One Saturday afternoon about 3 years ago I was out and about, walking around Dupont Circle in Washington, D.C. when I decided to dip into one of my favorite bookstores, Kramerbooks and Afterwords. I was in pursuit of a book on photography. As I meandered through the busy aisles I finally found it: Photography Books! However, what caught my attention was the section right next door: Film. All of a sudden I was transported back to the year 2000, when I was fresh out of high school and newly on the campus of University of Central Florida as a Film Major. It only lasted a year. I bailed because of youthful ignorance and lots of voices convincing me that film would never be a fruitful career path. Standing there in the book store it suddenly hit me like a truck: I don’t want a book on photography. I want a book on film.
I bought the book, “What They Don’t Teach You at Film School,” written by Camille Landau and Tiara White. The thing that I read in the book that made the most impact on my life is that it’s hard to tell stories if you haven’t lived much of a life. I paraphrase, of course. When I bailed on film school it was because I was scared, young, and inexperienced in life. I’ve now been places, experienced things, and am now better positioned to actually tell stories. Most importantly, I’m ready to tell stories at a time when technology is so accessible and there’s so many ways to distribute films.
I moved to New York City, because I wanted to further delve into the world of independent film. (I didn’t have a solid plan for how I was going to survive financially, but I’ll save that for an entirely different post.) I worked at The Peoples Improv for a short time and took a Sketch Writing Class and a Video Production class at The PIT. My experiences there further strengthened my knowledge and passion for filmmaking. I also met wonderful filmmakers at a Meetup and was able to work on a short film. What an incredible experience!
While living in New York I found myself on public transit for long periods of time and thus needed something to shove through my ear buds. This was the summer of 2016 and that was when I discovered the Indie Film Hustle Podcast
This may sound like an exaggeration, but Alex Ferrari’s Indie Film Hustle Podcast has been the most important source of information and inspiration on my film journey. If you’re an aspiring filmmaker and are not listening to this podcast, what are you doing?! Check it out. I promise it will change your world. “Keep that hustle going, keep that dream alive.” -Alex Ferrari
There’s nothing wrong with film school and all filmmakers have very different career paths. For me, it just wasn’t the right time. Would I go to film school now? Absolutely not. Why? It’s simple. I will write stories that I feel need to be told, pick up my camera and shoot stories that have the power to change lives, and work with other creatives to bring forth stories that highlight those whom many times are underrepresented. I can do all of that without film school.