Sunday, December 4, 2011

Getting Jobs in Entertainment question 1004: Is it possible to be directing a studio feature 2 years out of film school?

I've had this question before so I will refer you to my previous answer. Before I do, I like the ambition this question reflects and hope that you take extra time to consider #3 below and maximize your "film school status" to get mentors. Here's my past answer:

Is it possible to be directing a studio feature two years out of film school? Anything is possible. Is it likely? Well, that depends on a lot of important factors. Here are some factors to consider:

1. Are you closely related to the head of a studio?
2. Did you make a film in film school that won Sundance?
3. Did you get at least 20 studio executives, A-list directors, and A-list writer mentors while in film school who are deeply invested in your talent and success?
4. Do you have a blackmail video featuring the head of feature development at a studio? (I don't condone this, but I had to ask)

The bottom line is there are politics in the studio system that go beyond the entertainment industry. Why do you think we see GE commercials every time we watch 30 Rock? It's not because Alec Baldwin thinks they bring good things to life.

So it's important that you get an understanding about studio politics, what it takes to get a director "greenlit," and the amount of money that gets invested in a film with a first time director.

Whatever you do, keep directing, everything you can (except blackmail videos of studio executives), learn from other directors who were successful early after film school, and stay focused on the most strategic path toward achieving your goals.

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