The Best Type of Film Producer School



7/9/2012

If you want to break into the film business as a film producer, perhaps you’re wondering if there is a producer school that specializes in preparing you for a career in that area. Many film schools do, in fact, focus on different aspects of film production, so in attending one of these schools, you’re likely to acquire enough of a working knowledge of film to get you started.

However, there are certain aspects of being a film producer that you won’t necessarily learn by attending film school. A producer doesn’t just need to know how to make movies—a producer needs to be a leader, an administrator, a visionary, a go-getter, and a fundraiser, among other things. The producer of a film is basically the person who does whatever is necessary behind the scenes to make sure the movie gets made, on time, within budget. This sometimes requires a level of intuition and ingenuity that the average film school won’t teach you.

There’s something else you need as a producer, which you will not receive in most film schools: connections. Everything in the film industry revolves around inside connections, and almost nothing gets done without them. As a producer, in order to get things done, you need to be connected to the industry.  Since most film schools train their students in isolated environments, it’s nearly impossible to make those connections in that setting.

So how do you bridge the gap?  Most film industry professionals would tell you that the best way to learn to produce movies is to sit under the guidance of a working movie producer. Thus, the best type of producer school will incorporate this dynamic into your education, allowing you to learn one-on-one from a film producer.

Obviously, most traditional film schools don’t offer this type of training, and this is why many aspiring filmmakers are now looking for other alternatives. However, if you attend a film school that uses the mentor-apprentice (extern) approach, you can get the personalized training you need from a working film professional without having to find your way into the business on your own.

In simplest terms, the mentor-apprentice (extern) approach is geared around personalized, one-on-one instruction from working professionals in the field. This means that as a film student in one of these programs, you’ll be placed as an apprentice (extern) in real film production company, where a seasoned professional will guide you personally through the curriculum on actual film projects. There’s no better way to learn film production than by participating in the process of producing films—and this learning approach gives you direct access to the film industry, enabling you to make the connections you could never make in a film school classroom.

Many schools teach film production, but if you’re serious about being a producer, you’ll need more than that. The best type of film producer school is one that can pair you with a working film producer to be trained one-on-one.