Is film school important?
There were a bunch of really great responses, several of which didn't end up in the comments, but emerged in private conversations over the next few days after I posted that question.
Most people seem to agree about film school's potential usefulness. The predominating sentiment was: maybe you don't need it, but it certainly can't hurt, and there are a whole lot of advantages.
I find myself in reasonable accord, with some qualifiers. Film school is, or at least should be if it's worth anything, a close prototype of actual filmmaking. In other words, you will get out of it only what you put in. Like all great opportunities for accomplishment in this life, film school should demand the best you can give it; it requires self starters, and rewards people who take on the work and responsibility of their own education.
Many would argue that that very condition is what makes going to school for film a waste of time. If all that self-starting is needed, why not do it outside of the arbitrary demands and monetary cost of formal schooling? Why not just go do it on your own?
I think of film school like a garden, of sorts. A plant can grow outside of a garden. A seed can find purchase in rough, dry dirt and somehow eke out a meager existence in blinding sunlight and the period deluge. The seed that finds itself surrounded by the careful cultivation of a garden, however, will have a much better opportunity to grow. Film school is that garden. Just as the soil and cultivation of a garden will not grow a seed--the seed must do it's own growing, and take advantage of the better conditions--film students cannot be made into great filmmakers or scholars. They must simply use the better resources that their school provides, so many of which were mentioned in the astute responses last week.
I'm all for film school, but only for those who can manage to do their own growing.
Speaking of growing, this blog is going to have to go through a bit of a transition. For over two months, I was good for my word, and posted every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. But it sort of burned me out. The quality of my posts was degenerating, and my will to continue was waning. In short, I got into a rut. It may not have been the most responsible move, but I decided to step away from it for a week. And then, when I came back, I realized I couldn't really continue as I had been. It was sapping too much of my life.
So, I will promise weekly posts. There may be more, but at this moment, I'll make no guarantees. If you're following this blog in any way (Facebook, Twitter, Google Reader, obsessive daily visits to the actual website...), you'll know when I post, and hopefully rejoice profoundly when I do.
In the meantime, I'm going to devote more of my time and energy to writing. After all, I'm going to be working on a screenwriting MFA soon, and I figure I'd better get into the habit of...well, screenwriting. Storytelling in general. Also, I'm leaving Provo in a month, and an inestimably important stage of my life will be over. I figure it would be tragic to waste what little time I have left here drowning this blog's tiny audience in too many posts.
Bear with me. 2190 isn't dying, just dropping its heartbeat a little to outlast the insanity of the next few weeks of my life.
For the sake of keeping the conversation alive, though, here's a parting, and very sincere question: What is or is not, has or has not been valuable about this blog? If you read 2190 regularly, what do you hope to see? What do you hope not to hear more about? What's helpful? What's not? I think you get the idea. I'm not really doing 2190 for me, so how can I make it better for you?