Sunday, February 14, 2010

So you want to get into Calarts huh?

We are now in the second semester of my second year, and already the pressure is on to complete our films fill our scholarship applications and get our portfolios and resumes sent out for internships. I've been experiencing a lot of growth this year as an artist and I have a lot more experience with the school. I think it's time i give back a little to the Calarts hopefuls. I'm going to start a list. A list of what you might ask? Well a list of stuff that i wish someone had told me before i came here. So many things about my first year experience could have gone been way better if i had known these things. I will update this list as things come to me but here is the start

1) Get a way to make your own coffee:
Hands down the most useful gift i received this Christmas was a french press coffee mug. You are going to need coffee to power through the long nights and sometimes to get through the day (if you aren't addicted to the stuff now you will be). But the school cafeteria is only open from 8-7 and the coffee machine downstairs costs a dollar a cup. Both of these sources for Joe are not that strong either. Getting a system so you can brew your own coffee is, in the end, cheaper, tastier, and more caffeintastic.

2) For your first year don't worry about making a GREAT film. Just make a film.
I can't tell you how many people come in here with epics in mind for there first year. How many have it in their head that they are going to get into the producers show every year. They get caught up in the details of story and designs and other details and then they don't finish a film. Or they do finish a film but because they chose to cram an epic into 90 secs it seems rushed. Your freshman year is about making a film. Just pick something that you can complete, and have fun with. Don't worry about getting into the producers show. Worry about making a film.

3) Sketch
Make time to sketch. It's as simple as that

4) Make a portfolio folder
As you do homework assignments and draw on your own, make sure you have a place to put the assignments that you want to put in your job portfolio where they won't get ruined. My advice would be to scan them and put them in a folder on your computer. That way you are not frantically running all over the place trying to find where you put that character design assignment from January.

5) Don't pull an "all-nighter"
There is a difference between working hard and working efficiently. A lot of people use the "all-nighter" as bragging rights to show how much they worked, and how passionate they are. DON'T FALL INTO THIS TRAP. You don't need to pull "all-nighter"s to get work done, in fact they can do more harm then good. How efficient do you work when you are tired. I knew people that would pull all-nighter's but then they would either not have much of anything done in the morning, or they would have to redo what it was they worked on. Get sleep! It is your friend. It's healthy. Besides the mornings are the best times to work because no one is here.

6) Schedule in breaks:
This kinda goes with the number 5, but you can't be working all the time. Put times in your schedule where you force yourself to take a break. but schedule it. This makes it so you know that there is a time for work and a time for relaxing and prevents you from mixing the two. With this you can work more efficiently and also reduce your stress.

7) Take an English 101 class
Get your English 101 credit done with before you get here. Don't listen to Calarts about taking "writing arts" here. It is not as valuable as they will make it seem. It is a pain in the butt to have to write a paper every week and work on your film.

8) To get anything done with the administration you'll need to ask more then three times.

That's it for now, I'll add more as i think of things.


Anonymous said...

I'd like to mention that everyone has their own ways of working, just to put this out there from another point of view. sorry to counter what youre saying, I'm just saying that there's different ways of approaching this school. In response:

1. coffee isn't the only answer. green tea and black tea are wonderful as well. And the cafe has these, but for a small price. some ppl have their own tea warmers in their cubes.

2. push yourself at every opportunity. EVERY opportunity within what you think you can do. if you think you can tackle a more complicated film, do it. if you think you can get into the producer's show, do what you think it takes. you may not make it, but you're further ahead than if you didn't try.

3. this depends on your film schedule/dedication ;)

4. organization is crucial! keep your best stuff together.

5. this goes back to 1 and 2. sleep is important. set a minimum amount of sleep you must get every 24 hours by bed/naps. plenty of people are up to crazy hours and still stay alive and coherent. all-nighters havent killed any one yet.

6. spontaneous breaking can be better than scheduled, if you're on a roll with your project. but dont kill yourself with no play.

7. heck take all the gen ed you can, youll thank yourself!

i think people change when they come here. just do the most you can to get in and go with the flow when you're in and working.

yebkamin said...

on number 2 i'm not saying to not try, I'm just saying don't WORRY about making an epic. Worry about making a film. That's all i'm saying. YES push yourself, but there have been a lot of people that worried so much about making an epic or got wrapped up in story until march that they never finished there film and had nothing to show for what they did.

What I wish someone had told me before I came to Calarts

  • Get a coffee maker of some kind
  • For your first year don't worry about making a GREAT film. Just make a film.
  • Sketch
  • Make a portfolio, portfolio
  • Don't pull the "all-nighter" just to pull the "all-nighter"
  • Schedule in Breaks
  • Take an english 101 class
  • To get anything done with administration you need to ask more than three times.

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