In reading the recent NYTimes article "Shifting Careers - Making Artistic Careers Lucrative", it feels like a revolution is taking place in the art school curriculum -- a transformation akin to what will transform the Independent Film Community into a Truly Free Film Culture.
I have wanted to start an ongoing column "If I Ran A Film School...". I had been thinking I would post it over at LetsMakeBetterFilms since a lot of my concerns are on an aesthetic level, but truth be told you can never separate the art from the commerce when it comes to filmmaking. And further, and more to the point, I just haven't found the time.
That said, where is the film school that is going to start to provide courses designed to enable this step to Truly Free Film? Any film school that doesn't have mandatory classes on DIY marketing, entrepreneurialship, cross platform cohesion, and basic Web 2.0 skills is just not preparing their students for the real world. In fact, if you ask me the whole general film school curriculum needs a drastic overhaul.
I love the sound of what Larry Thompson (that's his quote titling this post) is doing at Ringling College of Art and Design. I would love to see what that class structure looks like. To start with, it sounds like the film schools should try to adapt it for their students. It's also great that they are in Sarasota; I got to visit the film festival there last year and was very impressed with the programing and community support. With forward thinking institutions like this in place, you have to imagine that a vibrant film culture could grow there. But I digress...
Regardless of the film schools though, stories like this, of Claudine Helmuth, are an inspiration and we should look at them for clues for not only survival but transcendence from having to create for the current mainstream outlets and demands.