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Creator and Artist Stories

It’s all about practice

By Heather Menicucci

Director, Howcast Filmmakers Program

Welcome to the final post in Howcast’s Modern 101 for Emerging Digital Filmmakers. On Friday, October 1, we kicked off our series with Embracing exploration: being a filmmaker today and today we’re wrapping up with a video co-produced with Tribeca Flashpoint Academy, How has the web changed film school?

Over the course of our series, we shared breakfast with our Howcast Emerging Filmmakers and learned instant gratification is a huge benefit to being a web filmmaker; we offered up a digital roadmap for filmmakers; sat in on Shooting People’s Ingrid Kopp’s Digital Bootcamp; talked with some producers about how the web is changing film festivals; and outlined one filmmaker’s plan of attack for distributing and promoting his short documentary. (Plus, lots more!)

We felt it was fitting to end up at the beginning of a film career -- talking to current film students and professors about how the web complements a formal film education and how web filmmaking will fit into students’ careers after graduation. 

As the students at Tribeca Flashpoint Academy explain in their video, they watch hundreds of hours of web video each week and they upload regularly. The web is giving them a chance to learn how audiences respond to their ideas and their professors see it as a viable venue for quality work. This is exciting news for filmmakers everywhere. Whether you’re in school or not, the web’s vast network of videos, collaborators, and viewers is reachable within minutes.

There has always been one thing about film school that can’t really be summed up in a course catalogue and a filmmaker can’t get working in a vacuum, and that’s the chance to fine tune your craft amongst other young creators and veteran professionals. Create, share, get feedback, create again. It’s all about practice. This chance to practice was really only previously available to a small few with the resources to access equipment and education. Thanks to technology, today a filmmaker anywhere -- in film school, in high school, or even a hobbyist -- can see an innovative video, be inspired to make their own, upload, and get insight from a worldwide community of filmmakers. To me, that’s been the most important lesson we shared in our blog series.

Happy holidays and happy shooting!