Media Review - Film School
I almost wish now that I hadn't even mentioned it. I watched the first episode of "Film School" this weekend and was just as bored by it as I typically am by reality shows, so I'm not sure I'll be seeing any more of it. I did make it to the end of the episode, where "scenes from future episodes" promise yelling, fighting, and other reality show money shots, but the first episode doesn't live up to the review.
Admittedly, the review refers mostly to scenes that don't appear in the first episode, but I don't think I care enough to follow through. The first episode spent a good deal of time examining the personal situations of these students, things that may very well be relevant to their lives as students, but not particularly unique to the experience of film school.
Several of the aspiring filmmaker/students speak of the "calling" that they feel, but I can't tell whether their calling is to be filmmakers or to make a certain film, to tell a specific story. Given the collaborative nature of most filmmaking and the expenses of production, making movies always creates more explicit and unavoidable conflicts between commercial and artistic motivations/justifications than do other art media. One of the students (Barbara?) admits that she's put aside her preference for experimental filmmaking (which she refers to in an ambiguous way that seems to be a synonym for non-narrative) in order to perhaps make a living at it. I don't have a problem with this at all, but her subsequent choice of project suggests that she has not entirely made peace with the commercial/artistic tension. The best filmmakers, it seems to me, are distinguished primarily by the way in which they deal with this tension.
The series, and these students' careers, are young, so it's probably too early to expect much from either at this point. The question is, do I really care enough to continue watching it. I guess I was expecting the series to be of particular interest as a document of beginning independent filmmakers, but it's too much like a typical reality show. I shouldn't have expected otherwise.