Friday, January 09, 2009
Film Production - Do You Need Film School To Make An Independent Film?
Anthony Watkins is an accomplished filmmaker from Mount Vernon, Washington, who attended film school in Vancouver, BC. That required Anthony, a U.S. citizen, to commute for hours every day, over the US/Canada border. The distance didn't bother him, for Anthony knew he'd only be doing it a short while.
"It was a good film school, but I only went there long enough to learn how to operate a movie camera, and light a movie set. As soon as I learned that, I was done with film school. After I quit, I started raising money, and then I started shooting my own feature movie."
How has it worked out for him? Anthony has completed two feature films, "Counseling Day" and "Mall Robbers." Both movies are feature-length, shot on film, and they premiered in Anthony's hometown movie theatre, complete with tuxedoes and limousines.
Anthony is putting finishing touches on the script for his next film, the third in what he calls his "Seattle Trilogy." That film is titled "Diary of a Jerk," and will be in production in 2009, to be completed in 2010.
What became of his first two features? Anthony says they are selling briskly on DVD. Anthony distributes them on eBay, and through his direct-response website. http://mallrobbers.com
That's unusual in the world of independent film, which yearns hopelessly for nationwide distribution. "Going Hollywood" usually means getting a studio job, and that means having a college filmmaking degree.
"College's expected there," Anthony says. "Film studio workers in Los Angeles must have a degree, because their competition has one." Anthony did attend college, but not to get a filmmaking degree.
How did he do it?
"I just got started," he shrugs. "Practically anything you need to know is in a book somewhere, or a class, or a filmmaking seminar. Then all you do is put what you've read to use. That's the secret, taking action."
Anthony has a strong do-it-yourself attitude, and tries to help other filmmakers, by including a "making of" documentary DVD in each of his DVD movies. "I do it to give back what I've learned. I'm grateful for the help I got, when I was starting out."
Would he do it the same way today, were he starting over?
"Absolutely," Anthony says, "Only I would quit film school sooner. If I'd stayed there any longer, I might have missed being a real filmmaker." Then turns back to his work, designing another shot for his next movie.
For further information, contact Anthony Watkins at http://dominionpictures.com
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