Re/Educating Film Education

by | May 16, 2024 | Newsletter

James Evans, an indie fiction filmmaker in the current cohort of the 6 Month Distribution Intensive, recently asked me why distribution and marketing is not the first class taught in film school. Having previously taught in film schools for over 20 years, I have my suspicions why the business of film, creating a career, or connecting a film to an audience is not taught well or at all and certainly not first. I’ll discuss these reasons in a longer piece. But for now – a question I would like to pose to you – as a mini survey:  

Do film schools avoid teaching the business of film and especially distribution and marketing because: 

1.  Film schools lack timely knowledge of how the industry works especially regarding distribution and marketing and what strategies could help filmmakers succeed.  

or…

2. Why would a school, charging upward of $240,000+ in tuition causing most students to assume massive debt either A. teach how difficult it is to have a sustainable career in the field and/or B. Tell filmmakers even if you can get a film made – odds are that film won’t see the light of day if you rely on common mythologies of film festival acquisitions and fast success and that to do so will usually involve a lot of work. 

or… 

3. Something else entirely.

Let me know what you think – I’m going to be writing a longer piece on this subject and would love your thoughts.