Breathe a Sigh of Relief

May 21, 2008 at 7:33 am Leave a comment

One school year down, one and a half more to go.

Last Thursday I finished my second semester of graduate school, marking the end of my first full year here at the Academy. I posted something earlier that was basically a rant against some of the annoying (and downright stupid) school policies. While those problems still exist, I am slightly more hopeful for my future here at school than I was three months ago.

What I’ve noticed about the students that are ‘making it’ (that is, actually going out and making short movies) is that they’ve been able to network effectively. While I’ve been able to maintain contact and develop friendships with students in a variety of fields (editing, set design, visual effects, etc), I’ve yet to make use of their skills. This semester put me more behind a book than a camera, reading on filmmaking rather than making films, but toward the end of the semester I’ve found myself helping other people with their projects, occasionally as an actor if no one else was available, and sometimes as a cinematographer and cameraman. What this means is that my friends have been making better use of me than I have of them.

Next semester, and hopefully this summer, will be different. While many of my ideas will require some planning, I’m confident that I can finish a couple of short projects by the end of the calendar year, and hopefully they’ll be good enough to add to my reel. Right now, I’m still stuck between choosing directing and editing as my career path. I feel very comfortable behind a computer chopping footage up and turning it into a movie. I’m now very proficient in both Adobe Premiere Pro and Final Cut Pro (they are both extremely similar) and am learning to integrate the many program’s in Adobe’s Creative Suite as well as learning Avid. However, the acting process is something that fascinates me, and taking that directing class last semester, taught by someone with a theatre directing background, really opened my eyes to directing a performance versus directing the camera. The latter is more the responsibility of the cinematographer anyway.

Regardless of what I pick, I know that the school has the means to excel at either one. The only issue is being able to make use of everything the school supplies, which is a fault of the school’s sometimes ridiculous equipment policies, more than a fault of the students. But for now, I can breathe a sigh of relief. My first year has gone by without a major hitch, and my grades are still intact (!). Oh, and I’ve managed to enjoy myself and not go buck-wild and drink myself to death. I guess memories of eyeglasses flying off my face has scared me into keeping my drinking to a bare minimum, much to the dissapointment of others. My future seems slightly clearer than it did when I arrived last July.

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