Thursday, May 29, 2008

Film school

So meanwhile I'm getting my life on track so that when I return to Belgium I can pick things up where I left off.

I'm looking into getting a bachelor's degree in film. Not only have I realized that the realm of movie making is something that has been a part of me for almost my entire youthful life. As a kid, I was addicted to TV shows, as crappy as they were, Neighbours (the Australian version), the A-Team, Melrose Place, and so on.

The first movie I ever saw in the theater was "Home Alone". My friend Wendy can still vouch for my obsession with everything that has to do with this movie (NY, Xmas decorations and a bad taste for comedy).

When the era of video cams erupted, I was first to lay my hands on one. Michel, a former boyfriend of my sister Lynn, had this ancient monster that actually recorded film. This was the first time I peeped through a lens that was not my second hand photo camera I got as a Communion present or something.

But it wasn't until my brother bought his own camcorder that I really discovered the wonders of film making. I borrowed his camera and went to Spain with my niece and coincidentally made a horror movie that included a car speeding away from a house at night, a search through the ruins of a house, and my grandmother snoring like a monster truck. It became a classic.

In 2001, Aki and me went to the West Coast to visit Kirsten, and K was extremely generous to let me use her digital camcorder. I shot footage like a scientist discovering alien life on earth. Back home, I made 4 cute little movies from that trip. I used my first edit software and felt like a kid in Lego-land with all the gimmicks and effects that this program had to offer.

I believe it was for my 20th birthday that I got my very own digital video camera. Aki had arranged this. I was completely stunned. Not only did I now have my very own magical film recording tools, I was amazed at the generosity and kindness of everybody around me. I mean, what had I done to deserve this kind of present. I think it was the best thing I ever got next to the cake that my friend Elgertsje had made in the Wapper youth club. I wish I had a camera with me then to have marked this Kodak moment. I was standing behind the counter serving drinks when suddenly all of the lights snapped and a bunch of lit candles on a creamy cake zoomed over to me. I stood speechless and was fully surrendered to my emotions.

But as I was saying, not only have I discovered that film making is just my 'thing' (I haven't mentioned the countless times I watched my dvd collection and analyzed every shot or memorized my favorite lines), but I also really want to get a Bachelor's degree. Not just any kind, I want a film degree. I lived in LA and checked out the tuition fee for film schools. I think Long Beach film school was the cheapest with 'only' 10.000 dollars per year. Of course, the school you really want to get into is either UCLA or NY Film academy. Both in the range of 30.000 to 60.000 dollars a year. I mean, how could I ever raise that much money ?

I did some school exploring in Belgium (which kinda sucked cause there you are in LA, the movie capitol of the world with a lack of financial resources and now you need to look for a place that's as far from this city as the sun is from Pluto.) and found three schools: The Film Academy in Brussels where hand drawing is a mandatory class. Fuck that, I mean, I still draw a matchstick man with five pointy sticks for a hand and I have no desire to change that.

The other school is Narafi Film School in Brussels, which actually looks really cool. If I'd win the lottery and were able to live financially free for the next three years, I would so do it like, right now.

My only doubt is that I'm really sick of having no money, especially when coming from a place where I was financially worry free. If I could get a scholarship to put me through school, then this definitely would be something to look into. So one of the things when I get back to B is find out how this could work.

A third option was evening school in Antwerp. I was totally siked when I discovered that you could also do film at night. I had it all figured out; find a boring, got-nothing-better-to-do-than-poking-my-nose-and-feeling-perfectly-fine-with-it-too kind of job, go to class at night for the next 5 years and fill up any spare time with enjoying life.

Now I find out that this night school doesn't offer Bachelor programs, but you will get a part time attendance certificate to get you started after 5 years. Again, fuck that.

Well, I'm still debating what is more important to me. Getting to learn about this passion of mine without necessarily having to receive the credentials for it. Or sacrifice the freedom that financial security brings and go to school for the next three years.

Ah, life decisions are always so freakin' wonderful.

