A large part of film school is the experience of actually making films, these are aptly named “student films.” Most film schools require each person to make several student films during their course of study. The kind of film and length may vary depending on the class, year of instruction and professor. These student films are your precious gems and will serve as your demo reel or calling card in Hollywood. Basically, these films will be your resume of sorts, a catalogue of your work and what you are capable of.
Most student films are relatively short. Early on in the program you’ll be making very short films that might range from thirty seconds to five minutes. As your skills and knowledge progresses you’ll likely be asked to complete larger projects. A thesis film for instance may be as long as forty-five minutes or a feature even if you’re really ambitious or working on something over a long period of time such as a documentary.
A student film should be approached like any other film, with a lot of thought and careful planning. Pre-production is the most important thing you’ll ever learn because a movie is really made in pre-production and post, the filming is just secondary. Post production can shape the film and change it into something else based on the footage captured. Pre-production however makes the mold for what the film will be and ensures everything will actually work out. Too often student rush through or skip over pre-production and end up in a mess trying to figure out the details of their film or find themselves missing key elements. That is what all the preparation is for, to make sure you don’t miss anything.
Student films also shouldn’t been taken too lightly.
You can go far with a good film. Many students submit their work to film festivals and enter it in contests. You can have your work screened in front of millions if you’re chosen to present your film or it wins a competition. A student film can actually be the stepping stone you need to make your name known and gain you valuable contacts in the industry. Treat each project with tender love and care you’ll be sure to make a good film!
Learn to write, shoot, edit, score and produce your own film at Asia’s Premier Film School, the International Academy of Film and Television. Learn film making from accomplished professionals from Hollywood and other film capitals.
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