I often find myself running into quite a few young aspiring filmmakers on the streets of New York City (because that's where I like to roll), and after telling them to run home and read Cinematical, the subject of film school usually comes up. While I've never attended film school (in college, I majored in Television Broadcasting -- don't ask why), the outcome is mixed when it comes to those friends who have. However, one thing is for sure: life after film school is definitely a struggle. The friends of mine who have had success in the Hollywood system worked extremely hard, and spent years developing their craft. Though, here's a question: were they successful because of film school? Was it necessary?
Our sister site DV Guru has a fantastic story up right now called "10 reasons you shouldn't go to film school." In the post, Ryan points to things like cost, the internet and digital video as reasons why, these days, film school should not automatically be a pre-requisite for any aspiring filmmaker. Personally, I am of the opinion that if you're young enough, have the money and the time, then film school could be an invaluable experience. Sure, the professional hands-on advice is wonderful and all, but film school also helps provide you with possibly the most important aspect of this business: contacts .. and lots of them. You're not going to get Harvey Weinstein's personal phone number, but that kid sitting next to you in Film Theory 101 might have it one day.
What do you think: Is film school necessary? Or is it just a waste of time?