was drama club. So I knew a couple people who could kind of act. (but a lot of people can kind of act) The hardest thing to find is skilled crew that don’t expect money in return for help. It’s actually quite rare. But I owe a lot of the film’s success to having a great crew.
2) I learned how to plan shoots.
Before film school, I just kind of winged it. I was able to figure out how to put together a story using shots but everything was kind of unplanned. Film school drilled into my head planning. Planning shots, schedules, scenes breakdowns, budgets, etc. And without knowing how to plan, I would’ve never finished Grandma Werewolf. And honestly on my next feature that will be one of the biggest areas I try to improve on. Next time I need to plan more.
3) Learned how to work with people.
Something that most people honestly don’t fully understand is how to work with others. There are plenty of difficult creative people in film school. And you need to learn how to work with them (or ignore them…) and create something great.
4) It gave me a career path.
Being a film director is not the only way to make a living in the film and video industry. Every big film has hundreds of thousands of people under the director. Many (not all) making a decent living. Being able to work in video production and learn more while I worked on my screenplay was crucial. It also fed my motivation to finish it.
But, you don’t need to go to film school. Just keep learning more about your craft and creating new short films!