10 Tips for Film students who want to Be Like Me.

Two months out of university and all but finished with basking in my academic success, I have emerged fresh-faced, starry-eyed and ready to take on the world. Obviously I am yet to discover I graduated with a degree in Film Studies, which, at this moment in history, is basically like saying you want to start a golden yacht manufacturing company in 1930s America.

Regardless, I’m going to start this new, provocatively-titled blog by offering some tips that got me through it.

  1. Don’t be afraid of letting people know you don’t “get” a film. It is a valid response and probably says more about the film than it does about yourself.
  2. I shouldn’t even have to tell you this, but if you disagree with everyone in the room, let them know, and argue all the louder for it. Start debate for the sake of it.
  3. Be picky. Watch films you want to watch. Do not watch films people say you “should” watch. Analysing why you want to watch these films will, nine times out of ten, tell you more about the film than any academic can.
  4. Wikipedia is your friend. Do not listen to anyone who tells you otherwise.
  5. Make tidy notes that only you can make sense of. You aren’t writing them for anyone else, and likewise I don’t think anyone else should read them. Make them as personal as your reasons for choosing the subject.
  6. Read more history books than film books. (Unless, of course, this film book is written by myself, in which case buy it, read it, love it, breathe it, live it. Please.)
  7. Learn who people are and what they did. Most importantly, if they are dead or not.
  8. Pick a cause. Do not simply study “Film”, study it as a means to whichever end you choose, otherwise you are setting yourself to become an over-qualified film nerd without passion or reason, who will serve to simply irritate people in conversation. You will live in your parents basement. You will know who shot first. You will die alone.
  9. “You never have to change anything you got up in the middle of the night to write.” – Saul Bellow (Likewise, immediately scrap anything you wrote whilst yearning for bed.)
  10. Write your title last; you’ll never have actually written what you set out to.

1 Response to “10 Tips for Film students who want to Be Like Me.”

  1. 1 embot790 August 20, 2012 at 11:10 pm

    In any other situation, some of these would make you sound obnoxious and people would probably take a strong dislike to you. But in Film studies, you have to declare your hatred/secret love/misunderstandings/”wrong” interpretations otherwise there would be nothing to discuss! I made the mistake of waiting quite a while before I opened my mouth.

    Also, point 7: took me frickin’ ages to stop getting German director Fassbinder (Rainer Werner) and Michael Fassbender mixed up. Fassbinder died in 1982, so that was awkward.

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