7 comments:

Anonymous said...

hey there!

Yeah! Home Alone, vind ik toch ook nog altijd een leuke film! Zeker als ge al die plaatskes nu herkent in de film, zalig!

tis inderdaad niet gemakkelijk om beslissingen te nemen, ik weet waarover ik het heb :s :D

Ik vind wel, ge moet u dromen volgen en aangezien je al zolang in film geïntresseerd bent, ist zoieso een goed idee geweest om der is over na te denken verder te studeren.

Echt veel raad kan ik u nie geven, maar hebt ge geen mogelijkheid om deeltijds te werken en deeltijds te studeren? Da zou natuurlijk zwaar zijn, maar dan hebt ge nog wel die financiële zekerheid en toch kunt ge u verdiepen in de film.
Ik ben er van overtuigd dat de beslissing die je zal nemen, de beste zal zijn! Ik steun je in ieder geval!

Dada!xxx
Wendy

Tim Jungbluth said...

Ah, great Dennis, I can see you have landed. :-)
Welcome to the real world again!

(no mate, I don't think LA is the real world... :-D)

Anyway;
I'm sure the decisions you'll make will eventually bring you where you want yourself to be, even if the road is full of detours and traffic jams... ;-)

Good luck with your search for a proper and affordable school.
I'm expecting a professional shortfilm within 5 years from now, ok?
;-)

Anonymous said...

Hey Dennis dear,

Sure it will all figure out :).
Out of words atm. (too tired i guess *lol*)
Big hug instead

X elsiezus

Anonymous said...

Dennis,
Waar een wil is is een weg! Mijn broer, met een gezin met twee kinderen, was enkele jaren geleden ook terug gaan studeren en heeft zijn licenties behaald zonder één tweede zit. In de dag zat hij op les in Brussel, tijdens de nacht deed hij zijn dienst in de psychiatrie. Het hebben super harde tijden geweest, vooral voor zijn huisgezin (geen tijd meer!)maar hij is er toch geraakt waar hij wou zijn en is nu zijn eigen baas met een eigen firma. Hij studeerde verder met het oog op een europese carière (gezien Europa en Brussel) maar voor het één had hij geen ondervinding genoeg, voor het andere was hij te oud vroeg daardoor dus ook een hoger loon. Uiteindelijk is hij zelfstandige invoerder geworden, met licentiaatsdiploma (slavische handel en talen) maar is wel zijn eigen baas en heeft personeel rondlopen. Hij had een droom maar verdient nu toch ook behoorlijk zijn brood.
Alles zal wel op zijn pootjes vallen, maar teveel kennen doet niemand... het komt nog wel allemaal van pas en wie weet heb jij niet dat ééne lotje uit die loterij! Het is je gegund.
mama van Anne

bittersweet said...

Haha studeren en werken, ik ken er alles van :) Ik zou het toch proberen maar ik heb ook al gehoord dat een studie film veel van je vraagt!

Hier alvast een link over studietoelagen: http://www.ond.vlaanderen.be/studietoelagen/
Ik heb het geprobeerd maar heb teveel verdiend de voorbije jaren..

Ik hoop dat je je goesting vindt, weet alleszins: wat zijn nu 3 jaren van je leven?

GO FOR IT!

bob said...

Succes met je nieuwe blog!
We gaan ook deze zeker blijven volgen.
Enigste verschil in de nabije toekomst zal wel zijn dat we over je pennevruchten of jouw bekommernissen gaan kunnen filosoferen bij een goeie pint en een kom met chips ofzo!
Allee, da kon nu ook wel, maar dan wel met 6000 km ertussen en via de digitale kanalen, en jij kon met jouw vingers niet in mijn kom chips zitten hé!
Voor de rest : don't worry, live happy!
Wat komen moet zal ten gepaste tijde wel je pad kruisen en je zal dan zeker weten dat het voor jou goed is!
Trust me, I know what I'm saying....
May the force be with you.

Eddie the Girl said...

I could have sworn I commented on this post and the one before.