Film Graduates in Hollywood


Film school graduates in Hollywood often suffer a rude awakening. These students have been immersed in a largely academic process for two or three years, and have had their artistic impulses and creative urges both indulged and encouraged by professors and instructors who themselves are well regarded in the academic film community. Once these film school graduates arrive in Hollywood, they can be quite bewildered why no production company or movie studio has any interest in hiring them, even for an entry level administrative job. This is because Hollywood always places a greater emphasis on experience in the working world than it does on academic achievement, be it in film school or just about any other school (if you want to work in a talent agency you would likely benefit from a law degree or a master’s in business administration, but that’s because talent agencies have almost nothing to do with actually getting film made and have an enormous amount to do with generating business and protecting themselves legally). Film school graduates face the same dilemma that everyone aspiring for success in the film world faces: they cannot get a first job in film without experience, and they cannot get the experience without first having worked in film. This is where many film schools fail their students, having urged them toward creative heights without taking into account more practical realities. If you wish to be a film maker and want to go to film school first, make sure it is a film school that offers opportunities for one-on-one mentoring, and that it is also a film school where you will go out into the world of film making, either as an intern or through an actual work study program, so that when film school is over you will not be left with nothing to show for it except a diploma and a few reels of student films. If you are the next Steven Spielberg that might suffice, but short of that, you will need to find a program that puts you out in the trenches, both so that you can acquire the skills that will land you that first job and get your foot in the door, and will also allow you to make connections with players within the industry who can help nudge you even further along your career track. Film school graduates in Hollywood often do ultimately rise to successful positions, but in most cases, they would have risen much more quickly had they only already gotten some experience under their belts before they came to the dream factory.

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